Word of the Day

Friday, June 14, 2013


\dahy-GLOS-ee-uh, -GLAW-see-uh\ , noun;
the widespread existence within a society of sharply divergent formal and informal varieties of a language each used in different social contexts or for performing different functions, as the existence of Katharevusa and Demotic in modern Greece.
Pathology. the presence of two tongues or of a single tongue divided into two parts by a cleft.
Arabic took over many of the functions of Aramaic as the language of scholarship, and, as one vernacular replaced another, the original state of diglossia was restored.
-- David Biale, Cultures of the the Jews: A New History, 2002
Sociolinguistic studies indicate that diglossia and code-switching are very pertinent characteristics of the linguistic repertoires of a large portion of the population…
-- Christa Van der Walt, Living Through Languages: An African Tribute to René Dirven, 2006
Diglossia comes from the Greek term meaning "bilingual" and entered English in the 1950s.
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