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Flashcards in Linguistics Review Deck (36)
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1

Historical linguistics

The study of how languages change over time and the relationship among different languages

2

Synchronic linguistics

The study of a language at a given point in time

3

Diachronic linguistics

Another name for historical linguistics

4

Language family

A group of languages derived from the same ancestral language

5

Proto-language

An ancestral language from which it is assumed that many languages were derived

6

Relatedness hypothesis

The hypothesis that languages are derived from a mother language

7

Regularity hypothesis

The idea that numerous similarities in languages indicate that the languages derive from a mother language

8

Cognates

Similar words in two or more different languages that were derived from a similar root language and may have similar meanings

9

Comparative method

A procedure that involves looking at similarities in languages to determine the degree of relationship between those languages and to reconstruct ancestral (proto-) languages

10

Wave model (Schmidt)

A model of language relatedness which attempts to deal with some of the weakness of the family tree model. (Think of a meme)

11

Diffusion

The process whereby a cultural item moves from one geographic area to another

12

Phonology

The study of the sound system of a language (what sounds and the rules that guide them)

13

Morphology

The study of the structure and classification of words and the units that make up words

14

Syntax

The set of rules a person uses to form units of language larger than words and the study of those rules

15

Semantics

The study of the meaning of linguistics expressions, such as morphemes, words, phases, clauses, and sentences

16

Unconditioned sound changes

A sound change that appears to have happened spontaneously and everywhere (with few exceptions) in the language

17

Conditioned sound change

A type of sound change that takes place only in certain phonological environments

18

Analogy

A process by which one form of a word (or other linguistic phenomenon) is used as the model for constructing another word or structure

19

Lexicostatistics

A technique of developing hypotheses about the historical relationship between languages and dialects

20

Glottochronology

The study of the amount of time that sister languages have been separated from their mother language

21

Grimm's law

A principle proposed by Jakob Grimm which described a systematic phonological change from certain Proto-Indo-European consonants to different consonants in daughter languages

22

Great vowel shift

An unconditioned sound change that altered all Middle English long vowels

23

Innateness hypothesis

The hypothesis proposes that children have the innate capacity to differentiate phonemes, extract words from the stream of language, and process grammar

24

Language acquisition device

The theoretical area of hardwiring in the brains of children that propels them to acquire language

25

Universal grammar (UG)

The system involving phonemic differences, word order, and phrase recognition that is that basic for the theory of the innateness of language acquisition

26

Critical period hypothesis

This hypothesis proposes that the language acquisition device ceases to function, and the ability to acquire language with native fluency declines as childhood progresses, disappearing after the age of puberty

27

Imitation hypothesis

The hypothesis proposes that children acquire language by imitating the people around them

28

Reinforcement hypothesis

The hypothesis postulates that children acquire language by positive reinforcement when they produce a grammatical utterance and by being corrected when they don't

29

Interactionist hypothesis

The hypothesis postulates that children acquire language by their innate language abilities to extract the rules of the language from their environment and construct the phonology, semantics, and syntax of their native language

30

Babbling stage

The verbalization made by babies beginning at four to six months of age, which alternate consonants and vowels