The term Sprachbund goes back to Trubeckoj and refers to a group of languages ​​that are typologically similar, as would be expected due to their genetic relatedness degree. Distinction can be made between a broad and a narrow Sprachbund term.

Under the former includes all groupings of languages ​​, where at least one feature in common, which can not be explained by linguistic relationship. A classic example is Roman Jakobson's seminal essay On the phonological language frets.

The closer Sprachbund concept provides a number of additional requirements. It calls for a certain minimum distance, that is, that closely related languages ​​(eg Russian and Polish) generally alone can not form a Sprachbund, as large a number of common characteristics or " isoglosses " (at least two ), a minimum relevance, so a great importance of the common features, as well as their presence in at least three (not just two!) languages ​​, as the similarities are otherwise as a simple bilateral contact.

Differences are still active and passive features. Active means that in at least one of the languages ​​Sprachbund a feature must have been rebuilt by contact influence within the federal language, eg Articles in Bulgarian, while passively preserved by contact action feature means ( which would have been eliminated without this contact), such as probably the synthetic linguistic structure of Russian.

The resultant of the common features unique combination is the hallmark of the respective language German. However, the features need not be limited to the Sprachbund; it is only important that the combination of all features found only once. A language can also be a member of multiple language frets.

In more recent research, the concept of voice Federal is controversial.

A Sprachbund caused by particularly intense language contact, in which large groups of speakers of different languages ​​for a long time a high degree of interaction have with each other, widespread bilingualism or multilingualism is regarded as an important factor.

The resulting by the convergent development in Sprachbund similarities are partly misinterpreted in cases where genetic relationships can not be clearly identified as a sign of genetic relationship. A good example of this Southeast Asian languages ​​such as Thai and Vietnamese, the properties of neighboring languages ​​have adopted: Like the Chinese, they have monosyllabic words and the pitches are significant distinctive ( cf. tonal language ). Nevertheless, it is nowadays of a relationship to the Sino-Tibetan language family (no longer).

Some well-known voice frets

The following are some known speech frets are briefly explained. They serve as examples of how relatively different languages ​​( a speaker of a language can the speaker of another language not on the basis of genetic relatedness understand) to adjust grammatically.

The Balkans Sprachbund

See Balkan Sprachbund

The South Asian Sprachbund

See South Asian Sprachbund

The Ethiopian Sprachbund

The term Ethiopian convergence area also Sprachbund äthiosemitischer, Cushitic, omotischer languages ​​is discussed, which includes the Nilo-Saharan Kunama is counted. Characteristics of this language are, for example, federal ejective consonants, palatalization, SOV word order, converbs, postpositions and verb constructions ' say ' with.

The Baltic Sprachbund

Sometimes a Baltic language covenant is called, to which the Baltic languages ​​and some Russian and Belarusian dialects belong. The following characteristics are typical of the languages ​​of this language Bunds:

  • A number of periphrastic Perfekttempora
  • Frequent use of participles;
  • Impersonal passive constructions (often with agent;, in Polish too, but there usually without agent );
  • The nominative case as an object ( undergoer ) the infinitive.

It is believed that these similarities go back on a Baltic substrate (see also Altnowgoroder dialect, Dniepr Balts ).

See Standard Average European

The Alpine Sprachbund

In recent years the so-called Alpine Sprachbund is explored, which includes some top German and ( Rhaeto - ) Romanic dialects, especially in Switzerland ( the research is initially limited to these two groups). Typical features of this language Bunds are for example:

  • Passive with get (for example there is the bridge built );
  • Futur come with (such as the year comes for paying );
  • Dative preposition dative coding by ( give it to / in the mother);
  • Geminate pronouns ( underlined klitisch, primarily in the ( maximum) Alemannic, Bavarian has in the first person plural generally possible, for example hamma me).

In the field of historical Karantania similar interference phenomena for South Bavarian, Friulian, Slovenian and partly also be observed.