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chapter 6 Language

language A set of sounds, combination of sounds, and symbols that are used for communication.
deep reconstruction technique using vocabulary of extinct language to recreate the language that proceeded the extinct language
mutual intelligibility The ability of two people to understand each other when speaking.
standard language The variant of a language that a country’s political and intellectual elite seek to promote as the norm for use in schools, government, the media, and other aspects of public life.
Dialect Local or regional characteristics of a language. While accent refers to the pronunciation differences of a standard language, a dialect, in addition to pronunciation variation, has distinctive grammar and vocabulary.
official language in multilingual countries the language selected often by educated and politically powerful elite to promote internal cohesion. language of courts and government
Isogloss A geographic boundary within which a particular linguistic feature occurs.
language family Group of languages with a shared but fairly distant origin.
subfamilies Divisions within a language family where the commonalities are more definite and the origin is more recent.
Dispersal Hypothesis Hypothesis which holds that the indo European languages that arose from proto-indo European were first carried east into SW Asia, then to Caspian sea, across Russia Ukraine and into Balkans
Proto-indo European Linguistic hypothesis proposing the existence of an ancestral Indo-European language that is the hearth of the ancient Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit languages -hearth would link modern languages from Scandinavia to North Africa and North America through Asia and Australia
Dialect chains a set of contiguous dialects in which the dialects nearest each other at any place in the chain are most closely related.
Sound shift slight change in a word across languages within a sub family or through a language family from the present backward towards its origin.
nostratic language believed to be the ancestral language not only of proto-indo European, but also of kartvelian languages of the southern Caucasus region, the Uralic Altaic languages, the Dravidian languages of India, and the Afro Asiatic language family
Renfrew Hypothesis Hypothesis that states three areas in and near the first agricultural hearth, the fertile crescent gave rise to three language families: Europe's indo European , North Africa and Arabian languages, languages in present day Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India
language divergence The opposite of language convergence, a process suggested by German linguist August Schleicher whereby new languages are formed when a language breaks into dialects due to a lack of spatial interaction among speakers of the language and continued isolatio
language convergence The collapsing of two languages into one resulting from the consistent spatial interaction of peoples with different languages; the opposite of language divergence.
conquest theory One major theory of how Proto-Indo-European diffused into Europe which holds that the early speakers of Proto-Indo-European spread westward on horseback, overpowering earlier inhabitants and beginning the diffusion and differentiation of Indo-European ton
Romance languages Languages (French, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, and Portuguese) that lie in the areas that were once controlled by the Roman Empire but were not subsequently overwhelmed.
Germanic languages Languages (English, German, Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish) that reflect the expansion of peoples out of Northern Europe to the west and south.
Slavic languages Languages (Russian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Ukrainian, Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, and Bulgarian) that developed as Slavic people migrated from a base in present-day Ukraine close to 2000 years ago.
lingua franca A term deriving from “Frankish language” and applying to a tongue spoken in ancient Mediterranean ports that consisted of a mixture of Italian, French, Greek, Spanish, and even some Arabic. Today it refers to a “common language,” a language used among spe
pidgin language When parts of two or more languages are combined in a simplified structure and vocabulary.
Creole language A language that began as a pidgin language but was later adopted as the mother tongue by a people in place of the mother tongue.
monolingual states Countries in which only one language is spoken.
multilingual states Countries in which more than one language is spoken.
global language The language used most commonly around the world; defined on the basis of either the number of speakers of the language, or prevalence of use in commerce and trade.
place The fourth theme of geography as defined by the Geography Educational National Implementation Project; uniqueness of location.
toponym Place name.
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