Lexical distance between European languages

January 14, 2014  |  Network Visualization

Lexical distance

Using data from linguistics research by Kostiantyn Tyshchenko, Teresa Elms clustered European languages in this network graph. If you look closely, you might wonder why English is considered a Germanic language. Elms explains:

So why is English still considered a Germanic language? Two reasons. First, the most frequently used 80% of English words come from Germanic sources, not Latinate sources. Those famous Anglo-Saxon monosyllables live on! Second, the syntax of English, although much simplified from its Old English origins, remains recognizably Germanic. The Norman conquest added French vocabulary to the language, and through pidginization it arguably stripped out some Germanic grammar, but it did not ADD French grammar.

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