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Encyclopedia > Dialect continuum
Theoretical linguistics
Lexical semantics
Statistical semantics
Structural semantics
Prototype semantics
Applied linguistics
Language acquisition
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A dialect continuum is a range of dialects spoken across a large geographical area, differing only slightly between areas that are geographically close, and gradually decreasing in mutual intelligibility as the distances become greater. Dialects separated by great geographical distances may not be mutually comprehensible. According to the Ausbausprache - Abstandsprache - Dachsprache paradigm, these dialects can be considered Abstandsprachen (i.e., as stand-alone languages). However, they can be seen as dialects of a single language, provided that a common standard language, through which communication is possible, exists. Linguistics is the scientific study of language. ... Theoretical linguistics is that branch of linguistics that is most concerned with developing models of linguistic knowledge. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone meaning sound, voice) is the study of sounds and the human voice. ... The vowels of modern (Standard) Arabic and (Israeli) Hebrew from the phonological point of view. ... Morphology is a subdiscipline of linguistics that studies word structure. ... For other uses, see Syntax (disambiguation). ... Semantics (Greek semantikos, giving signs, significant, symptomatic, from sema, sign) refers to the aspects of meaning that are expressed in a language, code, or other form of representation. ... Lexical semantics is a field in computer science and linguistics which deals mainly with word meaning. ... Statistical Semantics is the study of how the statistical patterns of human word usage can be used to figure out what people mean, at least to a level sufficient for information access (Furnas, 2006). ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... Prototype Theory is a model of graded categorization in Cognitive Science, where some members of a category are more central than others. ... Stylistics is the study of style used in literary, and verbal language and the effect the writer/speaker wishes to communicate to the reader/hearer. ... In linguistics, prescription is the laying down or prescribing of normative rules for the use of a language, or the making of recommendations for effective language usage. ... In linguistics and semiotics, pragmatics is concerned with bridging the explanatory gap between sentence meaning and speakers meaning. ... Applied linguistics is the branch of linguistics concerned with using linguistic theory to address real-world problems. ... Language acquisition is the process by which the language capability develops in a human. ... Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language. ... Sociolinguistics is the study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used. ... Generative linguistics is a school of thought within linguistics that makes use of the concept of a generative grammar. ... In linguistics and cognitive science, cognitive linguistics (CL) refers to the currently dominant school of linguistics that views the important essence of language as innately based in evolutionarily-developed and speciated faculties, and seeks explanations that advance or fit well into the current understandings of the human mind. ... Computational linguistics is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the statistical and logical modeling of natural language from a computational perspective. ... Descriptive linguistics is the work of analyzing and describing how language is actually spoken now (or how it was actually spoken in the past), by any group of people. ... Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time. ... Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time, by means of examining languages which are recognizably related through similarities such as vocabulary, word formation, and syntax, as well as the surviving records of ancient languages. ... Not to be confused with Entomology, the study of insects. ... Efforts to describe and explain the human language faculty have been undertaken throughout recorded history. ... A linguist in the academic sense is a person who studies linguistics. ... Unsolved problems in : Note: Use the unsolved tag: {{unsolved|F|X}}, where F is any field in the sciences: and X is a concise explanation with or without links. ... A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language used by people from a particular geographic area. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Ausbausprache - Abstandsprache - Dachsprache framework is a tool developed by sociolinguists, e. ... A standard language (also standard dialect or standardized dialect) is a particular variety of a language that has been given either legal or quasi-legal status. ...

In sociolinguistics, a language continuum is said to exist when two or more different languages or dialects merge one into the other(s) without a definable boundary. Sociolinguistics is the study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used. ... A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language used by people from a particular geographic area. ...


Continental West Germanic

The many dialects making up German, Dutch, Afrikaans, Low German and Yiddish are often cited as the canonical example of this. They form a single dialect continuum, with three recognized literary standards. Although Dutch and standard German are not mutually intelligible, there are transitional dialects that are, for example Limburgish, spoken in parts of the Netherlands and Belgium, and the Low Franconian dialects across the border in Germany (although Limburgish is nowadays sometimes considered a language in its own right). Look up Wiktionary:Swadesh lists for Afrikaans and Dutch in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Low German (also called Plattdeutsch, Plattdüütsch or Low Saxon) is a name for the regional language varieties of the West Germanic languages spoken mainly in Northern Germany where it is officially called Niederdeutsch (Low German), and in Eastern Netherlands where it is officially called Nedersaksisch (Low Saxon). Low refers... Yiddish (ייִדיש, Jiddisch) is a Germanic language spoken by about four million Jews throughout the world. ... A literary language is a register of a language that is used in writing, and which often differs in lexicon and syntax from the language used in speech. ... Limburgish, or Limburgian or Limburgic (Dutch: Limburgs, German: Limburgisch, French: Limbourgeois) is a group of Franconian varieties, spoken in the Limburg and Rhineland regions, near the common Dutch / Belgian / German border. ... Low Franconian is any of several West Germanic languages spoken in the Netherlands, northern Belgium, and South Africa. ...

Another example was the area where the river Rhine crosses the border from Germany to the Netherlands. On both sides of this border, the people living in the immediate surroundings spoke an identical language. They could understand each other without difficulty, and would even have had trouble telling just by the language whether a person from the region was from the Netherlands or from Germany. However, the Germans here called their language German („Deutsch” or „Hochdeutsch”), and the Dutch called their language Dutch („Duits” or „Neederduits” or „nederlaands duits”) or Netherlands („neederlands”), so in terms of sociolinguistics they were speaking different languages. Loreley At 1,320 kilometres (820 miles) and an average discharge of more than 2,000 cubic meters per second, the Rhine (Dutch Rijn, French Rhin, German Rhein, Italian: Reno, Romansch: Rein, ) is one of the longest and most important rivers in Europe. ...

Romance languages

The Italo-Western branch of the Romance languages, which comprises Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese, as well as other languages with fewer speakers, is sometimes presented as another example, although the major languages in this group have had separate standards for longer than the languages in the continental West Germanic group, and are not commonly classified as dialects of a common language. In recent centuries, the intermediate dialects which existed between the major Romance languages have been moving toward extinction, partly because of the French government's attitude towards what they call patois. This is also true for some non-dominant intermediate languages, like Occitan and Franco-Provençal. Italo-Western is the largest sub-group of Romance languages. ... The Romance languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, comprise all languages that descended from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire. ... A standard language (also standard dialect or standardized dialect) is a particular variety of a language that has been given either legal or quasi-legal status. ... A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language used by people from a particular geographic area. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... Occitan, or langue doc is a Romance language characterized by its richness, variability, and by the intelligibility of its dialects. ... Franco-Provençal is a Romance language consisting of dialects that can be found in Italy (Valle dAosta, Piemonte, Calabria, Apulia), in Switzerland (cantons Fribourg, Valais, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Geneva, non-German speaking parts of Bern, but not Jura, where the dialects spoken are French) and in France (Dauphinois...

A less arguable example of a dialect continuum within the Italo-Western languages are the Romance languages of Italy. For many decades since its unification, the above attitude of the French government was reflected in Rome by the Italian government which affected the adjoining dialects of this continuum spoken in Northern Italy. These include Venetian and Piedmontese among others. The only surviving standard linking language between French and Italian is now the Romansch spoken in the Germanic language community islands of Switzerland. Over the years however, under pressure from the Northern League, the Italian government has yielded in allowing public signs and other media to use both local and national standard dialects in most affected areas. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Nickname: The Eternal City Motto: SPQR: Senatus PopulusQue Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Mayor Walter Veltroni Area    - City 1,500 km²  (580 sq mi... A business sign in Venetian Venetian or Venetan is a Romance language spoken by over two million people, mostly in the Veneto region of Italy. ... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... Romansh (also spelled Rumantsch, Romansch or Romanche) is one of the four national languages of Switzerland, along with German, Italian and French. ... Northern League can mean: Northern League (baseball) for minor league baseball in the United States and Canada Northern League (football) (Albany Northern League) for the association football league in North East England Northern League (ice hockey) which existed in the late 1970s and early 1980s in Britain. ...

The eastern branch of the Romance languages is dominated by the dialects collectively classed as Romanian. Outside of Romania's present borders, these dialects continue to form the neighbouring Moldovan language language of Moldova. To the west and south of Romania these dialects continue into Bulgaria, Macedonia and Serbia though with distance from their heaviest concentration (the two named countries), the population becomes more sparse as each generation decreases in number due to assimilation of the local languages. Romanian language communities are found farther afield in Greece and Albania too, but perhaps the most endangered is in Istria in Croatia. It is interesting to reflect that this particular dialect known as Istro-Romanian is thought by many to be the closest surviving language to the extinct Dalmatian. Dalmatian in turn formed a chain with Venetian, which led to Romansch and Italian etc, and so a single continuum may have been spoken had Dalmatian still been used. Moldovan is the official name for the Romanian language in the Republic of Moldova and in the territory of Transnistria. ... Anthem: Bože pravde (English: God of Justice) Capital (and largest city) Belgrade Serbian written with the Cyrillic alphabet1 Government Republic  - Prime Minister Vojislav KoÅ¡tunica  - President Boris Tadić Establishment    - Formation 814   - First Serbian Uprising 1804   - Internationally recognized July 13, 1878   - Kingdom of SCS created December 1, 1918   - SCG dissolved... Coat of arms Istria (Istra, pronounced in Croatian and Slovenian; Istria, pronounced in Italian, Istrien, pronounced in German) is the biggest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. ... Istro-Romanian is a Romance language used in a few villages in the peninsula of Istria, on the northern part of the Adriatic Sea, in Croatia. ... Dalmatian is an extinct Romance language formerly spoken along the Dalmatian coast of Croatia and as far south as Kotor in Montenegro. ...


Arabic is a classic case of diglossia. The standard written language, Modern Standard Arabic, is based on the Classical Arabic of the Qur'an, while the modern vernacular dialects (or languages)—which form a dialect continuum reaching from the Maghreb in North Western Africa through Egypt, Sudan, and the Fertile Crescent to the Arabian Peninsula—have diverged widely from that. Because Arabic is written in an Abjad, the difference between the written standard and the vernaculars also becomes apparent in the written language and so children have to be taught in school to articulate Modern Standard Arabic to be able to write it. Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ... In linguistics, diglossia is a situation where, in a given society, there are two (often) closely-related languages, one of high prestige, which is generally used by the government and in formal texts, and one of low prestige, which is usually the spoken vernacular tongue. ... Modern Standard Arabic is the form of Arabic currently used in Arabic books, newspapers and nearly all written media. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Qurān [1] (Arabic: ‎, literally the recitation; also called The Noble Quran; also transliterated as Quran, Koran, and Al-Quran), is the central religious text of Islam. ... The Algerian bay (view from the west). ... A world map showing the continent of Africa. ... The Fertile Crescent is a historical region in the Middle East incorporating Ancient Egypt, the Levant, and Mesopotamia. ... The Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (in Arabic: شبه الجزيرة العربية, or جزيرة العرب) is a peninsula in Southwest Asia at the junction of Africa and Asia consisting mainly of desert. ... An abjad is a type of writing system where there is one symbol per consonantal phoneme, sometimes also called a consonantary. ...


The spoken variants of Chinese are highly divergent, forming a continuum comparable to that of the Romance languages. However, all the variants more or less share a common written language, though there are vernacular variations in vocabulary and grammar, and also even in the characters. Spoken Chinese Spoken Chinese comprises many regional variants. ... Various styles of Chinese calligraphy. ...

The written language originally shared by all dialects was Classical Chinese, which was in normal use up until the early 20th century. In pre-modern times, Northern Baihua grew up alongside Classical Chinese as a standard vernacular dialect. The modern standard dialect, Putonghua (often called Mandarin), is largely based on Baihua. Classical Chinese or Literary Chinese is a traditional style of written Chinese based on the grammar and vocabulary of very old forms of Chinese , making it very different from any modern spoken form of Chinese. ... Vernacular Chinese (白话 [白話]; in pinyin: báihuà, literal meaning: Plain Language) is a style of written Chinese which is based on Standard Mandarin. ... Standard Mandarin refers to the official Chinese spoken language used by the Peoples Republic of China, the Republic of China on Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. ...

Within the dialects, gradations do exist between pure local vernacular and the more refined speech of the better educated that incorporates elements from the standard language or written language.

Of course, the development of the divergent Chinese languages was made much easier because the characters used for writing Chinese are not tied closely to pronunciation as alphabetic or syllabic scripts are. In other words, a Cantonese speaker may write his language much the same as a Mandarin speaker and yet pronounce the written text totally differently. Cantonese is a major dialect group or language of the Chinese language a member of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. ... Mandarin, or Beifanghua (Chinese: 北方話; Pinyin: Běifānghuà; literally Northern Dialect(s)), or Guanhua (Traditional Chinese: 官話; Simplified Chinese: 官话; Pinyin: Guānhuà; literally official speech) is a category of related Chinese dialects spoken across most of northern and southwestern China. ...

Northern India

The languages spoken in Northern India form a dialect continuum. What is called "Hindi" in India is actually Standardized Hindi, the Sanskrit-ized version of the colloquial "Hindustani" spoken in the Delhi area during the time of the Mughals. However, the term Hindi can be used to enclose all its dialects from east to west—from Bihar to Rajasthan. The Indo-Aryan prakrits also gave rise to languages like Gujarati, Bengali, Oriya, Marathi and Punjabi. Of these, Punjabi can probably be included in the northern Indian continuum. Gujarati is also in some ways close to the dialects of Hindi spoken in the southern Rajasthan region. The Indo-Gangetic Plain is a rich, fertile and ancient land encompassing most of northern and eastern India, the most populous parts of Pakistan, and virtually all of Bangladesh. ... Hindi (Devanagari: हिन्दी or हिंदी; IPA: ), an Indo-European language spoken mainly in northern and central India, is the official language of the Union government of India [1][2]. It is part of a dialect continuum of the Indic family, bounded on the northwest and west by Punjabi, Sindhi, Urdu, and Gujarati... Sanskrit ( , ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... The word Hindustani is an adjective used to denote a connection to India, or, more precisely, the historical region that encompasses Northern India, Pakistan, and nearby areas. ... For the capital of India, see New Delhi. ... The Mughal Empire (alternative spelling Mogul, which is the origin of the word Mogul) of India was founded by Babur in 1526, when he defeated Ibrahim Lodi, the last of the Delhi Sultans at the First Battle of Panipat. ... Bihār (HindÄ«: बिहार, IPA: ,  ) is a poor, largely agricultural state of the Indian union situated in the eastern part of the country. ... Rājasthān (DevanāgarÄ«: राजस्थान, IPA: )   is the largest state of the Republic of India in terms of area. ... The Indo-Aryan languages form a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian languages, thus belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. ... Prakrit (Sanskrit prāká¹›ta प्राकृत (from pra-ká¹›ti प्रकृति), original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual, i. ... GujarātÄ« is an Indo-Aryan language, part of the greater Indo-European language family. ... Bengali or Bangla (বাংলা, IPA: ) is an Indo-Aryan language of the eastern Indian subcontinent, evolved from Prakrit, Pāli and Sanskrit. ... Oriya is the official language of the Indian state of Orissa. ... Marathi is one of the widely spoken languages of India, and has a long literary history. ... Punjabi (also Panjabi; in GurmukhÄ«, PanjābÄ« in ShāhmukhÄ«) is the language of the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan. ...

West and Central Asia

The languages of Persia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Northern India also form a dialect continuum of Indo-Aryan languages from Persian in the west slowly emerging as Baluchi then Sindhi, Punjabi and Urdu. Most of these languages developed due to extensive intermixing of the populations of the areas as the various Persian and Indian kingdoms exerted their influences in these areas. Other languages such as Pushto and Seraiki can also be included in this continuum. For other uses of this term see: Persia (disambiguation) The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to a number of historic dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia (Iran). ... The Indo-Gangetic Plain is a rich, fertile and ancient land encompassing most of northern and eastern India, the most populous parts of Pakistan, and virtually all of Bangladesh. ... The Indo-Aryan languages form a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian languages, thus belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. ... Persian (local name: Fārsī or Pārsī) is an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and by minorities in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Southern Russia, neighboring countries, and elsewhere. ... When referring to central asian peoples, Baluchi is an alernative spalling of Balochi (qv). ... Sindhī (सिन्धी, سنڌي) is the language of the Sindh region of South Asia, which is now a province of Pakistan. ... Punjabi (also Panjabi; in Gurmukhī, Panjābī in Shāhmukhī) is the language of the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan. ... (اردو) is an Indo-Aryan language of the Indo-Iranian branch, belonging to Indo-European family of languages. ... Pashto (‎, IPA: ; also known as Pakhto, Pushto, Pashtoe, Pashtu, Pushtu, Pushtoo, Pathan, or Afghan language and Pukhto ‎) is a language spoken by people living in the southern half of Afghanistan and western Pakistan. ... Siraiki (Saraiki, Seraiki, Multani and Southern Punjabi) is an old language or dialect mostly spoken in southwest Punjab and central Pakistan by approximately 14 million people[1]. It is an Indo-European language of the Indo-Iranian subfamily. ...


There are many examples of dialect continua among the languages of Africa, particularly south of the Sahara. Map showing the distribution of African language families and some major African languages. ... A geographical map of Africa, showing the ecological break that defines the sub-Saharan area A political map showing national divisions in relation to the ecological break Sub-Saharan Africa is the term used to describe those countries of the African continent that are not considered part of North Africa. ...

See also

  • Diasystem
  • Diglossia
  • Ausbausprache - Abstandsprache - Dachsprache
  • Post-creole speech continuum

  Results from FactBites:
Dialect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1904 words)
Those who identify a particular dialect as the "standard" or "proper" version of a language are in fact using these terms to express a social distinction.
A dialect continuum is a network of dialects in which geographically adjacent dialects are mutually comprehensible, but with comprehensibility steadily decreasing as distance between the dialects increases.
Another is the continuum of the Scandinavian languages and dialects, from Swedish dialects of Finland, to Swedish, Gutniska, Älvdalsmål, Scanian, Danish, Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk), Faroese, Icelandic, as well as many local dialects of the respective languages.
  More results at FactBites »



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