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66 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

sir william jones

known for finding relationship between languages of Europe and languages of india


language family who's sub family is semitic. languages are spoken in africa and western asia


extinct semitic language. used cuneiform writing system


sub family of the semitic family. the script from aramaic was adopted and modified by arabic and hebrew


edicts written o pillars written in brahmi script, evidence of buddhism


some letters are accompanied by a burst of air leaving the mouth. pin is aspirated, spin is not

august comte

french philosopher, founder of sociology

brahmi script

one of the earliest forms of writing in the indian subcontinent. the script has had influence of dravidian languages as well as sanskrit and other indic languages. ashoka pillars are written in this


alexander the great's horse.

case marking

serves to discriminate between functions performed by noun phrases. they are marked on the noun


known for deciphering hieroglyphics and being one of the founders of egyptology

classifying systems (see sliver and miller)

languages like navajo and chinese have classifying systems. In navajo, the classifiers of verbs would be based on the object being used, like whether the object was round or was flexible, etc. this would be used in addition to stating the subject and object of the sentence.


latest form of the egyptian language. the script was influenced by greek and demotic. was replaced by arabic as the language of egypt.


a complete language, learned by the children of pidgin speakers, so it has native speakers


one of the earliest writing systems. languages such as akkadian and hittite use adaptations of cuneiform as a means for written language


script of the egyptian language, came after hieratic and before coptic


alphabet of india and nepal, indic part of brahmi script family

dyaus pita

last remnant of the chief god of proto indo european religion, closely compared to zeus

double articulation

speech can be broken in to two different parts, phonemes and morphemes


language family of south india and sri lanka, not similar to other languages around the world, includes telugu and tamil.

early modern english

15th century - 1800s, great vowel shift, inflection was simpler


into european, west,east, north germanic,


part of semitic language family. writing developed from aramaic alphabet


cursive hieroglyphs, came before demotic


earliest known writing system of the egyptian language, parent system to hieratic. used logographic and alphabetic elements


extinct language family of anatolian family, cuneiform writing


a phrase or expression that has a figurative or sometimes literal meaning. you have to learn them, can't figure them out. get the hang of or put up with

inalienable possesion

possessions that can't be taken away, like your limbs

indo iranian

part of the indo european family, contains indic and iranian sub families

long s

formerly used in place of the s in the beginning or middle of a word

middle english

11-th to 15th century, loans words from french, drastic simplification of old english


languages spoken by metis in canada, mixed language composed of elements of from plain crees and french


smallest linguistic unit that has meaning


the rules for using and combining morphemes

old english

5th-11th century, highly inflected latin, mostly germanic vocabulary

oracle bones

used in divination, would break th bones then write on them


basic sounds from which linguistic expressions are constructed


the history or course of development of languages, family tree


a language that is formed when people who speak different languages form a makeshift way to communicate. no native speakers.


the combining of many morphemes to form a language

proto language

the language that a language family has descended from.

rosetta stone

language learning program, or decree from ptolemy in egytian hieroglyphs, greek, and demotic


into european language, indic subgroup. written in brahmi originally.


language family of afroasiatc, includes arabic, hebrew


Chinese Dynasty where oracle bone divination took place

the steppe hypothesis

speakers of the proto indo european language in the pontic steppe spread the language along with cultural innovations in 4000 BCE

subject verb agreement

the subject and verb tense need to match in number, singular plural


from mesopotamia, alongside akkadian, both influenced each other


the way in which words are put together to form a sentence


Roman Scholar, Wrote Germania, book that describes the land, people and customs of the Germanic people. Found loan words between roman and german

uralic languages

languages from northern europe, Finnish, estonian, hungarian


when pronouncing a voiced letter the vocal cords vibrate, when pronouncing a voiceless let the cords do not vibrate. P is voiceless and b is voiced


Chinese Dynasty, that conquered the Shang

Explain what makes it possible for humans to produce and understand infinitely many sentences, even though we have finite memories and can’t memorize them all.

Though we have finite memories, we can produce infinitely many sentences. This is because we have memorized the patterns in which sentences form. So since we all know many words, plugging these words into these many patterns give us infinitely many sentences. This is known as recursion.

How is learning to speak one’s native language different from learning to play chess?

Learning a native language is a developmental stage everyone goes through in life and it happens when we are young. It is hard to learn languages later on in life while you can learn how to play chess at any point in your life.

.Why do linguists consider spoken language as primary and written language as secondary?

spoken language was developed as part of our adaptation, and written language was invented.

What is a “regular sound correspondence” among languages? Give an example.

The occurrence of different sounds in the same position of the same word in different languages or dialects. Used in the comparative method.english ten two toothlatin decem duo dent

If two languages share expressions that are similar in both sound and meaning, what are the possible explanations for this?

When 2 languages share expressions that are similar, there are a few explanations. Borrowing is the first reason that comes to mind. Phrases between similar languages may be borrowed, or phrases that express things better may also be borrowed. For example, in English we use the French phrase “Coup d’etat” to reference an overthrowing of a government. Another explanation for this is linguistics universals. There are common properties shared across all languages. One more explanation is that the languages descend from a common parent language. They came from the same language group.

How is it possible to make inferences about how an ancient language was pronounced if it was never written down?

By looking at current languages and seeing their correspondences and using the comparative method. Like protogermanic, never written down. Germanic has ‘f’ while Latin and Greek have ‘p’ . More languages have ‘p’ so original sound is ‘p’.

Chinese, Thai, and certain other languages are called “tone languages”. What does this mean?

pitch differences infer different meanings,a language in which variations in pitch distinguish different words.

If the languages of a language family (such as the Germanic languages) all came from the same ancestral language, why aren’t they still the same?

No one has direct access to anyone else's grammar, only to speech - the output of a grammar; because of this, the new grammar that the child constructsmay well turn out to be subtly different from the grammars of his or her parentsand other people in the child's environment.

What innovations did the Greeks introduce when adapting the Phoenician/Canaanite alphabet for writing Greek?

The Greeks introduced vowels when adapting the Phoenician/Canaanite alphabet.

Describe the process of oracle-bone divination and the nature of the associated inscriptions.

An eggshell or bone would be poked by a wooden stick, and then they would interpret how each broke up. Later on, they would write the question on the stick, poke the shell or bone, then write the answer on the stick. If they were to ask ‘will it rain,’ and interpret the answer as ‘yes’ then it didnt rain, they would go back and look at the interpretation to see what was wrong.

We have studied two different occasions in which writing systems were evidently invented independently. (A third resulted in the Maya script, which we skipped over.) Briefly describe the two scripts, and discuss the nature of the earliest known texts they were used to write.

We discussed cunieform and chinese. Cunieform was mostly used to keep records. They started out as pictograms with wedge shaped marks with about 600 different signs. They could be a syllable or the word what it looks like. Chinese used oracle bones to write. They weren’t just economic records. They had questions and answers and they were dated.

Explain what linguists mean by the “comparative method”.

If two or more languages share similarities that are so numerous and systematicthat they cannot be ascribed to chance, borrowing, or linguistic universals, thenthe only hypothesis that provides a satisfactory explanation for those similaritiesis that they are descended from the same parent language. This is the essentialstatement of what is known as the comparative method.

How do linguists identify subgroups within a language family? Give an example.

Linguists identify subgroups within a language family with shared innovations. German and yiddish have ‘ts ’while others don’t, they are part of the high german family.