Language Families

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There are groups or “families” of languages that linguists have established over the years. Linguist face many problems when it comes to the retracing of history of language. The biggest problem for them is the fact that, unlike many other forms of scientific history, there is very little in the way of solid evidence of the languages that existed thousands of years ago. Linguists tend to agree that the languages that exist today come from a root or ancestral tree of language development and evolution.

They cite the Latin or Italic language that was dominant during the Roman Empire’s heyday. As the Empire itself crumbled the connections between the different states did also, and this led to a fragmentation of the Latin language into many different forms. Among these variations of the Italic language are Spanish, French and Italian, which have come to be known as the Romantic languages. Therefore, according to linguists Latin is the ancestor language of these mentioned modern day languages. Another example is that of the Gothic or Germanic languages, primarily in the northern reaches of Europe the descendants include English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian.

The methodology of comparison is the linguist tool in the implementation of their research. Linguists will generally take samples of scripts that have comparable and then try to develop links between them. This process is described as being time consuming and at times problematic, in the sense that the more examples the linguist finds, the further away they may get from proving a theory. There are many examples of such misnomers in language and research.

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