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a set of sounds, combination of sounds, and symbols that are used for communication


the sum total of the knowledge, attitudes, and habitual behavior patterns shared and transmitted by members of a society

standard language

the variant of a language that a country's political and intellectual elite seek to promote as the norm for use in schools, government, the media, and other aspects of public life


local or regional characteristics of a language


a line that separates dialects

mutuall intelligibility

the ability of two people to understand each other while speaking

dialect chains

a set of contiguous dialects in which the dialects nearest to each other at any place in the chain are most closely related

languages family

languages which share a fairly distant origin


divisions within a language family where the commonalities are more definite and the origin is more recent

sound shift

slight change in a word across languages within a subfamily or through a language family from the present backward toward its origin

backward reconstruction

the tracking of sound shifts and hardening of consonants backward toward the original language


linguistic hypothesis proposing the existence of an ancestral Indo-European Language that is the hearth of the ancient Latin Greek and Sanskrit languages

extinct language

a language no longer used

deep reconstruction

process by which an extinct language is recreated


believed to be the root of Proto-Indo-European as well as Kartvelian

language divergence

new languages are formed

language convergence

languages form together into one

Renfrew hypothesis

three areas in and near the first agricultural hearth, gave rise to three language families: Indo-European, Arabic Languages, and mid-eastern languages

conquest theory

Proto-Indo-European west of the horseback of the fertile cresent

dispersal theory

Proto-Indo-Europeans were first crried eastward into southwest asia

Romance Languages

languages based on roman

Germanic languages

languages based on german

Slavic languages

languages based on slovakian

lingua franca

a mixture of Italian French Greek Spanish and Arabic

pidgin language

when parts of two or more languages come together to form a simplified structure and vocabulary

Creole language

a mixture of languages

monolingual states

a state that uses one language

multilingual states

a state that uses many languages

official language

the promoted language of a region

global language

language used commonly around the world


uniqueness of a location


the ability to know something about a place by its name

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