Discuss the genetic classification of the language(s) you will be studying.

1) Introduction: Introductory section(s)–applies to all types of papers: Discuss the genetic classification of the language(s) you will be studying. This should include (at least) the placement of the language(s) within a larger family and, if your doing a comparative reconstruction, the subgrouping of the languages among themselves and with other languages to which they are close. Of interest would also be geographical, cultural, or other factors which might have affected the history of the language(s). For overall classification of the world’s languages, consult The Ethnologue on the web and/or Ruhlen’s Guide to the World’s Languages , but you must cite AT LEAST ONE source which SPECIFICALLY discusses the family of languages you are studying., but here of course you will be making up a future/imaginary language. Make sure to mention the genetic classification of the language, give a family tree diagram, and specify where it’s spoken and by whom.
2) Brief history of the language: Tell the story of how your language developed from its immediate ancestor (=a language you know). The story can involve migration, language contact, space travel etc. Make sure to mention factors of sociolinguistics, language contact, as well as possible Sprachbund phenomena.
3) Phonology: Starting from phonological processes already present in the ancestor language (e.g., phonological rules of English), explain what sound changes have applied in your future language and how the phonemic inventory has been impacted (for instance, a conditioned rule may have become generalized, or opaque, resulting in phonemic change and restructuring of underlying forms, which in turn may have created gaps in the phonological inventory – Your reference for this should be the diagram on phonological change and Chapter 11 of Hayes’ Introductory Phonology). You could also talk about adding or losing phonemes as a result of language contact.
List at least four sound changes, impacting both vowels and consonants.
4) Morphology: Start by relating how the phonological changes have impacted the morphology of the language,
and then talk about two analogical changes that have applied in the nominal or verbal system (e.g. interparadigmatic or intraparadigmatic analogy). Also make sure to include two cases of grammaticalization: one that resulted in the creation of a new morphological marking (e.g., a new future marker, a new case marker, etc.), and one that resulted in the change in meaning of an already existing marker (e.g., an anterior marker becoming a simple past marker).
5) Syntax OR Semantics: Talk about three syntactic and/or semantic changes that have applied to your language. These can be, for instance: change in constituent order, spread of new syntactic constructions, change in meaning of individual lexical items, etc. Make sure to consult the relative chapters of the textbook (An introduction to Historical Linguistics Fourth Edition by Terry Crowley and Claire Bowern).

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