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Coined by Alfred Hudson in his published work on the languages of Borneo: iso- +‎ -lect.


isolect (plural isolects)

  1. (linguistics) A language or dialect; coined as a neutral term between ‘language’ and ‘dialect.’ [From 1967.]
    • 1967, Alfred B. Hudson, The Barito Isolects of Borneo: a Classification Based on Comparative Reconstruction and Lexicostatistics, page 53,
      Dohoi is distinctive among all the Barito isolects [] .
    • 2003, Ralph W. Fasold, The Sociolinguistics Of Language, page 200,
      At the same time, the ordering of isolects that is finally chosen must give the right results for (virtually) all the environments.
    • 2008, Keith Brown, Sarah Ogilvie, Malay, entry in Concise Encyclopedia of Languages of the World, page 677,
      While Middle Malay, Minangkabau, and Kerinci have inland and west coast variants as their origin, Malay itself developed from isolects spoken on the east coast.

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