Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Language Map of Europe

This map shows the languages of Europe, scaled by number of speakers and placed on the map by the "lexical distance" between each. English is close to German but it's actually closer to French, although from the way these clusters line up you can see at a glance why, despite that, English is still considered a Germanic language.

Notice how the language relationships fit the geography of Europe (or were made to fit, but hey, it works).

Genes can be clustered in the same way, and they tell similar stories. It's words all the way down.

I got the picture from here, and the original data is from K. Tyshchenko (1999), Metatheory of Linguistics.

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