Linguistic Isolates

The place to discuss endangered languages, and efforts being made to revive them.

Linguistic Isolates

Postby Yaziq » Wed 01 Feb 2012 6:50 pm

A linguistic isolate is a language that can't be shown by comparative methods to be related to any other language spoken at present. The best known example of an LI is Basque which is spoken in Spain and the Pyrenees. I have no information that Basque is presently endangered, since Basque people are very proud of their linguistic heritage and are militant in their struggle. Other LIs are Burushaski, Okinawan, Ainu(extinct?), Sumerian and Pictish(both extinct). There is some evidence that Japanese and Korean are related because of similar syntax structure. For this reason I would not include them on the list of LIs. Feel free to add to the list.
Yaziq
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue 19 May 2009 5:58 pm

Re: Linguistic Isolates

Postby linguoboy » Wed 01 Feb 2012 7:03 pm

Yaziq wrote:Other LIs are Burushaski, Okinawan, Ainu(extinct?), Sumerian and Pictish(both extinct). There is some evidence that Japanese and Korean are related because of similar syntax structure. For this reason I would not include them on the list of LIs. Feel free to add to the list.

Okinawan is universally accepted as the closest living relative of Japanese. The family to which both of these belong to is known as "Japonic".

Ainu is not extinct, but there's evidence that it is also related to Japonic and Korean within a larger Altaic family.

The genetic affiliations of Pictish have not been demonstrated to everyone's satisfaction, but there's a strong case for it being an Indo-European language of the Celtic family.
english*deutsch*nederlands*català*castellano*gaelainn*cymraeg*français*svenska*韓國말*漢語
linguoboy
 
Posts: 1029
Joined: Sun 19 Apr 2009 9:02 am

Re: Linguistic Isolates

Postby Yaziq » Thu 16 Feb 2012 6:10 pm

Right you are. I forgot about the Ryukyu languages. However, I would add Tarascan and extinct Etruscan to the list. I'm wondering how much evidence is left of Pictish. Were Picts literate in their own language? Without surviving parchments I don't see how any conclusive judgement can be made at all.
Yaziq
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue 19 May 2009 5:58 pm

Re: Linguistic Isolates

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Fri 17 Feb 2012 2:20 am

Yaziq wrote:Right you are. I forgot about the Ryukyu languages. However, I would add Tarascan and extinct Etruscan to the list. I'm wondering how much evidence is left of Pictish. Were Picts literate in their own language? Without surviving parchments I don't see how any conclusive judgement can be made at all.


Some of the Pictish royal names include Celtic-style patronymics, so I'd assume that the language was Celtic.
Dan_ad_nauseam
 
Posts: 223
Joined: Sat 18 Apr 2009 5:25 am

Re: Linguistic Isolates

Postby Täzari » Wed 07 May 2014 3:17 pm

linguoboy wrote:
Yaziq wrote:
Ainu is not extinct, but there's evidence that it is also related to Japonic and Korean within a larger Altaic family.


I've been studying Ainu for about three years now and I haven't seen so many features that can be reliably linked to a Japonic family... I studied modern and classical Japanese at university and no systematic similarities seem to be found in Ainu and Japanese (I won't say anything about Korean, which I cannot speak). There are indeed some Ainu constructions that resemble those of Japanese, but they are sporadic. From my personal point of view I would define Ainu as an isolate language...
Ræhaktæśede enśké är hvå debbéś lit kæbbtera.

#English, #Italian, #Japanese, #Icelandic, #Sanskrit, #Ainu, #Nivkh, #Russian
Täzari
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue 08 Oct 2013 4:14 am


Return to Endangered languages and language revival

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests