This Linguistic Family Tree Is Simply Gorgeous

Illustration for article titled This Linguistic Family Tree Is Simply Gorgeous

We've praised the work of Minna Sundberg before, and here, as part of her Stand Still. Stay Silent webcomic, she's illustrated the family trees of Indo-European and Uralic languages. The full tree is below.

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Sundberg explains what's missing and where the data came from:

Language trees for the language lovers! I've gathered pretty much all the data for this from ethnologue.com, which is an awesome well of information about language families. And if anyone finds some important language missing let me know! (Naturally most tiny languages didn't make it on the graph, aww. There's literally hundreds of them in the Indo-European family alone and I could only fit so many on this page, so most sub-1 mil. speaker languages that don't have official status somewhere got the cut.)

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You can also get a print of the tree here.

Illustration for article titled This Linguistic Family Tree Is Simply Gorgeous

[via Mentalfloss by way of Cool Infographics]

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DISCUSSION

That tree seems somewhat wrong to me.

I am not a linguist but languages don't "grow appart" like this diagram implies strongly.

Doesn't languages cross influence each others, merge or split alike?

Walloon, my home region's language (now disappearing) is a roman language with strong germanic roots.

Where would that fit in that tree?

Looks nice but seems as outdated as 19th century evolution trees. It doesn't feel right to create contemporary misleading visualisations no matter how good looking.