Questions tagged [methodology]

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16 votes
5 answers

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 ...
Louis Rhys's user avatar
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20 votes
2 answers

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 ...
Dexter's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers

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 ...
Louis Rhys's user avatar
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14 votes
4 answers

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. ...
Louis Rhys's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers

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 ...
Otavio Macedo's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer

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"...
Alex.rft's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers

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 ...
LISA's user avatar
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