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The Geography of Language

"Over the course of human history, thousands of languages have developed from what was once a much smaller number. How did we end up with so many? And how do we keep track of them all? Alex Gendler explains how linguists group languages into language families, demonstrating how these linguistic trees give us crucial insights into the past."


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Woodstock School's curator insight, June 4, 2014 6:05 AM

A good teaching tool for explaining the diversity of languages.

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, June 12, 2014 9:38 PM

Geografia Cultural

Chris Plummer's curator insight, January 11, 11:46 PM

Summary- This video explains how so many languages came to be and why. By the early existence of human there was a such smaller variety of languages. Tribes that spoke one language would often split in search of new recourses. Searching tribe would develop in many new different ways than the original tribe. new foods, land, and other elements created a radically different language than the original. 

 

Insight- In unit 3 we study language as a big element of out chapter. One key question in chapter 6 was why are languages distributed the way they are. It is obvious from the video that languages are distributed they way they are is because of the breaking up from people which forced people to develop differently thus creating a different language. As this process continues, there become more and more branches of a language family.  

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Bolivia: A Country With No McDonald’s

Bolivia: A Country With No McDonald’s | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it
What America can learn from one of the most sustainable food nations on Earth.

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Lena Minassian's curator insight, February 13, 11:29 AM

I absolutely love this! Here is a country that takes a lot of pride in eating fresh foods. They do not have any fast food chains because Bolivians prefer their traditional foods just the way they are. They still eat hamburgers but prefer to buy them from women who make them instead of a McDonald's. Bolivians value that interaction and relationship with the people surrounding them and that genuinely makes food more enjoyable. Their food relationships do not involve money but the effects of what these fresh foods can do for them. 

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 28, 5:50 PM

This is a fine example of people looking out for one another.  It might be easier to industrialize their food market but it's more admirable to preserve tradition, help small indigenous business, and try your best at making the country more healthy.  I applaud them for doing this.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 22, 3:33 PM

I think I might want to move to Bolivia one day! Reciprocity is often a term used for corporate culture; you but from me and I'll buy from you type of relationship. This is still true in Bolivia only they do it on a much more personal level. Farmers share equipment, they share crops, seeds and develop a rapport not easily undone by corporations such as McDonald's. Bolivia's multiple micro-climates allow it to grow a wide variety of foods for their citizens, thus making it easier to trade within their circle of neighborhood farmers. "I'll trade you ten pounds of potatoes for five pounds of Quinoa."

The article goes on to state that Bolivians do indeed love their hamburgers, a handful of Subway's and Burger King's still do business there, but the heritage of picking a burger from a street vendor has been passed down by generations. These cholitas, as they are called, sell their fare in the streets of Bolivia and this type of transaction is not easily duplicated by large corporations. I have added Bolivia to my bucket list...

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For Chinese Women, Marriage Depends On Right 'Bride Price'

For Chinese Women, Marriage Depends On Right 'Bride Price' | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

"China's one-child only policy and historic preference for boys has led to a surplus of marriageable Chinese men. Young women are holding out for better apartments, cars and the like from potential spouses...30 to 48 percent of the real estate appreciation in 35 major Chinese cities is directly linked to a man's need to acquire wealth — in the form of property — to attract a wife."

 

Tags: gender, folk culture, China, podcast, culture, population.


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Jennifer Lopez's curator insight, December 4, 2014 10:33 AM

In a way this is overpowering and amazing. The fact that a man has t bribe or get enough money to marry this women is incredible and in a sence unthinkable. A great learning tool here was knowing the amount of men estimated won't essdentally be able to marry a women for  the simple fact that there won't be any of them left for them to marry a women. Surely surprising.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 11, 2014 8:16 PM

I feel as though marriage can be complicated in China due to the one child policy. The amount of males outweigh the females. Therefore, there will not be as many marriages because there are not enough females to go around. Grooms have to put out so much for their brides. For example, in this article, her groom is unable to even get in the room to see her unless he puts up a chunk of money first. This is a typical ordeal for Chinese weddings. People describe it as a negotiation process. He must do whatever is told of him before seeking her hand in marriage. The "bride price" is when the groom gives the brides family a fair amount of money. A typical amount for an ordinary family to give is around $10,000. This is so much to get married and on top of all this, gender roles are typically unbalanced. In order to get married in China, you best make sure your a man ready to fulfill every request of your bride.

Elle Reagan's curator insight, March 22, 5:53 PM

I always heard that men were more desirable in China because they are the ones that carry out the family name and provide for the family. Women, however, are seen as much weaker and are treated as lesser. For the newly wed couple in the article, they hope to have a baby girl because it is much cheaper when she gets married. I never thought of it this way but having a girl would be much cheaper as the parents would not have to pay the "bride price" or for the apartment in which their daughter will be living in. 

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Inside a halal slaughterhouse in Queens

This is the story of a halal slaughterhouse in Queens. It is a bit graphic at times, but the culture, history and passion behind the business is fascinating.

 

While a bit gruesome in moments, this video is an excellent view into the inner workings of an ethnic neighborhood.  Why are the cultural connections to a 'homeland' so important to immigrants?  Why is halal meat more expensive than what you would find in a grocery store?  Why is food such an important part of culture?  For more about this NY company and what halah is, see: http://madanihalal.com/ ;       


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elsa hunziker's comment, January 30, 2012 2:24 PM
D:
Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 8, 2014 3:51 PM

While a bit gruesome in moments, this video is an excellent view into the inner workings of an ethnic neighborhood.  Why are the cultural connections to a 'homeland' so important to immigrants?  Why is halal meat more expensive than what you would find in a grocery store?  Why is food such an important part of culture?  For more about this NY company and what halah is, click here.     

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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 Education | 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 5:12 PM
This is one of my favorite maps. Combines geography, language and history
Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 5, 2014 8:23 PM

unit 3

Devyn Hantgin's curator insight, March 23, 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. 

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Linguistic diversity dwindling

Linguistic diversity dwindling | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

"80% of all web communication is in ten languages, yet 95% of humanity speaks roughly 300 languages.  Could Apple Siri and Google Voice help save the world's languages?"

 

This graph stunningly displays the result of dwindling linguistic diversity in this era of globalization and technological innovation.  Why have so many languages been dwindling?  Why are an important few growing? What is the future of the majority of the world's languages that have so few native speakers?   


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GIS student's comment, September 18, 2012 10:57 AM
I think there is a lot of emphasis in this article based on help. The only way certain languages are going to survive is if people help promote them. I feel that most Americans are blind to the substantial amount of languages that exist because everywhere we look people are tuning English as there primary language. Global advertisements are commonly seen in English. The Olympics had an incredible amount as well. I think the root of this problem starts with education of new languages, especially in America. Language is definitely something that needs to be embraced especially at a younger age.
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TED Talk: Wade Davis on endangered cultures

TED Talks With stunning photos and stories, National Geographic Explorer Wade Davis celebrates the extraordinary diversity of the world's indigenous cultures, which are disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate.

 

This is a fantastic look at indigneous cultures around the world.


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Jesse Gauthier's comment, December 8, 2012 5:21 PM
The first thing that struck my attention in this video was when the speaker said that other cultures teach us about alternative ways to orient ourselves, as humans, on Earth. I never thought about cultures in that sense. When I would look at another culture that is much different from my own culture I just couldn’t comprehend their way of life. But, each culture is just using the Earth’s resources in many various ways, making us not so different in the end. It also makes it much easier to comprehend stranger cultures than our own.
Don Brown Jr's comment, December 10, 2012 10:27 PM
This video brings to light a real dilemma concerning the “plight” of indigenous cultures in the modern world. The forces of globalization has been accelerated by improvements in communication and transportation technologies which have made interaction seem almost instantaneous compared to previous centuries. Yet, this globalized world is changing our notions of significance and attachment to place due to this relative ease of mobility. I have to acknowledge that this is something the indigenous cultures haven’t lost. As Davis clearly explains, the relative isolation that these societies adapted to is becoming increasingly difficulty to maintain, as the forces of global economic integration is binding the world closer to gather (whether people like it or not).
Also another issue that concerns me revolves around the unintended consequences of trying to preserve these cultures. It is possible that we may be accelerating their extinction as external pressure from us may cause these indigenous cultures to become specialized areas which eventually become subject to “exotic” tourism and research, inevitably changing the culture of what was intended to be preserved.
John Caswell's curator insight, February 6, 2014 9:59 AM

Important watch.

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"It's Not My Mountain Anymore"

"It's Not My Mountain Anymore" | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

"First-hand accounts of profound experiences and mountain living in rural Appalachia."

 

This book touches on important themes.  In our rush to strengthen the economic vitality of our urban areas, what are the cultural and environmental impacts within rural areas?  This nostalgic look at a bygone era also exemplifies the concept of "place" as a geographic term, and the deep emotional attachments that it evokes in so many.


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Linguistic Diversity at Home

Linguistic Diversity at Home | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Counties where at least 10 percent of people speak a language other than English at home."


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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 10, 2013 11:02 PM

This map does not bring many surprises.  Places where there are a lot of Spanish speaking families are present in places where many Spanish people immigrate to, along the Mexican border and the southern tip of Florida, where Cuba is close by.  One interesting thing about the French areas seen in Louisiana is that their version of French is a regional dialect. Not only is their a cluster of French speaking families, but they are all speaking a language native to the region.  It is very surprising that there are not as many French speaking families along the Canadien border.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, September 26, 2014 11:34 AM

This map shows how linguistically diverse the United States is today. This map reminded me of one of the slides that we went over in class about how in the Northwest Region the predominant language was German and now it is mainly English, with some German and Native American languages still spoken in certain parts.

Giselle Figueroa's curator insight, September 26, 2014 10:29 PM

This data is very interesting because you can see that most of these statements speak Spanish. I noticed that most people who speak another language at home (in this case Spanish)  besides English are located in the south western of United States. I wonder if this has something to do with people who immigrated to U.S  from south America.

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Tea for Two

"We came to Sri Lanka with every intention of filming a video about an organic, fair trade tea farmer. That is exactly what we were planning when we set foot on the small tea farm of Piyasena and his wife Ariyawatha. What we didnt expect was to be so taken with the relationship between the two of them. What started as a farm story quickly turned into a story about love and dedication amongst the Ceylon tea fields."

 


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 18, 2013 11:08 PM

The beginning of their love story is rooted in cultural traditions that many would find oppressive (arranged marriage), and yet there is much about their sweet relationship that is near-universally admired. 

James Matthews's curator insight, May 21, 2013 11:16 AM

Definitely a case of oppression versus admiration - what a wonderful story.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 12, 2014 12:38 AM

This video is about a tea farming couple whose arranged marriage has been very successful. The cultural tradition of arranged marriage may seem oppressive to us, but there are a great number of them where the couple stays happy. In these cultures with arranged marriage, divorce is usually not a realistic option, so these couples are possibly more willing to cooperate to make their marriage work than in the United States, but undoubtedly many remain unhappily married.

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Technology and Tradition Collide: From Gender Bias to Sex Selection

Technology and Tradition Collide:  From Gender Bias to Sex Selection | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Every year, as a result of prenatal sex selection, 1.5 million girls around the world are missing at birth.  How do we know these girls are missing if they were never born? Under normal circumstances, about 102 to 107 male babies are born for every 100 female babies born. This is called the sex ratio at birth, or SRB."

 


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 25, 2013 3:23 PM

How do local cultures create these demographic statistics?  How do these demographic statistics impact local cultures? 


Tags: gender, technologyfolk culture, statistics, China, population.

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Christmas in Mexico

Christmas in Mexico | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it
There are some very special traditions surrounding Christmas celebrations in Mexico.

 

Yo quiero encontrar un lugar en New England con buñuelos!


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Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 15, 2014 11:18 PM

Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad as they say in Mexico. There are many different unique ways that Christmas is celebrated here. Some of their Christmas traditions originated in Spain and other's developed in Mexico. Christmas celebrations usually take place throughout the whole month of December. Holiday foods are of course a big part of the celebration. Dishes include ensalada de Noche Buena and ponche Navideno. Mexico has other famous traditions as well. There is one tradition that takes place every year from December 16th up until Christmas, where processions reenact Mary and Joseph's search for Bethlehem. Also, like the US, nativity scenes are present throughout the holiday season. Another thing done in Mexico that is similar to the US is the idea of Christmas carolers. However, in Mexico, they call them Villancicos. Although some traditions remain the same, there are some different, more unique ones that we here in the US do not include in our Christmas celebrations.

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Folk Cultures: Fiddler on the roof

Folk cultures are rural, religious, agricultural, family-based and in a word: traditional.  This classic movie's opening 10 minutes are a good primer for markers of folk cultures and struggles that folk cultures have to maintain there vitality in a globalizing world.  

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Vanuatu: Meet The Natives

"Five men from the remote Pacific island of Tanna arrive in America to experience western culture for the first time, and force us to look at ourselves through brand new eyes..."

 

This cross-cultural experiment reinforces numerous stereotypes, but also seeks to get viewers to look at issues from a variety of perspectives.  Folk cultures, modernization and globalization are all major themes of this show.     


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Jason Schneider's curator insight, April 9, 11:16 PM

Not only Vanuatuan individuals, but we see many different cultured people visit america to experience technological lives that poor economic nations wouldn't be able to experience. Vanuatuan homes are not as fancy, strongly built or even as big as buildings that you'll find in the United States and I think it was a good opportunity for people of Vanuatu to witness how other people live especially when it's more advanced than their cultures. Vanuatu won't find roller coasters, concerts or many other entertainment experiences in their region like they would in America. I live in a region full of technology and entertainment and I could only imagine if I was visiting an area that had more like what Vanuatu was experiencing. Since, America and Vanuatu was experiencing each other's culture styles, it helps them even out their living conditions and what the higher economic region (United States) can do to help the lower economic region. (Vanuatu)

Bob Beaven's curator insight, April 26, 4:34 PM

This is an interesting concept because it switches who the anthropologists are in essence.  The United States becomes the foreign and exotic land being studied by people who are not native to its ways or customs.  It also lets the villagers address globalization in their own way, they get to go to America and see how the civilization lives compared to their own.  Although this sounds like a funny, reality tv show it was pulled from the air because some people didn't like what it was really doing, Americans were getting a laugh from people  "less sophisticated" than us coming to the US.  In the show, the natives also reinforce many regional stereotypes that exist in the US' own borders.  Geographical inspired tv can be a controversial place at times.  

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, May 1, 6:59 PM

This is a very interesting as both men travel to America from a place where they have lived all their lives. A cross cultural experiment that shows globalization and modernization and how it takes effect. its pretty interesting as i know multiple people who have had to adjust to the lives in the western worlds, and try to find a place within the society and try to blend in, but end up hating it and moving back to their roots so its a very interesting take on modernization, global culture with the culture they are used to.

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Exploring Languages: Gullah Net

Exploring Languages: Gullah Net | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it
Explore Gullah culture in South Carolina with Aunt Pearlie-Sue.

 

The audio component is the most crucial part of this site, since it allows students to hear Gullah being spoken for a language unit.  Is Gullah a separate language from English?  Is it a dialect, accent or pidgin?   


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Lisa Fonseca's comment, October 25, 2011 8:48 PM
I dont know how I feel about this website. I feel as though the way Aunt Pearlie Sue is speaking or this Gullah language is just a accent. Although this accent is prejudging that, that is how down in South Carolina they speak but, doesn't every state have its own accent? For example Rhode Islands accent of words such as car, park where we don't pronounce the letter endings.
Seth Dixon's comment, October 28, 2011 2:19 PM
It most certainly is at least an accent, but I'd argue that it is also a distinct dialect for English. The words, sentence structure and pronunciation are distinct and the vocabulary is born out a cultural experience that evokes a greater difference from "standard English" that the Rhode Island "bubbler" for "wicked smart" kids.
Are regional dialects a hinderance economically? Should we culturally seek to preserve them?
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TED Talk: Wade Davis on endangered cultures

TED Talks With stunning photos and stories, National Geographic Explorer Wade Davis celebrates the extraordinary diversity of the world's indigenous cultures, which are disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate.

 

This is a fantastic look at indigneous cultures around the world.


Via Seth Dixon
more...
Jesse Gauthier's comment, December 8, 2012 5:21 PM
The first thing that struck my attention in this video was when the speaker said that other cultures teach us about alternative ways to orient ourselves, as humans, on Earth. I never thought about cultures in that sense. When I would look at another culture that is much different from my own culture I just couldn’t comprehend their way of life. But, each culture is just using the Earth’s resources in many various ways, making us not so different in the end. It also makes it much easier to comprehend stranger cultures than our own.
Don Brown Jr's comment, December 10, 2012 10:27 PM
This video brings to light a real dilemma concerning the “plight” of indigenous cultures in the modern world. The forces of globalization has been accelerated by improvements in communication and transportation technologies which have made interaction seem almost instantaneous compared to previous centuries. Yet, this globalized world is changing our notions of significance and attachment to place due to this relative ease of mobility. I have to acknowledge that this is something the indigenous cultures haven’t lost. As Davis clearly explains, the relative isolation that these societies adapted to is becoming increasingly difficulty to maintain, as the forces of global economic integration is binding the world closer to gather (whether people like it or not).
Also another issue that concerns me revolves around the unintended consequences of trying to preserve these cultures. It is possible that we may be accelerating their extinction as external pressure from us may cause these indigenous cultures to become specialized areas which eventually become subject to “exotic” tourism and research, inevitably changing the culture of what was intended to be preserved.
John Caswell's curator insight, February 6, 2014 9:59 AM

Important watch.