Linkage (linguistics)

In linguistics, a linkage is a group of undoubtedly related languages for whom no proto-language can be reconstructed. Common to linkages are defining features which are absent from geographic extremes. A linkage may result when the members of a dialect chain diverge while sharing subsequent innovations.Fact|date=February 2007

An example are the Central Malayo-Polynesian languages of the Banda Sea (a sea in the South Moluccas in Indonesia).cite web| url =| title = Banda Sea| accessdate = 2007-01-15| work = Encyclopædia Britannica Online| publisher = Encyclopædia Britannica Inc] The Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian languages are commonly divided into two branches, Central MP and Eastern MP, which each have certain defining features that unify them and distinguish them from the other. However, while proto-Eastern and proto-Central-Eastern MP languages can be reconstructed (the sibling and parent of Central MP, respectively), a proto-Central MP language reconstruction does not seem feasible.Fact|date=February 2007 It may be that the branches of Central MP are each as old as Eastern MP, but that they went on to exchange features that are now considered to define them as a family.Fact|date=February 2007 In Eastern MP, common features can be assumed to have been present in the ancestral language, but this is not the case for Central MP.Fact|date=February 2007


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