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52 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What is mutual intelligibility?
Means that varities of the same language can be understood by speakers of each variety.
Is Chinese a single language?
No, it is made up of mutually unintelligible languages, including Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and Wu, each with multiple dialects of its own.
Did Latin die?
No, it evolved
What is an example of a language that did die?
What percent of languages have fewer than 100 speakers?
What is the predominant reason that langauges die?
Speakers gradually use them less and less in favor of a language that appears to offer greater economic or educational opportunities
What is the classic pattern of language loss?
Three generations: the parents are monolingual, their children become bilingual adopting a new language, and their children's children grow up monolingual in the new language
How does genetic classification categorize languages?
Categorizes languages according to their descent.
How does linguistic topology categorize languages?
Classifies language according to their structural characteristics, without regard for genetic relationship
What are structural characteristics that occur in all or most languages claled?
Linguistic universals
What are the 3 classifications of language?
1. Genetic classification
2. Linguistic topology
3. Areal Classification
What are absolute universals?
Structural patterns and traits that occur in all languages
What are implicational universals?
Specify that the presence of one trait implies the presence of another, but not vice versa.
What is the markedness theory?
Marked traits are considered to be more complex and/or universally rarer than unmarked characteristics. A marked trait is usually found in a particular language only if its unmarked counterpart also occurs.
How many phoneme are in the most common vowel system?
Five phenomes
What is the most commonly occurring vowel phoneme in the world?
Relate short vowels and long vowels.
short vowels > long vowels
What type of consonants do all languages have?
What are the most common stop phonemes?

- /t/ is the most commonly occurring phoneme
-There are no languages that lack all three
Relate voiced obstruent phonemes and voiceless obstruent phonemes
Voiceless obstruents > voiced obstruents
Relate voiceless sonorants and voiced sonorants.
Voiced sonorants > voiceless sonorants
Relate stop phonemes and frictaves.
Stops > frictaves
What are affricates?
Consonants that begin as stops, (such as /d,t/), and end as fricatives, (such as /s,f/)
Relate stops, affricates, and fricatives.
Stops > fricatives > affricates
What are languages called that use pitch to make meaning distinctions between words?
Tone languages
What is an example of a tone language?
Relate contour tones and level tones.
Level tones > contour tones
Relate complex contour tones and simple contour tones.
Simple contour tones > Complex contour tones
What are fixed stress languages?
Languages in which the position of stress on a word is predictable.
What is a free stress language?
The position of stress is not predictable; also called phonemic stress, because of its role in distinguishing between words
What is an isolating or analytic language? Give an example.
No affixes; categories, such as number and tense would therefore have to be expressed by a separate word.

Example: Mandarin
What is a polysynthetic language?
Contains affixes that often express meanings.
What are synthetic languages?
Permit multimorphemic words, but one word does not usually mean a whole sentence.
What is an agglutinating language?
Words can contain several morphemes; easily divided into their component parts
What is a fusional language?
Consist of several morphemes; in contrast to agglutinating systems, the afixes in fusional alnguages often mark several frammaticla categories simultaneously
If a word has both a derivational and an inflectional affix, which one is closer to the root? Give an example.

Example: friend-ship-s
If a language has only suffixes, what else will it be limited to?
What are the three most common word orders in descending order of frequency?
What word order is found in very few languages?
If a language has VO word order, will it have prepositions or postpositions?

Example translation: "saw I MY mother"
If a language has OV word order, will it have prepositions or postpositions?

Example translation: "dog-ERG boy bit"
What is the grammatical relation hierarchy?
subject > direct object > other
Do vowel systems try to keep vowels as similar or as distant as possible?
Do stop phoneme systems try to keep the stop phonemes as similar or as distant as possible?
Distant, which is why /p,t,k/ are most common.
How many sub-branches are there in the Germanic branch?
Three: East, North, and West
Which sub-branch of the Germanic branch is the oldest?
East Germanic
Describe North Germanic.
Norther Germanic = Scandinavian; language of the Vikings
From which sub-branch of the Germanic branch does English come?
West Germanic, along with German, Yiddish, and Dutch
what language is most closely related to English?
Frisian, spoken on the north coast of HOlland and on the Frisian Islands
What are languages with no known relatives called?
What is an example of an isolate?
What are the four types of morphology systems?
1. Isolating - different words for each indicator
2. Synthetic - one affix can mean many things
3. Agglutinating - words can contain different morphemes but each is divided into its component parts
4. Fusions - words can contain different morphemes that represent multiple things