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Standard Average European and the Western Fringe – a Reconsideration
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Standard Average European and the Western Fringe – a Reconsideration

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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
The concept of Standard Average European Sprachbund is one of the most influential and widely... mehr
Standard Average European and the Western Fringe – a Reconsideration
The concept of Standard Average European Sprachbund is one of the most influential and widely known within the field of areal linguistics. According to its advocates, the standard written varieties of the major European languages have becomeincreasingly similar through a series of convergent developments, which took place during the great migrations and the transition from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. The languages located at the Western fringe of Europe, i.e. Insular Celtic languages andBasque, display but very few SAE-features and appear to have taken little or no part in this convergence process. The present article will examine the Insular Celtic and Basque features to demonstrate that these languages show more convergent developments than is admitted by the SAEhypothesis. In addition, the diachronic dimension of the SAE will be discussed by datingthe emergence of the features within the individual languages. The results of this analysis seriously question both the socio-historic scenario and the time-frame proposed for these developments.