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0answers
22 views

How was backbiting connected to biting in the back in so many languages and cultures?

Upon research, I can only trace the etymology of backbiting to old English bæcslitol and middle English bacbitunge. Plus the sport of bear-baiting from the twelfth century, where tied-up bears were ...
0
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0answers
32 views

Free definitions of words [closed]

Imagine there is a sticker on the book. The sticker can be a part of the book or not. Hand: the part of the body at the end of the arm If there’s only one definition of “hand,” can a hand include ...
1
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2answers
55 views

Could the at symbol '@' be considered a vocative marker?

Specifically, the at-symbol as used e.g. on Twitter or Github (or many other sites besides), e.g. '@somename, what do you think about this?' or '@foobar, I'm waiting!' Comparing it with English/German ...
3
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1answer
79 views

Is Affix Hopping Still a Thing?

Tense affixes used to be analysed to have moved downwards from T to V in English. Is this analysis still current? Do minimalists still analyse it like this?
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0answers
24 views

request: linguistics self-study exercises (worksheets or exercises)

I am looking for linguistics exercises to do over the summer. These can be from websites providing worksheets, or recommendations of textbooks which contain such exercises or worksheets, or ...
2
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0answers
62 views

Why do languages almost never have negative comparatives or superlatives

Many languages have comparative and superlative suffixes or other morphological forms such as English ‘-er’ and ‘-est’, Latin ‘-or’ and ‘-issimus’, and Arabic ‘afʕal’ template, but I couldn’t find ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Was the word “Jew” originally a racial slur?

The English ethnonyms "Jew" and "Jewish" originate from the Biblical Hebrew "Yehudi" (יהודי, meaning "Judahite," "Judean," or "one from the ...
-2
votes
1answer
52 views

Is American pronunciation “optional” for Americans? [closed]

Stop consonants: b,p,g,t,d,k are pronounced very lightly or not at all, but this is optional. For instance, "wait"/weit|/ or /weit/, "stop"/st^p|/ or /st^p/ Variations in t ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Cognates for men, non cognates for women

Most romance languages and most Germanic languages words for men belong to a single cognate class for each language family (home, ome, homme, uomo, hombre... for romance languages and man, Mann, mann.....
0
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1answer
63 views

What are unaccented letters called?

Does anyone know the technical name for letters without accents glyphs etc? Like what's the opposite of diacritic? Grapheme? Thanks for your advice. amoré é vs e
1
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1answer
49 views

In what sense are terms for “white/shining” and for “swamp/marsh” “semantically connected” in many languages?

Although a closed question, reading THIS we find a link to Wictionary with the text: From Proto-Albanian *baltā (“marsh”), hypothetically from a Proto-Indo-European *bʰolHto- (“white > marsh”), a ...
-1
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3answers
101 views

Is the word for “brother-in-law” in Germanic languages related to the Aramaic/Syriac גיס?

Here is the word for "brother-in-law" in various modern Germanic languages: schwager (German), shvugger (Yiddish), swaer (Afrikaans), svoger (Norweigan/Danish), sogor (Croatian), zwager (...
1
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1answer
102 views

Why is English so flexible?

In handling the concept of dialects of a common language among characters in "classical" role-playing games (e.g., D&D, Traveller), one idea for signalling 'foreign' dialects that often ...
30
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5answers
6k views

Is there a word in a dead or lost language that we lost the definition to?

Is there a word we lost the definition to? A word whose definition we lost to history? Something that is a part of our history but we forgot the meaning with time
1
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0answers
64 views

Why were early studies on morpheme acquisition criticized?

I was reading the Wikipedia page on Order of acquisition and they said that many studies in the 1970s studied "whether a consistent order of morpheme acquisition", e.g. in L2 learners for ...
-1
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0answers
23 views

X-bar theory wh-questions [closed]

When did Sara eat? how do I draw the tree for this wh-question and can you give a specific explanation on how did you draw the tree
-1
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0answers
30 views

How many sentences are there in the excerpt below? [closed]

I pulled this excerpt from here. The question I want to ask is how many sentences are there in this excerpt? Upon Nelson Mandela’s passing in 2013, Congressman Lewis had reflected on his first ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

Difference pronunciation of the word cometh in Middle English and Early Modern English?

Does anyone know how you pronounce the root vowel of the word cometh in ME and EModE? What is this particular sound change called?
0
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1answer
73 views

Does grammar allow two questions in one sentence? [closed]

This is not an English-specific question. In Japanese, you might also ask "何時から何時までですか。" Or "nan ji kare nan ji made desu ka", "From what time to what time?" (from Google)...
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0answers
48 views

Can anyone identify this text? [closed]

This is believed to be a signature of a Russian Jewish immigrant to the US in 1917. Listed his first name as Benjamin.
5
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1answer
313 views

Is there a linguistic term for “grammatically well-formed word salad”?

The accepted answer to this question quoted Chomsky's (1955) famous “sentence” Colorless green ideas sleep furiously and an earlier example from Tesnière (1940s), which translates to English as The ...
-1
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0answers
42 views

“Hot summer” and “White sky” [closed]

If there is hot air in summer, we call it “hot summer.” Likewise, if there is white clouds in the sky, can we call it “white sky”?
2
votes
1answer
109 views

When evaluating a language, can we say that this language is probably natural or artificial?

In other words, Is there an internal measure/index of "cohesion" of language? I was thinking of the contrast between artificial languages that machines or humans produce, and natural ...
0
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2answers
50 views

Is there any site where I can find the list of natural languages that dont have a list of phonemes?

Is there any site where I can find the list of natural languages that dont have a list of phonemes? I want to discover the minimum amount of vowels needed to make sure each natural language has at ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Do any languages contrast [r] and [r:]?

I've heard of languages that contrast [r] and [ɾ] but I am unable to find any language that contrast a normal trill and a long trill. I searched far and near but to no avail. So is there any language ...
0
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2answers
65 views

Resources for self learning Sanskrit? [closed]

I wanted to self-thought learn Sanskrit, but I don't find any reliable resource available online. The only way I can learn is online and through self-through. It's physically impossible for me to find ...
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0answers
47 views

How do you recognize that there is no Human Name in this sentence? [closed]

How can you tell if there is a human name in a sentence or not?
4
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3answers
735 views

Is it possible to have the same symbol for different sounds in IPA?

It is said that in IPA, each symbol represents a unique sound. But on the Wikipedia page on the Voiceless Velar Fricative (/x/), I find these examples: Hindustani 'ख़ुशी' /xuʃi:/ (sometimes खुशी, /...
0
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1answer
63 views

Compound English word with most etymologies

There are many English words with two different core etymologies, often Latin + Greek. For example: Claustrophobia – from the Latin claustrum meaning "confined space" and Greek φόβος (...
1
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1answer
63 views

When was proto indo iranian spoken?

Can we tell when was PII spoken ? I read somewhere that it has to be before indo iranian split and the The two things which really anchor it are the common words for chariots and camels. Proto-chariot ...
0
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2answers
181 views

ʃ pronounced with tongue

Some people pronounce their [ʃ] not in the 'classic' way but by curving the tongue and bringing it forward toward the upper set of teeth. Here's an audio example I've created. My question: is there a ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Prefix a(n)- in Sanskrit and English

In learning about the three Buddhist marks of existence - referred to by the Sanskrit words anatman (lack of permanent self), anitya (impermanence) and dukkha (suffering) - I was interested to learn ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

What's the name for a word/meaning pair of a polysemous word?

Is there a name use to describe tuples of the form (word, meaning)? Example: ("wood", the material made from trees) ("wood", a geographical area with many trees) In this case we ...
3
votes
1answer
171 views

How did multiple European languages start using future tense to refer to the present?

I recently noticed that German, English and Spanish seem to have a parallel colloquial use of their future tense, in which it's used to express a hypothesis about the present: Literal meaning: I think ...
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0answers
34 views

Journal for contrastive linguistics

Would you have any recommendation of journals publishing contrastive linguistic studies (comparison of 2 to 3 socially-related languages) ?
0
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2answers
77 views

Is there a name for the idea of having grammatical rules for the purpose of easy pronunciation?

For instance, in German you'll have Der Mann singular, Die Männer plural, instead of, say, Die Männen. It seems this is because you don't want to over-expose the speaker to the "n" sound. ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Does an oral stop with simultaneous glottal stop look any different on the spectrogram than the oral stop would by itself?

I'm not always 100% confident in my judgment of whether or not a final oral stop has an accompanying glottal stop. I don't think this can be checked on the spectrogram but would be pleased to learn I'...
2
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1answer
89 views

How to learn syntax

In elementary school I was told of the eight "parts of speech" (and in English they should really have said ten rather than eight, including articles and particles). I understood six of them....
-1
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4answers
668 views

Is the way words are used the biggest obstacle in understanding science and technology? [closed]

Do I have a point to say that, in the area of science, people have difficulties understanding it mostly due to the way words are used to describe whatever it may be? One may understand the words ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

What is extraction?

Chapter 1 of Parasitic Gaps, edited by Culicover and Postal, begins with this example: Which articles did John file t without reading pg? The italicized t is reported to be a "true gap" ...
1
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0answers
20 views

Left Dislocated Topics that Correspond to Foci

Can a topic ever correspond to a focus? In the sentence below, the left dislocated topic is the antecedent of the resumptive pronoun she, but she is in focus. 'Mary, SHE ate my cake!' Context: I know ...
-2
votes
1answer
75 views

Is Medea not the root of media?

Google definitions states that media has it roots in: late 19th century: shortening of modern Latin tunica (or membrana ) media ‘middle sheath (or layer)’. This really did not make much sense to me, ...
5
votes
1answer
787 views

Is there some equivalent of a “Grimm's law” that applies to the Semitic language family?

Arabic has سلام‎ (salaam) and Hebrew has שָׁלוֹם‎ (shalom). The words have similar meanings of "peace". This seems like a case of an alveolar fricative shifting to post-alveolar fricative (...
0
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0answers
81 views

Are there any phones that are produced with the tongue “cupped”?

The book "Experiencing Speech: A Skills Based, Panlingual Approach to Actor Training" sets out to describe all the possible movements of the articulators. One of these is "cupping" ...
5
votes
0answers
106 views

Is rising intonation (almost) universally associated with questions across languages, and why?

It seems that in most languages, rising intonation/prosody (towards the end of the sentence) is typically associated with questions. Thus: How prevalent is this practice, and are there major ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Are there any languages that have tones that shift over vowels in a single syllable?

I am wondering about tones. Specifically, wondering if there are cases where a tone shifts from one vowel to the next, perhaps in some language like Mandarin Chinese or Vietnamese, if not some African ...
3
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0answers
97 views

Did Classical Latin lack tenseness contrast in long and short vowels?

Contrary to the traditional supposition of /ɪ ʊ ɛ ɔ/ vs /iː uː eː oː/, the idea that Classical Latin contrasted the short and long versions of high and mid (or just mid) vowels only quantitatively, ...
1
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0answers
119 views

How many *Non-Native* speakers of Egyptian Arabic are there world wide?

Every time I try to look this up, it always gives me the number for native speakers. I'm not looking for that. I specifically want to know how prevalent Egyptian Arabic is as a second language around ...
3
votes
1answer
183 views

Avestan grammar help: Azə̄m θβąm vaēnami? [closed]

I am constructing Avestan sentence for a language research paper on Iranian languages Are these conclusions correct Subject Azə̄m = I {singular 1st person, nominative) Object θβąm = you (singular ...
0
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0answers
41 views

How many vowels does spoken Hindustani have and what are the proper values of /e/ and /o/?

On the Wikipedia page for Hindustani phonology, it lists Hindustani as having ten vowels, three short and seven long. More importantly, it claims that there is a distinction between /o/ and /ɔ/, and ...

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