Linguistic diversity index

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World map of linguistic diversity index (linearly proportional to the shading intensity). Data is from the 18th edition of Ethnologue: Languages of the World.

Linguistic diversity index (LDI) may refer to either Greenberg’s (language) Diversity Index[1] or the related Index of Linguistic Diversity (ILD) from Terralingua.org, which measures changes in the underlying LDI over time.[2]

Greenberg's Diversity Index (LDI) is the probability that two people selected from the population at random will have different mother tongues; it therefore ranges from 0 (everyone has the same mother tongue) to 1 (no two people have the same mother tongue).[3] The ILD measures how the LDI has changed over time; a global ILD of 0.8 indicates a 20% loss of diversity since 1970, but ratios above 1 are possible, and have appeared in regional indexes.[4]

The computation of the diversity index is based on the population of each language as a proportion of the total population. The index cannot fully account for the vitality of languages. Also, the distinction between a language and a dialect is fluid and often political. A great number of languages are considered to be dialects of another language by some experts and separate languages by others. The index does not consider how different the languages are from each other, nor does it account for second language usage; it considers only the total number of distinct languages, and their relative frequency as mother tongues.[5]

Rankings by country[edit]

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (as of 2009) the LDI rankings for the following countries are:[6]

Rank Country LDI
1  Papua New Guinea .990
2  Vanuatu .972
3  Solomon Islands .965
4  Tanzania .965
5  Central African Republic .960
6  Chad .950
7  Democratic Republic of the Congo .948
8  Cameroon .942
9  India .930
10  Mozambique .929
11  Uganda .928
12  Gabon .919
13  Côte d'Ivoire .917
14  Liberia .912
15  Angola .901
16  Kenya .901
17  Togo .897
18  Timor-Leste .897
19  Mali .876
20  Nigeria .870
21  South Africa .869
22  Zambia .855
23  Guinea-Bissau .853
24  Philippines .849
25  Bhutan .846
26  Indonesia .846
27  Ethiopia .843
28  Republic of the Congo .820
29  Sierra Leone .817
30  Namibia .808
31  Ghana .805
32  Iran .797
33  Micronesia .792
34  Suriname .788
35  Benin .785
36  United Arab Emirates .777
37  Burkina Faso .773
38  Senegal .772
39  Pakistan .762
40  Malaysia .758
41  Thailand .753
42  Eritrea .749
43  Gambia .748
44  Guinea .748
45  Singapore .748
46    Nepal .742
47  Belgium .734
48  Afghanistan .732
49  Kazakhstan .701
50  Trinidad and Tobago .696
51  Belize .693
52  Oman .693
53  Guatemala .691
54  Bolivia .680
55  Laos .678
56  Kyrgyzstan .670
57  Jordan .666
58  Israel .665
59  Bahrain .663
60  Norway .657
61  Madagascar .656
62  Niger .646
63  Mauritius .641
64  Saudi Arabia .609
65  Qatar .608
66  Fiji .607
67  Nauru .596
68  Latvia .595
69  Italy .593
70  Djibouti .592
71  Moldova .589
72  Sudan .587
73  Yemen .579
74  Georgia .576
75  Andorra .574
76  Macedonia .566
77  Kuwait .556
78  Comoros .551
79  Canada .549
80   Switzerland .547
81  Cayman Islands .547
82  Austria .540
83  Zimbabwe .526
84  Monaco .521
85  Myanmar .521
86  Malawi .519
87  Egypt .509
88  Syria .503
89  Luxembourg .498
90  Gibraltar .498
91  San Marino .494
92  Ukraine .492
93  China .491
94  Iraq .484
95  Tajikistan .482
96  Estonia .476
97  Morocco .466
98  Brunei .456
99  Equatorial Guinea .453
100  Botswana .444
101  Spain .438
102  Uzbekistan .428
103  Bosnia and Herzegovina .416
104  Belarus .397
105  Netherlands .389
106  Sao Tome and Principe .389
107  Aruba .387
108  Bahamas .386
109  Turkmenistan .386
110  Cook Islands .379
111  Peru .376
112  Azerbaijan .373
113  Cyprus .366
114  Libya .362
115  Serbia .359
116  United States .353
117  Paraguay .347
118  Lithuania .339
119  Bangladesh .332
120  Mongolia .331
121  Panama .324
122  Dominica .313
123  Algeria .313
124  Sri Lanka .313
125  Slovakia .307
126  Turkey .289
127  Russia .283
128  France[note 1] .272
129  Netherlands Antilles .266
130  Ecuador .264
131  Lesotho .260
132  Albania .257
133  Vietnam .234
134  Swaziland .228
135  Bulgaria .224
136  Ireland .223
137  Argentina .213
138  Palestine .208
139  Germany .189
140  Somalia .179
141  Greece .175
142  Slovenia .174
143  Armenia .174
144  Mauritania .172
145  Romania .168
146  Sweden .167
147  British Virgin Islands .167
148  Lebanon .161
149  Hungary .158
150  Cambodia .157
151  Turks and Caicos Islands .145
152  Anguilla .140
153  Finland .140
154  Tuvalu .139
155  United Kingdom .139
156  Mexico .135
157  Liechtenstein .128
158  Australia .126
159  New Zealand .102
160  Uruguay .092
161  Barbados .091
162  Croatia .087
163  Nicaragua .081
164  Guyana .078
165  Palau .077
166  Niue .071
167  Cape Verde .070
168  Czech Republic .069
169  Seychelles .067
170  Grenada .064
171  Poland .060
172  Antigua and Barbuda .057
173  Honduras .056
174  Tokelau .054
175  Dominican Republic .053
176  Denmark .051
177  Costa Rica .050
178  Chile .034
179  Kiribati .033
180  Brazil .032
181  Colombia .030
182  Japan .028
183  Marshall Islands .027
184  Montserrat .026
185  Venezuela .026
186  Portugal .022
187  Saint Lucia .020
188  Iceland .019
189  Malta .016
190  Tonga .014
191  Tunisia .012
192  Jamaica .011
193  Saint Kitts and Nevis .010
194  Maldives .010
195  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines .009
196  El Salvador .004
197  Burundi .004
198  Rwanda .004
199  South Korea .003
200  Samoa .002
201  Cuba .001
202  Haiti .000
203  Saint Helena None
204   Vatican City None
205  Montenegro None
206  Bermuda None
207  Hong Kong None
208  Macau None
209  North Korea None

See also[edit]

Notes and References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Including New Caledonia, a French Overseas Territory with a high level of Linguistic Diversity Index

References[edit]

  1. ^ Greenberg, Joseph H. (1956). "The Measurement of Linguistic Diversity". Language. 32 (1): 109–115. doi:10.2307/410659. JSTOR 410659. 
  2. ^ Harmon, David; Loh, Jonathan (2010). "The Index of Linguistic Diversity: A New Quantitative Measure of Trends in the Status of the World's Languages". Language Documentation and Conservation. http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/ldc. 4: 97–151. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 November 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ "Summary by country". Ethnologue. 1999-02-19. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  4. ^ Harmon, David; Loh, Jonathan (2010). "The Index of Linguistic Diversity: A New Quantitative Measure of Trends in the Status of the World's Languages". Language Documentation and Conservation. http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/ldc. 4: 106–107. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 November 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ "overview of Linguistic Diversity". terralingua.org. Retrieved 2014-11-18. 
  6. ^ UNESCO World Report – Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue

External links[edit]