All Questions

1
vote
1answer
18 views

Is “small numbers inflect, large numbers don't” a universal?

In many languages, adjectives have some sort of noun-like inflection. In Latin (Indo-European) and Lingála (Bantu), just off the top of my head, adjectives are marked to agree with the nouns they ...
1
vote
1answer
20 views

What is the etymology of “Tarim” as in “Tarim Basin” and does it relate to Tocharian?

I was trying to obtain a proper etymology for the name "Tarim" and found it rather difficult. The Wiktionary page only lists the modern Turkish word tarım meaning agriculture, so was the Wikipedia ...
-2
votes
1answer
27 views

Rythm of Italian language

just a quick question. Could anybody help me out clarifying to which rythm language does Italian belong to? Where could I find references on it.
-1
votes
2answers
41 views

Learning Norwegian through a book

I just started learning Norwegian (focusing on Bokmål). My dad didn't, still doesn't I believe, know the difference between Bokmål and Nynorsk - I don't even think that he knows that there are two ...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

Rejecting writing down a language for various reasons

I remembered reading somewhere about a language that its speakers believe the written words are sacred (or some other reasons) they chose to refrain from putting spoken words into written forms even ...
-1
votes
1answer
70 views

Is *grandmother* a compound?

"Grand is used in a specialized sense in kin terms like grandmother or grandson to indicate a further degree of lineal distance beyond that expressed in the head. Such forms can themselves be modified ...
2
votes
2answers
58 views

Does assimilation of voice produce different phonemes, or just allophones?

During assimilation of voice, voiced consonants become voiceless and vice versa: s - z, d - t, etc. cats ([ts]) dogs ([ɡz]) missed ([st]) whizzed ([zd]) Are these sound pairs different phonemes, or ...
-1
votes
0answers
39 views

Which book on English orthoepy and prosody to read?

I've found some books containing prosody-related content but I was looking for something that gave me the history of prosody and included such things as why some scholars found useful to name of ...
-1
votes
0answers
71 views

Why do we transcribe the vowel sound in 'how' as /aʊ/?

The diphthong /aʊ/ doesn't really make sense to me as a transcription. I'm a Southern British English speaker, and when I say and hear 'how' it sounds to me like /hæɒw/. /a/ doesn't seem to exist as ...
12
votes
1answer
82 views

Is there a modern survey on the Altaic theory?

Back in 1999, there was a great paper co-authored by anti-Altaicist Stefan Georg with some Altaicists that gave the history of the Altaic theory, gathered up all of the evidence, and tried to work out ...
-2
votes
0answers
28 views

questionnaire for diploma [on hold]

I'm a 4th year student majoring in linguistics. I live in Russia and English is my second language. I', currently working on my diploma dedicated to semantics of such phrases as WE NEED and IT IS ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

What is the difference between greek words θυμός and οργή? [on hold]

What is the difference between greek words θυμός and οργή?(thymós and orgí respectively).
4
votes
1answer
64 views

Swiss suffix -ikon in place names

I've been wondering about the Swiss (exclusively, I think) suffix in place names like Opfikon, Oerlikon or my favourite Pfäffikon. What is the origin of the -ikon or -likon ending? It seems ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

The letter “Ng” in Filipino/Tagalog and its Unicode value

In Wikipedia, the letter Ng is listed as one of the 28 letters of the Filipino alphabet. However, when I click on the link to go to Ng's page, I get to a list of digraphs. I'm not a linguist, but as ...
-1
votes
0answers
14 views

Issue with inputing WikiQA dataset on Attentive Convolution [on hold]

I want to use a github code on Answer sentence selection with CNN, but I dont know how to feed in the wikiQA dataset as input. Here is the link to the github code: https://github.com/yinwenpeng/...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

Which part of linguistics concerns/is responsible for “capitalization”?

Is it orthography in general, maybe punctuation, or something else?
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Does a surgery on your short tongue give you benefits on gaining the correct pronunciation in L2?

Sometimes I heard that L2 language learners make a surgery on their tongue in order to gain better pronunciation. Example: http://saundz.com/south-korea-tongue-operations-for-better-english-...
-1
votes
0answers
11 views

Good turing smoothing for unigram LM

I was wondering if it is at all possible to use good turing smoothing for unigram language model? I know that this smoothing technique helps distribute the weights from most occurring words to less ...
-1
votes
0answers
23 views

Difference between: Named-Entity vs. Token vs. Instance vs. Object [on hold]

Are these words synonyms? If not: how do they differ?
-1
votes
0answers
21 views

Converting annotations to sentences

I need to convert the annotations of the images of the CelebA Dataset ( http://mmlab.ie.cuhk.edu.hk/projects/CelebA.html ) to text descriptions. These annotations are of the several features of the ...
-2
votes
3answers
120 views

Do German and English share the same word roots?

The roots of English words, as we all know, mainly come from Greek and Latin. There is no doubt that knowing the Latin or Greek roots of English words greatly helps in memorizing them. For instance, "...
-5
votes
1answer
50 views

What is the difference between taurus and bovine? [closed]

What is the difference between taurus and bovine? Both words are from Latin and both words refers to cows or the cow family.
0
votes
1answer
62 views

From which language was the Finnish word for “language” derived?

I have noticed that several "Altaic" languages have similar words for "language," but I do not know whether this is a coincidence, or due to historical language contact. The word "kieli" in Finnish ...
-2
votes
0answers
55 views

Language generation: pronoun gender, article

I'd like to generate correct sentences in different human language from some abstract representation. There is already research in this area (for example, Grammatical Framework), therefore I suppose ...
0
votes
4answers
373 views

Is it possible to have a word-based language completely without word inflection?

First, sorry if I'm not using the correct terminology here. By "word-based", I mean typical Indo-European languages (plus Uralic) where there are only tens of characters (e.g. "A to Z" (Latin) or "А ...
3
votes
5answers
166 views

Is there a theory of word polysemy? Case of snake versus serpent

Snake and serpent mean exactly the same thing. But they're different words when they're treated as derivations. The obsolete brass instrument is a serpent but cannot be called a snake. The plumber's ...
5
votes
2answers
82 views

Are Word Frequencies Cross-Lingual?

If someone tried to invent a code where they simply replaced every English word with another word, the code could be cracked (given a large enough sample) by comparing frequencies of English words to ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Why are French, Italian, Spanish etc. listed as SVO languages?

In this Wikipedia article, French, Italian and Spanish are listed as SVO languages, along with English and Chinese. (However, Latin is listed as SOV.) I am highly confused about such statement. In ...
7
votes
0answers
63 views

How do I gloss a Semitic verb?

"Standard" glossing (following the Leipzig rules) uses a linear model of breaking down words into morphemes. In other words, it assumes you can draw lines between all the morphemes to separate them. ...
-2
votes
1answer
61 views

What does 3MPL refer to?

" b. Ha-yeladim kul-am zarku ʔavanim. the children all-3MPL threw stones ‘The children all threw stones." In this example, what does '3MPL' mean?
3
votes
1answer
44 views

Are bound forms in compounds more resistant to sound changes?

In English, words like cleanliness or breakfast have preserved an older vowel than those in the free forms clean and break. In Japanese, compound noun accent tends to match between dialects, even ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

Is Haitian Creole morphology fusional?

There are conflicting views regarding how Haitian Creole is classified in relation to its lexifier--French. I am trying to give a good description of Haitian Creole in terms of its morphology. Is ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

What are the relations between the different conditionals?

I know conditionals can be classified in different ways. In english there are indicative, predicative,implicative, counterfactual, casual, subjunctive,zero, first second, third, mixed conditional, ...
3
votes
0answers
21 views

Feature values [+/- interpretable], how these values are set?

In Minimalist Program (Chomsky, 1995) and in Derivation by Phase (DbP) (Chomsky, 2000, 2005, 2008), call it Phase Theory, features enter narrow syntax with predefined values, these values are binary (-...
0
votes
2answers
133 views

Did advent of writing increase the tendency for diglossia?

I guess another way of asking this is: are cultures with written languages more likely to exhibit diglossia? I'm listening to John McWhorter's course "The Story of Human" language on audible and he's ...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

Which Romance Language is the least similar to Latin?

People state that Romanian is closest in some aspects (grammar mainly), and that to learn a romance language studying latin may give you a leg up (which in my opinion just study the language), but for ...
-1
votes
2answers
61 views

“program” Equivalent in Arabic [on hold]

Program and programming language don't have a known translation in Arabic. برمجة and برنامج are used, even though they aren't Arabic. Is there a native word that can be used instead?
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Is there a term for ASL signs for related concepts that share the same motion and are distinguished by initialization?

As an ASL learner, I've noticed that there are groups of words with similar meanings, where the only difference is an initialized handshape. For example, the sign FAMILY has the two hands move outward ...
-2
votes
1answer
54 views

What is the semantic difference of the structures of, e.g., 'bellow' and 'phone'? [on hold]

I.e. what do these examples tell us about the semantic structures of these words (i.e. bellowed and phone). Also, why? and are any of these judgements able to be disagreed with? Kyle bellowed *Kyle ...
2
votes
0answers
22 views

Demographic Prototype Differences?

Are there any studies that have asked people to draw whatever first comes to mind for a particular word? If so, have any of those studies compared such prototypical drawings across genders, ages, or ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

What is the difference between trace and PRO?

Is it like the trace is the result of movement and has to be in the chain with the head, while PRO is just a null duplication taken the position but with no phonetic realization?
-1
votes
0answers
17 views

Meaning of a prefix in a german word [migrated]

What is the meaning of the prefix "verab" in the german word "Verabredung". I assume it is a combination of "ver" and "ab",but in this case what does it express semantically?
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does schwa have a special place among vowels?

What makes schwa so special? On my phonology exam my tutor phrased the question something like: Why is schwa the ruler/king of vowels? I don't know what he meant by this but I suppose it's got ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

What does a long mid-high unrounded back vowel sound like?

I'm trying to figure out what the Livonian character ȱ sounds like. As far as I can tell, it's a long mid-high unrounded back vowel. In IPA it seems to be written as /ɤː/ but that seems to be a non-...
-2
votes
0answers
34 views

Recommandation of linguistic journals needed

I have a paper about the semantics of linguistics. It involves a lot of mathematics (set theory) and some philosophy. So I want to submit it to a journal that handles mathematics linguistics, ...
9
votes
3answers
122 views

Do dead languages borrow words?

So, presumably, at some point during of after the fall of the Roman Empire, Latin became a dead language. Or, at least no longer used outside of the Church or science. When that happens to a language, ...
-3
votes
0answers
46 views

Forensic Linguistics; 'Stupid people' or 'Stupid woman' - Do we know what Jeremy Corbyn said?

I asked this question on EL&U a month or so ago and didn't get any proper answers. I'm asking here, because the question is not necessarily about English, but about lip-reading, articulatory ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

What would be the hypothetical phonological range of canines based on their physiology?

There are all kinds of videos showcasing "talking" dogs like huskies jabbering away, but I'm curious: In theory (in a world where dogs could have human brains) what would they physiologically be ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Back vowel fronting in Old French

Why did the back vowel "u" become a fronted "y"?Is this phenomenon the same that caused the same vowel to become slightly fronted in english?
4
votes
1answer
191 views

Which came first in Greek: λήθη, or Λήθη the proper noun?

i.e. λήθη: a noun meaning oblivion or concealment, and Λήθη: a proper noun referring to a river in Greek myth. My question is this: is this noun a reference to the mythological river, or was the name ...

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