Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

Why did the consonant clusters /ks/ and /ps/ merit their own designated letters in Ancient Greek?

Ancient Greek had many consonant clusters, like /pn/ in pneuma, /bd/ in bdellion, and /pt/ in pteron. But for some reason, /ks/ (ξ) and /ps/ (ψ) received special real estate in the 24-letter Greek ...

historical-linguistics greek alphabets  
user avatar asked by HolyKnowing Score of 18
user avatar answered by Tristan Score of 15

Why do I intuitively seem to know the gender of inanimate objects?

Note to the Responder: This curiosity behind this question arose because of my (relative) proficiency in the Hindi language, but the answers need not be necessarily limited to it. I am a complete noob ...

gender hindustani  
user avatar asked by VVidyan Score of 7
user avatar answered by user6726 Score of 2

Voice Onset Time, Onsets, Codas, and Pre- & Post-Aspiration

Whilst we're all familiar with voicing on an intuitive and/or phonological level, the actual acoustic phonetics are somewhat less intuitive to many of us. The main way of formalising this intuitive ...

phonetics acoustic-analysis voicing aspiration  
user avatar asked by Tristan Score of 4
user avatar answered by brass tacks Score of 2

Why do so many loan words have a different pronunciations of letters like X and Q (among others)?

I have been thinking about the following question quite a bit recently: why do other languages, which often do not even use the Latin alphabet, seemingly get to decide on the way their words get ...

english pronunciation transliteration  
user avatar asked by Joeytje50 Score of 2
user avatar answered by Draconis Score of 10

Most and least common places of articulation across world's languages

Which place of articulation is most common for oral pulmonic stops in the world's languages? In order, which places of articulation are the LEAST common in the world's languages? In order, which ...

ipa cross-linguistic  
user avatar asked by teatime Score of 2
user avatar answered by user6726 Score of 1

Information Selection with Because

I'm having difficulty with the extraction of information from sentences containing the word "because." I was analyzing a text about the advantages and disadvantages of open-plan offices. ...

english grammar logic  
user avatar asked by lans Score of 1

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

What's the difference between phonetics and phonology?

Having practiced armchair linguistics for some years I should be able to sum up the difference off the top of my head, yet often I don't know which term to use. And looking them up on Wikipedia doesn'...

phonetics phonology terminology  
user avatar asked by hippietrail Score of 46
user avatar answered by Alenanno Score of 39

Difference between discourse analysis and pragmatics

Could you explain for me what is the main difference between pragmatics in linguistics and discourse analysis? Both are related to study of use of language in real world.

pragmatics discourse  
user avatar asked by zahra Score of 6
user avatar answered by user3072 Score of 2

What is the difference between syllable-timing and stress-timing?

From what I've heard, syllable-timed languages have syllables of equal length throughout each breath-group (i.e. bit of spoken discourse said in one breath), and stress-timed languages have breath-...

phonology linguistic-typology stress syllable-timing rhythm  
user avatar asked by James Grossmann Score of 7
user avatar answered by kaleissin Score of 5

What is the difference between voiced and voiceless stop consonants?

As a native speaker of American English, when I was listening to the difference sounds in this IPA chart, I was really surprised when I realized that I could not differentiate between p/b, t/d, and k/...

phonetics voicing stops  
user avatar asked by Alan C Score of 13
user avatar answered by Steven Score of 30

How similar are Ukrainian and Russian?

How similar are the Ukrainian and Russian languages? For example, can I reasonably expect that anybody from Ukraine would be able to understand spoken Russian or be able to read a Russian text?

comparative-linguistics russian ukrainian  
user avatar asked by Martin Score of 36
user avatar answered by user36820 Score of 27

Why was korea able to remove kanji but japan wasn't when both languages use homophones?

I am strictly interested in the question of homophones and kanji. Korean has homophones yet they removed the Chinese characters and are getting by just fine? Or are they? Japanese kanji lovers say ...

written-language japanese  
user avatar asked by Alex Score of 21
user avatar answered by flow Score of 17

Is J. R. R. Tolkien's "translation" scheme found in real life?

A summary of J. R. R. Tolkien's "translation" methodology: J. R. R. Tolkien was best known for his fantasy world - Middle-earth. He almost always presented his works as translated from ...

user avatar asked by Eugene Score of 21
user avatar answered by Yellow Sky Score of 47
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