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    Language histories

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    • Ancient languages

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    • Archaic words and phrases

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    • History of the Chinese language

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    • Classical languages

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    • History of the Dutch language

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    • Earliest known manuscripts by language

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    • Early Modern languages

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    • History of the English language

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    • History of the French language

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    • History of the German language

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    • History of Hindi languages

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    • Linguistic history of India

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    • History of the Korean language

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    • Language families

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    • Last known speakers of a language

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    • Lists of extinct languages

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    • History of the Lithuanian language

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    • Medieval languages

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    • Linguistic history of Pakistan

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    • History of the Romanian language

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    • History of the Serbo-Croatian language

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    • History of the Spanish language

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    • List of language histories

    • This is a list of language histories. ... Read »


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    • List of languages by first written accounts

    • This is a list of languages arranged by the approximate dates of the oldest existing texts recording a complete sentence in the language. It does not include undeciphered scripts, though there are various claims without wide acceptance, which, if substantiated, would push backward the first attestation of certain langu ... Read »


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    • Atlantic (Semitic) languages

    • The Atlantic languages of Semitic or "Semitidic" (para-Semitic) origin are a disputed concept in historical linguistics put forward by Theo Vennemann. The theory has found no notable acceptance in academic circles, and is criticised as being based on sparse and often misinterpreted data. It was widely believed amo ... Read »


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    • History of the Bulgarian language

    • The History of the Bulgarian language can be divided into three major periods: Bulgarian as a written South Slavic language that dates back to the end of the 9th century. Old Bulgarian was the first literary period in the development of the language. It was a highly synthetic language with a rich declension syste ... Read »


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    • Canaanite shift

    • In historical linguistics, the Canaanite shift is a sound change that took place in the Canaanite dialects, which belong to the Northwest Semitic branch of the Semitic languages family. This sound change caused Proto-NW-Semitic *ā (long a) to turn into ō (long o) in Proto-Canaanite. It accounts, for example, for ... Read »


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    • History of the Cherokee language

    • This article is a detailed History of the Cherokee Language, the Native American Indian Iroquoian language spoken by the Cherokee people. The Cherokee call their language Tsalagi (ᏣᎳᎩ) or Tslagi. They refer to themselves as Aniyunwiya (ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ), which means "Principal People". ... Read »


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    • History of the Chinese language

    • In historical linguistics, the history of the Chinese language includes the various changes over time of the Chinese language in its various incarnations. Chinese is part of the Sino-Tibetan language family, a group of languages that all descend from Proto-Sino-Tibetan. The relationship between Chinese and other Sino-T ... Read »


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    • Chronolect

    • In linguistics, a chronolect is a specific variety of language of which the characteristics are in particular determined by time-related factors. As such, it can be contrasted with a sociolect, an ethnolect or a geolect. In historical linguistics, a chronolect is set more or less equal to a specific language stage. Man ... Read »


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    • History of the Czech language

    • The Czech language developed at the close of the 1st millennium from common West Slavic. Until the early 20th century, it was known as Bohemian. Among the innovations in common West Slavic is the palatalization of velar ch > Å¡ (vьšь, all), while s (vьsь) developed in the East and South-Slavic di ... Read »


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    • History of Danish

    • The Danish language developed during the Middle Ages out of the Old East Norse, the common predecessor of Danish and Swedish. It was a late form of common Old Norse. The history of Danish can by convention be divided into: Old East Norse is in Sweden called Runic Swedish and in Denmark Runic Danish, but until the ... Read »


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    • Dictionary of American Regional English

    • Dictionary of American Regional English

      The Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) is a record of American English as spoken in the United States, from its beginnings to the present. It differs from other dictionaries in that it does not document the standard language used throughout the country. Instead, it contains regional and folk speech, those w ... Read »


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    • History of English

    • English is a West Germanic language that originated from Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Britain in the mid 5th to 7th centuries AD by Germanic invaders and settlers from what is now northwest Germany, west Denmark and the Netherlands. The Old English of the Anglo-Saxon era developed into Middle English, the languag ... Read »


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    • Phonological history of English

    • The phonological history of English describes the changing phonology of the English language over time, starting from its roots in proto-Germanic to diverse changes in different dialects of modern English. NOTE: In the following description, abbreviations are used as follows: This section summarizes the changes o ... Read »


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    • Phonological history of English consonants

    • This article describes those aspects of the phonological history of the English language which concern consonants. The voiceless stops /p/, /t/, /k/ are typically aspirated when they begin a stressed syllable, becoming [pÊ°], [tÊ°], [kÊ°], as described under English phonology (obstruents). There is some regi ... Read »


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    • The English Dialect Dictionary

    • The English Dialect Dictionary (EDD) is a dictionary of English dialects, compiled by Joseph Wright (1855–1930). The English Dialect Dictionary, being the complete vocabulary of all dialect words still in use, or known to have been in use during the last two hundred years; founded on the publications of the Engli ... Read »


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    • History of Esperanto

    • The constructed international auxiliary language Esperanto was developed in the 1870s and 80s by L. L. Zamenhof, and first published in 1887. The number of speakers has grown gradually over time, although it has not had much support from governments and international bodies, and has sometimes been outlawed or otherwise ... Read »


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    • History of French

    • French is a Romance language (meaning that it is descended primarily from Vulgar Latin) that evolved out of the Gallo-Romance dialects spoken in northern France. The discussion of the history of a language is typically divided into "external history", describing the ethnic, political, social, technological, and other ... Read »


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    • History of Gan Chinese

    • The history of Gan Chinese, a variety of Chinese spoken in modern-day China, stretches back to the beginning of the Qin dynasty. This long stretch of time is divided into Old Gan, late Old Gan, and Middle Gan periods. Old Gan (上古贛語, Song-gu Gon-ngi) or Proto-Gan (原始贛語, Ngien ... Read »


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    • History of German

    • The history of the German language as separate from common West Germanic begins in the Early Middle Ages with the High German consonant shift. Old High German, Middle High German and Early New High German span the duration of the Holy Roman Empire. The 19th and 20th centuries saw the rise of Standard German and a decre ... Read »


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    • Germanic strong verb

    • In the Germanic languages, a strong verb is a verb that marks its past tense by means of changes to the stem vowel (ablaut). The majority of the remaining verbs form the past tense by means of a dental suffix (e.g. -ed in English), and are known as weak verbs. In modern English, strong verbs include sing (present I si ... Read »


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    • Germanic substrate hypothesis

    • The Germanic substrate hypothesis is an attempt to explain the distinctive nature of the Germanic languages within the context of the Indo-European language family. It postulates that the elements of the common Germanic vocabulary and syntactical forms, which do not seem to have cognates in other Indo-European language ... Read »


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    • Germanic umlaut

    • The Germanic umlaut (sometimes called i-umlaut or i-mutation) is a type of linguistic umlaut in which a back vowel changes to the associated front vowel (fronting) or a front vowel becomes closer to /i/ (raising) when the following syllable contains /i/, /iː/, or /j/. It took place separately in various Germanic lan ... Read »


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    • Germanic verb

    • The Germanic language family is one of the language groups that resulted from the breakup of Proto-Indo-European (PIE). It in turn divided into North, West and East Germanic groups, and ultimately produced a large group of mediaeval and modern languages, most importantly: Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish (North); English ... Read »


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    • Germanic weak verb

    • In Germanic languages, weak verbs are by far the largest group of verbs, which are therefore often regarded as the norm (the regular verbs), but they are not historically the oldest or most original group. In Germanic languages, weak verbs are those verbs that form their preterites and past participles by means of ... Read »


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    • Grammatischer Wechsel

    • In historical linguistics, the German term grammatischer Wechsel ("grammatical alternation") refers to the effects of Verner's law when viewed synchronically within the paradigm of a Germanic verb. According to Grimm's law, the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) voiceless stops *p, *t, *k and *kÊ· usually became Proto-Ge ... Read »


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    • Great Vowel Shift

    • The Great Vowel Shift was a major change in the pronunciation of the English language that took place in England between 1350 and 1600. Through the Great Vowel Shift, all Middle English long vowels changed their pronunciation. English spelling was becoming standardized in the 15th and 16th centuries, and the Great Vowe ... Read »


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    • History of Greek

    • This article is an overview of the history of the Greek language. There are several theories about the origins of the Greek language. One theory suggests that it originated with a migration of proto-Greek speakers into the Greek peninsula, which is dated to any period between 3000 BC and 1700 BC. Another theory ma ... Read »


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    • History of Hindustani

    • Hindustani is one of the predominant languages of South Asia, with federal status in India and Pakistan in its standardized forms of Hindi and Urdu. It is widely spoken and understood as a second language in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Persian Gulf and as such is considered a lingua franca in the Indian subcon ... Read »


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    • Hindustani etymology

    • HindustānÄ«, also known as Hindi-Urdu, comprises several closely related dialects in the northern, central and northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. It encompasses two standardized registers in the forms of the official languages Hindi and Urdu, as well as several nonstandard dialects. Hindustani is not an ... Read »


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    • Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

    • Historical Thesaurus of English

      The Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary (HTOED) is the print edition of the largest thesaurus in the world, the Historical Thesaurus of English (HTE), conceived and compiled by the English Language Department of the University of Glasgow. The HTE is a complete database of all the words in the second e ... Read »


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    • Homeric scholarship

    • Homeric scholarship is the study of any Homeric topic, especially the two large surviving epics, the Iliad and Odyssey. It is currently part of the academic discipline of classical studies. The subject is one of the oldest in scholarship. For the purpose of the present article, Homeric scholarship is divided into three ... Read »


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    • History of the Hungarian language

    • Hungarian is a Uralic language of the Ugric group. It has been spoken in the region of modern-day Hungary since the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin in the late 9th century. The predecessor language of Hungarian separated from the Ob-Ugric languages, probably still during the Bronze Age. There is no attestat ... Read »


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    • History of Icelandic

    • The history of the Icelandic language began in the 9th century when the settlement of Iceland, mostly by Norwegians, brought a dialect of Old Norse to the island. The oldest preserved texts in Icelandic were written around 1100. The majority of these texts are poems or laws, preserved orally for generations before bei ... Read »


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    • Indo-Hittite

    • In Indo-European linguistics, the term Indo-Hittite (also Indo-Anatolian) refers to Sturtevant's 1926 hypothesis that the Anatolian languages may have split off a Pre-Proto-Indo-European language considerably earlier than the separation of the remaining Indo-European languages. The term may be somewhat confusing, as th ... Read »


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    • Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law

    • In historical linguistics, the Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law (also called the Anglo-Frisian or North Sea Germanic nasal spirant law) is a description of a phonological development that occurred in the Ingvaeonic dialects of the West Germanic languages. This includes Old English, Old Frisian, and Old Saxon, and to a smal ... Read »


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    • History of Interlingua

    • The history of Interlingua comprises the formation of the language itself as well as its community of speakers. Ultimate credit for Interlingua must go to the American heiress Alice Vanderbilt Morris (1874–1950), who became interested in linguistics and the international auxiliary language movement in the early 1 ... Read »


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    • History of the Irish language

    • The history of the Irish language begins with the period from the arrival of speakers of Celtic languages in Ireland to Ireland's earliest known form of Irish, Archaic Irish, which is found in Ogham inscriptions dating from the 3rd or 4th century. After the conversion to Christianity in the 5th century, Old Irish begin ... Read »


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    • The Languages of Africa

    • The Languages of Africa

      The Languages of Africa is a 1963 book of essays by Joseph Greenberg, in which he sets forth a genetic classification of African languages that, with some changes, continues to be the most commonly used one today. It is an expanded and extensively revised version of his 1955 work Studies in African Linguistic Classific ... Read »


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    • History of Latin

    • Latin is a member of the broad family of Italic languages. Its alphabet, the Latin alphabet, emerged from the Old Italic alphabets, which in turn were derived from the Greek and Phoenician scripts. Historical Latin came from the prehistoric language of the Latium region, specifically around the River Tiber, where Roman ... Read »


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    • History of the Malay language

    • History of the Malay language

      Malay is a major language of the Austronesian language family. Over a period of two millennia, from a form that probably consisted of only 157 original words, Malay has undergone various stages of development that derived from different layers of foreign influences through international trade, religious expansion, colo ... Read »


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    • History of Modern Standard Chinese

    • Mandarin, officially Modern Standard Chinese, is the official language used by the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Singapore. Since ancient history, the Chinese language has always consisted of a wide variety of dialects; hence prestige dialects and linguae francae have always been n ... Read »


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    • Metaphony (Romance languages)

    • In the Romance languages, metaphony was an early vowel mutation process that operated in all Romance languages to varying degrees, raising (or sometimes diphthongizing) certain stressed vowels in words with a final /i/ or /u/ or a directly following /j/. This is conceptually similar to the umlaut process so characteris ... Read »


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    • Non-English versions of The Simpsons

    • The animated TV show The Simpsons is an American English language animated sitcom which has been broadcast in the United States since 1989 on FOX. In other countries, the TV show started broadcasting later than 1989 either in its original version or in a dubbed version. The show was first broadcast in the area in ... Read »


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    • History of the Persian language

    • History of the Persian language

      Persian (/ˈpɜːrʒən/ or /ˈpɜːrʃən/), also known by its endonym Farsi (فارسی fārsi [fɒːɾˈsiː]), is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family, and the predominant modern descendant of Old Persian). ... Read »


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    • History of Polish

    • The Polish language is a West Slavic language, and thus descends from Proto-Slavic, and more distantly from Proto-Indo-European. More specifically, it is a member of the Lechitic branch of the West Slavic languages, along with other languages spoken in areas within or close to the area of modern Poland, including Kashu ... Read »


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    • History of Portuguese

    • The Portuguese language developed in the Western Iberian Peninsula from Latin brought there by Roman soldiers and colonists starting in the 3rd century BC. Old Portuguese, also known as Galician-Portuguese, began to diverge from other Romance languages after the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Germanic invasio ... Read »


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    • Pre-Indo-European languages

    • Pre-Indo-European languages are any of several old languages, not necessarily related to one another, that existed in prehistoric Europe and South Asia before the arrival of speakers of Indo-European languages. The oldest Indo-European language texts date from 19th century BC in Kültepe in modern-day Turkey, and whi ... Read »


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    • Pseudo-anglicism

    • Pseudo-anglicisms are words in languages other than English which were borrowed from English but are used in a way native English speakers would not readily recognize or understand. Pseudo-anglicisms often take the form of compound words, combining elements of multiple English words to create a new word that appears to ... Read »


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    • History of Quebec French

    • Quebec French is substantially different in pronunciation and vocabulary to the French of Europe and that of France's Second Empire colonies in Africa and Asia. Similar divergences took place in the Portuguese, Spanish and English language of the Americas with respect to European dialects, but in the case of French th ... Read »


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    • History of the Russian language

    • Note: in the following sections, all examples of vocabulary appear in their modern spelling. Russian is a Slavic language of the Indo-European family. All Indo-European languages are descendants of a single prehistoric language, reconstructed as Proto-Indo-European, spoken sometime in the Neolithic era. Although n ... Read »


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    • History of the Russian language in Ukraine

    • The first known mention of Russian-speaking people in Ukraine refer to a small ethnic sub-group of Russians known as the Goriuns who resided in Putyvl region (what is modern northern Ukraine). These mentions date back to the times of Grand Duchy of Lithuania or perhaps even earlier, The Russian language in Ukraine has ... Read »


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    • History of the Scots language

    • The history of the Scots language refers to how Anglic varieties spoken in parts of Scotland developed into modern Scots. Speakers of Northumbrian Old English settled in south eastern Scotland in the 7th century, at which time Celtic Brythonic was spoken in the south of Scotland to a little way north of the Firth ... Read »


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    • History of the Slovak language

    • The Slovak language is a West Slavic language. Historically, it forms a dialect continuum with the Czech language. Its standard orthography is based on the work of Ľudovít Å túr published in the 1840s. It continued to be strongly influenced by Czech, especially in the early 20th century when a single Czechos ... Read »


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    • History of Swedish

    • In the 9th century, Old Norse began to diverge into Old West Norse (Norway and Iceland) and Old East Norse (Sweden and Denmark). In the 12th century, the dialects of Denmark and Sweden began to diverge, becoming Old Danish and Old Swedish in the 13th century. All were heavily influenced by Middle Low German during the ... Read »


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    • Uralo-Siberian languages

    • Uralo-Siberian is a hypothetical language family consisting of Uralic, Yukaghir, Chukotko-Kamchatkan and Eskimo–Aleut. It was proposed in 1998 by Michael Fortescue, an expert in Eskimo–Aleut and Chukotko-Kamchatkan, in his book Language Relations across Bering Strait. The hypothesis has not gained wide accept ... Read »


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    • History of the Welsh language

    • The history of the Welsh language spans over 1400 years, encompassing the stages of the language known as Primitive Welsh, Old Welsh, Middle Welsh, and Modern Welsh. Welsh evolved from British, the Celtic language spoken by the ancient Britons. Alternatively classified as Insular Celtic or P-Celtic, it probably ar ... Read »


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    • West Germanic gemination

    • West Germanic gemination was a sound change that took place in all West Germanic languages around the 3rd or 4th century AD. It affected consonants directly followed by /j/, which were generally lengthened ("geminated", came to be held longer) in that position. Because of Sievers' law, only consonants immediately after ... Read »


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