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The Circle That Won’t Come Full: Two Potential Isoglosses in the Circum-Baltic Area

Chapter

Abstract

Although humans have inhabited the region around the Baltic Sea at least since the end of the last glacial era, our knowledge about the languages spoken in the area covers a much shorter time span. In historical times, this area was mainly a meeting-place of languages from two linguistic stocks: Indo-European (Baltic, Germanic and Slavic languages) and Uralic/Finno-Ugric (Finnic and Saami). Archaeologists, geneticists and linguists claim to trace back the two language stocks in the area to at least the second millennium Bc, and suggest various competing theories on which one was the first and where. In addition, there are three ‘exotic’ languages that have all been used in the area for a considerable time: the Indo-Aryan language(s) Romani, spoken all over the Circum-Baltic area in different varieties, and the Turkic languages Tatar and Karaim. Which languages should count as Circum-Baltic (CB) languages (the term launched in Dahl and Koptjevskaja-Tamm, 1992, and further developed in Dahl and Koptjevskaja-Tamm, 2001) is, of course, open to discussion, for several reasons, the main one being the geographical delineation of the area. In Dahl and Koptjevskaja-Tamm (2001: xvi–xx), we include as CB languages those in Figure 8.1 (see also Map 8.1).

Keywords

Word Order Pitch Contour Glottal Closure Vowel Length Tonal Contour 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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