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English and Its Undeserved Good Luck: Lingua Franca

English and Its Undeserved Good Luck: Lingua Franca | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it

"In my post last week I cited a few ways in which English is unsuitable as a global language, and mentioned that its being one anyway is attributable at least in part to undeserved luck. Of course, it wasn’t all luck."

 

Tags: language, colonialism,  diffusion, culture, English.


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jorden harris's curator insight, March 10, 2016 10:02 AM
the fact that out of all of the languages that could have been a lingua franca is suprising J.H.
Logan scully's curator insight, March 10, 2016 10:13 AM
It is astouding to me that out of all those languages that could have been a lingua franca.-L.S.
Cohen Adkins's curator insight, March 10, 2016 10:18 AM
In my opinion i believe that English should be used and learned by every country since most of the world already uses it.It would be more convenient for others to speak English however people should also be required to learn a side language and not just for college. -C.A
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These Amazing Maps Show the True Diversity of Africa

These Amazing Maps Show the True Diversity of Africa | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it

"African countries are also quite diverse from an ethnic standpoint. As the Washington Post's Max Fisher noted back in 2013, the world's 20 most ethnically diverse countries are all African, partially because European colonial powers divvied up sections of the continent with little regard for how the residents would have organized the land themselves. This map above shows Africa's ethnographic regions as identified by George Murdock in his 1959 ethnography of the continent."


Tags: Africa, colonialism, borders, political, language, ethnicity.


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Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 8:54 AM

Africa is a very diverse and complicated continent due o mistakes made in the Berlin Conference. The strange boundaries drawn restrict these African nations to be one with their own people not with their enemies.

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 27, 2015 4:51 PM

We have seen the repercussions of ethnic tensions play out in the Balkans, the Middle East, and even in the United States, and Africa is no exception. Arbitrarily drawn national borders- the remnants of European colonialism- means that there is often significant ethnic diversity within many African nations. Although this creates interesting blends of language and culture, it has often bred violence in many countries, perhaps most notably in South Africa and Rwanda. Although many members of the West like to lump the entire continent into a single category, this could not be further from the truth. The second largest continent with extreme biodiversity, it has bred thousands of languages and hundreds of different cultural backgrounds, sometimes within a single country. It is important for the West to understand the complex make-up of the African continent in order to avoid the Eurocentric assumptions many Westerners make when discussing the continent. There isn't a single "Africa"- there isn't even a single "Nigeria," but rather a multitude of different peoples and cultures, equally as complex as those found in other regions of the world. This map does a very good job at illustrating the complexity and richness of the continent.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:20 AM

People often underestimate how diverse Africa really is. We often have the tendency to lump all Africans together in one large ethnic group. The actual number of different ethnic groups in Africa is rather staggering. This map can also be used as a partial explanation for the amount of ethnic conflict in Africa. Often times, these ethnic groups are squashed together in states with poorly drawn borders. Under that situation, ethnic conflict becomes inevitable.

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Why the ‘Coffee’ Words Are Not Cognates

Why the ‘Coffee’ Words Are Not Cognates | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it

"A former student of mine drew my attention to a recent article in Slate written by Alyssa Pelish and titled 'The Stimulating History of Coffee: Why You Hear This Word Around the World'."


Tags:  language, culture, diffusion.


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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, January 23, 2015 12:15 PM

unit 2

Tyler Anson's curator insight, February 23, 2015 10:41 AM

This article also shows the diffusion of language. The word "coffee' has diffused and although it is spelled differently in different languages, it pronounced in almost the exact same way. This goes to show how different languages most likely diffused from the same common ancestor langauge.

Caitlyn Christiansen's curator insight, February 24, 2015 9:45 PM

The word "coffee" is a loan word that has been borrowed by languages for centuries. It is sometimes mistakenly called a cognate, but is actually a simple sound alike because it does not come from a common language root. A cognate always, always a word that comes from a common language root. "Coffee" is borrowed and does not meet the standards to be a cognate.


Words diffused along trade routes as people would  travel from place to place and share the names of items they wished to sell. Before reliable travel, the names would change from place to place as people remembered them differently or pronounced them differently according to the languages.

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-stan by your land

Central Asia is full of lands whose names end in -stan. A certain powerful North American country has a related name. How? It's not your standard explanation...

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Chris Costa's curator insight, October 19, 2015 12:15 PM

I found this video to be incredibly interesting. I am moderately fluent in Portuguese, and comparing the language with English has always left me with an incredible fascination with human languages in general. As uniquely complex as each language we speak today has become, it is always interesting to see similarities in pronunciation, grammar, and syntax between two languages we would never associate with each other; the other day, I was reading about the influences of French on the Anglo-saxon language structures we see today in modern English (it is believed that all native English speakers already know up to 15,000 words in French as well, all the result of French influences in the English royal court for hundreds of years). Seeing the word "sta" be manifested in so many different language groups- Germanic, Slavic, and Persian- is mind blowing when one considers how much time has passed since the word was first used. With many Americans today harboring numerous xenophobic and racist views concerning everything they perceive to be "other," it's nice to be reminded that, for all our differences, we are a lot more alike than many of us would like to admit. 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:17 AM

it's interesting that a word that originated in one country half a world away influenced our entire nation, in the form of the name we took, and almost every nation on earth through the influence of language.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 12:27 PM

A very interesting little video. While I was already aware that the -stan at the end of the Central Asia state names meant country. What I found fascinating is how it derives from the term for field and standing thus being in or of a place. I also found it interesting how it brings up the other historical -stans but it failed to show Kurdistan for some reason because that is closer to becoming a reality than most of the others. The video unfortunately became difficult to follow for me at least after a while doing all the linguistic tracing to English and other indo-european languages to effectively say Canada and terms like homestead are similar if not the same type of thing as -stan. The Pakistan segments was interesting for simply learning what the first half of the nations name was. Lastly it should be observed that culturally and geographically the term 0stan seems to be in the Middle East/Central Asia and reference steppe decent cultures. Hopefully if a followup video is ever made it will clarify on these things a bit more and discuss Kurdistan which it left out.

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City of Endangered Languages

"New York has long been a city of immigrants, but linguists now consider it a laboratory for studying and preserving languages in rapid decline elsewhere in the world."


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I will be showing this in class DO NOT use it for your scoop it review--

 

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 2, 2014 8:28 PM

This is an excellent video for showing the diffusion of languages in the era of migration to major urban centers.  It also shows the factors that lead to the decline of indigenous languages that are on the fringe of the global economy and the importance of language to cultural traditions.   Here is the article related to the video as well as a BBC article that calls NYC a 'graveyard of languages.'  In a curious twist on the topic of endangered languages, there is a group of Native Americans in Northern California that wouldn't mind seeing their language die out with this generation.  


Tagslanguage, folk cultures, culturediffusionNYC, video.

Alexandra Piggott's curator insight, November 4, 2014 4:30 PM

Is globalisation enabling the preservation and study of declining languages?

SRA's curator insight, April 19, 2015 10:30 PM

Victoria Margo



This article really caught my eye because at a young age I was taught to speak spanish and english at the same time, and now that I am older I realize how important it is to know two languages. I will forever be grateful that my parents took the time and made my sisters and I learn something different while growing up.

Languages change over a long period of time and many times languages grow or die within time. Two main vocabulary words that I have not forgotten are Language divergence and Language convergence. Language divergence is the dividing of a language into many new languages. Language convergence is when two languages merge to become one. Both these definitions are extremely important when talking about how some languages will soon be extinct. I believe many languages have been endangered due to families and parents who do not continue speaking their language when they leave their original country/state. Language is very important to our world and society today. As stated from the short video clip, if you do not continue speaking your language then who will? I agree with that completely if you don't practice something over and over again how do you expect to get any better at it? This video was a great way to express the diffusion of languages and how families today still practice their language. This video made me think about and reflect on the video we watched in Geography class a couple weeks back because of the decline of all languages that we may not even be aware of. Many times it is hard to find older people who speak your native language but I also learned from the video we watched in class that it is possible if you are willing to try and continue something that is important to you. There are many different languages that connect to our world. 

I also liked how this article mentioned that New York is the city of immigrants, meaning New York is full of different cultures and unique language. Although this article/video does say that language has been endangered it can definitely be changed with a little knowledge of why this is happening. Geography and language tie in together quite well. I am hoping many languages can be saved for the future. 

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African borders

African borders | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it

"About the history of the creation of Africa borders and debates about African borders."


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MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 7:50 PM

APHG-U4

David Lizotte's curator insight, April 14, 2015 9:45 PM

In all honesty, the history of Africa intrigues me. I've always tried to expand my knowledge on the subject as well as stay current with its modern affairs (as best as possible). I have had the pleasure of studying abroad in South Africa for a semester as well as taking courses focusing on the vast continent throughout my career as a RIC student. 

Ancient Africa is a topic I know more about than the average person. It's slavery and the effects it had on the realm, followed by Colonialism/Post Colonialism that I like to take pride in knowing best. I've taken different courses focusing on the matter and have done my fair share of research for pleasure. However, I still have a lot more research to do because I have so many thoughts, questions, and comments  (before making a comment on a particular subject I like to research it in depth) to make. 

I have the desire to pursue an education focusing on "Africa" and its colonial aspects. I feel like I would pursue a solid topic of high interest-perhaps even importance- to me and research the dickens out of it. I would prefer it to be an original piece though. Not a blunt history of colonial rule in Africa, whether it be specific or broad. I do not want to reiterate what others have already side. I want to create my own theories on Africa. 

Currently I am quite interested in "Post-Colonial" Africa and the fact that I find this term to be exotic, foreign, and even a facade. There are colonial aspects of Africa that have existed for decades and will continue to do so as long as Western and Eastern (China) "business" is "functioning." "Business" is broad yet it is being used here to describe the basic global economy, producers and consumers thus a subsequent supply and demand. Now, what does the term "functioning" mean? Well, to simply put it, business functions through Africa's exponential amount of natural resources, cheap labor, and corrupt officials. Most of the civilized world benefits from Africa's numerable resources yet the vast majority of African's themselves do not enjoy such pleasures. This is a trend that has existed since the Portuguese appraised the Western Coast of the continent in the early fifteenth century. 

I understand that this basic premise may not be the first of its kind, in general. However, there are specific situations/conflicts that can be researched further towards developing a more unique body of work. If I do pursue a higher education in this area I plan on succeeding in producing a sound body of work that I am proud to put my name on. It would be neat to teach the significance of the three maps displayed in this scoop.it article. 

Emily Coats's curator insight, May 27, 2015 10:20 AM

UNIT 4 POLITICAL 

This article shows many maps depicting the history and creation of African borders, as well as the impact of colonialism on Africa. This shows where different groups resided, and how borders were not properly made to fit one single nation, but mixed together many nations in one region.These maps are extremely useful when trying to learn more about Africa and its history, specifically its boundaries. 

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Retronyms: Linguistic Shifts

Retronyms: Linguistic Shifts | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it

A 'retronym' is a term specifying the original meaning of word after a newer meaning has overtaken it.


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Kristen McDaniel's curator insight, May 2, 2014 3:10 PM

Very interesting look at how language changes over time.  Examples:  landline, "friend IRL", and vinyl.

God Is.'s curator insight, May 3, 2014 1:15 PM

Some of you might appreciate this article.. Darn I feel old! LOL

A.K.Andrew's curator insight, May 6, 2014 8:32 PM

Fantastic images for our modern day terms.

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Regional slang words

Regional slang words | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it

How many of these 107 regional slang words do you use?  This week on Mental Floss' YouTube information session, author and vlogger John Green explains 107 slang words specific to certain regions.


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Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 12, 2014 8:50 PM

Although this was a rescooped article from another geography profile, when you clicked on it the link didn't come up. Here is the main link: http://mentalfloss.com/article/52558/107-regional-slang-words. A ton of people use slang words, but can you think of one hundred and seven different ones that you use? I know before I watched this video I couldn't. Just the first seven listed in this video were all describing a can of Dr. Pepper. One term they used that I had never heard was a Tonic. This was used in Boston so it was surprising to not here of it, especially when being so close to RI. Other slangs words varied from calling a grinder a hoogie, saying something is Baltic, meaning cold, and streams being called branches, usually in Wisconsin. It was interesting to see all the different words used to describe everyday items all around the world. We may talk a lot of slang, but I can guarantee that no one has heard of all these different slang terms. Great video produced by a funny guy, really enjoyable.  

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, January 30, 2015 11:10 AM

This was a neat video.  Many of the slang words that I knew about were touched upon, but many were very new to me.  I never knew the "bubbler" originated in Wisconsin.  I thought that was purely a R.I. thing.  Watching the video made me think of how different regions were originally settled by different ethnicity groups between the early 1600's and 1800's, which almost surely led to these slangs, in my opinion.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 4, 2015 6:55 PM

This was a great video describing what people call different items all over the world.  Just in Rhode Island alone, people from different parts of the state refer to items in different ways.  I think it could have been better if he stuck to the United States only.  Its crazy how different people experience things so close in proximity to each other.  It also would have been great to show how different regions in the U.S. say certain words.  He probably could have made a 30 minute video on that alone and it would have been hilarious.

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France bans popular English expressions

France bans popular English expressions | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
France declares war on the English language. Erin Burnett reports....

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Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, October 12, 2013 6:39 PM

I think that language chances as culture changes, as time passed things get more modern. For example the past summer I went back to Dominican Republic, I haven’t been there for almost eight years. Even though I kept in contact with my family over there, I was very shock to find how much the Spanish that I knew in Dominican Republic have change so much. I don’t think is possible to keep a language pure, society is not the same as 100 years ago, I bet that certain words that were correct in the English dictionary don’t even exist anymore.

Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 16, 2015 2:52 PM

I can't say I was a fan of Ms. Burnett's reporting style. First of all, implying that America is the only country that speaks English was a little blind. Second, the little chuckles and smirks she gives is a bit condescending. She came off rather harsh and confronting of the French. And I'm sure France isn't "declaring war on English" as they are probably doing this to other languages. Finally, her last remark referencing the song "Voulez vous coucher avec moi" was a tad inappropriate in my opinion. That being said, it's understandable for a country to try and protect its language. It's part of its culture and its heritage.

 

Languages change overtime through interaction with other people. Like Ms. Burnett pointed out, there are some French words that have become common use in the everyday American conversation like a la carte and bon voyage. It is impossible to keep a language "pure" or rid of other language influences in today's society. With all the interaction happening via the web and other media outlets, people are bound to pick up words from other languages to use in their lives. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 9, 2015 10:45 AM

Frances attempts at keeping the French language pure are futile. It is impossible to stop the spread of information in a society. In the age of the internet, information is going to spread. If the internet can take down middle eastern dictators, it is going to expose French children to English words. This entire policy is a bad public relations move for the nation of France.  It makes the nation and its government seem as if they are intolerant of other cultures and views. France prides itself on being an open democratic society. An open society can not ban a language. France should reverse this policy immediately.

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Teenage Girls Have Led Language Innovation for Centuries

Teenage Girls Have Led Language Innovation for Centuries | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
They've been on the cutting edge of the English language since at least the 1500s

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 11, 2015 8:17 PM

Popular culture and those most closely tied to it are innovators. 


Tags: language, culturediffusion, popular culture.

Woodstock School's curator insight, September 8, 2015 1:22 AM

Do we speak their language?

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 9, 2015 2:37 PM

I find the social aspect of this absolutely fascinating; gender may be entirely a cultural construct, but we can see its influences in every aspect of human life. Women are responsible for 90 percent of linguistic changes that occur over the course of our lifetimes- because men resist such changes due to their (mostly) feminine origins. A good, witty read for those interested.

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10 American English Words and Phrases British Expats Eventually Adopt

10 American English Words and Phrases British Expats Eventually Adopt | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
As a British expat who has lived and worked in the U.S. for over five years, I remain very much in favor of embracing the various wonderful nuances this country has to offer. However, there was one aspect of my move that—during the initial settling-in period—I secretly feared: the gradual Americanization of my vocabulary.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 8, 2015 4:21 PM

While this list was created for English speakers in the UK, I will invert the list to show some terms that Americans rarely use, even if we understand their meaning: rubbish, mobile, motorway, petrol, car park, you lot, maths, pavement, football and fizzy drink.  If this interests you so will this list of 10 British insults that American don't understand


Tags: language, culture, English, UK.

tentuseful's comment, January 17, 2015 4:16 AM
Thats stunning
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Why the ‘Coffee’ Words Are Not Cognates

Why the ‘Coffee’ Words Are Not Cognates | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it

"A former student of mine drew my attention to a recent article in Slate written by Alyssa Pelish and titled 'The Stimulating History of Coffee: Why You Hear This Word Around the World'."


Tags:  language, culture, diffusion.


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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, January 23, 2015 12:10 PM

unit 3

Tyler Anson's curator insight, February 23, 2015 10:41 AM

This article also shows the diffusion of language. The word "coffee' has diffused and although it is spelled differently in different languages, it pronounced in almost the exact same way. This goes to show how different languages most likely diffused from the same common ancestor langauge.

Caitlyn Christiansen's curator insight, February 24, 2015 9:45 PM

The word "coffee" is a loan word that has been borrowed by languages for centuries. It is sometimes mistakenly called a cognate, but is actually a simple sound alike because it does not come from a common language root. A cognate always, always a word that comes from a common language root. "Coffee" is borrowed and does not meet the standards to be a cognate.


Words diffused along trade routes as people would  travel from place to place and share the names of items they wished to sell. Before reliable travel, the names would change from place to place as people remembered them differently or pronounced them differently according to the languages.

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7 of the Best Dialect Quizzes

7 of the Best Dialect Quizzes | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
If you're feeling particularly nationalistic, or just want to see how consistently you speak like your friends and neighbors, here are all the dialect quizzes that I could find. Find out what your dialect most resembles, and, in many cases, help science at the same time!

 

Tags: language, culture, English.


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Julia Kang's curator insight, November 6, 2014 8:42 PM

Enligsh dialects looks interesting! If I have a chance later, I want to know more about it :)

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Linguistic Family Tree

Linguistic Family Tree | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it

"When linguists talk about the historical relationship between languages, they use a tree metaphor. An ancient source (say, Indo-European) has various branches (e.g., Romance, Germanic), which themselves have branches (West Germanic, North Germanic), which feed into specific languages (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian).  Minna Sundberg, creator of the webcomic Stand Still. Stay Silent, a story set in a lushly imagined post-apocalyptic Nordic world, has drawn the antidote to the boring linguistic tree diagram."


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Linda Denty's curator insight, November 9, 2014 7:31 PM

A really wonderful graphic.

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, November 11, 2014 3:21 AM

Linguistic Family Tree

Sreya Ayinala's curator insight, December 2, 2014 9:50 PM

Unit 3 Cultural Patterns and Processes (Language)

      The image shows how many languages are related and have many common ancestors. Languages are grouped into language families and are even more broadly categorized.

      Language is a huge part of culture and it is the way that people communicate amongst each other. There are hundreds of languages in our world, but as globalization and pop culture diffuse many languages are being lost and no longer spoken. A good example of a dead language would be Latin. Many of our common day languages trace their roots back to Latin, but no one speaks Latin anymore.

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When Did Peking Become Beijing and Persia Become Iran? We Have the Data

When Did Peking Become Beijing and Persia Become Iran? We Have the Data | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
Where politics and language collide: how place names change over time.

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Nancy Watson's curator insight, May 27, 2014 9:05 PM

What is in a name?

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European word translator

European word translator | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
Translate any word from English to more than 30 other European languages, on a map

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Helen Rowling's curator insight, April 17, 2014 4:57 PM

English; Toursim; Geography

Claire Law's curator insight, April 26, 2015 2:30 AM

Lots of fun to visualise linguistic similarities and variability across a region.

Sally Spoon's curator insight, May 31, 2015 7:33 PM

Amazing how many use hamburger as hamburger.

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Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave?

Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave? | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
Africa may have achieved independence, but the old colonial ties are still important as France’s decision to send troops to Mali to fight Islamist extremists shows.

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 25, 2014 12:59 PM

Colonial ties are still very prevalent due to Europe's dependence upon the resources of Africa. European countries like England and France invest billions in Africa, not to help those African nations, but to build infrastructure for resource extraction or to keep governments stable. Though the true exploitation of Africa has ended, the current situation certainly has the ring of exploitation as the people of Europe enjoy the diamonds and chocolate harvested by the multitudes of impoverished people of Africa.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 4:04 PM

Colony powers are still located within Africa. Just because Africa is technically independent doesn't mean that British Colonial power isn't still in place.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 26, 2015 11:08 AM

This article reminds us all of the growth-stunt that colonialism in Africa brought to the continent.  It is not surprising to see that most African countries still depend heavily on their old colonial masters for survival.  People who may casually follow African politics might think that colonialism started with the Berlin Conference and ended in 1990 or so, but one could argue that it hasn't ended due to the urgent dependency African countries still have on their old colonizers.  Africa might be the most beautiful continent in the world but has the worst story of any in the world.

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A Rio Runs Through It: Naming the American Stream

A Rio Runs Through It: Naming the American Stream | AP Human Geography | Scoop.it

Displayed is a map originally produced by Derek Watkins.  This map is a fantastic combination of physical and cultural geography.  While most flowing bodies of water will be called rivers or streams, the lesser used terms (brook, fork, bayou, run, arroyo, etc.) show a striking regionalization of toponym regions.  What do these patterns indicate?  Why are in those toponyms found in those particular places? 


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cookiesrgreat's comment, February 2, 2012 5:10 PM
this is one of my favorite maps. intertwines language, geography, communications and history into one piece
cookiesrgreat's comment, February 2, 2012 5:12 PM
This is one of my favorite maps. Combines geography, language and history
Devyn Hantgin's curator insight, March 23, 2015 9:27 PM

How to define regions and evaluate the regionalization process

This maps shows the different names to describe a river. The colors show regions based on what they call the body of water. Language is a great way to separate a population into regions.

This relates to our unit of study because we talk about regionalization and the different ways populations are divided into regions. When we look at the USA we tend to see patterns between the North and the South and the way they name things differently.