Genetic Relationship (Linguistics)
In linguistics, languages that go back to a common original language are called genetically related . In addition, “genetic” in linguistics generally refers to a class of questions and problems that affect certain aspects of the origin or origin of a language. Genetically related languages are grouped together to form a language family or, more generally, a genetic unit . Both are defined via the characteristic of the common innovations (e.g. in phonology , word formation , morphology ). The genetic language relationship usually takes the form of a family tree ( family tree theory ). Languages are therefore referred to as related if they derive from a common original language or basic language (see also language change ).
Similarities between languages do not have to be based on a common origin from an original language; there are also similarities that arise from language contact or from internal laws of languages of the same language type .
Proof that two or more languages are genetically related is deemed to have been provided if the languages have a sufficient number of common features and the following two possible causes for the similarities can be sufficiently "excluded":
- The similarities arose “independently of one another” in each of the languages.
- The similarities arose through language contact between the languages under consideration or through contact between the languages under consideration and a third language.
The question of when the alternative causes are “sufficiently” excluded is a subject of linguistic discussion.
Since the question of the monophyly of the languages of the world remains unanswered, there is no way to prove that two languages are “not” genetically related.
The concept of genetic relationship in linguistics must be differentiated from the concept of genetic relationship in biology , in the special case in anthropology or ethnology : The speakers of genetically related languages do not have to be ethnically (biological-genetic) related. English can serve as an example of this : not every native English speaker is directly descended from Anglo-Saxons .
Similar to the Creole languages, most of the planned languages are difficult or impossible to classify genetically, although their origin is usually known exactly.
- German speaking
- Helmut Glück (Ed.): Metzler Lexicon Language. 4th edition, Metzler, Stuttgart-Weimar 2010. (Here in particular the lemmas "Genetic", "Linguistic relationship" and "Historically comparative linguistics")
- Hadumod Bußmann (Ed.) With the collaboration of Hartmut Lauffer: Lexikon der Sprachwissenschaft. 4th, revised and bibliographically supplemented edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-520-45204-7 , (Here in particular the lemmas “Classification of Languages”, “Proto Language”, “Language Family”).
- John Lyons : Introduction to Modern Linguistics. 8th edition, C. H. Beck, 1995. ISBN 3406394655 .
- Sylvain Auroux (Ed.): History of Linguistics: An International Handbook on the Development of Linguistics from Its Beginnings to the Present. Walter de Gruyter, 2006. ISBN 3110167360 .
- English speaking
- Merritt Ruhlen: A Guide to the World's Languages, Volume 1: Classification . Stanford University Press, Stanford 1987, reprint 2000 (the basic work on the history of genetic classification)
- Joseph H. Greenberg : Genetic Linguistics. Essays on Theory and Method. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2005.
- M. Paul Lewis (Ed.): Ethnologue: Languages of the World , 16th ed., Dallas: SIL, 2009. (contains current hypotheses of genetic classifications of all languages worldwide)
- William Croft: Typology and Universals . 2nd Edition. Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 2003. ISBN 0521004993 .
- Merritt Ruhlen: On the Origin of Languages: Studies in Linguistic Taxonomy. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA. 1994
- The languages of the world. Part 1: Introduction. University of Tübingen
- Genetic classification of languages. Part 2: statistical methods. University of Tübingen
- Gerhard Jäger : How bioinformatics helps to reconstruct the history of language. T übingen 24 November 2011 (  on www.sfs.uni-tuebingen.de)
- Jost Gippert : Genetic. In: Helmut Glück (Ed.): Metzlers Lexikon Sprache. Verlag J. B. Metzler , Stuttgart / Weimar 2005, p. 220.
- Gerhard Jäger: How bioinformatics helps to reconstruct the history of language. University of Tübingen, pp. 1–27
- Reinhard Köhler, Gabriel Altmann, Raĭmond Genrikhovich Piotrovskiĭ: Quantitative Linguistics. Vol. 27 Handbooks for Linguistics and Communication Studies, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-1101-5578-8 , p. 633 ff.
- Methodical to the kinship of languages. www.christianlehmann.eu
- Genetics and Language. Family tree of biological genes and languages