See also: -lect

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Etymology edit

Use of the compound element -lect as an independent noun.

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Noun edit

lect (plural lects)

  1. (linguistics, sociolinguistics) A specific form of a language or language cluster: a language or a dialect.
    Synonyms: code, idiom, languoid, variety
    • 1980, Frederick B. Agard, The Genealogy of the French Language, published in Contributions to historical linguistics, →ISBN, page 222:
      These, together with (some) Romansh lects, belong to our West Rhaetian; the /ȫ/ also supported by two lects from the Ticino which by our criteria are NWIt, and by the partially umlauting lects of Lombardy which together with (some) Engadine lects belong to our East Rhaetian.

Usage notes edit

The term is used when it is not possible or desirable to decide whether something is a distinct language or only a dialect of a language.

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