Homework Help

how is linguistic evidence used to draw conclusions about the spread of people in...

user profile pic

kibaxheartsxme | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 20, 2010 at 10:17 AM via web

dislike 0 like

how is linguistic evidence used to draw conclusions about the spread of people in China, Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and Africa?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

julialikesbrownies | Student , Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 17, 2012 at 12:13 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

The differences in languages between northern and southern China show how the spread of peoples in China over time because in the tree of language that spreads across China, the many languages fall under the eight main dialects : languages from the North and languages from the South. Even though “today, China appears politically, culturally, and linguistically monolithic” (Diamond 322), however there is actually a huge rift in the seemingly united language of “Chinese”. The language itself has eight main branches, the biggest being Mandarin, and in today’s China, the similarities and differences, results of a growing culture, shape the different languages in the same way human parted ways with chimps. Both evolved to be functional, astonishing creatures, but both so varied. This Darwin-like aspect of language allows us to map the spread of people by analyzing the changes that have been made through centuries of human development.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes