Definition of Wellentheorie in English:

Wellentheorie

noun

Linguistics
  • A theory of linguistic change first advanced by Johannes Schmidt (1843–1901), according to which linguistic innovation spreads in concentric circles from a central point of origin, like the ripples generated when a pebble is thrown into a body of water.

Origin

Late 19th century; earliest use found in American Journal of Philology. From German Wellentheorie from Wellen-, combining form of Welle wave + Theorie.

Pronunciation

Wellentheorie

/ˈvɛlənˌteɪɔːri/