Questions tagged [historical-linguistics]

The diachronic study of language and its evolution.

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0answers
26 views

(proto-)Germanic evidence for Late Latin vowel length

I would like to find a list of borrowings illustrating the reflexes in (proto-)Germanic of Latin long and short vowels. In particular I would like to find substantiation to the standard claim that it ...
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0answers
63 views

What language/script did Japan during the Yamato period and earlier have?

The Yamato period (300 - 710) had an organized ruler, civilozation, etc. However, only in Nara period (710 - 794), which existed along with the Tang dynasty of China, a Japanese script and language ...
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3answers
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Is Sanskrit really the mother of all languages?

Hindus believe that "Sanskrit is the mother of all Languages". It is a fact that Sanskrit has enriched most Indian Languages including the Dravidian Languages such as Telugu, as Latin enriched some ...
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7answers
5k views

Are language and thought the same?

I want to know whether language and thought are the same. I think language enriches one's thought and thought helps one to use language better. Without language how could man think? Did they ...
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2answers
121 views

Can computational techniques solve historical problems that couldn't otherwise be solved?

Recently I've read that machine learning has been used to apply the Comparative Method (example with references here). Also, there are other mathematical approaches that have been applied to the ...
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1answer
139 views

“ft” -> “cht” shift

Could you please give me a link to the information about Germanic "ft" -> "cht" shift. When it was? Do we hear "f" on the end of "enough" because of it? English German shaft Schacht German "...
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2answers
237 views

Why do “house” and “mouse” have “s” on the end?

I know, that English "t" and German "s" may be a cognate it -> es out -> aus what -> was that -> das? Why do "house" and "mouse" have "s" on the end?
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1answer
213 views

What are the “cardinal sins” in historical linguistics? [closed]

Are there any explicit examples of poor methodology or application of the historical comparative method that most, if not all, can agree on?
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1answer
95 views

Reference Request: connection between PIE \*leg- and \*les

There's an obvious similarity between the Proto-Indo-European reconstructed roots *leg- and *les-, both "to collect, gather", reflected in logos, Latin lego and German lesen respectively. I have not ...
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1answer
116 views

Unfounded sound changes

For example can a voiced pharyngeal fricative [ʕ] develop into the Voiceless bilabial fricative ⟨ɸ⟩? Are there places of articulation that don't directly develop into different places of articulation?...
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1answer
329 views

Proto-Polynesian reconstruction and ambiguities in Hawaiian, Maori, Samoan and Tongan

given that: Hawaiian (H) Maori (M) Samoan (S) Tongan (T) /l/ in H S T = /r/ in M /t/ in M S T = /k/ in H why do we find words with /l/ /r/ /n/ alternations instead of the common attested /l/ /r/ ...
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2answers
141 views

The Cyrillic script among the Slavic people

Today the Cyrillic script is used by the East Slavs, such as the Russians and the Bulgarians, but the West Slavs (e.g. the Czechs, the Poles) and some South Slavs (e.g. the Croats, the Slovenes) use ...
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1answer
122 views

Is it accurate to say that the Spanish language has no connection whatsoever with the Greek language?

Is it accurate to say that the Spanish language has no connection whatsoever with the Greek language? If not, and if possible, about how much can we safely say there is?
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1answer
62 views

Do we have ablaut in the Bengali verb system?

Do we have ablaut in the Bengali verb system?Is it why we have vowel alternation?
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22 views

Bengali analogical and phonetic changes. Vowel alternations in verbs

How do we get verbs as “lekhe” and “nebe” in Bengali, instead of “likhe” and “nibe”? If we apply sound changes that have occurred from Pre-Bengali to Bengali, those should be the correct forms.
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1answer
111 views

Are there traces of Old Turkish in ancient Germanic languages?

The question is quite clear and understandable as in the title. Are there traces of Old Turkish in ancient Germanic languages? Or traces of Germanic in Old Turkish?
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Sound Changes From Proto Bengali to Bengali

What are the sound changes that occur from Proto Bengali to Bengali? In which order did they occur historically? Ex. PB Būdhā became B Buro PB Karisi became B koriš PB dahī became B doi
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1answer
104 views

How did vowel a in L. maneō “to remain” come from PIE *mn-eh₁- “to remain” < PIE *men- “to stay, stand still”?

AHD-IER (Watkins, 2011) P97 gives PIE *man-e- for L. maneō: Variant suffixed (stative) form *man-e-. MANOR, MANSE, MANSION, MENAGE; IMMANENT, PERMANENT, REMAIN, from Latin manere, to remain. ...
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3answers
147 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
114 views

Are there languages that can speak of continous things without discretizing them?

All languages I know of discretize qualities when trying to describe them. For example, languages generally sample a few words for describing a range of continous things like feelings ('terrible', '...
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2answers
194 views

If *h1 were a glottal stop, and virtually all German word initial vowels have an implicit glottal stop

If *h1 were a glottal stop, and virtually all German word initial vowels have implicit glottal stop then would the claim about regular laryngeal loss have to be revised? There's a rather recent ...
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0answers
79 views

Relation between keltoi and galatai?

The ancient Greeks used both words and appeared to have originated both. The first form appears first in 517BC by Hecateus of Milietus. The word is still known in the 12th century AD where it's used ...
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1answer
95 views

Do Old Indian words with voiceless aspirated stops have cognates in other branches of Indogermanic?

Inspired by this answer by Arnaud Fournet I have this question: Do Old Indic (Vedic, Sankrit) words beginning with a voiceless aspirated stop (like ph, th, or kh) have cognates in other branches of ...
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Resources on Middle Eastern Common Greek in the First Century?

QUESTION: I would like to ask if anyone knows any decent resources on how native middle easterners, particularly in Judea, might have pronounced greek koine in the first century. GOAL: My primary ...
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1answer
180 views

When did the contraction “Allah” originate?

The Arabic word Allāh "God" is notable for a few different features. For one, it contains the sound [ɫ] not found in any other Arabic word; it's also an irregular contraction of the article al- and ...
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1answer
394 views

What language was spoken in East Asia before Proto-Turkic?

From Wikipedia we have: The Proto-Turkic language is the linguistic reconstruction of the common ancestor of the Turkic languages that was spoken by the Proto-Turks before their divergence ...
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2answers
52 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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0answers
73 views

Is there a connection between the Sumerian En and the Semite El?

En means lord in Sumerian and El god or deity in Semitic. Semitic peoples use the word lord as a synonym of god, it seems that the same happens with Sumerian and its gods like Enlil, Enki, Enzu etc. ...
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2answers
160 views

What can we say about Classical Nahuatl <z>?

Nahuatl has two sibilant fricatives, now pronounced something like [s] and [ʃ]. The standard orthography was developed by Spanish colonizers, who wrote /ʃ/ as x, and /s/ as c before a front vowel, z ...
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4answers
126 views

Which languages to learn for historical linguistics?

Which languages should one be familiar with if they wanted to get into historical linguistics? Specifically, Indo-European linguistics, reconstructing Proto-Indo-European etc. Which ones would be most ...
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1answer
190 views

Did the removal of Chinese characters have an impact on Korean and Vietnamese?

Korean and Vietnamese used to have Chinese characters but no longer do; there has been talk (e.g. here) of doing the same in Japanese. Has there been an impact on the language? for instance changed ...
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4answers
142 views

Is there a link between the words red and bread?

While this might sound random at first, I noticed that it works in multiple languages: Danish: brød (bread) = b + rød German: Brot = b + rot English: bread (spoken language) = b + red Is this a ...
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1answer
266 views

Is there any relationship between the Hungarian long s sound and the long s in some European languages?

This History SE question (with some references), which enquires about when the f (actually an ſ) became an s and why in English specifically, prompted me to wonder if there was any relationship with ...
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1answer
102 views

Possible absolute synonymy in PIE for 'night'?

I recently came across this post (question attached). But this rule seems to struggle once it comes to the Sanskrit - Indo-Aryan side of the family (PIE) , for example ratri in Sanskrit and raat in ...
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1answer
71 views

Do reborrowings and neologisms statistically help the communicative function of the languages or do the cause more confusion?

Rephrasing do reborrowings and neologisms help or bedim the communications? I am making the distinction of instantaneous or contemporary communications(especialy for scientific use and social) and ...
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1answer
108 views

Etymology of Romanian “amor” (cf. “iubire”)

I found it interesting to learn that Romanian borrowed this word from a Slavic language as well as the verb "a iubi". I also discovered that the word "amor" is present in Romanian but apparently it ...
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1answer
83 views

What is the PIE reconstruction for word-initial alpha with rough breathing?

What is the PIE reconstruction for word-initial alpha with rough breathing? My concern is the tendency (popularly) to mistake initial alpha as privative when it is not (e.g. hamartia): The easiest ...
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1answer
136 views

Does Jespersen's Cycle apply to languages without negative concord?

In this comment, Rethliopuks mentioned something I'd never really connected in my head before. [Negative concord] is standard in plenty of languages around the world, incl[uding] most Romance ...
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0answers
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How is “In we go” syntactically valid?

Various simple sentences occur in English that I can't explain precisely. "In we went!" "Off he goes!" Is this an arcane idiom from an earlier grammar, or is there a general rule that can be ...
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2answers
135 views

Historical morphology of Italian nouns from Latin 3rd declension

Italian is commonly analysed as inheriting the nominative forms of nouns from Vulgar Latin, instead of the accusative ones. But what happened to 3rd declension nouns? It looks like for the majority ...
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1answer
102 views

The meaning of /ě/ (ѣ)

What does ˇ (haček) in *ě 'yat' mean?
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2answers
175 views

Nazis considered Slavs as non-Aryans, but did Nazi linguists classified the Slavic languages as “non-Indo-European”?

Nazis considered Slavs as non-Aryans, but did Nazi linguists classified the Slavic languages as "non-Indo-European"? What was the Nazi theory about historical linguistics?
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2answers
209 views

Why is Greek alphabet left-to-right?

The Greek alphabet and all of its child systems such as Roman, Cyrillic, and Gothic are conventionally left-to-right writting systems. But why is that, considering it comes from the Phoenician ...
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0answers
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Did Romance languages evolve in Pannonia?

As a sister question of Did Romance languages evolve in North Africa?, I would like to ask what was the situation in Pannonia was there a Pannonian Romance Language and what research is there to it's ...
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1answer
51 views

Is morphology always attributable to phonological processes?

I am wondering if you can justify the development of most/all morphemes to regular phonological processes if you argue that diachronically those environments existed and have just been lost in modern ...
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Is linguistic change pushed by humor?

Through "meme culture," young people are inventing all sorts of new linguistic constructions purely because they think they sound funny. The interesting thing is that these jokes don't end at a ...
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2answers
885 views

Pronunciation of umlaut vowels in the history of German

I know that the umlaut vowels were also written as ae oe and ue, and this orthography shows the process of assimilation with a high vowel. But were these vowels ever actually pronounced as a diphthong,...
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1answer
138 views

The “th” sound as a plosive in British dialects

I've noticed that the th sound often becomes a plosive sound in Appalachian English. When and how did this phenomenon start?The only case I know where this happens in the british isles is Irish.Does ...
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4answers
318 views

Why proto-languages?

Nowadays all the leading works on historical linguistics consider Proto-Slavic (you can put here anything you wish but I will talk about Slavonic studies) language as a fact (yes, there can be said ...
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1answer
104 views

What's the reason behind the aternation of vowel in the Proto-Germanic suffix “-ungō”/“-ingō”?

I noticed that the form with the u vowel was kept only in High German. All other germanic languages use the form with i,such as Dutch and English. Why is that?Is this the result of some sort of sound ...