Language Geography

Language geography is the study of the geographic distribution of languages or elements of languages. Within language geography there are two principle areas of study. Geography of languages focuses on the distribution of languages over space and time. Linguistic geography focuses on regional variations within languages.


Human Geography

Dark circles represent languages with ejectives, clear circles represent those without ejectives. Clusters of languages with ejectives are highlighted with white rectangles. For illustrative purposes only. Inset: Lat-long plot of polygons exceeding 1500 m in elevation. The six major inhabitable areas of high elevation are highlighted via ellipses: (1) North American cordillera (2) Andes (3) Southern African plateau (4) East African rift (5) Caucasus and Javakheti plateau (6) Tibetan plateau and adjacent regions. Map from: Evidence for Direct Geographic Influences on Linguistic Sounds: The Case of Ejectives by Caleb Everett.

How Topography Affects Language

How high up you live affects your spoken language.  Caleb Everett, an associate professors in the Athropology Department at the University of Miami published the results of his research into the correlation between elevation and phonemic ejective consonants in PLoS ONE Journal. Everett looked at ejective consonants which are voiceless consonants which require […]

Human Geography

How English is Spoken Around the World

How English is Spoken Around the World

The Speech Accent Archive has catalogued snippets of the English language spoken around the world on their site.  Steven Weinberger, a professor of linguistics at George Mason University created the web site with the purpose “to uniformly exhibit a large set of speech accents from a variety of language backgrounds.” […]

Human Geography

Babel spoken here

Babel spoken here

Did you ever play the “operator game” as a child with a large group of friends?  The one where you whisper a phrase to the person sitting next to you, who then repeats to the next person sitting next to them and so on down the line until the last […]