Questions tagged [linguistic-typology]

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

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101 views

wals chapter 136 m-t pronouns paradigmatic

hello I have read wals chapter 136 very carefully and I cannot understand what paradigmatic means! can someone explain it (m-t pronouns referring to paradigmatic) shortly and give examples in german ...
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1answer
113 views

Need examples from German and French, for chapters 31 and 32 on WALS [closed]

WALS chapters 31 (wals.info/chapter/31) and 32 (wals.info/chapter/32). I need examples in French and German languages regarding these chapters. One language would be enough too!hello can you please ...
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2answers
92 views

Are there necessary and sufficient features for categorizing tone using only f0?

Imagine i gave you recordings of a few syllables in an unknown language, but told you that there are H and L tones in that language. In that case you could probably distinguish H from the L syllables ...
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4answers
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Is a language possible without verbs or without nouns?

Is a language without nouns possible? And another one without verbs? And other ones without adjectives or adverbs? Is there some real examples? (In preference: non-constructed languages, because ...
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1answer
194 views

Transitive nouns (and adjectives) evidences from early Indo-Aryan languages

I search info and explanations about "transitive nouns", I didn't read Chomsky yet. I know he talks about "transitive nouns". Transitivity is typically thought of as a property of verbs, and ...
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What are some of the most prefixing languages?

Turkish is commonly cited as an example of a language which is, with only one or two quirky exceptions, exclusively suffixing. Cross-linguistically, suffixing is much commoner than prefixing and I ...
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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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3answers
224 views

Constructions like the double accusative outside of the Ancient Greek word “διδασκειν”

I'm looking for examples of having 2 or more nouns in the same case but with the different semantic roles given by the differing referents of the nouns, not entirely by one of morphological case, ...
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1answer
203 views

Is there a dominant sequence in which a language throughout its evolution changes its type?

To clarify, by type I refer to terms like isolating, agglutinative,flectional...I think the terms which Humboldt introduced for a rough categorization. Now, I heard of languages, that changed their ...
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136 views

Metric For Morphological Richness Across Languages

Does a metric exist that quantifies morphological richness in languages? Either a numerical score, or at least a ranking of languages would suffice.
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3answers
333 views

How common, crosslinguistically speaking, are 'bare NP' temporal adverbials?

In modern English, certain (but not, or not yet, all) 'time-interval-in-which-event-occurs' adjuncts can be constructed apparently (1) without temporal prepositions or case inflections (as in I ...
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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 ...
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1answer
85 views

an example to coda consonant in german language wals chapter 16

hello could someone give an example to coda consonant in german language referring to WALS Chapter 16 : here is what I did but it might be wrong : Value: Coda consonant. A coda is a post-vocalic ...
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1answer
72 views

What do you call a visual language based on color frequency?

I was thinking about this question and answer about how cephalopods might develop a language, in this case a visual one. How would linguistics term a language that is communicated visually as a ...
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3answers
297 views

Distinguishing between a symbol-based language and a frequency-based language?

I had a new thought the other day regarding how language is conveyed and perceived. When a language is conveyed visually in English, it is conveyed in symbols (such as text or sign language). However ...
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2answers
298 views

'Before'/'after' as a spatial metaphor: is the opposite possible?

In English (and, apparently, most Indo-European languages, if not in all), a common trait can be noticed concerning the prepositions/adverbs of temporal reference: 'before' and (to a lesser extent in ...
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6answers
759 views

Do there exist languages with wh-prepositions?

I can imagine a language where instead of "what did you put a toy on?" one says something like "whon did you put a toy?". Do such languages exist?
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1answer
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Is there a negative correlation between the number of speakers of a language and its morphological richness?

In a recent journalistic article in the German weekly "Die ZEIT" (Die Wörterjäger) the journalist says (original quote in German): Ist eine Gruppe dagegen homogen, haben ihre Mitglieder weniger ...
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2answers
694 views

Consonant gemination and stress patterns

Is there a strong correlation between geminate consonants and initial-syllable stress, or stress in the earlier syllables of words? A survey of European languages suggests that there might be such a ...
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1answer
68 views

wals info values 125 126 127 128 [closed]

if I give examples in german french and turkish in terms of wals Info values 125 / 126/ 127/128 , can someone explain why they are balanced, deranked, or both?
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10answers
504 views

What are languages whose name contains the word for “language”?

For example, imagine the name of our language was "Englishlanguage", and we had to always say "I speak Englishlanguage" or "She's a native Englishlanguage speaker". The closest I can think of is 日本語 "...
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4answers
279 views

Why is the adjective usually before the noun?

I've noticed that in English the adjective is usually before the noun, why is that? In French it's in one way or the other depending on the case (as far as I know it's not to make things clearer). ...
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3answers
483 views

Are there any languages with minimal distinctions between the noun and verb categories?

Are there any languages in which the, largely Indo-European/PIE, and more compartmentalized parts-of-speech system don't work very well? In particular, I am wondering if there are any languages in ...
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3answers
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How to distinguish a polysynthetic language from other languages? When is something a word?

For example, the probably most quoted sentence in a polysynthetic langauge (from Yupik): tuntussuqatarniksaitengqiggtuq: tuntu- ssur- qatar- ni- ksaite- ngqiggte- uq reindeer- hunt- FUT- ...
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0answers
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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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2answers
416 views

Are there languages with simple morphology and free word order?

It seems to me that the most languages have either complicated morphology or very strict word order. Are there languages with simple morphology and free word order (for instance, indicating ...
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2answers
538 views

Are there languages with the three-fold articulation place contrast dental–alveolar–retroflex?

This question How and when did some European languages acquire retroflex d and t? makes me curious: Are there any languages that have three different kinds of d's (or t's or n's or s's) exhibiting a ...
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1answer
213 views

Is there any rule in recursion? [closed]

recursion is the ability to place one component inside another component, so is it only for the same kind such as NP with NP, PP with PP, and etc?
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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 ...
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2answers
128 views

Isn't a language where a rule is applied everywhere always overly redundant?

I recently saw this clip where Karl Pilkington visits a Vanuatu tribe, in which it is said that every word of the Ninde language begins with the letter 'n'. I soon called BS, and as the wiki-page I ...
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5answers
2k views

Are sound changes regular?

Are sound changes regular now or not? I mean it seems to me that it's accepted that sound change is pretty regular, because of how sound changes are treated in etymology/historical linguistics. I even ...
2
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1answer
194 views

How should I organize my grammar?

So I'm doing a grammar for my conlang (constructed language). My conlang is a very verb-heavy/polysynthetic language. E.g. subordinate clauses are marked on the verb. To create a conditional clause -...
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3answers
252 views

Is there a language with a null case particle that signal a single, distinct case relation?

I've come across the idea of a null morpheme. There are languages with determiners that are case particles. Since a morpheme can be a particle, I would assume there might be languages with null ...
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0answers
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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3answers
250 views

How does Japanese word order obviate the need for relative pronouns?

According to the Wikipedia page on Japanese grammar: Head finality in Japanese sentence structure carries over to the building of sentences using other sentences. In sentences that have other ...
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3answers
253 views

How frequent are different morphosyntactic types?

I started wondering what share of all world's languages are polysynthetic (on any practical definition of polysynthetic, i.e. the prototype approach, the macroparameter theory (Baker 1995), etc.), and ...
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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 ...
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3answers
143 views

What is the study of language usage types [a question, an answer, a criticism, a complaint an elaboration, etc]

What is the study of language usage types [a question, an answer, a criticism, a complaint an elaboration, etc]? I've heard ontology and typology used interchangeably but not sure either is correct -...
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3answers
1k views

Terminology for a group of words derived from a common stem?

What is the linguistic term for a palette of words, which are derived / span from the same stem (excluding the so-called doublets like warranty vs guaranty...)? Example: Act (verb), react (antonym?),...
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2answers
247 views

Are there languages without subordination/only with parataxis?

My Latin teacher was talking about parataxis and hypotaxis using coordinating vs subordination conjunctions. He said that may have been the way people spoke in the past. I don't believe there ever was ...
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1answer
72 views

Are there resources that explore interchange between object and the subject caused by a verb?

1. Are there linguistics terms that describe the following phonemenon? 2. I desire to learn the possible explanations or reasons that in English, certain verbs interchanged the subject and object to ...
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1answer
152 views

Is there a language with phonemic distinction of voicing within vowels?

Just as in the topic. It seems unlikely to me, I could not find anything about this on wals.info but nonetheless it seems theoretically possible since articulating vowels without voicing is doable. ...
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2answers
154 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 ...
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1answer
250 views

Languages showing affricate-to-plosive fortition (especially diachronically)

It is well known that consonant lenition or weakening tends to be far more common cross-linguistically than the opposite process called fortition or strengthening. Now, some languages have been ...
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1answer
208 views

TAM categories: Can they be predicted from their numbers (a language's TAM inventory size)?

To some extent, vowels can be predicted based on the size of the vowel inventory, so, for example, in a 3-vowel system, it will be /a i u/, whereas in a 4-vowel system, we will get /a i u ɛ/ or /a i u ...
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2k views

A list of parts of speech

I want to know if there are other parts of speech -other than particles- in other languages than English or other Romance/Germanic languages.
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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 ...
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2answers
140 views

Languages without a lexical entry for “before”

Has anyone encountered a language in which there is no lexical entry corresponding to English "before" and the relation of temporal precedence is manifested by something equivalent to "earlier than"? ...
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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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276 views

Are there languages in which AND + OR (conjunction and disjunction) are expressed the same?

I'm looking at coordination strategies in the languages of the world and I wonder if all languages have a distinction between conjunction and disjunction.