Linguistic Reconstruction

(redirected from Reconstructed language)

Reconstruction, Linguistic


the hypothetical recreation of extinct linguistic forms and systems on the basis of their later reflexes, taking into account the possible paths of linguistic development. The method was first used by A. Schleicher in the mid-19th century to reconstruct the Indo-European parent language (protolanguage).

External reconstruction uses the data of a number of related languages; for example, the regular correspondence of Slavic b, Germanic ß, Latin f Greek Φ, Sanskrit bh, and Hittite ρ in historically identical roots permits the reconstruction of Indo-European *bh, which developed differently in the various languages. Internal reconstruction uses the data of one language, as in the reconstruction of the old present tense marker of the Russian verb *-j-, which was transformed after a consonant in such words as brozhu (“I roam”), tashchu (“I pull”), and liubliu (“I love”); zh developed from *dj, shch from *skj, and bl from

Although a protolinguistic reconstruction is always hypothetical, there are certain criteria that must be met and various means of verifying accuracy. A reconstruction should account for the maximum number of facts about the daughter languages. It should be internally (typologically) consistent and should be able to stand comparison with reconstructions of more distantly related language groups. The analysis of ancient borrowings may also be helpful in linguistic reconstruction.


References in periodicals archive ?
It is useful at this point to make reference to the index of meanings of reconstructed Proto-Indo-European bases and lexemes in Walde-Pokorny (1932): the reconstructed language presented there lacks everything a natural language has to offer in preciseness and non-overlap of meanings that makes efficient communication possible.
This reconstructed language by definition possesses a level of sound and a level of meaning.
First, I will include an entry section of comparison of reconstructed languages according to historical linguistics, and then proceed to the main section of etymological and morphophonological comparisons of attested languages.
Their comparisons across the reconstructed languages are given in Table 2.
The data show that most of these ten etyma are comparable across the reconstructed languages.
The book doesn't firmly distinguish among constructed languages, reconstructed languages, auxiliary languages, revived languages, private languages, universal languages, and fictional languages (not to mention the difference between fictive and discursive uses of language).
The two reconstructed languages share 36 protowords with similar meanings and sounds, the Stanford researcher contends.