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New from Oxford University Press!


Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule

New from Cambridge University Press!


Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.

New from Brill!


Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin

Query Details

Query Subject:   Most Conservative Language
Author:   Pete Unseth
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Historical Linguistics

Query:   A reporter recently asked me, "Which of today's languages is most like its ancestor?" What he wanted to know is: speakers of which of today's languages would be able to go back in time the farthest and be able to communicate verbally?

I suspect it is a language with a written heritage. Any speculation would be welcome. If the replies warrant it, I will post a summary.

Pete Unseth

Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics
LL Issue: 16.2215
Date posted: 20-Jul-2005


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