Substratum

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substratum

[¦səb′strad·əm]
(geology)
Any layer underlying the true soil.

Substratum

 

remnants of an ethnic group’s former native language that have been retained in the language replacing the first, original language. The term also designates the original language itself, for example, the Celtic substratum in French, the Dacian substratum in Rumanian, the pre-Indo-European substratum—Hurrian-Urartaean—in Armenian, and the Iranian substratum in some Uzbek dialects.

The influence of the substratum may be observed at both the phonetic and phonological levels, in changes in articulation and in the modification of distinctive features. In grammar, it may be observed in functional changes in the original grammatical forms and in loan translations of syntactic constructions; in the lexicon, it is manifested by borrowings and caiques.