family-tree theory

noun

: a theory in linguistics: at various periods branches (as Germanic) sprang from a parent language (as Indo-European) and subsequently forked into subbranches (as West Germanic, North Germanic) that later split up into the various modern languages (as English, German, Swedish)

called also pedigree theory

compare wave theory

Word History

Etymology

translation of German stammbaumtheorie

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Dictionary Entries Near family-tree theory

Cite this Entry

“Family-tree theory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/family-tree%20theory. Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

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