Questions tagged [vocabulary]

The set of words within a language.

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5
votes
2answers
324 views

Size of active vocabulary in hunter gather tribes

How big is the active vocabulary that an average hunter gather tribe in Africa uses? Is it comparable to the size of Western civilisation?
2
votes
2answers
7k views

What are the constituent morphemes in 'preposition'?

The word preposition. I am trying to break down a series of words into their constituent morphemes and am having trouble with the word 'preposition'. I can obviously see that the 'pre-' is a morpheme ...
7
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9answers
19k views

Which language has the biggest vocabulary?

I am thinking that it is English because it has so many borrowed words and most you French, Italian, or German words can be written in English as is. Am I right?
5
votes
1answer
785 views

Words and phrases more likely in everyday speech

I'm processing a large corpus for a given language. I've noticed that for certain sections of the corpus, I can go many tens of thousands of words without the word "me" being mentioned. These are ...
13
votes
5answers
26k views

How many “words” do I need to learn?

I am interested in learning a second language. To do this I have created a list of the 1000 most common words and phrases for a given language. I've also established sentences which contains each of ...
1
vote
4answers
269 views

Are there people who intentionally refuse to use some words even if the majority does it?

Suppose one person does not like one word or expression. He would have to use it though, so then he chooses a substitute. The majority of the people however use that word. Now, since one meaning of ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

How is the differing reuse of words depending on language called in Linguistics?

My question is a little bit tricky (for me) to put in a title. I will try to describe: There are different types of writing systems, such as logographic, true alphabets and segmental scripts. Not ...
4
votes
1answer
178 views

How are meanings of a word ordered in a dictionary?

What base does vocabulary.com use for its hierarchy of meanings of a word? For example see http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/sound. Are top levels (numbered list) all homonyms? What structure do ...
5
votes
2answers
131 views

Are there any extensive study on the vocabulary used in the Mongour and Bonan languages?

I have always been interested in examining Tu/Mongour and Bonan language. Mongour is a Mongolic language which is spoken by Mongour people who may be the descendants of Xianbei people who moved from ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Pre-Proto-Basque: is there a methodology to establishing its vocabulary?

For example, say I have a list Basque/Euskera words, is there a way I can reconstruct these modern Basque words into a Pre-Proto-Basque version? beo (hot) lur (earth) izotz (ice) izuga (fear) ...
3
votes
1answer
259 views

What is the evidence for laryngeal in *méh₂tēr?

Wikitionary shows a PIE word *méh₂tēr but I never seen this word spelled with a laryngeal. There was a long vowel there but how is it correct to analyze it to be *-eh₂- rather than just *ā?
3
votes
1answer
682 views

How it happened that evolution of “mater” and “pater” is different despite their similar origin?

With an addition of PIE relatives suffix *-ter-, Eurasiatic *ama, *apa became Old PIE *mā-ter-s, *pa-ter-s (the final -s was later lost in late PIE) But there is a difference: in Old PIE *māters the "...
7
votes
2answers
388 views

Are there any online databases of kinship terms across languages?

Related to a question at ELU, I am interested in doing a comparative analysis of kinship terms in various languages. What would help me with this is an inventory of terms for individual languages. ...
0
votes
1answer
291 views

Vocabulary Usage Patterns

Why do vocabulary sets used by one person within the same context differ as a result of the environment of execution? For example: reading, writing, speaking, listening, etc. What are the "...
10
votes
1answer
384 views

Are there languages which use the negation of 'odd' to denote 'even'?

This question is influenced by another one I found on the German SE, "Warum nennt man in Deutsch die Zahlen 0, 2, 4 … “gerade” Zahlen?". It asks "Why call Germans the numbers 0, 2, 2 "even". The ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does the name of the flower 'Forget-me-not' have the same meaning in other languages?

The flower forget-me-not is named "Vergissmeinnicht" in German and "Незабудка" in Russian. The meaning is the same in all three languages. Is this a coincidence?
10
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2answers
379 views

Is the rate of vocabulary change more or less constant?

Has the rate of vocabulary change (that is, number of words falling out of use per decade, say) been found to be largely constant in human societies or does it strongly depend on circumstances? If ...

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