Questions relating to lexicons: the catalogue of a language's words.

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Structures of lexical items

What are the structures of the lexical items? I know that lexical items should be analyzed as complex symbols(a bundle of syntactic and semantic features associated with a phonological matrix) but I ...
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2answers
139 views

What are the necessary and sufficient characteristics of a word to be considered as nominal?

Clearly there are morphological "tendencies" (case inflection, no TAM marking) -- but what about the semantic or syntactic characteristics (even if they are just tendencies and not universal)? I ...
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Free proper noun dictionary/lexicon

For my project I need to construct a lexicon of various topics (technology, music, cooking, ...). This lexicon will be enormous but with the implementation of a Directed Acyclic Word Graph, the size ...
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2answers
87 views

Looking for an open source English dictionary

I'm creating a multilingual online dictionary and I need an open source English dictionary to work off of. Wordnet is the obvious choice, as it's extremely complete and its license is permissive of ...
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3answers
128 views

What range of strategies are common in natural languages for providing unambiguous answers to negative yes-no questions?

I have been told that, in Chinese, terms for "yes" and "no" used as answers for questions are not needed because one answers yes-no questions by either repeating the verb in the question or adding a ...
2
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1answer
118 views

Help understanding “degree of overall vocabulary divergence”

There was an article published with a diagram showing Lexical Difference: http://elms.wordpress.com/2008/03/04/lexical-distance-among-languages-of-europe/. It cites a Russian source "K. Tyshchenko ...
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1answer
142 views

List of words in Hebrew

Where can I found a list of all the words in Hebrew including plurals, inflections, etc.? I have only found some lists that are based on wikipedia corpus or subtitles curpus, which include many errors ...
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1answer
243 views

Why the following two jokes are fun in terms of linguistic terms?

A: What's a baby pig called? B: A piglet. A: So what's a baby toy called? B: A toylet. Tom: Mike has asked me for a loan of five pounds. Should I be doing right in lending it to him? Jack: Certainly. ...
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109 views

Words for fractions

While in English we have a "quarter" and a " half" as two words which denote fractions, in Hindi we have separate words for half ('Aadha'), Quarter ('Sava'), three-quarters ('Pauna'), One and a half ...
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166 views

Adjectives/verbs being used as nouns: the trend grows?

"I want a job with a social connect" , using a verb connect for the noun connection. "It's a fail!" , using the verb fail instead of the noun failure. "Acme is a multinational corporate" , using ...
7
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180 views

What is the notion of lemma?

Psycholinguistically, a lemma is an abstract conceptual form of a word. However from a lexicographic perspective, the lemma is merely the aorist or canonical form of a word. In English, the lemma of ...
2
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1answer
121 views

Semantic logic of the word “both” in English - different from “and”?

I am trying to figure out what additional semantic information "both" carries when used in a sentence. Does it differ from "and"? Take the following sentences: Alice and Bob both ate lunch. vs. ...
3
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1answer
298 views

What factors affect the number of synonyms a language has?

What factors affect the number of synonyms a language has? I'd like to leave aside sign languages for this question. When the production of a given sign can be varied in 3-D space, not a lot of ...
2
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2answers
259 views

What is the difference between mediopassive VP's and anti-causative VP's?

[I've overhauled this question.] I guess I'm asking about the semantic differences, if any, between mediopassives and anticausatives. Here's a definition of anticausative verb from ...
4
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2answers
185 views

Why is Ivrit not considered an artificial language?

Why is Ivrit, the modern version of Hebrew, not considered an artificial language like for example Interlingua? From the history it looks like the language was dead except in clerical circles and ...
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0answers
49 views

Can some verbs be unergative in some contexts and unaccusative in others?

It seems to me that there are a number of English verbs that can stand for acts that can be done voluntarily or involuntarily. Sometimes we can't help but laugh, but anyone with even mild acting ...
4
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1answer
70 views

Are lexicons finite in principle?

As we all know, every language has open classes of morphemes. If we discovered a new mineral whose natural florescence captured the public's attention, there would be no difficulty coining a new ...
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2answers
760 views

Is there any synchronic difference between homonymy and polysemy?

Is there any synchronic difference between homonymy and polysemy? As a literate English speaker, I can usually tell when words that are pronounced identically have different etymologies thanks ...
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1answer
109 views

Tools to identify lexicalization

Is there any tests or morphological test which can help to identify whether an expression is lexicalised or not? For example, whether some compounds are processed through morphological processes or ...
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25 views

How much do languages vary when it comes to the prevalence of compound words in their lexicons?

Apparently, languages differ when it comes to the prevalence of compound words in their lexicons. For example, the fact that compound words are more prevalent in Chinese than in French was mentioned ...
4
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2answers
161 views

Are we witnessing the death of stative “think”?

For those who came in late: From what I understand, English stative verbs don't take the progressive. We can use progressive in utterances with dynamic verbs. Witness "I'm eating," "She's ...
2
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1answer
107 views

What, if any, aspects of linguistic typology affect the percentage of loanwords that a language has in its lexicon?

By "loanword," I'm referring to words borrowed into language X from other languages and altered only as the phonology of language X requires. Examples would include "le weekend" in French, "das ...
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2answers
241 views

Mutual lexical borrowings between Arabic, Persian and Turkish: a reference request

As an occasional learner of these languages, I find the linguistic situation of Arabic, Persian and Turkish very interesting: they are three genetically unrelated languages (if you stick to ...
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2answers
446 views

Did Georgian ever have a native word for “dolphin”?

During my time in Georgia one word came to puzzle me and I'm still thinking about it: დელფინი (delp'ini) "dolphin" Wiktionary says this comes from Greek via Russian. The thing is Georgia is on ...
4
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130 views

Do some languages have significantly more or fewer idioms than others?

Among the well-attested languages for which large corpora have been gathered, does the number of idiomatic expressions per language vary significantly? Are there fewer idioms in some languages than ...
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1answer
212 views

Are there any languages in which verbs are a closed class?

In English, the verb "do" can be a transitive verb whose object stands for an action. So, we English speakers can "do a somersault," "do a back flip," and "do a cartwheel." The productivity of this ...