Definition of protolanguage in English:



  • A hypothetical undocumented parent language from which actual languages are derived.

    • ‘His possible answer to this is that ‘the socio-cultural transition from protolanguages to modern languages took 60,000 years; but this seems unlikely in the light of modern evidence from creolization’ .’
    • ‘Here we have to turn to notions of exaptation, for language is a unique aptitude that doesn't seem to have emerged from protolanguage, and certainly did not do so directly.’
    • ‘From a linguistic perspective, any protolanguage would be merely embryonic.’
    • ‘This claim would be supported by a demonstration that linguistic behavior during sleep is restricted to protolanguage.’