The set of words within a language.

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3
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2answers
92 views

What decides the language family of a language the most structure/grammar or the vocabulary?

My assumed premise: Indo-European language classification is broad. We can always find two languages of this family which are grammatically so different, and also the languages grammatically similar. ...
-1
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1answer
69 views

Examples of small, minimalistic natural languages?

I was reading about a constructed language called "Toki Pona" that is touted to have only 120 words. I wanted to know are there any examples of any natural languages notable for their simplicity or ...
1
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0answers
52 views

Does Japanese have as many English-derived words as English has French-derived words?

According to current corpora and other tools used by language researchers, does the current vocabulary of Japanese already contain as many words borrowed/derived from English as the number of English ...
1
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0answers
28 views

an open source lexicographical framework

I am looking for a lightweight open source framework for lexicographical experiments: building vocabularies, converting from one type to another, merging, dealing with multilingual issues, ... google ...
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0answers
20 views

contrastive analysis of High frequency words in two languages [closed]

I'm looking for ideas. Suppose we have a list of 5000 most frequent words in two languages, say English and Arabic; Do you think what are the good options to be used for comparing these two word ...
4
votes
2answers
175 views

Is this a nonce word or is there another name for a regularly constructed neologism?

I had an argument with a friend, since he didn't find "claustrophilia" in the dictionary he thought it should be called a nonce word. I thought the term "nonce" was for one-off words that arose a ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views

What is the lexical relationship between 'kingdom' and 'phylum'?

In biology humans belong to the kingdom of animalia and the phylum chordata. Every organism that belongs to chordata belongs also to animalia but not the other way around. Animalia is a hypernym of ...
3
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0answers
104 views

Shannon's entropy as a measure of vocabulary richness

The Entropy formula for lexical richness is The probability p-ith is calculated by dividing V-ith by N, where N is the total number of tokens in the text and V is the number of types. However, I ...
3
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2answers
125 views

Is the general concept behind “Eskimo words for snow” true?

The specific claim that "Eskimos have X words for snow" is heavily disputed. However, is the general concept that certain cultures' languages often have a large number of words for things that are ...
1
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2answers
205 views

What languages other than English distinguish 'poison' and 'venom'

The English language distinguishes the terms "poison" and "venom", with "toxin" sometimes used as a general classifier for both: Venomous organisms deliver or inject venom into other organisms ...
0
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2answers
229 views

Are there measures of language complexity?

I can find measures of "readability" but not language complexity (there might be another word for this, I give an example below) online. If anyone knows of any, would you list them? By complexity I ...
3
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6answers
658 views

Could the English language be learned purely by observing written texts?

I just asked this question on English Language Learners and there they suggested that it might better fit here. This is a high level and difficult question, however I think it is an interesting ...
1
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1answer
100 views

Word difficulty as a function of frequency

What is known in general about the relationship between word difficulty and word frequency? That is, for a given word, suppose I know the frequency with which it (or its word stem) is encountered in ...
2
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0answers
64 views

Did any indigenous American languages have/develop a word for “Native American”?

Obviously the political landscape of the Americas was a hugely complex thing during the period of European colonization, and what was true of one Native American group was almost never true of all of ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

What is considered the smallest possible sample size for word frequency lists used in FL instruction?

I've been engaged in a conversation on another site pertaining to frequency analysis, particularly in relation to the 1966 work Buntús Gaeilge, Colmán Ó Huallacháin; Ireland. Department of ...
2
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0answers
83 views

Constructing/borrowing of complex scientific/technological/financial vocabulary in Esperanto [closed]

Most Esperanto scientific, some technology-specific, or financial dictionaries available online cover vast range, but mostly old terminology that was around for many years. How does one translate or ...
0
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0answers
56 views

Abbreviation taking the meaning of the whole expression

In English and some other languages (such as Portuguese and possibly Italian), the word "calculus" is actually an abbreviation from "differential and integral calculus" that has taken the meaning of ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

Active vocabulary for Anglophones compared to native speakers of other languages

A site search has turned me up Size of active vocabulary in hunter gather tribes, and Which language has the biggest vocabulary?, but neither of those seem to address what I want to know about. I ...
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2answers
1k views

English vs. Esperanto (in grammar, vocabulary, semantics)

I know Esperanto is constructed on the basis of Romance languages; but what are the main differences and similarities between English and Esperanto? Especially from the following aspects: grammar (...
2
votes
1answer
152 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 (...
4
votes
2answers
150 views

Size of active vocabulary in hunter gather tribes

How big is the active vocabulary that an average hunter gather tribe in Africa uses? Is it comparable to the size of Western civilisation?
2
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2answers
3k views

What are the constituent morphemes in 'preposition'?

The word preposition. I am trying to break down a series of words into their constituent morphemes and am having trouble with the word 'preposition'. I can obviously see that the 'pre-' is a morpheme ...
4
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9answers
10k views

Which language has the biggest vocabulary?

I am thinking that it is English because it has so many borrowed words and most you French, Italian, or German words can be written in English as is. Am I right?
5
votes
1answer
592 views

Words and phrases more likely in everyday speech

I'm processing a large corpus for a given language. I've noticed that for certain sections of the corpus, I can go many tens of thousands of words without the word "me" being mentioned. These are ...
9
votes
4answers
14k views

How many “words” do I need to learn?

I am interested in learning a second language. To do this I have created a list of the 1000 most common words and phrases for a given language. I've also established sentences which contains each of ...
2
votes
4answers
208 views

Are there people who intentionally refuse to use some words even if the majority does it?

Suppose one person does not like one word or expression. He would have to use it though, so then he chooses a substitute. The majority of the people however use that word. Now, since one meaning of ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

How is the differing reuse of words depending on language called in Linguistics?

My question is a little bit tricky (for me) to put in a title. I will try to describe: There are different types of writing systems, such as logographic, true alphabets and segmental scripts. Not ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

Hierarchy of meanings in a dictionary

What base does vocabulary.com use for its hierarchy of meanings of a word? For example see http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/sound. Are top levels (numbered list) all homonyms? What structure do ...
5
votes
2answers
76 views

Are there any extensive study on the vocabulary used in the Mongour and Bonan languages?

I have always been interested in examining Tu/Mongour and Bonan language. Mongour is a Mongolic language which is spoken by Mongour people who may be the descendants of Xianbei people who moved from ...
9
votes
2answers
633 views

Pre-Proto-Basque: is there a methodology to establishing its vocabulary?

For example, say I have a list Basque/Euskera words, is there a way I can reconstruct these modern Basque words into a Pre-Proto-Basque version? beo (hot) lur (earth) izotz (ice) izuga (fear)...
3
votes
1answer
180 views

What is the evidence for laryngeal in *méh₂tēr?

Wikitionary shows a PIE word *méh₂tēr but I never seen this word spelled with a laryngeal. There was a long vowel there but how is it correct to analyze it to be *-eh₂- rather than just *ā?
3
votes
1answer
590 views

How it happened that evolution of “mater” and “pater” is different despite their similar origin?

With an addition of PIE relatives suffix *-ter-, Eurasiatic *ama, *apa became Old PIE *mā-ter-s, *pa-ter-s (the final -s was later lost in late PIE) But there is a difference: in Old PIE *māters the "...
5
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2answers
267 views

Are there any online databases of kinship terms across languages?

Related to a question at ELU, I am interested in doing a comparative analysis of kinship terms in various languages. What would help me with this is an inventory of terms for individual languages. ...
0
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1answer
140 views

Vocabulary Usage Patterns

Why do vocabulary sets used by one person within the same context differ as a result of the environment of execution? For example: reading, writing, speaking, listening, etc. What are the "...
9
votes
1answer
316 views

Are there languages which use the negation of 'odd' to denote 'even'?

This question is influenced by another one I found on the German SE, "Warum nennt man in Deutsch die Zahlen 0, 2, 4 … “gerade” Zahlen?". It asks "Why call Germans the numbers 0, 2, 2 "even". The ...
4
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2answers
766 views

Why does the name of the flower 'Forget-me-not' have the same meaning in other languages?

The flower forget-me-not is named "Vergissmeinnicht" in German and "Незабудка" in Russian. The meaning is the same in all three languages. Is this a coincidence?
9
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2answers
225 views

Is the rate of vocabulary change more or less constant?

Has the rate of vocabulary change (that is, number of words falling out of use per decade, say) been found to be largely constant in human societies or does it strongly depend on circumstances? If ...