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10 islands with completely unique languages
10 islands with completely unique languages
Anonim
Completely unique languages
Completely unique languages

There are over 6,000 languages on Earth. In most places, there has historically been contact between their bearers. But on the islands, such contacts were impossible, which often affected the language in an unusual way. In dialects isolated on remote islands, unique properties appeared or archaic features were preserved that are absent in other modern languages.

1. Pukapuka

Pukapuka
Pukapuka

Pukapuka Atoll is the most remote of the Cook Islands. The tiny island is only 3 square kilometers. However, Pukapukan has its own language, which is called Pukapukan. This language has some properties in common with other languages of the Cook Islands, as well as a clear similarity to the languages of the islands located to the east, such as Samoa and Tuvalu. As with many Polynesian languages, Pukapukan distinguishes between short and long vowels. For example, "tutu" means "to burn", and "tutuu" means "a bunch of coconuts", "tuutu" means "suit", and "tuutuu" means "picture".

2. Haida Gwaii

Haida Gwaii
Haida Gwaii

Haida Gwaii, also known as Queen Charlotte Island, is located off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. The indigenous language on this island is currently under threat of extinction, since only 20 of its speakers survived. The sound system of the Haida language consists of about 30 consonants and 7-10 vowels (the number of vowels differs in different dialects). Paradoxically, even among 20 native speakers, there are dialects that are different enough to be classified as separate languages.

3. Hawaii

Hawaii
Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands are very isolated from the rest of the United States and, moreover, are located at a distance of about 4,000 kilometers from the continental states. These islands have their own indigenous language - Hawaiian. The Hawaiian language belongs to the Polynesian branch of the Austronesian languages. It has only eight consonants. Hawaiian also has extremely limited rules for the formation of syllables. A syllable can consist of a vowel or a consonant followed by a vowel, and nothing else.

4. Iceland

Iceland
Iceland

Iceland was originally inhabited by Norse Vikings in the late 870s. Accordingly, Old Norse was originally spoken in Iceland. Modern Icelandic is a descendant of this language and retains some of its archaic features. For example, Icelandic retained a grammatical system consisting of four cases: nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive. In addition, names are divided into two classes, "strong" and "weak", which are inflected according to their own rules.

5. Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea

The island of New Guinea is divided in half between the two countries. The country of Papua New Guinea occupies the east of the island, and the western half belongs to Indonesia. The island is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas on Earth. Linguists believe there are over 800 languages in Papua New Guinea. Despite this diversity (or perhaps precisely because of this), these languages are very poorly documented, and almost nothing is known about how they relate to each other or to the languages of neighboring islands. One of the interesting features of all Papuan languages is the use of nominal classifiers. These words are used in conjunction with a noun to indicate the exact meaning of the word to use. There are 51 classifiers for nouns in Motuna, while in Teiwa there are three classifiers for fruits only: one for round fruits like coconuts, one for cylindrical fruits like cassava roots, and one for elongated fruits like bananas. …

6. Jeju

Jeju
Jeju

Jeju Island or Jeju Island is located off the south coast of Korea and is a popular tourist destination. The culture that originated in Jeju is different from that of mainland Korea, and the island is now famous for its stone statues known as hareubang. Jeju is spoken on the island. It is sometimes referred to as a dialect of Korean, but in fact there are such significant differences between the two that linguists prefer to classify Jeju as a separate language.

7. Malta

Malta
Malta

Malta is an island state located in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Italy. The official languages of the state are Maltese and English. Maltese belongs to the Semitic family, which includes languages such as Arabic and Hebrew. It is the only member of the Semitic language family, which is the official language of the European Union. Maltese is mainly spoken by modern descendants of the Arabs. Today, approximately half of the Maltese vocabulary is derived from the Italian language.

8. North Sentinel Island

North Sentinel Island
North Sentinel Island

North Sentinel Island is one of the Andaman Islands located in the Bay of Bengal. This island is inhabited by the Sentinelese people. Very little is known about their culture, because the Sentinelese are very hostile to everyone and completely reject any contact with representatives of other cultures. Some observations and photographs that exist at the moment suggest that the Sentinelese are in fact living in the Stone Age. The only metal they have on the island is from shipwrecks. After the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004, the Indian government sent helicopters to the island to see if anyone had survived. It turned out that the natives were alive, and moreover, they threw spears at the helicopters. The Sentinel language remains a complete mystery, linguists only assume that it belongs to the Andaman languages spoken on the nearby islands.

9. Madagascar

Madagascar
Madagascar

Madagascar is a large island near southern Africa and the island's native language is Malagasy. It is worth noting that Madagascar is not a very isolated island, from which you can sail to the continental part of Africa in a few hours. But the Malagasy language is unique because it is not associated with one of the languages of Africa. Malagasy is actually closer to Austronesian, and the closest related language can be found in Indonesia, 7,500 km away from the island. The similarities between Malagasy and Austronesian were noted by the first Portuguese sailors to visit Madagascar in 1600.

10. Australia

Australia
Australia

There are hundreds of indigenous languages in Australia, and their relationship is still unclear. However, they share a few common characteristics that set Australian languages apart from all others in the world. In particular, in this group of languages there are no slit or hissing sounds (w, f, s, w). Almost every language in the world has at least one such sound. Australia is an exception. Australian languages also have a large number of lateral or "lateral" sounds that are similar to "l". At the same time, there are many prohibitions in the construction of sentences, for example, in a number of Australian languages there are simply no words of direct speech to directly address each other.

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