Protolanguage


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Protolanguage

 

(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.

REFERENCES

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.

V. A. VINOGRADOV

References in periodicals archive ?
The first lecture demonstrated that a child is able to develop his protolanguage for his own purposes ('give me (that)', 'do (that) for me, go on doing it', 'that's interesting' 'I'm tired').
According to Bickerton (1990), the development of the language faculty happened in two stages: first protolanguage emerged including only vocabulary and pragmatics, then modern language evolved on top of it as a refinement where morphology and syntax were added.
The novel aspect, and crux of Falk's hypothesis--that this protolanguage was an adaptation to deal with mother-infant physical separation--is intriguing, although difficult to establish.
According to other assumptions, the words of Alexander of Macedonia are written in baktriyan language protolanguage of today's Bulgarians.
In Table 12, the developments that have taken place between a protolanguage and the modern-day varieties are summarized.
Moreover, whereas protolanguage works only in the presence of its objects, syntax permits us to refer to things that are absent in various ways: things beyond our ken, things past, future, or fictional, and even things that cannot in fact exist.
Comrie has a traditional view of what characterizes "the complexity of normal human languages", namely, "complex syntax", and thus falls into the black hole of a discontinuity between protolanguage and fully fledged language.
Mithen not only marshals evidence for music's origins in a kind of affective, nonreferential protolanguage, he also proposes a matrix of conditions for the subsequent (i.
First of all we should note that the East has always used this type of protolanguage, which was integrated into the daily practice of herders without any other kind of process; the West, on the other hand, knocked itself out trying vainly to codify it: I am thinking particularly of the Projet de langage phonetique universel pour la conduite des animaux by the army's chief veterinarian E.
P has reflexes of Kurux X and Malto Y in the protolanguage environment Z.
Instead of seeing hysteria as a gendered, prejudiced symptom of defective femininity, a specific female disorder, these critics, working with discourse theory and semiotics, regard hysteria as a specifically feminine protolanguage, a primitive or original language of the body which cannot be verbalized in every day forms of communication.
The advantage resulting from even a limited ability to make use of a new source of food also provides a stronger and more immediate selective pressure than is likely to have arisen from other advantages of a slightly enlarged brain (for example, some limited protolanguage ability).