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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:33 am
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Location: Beijing
Here is a language map of the Asia region, just completed as part of the introductory material of a book project (that will appear towards the end of the year, with luck). Posted at Pamela's suggestion.

It shows the distribution of the major language groups in Asia, all of whom make interesting textiles. The data for the map is mostly culled from http://www.ethnologue.com, with a lot of simplification to make the map intelligible. The boundaries between languages are not sharp of course, they are fuzzy, but with map-making you have a to draw a line somewhere. When in doubt I have erred on the side of the smaller languages to show their distributions better. The Miao-Yao (Hmong-Mien) languages are shown as an overlay on top of the other types since they are widely distributed in small pockets. The same could also be said of the Daic languages in the eastern part of their range.

The circles and ovals represent 'homelands', in other words the regions that the languages are thought to have originated (differentiated) in. These are based on the work of Peter Bellwood, Robert Blust and other linguists, with some tweaks and adjustments. These are controversial, not least because much of the early history of several of the language groups has been obscured by a major expansion of Han Chinese (Sinitic group) in the last two millenia.

What is missing? Well, I left out Altaic speakers to the north and east, and Dravidian and Caucasian languages to the west. But those were not relevant to the project.

And the book? More on that later...


Attachments:
File comment: Linguistic map of Asia
AsiaLangMap_Artboard 1.jpg
AsiaLangMap_Artboard 1.jpg [ 246.56 KiB | Viewed 4651 times ]

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
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Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Commendations Chris for this! Who knew you were a map-maker too? Only one small question comes to mind... aren't there Tai/Daic speakers in Assam? I know I was surprised when I learned that there were people of the Tai ethnicity there... maybe they no longer speak Tai...? Just curious.

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Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Very many thanks, Chris for this post.

I have read several verbal descriptions of ethnic groups and languages but, for me, a visual aid such as your map, makes a much greater impression and helps to slot the verbiage together!

I look forward to seeing your book in due course and trust that you will share publication information with us here on the forum when it is available. Good luck as you work on with the project!

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:33 am
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Thanks for the kind remarks, Susan and Pamela. Yes, some Tai-Kadai speakers in Assam, though they are a bit small to show up on my map:
http://www.ethnologue.com/map/IN_05

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