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Non-Chinese Substrates

(1,809 words)

Author(s): Jerry NORMAN †
The term substrate (or substratum) is frequently encountered in discussions of linguistic development. According to Thomason and Kaufman (1988:38), “substratum interference is a subtype of interference that results from imperfect group learning during a process of language shift.” They further state (1988:39) that “[substratum interference] does not begin with vocabulary but with sounds and syntax and sometimes includes morphology well before words.” However, it is often in the lexicon that the most…
Date: 2017-03-02

Dialect Classification

(5,323 words)

Author(s): Jerry NORMAN †
Whenever confronted with a body of complex data, a first step toward studying the data is classification. Thus, classification seems to be a natural preliminary in many if not most sciences. In this, linguistics is no different. In this field several different approaches to language classification have been used. The most common is genetic classification; that is, classifying languages or dialects by their common descent from a hypothesized earlier language. The Germanic languages are considered…
Date: 2017-03-02