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Languages of the World

Astrology Sun Dial


At the entrance of the harbor of the Mediterranean island of Rhodes in Greece.


In AD 654, the Arabs invaded Rhodes. They disassembled the remains of the broken Colossus and sold them to a Jew from Syria. It is said that the fragments had to be transported to Syria on the backs of 900 camels

Languages Of Isolates

Some languages are totally unrelated to other languages. These are called Independent or Language Isolates.

These include Ainu, an unwritten language spoken in isolated areas in northern Japan and now almost extinct.

Porome is spoken by around 1100 people in Papua New Guinea and is also without a writing system.

Burushaski is another unwritten language spoken in a few valleys in northern Pakistani Kashmir. Its verbs take on many prefixes and suffixes although all but three are regular. Its nouns have four gender-like classes: human countable objects (both male and female), non-human countable objects, and uncountable objects. There are four numbers: singular, indefinite, plural and grouped
Yuchi is spoken by a few dozen people in Oklahoma (USA). The meaning of a word can be changed by its tone. Verbs can take different forms depending on the type of object being acted on. Some of its verbs stand alone and take no pronouns. Words of kinship differ depending on the gender of the speaker.

Basque is an ergative language. This means the subject of the verb takes different forms for verbs that take an object (transitive verbs) and verbs that do not (intransitive verbs). It is spoken in the Pyrenees between France and Spain. The language counts in 20s, a property borrowed by French numbers above 60. Basque has three forms of the pronoun it for things or persons close to the speaker, at an intermediate distance, for things far away. The Spanish word for left (izquierda) is a Basque word. The language is called Euskara by its speakers.
Etruscan, a pre-Latin language from Italy, was probably a language isolate.

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