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language terms

British Received Pronunciation (BRP)

dialect of English associated with UPPER-CLASS Britons living in the London area and now considered standard in the United Kingdom

Creole or creolized language

language that results from the mixing of the colonizer's language with the indigenous language of the people being dominated


regional variation of a language distinguished by distinctive vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation


dialect spoken by some African Americans; combination of "ebony" and "phonics"

extinct languages

once in use--even in the recent past--but no longer spoken or read in DAILY ACTIVITIES by anyone in the world


widespread use of English in the French language; combination of francais and anglais, the French words for French and English


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


boundary that separates regions in which different language usages predominate

isolated language

language unrelated to any other and therefore not attached to any language family


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

language branch

collection of languages related through a common ancestral language that existed SEVERAL THOUSAND YEARS AGO

language family

collection of languages related through a common ancestral language that existed long BEFORE RECORDED HISTORY

language group

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

lingua franca

language of international communication (such as English)

literary tradition

system of written communication

official language

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

pidgin language

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


English diffusing into the Spanish language spoken by 28 million Hispanics in the United States; combination of Spanish and English

standard language

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

Vulgar Latin

form of Latin used in daily conversation by ancient Romans, as opposed to the standard dialect, which was used for official documents


diffusion of English words into German, with the "D" for "Deutsch", the German word for "German"

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