Questions tagged [cross-linguistic]

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

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2
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0answers
58 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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4answers
690 views

What language takes the longest to text?

It takes X seconds for the average English user to send an average-length text message via phone. What language is the most effort-intensive to text? How about to write? Is there one language that ...
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39 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
58 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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93 views

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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2answers
86 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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3answers
259 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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1answer
94 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
71 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
137 views

Purists and attempt to Purify Languages [closed]

Greek has been notorious for trying to Purify the Language. People tried to conserve the Attic Dialect( which evolved to Katharevousa, named blatantly as an attempt to conserve and purify) and ...
3
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52 views

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
114 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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2answers
78 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
961 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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1answer
90 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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3answers
542 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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0answers
38 views

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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4answers
1k views

How did 'cocodrilo' originate from 'crocodile'?

The English word crocodile seems to originate from the Latin crocodīlus and Ancient Greek κροκόδιλος. Indeed it has ended up very similar in several modern languages: German (Krokodile), Russian (...
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2answers
1k views

Is the “ll” in Albanian like the sounds in other languages?

Albanian has a digraph letter "ll" which is described as being similar to English "dark l". But how similar is it and how different? My native Australian English has dark l and to me it tends to turn ...
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4answers
943 views

Does English language stand special in terms of phonology?

I am a native Russian speaker. When I am listening to songs and music in other languages, which I do not know, such as Italian, Romanian, Greek, Bulgarian, and even Japanese, Finnish, Kyrgyz and ...
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3answers
170 views

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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1answer
128 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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2answers
1k views

Animal sounds across languages

As onomatopoeia, the words used for animal sounds are often quite similar across many languages. However, there are non-trivial differences, even for something as common as the croak of a frog. I was ...
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2answers
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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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3answers
127 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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0answers
125 views

Is there count/mass distinction in European Portuguese as it is in English?

It is said that European Portuguese has count/mass distinction as many Indo-European languages. However I noticed out that all products/items at stores in Portugal are labeled in singular form. In ...
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5answers
942 views

Etymology of basic numerals (number words)

When speakers of a language coin words for one, two, three, four, etc., for the first time, where do they come up with the forms? Are there any common methods used across language families? Pirahã ...
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2answers
55 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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2answers
158 views

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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1answer
70 views

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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1answer
73 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
707 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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35 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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1answer
113 views

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

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 languages as ...
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2answers
113 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 ...
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4answers
24k views

What are the historical origins of terms for north, south, east and west?

In the course of researching the etymology of the word "Australia", I was trying to find the Latin words for north and south (the cardinal directions). I found some websites that translate north as "...
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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 ...
9
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1answer
201 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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0answers
48 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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2answers
376 views

Are there any online databases of kinship terms across languages?

Related to a question at ELU, I am interested in doing a comparative analysis of kinship terms in various languages. What would help me with this is an inventory of terms for individual languages. ...
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0answers
20 views

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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4answers
3k views

Why does speech speed seem to vary between different languages?

I feel that French and Spanish speakers speak their languages faster than English speakers do. Is this difference real, or is it just a mistake in my observation (note: I am much less familiar with ...
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2answers
117 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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3answers
206 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 ...
3
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1answer
35 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
138 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: ...
4
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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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9answers
9k views

The relationship between “orange” the colour and “orange” the fruit

This is something that bugged me before I studied linguists, and it still does - why is the word "orange" so often used for both the colour and the fruit cross-linguistically? Every language I've ...
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2answers
731 views

The double ⟨l⟩ in Spanish

In Spanish, some words start with the double consonant graphemes ⟨ll⟩ - that have indeed the value of /ʎ/. Is there any language that have a similar pattern (starting with double consonants)? What is ...