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Ch.4 Language from Rubenstein, 8th edition

Conquest Theory

Theory that argues that language diffused primarily through warfare and conquest.

Language Replacement

Replacing language with different symbols or words that represent the same thing.

Extinct Language

A language that was once used in the past but is no longer spoken or read by anyone in the world today.


The name given to a place on Earth.

standard language

dialect that is well established and widely recognized as the most acceptable for government, business, education, and mass communication


British Received Pronunciation; well-known because it is commonly used by politicians, broadcasters, and actors


The widespread use of English in the French language.


A combination of Spanish and English.

Indo-european family

this family is divided into eight branches, Indo-iranian, Romance, Germanc, Balto-slavic, Albanian, Armenian, Greek, and Celtic.

Sino-tibetan family

this family of languages is spoken in the People's Republic of China, which is the worlds most populous state and it has more than one billion people.


A system of communication through speech and a collection of sounds that a group of people understands to have the same meaning.

literary tradition

A system of written communication that many languages have.

Renfrew Model

a belief by Colin Renfrew that argues that the first speakers of Proto-Indian-European lived 2,000 years before the Kurgans, in eastern Anatolia, part of present-day Turkey

agricultural theory

a general proposition used as a principle of explanation for a class of phenomena relating to the science, art, or occupation concerned with cultivating land, raising crops, and feeding, breeding, and raising livestock

Language Group

A collection of languages within a branch that share a common origin in the relatively few differences in grammer and vocabulary.

Language Family

A collection of languages related to each other through a common ancestor long before recorded history.

language convergence

Diffusion caused long isolated languages to make contact and therefore to develop similarities.

language divergence

A basic process of language formation; it is the differation of a language over time and space

Official Language

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


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


countries in which only ONE language is spoken

multilingual states

countries in which more than one language is widely spoken

lingua franca

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

pidgin langauge

a form of speech that adopts a simplified grammar and limited vocabulary of a lingua franca, used for communications among speakers of two different langauges


expressed or written in the native language of a place, as literary works


prominence of a syllable in terms of differential loudness, or of pitch, or length, or of a combination of these


the system of writing used in China and other East Asian countries in which each symvol represents and idea or a concept rather than a specific sound, as is the case with letters in English.

isolated language

a language that is unrelated to any other languages and therefore not attached to any language family.


An artificial language invented in 1887 by L. L. Zamenhof (1859-1917), a Polish physician and philologist, and intended for international use. It is based on word roots common to the major European languages.


The part of language study concerned with letters and spelling.


of or relating to Creoles or their language


the ability to speak two languages

Language Branch

A collection of languages related through a common ancestor that existed several thousand years ago. Differences are not as extensive or as old as with language families, and archaeological evidence can confirm that the branches derived from the same family.


A boundary that seperates regions in which different language usages predominate

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