Diaspora language

From ArticleWorld


A diaspora language is a variety of a language spoken away from its native area in a place of migration. For example, Yiddish and Swahili are both considered kinds of diaspora language. Yiddish, spoken by Eastern European Jewish people, also called Ashkenazi Jews, was written in Hebrew script, but evolved as a bridge between Talmudic Judaeo-Aramaic and the languages of the host countries. Another Hebrew variant diaspora language is Ladino, spoken by Sephardic Jewish people from Spanish-speaking countries. Swahili, which is a Bantu language, evolved into a pan-East African language. This was in part due to the incorporation of Arabic words from the Qur'an, in part because of migration and trade in the 19th century from the Persian Gulf and the Coromandel Coast, which added more Arabic and Farsi (thus the similarities with Hindi and Urdu), and in part due to the colonial influences which added English and Portuguese language.

Other diaspora languages include Molise Croatian, spoken in three villages in southern Italy, dates back to 15th century migration, and Istro-Romanian to three centuries before that. Palakkad Tamil spoken in Kerala, India is estimated to be about 400 years old. A language such as Euskara (Basque), which is politically sensitive in the nation it is a minority language in, can become a thriving diaspora language in Nevada in the United States, which say a considerable influx of Basque people coming to work as sheepherders in the early 1900s. Hindi is a prolific diaspora language, with Trinidadian and Guyanese versions retaining archaic or 19th century forms, in addition to showing some English, Amerindian, West African influence.