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Lecture 12

Anthropology 1027A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Proto-Language, Internal Reconstruction, Language Change


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTH 1027A/B
Professor
Kinga Pozniak
Lecture
12

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April 1st 2015
Historical reconstruction
determine which languages are related to each other
identify processes that take place in language change
reconstruct earlier forms of a language
Language reconstruction
1: Internal reconstruction of earlier forms of a single language
2: Comparative reconstruction of a common “mother” language of a set of related
“daughter” languages
Protolanguages
Protolanguage:
oA hypothetical language whose properties have been deduced based on the
descendants
oNo written records or native speakers of this language
Ex. *Proto-Germanic is reconstructed based on data from English, German, Danish,
Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish
Protoforms (words, sounds) and protolanguages are marked with * because they are
unattested
Comparative method
The protolanguage can be determined by comparative reconstruction
The comparative method compares cognates
owords in related languages that developed from the same ancestral root, and are
similar in form and meanings
English Dutch Swedish Turkish
foot voet fot ajak
summer zomer sommar jaz
bring brengen bringa getir
comparative reconstruction exercise (page 553 has common changes)
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