Questions tagged [methodology]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
21 votes
5 answers
1k views

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 ...
MatthewMartin's user avatar
20 votes
2 answers
14k views

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
  • 303
16 votes
5 answers
2k views

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
  • 8,481
16 votes
2 answers
4k views

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
  • 8,481
14 votes
4 answers
1k 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. ...
Louis Rhys's user avatar
  • 8,481
10 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Otavio Macedo's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
866 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 ...
drobnbobn's user avatar
  • 189
7 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
Justin Olbrantz's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
379 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 ...
Otavio Macedo's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

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 ...
syntaxfairy's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
277 views

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 ...
vectory's user avatar
  • 1,412
4 votes
2 answers
197 views

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
  • 313
4 votes
1 answer
561 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"...
Alex.rft's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
198 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 ...
czypsu's user avatar
  • 1,416
3 votes
2 answers
151 views

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 ...
user1234's user avatar
  • 131
3 votes
0 answers
46 views

Quantitative methodology for contrastive pragmatics in corpus-based settings

I am interested in literature regarding methodology that could be relevant for quantitative research into differences in pragmatic meaning between two 'equivalent' concepts in two languages (in other ...
Damiaan Reijnaers's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
161 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 ...
Quidam's user avatar
  • 632
2 votes
2 answers
200 views

elicit judgment: source revealed?

I'd like to know whether it's okay to reveal the identity of a person in advance when having others judge his or her sentences for grammaticality. Will that affect the reliability of the judgments? If ...
Apollyon's user avatar
  • 133
2 votes
2 answers
59 views

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 ...
Nworb's user avatar
  • 73
2 votes
2 answers
70 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. ...
Steven Owens's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
463 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 ...
Pijotrek's user avatar
  • 129
2 votes
0 answers
69 views

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 ...
Rhymoid's user avatar
  • 121
1 vote
3 answers
156 views

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 - ...
forgodsakehold's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
148 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 ...
Teusz's user avatar
  • 2,701
1 vote
0 answers
143 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 ...
M.D89's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
95 views

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 ...
Stagnant Intros's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
346 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 ...
Pleiades's user avatar
  • 187
0 votes
1 answer
230 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 ...
Teusz's user avatar
  • 2,701
0 votes
4 answers
193 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 ...
William's user avatar
  • 143
0 votes
0 answers
26 views

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 ...
NLKonovalenko's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
75 views

Has anyone developed a complete, hierarchical ontology of “language”?

If we consider whatever the phenomenon of “language” is, what might be the most immediate way of subdividing it into types? For example, it could be broken into specific instances of languages, vs. ...
Julius H.'s user avatar