Language Maps from Africa to Europe
Multilingualism, Colonialism and New Approaches to Geographical Linguistics
Keywords:language maps, geography, multilingualism, colonization, hybridity, environment, culture
Language maps, which reflect linguistic pluralism, multilingualism and the spread of languages across countries and empires were part of an evolving human history. Historically, language came under the impact of geography, political conflicts and colonization. Due to these factors, languages penetrate borders or ended up in isolation or even in extinction. In this context, the paper investigates selected language maps of many African, Asian, European and South American countries in order to underline the connections between language, politics, immigration, war and other related elements. The paper argues that current language maps in some geographical regions are similar to the political maps of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries because colonial languages continued to exist in these countries even after the departure of the colonizers. Further, the paper explores the spread of a variety of languages and their penetration in some countries, which constituted a great part of the European Union, in order to examine the impact of geo-politics on the changing status of language maps in Europe.
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