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Old 11-28-2006, 03:17 PM
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John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by John Mace
It just means there are no other living languages that can be seen to be affilitate with it.
And it looks like I don't know what the term means either.... That was sloppy. The link I gave has the correct definition:

A language isolate, in the absolute sense, is a natural language with no demonstrable genealogical (or "genetic") relationship with other living languages; that is, one that has not been demonstrated to descend from an ancestor common to any other language.
The key is that it doesn't mean an isolated language. Basque has borrowed words from other languages, just as many other language isloates have. Korean, for example, is considered to be a language isolate, but has borrowed heavily from Chinese.