World Language Mapping System

Steve Huffman Language Maps An academic application of the World Language Mapping System.

Huffman-Indian_Subcontinent_Langs-wlms16a.jpg

World Language Phyla/Family Mapping

Dr. Stephen Huffman

Contents

Abstract

Dr. Huffman has classified the languages of the Ethnologue into broader groupings following Merritt Ruhlen's A Guide to the World's Languages (published 1987, 1991 by Stanford University Press), and has produced as series of maps of language phyla and families using this classified data and several versions the World Language Mapping System and Seamless Digital Chart of the World geographic data sets. PDF versions of the maps available for download, as are Dr. Huffman's data table and ArcGIS project files.

 

For additional discussion of both language classification and the initial mapping process, see Dr. Huffman's paper describing this work: Mapping The Genetic Relationships of the World's Languages (pdf).

What's New

As of September 26, 2011:

  • Newer Indo European Language Family map available.

As of September 19, 2011:

  • PDF files have been recreated with WLMS 16.0 (16th Edition Ethnologue) with improved coverage of widespread/national languages.
  • Data and map project download for WLMS version 16.0 (16th Edition Ethnologue) added.

Usage Notes

  • The PDF files are fairly large. We recommend downloading first, then opening the file in Adobe Reader. Most browsers support this with a right-click (Windows) or option-click (Mac) on the download link. See your browser's help system for details. Those with slow or unreliable connections are advised to use a download manager. We use Fresh Download.
  • Maps in this series were designed to be printed on large-format (36" wide or greater) primters. Adobe Reader allows printing at smaller sizes, but text and language borders may be unreadable. Full detail may be seen by zooming in on-screen in Adobe Reader. Large format printers can be found in most cities in sign shops and larger print/copy shops.
  • To find a specific language, zoom into the map until language names are visible, then use Acrobat's Find (ctrl-F) function to move to the part of the map containing the language you are looking for. Name are from the 16th Edition Ethnologue; names can be looked up at www.ethnologue.com.
  • Permission is granted to reprint these maps for personal, academic, or nonprofit use. For for-profit publication, contact Dr. Huffman.

Maps Produced with the World Language Mapping System and Seamless Digital Chart of the World

Maps previewed on this page and available for download were produced with version 16.0 of the World Language Mapping System (WLMS), corresponding to the 16th Edition of the Ethnologue, and version 10.0 of the Seamless Digital Chart of the World (SDCW).

The World's Language Phyla

66 x 34 in (download PDF - 4.3 MB)

Click the map below to enlarge

A sample map of the World's language phyla
A sample map of the World's language phyla

A sample map of the World's language phyla


Languages of Africa

36 x 44 in (download PDF - 2 MB)

Click the map below to enlarge

The Languages of Africa
The Languages of Africa

The Languages of Africa

Languages of the Horn of Africa

34 x44 in (download PDF - 1 MB)

Click the map below to enlarge

The Languages of the Horn of Africa
The Languages of the Horn of Africa

The Languages of the Horn of Africa


Languages of China

38 x 72 in (download PDF - 2.8 MB)

Click the map below to enlarge

The Languages of China
The Languages of China

The Languages of China

Here is a closer look at some of the details

Click the map below to enlarge

Zoomed in for detail
Zoomed in for detail

Zoomed in for detail


The Eurasiatic Language Phylum

60 x 36 in (download PDF - 4 MB)

Click the map below to enlarge

The Eurasiatic language phylum
The Eurasiatic language phylum

The Eurasiatic language phylum

Languages of Southeast Asia

34 x 44 in (download PDF - 2.3 MB)

Click the map below to enlarge

The Languages of Southeast Asia
The Languages of Southeast Asia

The Languages of Southeast Asia


Languages of the Indian Subcontinent

36 x 44 in (download PDF - 1.1 MB)

Click map below to enlarge

The Languages of the Indian subcontinent
The Languages of the Indian subcontinent

The Languages of the Indian subcontinent

Languages of Sudan

34 x 44 in (download PDF - 1 MB)

Click the map below to enlarge

The Languages of Sudan
The Languages of Sudan

The Languages of Sudan


The Indo European Language Family

60 x 36 in (download PDF - 3.6 MB)

Click the map below to enlarge

The Indo European Language Family
The Indo European Language Family

Classification Data and ArcGIS project files

Download classification data table and GIS project files used to produce the maps above. Classification table is .DBF format, importable by most spreadsheet and database programs. GIS project files are in .MXD format for use with Esri's ArcGIS 9.3 or a later version and require the World Language Mapping System (WLMS) and Seamless Digital Chart of the World (SDCW) data products.

Notes:

  • To use these files to produce maps with ArcGIS, WLMS, and SDCW (assuming all are installed), save the .zip to c:\GMI_Geodata\projects (if the WLMS and SDCW are installed in their default locations), then right click on the zip file and choose "expand to here" using WinZip). You should end up with all files in a folder c:\GMI_Geodata\projects\huffman. Simply open the ArcMap project files to use. If you have WLMS but not DCW, data for some layers will be missing and will be marked with a red ! in the ArcMap Table of Contents.