Questions tagged [list-of-languages]

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

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3
votes
4answers
188 views

Interesting exemplary cases where natural/political boundaries have led to language divergence

I'm looking for nice examples of the influence of natural or political boundaries to dialect divergence for introductory purposes. Generally through some limitations on the ability of people to ...
3
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1answer
3k views

My friend suddenly speaks an unknown language after sleep. Need help with recognition

Recording and English translation attached bellow. About 3 months ago, my Vietnamese friend shocked many people when she suddenly spoke to them in an unknown language after a normal night sleep. It ...
-5
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2answers
138 views

Are there objectively measurable features which make humans perceive a language, by itself, as awe-inspiring and worth of renown? [closed]

This scene of Game of Thrones is about Khal Drogo's speech. While watching this video, I feel a very deep connection to the character as a leader, and I'm impressed by him, ready to rise and obey him. ...
16
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4answers
2k views

Are there languages in which “coffee” is not a cognate of a root containing k/q and f/h/w?

Is there a language, in which the word for "coffee" does not contain the sounds k/q and f/h/v, i.e. the word has a different root?
4
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0answers
142 views

Month names variants

Regarding the question on TeX.stackexchange I am looking for generally used languages that use different cases for their month and day names. Based on Czech and Slovak languages I can imagine two ...
5
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1answer
206 views

Languages with a grammatical distinction between abstract and concrete nouns

Are there any languages making a grammatical distinction between abstract and concrete nouns? I suppose this should boil down to the question about the existence of languages having a morpheme ...
6
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2answers
455 views

A language that was a creole/pidgin long ago

Is there a language that is proved to descend from a creole/pidgin language that existed many centuries ago? If yes, in what aspects is its creole origin visible now?
7
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2answers
562 views

Are there right-branching agglutinative languages?

The major agglutinative languages like Turkish and Japanese are also notable for being almost strictly left-branching, much more so than, say, English is right-branching. Is it a coincidence, or is ...
2
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1answer
202 views

In what tonal language is tone uncontroversially suprasegmental and not segmental?

So, it recently came to my attention that Chinese tone is not necessary a suprasegmental feature like I assumed. It seems that some claim it can be analyzed as being subsegmental. If I am interested ...
11
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1answer
422 views

Do languages ever get new cases?

In my education, I've learned about a lot of languages whose case systems have atrophied, especially from PIE. Wikipedia had a reference to The Evolution of Case Systems for Marking Event Structure, ...
4
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4answers
245 views

Are there any languages where numbers have cases?

Are there any languages which use different cases of numbers for different uses?
2
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10answers
459 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 "...
7
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3answers
419 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 ...
3
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2answers
389 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
611 views

Is there a language in which the present tense expresses only present time reference?

Is there a language in which the present tense exactly expresses present time reference? English may use present tense to express past events(known as historical present) and future events(especially ...
0
votes
1answer
155 views

Any languages without the following list of consonants?

I was wondering if there are any living languages without any of the following: /ɬ/ or /ɮ/, postaveolars and palatals—with the exception of /j/? Again, a list of the excluded consonants are- ...
0
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1answer
129 views

Are there any languages in which 'knowledge' is not a mass noun?

I would have thought there would be some, but I'd love some examples. So are there any languages in which the translation of 'knowledge'is not a mass noun?
2
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4answers
146 views

Languages that have morphological distinction between independent clauses with implicit subjects and independent clauses with explicit subjects?

Many languages permit an independent clause to lack an explicit subject (known as null-subject languages). Consider the following sentences taken from Spanish. Tú eres mi amiga. (You are my friend). [...
3
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3answers
212 views

Can we use several independent clauses to express an idea of conditional without too much limitation?

In English, generally speaking, an idea of conditional is expressed by a sentence with a dependent clause (and usually with the conjunction "if"): If it rains, the picnic will be cancelled. The ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Languages with only a gender-neutral word for aunt/uncle

English has the words brother and sister, but then we also have the word sibling as a gender-neutral version. We have the words aunt and uncle as well, but no gender-neutral version. What languages ...
2
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0answers
65 views

Is there a language that begins range expressions with the higher/later datum?

If someone were to say There were between twenty and ten people at the event. or I will be there from the fifth to the second of July. that person would sound strange indeed, because in ...
1
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0answers
68 views

Must subjectless infinitives exhibit subject control when used as complements(traditionally direct objects) of other verbs?

In English, the answer will be yes in most cases, but one thesis cast doubt on this. The author provided an example taken from BNC: My mother helped [PRO] to cater for the funeral tea, which were ...
0
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1answer
183 views

Are there languages with more cases than Latin?

I am currently busy with a project that involves production rules. From my years in Latin at college, I learned about the six basic ones. But if I am not confused, ablative could represent several ...
0
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3answers
338 views

Is there a language in which the verb “to ask” can be followed by a dative case?

So far as I know, the ditransitive verb "to ask" takes two accusatives in German (fragen), and the verb "to give" takes one dative and one accusative in many languages. Is there a language in which ...
4
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2answers
325 views

Are there any languages besides Korean where vowel harmony is used semantically?

Korean has an interesting feature, in that mimetic words and colours can be altered by changing their vowels from one vowel harmony grouping to the other. The two groupings are called yin vowels and ...
1
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4answers
290 views

Languages where numbers are read out in a mixed-up fashion

The German number system has the peculiarity that the ones are read out before the tens. For example: 634542 = Sechshundertvierunddreißigtausendfünfhundertvzweiundvierzig = "six hundred four-...
1
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2answers
162 views

Which modern languages have more than two grammatical categories for numbers?

As stated in the title. I aware that some languages have some remnants of dual grammtical numbers.
4
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2answers
193 views

Languages with capitalization inside or at the end of certain words

I recently asked myself this seemingly simple question, but could not find any answers on my own. Are there any natural (or constructed) languages that capitalize (depending on their alphabet of ...
2
votes
3answers
389 views

Is there any language in which the gender of the subject/object is marked in every verb conjugation?

Besides Spanish where you have comerla (feminine, eat her) or comerlo (masculine, eat him), but only works for certain verb conjugations. Any other language where the gender of objects/subjects is ...
3
votes
1answer
280 views

Examples of small, minimalistic natural languages?

I was reading about a constructed language called "Toki Pona" that is touted to have only 120 words. I wanted to know are there any examples of any natural languages notable for their simplicity or ...
7
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6answers
4k views

Languages without plural markings

Are there languages where nouns are invariable? As I have read such languages simply use a numeral in front of the unchanged noun. They don't say "five cats", but "five cat" or "five tail cat". I ...
0
votes
1answer
255 views

Language with the highest ratio of diacritics to letters in typical text

Vietnamese uses a high number of diacritics. Are there any languages that are even higher, in terms of either the maximum or the mean of the number of diacritics added to letters?
4
votes
1answer
284 views

Are there languages with triple or quadruple negation?

Since I already know that language does not necessarily follows mathematical logic (which of course is a man made system of rules - it's not absolute) I want to know if there are languages with triple ...
2
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1answer
157 views

The tetralemma based languages

The tetralemma system of logic ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetralemma) evaluates each proposition into four possible values which are true ,false ,neither true or false and both true and false. ...
1
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2answers
191 views

Definiteness as the default interpretation of NPs

In which languages do non-proper NPs have a default unmarked interpretation as definite, rather than indefinite? In English, the default interpreration of plural and uncountable NPs is normally ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Is there a language in which feminine is the unmarked gender?

In English and every language I speak or know well, masculine gender is unmarked, and feminine is marked, for any human referent. Is there any known language where this is the other way around? (Take ...
3
votes
4answers
202 views

Do there exist any languages that use inflection to create questions?

In most (or all?) of Germanic languages questions are created by inversion. E.g.: "I am here." -> "Am I here?" As far as I know most of Slavic languages do it simply by adding a word before the ...
22
votes
22answers
3k views

What's the origin of “You're welcome”?

Is English the only language to use "You're welcome"? I've read on a few websites that English is the only language where it's accepted to say, "You're welcome" in response to someone thanking you. ...
12
votes
8answers
6k views

Are there any languages without /a/ or /i/?

Arabic languages include only three vowels: /a/, /i/ and /u/. Japanese is the only language I know about that doesn't have a /u/ sound - it has /ɯ/ instead. Do there exist any languages that do not ...
43
votes
9answers
6k views

Is there any language that uses different pronouns for “we” depending on whether the spoken to person is included in the group?

As in "we are going out tonight" using a different word for "we" depending on whether you mean "me and some other people" or "you and me (and potentially other people as well)".
3
votes
2answers
227 views

Propositional pro-forms like “so” English?

I'm looking for examples of dedicated embedding pro-forms for propositions in other languages. In particular, I'm curious to know about analogs to uses of so in English like the following: I think so....
1
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2answers
320 views

language distinctions based on gender (sex) of “speaker”

UPDATED BELOW In portuguese women say obrigada and men say obrigado In thai women say sawadee ka and men say sawadee krap Is there a linguistic term for these gender based distinctions? How ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

Assuming that passives need verbal morphology, which languages commonly said to have a passive do not actually count?

Among others, I recently read the passive definition by Martin Haspelmath (from THE GRAMMATICIZATION OF PASSIVE MORPHOLOGY, 1990), which states (page 26/27 of the book, the second/third page of the ...
2
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4answers
368 views

Are there languages that form noun singulars by adding suffixes to plurals, rather than vice versa?

In languages that express grammatical number in nouns with suffixes, usually there is either a suffix added to an unsuffixed singular to form the plural (cat—cats), or the suffix (or inflectional ...
3
votes
2answers
137 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"? ...
7
votes
2answers
155 views

Is there any language where time is grammaticalised by inflections on something other than its verbs?

I wonder if there's a language where grammatical tense is not expressed by inflections on its verbs, but by inflecting some other part of speech?
1
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2answers
681 views

Etymological connections between words for “man” and “woman” in languages other than Hebrew?

In the book of Genesis Adam identifies Eve (Chava) as "isha" because this word ["ishah"] came from "ish" (man). the hebrew word "ish" is IN WHOLE etymologically the source of "ishah", which the hebrew ...
6
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2answers
720 views

Are there any latin-alphabet languages written right-to-left?

Are there any languages using the Latin alphabet characters which are written right-to-left?
1
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2answers
159 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 ...
8
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4answers
1k views

How common is it for languages to use the plural for zero?

In English, when you use "no" or "zero" to indicate a lack of something, the noun is plural: I have no horses. There are no houses for sale. This costs zero dollars. How common is this across ...