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(parent language, or Ursprache), a term designating a hypothetical state of a group or family of related languages, reconstructed on the basis of a system of correspondences established between the languages in phonetics, grammar, and semantics by the comparative historical method—for example, Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Slavic.

The reality of a protolanguage as a unified spoken language of a specific prehistorical ethnos remains controversial. A protolanguage may also be understood as a group of closely related dialects, from which more recent groups of historically attested languages arose as a result of individual development. If the origin and development of a group of related languages do not predate recorded history, the reality of a protolanguage may be strictly documented—for instance, the modern Romance languages, whose protolanguage was the Latin vernacular known as Vulgar Latin. The elements and forms of a protolanguage are called archetypes. Their correspondences at subsequent stages of linguistic evolution are called reflexes.


Meillet, A. Vvedenie v sravnitel’noe izuchenie indoevropeiskikh iazykov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1938. (Translated from French.)
Porzig, W. Chlenenie indoevropeiskoi iazykovoi oblasti. Moscow, 1964. (Translated from German.)
Obshchee iazykoznanie: Melody lingvisticheskikh issledovanii. Moscow, 1973.


References in periodicals archive ?
Esta propuesta no distaria mucho de la elucubracion de Borges sobre el Ursprache del universo imaginario de Tlon.
Brockelmann (1908: 4-5) sets the tone, saying that the reconstruction of a Semitic Ursprache is a chimera, reconstructed forms being mere formulas reflecting our temporary summary of the various languages.
As Eva Fiesel has emphasized in her detailed study of the subject, the German Romantics were not actually concerned with the "concrete origins" of language or with recovering a "real Ursprache.
A story which carries within it the enduring belief in an original language, an Ursprache, a language by which, at some far-off point in our evolution, we once all understood each other.
He is writing the same play with less, seeming to suggest that Koltes is in fact the translator, and that Coppenger has returned the play to its original language, its Ursprache.
Though the Bible does not say so explicitly, the traditional Judeo-Christian understanding of this episode in Genesis has it that the Ursprache of mankind at Babel was Hebrew.
These elements in Keats's poetics seem unexpectedly to strangely shed light on Benjamin's conception of the Ursprache arrived at progressively through translations.
Gegeben aber sind sie nicht sowohl in einer Ursprache, denn in einem Unternehmen, in welchem die Worte ihren benennenden Adel unverloren an die erkennende Bedeutung besitzen.
Daselbst scheint sie aber auf der Seite der Befurworter fur eine dynamische Abhandlung des Begriffs der Ursprache zu stehen (S.
Tambien ahora atribuye la escasez de informacion al hecho de que el Tomo XI trae pocos datos: sobre el lenguaje del hemisferio Norte: "En los del hemisferio boreal (de cuya Ursprache hay muy pocos datos en el Onceno Tomo) .
The loss of the Ursprache in the wake of the Babelian confusion of tongues had only exacerbated the sharp divisions between male and female language.
When this word was borrowed from Chinese into any of the Altaic languages, and/or, at the earliest period, into either the original Altaic Ursprache or some still largely undifferentiated linguistic entity resembling that of Ursprache, it would of course have been a form or forms close in shape to (1) that would have been taken over.