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genetic linguistics

an approach to linguistics in which languages are classified according to their historical “family” relationships. The world’s 4,000 or so languages are conventionally divided into some 18 families, each of which is presumed to have developed from a common ancestral protolanguage. The larger families, such as Indo-European, are further divided into subfamilies, such as Celtic, Germanic, Aryan, and so on. See comparative linguistics; diachronic linguistics.

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Psychology term of the day

May 30th 2024

recurrent collateral inhibition

recurrent collateral inhibition

a negative-feedback system that prevents rapid, repeated firing of the same motor neuron. To accomplish this, one branch of an axon loops back toward the cell body of the neuron and communicates with an inhibitory Renshaw cell. The Renshaw cell in turn inhibits the neuron.