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Questions tagged [cross-linguistic]

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

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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
77 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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115 views

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
29 views

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
119 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
56 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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14 views

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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76 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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45 views

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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2answers
125 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 ...
4
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1answer
112 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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4answers
191 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
128 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 ...
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3answers
145 views

'Non-standard' indexicals

Currently, I am doing some research on indexicals, by which I mean words like: I here now today, tomorrow, yesterday local present, current For ease of reference, let’s call these the ‘standard’ ...
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0answers
43 views

what does 'meaning' mean in the field of lingustics? [closed]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meaning would necessarily and absolutely prefer a link (citation) to a primary source that is usable via the Web if and in the case the 'versions' of 'meaning' has ...
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3answers
109 views

Robustness of a language to noise

not a linguist. I was just wondering if the degree of robustness of a language to environmental noise is somehow measured or studied. I presume not every language is equally robust, right?
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28 views

Verbs and onomatopeias for knocking

I was reading the Wikipedia article regarding Cross-linguistic onomatopoeias. It struck me that the verb for knocking is similar to the onomatopoeia of knocking in various languages. To knock and ...
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2answers
130 views

The origin of a common word for tongue/language?

It seems that a lot of Indo-European languages use a common word to denote both a language, and the tongue (body part). In French, the same word is used for both aspects (langue). It is also the case ...
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59 views

Cross-linguistic cases of German 'trennbare' Verbs

How many languages have verbs where you can detach a prefix and put it at the end? That's like the German 'trennbare' Verbs. For example, in German, for depart/leave ('abfahren') you say: Der Zug is ...
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3answers
161 views

Offensive words over time in other languages

This may or may not be true, but it's my perception of it. In English there seems to be a phenomenon where we need a word for something that might be considered offensive, e.g. body parts, certain ...
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3answers
483 views

What do languages without a schwa vowel have in common?

This is a follow up to this answer were the OP makes the point that the schwa vowel (a.k.a. central or neutral vowel) is produced when other vowels are reduced to that sound. It makes perfect sense ...
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0answers
62 views

Is there any resource about “exceptional” examples of false cognates available?

As an amateur I lack information about specialized resources for linguists. What I’m looking for is a list of stunning examples of false cognates in any discipline, that can be either exact matches, ...
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1answer
79 views

examples for indoeuropean languages which are related to each other in different ways [closed]

community, I am currently writing an essay on Ludwig Wittgenstein's Family Resemblance Analogy (Philosophy of Language) and I need your help to find a neat example. I have thought of indoeuropean ...
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94 views

Genitive forms (German)

Do you know any rule how I can decide (formally), wheter a German sentence contains a Genitivus subjectivus or a Genitivus objectivus? Example: "der Besuch des Botschafters". Here, the ambassador ...
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0answers
93 views

Languages where smells are heard

In Russian, one can use the verb слышать ([ˈslɨʂətʲ], "hear") with both sounds and smells, though it's more common to use чувствовать ([ˈt͡ɕustvəvətʲ], "feel") for smells. Example from Wiktionary: ...
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2answers
361 views

Linguistics concept about meaning of words according to a context

Several linguistics questions about the meaning in context of words: How is called in linguistics the fact some words have a meaning only with other words? How is it called when a word changes ...
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106 views

'Literally' non-literally

There has been a recent popularization over the questionable use of the word 'literally' as an intensifier rather than as a marker of non-figurative, especially since it seems to be used non-literally ...
3
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1answer
170 views

Transitive nouns (and adjectives) evidences from early Indo-Aryan languages

I search info and explanations about "transitive nouns", I didn't read Chomsky yet. I know he talks about "transitive nouns". Transitivity is typically thought of as a property of verbs, and ...
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1answer
155 views

are what we translate as “adjectives”, “nouns”, etc, the same kind of words in no indo-european languages?

This question comes from questions in japanese SE. Keiyōshi 形容詞 are translated as adjectives. Meishi 名詞 are translated as nouns. But are they really the same kind of words that we mean with nouns, ...
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3answers
152 views

Constructions like the double accusative outside of the Ancient Greek word “διδασκειν”

I'm looking for examples of having 2 or more nouns in the same case but with the different semantic roles given by the differing referents of the nouns, not entirely by one of morphological case, ...
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2answers
86 views

Are there languages with discontinued subordinate clauses?

As for the languages I know I think to believe, that a subordinated clause comes in a chunk and not scattered throughout the main clause. For instance: I LIKE TO SING, while i slave away while I ...
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1answer
72 views

How large is the number of all phonetic entities across all spoken languages?

Based on scientific (calculations in) literature, how many different "sounds" are there to be found across all languages of which the pronunciation is known? I think tones, and a fortiori dialects, ...
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3answers
268 views

Which epenthetic sounds are most common to separate vowels?

Many languages disallow vowel-vowel sequences in a word or phrase, instead inserting an extra consonant between them to keep them apart. Some versions of English do this, like when Kennedy would say ...
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1answer
268 views

What is a small language w.r.t. the number of speakers?

What would you call a "small" or "medium" language in regards to the number of speakers? I suppose a "big" language would be Mandarin, English, Spanish, Arabic. Small would be Greenlandic or Faroese. ...
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1answer
128 views

In Arabic loanwords, why does Persian change the short vowels with different vowels instead of matching them with long counterparts?

Classical Arabic (4th-9th century) short vowels are /a/, /u/, and /i/, and long vowels are /a:/, /u:/, and /i:/. New Persian (1000-1200 years old) short vowels are /æ/, /o/, and /e/, and long vowels ...
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1answer
347 views

Do valid sentences of phrases that have different meanings in different languages exist? How are they called?

I am aware of words that have different meanings in different languages (for example, the word "brat" means brother in many Slavic languages). There are sentences made up from words of one language, ...
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1answer
90 views

Term for words that introduce a new sentence

I'm curious if there is a decided term for the words that begin a new utterance. They often are written with a comma following them such as below: "Well, ..." "So, ..." but the class of these words ...
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2answers
169 views

Could the proto-human language still play a role in the interlingual communication?

I've read several studies about sound symbolism and I'm still not sure whether I got an insight into the topic. I know that today's view of most of the linguists is skeptical towards sound symbolism ...
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55 views

French Auxiliary Selection. Theoretical explanations?

I've heard that Generative Approaches trying to explain Auxiliary Selection are mostly focused in Italian, because its a language which intransitive verbs respond pretty well to unaccusativity ...
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3answers
384 views

Difference between particle and adverb in English

Some dictionaries such as Cambridge Online Dictionary defines the word particle as a word or a part of a word that has a grammatical purpose but often has little or no meaning: In the sentence "I ...
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1answer
171 views

Which language among South East Asia has the most and least loanwords from English? [closed]

Among different languages used in Southeast Asia, which language has the most and least loanwords from English in lexicon? In different languages, I assume Tagalog, Malay, Thai, Vietnamese. I know ...
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473 views

Lexical similarity among languages used in Southeast Asia

Among many languages used in Southeast Asia (especially I want to talk about Malay, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Thai), is there any study about which pair of languages is close to each other in ...
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1answer
132 views

Languages with alphabets sharing the same basic shapes as Arabic

I would like to know, besides Arabic itself, how many other separate languages (not including dialects) have alphabets sharing same basic shapes as Arabic? I would like to have a complete list of all ...
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1answer
341 views

Question about usage of Swedish words “som” and “vem” [closed]

In the song "Jorden är ett litet rum," Eva Dahlgren sings "kvinnan som lever sitt liv i Stockholm..." Would it be correct to say "kvinnan vem lever sitt liv i Stockholm"? I ask in part because the ...
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1answer
115 views

Are there any languages in which 'knowledge' is not a mass noun?

I would have thought there would be some, but I'd love some examples. So are there any languages in which the translation of 'knowledge'is not a mass noun?
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2answers
220 views

Lexical Distance, is there a table?

I was looking (for a statistics project) to the Lexical Distance between languages and I came across this post Worldwide map or data for linguistic distance? I was wondering if there is any "...
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2answers
594 views

Are There Ancient Greek Words Descended From Sumerian?

Does the lexicon of Ancient Greek contain words believed to be of Sumerian origin? If so, can some estimate of their number be provided? Thanks
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4answers
265 views

How do languages other than English form lists of words? [closed]

(Apologies if this is off-topic for Linguistics.) I'm trying to properly internationalize a web site. I have a sentence like, "You've earned badges A and B." Because the number of badges can vary, ...
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2answers
96 views

Do languages affect the focus of a society/civilization? [closed]

As I have come into contact with different languages in life I began to wonder whether some languages are more geared toward science, efficiency, literature or whatever. It seems like certain ...
2
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1answer
527 views

Does “I don't drink.” mean “I don't drink alcohol.” in all languages? [duplicate]

In those languages I'm a bit familiar with, the verb for drinking is very often understood as drinking alcohol, especially if its meaning "the oral intake of any fluid", wouldn't make sense. For ...