Questions tagged [methodology]

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Have any linguists studied/described a language that was totally foreign to them?

Have any linguists studied/described a language that was totally foreign to them? ie the linguist has totally no idea of what the utterances and writing of a language mean. How did they do it - ...
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Is there a software solution to create sets of stimuli for a listening experiment?

I have a set of recordings of speakers of two different languages pronouncing certain sounds. Specifically, I have recordings of 6 speakers of language A, and 6 speakers of language B, 3 male and 3 ...
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114 views

Is there a method for teaching through etymology/cognates?

Is there an existing method, (published in a book/in an article), for teaching languages with cognates and/or etymology? I'm primarily interested in Indo-European family, but any of such teaching ...
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Is a narrative the best pedagogic tool in teaching English as a second language?

I know that a discourse is an interconnected speech or writing. These days we are hearing a lot about discourses in language teaching.The Government of India considers constructvist approach to be the ...
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Statistical Methods in Etymology

Etymologists tend to categorize the probability of theories under formulaic labels. These range from "uncertain" over "tentative" or "not convincing" to "established", "accepted" or "nonsense". P ...
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What statistical tests can be used to check for lexicalisation effects in a judgement task?

In a run-of-the-mill judgement rating task where participants have to rate sentences on a Likert scale (e.g. 1 to 6) and that is constructed using a Latin square design, what statistical tests can be ...
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93 views

Useful software and/or “manual” method for data analysis in a stylistic study of transitivity (SFL)

What would be a useful software and/or systematic "manual" method for data analysis in a study of transitivity (Systemic Functional Linguistics) that would like to incorporate some kind of statistics ...
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239 views

Where to start with deciphering this language? [closed]

I do apologize if this question has been asked before or has a better place on a different part of the StackExchange network, but I've run out of places to ask this. While playing through one of my ...
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When analyzing a set of corpora, are there any standard practices with regard to the classification of gerunds?

In the article, "How Many Words Do You Need to Know in Spanish (or any other foreign language)? And WHICH Words Should You Be Learning?" I came upon the following: “Assume that a language learner ...
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178 views

Can linguistics be proven?

Is there a standard of proof in linguistics like there is in other sciences? How do linguists determine if something is true? I ask because grammarians disagree on a lot of things. It's to the point ...
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Where does the reported number of native speakers in Ethnologue come from?

According to Ethnologue's page regarding "Chinese, Mandarin", the population of speakers of Standard Chinese is 889,000,000 in China (2013), increasing. 70% of Chinese language users speak a ...
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Should I use the Log-Likelihood (G2) test to compare word frequency across corpora?

I need to compare the frequency of occurrence of a word in two corpora. Take for example the word fail which occurs 311 times in a corpus containing language from the sciences (2 million tokens) and ...
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A syntactician “must-read” list

I'm a (mostly) self-taught linguist. I was always interested in syntax so I started with Carnie's (2013) Syntax: A generative introduction + few interviews with Chomsky (where I got the general idea ...
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1answer
135 views

Have there been attempts to verify accuracy of the comparative method?

Comparative method, being a great accomplishment of historical linguistics, obviously has its flaws. Reconstructions of proto-languages provided by this method can only be perceived as mere abstract ...
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61 views

Said tags in Sentence detection

I am trying to apply NLP to fiction but I don't know how split dialog into sentences. Specifically how to split said tags. ex. "Awake? How long have been asleep?" asked teenagers at the same time. ...
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156 views

What is the protocol to determine sample size in phonetic research?

I am doing a simple graduate-student research project with a colleague in the CompSci Department. We want to develop a program that automatically distinguishes a man's voice from a woman's. We ...
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2answers
64 views

What are some must-have equipment in a mobile fieldwork kit?

Suppose you are given a $35,000 budget for documentation equipment to perform a typological study of suprasegmental features of language varieties spoken in urban and rural Finland. Obviously, one ...
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4answers
324 views

Way to learn foreign languages

It's my first post here. I was planning for a long time to learn another foreign language. Polish is my mother tongue and I also speak english. Not on a professional level of course but I'm pretty ...
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715 views

Methods for meaning extraction

Let someone wants to know what some word (concrete as "chair" or abstract as "happiness") mean. What methods, experimental techniques are there for extracting word's meaning? I found next ways: Study ...
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1answer
455 views

How to explore the meaning of a concept (like “friendship”)?

I am trying to extract all components ("atoms") of meaning of the concept "friendship" in a certain language (actually in Russian). By components of meaning I mean, for example: "girl"="human"+"female"...
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Has anyone here successfully learned another language? [closed]

Has anyone here successfully learned* another language? *Learned being defined as the ability to communicate with native speakers without trouble (or basically, at an expert level). I'm curious to ...
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827 views

Personal vs. Demonstrative Pronouns

I've read in a number of places (e.g. Wikipedia) that Proto-Indo-European had first and second-person personal pronouns, but no third-person pronouns. Instead, a system of anaphoric demonstrative ...
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Is there a well-established metric to measure the effectiveness of a parsing algorithm?

My understanding that 100% accurate parsing (analyzing a text and creating a syntactic tree) is an impossible task for computational linguistics at this moment. However, there are many heuristics or ...
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911 views

Are there alternatives to the comparative method in historical linguistics?

As far as I can tell, the comparative method is the most accepted and widely used method in historical linguistics. Often used in conjunction with the internal reconstruction method, it has proved to ...
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4answers
814 views

How does a linguist determine whether a pattern is grammatical in a language?

How does a linguist determine whether a pattern is grammatical in a language? Is there some kind of standard test? This is assuming that there is little documentation of the language and no authority. ...
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5answers
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Do linguists measure the relation distance between languages? How?

Sometimes, I read passages like: Languages X, Y and Z in region A are closely related to each other, comparable to French, Italian and Spanish in Western Europe. The discussion in the question "Do ...
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How are languages deciphered?

How do archaeologists, cryptoanalysts and linguists decipher extinct languages? Has there been a case in history where this was successfully accomplished, without the means of something like the ...
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325 views

Is explanation part of Historical Linguistics?

I am reading John McWhorter’s "Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue". One thing called my attention in the book: he spends a great deal of effort trying to show how scholars have examined the history of ...
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What method do linguists use to rate language competence?

People on the street bandy about words like "fluent", "knows French", "speaks broken French" as if it all means something. How do linguists determine if a speaker is competent and what taxonomy do ...