[oo r-shprah-khuh; German oor-shprah-khuh]


a hypothetically reconstructed parent language, as Proto-Germanic, the ancestor of the Germanic languages.

Origin of Ursprache

< German, equivalent to ur- ur-3 + Sprache speech

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British Dictionary definitions for ursprache



any hypothetical extinct and unrecorded language reconstructed from groups of related recorded languages. For example, Germanic is an Ursprache reconstructed by comparison of English, Dutch, German, the Scandinavian languages, and Gothic; Indo-European is an Ursprache reconstructed by comparison of the Germanic group, Latin, Sanskrit, etc

Word Origin for Ursprache

from ur- primeval, original + Sprache language

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ursprache



1908, from German Ursprache, from ur- (see ur-) + sprache "speech" (see speech).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper