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Blend of language +‎ -oid, coined by linguist Jeff Good and chief technology officer Calvin Hendryx-Parker in 2006.[1]



languoid (plural languoids)

  1. (linguistics) Synonym of lect: a language, variety of a language, or group of languages.
    • 2015, Keith Allan, The Routledge Handbook of Linguistics, Routledge, →ISBN, page 391:
      And more recently, the terms languoid and doculect have been proposed (Cysouw and Good 2013) where languoid is any 'language-like object' and doculect is 'a linguistic variety as it is documented in a given resource' (p. 342). This term is ...

Usage notes[edit]

This term does not specify whether the referent is a dialect of another language, a language of its own (compare lect and also idiom), a dialect cluster, a small family of closely related languages, or sprachbund or historical group of similar but unrelated languages. It is convenient for ambiguous cases and situations where inadequate documentation is available to make a judgement.


  1. ^ Jeff Good; Calvin Hendryx-Parker (June 2006), “Modeling Contested Categorization in Linguistic Databases”, in Proceedings of the EMELD ’06 Workshop on Digital Language Documentation: Tools and Standards: The State of the Art[1]:
    Figure 2 makes use of the term languoid which Rosetta uses, at present, as a cover term for any type of lingual entity: language, dialect, family, language area, etc. It is roughly similar to the term taxon from biological taxonomy, except it is agnostic as to whether the relevant linguistic grouping is considered to be genealogical or areal (or based one some other possible criteria for grouping languages).