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Chapter 6 vocab

TermDefinition
language A set of sounds and symbols that are used for communication.
Mutual intelligibility Ability of two people to understand each other when speaking.
standard language The variant of a language that country's political and intellectual elite seek to promote as the norm for use in schools, governments, the media, and other aspects of public life.
dialect Variant of a standard language along regional or ethic lines
dialect chain A group of contiguous dialects where the dialects nearest to each other geographically are the most similar and the dialects farther apart are least similar.
isogloss A geographic boundary where linguistic features occur
language family Group of languages with a shared but distant origin.
language subfamilies Divisions within a language family where commonalities are more definite and the origin is more recent
cognate A word in one language that shares its origin with a word in another language. Cognates have similar meanings and spellings and show shared origins and connections among languages.
language divergence Process where discrete, new languages are eventually formed from one language. Happens when people speaking two dialects of a language are relatively isolated from each other and have little spatial interaction; the opposite of language convergence.
backward reconstruction Tracking sound shifts and hardening consonants backward to uncover an original language.
language convergence Process where two languages collapse into one language. Happens when people speaking two languages have frequent and consistent spatial interaction with each other; the opposite of language divergence
extinct language language without any native speakers
conquest theory idea that early speakers of proto-indo-european left the hearth area and moved westward on horseback, overpowering earlier inhabitants and beginning the diffusion and differentiation of Indo-European tongues
agriculture theory The theory that the Proto-Indo-European language spread with the diffusion of agriculture.
vernacular A language used in everyday interaction among a group of people in a local area
lingua franca language used for trade or cultural interaction among people who speak different languages
pidgin language Combination of two or more languages in a simplified structure and vocabulary
creole language A language that began as a pigdin language and was later adopted as the mother tongue of a people.
toponym Place name
Created by: Vladimir_B