Questions tagged [linguistic-typology]

The study of structural features, diversity and commonalities among the world's languages.

43 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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11
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1answer
247 views

Why is reconstructed PIE so typologically unusual?

I'm probably not the first to notice that a large number of features of reconstruct Proto-Indo-European are typological irregularities. The most famous of these probably being the voiceless/voiced/...
8
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1answer
538 views

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 ...
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98 views

How common are languages with different word orders in matrix and non-matrix clauses

How common is it cross-linguistically for a language to have a different word order in various types of embedded clauses such as relative clauses? WALS appears to collect information on word order in ...
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134 views

4 or 5: is thumb a finger? Distribution across languages

Researching the origins of counting systems, I came across the question I cannot seem to find an answer for: what is the typological distribution of languages that consider thumb a finger (5 fingers ...
5
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0answers
556 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 ...
3
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0answers
39 views

Resolving adjoined relative clause with head nouns

In languages with adjoined relative clause, How do you know which relative clause maps to which head noun for adjoined relative clause if there are 2 head nouns each with an adjoined relative clause?
3
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0answers
158 views

Is there a purely singulative-collective language?

I wanted to ask "Is there a language that marks singular?" but found this. So instead, I'm asking: Are there any purely singulative-collective languages? The (admittedly abstract) idea behind this is ...
3
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0answers
79 views

On +/-Pied-Piping of A's in AP's containing wh-degree words

When a degree wh-word (e.g., E. how, G. wie, F. que, Sp. qué, It. come, Port. como, etc.) grades an adjective, in some languages (= the 'Pied-Piping Type') the adjective must accompany the degree ...
3
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0answers
109 views

Looking for quantitative studies on languages' degree of synthesis

Languages lie on an analytic-synthetic spectrum, where more analytic languages use free/unbounded grammatical morphemes while synthetic languages use bounded grammatical morphemes. Unbounded ...
3
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0answers
173 views

Languages with 0 Number?

Languages that conjugate nominals for singular vs. plural number are quite common across the world. Languages which also have a dual conjugation are also fairly common. But is there any language which ...
3
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1answer
83 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, ...
2
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0answers
67 views

“The more the merrier”

What is the linguistic status of utterances like "The more, the merrier"? In English it would not be considered a sentence because there is no verb. Yet, it fully stands on its own ...
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160 views

Direct–inverse marking on the noun, or the possiblity of inverse alignment

A direct-inverse language, Wikipedia claims, is one which involve[s] different grammar for transitive predications according to the relative positions of their "subject" and their "object" on a ...
2
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0answers
74 views

Are there languages that don't allow sub-clauses?

In the Language Construction Kit 2, the author makes the assertion that sub-clauses, in particular center-embedded clauses, add complexity. That is obviously true, but he claims that you can make do ...
2
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0answers
74 views

Is the obligatory omission of tense/aspect/mood marking in polar interrogatives common?

In a language I'm studying for a field methods class, the range of tense/aspect/mood marking on verbs seems to be relatively limited in interrogative clauses. For example, in some verbs, a past tense ...
2
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0answers
72 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, ...
2
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0answers
70 views

Which non-Asian languages use a single morpheme for clausal and subject/agent nominalisation?

I'm looking for languages (as many as possible :P) outside the Mainland Southeast Asia region in which there is a single morpheme performing two roles: 1) Clausal nominalisation. I will define this ...
2
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0answers
48 views

Do any language lack a present tense different from that used in Indoeuropean languages?

i wonder if the present tense (a tense denoting the present and only the present) is a universal in languages that have tense. Or do some languages have a present tense that extends into the recent ...
2
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0answers
30 views

Term for words or phrases signifying change in numeric quantities?

Phrase like "take away", "more than" ,"times" imply certain mathematical change (subtract,add,divide etc.) in the quantity in current context. For eg. The number of girls "exceeds" the number of boys ...
2
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0answers
138 views

What approaches exist to categorizing kinds of passive agent markers and what are their advantages?

For my thesis I would like to conduct a study on the cross-linguistic distribution of agent markers in passives. In English, this marker is usually realized by the preposition 'by', as in (including a ...
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0answers
80 views

Is there a way to distinguish habitualis from generic interpretation?

I'm looking for a way to classify a given sentence as either habitualis or generic in a language where neither is a grammatical category. Thus, it should be a some semantic feature of the sentence. ...
2
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207 views

Across languages that have adjectives, what are the most common grammatical inflections for adjectives?

Not all languages have adjectives; some use adjectival nouns ("red.one" instead of "red") and/or stative verbs ("be.red" instead of "red"). Among languages that have adjectives, not all allow ...
2
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0answers
162 views

Which prefixing language has the most speakers?

Most if not all national or widely spoken languages with an inflecting or agglutinating typology do all of their inflecting at the end of the word. These are called "suffixing languages". This is ...
2
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0answers
345 views

What are some theoretical motivations for do-support?

I've been attempting to put together an overview of the various theoretical motivations that have been proposed for do-support in the literature, but the topic has been frustratingly difficult to ...
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100 views

Are there any known linguistic patterns that cause the verb “have” to take on this additional function?

I'm a native English speaker that has been learning Mandarin. The Mandarin equivalent to the English verb "to have" is "有". As far as I can tell these two words are a 1 to 1 ...
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67 views

inflected languages other than IE and Semitic ones

When one looks for examples of inflected languages outside the Indo-European and, perhaps, Semitic domains, it seems that there is none. Does anyone here know other examples in different linguistic ...
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72 views

What are the unique features of the Australian Aboriginal Languages compared to other world languages

Not looking phonologically but grammatically, what are the languages which would be a good reference point for starting studies in Australian Aboriginal languages? Western Desert Language? Others? Are ...
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0answers
35 views

What is sentence focus environment?

I am currently reading a chapter about dialect that distinguish dialects according to the alignment that is used in the dialect (alignment such as nominative-accusative, tripartite. etc) I am ...
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102 views

Is Haitian Creole morphology fusional?

There are conflicting views regarding how Haitian Creole is classified in relation to its lexifier--French. I am trying to give a good description of Haitian Creole in terms of its morphology. Is ...
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36 views

How are nominal predicates expressed in active-stative languages?

Based on my reading, Active–Stative languages typically feature the core arguments of Agent (AGN) and Patient (PAT). While the precise rules differ by language, it seems to be that for intransitive ...
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161 views

wals chapter 50 regarding german language

Regarding asymmetrical case marking in German referring WALS chapter 50, I understand the asymmetry in German (ich : I; mich : me; mir : to me; er : he; ihm : to him; ihn : him, etc.) but the value is ...
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123 views

Examples to Whole Language Typology in Turkish

I need examples to whole language typology in turkish ! The value is inconsistent for turkish language which means it has both dependent marking and head marking at the same time referring whole ...
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46 views

collection of derivative nouns

I am a researcher in Computational Linguistics. Recently, my research interests led me towards the analysis derivative nouns, specifically nouns derived from other nouns. For example, India to Indian, ...
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114 views

Is there any language where the “copula” is also identical with and function as an “auxiliary verb”?

Are there languages where the "copula" is: invariant morphologically but may be phonologically conditioned (not inflected for any features like tense, number, etc. like English "is/was/were"), ...
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115 views

Distinguishing “Eskimo”/“Inuit” languages by the passive agent morpheme

In The Origin of Agent Markers by Enrique L. Palancar an attempt has been made to list morphemes used both 1.) as a case morpheme belonging to a noun and 2.) as a morpheme on such nouns that express ...
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61 views

Is there a database that has information on the typological variation of honorific systems?

For a class project, I need a typology of the grammatical honorific systems of the world's languages. Specifically, I need to categorize languages into whether they have honorifics for second or third ...
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85 views

Are languages of different types described by different structures in language trees?

This thought occurred to me after having read a closed question here. I drew five language trees for an identical sentence rendered in five different languages, and the result was quite interesting. ...
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33 views

What would be the collective noun for collection of words whose affixal markers indicate the same grammatical categories?

I am working on Sanskrit, a fusional language. I am confused about what should be the collective noun that I should be used to address the set {nominals, verb, adverb, indeclinable, participle}. Could ...
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92 views

Which languages need the least paralinguistic features like facial / sound?

[Please tell me why you would down vote it in the comments]I am not sure about the technical term for it, but is there a language which could qualify as one with the least paralinguistic features? ...
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229 views

Languages with vowel-based “radicals” inflected or derived by changing consonants?

Semitic languages are known for doing quite a bit of their inflection and derivation not via adfixes but via modifications around a triliteral radical of three consonants. But I'm wondering if there'...
0
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0answers
76 views

Is there a correspondence between contextual semantics and the type of language?

Most of the isolating languages I am familiar with have context-bound semantics either in division into parts of speech (e.g. Chinese) or word meaning (Yoruba), or both (Chinese, again). E.g., in ...
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103 views

Is there any universal semantic coding for noun cases similar to verb aspectology?

I am aware of the argument/actant theories, but perhaps there is something like universal semantical coding for the nouns as well. For Argument concepts,you can see the relevant Wikipedia page for ...
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1answer
230 views

Wals chapter 3 consonant vowel ratio

hello I just do not understand how to calculate consonant-vowel ratio referring wals chapter 3! I need to calculate the consonant-vowel ratio regarding german french and turkish! Concerning the ...