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Linguistic Geography of the Nostratic Macrofamily

  • Barney WarfEmail author
Reference work entry

Abstract

Historical linguistics has been thoroughly revolutionized by a series of discoveries in anthropology, genetics, and archeology. This transformation has shed new light on the prehistoric roots of languages and unexpected commonalities among major linguistic families. Rather than comprising discrete categories, many language groups are now seen to have common origins. In particular, the hypothesized – and increasingly, empirically verified – macrofamily known as Nostratic seems to have given rise to families as diverse as Indo-European, Ural-Altaic, Dravidian, Afro-Asiatic, Kartvelian, and Eskimo. This chapter explores the gradual theorization of Nostratic in the twentieth century, the linguistic and genetic evidence of its existence, and its geographical dimensions, including its homeland and dispersal. It concludes with comments concerning its implications for the geographic study of languages.

Keywords

Linguistic geography Nostratic Major world language families Indo-European 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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