Unanswered Questions

13
votes
0answers
811 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. Often,...
9
votes
0answers
280 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
293 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
132 views

Are any dialects of English known to have a partial meet-meat merger?

For many dialects of English (including my own) multiple historical lexical sets are merged into one "FLEECE" set (this diaphoneme can be represented with IPA /iː/). I've read about the basics of the ...
7
votes
2answers
312 views

How is an intervocalic “g” pronounced in Andean Spanish?

It seems that at least in the Andes, a lot of people say e.g. [awa] for "agua"[agwa]. What's the phonological rule behind this? Is it really [w]? Why did this happen in the first place?
7
votes
0answers
274 views

Markdown for linguistics?

Is there a Markdown dialect or other minimal markup language that is tailored to the needs of linguists (of all sorts)? I would expect it do treat the following constructs: An asterisk directly ...
7
votes
0answers
245 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
333 views

Spelling of laryngeals in Proto-Indo-European

Who introduced the notation e̯ a̯ o̯ (vowels with inverted breve below) for Proto-Indo-European laryngeals and when? Proto-Indo-European has been reconstructed with so-called "laryngeal" consonants, ...
7
votes
1answer
339 views

Which languages have zero markers of comparative degree that coexist with non-zero comparative markers?

The zero comparative marker and the non-zero one should be more or less interchangeable. (The etymology of the non-zero marker doesn't matter.) (A message asking to list such languages was originally ...
6
votes
0answers
70 views

Is there a relationship between Arabic ka'b and Greek kybos?

This is a complete layman's question. Online etymology dictionary says about kaaba: 1734, Caaba, cube-shaped building in the Great Mosque of Mecca, containing the Black Stone, the most sacred site ...
6
votes
0answers
72 views

Syntactic status of 'than'

I'm not terribly familiar with the syntax of PPs, but I've noticed that a handful of them do not seem to satisfy any constituency tests, particularly 'than'. 'Than' is listed in dictionaries as both '...
6
votes
0answers
199 views

Why do some German words have 'th' instead of 't' in their older spelling?

My guess is that it was used to distinguish aspiration (as opposed to 't' in words of Latin/ Old French origin, which was not aspirated?). I'm pretty sure German lost its dental fricative to d pretty ...
6
votes
1answer
117 views

What are the differences between theoretical perspectives of the uses of the term “register”?

I'd be interested in asking people about their understanding of the term register and what this signifies for them. This would be a discussion about a specialised term and I'm sure there are multiple ...
6
votes
1answer
105 views

What sound change(s) underlie [iʒ-] in São Vicente?

Is there a particular sound change that would explain changing a word-initial [ʒu] (or alternatively [dʒu]) to [iʒ] before a stressed syllable? Or might this be best explained as dropping the [u] by ...
6
votes
0answers
187 views

Where did the discussion of the language faculty between Fitch, Hauser, Chomsky and Pinker and Jackendoff terminate?

Many of you may be familiar with the debate between FHC and PJ on the language faculty. The "discussion", which became quite heated, first appeared as PJ's response to an article in Science that was ...

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