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Accent

a dialect difference that involves pronunciation

Caste

a group in the rigid social hierarchy of Hinduism

Cognate

a word that clearly looks or sounds like one in another language to which it is related historically

Creole

a pidgin language that has become a mother tongue

Dialect

a variation within a language

Drift

changes and errors in how a language is used that accumulates over time

etymology

the study of the origin and history of words

fundamentalism

the strictest adherence to traditional religious beliefs

isogloss

a line around places where speakers use a linguistic feature in the same way

isolate

a language unrelated to its neighbors

language

a set of words, plus their pronunciation and methods of combining them that is used and understood as communication with a group of people

language family

languages that are related by descent from a common protolangage

liberation theology

the belief putting the problems of overcoming poverty at the heart of Christianity

Lingua Franca

a second language held in common for international discourse

Monotheism

belief in the existence of only one god

Official language

the language in which legal documents are kept in a country

orthography

the study of writing or a system of writing

polyglot state

a country that grants legal equality to two or more languages

proselytize

to try to convert others to your religious beliefs

root language or protolanguage

the common ancertor language to any group of several of today's languages

secularism

a lifetstyle or policy that deliberately ignores or excludes religious considerations

Shamanism

a belief in the power of mediums who characteristically go into autohypnotic trances, during which they are thought to be in communication with the spirit world

Sharia

Islamic teachings that are often incorporated into law in Islamic countries

Speech community

a group of people who speak together

standard language

the way any language is spoken and written according to formal rules of diction and grammar

syncretic religion

a religion that combines two or more traditional religious practices

terrorism

violent acts intended to frighten and to intimidate for politcal ends a civilian population beyond the immediate victims

theocracy

a form of government where a church rules directly

toponymy

the study of place names

untouchable

one of a group of people considered so low that their status is below the formal structure of the Hindu Caste system

zionism

the belief that Jews should have a homeland of their own

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