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Related to Protolanguage: pidgin



(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 ?
in the absence of any input during the crucial time window, not only will a child not develop a human language spontaneously, but also the absence of language development during this period will mean that the child will not subsequently be able to advance beyond the stage of protolanguage.
To the extent that a consensus is coalescing, it points in this direction, and Mithen is very good at extracting a coherent narrative out of the various ongoing projects in AD (adult-directed) vocalizing and ID (infant-directed) speech (or "motherese") that lend weight to the conceptualization of a musical protolanguage with adaptive communal and developmental functions.
This protolanguage remains embedded in the unconscious, together with the precoded elements of the social structure, and accounts for the unique creative capacities of each individual subject.
Strictly speaking the loan stems which are borrowed into some proto-language are also inherited from this protolanguage but they are discussed separately under loan stems.
With reference to the fact that Chinese is closely related to the Tibeto-Burman languages, which essentially are SOV languages, Liu speculates that the common protolanguage of Chinese and today's Tibeto-Burman languages may have been an SOV language.
Still less does the existence of a protolanguage imply or necessitate the existence of a protopeople, protomyths, protoideology, or protohomeland" (p.
The fact that a set of languages can be shown to be genetically related entails that there was a real protolanguage, spoken by a particular group of people, in a particular region, at a particular time period.
Indo-European protolanguage is assumed to have had a complex plosive system with voice and aspiration oppositions.
I am concerned specifically with the acquisition of language, not of protolanguage.
1~, without further ado and can be ascribed to the protolanguage.
Reconstructed words for species are indicative of their substantial significance to speakers of protolanguages.
116) Deacon, The Symbolic Species; Aiello, "The Foundations of Human Language"; Donald, "Preconditions for the Evolution of Protolanguages.