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comparative linguistics

n. (context linguistics English) A branch of historical linguistics that is concerned with comparing languages in order to establish their historical relatedness.

Comparative linguistics

Comparative linguistics (originally comparative philology) is a branch of historical linguistics that is concerned with comparing languages to establish their historical relatedness.

Genetic relatedness implies a common origin or proto-language and comparative linguistics aims to construct language families, to reconstruct proto-languages and specify the changes that have resulted in the documented languages. To maintain a clear distinction between attested and reconstructed forms, comparative linguists prefix an asterisk to any form that is not found in surviving texts. A number of methods for carrying out language classification have been developed, ranging from simple inspection to computerised hypothesis testing. Such methods have gone through a long process of development.

Usage examples of "comparative linguistics".

By a method termed glottochronology, based on calculations of how rapidly words tend to change over historical time, comparative linguistics can even yield estimated dates for domestications or crop arrivals.

So Van doesn't get anything out of it except some exercise in comparative linguistics and a case of indigestion the next day.

He would slip into our hands tempting baubles taken from etymology and comparative linguistics, and enjoyed seeing us grab them and come to grief.

Clearly Rekkk was in no mood for a lesson in comparative linguistics.

Pursuant to the young Hindu's suggestions, the one professor of comparative linguistics in the world capable of understanding and conversing in this peculiar version of the dead dialect was summoned from an academic convention in New York, where he was reading a paper he had been working on for eighteen years: An Initial Study of Apparent Relationships Between Several Past Participles in Ancient Sanskrit and an Equal Number of Noun Substantives in Modern Szechuanese.

We had a man in from the university here, the comparative linguistics department -- you probably know him, Malmstrom's his name -- and he said it sounded to him like an Altaic language, maybe Turkic -- is that right, Turkic?