Questions tagged [sprachbund]

For questions about the convergence of formerly unrelated languages.

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9
votes
2answers
901 views

How Standard Average European is Modern Hebrew?

Standard Average European (SAE) is a Sprachbund centred around German and French and extending to almost all European languages. Haspelmath has examined Maltese for SAE features, but he did not ...
4
votes
4answers
209 views

Which languages have absorbed the most vocabulary from Russian, and which languages have influenced its vocabulary?

I'm a student of formal linguistics and Russian language, my question has been surprisingly hard to google -- I've studied a little Ukrainian, and I've read that its structurally similar to Russian ...
7
votes
1answer
713 views

Subtypes of Standard Average European

I was looking at a sprachbund called Standard Average European, which seems to include Germanic, Romance and Slavic languages. I will not list all the features here since they can be found on ...
1
vote
0answers
117 views

What is the etymology of Tibetan ཁང་ [khang]?

I've just discovered that ཁང་ [Wylie: khang], the Tibetan word for 'building' used as a part in many everyday vocabulary items sounds strangely familiar to the word of the same meaning in Farsi, which ...
3
votes
4answers
717 views

Are Indian languages distinct or are they just different dialects?

I speak Malayalam, one of the Indian languages and also Hindi but there are always common words which I assume are original Sanskrit words? So are the languages truly distinct or can I say they are ...
3
votes
2answers
513 views

Is syllable-timing in Indo-Aryan languages due to contact with Dravidian languages?

Most Indian languages are classified as syllable-timed. Some Dravidian languages, such as Tamil and Telugu, are mora-timed, which in recent research on speech rhythm has been called super-syllable-...
1
vote
1answer
749 views

Is a glottal stop common for vowel-initial words in Fenno-Baltic and Nordic languages?

The aforementioned languages form a certain language union, although they belong to different language families and even branches. The languages in question are all the Scandinavic languages (...
5
votes
2answers
971 views

Is there a general tendency among East Asian languages toward simple syllable structure?

I've noticed that several languages of East Asia and the Pacific islands like Japanese, Chinese, and Hawaiian, have much stricter rules governing phonotactics than languages in other parts of the ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Why is the definite article in Balkan languages always called a suffix when it really seems to be part of the inflection?

The Scandinavian languages have a suffix definite article which is pretty straightforwardly tacked on to to the ends of nouns: -en, -et. But in languages of the Balkan Sprachbund, Romanian, Bulgarian,...
13
votes
2answers
745 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 ...