Questions tagged [words]

a word is the smallest element that can be uttered in isolation with objective or practical meaning.

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1answer
76 views
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How to find the first use of a word?

I already know how to use the Ngram to check the frequency, And how to use the use the date ranges with Google books to find old usage of a word in medieval books. But how to check the first use of ...
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1answer
160 views

Estimating the number of words in a language before invention of alphabet

Here is my question from the title: Given a (natural) language with its writing system based on an alphabet, are there any theories giving (quantitative) estimates on the number of words the ...
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1answer
91 views

Nouns used as verbs.What is this process called?

I am milking the cow He is watering the garden In English many nouns can be used as verbs.some languages I know , for example, Hindi, does not have this facility. What is the process of nouns ...
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1answer
125 views

Find the 5 most-different-from-each other adjectives in the English language

I am trying to find a set of N common adjectives that are the least-used with each other in English. TLDR: Basically if you were creating a new language that was only going to have N adjectives and ...
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2answers
107 views

Does Lojban really have “unambiguous resolution of sounds into words”?

Lojban.org claims that “Lojban has [...] unambiguous resolution of sounds into words”¹ and that “Lojban [...] sounds can be divided into words in only one way.”² What is the evidence for this? Is ...
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31 views

big english word frequency list [duplicate]

I'm in need of English 100,000 frequency word list. I hope you tell me about a free option (if available) or an inexpensive one.
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0answers
32 views

Is there a modification of Bloomfield's (1926) definition of a word that would include function words?

Bloomfield (1926) defined a word as the following: A form which may be uttered alone (with meaning) but cannot be analyzed into parts that may (all of them) be uttered alone (with meaning) (p. 156) ...
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35 views

How can I obtain a list / cross-comparison table of function / closed-class words in the world's languages? (preferably in softcopy, online etc.)

How can I obtain a list / cross-comparison table of function / closed-class words in the world's languages? (preferably in softcopy, online etc.) I am looking for something like: ...
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5answers
371 views

Is there a theory of word polysemy? Case of snake versus serpent

Snake and serpent mean exactly the same thing. But they're different words when they're treated as derivations. The obsolete brass instrument is a serpent but cannot be called a snake. The plumber's ...
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1answer
103 views

A term for the process of building a form which has never been used before

One of my friends has started using the word 'vying' more and more these days. He did not know the word before a certain date and there was a clear event which caused him to "acquire" it into his ...
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1answer
160 views

Is there a General European English Accent?

I have noticed my former trainer from Estonia, fellow students from Poland and Italy, even Khabib from UFC who comes from Dagestan speak with this accent. Here is a video of khabib from remote ...
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1answer
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Can the Hebrew word translated “made” in Genesis 1 be translated as prepared or used? [closed]

Some people say it can be, which very much changes the meaning of the chapter.
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1answer
32 views

Are alternative pronunciations (with or without alternative spellings) different word forms from each other?

On another question a linguist told me that linguists define word forms by their phoneme sequence rather than their grapheme sequence. This makes me wonder: Are the spoken words going and goin' the ...
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3answers
129 views

Is a word form defined solely by its grapheme sequence? Can two lexemes have a shared word form?

If one lexeme has a word form "goes", and another lexeme has a word form "goes", are those two word forms considered by linguists to be the same? In other words, is a word form defined solely by its ...
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2answers
85 views

Complex example of a language with a word that is a complete English sentence

More specifically, I'm wondering if languages can put into 1 word what in English takes multiple words. For example, in English you can say "Speak!" to say basically "You speak!". In Spanish you can ...
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0answers
27 views

Find theme or topic by a set of words

Is there a way to find a common topic given a set of words? For example, by giving the words: blue, red, green, the common theme would be color, or from beef, hamburger, salad, sandwich I would get ...
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1answer
131 views

How do we identify “words” in Chinese?

Chinese, when written in Han characters, does not have "word boundaries". Because Han script is a morphosyllabic script where under most circumstances each character correspond to a morpheme, it is ...
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3answers
154 views

Is there a name for the phenomenon of some words being more deeply embedded in a language than others?

I'm wondering if there's a name for a phenomenon that I think of in the following way: Some words are far more deeply embedded within a language than others. I'm contrasting the words "do" and "...
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2answers
135 views

'm' in the words meaning first person

I have read in a book about the theory that explains why in many languages pronouns meaning first person contain letter 'm' (e.g. me, moi, меня, mich) and pronouns describing second person contain ...
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1answer
90 views

What does '# of Cs' mean?

The symbol # refers to the word boundary, which is the beginning and the ending of a word. So does the phrase # of Cs mean that a consonant is the first or last letter in a word? The whole ...
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2answers
176 views

Why isn't a cat called a meow?

Presumably, before the development of a proper spoken language, humans referred to a cat as a "meow", the sound it makes. That is just the natural candidate for what to call an animal. This is what ...
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1answer
31 views

What is a study trying to synthesise different meanings of a root (synchronically) called?

A relatively straightforward research question in the study of dead languages is of the form: "We have root XYZ that means A in context P and B in context Q. How can we generalise A and B to arrive at ...
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112 views

What's the infinitive stem?

What's the infinitive stem? Can you explain it giving examples please? And is there something that called "resulting stem"?
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2answers
173 views

Verb pairs similar to “buy” and “sell”?

"buy" and "sell" that are basically the same action/event, but reverse arguments (subject of one, the object of the other): X sold his car to Y. Y bought a car from X. Is there a any special name ...
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1answer
3k views

What is the difference between type and token?

My understanding of this is quite vague. Token I understand to be the total number of words in a given text, but type I am not so sure about. If I have a variety of inflected forms (e.g eat, eats, ...
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9answers
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House vs. home in other languages

In American English, one's house refers to his or her physical dwelling, while one's home is so much more. A home is a building, a city, even a country where one feels he or she belongs most. It's a ...
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1answer
41 views

What's the best approach to creating word-embeddings?

I would like to obtain word embeddings (vector representation of words). Do you think it is better to try to directly obtain a word embedding using some neural network approach or is it better to ...
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0answers
164 views

How many words can be considered “core words”?

First of all I apologize but my English skills are by far below the complexity of the question I need to ask. I am not a specialist and my question is not related to a single language. I would like to ...
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1answer
76 views

Origins of a mystery name/word “Bossyi”

I hope this is the right place for this question. A friend of mine came across the word "bossyi" twice whilst digging through his family records. I've trawled around the internet looking for word ...
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3answers
134 views

Animal Species discrimination in languages

Making my own language, primitive, so I'm trying to figure out how much did primitive languages discriminate different species in the same families of animals. For example; Dog vs Wolf, Lion vs ...
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2answers
171 views

Word classification and labeling

I got myself in a controversial discussion on word classification. To my knowledge words can be classified as a) inherited from a parent language, b) inherited substrate words, c) a result of ...
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0answers
67 views

Words that are used in the same contexts across different languages

I am looking for a list of words that, albeit not being [obviously] morphologically related, can be used in different contexts and they have the same meaning in those contexts across different ...
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2answers
140 views

What explanatory value does a prosodic word have?

I understand that it is a prosodic word that dominates feet in a classic hierarchy -- but why do we need to refer to a prosodic word rather than just a word? I know they are different units, but what'...
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1answer
81 views

Is [ǀ], or ⟨tsk!⟩ a word in English?

When an English speaker uses a dental click [ǀ] to express shame or pity (or in Spanish as a sign of confusion), is that a word? What is the linguistic term for it? PS: I wondered about this after ...
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0answers
91 views

Where can I find a list of English words that contain a rare combination of phonemes

I am looking for a wake up word for a digital product that would be easily detected with a voice recognition engine. This calls for a word that has a rare combination of phonemes so the product is ...
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2answers
139 views

Why do native English speakers analyze “a lot” as one word?

At least in the US, many, maybe most, native English speakers spell "a lot" as one word until taught otherwise. Why is this such a common phenomenon? There are several pieces of (non-written based) ...
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3answers
2k views

How to distinguish a polysynthetic language from other languages? When is something a word?

For example, the probably most quoted sentence in a polysynthetic langauge (from Yupik): tuntussuqatarniksaitengqiggtuq: tuntu- ssur- qatar- ni- ksaite- ngqiggte- uq reindeer- hunt- FUT- ...
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0answers
342 views

Analyses of English word formation processes?

I'm looking for analyses of the word stock of English which look at which word formation process accounts for what percentage of the word stock. When I say "word formation," I would include here ...
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4answers
125 views

Parsing a frequently used phrase as a word: Is there a name for that?

Is there a name for the phenomenon in which a phrase consisting of several words is mentally parsed as a word? Two examples are when General Patton used as the plural of "son of a bitch" the phrase "...
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1answer
56 views

Having trouble with assigning stress degrees to a long compound

I need to give the stress degrees for each component in "compressed air powered fence post driver". If I want to argue that "compressed air powered fence post driver" is a compound, what are the ...
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2answers
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Do Word Formation Rules have to do only with polymorphemic words? [closed]

Word Formation Rules are responsible for the existence of well formed words. Are simple words (single, free morphemes) the result of word formation rules?
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1answer
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Are all complex words polymorphemic?

Complex words contain whether a bound and a free morpheme (eg unhappy) or two bound morphemes (eg intervene). In the first case (eg unhappy) the complex word is polymorphemic because it includes a ...
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3answers
6k views

What is the difference between Greek zōē and bios?

Ancient Greek has two words that are translated as life in English: zōē and bios. What is the difference between them? What are their cognates in other Indo-European languages?
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1answer
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How is “complexity” calculated on thesaurus.com?

On thesaurus.com, you can filter synonyms by their "complexity." Does anyone know the criteria they use to determine a word's complexity?
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39 views

What's the origin of the word “Wizard” in software terms? [closed]

I've been thinking about this for a while. In software you have bugs. From what I know this naming is used because someone had a problem once getting hardware to work due to an actual living bug in ...
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2answers
262 views

How can I find which words don't exist in a language?

This answer got me thinking about words that exist in many languages but don't exist in a few. It states that there was no word for and in PIE. I had previously read that Some languages do not answer ...
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69 views

Is there a list of multilingual rhymes?

I'm searching for multilingual rhymes like: Star - far / Stern - fern (German) Unfortunately I only have this one so far.
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2answers
141 views

Is it possible to determine the number of words in a language?

Recently I got into a discussion with my friend concerning sizes of lexicons of different languages. He stated something about Japanese having considerably more words than English. (The exact ...
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2answers
2k views

Most commonly used words across languages?

I'm doing my own (very small) corpus analysis, including a word frequency list and would like to compare the top, say, 30 words with other such lists. I know that there are things like the GSL/NGSL, ...
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1answer
65 views

When and why did 'another' start being used as one word?

I assume the word came from a meshing together of 'other' with its indefinite article'. When (and why) did English speakers begin to use this version, instead of 'an other'? And why is it still ...