Questions tagged [cross-linguistic]

Comparisons across (as opposed to within) languages or language families.

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75 views

What are all the primary variants of these languages? [closed]

In order to make the transliterator more precise, it looks like I am going to need to distinguish between different versions of a language. My question is, is this the complete list of languages and ...
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53 views

How to build a robust transliteration scheme across languages?

So I am trying to imagine building a transliterator across languages that takes any language and converts it into IPA or some less-detailed equivalent (like a Romanization). I am thinking about ...
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Frequency of phonemes in Indian languages

I would like to know the relative frequency of phonemes in Indian languages whose sript is basically very close to Devanagiri. We need this data to make a pronunciation based keyboard layout for ...
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2answers
66 views

Pattern of use of modal verbs across languages

So I am toying with language and understand how to treat basic verbs and nouns and adjectives. But I am stuck on modal verbs like "I should have gone home". I would like to know basically a cheat ...
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1answer
222 views

What languages reinforce imperatives with conjunctions?

In Italian, the conjunctions "ma" ('but') and "e" ('and') can preface imperatives to reinforce them as in: "ma/e vieni!" ('do come!'). Does anyone know of any languages that display this phenomenon ...
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137 views

When an existential verb is used existentially as the predicate to a subject, is it true in all languages that it cannot take another predicate?

When an existential is used existentially verb as the predicate to a subject, is it true in all languages that it cannot take another predicate? In other words, when the existential to-be verb means '...
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1answer
50 views

What is the consensus on how words are formed across cultures (generally)?

I just did a basic exercise of trying to define a new word. Let's take Tibetan for example, but the language for this question doesn't matter. I tried starting at the base components, like /ka/ ཀ and /...
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2answers
132 views

How important is syntax to translation?

I'm interested in becoming a translator in the future. I heard someone said syntax is essential if you want to be a good translator. If that is the case, what theory is best suited for applying to ...
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43 views

Meaning of the inverted copula

I just discovered the existence of the inverted copula concept. Learning a bit of Latin, you have the structure: Subject - Copula - Predicate. But as the case is the same in Latin for the Subject ...
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3answers
60 views

Is there a specific name for the area of linguistics studying external constructs as encoded/embedded in languages?

I've recently become curious about this area of language/linguistics. I'm thinking about how mental, environmental and societal constructs are encoded within languages. Also about what a language ...
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Which factors influence the linguistic conservatism of a language, and to what extent?

Presumably the number of speakers is a factor, as a language cannot change if nobody speaks it (is this even true in absolute?)1, but it does not necessarily follow that more speakers results in ...
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139 views

Open ت and tied ة does both ت indicates at the end of the word that the word is feminine in arabic linguistics? [closed]

If a word ends with open ت or tied ة does both ت indicates at the end of the word that the word is feminine in arabic linguistics like ٱللَّتَ feminine form of word Allah in Quran 53:19?
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1answer
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Glottal stops- comparative frequency among commonly spoken languages

I'm a brand new member who enjoys words and languages but I am not a trained linguist. Which common languages of the world, and families of languages, are considered the most glottal (most glottal ...
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1answer
103 views

Discrepancy between Classical Logic, Set Theory, Propositional Logic and Languages [closed]

In logic, "Or" strictly refers to logical disjuntion, while "And" strictly refers to logical conjuction. But in common parlance, both can fill the role of Logical Disjunction I understand that one ...
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1answer
201 views

What Languages have historically had Purification Movements? [closed]

Greek has been notorious for trying to purify the language. People tried to conserve the Attic Dialect which evolved to what is today called Katharevousa, which even means purified. Historically, ...
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Which are the social differences which lead to the variance in the way to address a person?

My question is: Which are the social differences which lead to the variance in the way to address a person? An example of the difference is T-V distinction some languages abolished it while others ...
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2answers
99 views

Where can you find a list of all nouns and verbs “forms” in each language? [closed]

The only languages for which I have found a book (not even a webpage) is for Hebrew and Arabic. Are there books or webpages that contain all the noun declensions and verb "conjugations" (or noun and ...
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3answers
998 views

How do we know for sure a transliteration is lossless?

Looking at this it says it's lossless (Wylie Transliteration). ག ga ང nga ཉ nya ན na What if you had sequences like ནག (ng, or is it naga)? Is it lossless because we can guarantee that every ...
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441 views

What is the purpose of transliteration?

On the Wylie Tibetan Transliteration page (original paper), it says: Previous transcription schemes sought to split the difference with the result that they achieved neither goal perfectly. Wylie ...
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2answers
120 views

How many sound-to-letter sequence mapping rules does English have compared to other languages?

In English (I haven't really thought too much about English yet), there are tons of what-seem-like one-off patterns. (the "oo" sound) tool /tul/ two /tu/ to /tu/ through /θɹu/ blue /blu/ queue /ku/ (...
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What aspects of a conceptual metaphor can be compared cross-culturally? [closed]

I'm interested to do a cross-cultural study of a conceptual metaphor 'Love is food' between English and Thai. I would like to compare the use of this metaphor in the two languages to find similarities ...
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1answer
134 views

Is there a tendency to name money after other things?

Back in Spanish.StackExchange there was a question about the use of the word plata (literally "silver") in American dialects of Spanish instead of the proper word, dinero. European Spanish also avoids ...
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3answers
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Why is the word “idiot” so similar between multiple languages?

Weird question, granted, but I was just looking around on Google Translate and I noticed that the word "idiot" is basically the same across quite a few languages, here are a few examples: Italian: ...
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Non-African Click Languages

Paralinguistic clicks are quite common across world's languages. But paralinguistic clicks usually appears as ideophones. But why is Africa the only continent that uses click consonants? Are there any ...
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131 views

Australia - absence of sibilants

Are there any sciencific/linguistic/historical theories about reasons of absence of sibilants in some Australian languages? As far as I know, sibilants are common accross world languages. Since ...
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58 views

What natural symbolic representations could be used for Mathematical constants?

We know mathematics is a language by itself. But to evoke any constants or any arbitrary values as such to solve anything, prior knowledge of a particular symbol and its usage must be understood. ...
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1answer
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Different types of color adjectives

One the one hand, Berlin and Kay found a linguistic hierarchy of colors. On the other hand, some languages have several kinds of colors. In French, color adjectives are invariable if they come from ...
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66 views

Is there a dictionary of word commonalities across languages?

The most common combination of letters that is used for a word... What is that called? And is there a dictionary of that? An example is... Pineapple... If you look at the word pineapple in all the ...
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1answer
75 views

What cases are typical for nouns accompanying the subject?

In the phrase "I went to the shops with a friend", "a friend" is the accompanier, while I am the subject. Some languages, such as Finnish (I believe) have a comitative case, which is taken by an ...
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1answer
91 views

Where does supplementation fit in?

As far as I can see, the structure of supplementary constructions like Karen, being ill, was unable to go or John – her father – was unable to walk her down the aisle or maybe a washer-dryer ...
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1answer
42 views

Where online compares phonemes across multiple languages, and exhibits the common and distinct ones?

This answer refers to http://web.phonetik.uni-frankfurt.de/upsid_compare.html. Anyone know why it omits English? 2. Are there websites that can compare more than 3 languages concurrently?
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When is a conjunction not a conjunction?

I am trying to get to the bottom of Thai constructions which I can only gloss along the lines of: (1) Because of the fact that her friends helped her escape prevented the soldiers from catching her; ...
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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 ...
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1answer
316 views

Are /tl/ and /dl/ rare onsets worldwide?

Onsets of stop+liquid are very common, but it seems like /tl/ and /dl/ are much rarer than other stop+liquid onsets, like /gl/ or /pr/. Are /tl/ and /dl/ especially rare compared to other stop+liquid ...
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2answers
80 views

Concept / function duplication

I'm looking for a name for the phenomenon whereby some languages like to put chains of words together that mean the same thing, while others don't - just some terminology that would help me search for ...
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55 views

All the punctuation features across languages

Wondering what features of language or writing that languages across the world transcribe into so-called "punctuation". To clarify what I mean, I don't mean a list of every punctuation character in ...
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1answer
106 views

Conjunctions between complex clauses - which items do they coordinate?

In a sentence like: He had joined up for no other reason than to escape, [blank] hated army life. I would use the conjunction and. In the equivalent Thai sentence, though, it seems that native ...
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Cross-linguistic study of distribution of number of verbal arguments

I think I remember reading once that cross linguistically, at least in "normal" spoken or written language, verbs almost never take more than ~4-5 obligatory arguments. This seems to be true in my ...
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2answers
137 views

How to remove an accent from a language (and what an accent actually is)

Wondering if there is such thing as a language without an accent. This is probably naïve, but to me as an English speaker it feels like I can tell when someone has an accent or not, myself included. ...
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Reversal of kinship terms when speaking to a child

When Turkish people speak to children, they often address them with the kinship term that the child is supposed to use for the speaker. For example a mother may call her child "anneciğim" ("my dear ...
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1answer
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Case of Nominal Associate in Clauses with Exceptional case-marking

I've been wondering whether the nominal associate of expletive there gets nominative, accusative or dative case in clauses with exceptional case-marking in other languages, since case isn't visible ...
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2answers
140 views

Why do some languages distinguish between “identical” and “indistinguishable”, and others don't?

In some languages, there's a very prevalent distinction between different meanings of the English word "same" as in "These two items are the same". For example German: dasselbe / das gleiche Greek: ...
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1answer
58 views

Is there a better series of sentences for observing features of a language?

I've often tried to find a few short sentences that encapsulate most of the features of a language, a sort of Learn X in Y Minutes for spoken languages, if you will. Tim Ferriss, a Renaissance man of ...
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Can I report a multivariate effect in a two-way repeated measures ANOVA?

In my two-way repeated measures ANOVA analysis, I use Language (Frisian, Dutch) and Category (identical-cognates, form-similar cognate, non-cognate) as within subject variables. Sphericity is assumed. ...
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96 views

Are there any languages that have words for open and closing quotation marks in speech?

It seems to me that most languages have some way of bounding quotations in written form. European languages have their apostrophe quotes and angle-brackets, while eastern Asian languages have those ...
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Are there words for “second cousin twice removed” in other languages?

I know in english we have a whole bunch of terms like this, do other languages have something similar?
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158 views

How is chapter related to head?

In several languages, the word for "chapter" (a self-contained unitary text of a book) comes from the word for "head": In Latin, "capitulum" (literally "small head") comes from caput (head). This ...
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1answer
271 views

Linking surface and deep structure

The sentences in (1) contain the same words, but differ in word order. Nevertheless, the sentences have very similar, if not identical, meanings. (1a) I am home today. (1b) Today, I am home. ...
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222 views

Which languages have absorbed the most vocabulary from Russian, and which languages have influenced its vocabulary?

I'm a student of formal linguistics and Russian language, my question has been surprisingly hard to google -- I've studied a little Ukrainian, and I've read that its structurally similar to Russian ...
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2answers
160 views

How has pair/couple ended up meaning both 2 and more in different languages?

Consider the following examples from different languages: (en) The bridge has been built a couple years ago. (de) Das Problem ist größer als vor ein paar Jahren. (pl) Poznaliśmy się parę ...