Comment on Manifesto for the Forthcoming: Part II

Wildcat Wed, Jan 9, 2008
Obvious, first thank you for a very enlightening and inspiring post and then, are you aware of this:

“Languages are very unevenly distributed among the countries of the world. The map tries to capture this fact by rendering each country in a size corresponding to the number of languages spoken in it. (Because of the inherent problems in accomplishing this, sizes are rather approximate). The ten shaded countries are those in which more than 200 languages are in use.”

The Ethnologue, cited a bit further, only lists 9 countries with more than 200 languages, however. Here are the 12 top countries:

Papua New Guinea 823 languages
Indonesia 726
Nigeria 505
India 387
Mexico 288
Cameroon 279
Australia 235
DR Congo 218
China 201
Brazil 192
United States 176
Philippines 169

It’s curious how the linguistically most diverse country in the world is Papua New Guinea – because it’s also the place with the biggest biodiversity anywhere, one of the last places in the world where new species get discovered regularly. I wonder whether there’s a single explanation for both phenomena.

the rest is here