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internal reconstruction

noun, Historical Linguistics
1.
the hypothetical reconstruction of an earlier stage of a language or of some part of it, as its phonology, by deductions from irregularities in its present structure, as the reconstruction of a stage in English when certain instances of r were related to s in a systematic way by comparing the pair was:were to other pairs, as lose:forlorn.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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