Questions tagged [cross-linguistic]

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

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Which languages have zero markers of comparative degree that coexist with non-zero comparative markers?

The zero comparative marker and the non-zero one should be more or less interchangeable. (The etymology of the non-zero marker doesn't matter.) (A message asking to list such languages was originally ...
imz -- Ivan Zakharyaschev's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
273 views

What languages use grammaticalized spoonerisms?

Here I define a "spoonerism" as the exchange of onset sounds between initially accented words in a phrase: "sh(oving l)eopard" instead of "loving shepherd" "f(ighting a l)iar" instead of "lighting a ...
Damian Yerrick's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
588 views

Comparative markers coming from low degree markers ("attenuatives")? (List such languages.)

Which languages have a marker of the comparative degree of adjectives that coincides with a marker of a low degree? ...or which has evolved from such a low degree marker? (A message asking for the ...
imz -- Ivan Zakharyaschev's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
200 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 ...
Randy's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
227 views

What was the original pronounciation of the Thai consonant symbols?

The Thai language was devised to serve two main purposes: to write Thai words and to write Sanskrit (or Pali) words. For this reason, the Thai alphabet has one consonant symbol for each Sanskrit sound ...
snew's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
460 views

Measuring lexical similarity between two arbitrary languages

Pardon me if this question is naive, but I am wondering if there is a way to quantify lexical similarity between two corpora of text, each written in different languages whose alphabets differ greatly....
Vivek Subramanian's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
76 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 ...
Nuremin Ahmed's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
182 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 ...
Mitch's user avatar
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4 votes
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245 views

The expressive power of languages : Information content in a sentence : How do we measure it

What is your name Isme shoma chi e Two sentences - same content. My question is about the way to measure information content in a language. How do we do this? Because quite evidently count of the ...
ARi's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
135 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 ...
LingX's user avatar
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3 votes
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Exception to word order in quotative situations

I'm very uneducated in syntax, so I apologize if this question is something really basic that everyone already knows. English is a subject-verb-object language, and it is known to follow that pattern ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
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3 votes
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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 ...
George Ntoulos's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
119 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 ...
Galactic Ketchup's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
223 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: ...
Dmiters's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
156 views

Is “actual” both a false friend and a cognate?

English definition of “actual”: existing in fact; typically as contrasted with what was intended, expected, or believed. Spanish definition of “actual”: current, present, contemporary These are ...
Felix's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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Which (of the Germanic) languages support resultative constructions?

my question regards resultative constructions. Which of the Germanic languages supports resultative constructions? It would be awesome if you could suggest any literature regarding any language. ...
NilsK's user avatar
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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 ...
Pikanchion's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
98 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 ...
Bellsebub's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
87 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, ...
betelgeuse's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
75 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 ...
Jago's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
462 views

Why is less consistent SVO more common than VSO or VOS?

"Language Change as a Source of Word Order Correlations", by Brady Clark, Matthew Goldrick, and Kenneth Konopka, is among the many sources dating back to Greenberg (1966) stating that language ...
Damian Yerrick's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
142 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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
43 views

What grammatical position hold slogans and mottos? Is this the same across languages?

"Make America Great Again." "Proletariat of the world, unite." "Move the way you want." "Rewards reimagined." "Death to fascism, freedom to the people.&...
JohnnyApplesauce's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
67 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 ...
Quidam's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
76 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 ...
Lance's user avatar
  • 4,342
1 vote
0 answers
25 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. ...
Naomi's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
88 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?
user21753's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
94 views

Distal features of wh-words cross-linguistically

My question concerns distal marking on Wh-words. Pronouns like 'this'/'here' and 'that'/'there' show clear marking of the proximal/distal distinction. Wh-words seem to exhibit some similarities to ...
Morgan's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
1k views

What is the origin and meaning of the word/name "Idora"? (Shortened)

I have been researching the word "Idora" for a couple years now in hopes of discovering the meaning as it applies to the defunct trolley park "Idora Park" formerly in Youngstown, Ohio. "Idora Park" ...
Jim Zarbaugh's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
67 views

Is there a data set of elementary typical phrases translated in different languages?

To be more explicit, I think about a collection of "abstract" sentences which could be categorized in such a way that they would be easily identified in any language. For example, some typical phrases ...
Philoglot's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
91 views

Name for "all things able to be referenced" by a language

Is there a name for the collection of all things that can be referenced in a language; a language's universe perhaps? For example, the "universe" of English would contain most all things/concepts we ...
Novice F's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
121 views

Grice's cooperative principless

Based on Pragmatics Approach, there is one of the principle that involves in communication. It is cooperative principle. This principle consists of 4 maxims. There are maxim of quality (Truthful), ...
Rahma's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
217 views

On price tags/labels why some nouns are used singular/plural regardless of countability?

Is there any explanation regarding why some nouns are used in singular form while the others are used in plural form such as price tags in stores or menus in restaurants. I know that in languages ...
LingX's user avatar
  • 51
0 votes
0 answers
97 views

Semantic loans; words borrowing a meaning already there?

What exactly is a semantic loan, how can a word borrow a meaning it already has? I am trying to figure out whether there are any limitations (can we choose any morphemes) on the recipient word and the ...
George Ntoulos's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
63 views

Hidden philosophy in languages?

The 'usual self-introduction' in English is 'I am [name]' or 'My name is [name].' The former indicates that someone's name is something they are, while the latter suggests that the name is a property ...
Human's user avatar
  • 19
0 votes
0 answers
42 views

Do any languages greatly restrict the placement of adjectives/adverbs in a phrase or sentence?

I am working on a conlang and wondering how natural languages might limit the placement of "modifiers" (adjectives and adverbs) in a sentence. For example: I eventually walked to the store. ...
Lance's user avatar
  • 4,342
0 votes
0 answers
39 views

Embedding conditional statements in relative and complement clauses

I happened to run across the following sentence on ELL.SE: Anyone who feels that if so many more students whom we haven't actually admitted are sitting in on the course than ones we have that the ...
A. R.'s user avatar
  • 113
0 votes
0 answers
54 views

Do nouns in simple apposition semantically unpack to predicate nominatives in English?

A Koine Greek grammar states that nouns in simple apposition are semantically understood as predicate nominatives. So, "Paul the apostle" unpacks to "Paul is the apostle" and "the apostle is Paul" ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
33 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 ...
meldefon's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
314 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 ...
apat's user avatar
  • 137
0 votes
0 answers
106 views

Is it right that repetition in English is not so pervasive?

In Chinese, word repetition is very pervasive, for example pao lai pao qu 'run come run go'. However, this direct translation is not good English. Does the native English speaker intend to avoid this ...
Shudong's user avatar
  • 211
0 votes
0 answers
33 views

Kokkova or kokkora carved on ivory

My question is to try to find the origin of the word kokkova. I have an antique/primitive pin made of ivory which if I had to guess would say that it is walrus but not 100% sure. It is scrimshawed ...
David's user avatar
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