28 terms

ANTH 240B: Chapter 12: Historical Linguistic

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Historical Linguistics
The study of how languages change over time and the relationship among different languages.
Diachronic Linguistics
Another name for historical linguistics.
Synchronic Linguistics
The study of a language at a given point in time.
Language Family
A group of languages derived from the same ancestral language.
Latin Languages
The languages that make up the language family derived from Latin and the languages with which Latin mixed.
Family Tree Model
Language relationships assumes a "genetic" relationship among languages in a language family in that all languages in the family derived from a common ancestor called a proto-language.
Proto-Language
An ancestral (parent) language from which it is assumed that many languages were derived.
Proto-Indo-European
The proto-language from which many linguists assume that about one hundred forty-four modern and extinct languages of Europe, western Asia, and parts of India were derived. Not all languages spoken in these areas are descended from Proto-Indo-European.
Daughter Languages , Mother Languages, and Sister Languages
Used to indicate the type of relationship languages have in the family tree model of language relationships. Daughter languages derive from Mother languages and different daughter languages are referred as sister languages with respect to each other.
Regularity Hypothesis
The idea that numerous similarities in languages indicate that the languages derive from a mother language; the relatedness hypothesis.
Cognates
Words in different languages that are related to each other because they derive from a common mother languages.
Grimm's Law (first Germanic sound shift)
Proposed by Jakob Grimm, described a systematic phonological change from certain Proto-Indo-European consonants to different consonants in daughter languages.
Comparative Method
Involves looking at similarities in languages to determine the degree of relationship among those languages and to reconstruct ancestral (proto-) languages.
Superfamilies (macrofamilies)
Groups of proto-languages.
Wave Model
Language relatedness attempts to deal with some of the weakness of the family tree model. It characterized a specific language change as spreading out from a central point in a manner similar to a wave created when a small object is thrown into water. Changes spread at different rates. Some changes reinforce other changes and other interact to create additional change.
Diffuse
To move out from one place to another.
Sound Change
The change of one or more distinctive features of a sound to another feature or features.
Unconditional Sound Change
A sound change that appears to have happened spontaneously and everywhere (with few exceptions) in the language.
Great Vowel Shift
An unconditioned sound change that altered all Middle English long vowels.
Conditioned Sound Change
Takes place only in certain phonological environments.
Morphological Changes
A language are changes in the word of the language and include changes in the meaning of words, the addition of new words, and analogy.
Analogy (analogous change)
The process whereby a dominant linguistic pattern in a language replaces exceptions to that pattern.
Syntactic Changes
Changes in the rules for structures larger than words.
Sociocultural Changes
Changes in culture that lead to changes in language, or changes in language that contribute to changes in culture.
Lexicostatistics
A technique of developing hypothesis about the historical relationship between languages and dialects diverged from each other based on a quantitative analysis of cognates.
Core Vocabulary
Made up of hundred to two hundred words that represent concepts thought to be universal to all or most languages.
Glottochronology
The study of the amount of time that sister languages have been separated from their mother language. It uses a calculation of the amount of change that would take place in core vocabulary over a specific amount of time.
Farming-Language Dispersal Hypthesis
The idea that ancient languages such as Proto-Indo- European were spread as farming people moved into new lands.