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As a Finnish-speaker learning Danish I have observed certain similarities, at least when compared to English. I am not discussing loan words (some of which exist through Swedish or English) or similarities in rules of grammar. I'd like to know if there exists a term for such similarities.

Examples:

  • Finnish has words "leikkiä" and "pelata", Danish has "lege" and "spille", while the poor Englishmen play both a serious game and with toys.
  • In both Finnish and Danish if clock is half three, that means it is half an hour until clock is three (so the time is 2:30 or 14:30). In English, the clock would rather be half past two.
  • In Finnish, "asua" ja "elää" are different, as in Danish "bo" og "leve", while in English these are "live" and "live" (or the not-so-often used "reside" for the first one, I guess, but that is not to my knowledge so often used in speech).

These seem to be conceptual similarities between two languages, or maybe English is just weird. Is there a term for such similarities between languages?

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  • It sounds like you are looking for a general term for the individual components that contribute to language similarity or language distance. – Tsundoku Oct 27 '17 at 13:34
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    As @ChristopheStrobbe stated above, I would think this question would be a better fit on Linguistics.SE. It seems more of a question about a linguistic concept than a language acquisition concept. – fi12 Oct 27 '17 at 22:13
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Convergent features in unrelated languages in contact like Danish and Finnish in the example given are an indication of a Sprachbund. However, I am not aware of a special term for features involved in a Sprachbund, they are just called features by anyone I know.

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