areal linguistics

noun
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

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of areal linguistics

1967, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about areal linguistics

Time Traveler for areal linguistics

Time Traveler

The first known use of areal linguistics was in 1967

See more words from the same year

Statistics for areal linguistics

Cite this Entry

“Areal linguistics.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/areal%20linguistics. Accessed 7 December 2019.

Comments on areal linguistics

What made you want to look up areal linguistics? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the study of flags

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!