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Top new questions this week:

Is -s for plurals in Spanish a false cognate with English -s?

When I was looking at the plural noun ending for English, it said that it came from the Proto-Indo-European suffix *-es. I looked at the Spanish etymology. It didn't give much information except that ...

cognates  
asked by Barry Allen 10 votes
answered by Draconis 10 votes

Problems with the adoption of the Latin script in English?

How did the Middle English adapted itself to the Latin script? As I read it, Latin script didn't really suit the sounds in this language. Was the adaptation authoritative, ruled by a central ...

historical-linguistics transcription old-english old-french  
asked by Quidam 6 votes
answered by user6726 13 votes

How common are languages with different word orders in matrix and non-matrix clauses

How common is it cross-linguistically for a language to have a different word order in various types of embedded clauses such as relative clauses? WALS appears to collect information on word order in ...

linguistic-typology word-order relative-clauses  
asked by Gregory Nisbet 5 votes

Why are Proto-Germanic *ga- and Proto-Indo-European *ḱóm cognate?

Why are Proto-Germanic *ga- and Proto-Indo-European *ḱóm cognate? I know that Proto-Germanic *h and Proto-Indo-European *k are cognate by the Grimm's law. I know that Proto-Germanic *g and ...

sound-change  
asked by Николай Фёдоров 5 votes
answered by Draconis 5 votes

Relationship between complexity of a sentence and the average distance between the tokens in which we relate

I am a PhD student in Statistics and I need more understandings in Linguistics for my PhD research. Say we are given two sentences of SAME LENGTH -- sentence A and B. Sentence A is simple (simple ...

syntax computational-linguistics theoretical-linguistics  
asked by HDB 2 votes
answered by jknappen - Reinstate Monica 3 votes

Distribution and origin of reflexive pronouns like "myself" across languages

I'm neither a professional linguist nor a native English speaker, please excuse me if I use any term incorrectly. Feel free to make and suggest edits to make my question more clear. Question ...

grammar linguistic-typology  
asked by Reverent Lapwing 2 votes
answered by jknappen - Reinstate Monica 3 votes

Did the word circle come from the PIE word *kr-kr, which was said to be the Proto-Indo-European word for circular?

When I was reading on Wiktionary, I found something interesting. The word for circle was traced back to a Greek word which was said to be "of Pre-Greek origin". However, I read about the word carcer, ...

etymology proto-indo-european  
asked by Number File 2 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Any difference between natural and programming languages?

First of all, as a native German speaker, I apologise for my incorrect use of the English language. After thinking about some different languages and wandering astray on this exact Stack Exchange, I ...

philosophy-of-language computer-science  
asked by ThreeFx 1 vote
answered by Dominik Lukes 7 votes

What do you call an IPA symbol that lacks a name (e.g. ɲ)?

Some IPA symbols such as ɲ lack any name, and when I tried searching for the symbol online, the pages I got only showed palatal nasal. But I wonder what I should call it when I talk with others. Is ...

terminology ipa  
asked by Blaszard 25 votes
answered by Draconis 29 votes

Rudeness by being polite

When talking to learners of my mother tongue, Swedish, I've sometimes had to explain how using too polite language can be taken as rude or insulting, as it creates a certain distance between the ...

terminology  
asked by leo 12 votes
answered by Michaelyus 13 votes

Are there languages with no euphemisms?

I feel that euphemisms are a function of how society views certain aspects of life and feels that they should not be talked about directly. So are there languages with no euphemisms?

semantics sociolinguistics  
asked by CuriousMan 5 votes
answered by WiccanKarnak 11 votes

Monogenesis vs. Polygenesis

By following the comments to another question about the evolution of Khoisan languages, I learned that there is a heated debate in Evolutionary Linguistics about the origin of language. Some quick ...

evolutionary-linguistics origin-of-language  
asked by Otavio Macedo 16 votes

What is the difference between "anaphora" and "deixis"?

I've been trying to understand an answer from another SE site (Japanese Language & Usage) where the answer involves the differences between anaphora and deixis. Here is the link. What would be ...

syntax terminology  
asked by Ci3 13 votes
answered by Aspinea 9 votes

always | never | "all the time" - what kind of words are these?

always never "all the time" They aren't 'expletives', but they express a non-expiry. What word would describe this type of word? Context : he never brings me flowers; he's always late; you criticise ...

syntax english terminology word-classes  
asked by OzBob 3 votes
answered by lemontree 5 votes

Can you answer this question?

Had the ancient languages fewer words than modern languages?

By ancient languages I mean in the Antiquity (or before). They were less rich in vocabulary than modern languages (for instance Indo-European languages if we need a reference), or we could think that ...

history ancient  
asked by Quidam 1 vote
answered by jknappen - Reinstate Monica 0 votes
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