Language Isolates – Lonely Languages With No Family (Quick Video)


Hello everyone. Welcome to the LangFocus channel
and my name is Paul. Today this is just a quick video to talk about an interesting linguistic phenomenon Something that might come up in some of my videos in my future. And that is the topic of language isolates. Often when I talk about languages, I talk about the family that language belongs to, and how it’s related to other languages in that family. For example, Hebrew and Arabic are sister languages of the Semitic Language family French and Italian are sister languages of the Romance language family But did you know there are some languages that have no family whatsoever? Those are called language isolates. A language isolate, as far as we know,
has no genetic relationship with any other language. That means that it does not descend from the same ancestor language as any other language we know of. They are basically a language family with only one member. Some commonly known language isolates are the Basque language, spoken in parts of France and Spain. Also the Ainu language which is spoken in Hokkaido & Northern Japan. Some people say Korean, although that one is disputed. And some Native American languages as well as some languages on the island of New Guinea. New Guinea happens to be the most linguistically diverse place on the planet. If you want to know more about it, check out this video right here. Why are there language isolates? Well, one possible reason is that language used to belong to a family that had numerous languages in it, but that 1 particular language became dominant and replaced all of the others. Or maybe all of the other languages in that family were replaced by a different language. For example, a language of a conquering army but one of the group refuse to give up And their language become a language isolate It is possible for a new language isolate to arise, if that community of people is completely separated, completely isolated from other languages. That’s because children have the ability to spontaneously create new language. In these modern times, that happens most often with sign languages. There have been numerous cases,
around the world, of children in deaf schools spontaneously creating new sign languages that are completely unrelated to any others in the world. Some linguists say that if you took a group of infants and if you raised them in an environment with no language, they would spontaneously create
their own language isolate. This is just a quick video to introduce that linguistic concept that some people have been talking about in response to some of my videos,
in particular the one about Japanese and Korean. If you have any comments about this topic, leave them down below. But stay tuned for another feature video coming soon. Thank you for watching. Have a nice day.

10 Replies to “Language Isolates – Lonely Languages With No Family (Quick Video)

  1. The Albanian language isn’t an isolate, it’s a member of the Indo-European family yet it makes its own branch and isn’t conclusively linked to other indo-European languages. Albanian has been theorised to belong to a Greek-Armenian-Albanian language sub-family which is entirely possible. The Albanian language has both Dalmatian western romance Latin loanwords as well as eastern romance Romanian Latin loanwords, indicating that the proto Albanian language was formed on the border line between Dalmatia and the latinised Dacians. The Albanian language vocabulary is incredibly mountainous based and most Albanian words to do with mountains or farming are all entirely original whereas maritime words are mostly borrowed from Dorian Greek and Dalmatian Latin.

  2. Armenian is isolated today but it’s roots are closer to Greek and norther Balkans in Europe. Ancient Greek and other historians think Armenians came from Europe and migrated in the Caucasus mountains which explains the language connection and also the genetics of Armenians who have majority R1B haplogroups only found in Europe.

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