Last Words

Asian Geographic - - Environment -

Many lan­guages through­out Asia have be­come ex­tinct over time. This hap­pens when there are no an­ces­tors flu­ent in the lan­guage to pass it on, and the lan­guage no longer has any speak­ers. We fol­low the time­line along which some Asian lan­guages have fallen out of cur­rency.


The core re­gion of the Asian con­ti­nent stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east, and from Afghanistan in the south to Rus­sia in the north. About 90 mil­l­lion peo­ple live in Cen­tral Asia, which is al­most two per­cent of Asia’s to­tal pop­u­la­tion. The re­gion has long been a strate­gic lo­ca­tion be­cause of its prox­im­ity to sev­eral great pow­ers on the Eurasian land­mass.


The world’s ear­li­est civil­i­sa­tions de­vel­oped in West Asia, with the Baby­lo­nian, Ro­man, Byzan­tine, Ot­toman and other em­pires dom­i­nat­ing the land at dif­fer­ent pe­ri­ods in his­tory. To­day, the pop­u­la­tion of West Asia is over 300 mil­lion and the ma­jor lan­guages are Ara­bic, Turk­ish and Per­sian.


As of 2007, more than 593 mil­lion peo­ple lived in South­east Asia, more than a fifth of them (125 mil­lion) on the In­done­sian is­land of Java. Each of the lan­guages in this re­gion has been in­flu­enced by cul­tural pres­sures from trade, im­mi­gra­tion and his­tor­i­cal coloni­sa­tion. SOUTH ASIA Home to more than one-fifth of the world’s pop­u­la­tion, South Asia is the world’s most pop­u­lous and densely pop­u­lated re­gion. It con­sists of more than 2,000 eth­nic en­ti­ties, with pop­u­la­tions rang­ing from hundreds of mil­lions to small tribal groups.

EAST ASIA More than 1.5 bil­lion peo­ple – about 38 per­cent of the Asian con­ti­nent – live in East Asia. That’s over one fifth of the to­tal num­ber of peo­ple on the planet.


A sub­re­gion of Asia, con­sist­ing of the Asian por­tion of Rus­sia, North Asia is the area east of the Ural Moun­tains, the nat­u­ral bound­ary be­tween Europe and Asia. There are about 31 mil­lion Rus­sians in North Asia, and in­dige­nous Siberi­ans are now a mi­nor­ity in the re­gion due to the Rus­si­fi­ca­tion process over the last three cen­turies.


Ocea­nia is a re­gion con­sist­ing of the is­lands of the trop­i­cal Pa­cific Ocean. Ocea­nia’s land sur­face forms 6.4 per­cent of the Earth al­though its in­hab­i­tants num­bered only 31 mil­lion (0.5 per­cent) of the world’s pop­u­la­tion by the end of the sec­ond mil­len­nium.

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