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Genetic, in linguistics, means due to descent from a common ancestor language, rather than borrowing at some time in the past between languages that were not necessarily descended from a common ancestor. Languages that possess genetic ties with one another belong to the same linguistic grouping, known as a language family. These ties are established through use of the comparative method of linguistic analysis, which relies mainly on shared phonological innovations as the test criteria.

Mixed and hybrid languages

Mixed and hybrid languages constitute a special genetic type of languages. For example, according to Zuckermann (2009),[1] "Israeli", his term for Modern Hebrew, is a hybrid language, both Semitic and Indo-European, and it "demonstrates that the reality of linguistic genesis is far more complex than a simple family tree system allows. 'Revived' languages are unlikely to have a single parent."


  1. ^ Zuckermann, Ghil'ad. 2009. "Hybridity versus Revivability: Multiple Causation, Forms and Patterns." Journal of Language Contact, Varia 2:40–67, p. 63.

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