Definition of adstratum in US English:


nounPlural adstrata

  • A language or group of elements within it that is responsible for changes in a neighboring language.

    • ‘Thus, when I began to teach my spring term in French Linguistics, I began to explain superstratum, adstratum, and substratum phenomena as contamination phenomena due to various factors - social, elitist, and others.’
    • ‘Since the Nadravians were immediately neighbours with Old Prussian tribes, they bear evidence of an admixture of Old Prussian elements, however, not from an Old Prussian substratum but rather from an adstratum.’
    • ‘I conclude with the remark that traceable East Baltic influence on West Baltic involves not diglossia, but merely adstrata and substrata.’
    • ‘Such word-pairs suggest an adstratum of borrowings.’
    • ‘Romanian has many adstrata of linguistical accretions, but no one so far knows just how deep is the substratum.’


1930s: modern Latin, from Latin ad ‘to’ + stratum ‘something laid down’.