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Questions tagged [list-of-languages]

request for references of languages that satisfy the criteria set in the question.

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1answer
89 views

Other languages like English whose orthography is “not quite” phonetic

Most languages it seems are pretty much phonetic. (I'm only focusing on alphabet languages, so not Chinese for example). From what I've seen, Spanish is phonetic, Cherokee too, Finnish, Inuktitut, and ...
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2answers
59 views

If any phonologies / languages make a distinction between voiced/voiceless nasals, approximants, vowels, trills, or flaps

So there are voiced/voiceless stops and fricatives in many languages, but I'm wondering if there are the same sort of voiced/voiceless distinctions for nasals / approximants / trills / flaps / ...
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1answer
58 views

Can “It's not it” be expressed in any language in less than 3 words

Let's look at the sentence "It's not it" In Hebrew it's "זה לא זה" (lit. it no it) In French C'est n'est pas ca In all the languages I'm familiar with, in order to say "It's not it", one needs at ...
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3answers
174 views

If these letter pairs are used to distinguish two words in any language

Wondering if there are languages in which there are 2 words, 1 containing letter (a) and the other containing letter (b), such that they sound pretty much the same, yet they mean different things. The ...
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0answers
52 views

Are there written languages that commonly start direct speech without marking?

In English and many common languages nowadays, punctuation marks are used to introduce direct speech. This makes it possible to start direct speech without lexical clue, as in the second example here: ...
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1answer
150 views

Are there any languages with only one of “yes” or “no”?

Many modern languages have single words for "yes" and "no" (e.g. English), and some have more than a simple pair (e.g. French), while others have no word for "yes" or "no" (e.g. Latin and Irish). ...
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3answers
166 views

Is there a language where another verb form is simpler/more basic than the imperative?

Imperative tends to be the simplest verb form, cf. Latin dic, fac. English is not very inflecting, so other verb forms can be just as simple as the imperative. Nevertheless, is there a language, where ...
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0answers
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Is Italian the only modern language that uses the feminine 3rd person singular pronoun for formal speech?

Is Italian the only modern language that uses the feminine 3rd person singular pronoun (Lei) for formal speech, regardless of the gender of the 2nd person singular addressee? cf. T–V_distinction#...
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1answer
73 views

Inclusive pronouns—can there be more than one?

Many languages have two forms of the pronoun "we": an inclusive one and an exclusive one. In the examples I am aware of, there is just one inclusive we, meaning "i/we and you (sg./pl.)". Are there ...
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2answers
160 views

Languages w/out morphology

Is there a natural language w/ no morphology (i.e. one that has neither inflectional nor derivational morphology -- in other words, no affixation whatsoever)? I've heard claims to the effect, but the (...
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1answer
152 views

Any languages that don't have consecutive letters?

I was wondering if anyone knew of a language (real or fictional!) that did not contain any double consecutive letters (like the double t in "letters"). Thanks!
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0answers
52 views

Are there languages which have ways to distinguish between an adjunct noun and an adjective?

(Take some example). Do other languages (than English) have means distinguish between their adjunct nouns and adjectives or is it a very complex/grammatical structure that cannot possibly be ...
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1answer
120 views

Are there any languages with a case system like Esperanto's?

Thinking about Esperanto's case system, if I saw that in a natural language, I would think it was rather odd. Esperanto only has two cases: accusative and non-accusative. The non-accusative, on is ...
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0answers
35 views

Languages with nominalized verbs that specify the thematic relation of its possessor

In English, nominalized verbs have only one form regardless of the thematic relation of its possessor: The robot's destruction (of the city) terrified authorities. The robot's destruction (by the ...
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0answers
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Which other languages have discontinuous dependencies and how are cross or long ones managed in them?

Discontinuous dependencies are a part of English syntatic rules and also are something which linguists are still trying to deal with. My question: which other languages have this problem and how does ...
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0answers
41 views

Incoordination (sentence-initial equivalents of “and”)

In Italian, the conjunction corresponding to "and" can be used in imperative constructions for emphatic purposes, as in: E smettila! ('And stop!', i.e: 'Do stop!'). This is probably the outcome of ...
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0answers
76 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 ...
3
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1answer
80 views

What language pairs are underserved, and would most benefit from machine-learned bilingual tools?

What language pairs are under-served by current resources — like human translators, bilingual dictionaries, and parallel corpuses — relative to their linguistic importance, economic potential, or ...
3
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1answer
112 views

Are there some languages that do not have infinitives/participles/gerunds?

Are there some languages that do not take their verbs and convert them into verbals (infinitives/participles/gerunds, et al.)? I noticed the Wikipedia article on participles has a number of language ...
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2answers
66 views

Are there examples of phonetic mood markers at syllable/word boundaries?

Generally, Mood is marked by suffixes, prefixes, infixes etc. But are there languages which have mood marked by phonetic changes at syllable / word boundaries?
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0answers
71 views

What language has a declination for each of its phonemes that a word can end in?

Some guy told me once about his native language which I now can't seem to recall. I think it was a member of the Slavic family (I thought it was Czech, but that isn't it). I was talking about how case ...
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2answers
586 views

Are there any languages that only allow CV syllables?

In my research online, I have found a truism that CV is the most basic syllable type cross-linguistically, and is in fact present in all languages. Other syllable types are not present in all ...
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1answer
953 views

Are there languages where the tense depends on time elapsed between events?

In all the languages I am familiar with (mostly English and my native German as well as some rudimentary Italian and French, so all somewhat related.), the tense of a verb only indicates the time of ...
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0answers
79 views

Are there any languages where the first person cannot be an object?

In some languages, nouns low on the animacy hierarchy, particularly inanimates cannot surface as A, and if a situation arises where they are underlyingly A, some reparative strategy such as a passive ...
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1answer
156 views

Are there any European languages that read out dates in the order of year, month, day?

In (usually British) English the date "2018/02/13" is pronounced "13th of February, 2018", which corresponds to the DD/MM/YYYY date format. Same thing is true for Russian, for example ("тринадцатое ...
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2answers
148 views

Are there the languages that have writing systems consisting only numbers? [closed]

When I knew about Major Mnemonic System, I thought: "Are there the languages that have writing systems consisting only numbers?" Do they exist?
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0answers
51 views

Which language expresses aspect most similarly to English?

I suppose there are at least two ways to read this question (forgive me, I'm not a linguist, just a struggling practical language student): 1) Which languages' aspects map onto those in English most ...
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1answer
111 views

Are there any languages that use rapidly repeated or stammered/stuttered sounds for differentiation?

Ignoring languages such as spanish that distinguish between /ɾ/ and /r/, as such is not what I refer to, are there any languages that would differentiate between say, /p/ and /ppp/. It is a weird ...
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1answer
75 views

Are there any configurational languages that AREN'T verb-medial?

Is it true that has a rule, a language where subject and object aren't explicately marked will always have SVO or OVS order? I've been thinking that it may be possible to get away with having no ...
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1answer
88 views

Are there any languages that place subjects and direct objects before the verbs, but everything else after?

I know the Romance languages do this with pronouns, but they don't do this with noun phrases. Are there any natlangs out there where the subject and direct object always precedes the verb, but ...
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1answer
55 views

“Dash” dialog punctuation in different languages

I know that a punctuation of dialogues in literary texts in Russian and French may use dashes: — Hé, arrête avec ça, dit-il. (In French) — Эй, прекрати, — сказал он. (In Russian) But in English the ...
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2answers
140 views

Is there a language with distinct, non-compound words for cardinal diagonal directions?

That is, is there a language, natural or constructed, which has, for example, a word for top right (up right), separate from their word for top (up) and their word for right? Or a word for northeast, ...
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5answers
825 views

Languages where articles occur to the right of nouns

Are there languages where articles appear—as independent words—on the right-hand side of the noun phrases they occur in - in other words after the head noun in the noun phrase?
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4answers
3k views

Geolinguistics: how many languages to talk to 50|90%

If someone wanted to talk to 50 or even 75% of the population, how many languages would he have to learn? Are there maps showing how language speakers are distributed? In many cases it's not safe to ...
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2answers
208 views

Were/are there any languages that decline(d) articles but not nouns?

This question is actually spawned from a rather embarrassing personal blunder years ago, that was that when I had first begun to learning an heavily inflected language, I had made the mistake of ...
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1answer
68 views

What languages have extraction markers?

I'm looking for languages that have extraction markers or wh-agreement markers like those cited in Chung (1994) in Chamorro below: The example shows wh-agreement morphology on the verb when the ...
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0answers
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Are there any languages with words for negative powers of 10 like Japanese?

In Japanese they use 分, 厘, 毛, 糸, 忽, 微, 繊, 沙, 塵, 埃 for negative powers of 10 from 10-1 to 10-10 respectively There's also another system with a little bit different value range https://en.wikipedia....
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2answers
2k views

Are there any purely monosyllabic languages in use today?

All languages in the world that I know of use words with more than one syllable. Are there any where all words have strictly one syllable? That would mean that there is just one vocal cluster per word,...
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1answer
87 views

Are there languages with both the singulative and the main verb 'have'?

Celtic and Arabic both exhibit singulative forms and both lack the verb 'have'. I would like to know whether there are are singulative languages that have the main verb 'have'.
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1answer
112 views

How to get the similarity between languages?

Is there a good dataset or library or some trick for getting the similarity between languages, or n most similar languages? Similarity here means lexical and structural similarity for the purposes of ...
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3answers
6k views

Are there languages without words for “father” or “mother” but only “parent”?

I'd like to know if there are languages where there aren't words for father and mother, but for parent, and how one would say [something like] this to their father in that language: where's mom? I ...
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5answers
1k views

Are there natural languages with the following properties (seen in Esperanto)?

Are there natural languages that have the following set of properties: The language possesses nouns, adjectives, and definite articles Nouns and adjective are both inflected for number and case (or ...
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0answers
246 views

Is there a phoneme distribution graph for multiple European languages?

I am doing some research on a manuscript which I need to identify the language. My hypothesis is that it is written in phoneme by someone who does not understand the language. Spoken aloud, one that ...
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1answer
113 views

What language is this? And, what does it mean? [closed]

I've been trying to figure out the meaning of this image, but I couldn't find anything. Anyone knows?
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2answers
184 views

Is there any language with number system that uses subtraction? (Other than Ainu)

Generally all number systems use addition or multiplication to express numbers like - '12*3 + 6 for 42 in a base 12 system', '2 on the way to 50' or 'even 10+10+10+10+2 in some'. But, are there number ...
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3answers
189 views

Languages having same word to denote “count” and “think”

In Tamil, there is a single word எண்(eN) which means 'count', 'number', 'think'. I am wondering if this is unique to Tamil? I am wondering if the other old classical languages have a similar word.
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1answer
101 views

Is there any “fully” agglutinative language (con- or real)?

By "fully" agglutinative I mean a language in which a sentence can be only expressed with a single word and a bunch of affixes. I know that in Klingon some complex concepts may be stated with a single ...
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8answers
1k views

Is there any language where verb inflection takes place word-initially?

In the languages I know, verbal tense, number, gender, etc. is applied after the word stem. Is there any language where verb conjugation morphologically affects the beginning of a word and not the end ...
3
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1answer
192 views

Languages Spoken in 7500 BCE?

What reconstructed languages were spoken around 7500 BCE and which of those was likely to have the most speakers? I know nothing is concrete about this, but best guesses would be appreciated. Also ...
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Is there a language that uses some kind of second layer traits (signs of a two-dimensional character)?

I've just read about the Saussure's second primordial principle that states that language is linear. This is sometimes interpreted as the notion of one-dimensioness of language. The second dimension ...