Linguistic area

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A linguistic area is a set of geographically contiguous languages that are more similar to each other in their structure than would be expected on the basis on their degree of genealogical relatedness.


Sprachbund (en)


An early occurrence of the term linguistic area is found in Velten 1943, translating the German term Sprachbund. However, Emeneau (1956) was much more influential in making the term widely known.


  • Emeneau, Murray B. 1956. India as a linguistic area. Language 32.1: 3-16.
  • Velten, H.V. 1943. The Nez Perce verb. Pacific Northwest Quarterly 34: 271-292.

Other languages

German Sprachbund