Unanswered Questions

12
votes
3answers
627 views

Is there any language that doesn't express Tense but allows “aspectual coercion”?

Mandarin Chinese appears to be a language that may not express tense (at least in the way I will define below), and it does not seem to allow aspectual coercion. By not expressing Tense I mean, such ...
9
votes
0answers
199 views

What is the current understanding of the classification of indigenous American languages?

Inspired by this recent question on Greenberg's classification of African languages, I wonder about the current state of classification of the American languages. (By "American" I mean the indigenous ...
7
votes
2answers
175 views

Are different “aspects” of a Polish verb the same lexeme or different lexemes?

Polish verbs have two "aspects", imperfective and perfective, which means you use a different word depending on whether the activity you're describing is ongoing or habitual, or if it's definite or ...
7
votes
0answers
199 views

How diachronically stable are color terms?

I have two questions concerning words for colors, one specific and one general. First, Beekes in Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An Introduction (p. 181) reconstructs a PIE suffix –no- that ...
7
votes
1answer
229 views

Best method for building a learner corpus for DDL

I'm looking for a set of free and (somewhat) easy tools that I can use with my EFL writing students next semester. I want to analyze their initial essays and look for common errors that can be ...
7
votes
0answers
573 views

Is there a diagram showing the history of sound changes from Latin to the Romance languages?

We have had a number of questions about sound changes, asking for the history of specific changes. See this one, for example: asking about the change from Latin benedictionem to French beneiçon. ...
7
votes
0answers
177 views

What is the role of syntax in understanding event descriptive sentences?

I've been closely following the work stemming from St. John and McClelland's Sentence Gestalt Model, which uses a connectist model to extract semantic information about events from sentences without ...
7
votes
0answers
158 views

Do we have the scientific theory why the click consonants were developed?

Do we have a scientific theory explaining why the click consonants were developed, and why they are used almost exclusivly in praerie regions? I've watched a BBC documentary about the evolution of ...
6
votes
0answers
317 views

Is Stephen Bax' partial decoding of the Voynich Manuscript plausible?

Having browsed Stephen Bax' paper "A proposed partial decoding of the Voynich script" (available here), as a scientist in the natural sciences (physics, mathematics), I find his proposed decoding of ...
6
votes
0answers
181 views

IPA for Slender Irish /r'/ in Connemara Dialects

Edit: I would also be willing to reward the bounty if someone can partially answer the question by stating if my proposed IPA is possible based on the description or not. I am specifically asking ...
6
votes
0answers
80 views

Is there any evidence that modern telecommunication slows dialect differentiation?

Consider the area that includes Western Washington and Western Oregon. As many of us know, most English-speakers who were raised in this area speak more or less the same variety of English. ...
6
votes
0answers
76 views

Influence of the regulatory bodies in the English language

Where could I find/read about studies about the influence in English of the lack of regulatory bodies of its use and lexicon? It is easy to google and find long arguments on the topic. I am ...
6
votes
0answers
280 views

Would a “Proto-World” language have any long-lasting effect on today's languages?

To what extent would a so-called "Proto-World" language (if there ever was such a thing) have affected the languages spoken today? How greatly would such a language have guided the future state of ...
5
votes
1answer
109 views

Are there any words that have merged in pronunciation and spelling and then separated again?

Are there any words that started off different, merged in pronunciation and spelling at some point and then separated again? E.g. Two hypothetical words in Old English OX and OY are neither ...
5
votes
0answers
66 views

Where do the spelling rules for French imperatives come from?

French verbs are, for historical reasons, typically grouped into three classes. The loss of final consonants in French has resulted in a serious divergence, wherein the verb conjugation system of the ...

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