Isolated languages and language families

Yaron Matras yaron.matras at MANCHESTER.AC.UK
Sat Aug 9 10:01:23 UTC 2008

Quoting Yuri Tambovtsev <yutamb at MAIL.RU>:

>  Phonological features are the result of the articulation basis   
> which is preserved
>  by the people for a long time if not forever.

Can this really be generalised? It seems to contradict at least a  
widespread if not entirely universal tendency of languages in close  
contact to converge in the phonological domain -- even more so than in  
morphology or morphosyntax.

Yaron Matras
Professor in Linguistics
School of Languages, Linguistics & Cultures
University of Manchester
Manchester M13 9PL, UK

Phone (direct): (00)44 (0)161 275 3975
Romani project: (00)44 (0)161 275 5999

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