Questions tagged [list-of-languages]

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

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5
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2answers
127 views

Do any languages use distinct graphemes for vowels with different tones?

As far as I know, most writing systems for tonal languages fall into one of four groups: The writing system is not phonetic (e.g. Han logograms) Tone is not generally indicated in writing (e.g. many ...
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4answers
3k views

Are there languages where a change of character casing can lead to a different meaning of a word?

I'm no expert on linguistics. In fact I'm no even a proper amateur but please, bear with me on this: Are there any languages where a word would change its meaning depending on the casing of one or ...
0
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1answer
81 views

Which cultures are big-endian?

I do not really know where to post such a question, so please bear with me if you think there were a better stackexchange for it. Endianness refers to how we order elements from multiple scales. As ...
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4answers
100 views

What Non-Austronesian languages have a linker or ligature?

In Tagalog, there is a particle called a linker or a ligature, with two forms: na and -ng /-ŋ/. The ligature's main function is to link modifiers (like adjectives and adverbs) and the words that they ...
2
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1answer
52 views

Is there any language that has different morphology for individual-level and stage-level adjectives?

For example, the language might be such that a a stage-level adjective like "available" would agree in predicative position, but an individual-level adjective like "intelligent" would not.
4
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1answer
115 views

Do any languages/cultures other than English apply non-grammatical gender to ships?

In the English language (or maybe in English-speaking cultures?) it's common to use feminine pronouns to refer to ships (and occasionally to other types of vehicles). Are there any other languages/...
5
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1answer
287 views

What languages reinforce imperatives with conjunctions?

In Italian, the conjunctions "ma" ('but') and "e" ('and') can preface imperatives to reinforce them as in: "ma/e vieni!" ('do come!'). Does anyone know of any languages that display this phenomenon ...
3
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3answers
151 views

Languages without generic term for animals

I'd recently read in a non-fiction work (reference lost) that there are some languages that have no generic term or category for animals, ie no equivalent of "animal." Does anyone have any information ...
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0answers
68 views

Languages Or Dialects Not Distinguishing Between Taste And Smell

Are there any languages or dialects not distinguishing between taste and smell? Possible duplicate of this older and much more general question.
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14answers
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Do any languages have kinship terms for the relationship between the respective parents of a married couple?

Do any languages have kinship terms for the relationship between each pair of parents of a married couple? For example, how would a husband’s mother refer to the wife’s mother? Do any of the kinship ...
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6answers
392 views

Languages with masculine nouns for various female entities, or feminine nouns for male entities

This is not an area I'm familiar with, so if any of the following description/discussion is misguided, I apologise in advance: In languages with gendered nouns, the nouns for woman and man are ...
3
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1answer
164 views

Have pronoun introductions spread to non-English-speaking communities/languages?

There seem to be two forms of these pronoun introductions, intended to promote transfeminism, one voluntary/declarative and one interrogative: For an example of a voluntary/declarative one: Kamala ...
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9answers
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Do any languages mark social distinctions other than gender and status?

Many languages have pronouns that reflect gender, and some have pronouns that reflect relative social hierarchy or formality. (To pick an example I actually know, in Dutch the second person singular ...
6
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1answer
294 views

Are there any examples of neopronouns for non-binary or third gender people being fully incorporated into a language's grammar?

Many non-binary people now request that new third person pronouns (neopronouns) be used to refer to them, for example xe or ze. These have not been widely used by English speakers yet, but it's still ...
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0answers
27 views

Effect of culture on language [closed]

What are some examples of cultures where the language spoken in that culture strongly reflects aspects of that culture
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2answers
127 views

What languages have more than two numbers regarding things and persons? [duplicate]

In most languages I know there are only two numbers. Singular and plural.In most Indian languages too there are only two numbers. But in Sanskrit there are three numbers.Singular number(yeka ...
3
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2answers
106 views

What is the most archetypal phonemic-tone system?

As user6726 put it in this answer: There is a misguided tendency to use Chinese as the standard of comparison for tone system, but actually Chinese is the best known but one of the least-...
6
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2answers
451 views

Are there languages that inflect adverbs for gender

Triggered by this answer, I am curious: Are there languages that inflect adverbs for gender or noun class? I have consulted the following two questions but the given inflections of adverbs in their ...
3
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4answers
691 views

Is “imperatives have invisible subjects” a universal?

In English, it's widely held that imperative verbs have "invisible" subjects, on the syntactic level. For example, we see look at yourself in the mirror, rather than *look at you in the mirror, which ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Have ejective consonants ever arisen on their own?

In an old comment on another question, jlawler mentions in passing: Much the same can be said about ejective consonants -- other languages can pick them up, but nobody knows where they come from. ...
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3answers
3k views

Can the IPA represent all languages' tones?

The IPA's current tone system can show five different tone levels, and any contours formed from them. Is there any language for which this is insufficient? In other words, is there any (known, ...
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4answers
5k views

Do any languages mention the top limit of a range first?

In many languages we usually say "between min and max" (e.g., grades "between 1 and 10"). Are there any languages where the reverse construction ("between max and min", e.g. grades "between 10 and 1")...
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0answers
231 views

Are nouns ever a closed class?

For pretty much any grammatical category, I can think of a language in which it's a closed class. Japanese has closed classes of verbs and (verb-like) adjectives, for example, while Swahili has a ...
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0answers
59 views

Languages with a common, productive construction for marking heterogeneous groups

Are there any languages with a construction similar in meaning to an associative plural or elliptical construction that's used frequently within the language? I'm particularly interested in a ...
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1answer
167 views

Is there such thing as a 'half-plural'?

If yes, does any language have this feature? By 'half-plural' I mean, somewhere between singular and plural, but not dual, trial, or quadral.
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2answers
163 views

Are there languages without idioms?

Speakers of about any language but English agree that the idea that it may be raining cats and dogs is preposterous. But the same people do understand what an idiom is, and their own language may have ...
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1answer
246 views

Describing continuity and change (like mou and mada in Japanese)

In Japanese, mada まだ refers to a continuing state: 'still (as it was)' or 'not (changed) yet', and mou もう is about change: 'already (changed)' or 'no longer (the same)'. Are there other languages ...
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1answer
185 views

Do other languages have an “irreversible aspect”?

Like many languages, Lingála combines tense, aspect, and mood into a single TAM marking. Three of these TAMs pertain to the past: a-kɛnd-ákí "he left earlier today" (hodiernal/recent past) a-kɛnd-áká ...
3
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2answers
94 views

Combining pro-drop with null morphemes

Some languages combine pro-drop with null or zero morphemes – inflectional morphemes, more particularly. Turkish is an example of this. To illustrate, the verb istemek = to want is inflected as ...
5
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1answer
174 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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6answers
1k views

Are there other languages, besides English, where the indefinite (or definite) article varies based on sound?

I was talking today with an English co-worker about whether he says "an H-1B visa" or "a H-1B visa", which hinges on whether one says "aitch" or "haitch" for the letter H. And I noticed that unlike ...
12
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1answer
356 views

Is there any other language containing the sound of the “evanescent l” in Venetian?

Venetian (the Italo-Romance language spoken in the area of Italy roughly corresponding to the Veneto region) has a weird sound which is usually called l evanescente (evanescent l). It varies ...
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2answers
164 views

Rejecting writing down a language for various reasons

I remembered reading somewhere about a language that its speakers believe the written words are sacred (or some other reasons) they chose to refrain from putting spoken words into written forms even ...
0
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1answer
501 views

Percent of languages with the same word for hello and goodbye

What percent of languages have the same (primary) word for hello and goodbye? I'm aware that this might be an ill-formed question, but I figured I'd throw it out there and refine/revise it with the ...
3
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2answers
210 views

Do any modern orthographies use capital esh?

The letter "esh" (ʃ) is well-known from the IPA, and is also used in some languages' orthographies. Because of this second use case, Unicode includes a capital esh at U+01A9 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER ESH (...
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5answers
2k views

Is there any language where each character is pronounced differently depending on the word it's in?

Languages like Japanese have different pronunciations for each character (in the kanji system in this case) , a kanji character can have up to 20 different pronunciations depending on the the word it ...
3
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1answer
165 views

How common is the “elliptical dual” (or plural) cross-linguistically?

This question on Latin.SE asks about the "elliptical dual", a construction where the dual number doesn't mean "two X" but instead "X and one other". For example, in the Iliad, Aíant-e Ajax-DUAL means ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Are there any languages which inflect the noun for morphosyntactic categories normally reserved for verbs (e.g. tense, aspect, etc.)?

In English (for example), we say "I go/went/was going/etc.", inflecting the verb for tense and aspect while leaving the subject of the sentence unchanged. But are there any languages that would ...
2
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1answer
233 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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3answers
218 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 / ...
0
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1answer
105 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
246 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 ...
3
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0answers
71 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: ...
12
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1answer
289 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 &...
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3answers
185 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
118 views

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#...
0
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1answer
284 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 ...
4
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2answers
341 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 (...
2
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2answers
348 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
55 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 ...