A New York Times map of Africa’s ethnic and linguistic groups, representing “only the broadest ethnic and language groupings,” shows how much they differ from national boundaries (which the newly independent nations accepted as a necessary expedient in 1963). Via @mrgeog.
Languages & Linguistics
The greater Toronto area’s multicultural nature is vividly brought out by the Toronto Star’s extraordinary “language quilt” map (19.5 MB PDF), which shows the most dominant second language in a given census tract. (In 95 percent of the cases, English is in the majority.) It’s fascinating to see where various communities have settled themselves (Punjabi in Brampton, Italian in Woodbridge, Chinese in Markham). Eight languages also get choropleth maps showing their distribution across the area. Via Accordion Guy and Infonaut.
Languagehat has stumbled across a bilingual map of the Karelian Isthmus — the parcel of land northwest of St. Petersburg between the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga that was annexed by the USSR during the Winter War of 1939-1940. Actually, it looks like a trilingual map, because Swedish names appear alongside the Finnish and Russian names (e.g. Wiborg/Viipuri/Выборг). The 1:200,000-scale map was printed in 1991.
The MLA Language Map (last mentioned here in June 2004), which displays the number of speakers of a given language in the U.S. by county, has now been upgraded: for example, the system now displays language speakers as a percentage of a county’s population. Via LanguageHat; see also Language Log.
See previous entry: MLA Language Map.
Update: More from Inside Higher Ed.
Stephen Huffman’s World Language Phyla/Family Mapping page hosts a collection of very large PDFs that show language phyla at the global level and language families at the regional/continental level. The maps are really good, but if you use OS… • Continue reading this entry.
Via MapHist, I found out about the University of Pennsylvania’s Telsur Project, which maps the variations in English dialect and pronunciation across North America, and is behind the (hella-expensive) Atlas of North American English. See previous entry: Atlas of Language… • Continue reading this entry.
The World Atlas of Language Structures, in preparation, “will show structural features of languages in much the same way as linguistic data are displayed in dialect atlases.” I’ve seen German dialect atlases that show how words change from place to… • Continue reading this entry.
The MLA has put online a Java-based interactive map that shows where speakers of various languages are found in the United States. Lots of less commonly spoken languages, like Apache and Hindi; national, county and zip-code data is available. Via… • Continue reading this entry.