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4
votes
2answers
118 views

Isolated language as null hypotheses?

When reading about rare or antique languages I often came across statements like "the most widespread / widely accepted theory is that it is an isolated language". You can read that for example in ...
4
votes
2answers
427 views

Is the Fifa'a language of Saudi Arabia a dialect of Arabic or a separate language?

A Saudi friend on our sister site, travel.stackexchange.com, was just telling me there is an isolated language in his country called "Fifa'a", but that nothing is written about it on the internet as ...
2
votes
3answers
257 views

Are there any language isolates in China?

I know there are many languages from many families besides just Mandarin Chinese and its close relatives within China. But I was wondering if China has at least one language isolate within its ...
10
votes
2answers
444 views

Are there other pairs of languages that are as close grammatically despite not being in the same language family as Korean and Japanese?

Though there are many theories grouping Korean and Japanese in the same family, none of these are widely accepted by linguists. Yet the grammars of these two languages are extremely similar in many ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

How did Korean become a language isolate?

According to most linguists, Korean is a language isolate. Why doesn't it have any sister languages, like languages usually do? Why didn't it spread to other areas, or split into various languages? ...