areal linguistics

variants: or less commonly area linguistics

Definition of areal linguistics

: a school of historical and comparative linguistics that denies the existence of phonetic laws without exceptions, questions the value of attempts to trace individual languages back to a common ancestral language, and chiefly emphasizes the study of the transmission through space of linguistic innovations which is considered as taking place quite readily even between languages that are not of common origin

called also neolinguistics

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First Known Use of areal linguistics

1967, in the meaning defined above

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Cite this Entry

“Areal linguistics.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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