Skip to main content

Questions tagged [lexicon]

Questions relating to lexicons: the catalogue of a language's words.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
29 votes
9 answers
12k views

Why are "eat" and "drink" different words in languages?

In theory, the words "eat" and "drink" are fundamentally the same action to me: putting something (...edible?) in your mouth. Oftentimes when speaking English, I confuse the words &...
cdknight's user avatar
  • 401
20 votes
8 answers
4k views

Are there any languages in which verbs are a closed class?

In English, the verb "do" can be a transitive verb whose object stands for an action. So, we English speakers can "do a somersault," "do a back flip," and "do a cartwheel." The productivity of this ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
1k views

Did Georgian ever have a native word for "dolphin"?

During my time in Georgia one word came to puzzle me and I'm still thinking about it: დელფინი (delp'ini) "dolphin" Wiktionary says this comes from Greek via Russian. The thing is Georgia is on ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 14.7k
15 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the minimal set of words that make a language "complete"?

In programming languages, there is a concept of turing completeness - whenever a system reaches "turing completeness", it is capable of emulating any programming language and, thus, as expressive as ...
MaiaVictor's user avatar
14 votes
14 answers
6k views

What languages use numbers to name the week days and months?

I know in Chinese, the days in a week from Monday to Sunday are called 星期一, 星期二, ..., 星期六, 星期日, which are verbatim translated as weekday one (or 1st weekday), weekday two (or 2nd weekday), ..., ...
Isaac's user avatar
  • 143
9 votes
2 answers
353 views

How many words can be considered "core words"?

First of all I apologize but my English skills are by far below the complexity of the question I need to ask. I am not a specialist and my question is not related to a single language. I would like to ...
Lorenzo's user avatar
  • 91
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Mutual lexical borrowings between Arabic, Persian and Turkish: a reference request

As an occasional learner of these languages, I find the linguistic situation of Arabic, Persian and Turkish very interesting: they are three genetically unrelated languages (if you stick to ...
JPP's user avatar
  • 720
8 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Blaszard's user avatar
  • 553
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the notion of lemma?

Psycholinguistically, a lemma is an abstract conceptual form of a word. However from a lexicographic perspective, the lemma is merely the aorist or canonical form of a word. In English, the lemma of ...
alvas's user avatar
  • 379
7 votes
2 answers
232 views

What range of strategies are common in natural languages for providing unambiguous answers to negative yes-no questions?

I have been told that, in Chinese, terms for "yes" and "no" used as answers for questions are not needed because one answers yes-no questions by either repeating the verb in the question or adding a ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why is Ivrit not considered an artificial language?

Why is Ivrit, the modern version of Hebrew, not considered an artificial language like for example Interlingua? From the history it looks like the language was dead except in clerical circles and ...
0xC0000022L's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
376 views

How can an endonym for a specific group mean "people" or "humans" in this group at the same time?

I understand that some people who speak Inuktitut self-designate as "Inuit" which allegedly means "people", or "human beings" or something similar. I've heard the same ...
EpicBroccoli's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
742 views

What is the difference among root, stem and base in English word-formation? Possible answer provided to check

Is the following text correct and updated?? It is based on Bauer (1983) but I don't know if this may have changed recently. Thanks in advance! A root is the primary lexical unit of a word which is not ...
Irene Domingo's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
530 views

Is there an open source English dictionary that isn't too fine-grained in defining a word?

I'm creating a multilingual online dictionary and I need an open source English dictionary to work off of. Wordnet is the obvious choice, as it's extremely complete and its license is permissive of ...
Matt Fisher's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
60 views

What to reference for grammatical features being more reliable than lexical features for diachronic research?

I often hear people mention in passing that grammatical features are more reliable than lexical features in diachronic research, specifically when detecting pseudepigraphs, because it is relatively ...
Keelan's user avatar
  • 4,221
5 votes
0 answers
236 views

Do some languages have significantly more or fewer idioms than others?

Among the well-attested languages for which large corpora have been gathered, does the number of idiomatic expressions per language vary significantly? Are there fewer idioms in some languages than ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
875 views

What is the difference between mediopassive VP's and anti-causative VP's?

[I've overhauled this question.] I guess I'm asking about the semantic differences, if any, between mediopassives and anticausatives. Here's a definition of anticausative verb from ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
566 views

What are the necessary and sufficient characteristics of a word to be considered as nominal?

Clearly there are morphological "tendencies" (case inflection, no TAM marking) -- but what about the semantic or syntactic characteristics (even if they are just tendencies and not universal)? I ...
żaba's user avatar
  • 181
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

What factors affect the number of synonyms a language has?

What factors affect the number of synonyms a language has? I'd like to leave aside sign languages for this question. When the production of a given sign can be varied in 3-D space, not a lot of ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is there any synchronic difference between homonymy and polysemy?

Is there any synchronic difference between homonymy and polysemy? As a literate English speaker, I can usually tell when words that are pronounced identically have different etymologies thanks ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
228 views

What types of Arabic word were never adopted in Persian?

The Persian lexicon has a very large number of Arabic borrowings, including a small portion of very frequently used ones, and a larger portion of Arabic vocables seemingly spanning across all semantic ...
earlyinthemorning's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
399 views

Is compounding a universal word-formation strategy?

From what I've read, compounding is one of a number of word-formation processes. By word-formation, I mean "the process of creating new lexemes in a language." One common process is the ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
156 views

Are lexicons finite in principle?

As we all know, every language has open classes of morphemes. If we discovered a new mineral whose natural florescence captured the public's attention, there would be no difficulty coining a new ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
334 views

Semantic logic of the word "both" in English - different from "and"?

I am trying to figure out what additional semantic information "both" carries when used in a sentence. Does it differ from "and"? Take the following sentences: Alice and Bob both ate lunch. vs. ...
V_H's user avatar
  • 161
4 votes
0 answers
491 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
58 views

Term for universally-used quote with additional, non-compositional meaning

There exist certain fixed expressions which people use to convey quite specific meanings and (at least to me) always invoke a famous saying which is assumed to be common knowledge, such as I am not a ...
errantlinguist's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
266 views

Are we witnessing the death of stative "think"?

For those who came in late: From what I understand, English stative verbs don't take the progressive. We can use progressive in utterances with dynamic verbs. Witness "I'm eating," "She's ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
186 views

Are synonyms belonging to different dialects "absolute synonyms"?

As in the words tin - can, taxi - cab, autumn - fall, lift - elevator, etc. Would these be considered as absolute synonyms?
sara's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
3 answers
115 views

Is there a word in which the concept and its complement is expressed?

Is there a word in which the concept and its complement is expressed, for example if I would like to express "the dichotomy of truth and falsehood" in one word. Obviously, the construction need not ...
fahad aijaz's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
796 views

List of words in Hebrew

Where can I found a list of all the words in Hebrew including plurals, inflections, etc.? I have only found some lists that are based on wikipedia corpus or subtitles curpus, which include many errors ...
zenpoy's user avatar
  • 131
3 votes
1 answer
108 views

A term for the process of building a form which has never been used before

One of my friends has started using the word 'vying' more and more these days. He did not know the word before a certain date and there was a clear event which caused him to "acquire" it into his ...
VyingToKnow's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
233 views

Is it possible to determine the number of words in a language?

Recently I got into a discussion with my friend concerning sizes of lexicons of different languages. He stated something about Japanese having considerably more words than English. (The exact ...
czypsu's user avatar
  • 1,426
3 votes
0 answers
67 views

Are there any publicly available spell checking corpora?

I need some corpora that contain sentences with misspelled word(s) in order to evaluate the performance of my own spell checking approach. So, the corpora should define the right word alongside the ...
talha06's user avatar
  • 139
3 votes
1 answer
131 views

Are there languages with separate words for 'mouth opening' and 'mouth cavity'?

I am looking for languages which have separate words for the visible opening of the mouth (the external part, including or not including the lips), and the cavity (the internal part). Put another way, ...
user3101366's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
175 views

Which (australian aboriginal?) language classifies nouns in "upright" things and "lying" things?

I'm quite sure I remember that in one class, while we were talking about aboriginal languages, the professor said that one language or more languages, classify nouns in the two categories from the ...
JpegDot's user avatar
  • 49
2 votes
3 answers
162 views

Animal Species discrimination in languages

Making my own language, primitive, so I'm trying to figure out how much did primitive languages discriminate different species in the same families of animals. For example; Dog vs Wolf, Lion vs ...
Durakken's user avatar
  • 207
2 votes
1 answer
112 views

Is the modern Latin lexicon productive?

So I was wondering, does Latin taught in schools today add/borrow content words to/for its lexicon for things that weren't around (like computer, LED etc.) when Latin was natively spoken? And also, ...
theorangepoptart's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
113 views

Is there a list of common English verbs with all of the inflectional "principal parts"?

I am looking for a list of common English verbs (1000 to 2000 most-frequent) which gives the distinct inflectional forms (spelled: pronunciation is irrelevant). For example, "sits, sit, sat, sat, ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
2 votes
1 answer
161 views

Which linguists from the 1940s–1970s believed that language comprised two distinct parts, “lexis” and “grammar”?

I’m looking for information about the linguists and/or researchers from before the 1970s who at the time believed that vocabulary and grammar should be taught as two completely separate entities, that ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
158 views

What, if any, aspects of linguistic typology affect the percentage of loanwords that a language has in its lexicon?

By "loanword," I'm referring to words borrowed into language X from other languages and altered only as the phonology of language X requires. Examples would include "le weekend" in French, "das ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
224 views

Principles and Parameters: projectionist?

The question/problem I have is related to the way recent generative approaches focus on the Lexicon and Syntax. I would like to know if Principles and Parameters can be considered a projectionist ...
Jago's user avatar
  • 49
2 votes
1 answer
659 views

Is there an estimate for the typical number of morphemes in natural language?

Martinet's "double articulation of language": With phonemes we build morphemes, and with morphemes, words. I'd like to get a sense of how productive are these combinations: With only a few phonemes ...
melissa_boiko's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
67 views

How do we shape our language's lexicon?

Society always drops, creates and re-uses words. But how does that happen? When do we get to decide what word to use, dump, or create, and in what method does that occur? Does someone invent a new ...
Jasperrolla's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
747 views

Financial Slang and NLP for Sentiment Analysis

I am working on a Sentiment-Analysis/Opinion-Mining of Tweets, focused on Finance related tweets. One of the biggest issue I am facing is the unability of my algorithm to detect equivalent entities (...
ylnor's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
0 answers
307 views

Words for fractions

While in English we have a "quarter" and a " half" as two words which denote fractions, in Hindi we have separate words for half ('Aadha'), Quarter ('Sava'), three-quarters ('Pauna'), One and a half ('...
ARi's user avatar
  • 580
2 votes
0 answers
90 views

Can some verbs be unergative in some contexts and unaccusative in others?

It seems to me that there are a number of English verbs that can stand for acts that can be done voluntarily or involuntarily. Sometimes we can't help but laugh, but anyone with even mild acting ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
173 views

In what languages do eleven start with /b/ and fourteen start with /e/? [closed]

How do I find a foreign word for a number that starts with a given sound? I'm writing an article about what English might look like if its numerals were in hexadecimal (base sixteen). For this, I ...
Damian Yerrick's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
90 views

Are auxiliaries not lexical?

Anderson's Essentials of Linguistics says: Auxiliaries are what you might have called “helping verbs” when you first learned about grammar: they help a lexical verb by providing grammatical ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 895
1 vote
1 answer
128 views

Is there a source displaying when and where a word was first attested?

Is there a source at which one can find out when and where a word first came into use/print? Especially interested in scientific discourse.
Aharon M. Vertmont 's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
192 views

Similarity between Norwegian and Danish compared to other languages?

I had one question about a very interesting map showing the lexical distances between different languages of Europe (https://alternativetransport.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/34/). I am studying the ...
vengaq's user avatar
  • 111