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A system of communication through the use of speech, a collection of sounds understood by a group of people to have the same meaning.


A regional variety of a language distinguished by vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation

language family

A collection of languages related to each other through a common ancestor long before recorded history.(indo-european)

language subfamily

a smaller group of related languages within a language family(romance,germanic)

language group

A collection of languages within a branch that share a common origin in the relatively recent past and display relatively few differences in grammar and vocabulary.(individual languages-english,spanish,ect)


A boundary that separates regions in which different language usages predominate.

preliterate society

Societies with out a written language

standard language

The form of a language used for official government business, education, and mass communications.

indo-euro languages


language convergence

collapsing of two language into one.

language divergence

new languages are formed when a language breaks into dialects

language replacement

Replacement of languages by a stronger language

sound shifts

Tracing language change

deep reconstruction

process by which an extinct language is recreated


hypothesized ancestral language of Proto-Indo-European, as well as other ancestral language families.


of or pertaining to American Indians or their culture or languages

eskimo- aleut language


agriculture theory

the the theory which states that with increased food supply and increased population, speakers from the hearth of Indo-European languages migrated into Europe

conquest theory

the theory that early Proto-Indo-European speakers spread westward on horseback, overpowering earlier inhabitants and beginning the diffusion and differentiation of Indo-European tounges


The study of place names

official language

The language adopted for use by the government for the conduct of business and publication of documents.

monolingual states

countries in which only one language is spoken

multilingual states

countries in which more than one language is spoken

lingua franca

A language mutually understood and commonly used in trade by people who have different native languages


a simplified form of speech from combining different languages


a mother tongue that originates from contact between two languages


A made-up Latin-based language, which its European proponents in the early twentieth century hoped would become a global language.


the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races


A social division based on national origin, religion, language, and often race.

plural society

A society composed of numerous ethnic groups.

ethnic islands

small rural area that has one settled ethnic group there

cultural linkage

a culturally shared trait that gives an ethnic group a strengthened sense of awareness and self-identity

cultural revival

process that works against globalization, revitalizing cultural ties and promoting distinction.

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