Questions tagged [written-language]

Questions which apply solely or mostly to the written forms of languages as opposed to their spoken forms.

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A Question on 'Topical Progression': How to Address Internal Inconsistencies in the Framework

(This question has been moved from English Language Stack Exchange on account of relevancy.) In my mission to improve my writing, I have come across a concept called 'topical progression' (discussed ...
MJ Ada's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
273 views

I'd like for this to be a word. Why isn't it?

I am a high school student with a question, and I am not entirely sure this is the right place to voice it. I often encounter situations where I want to use a word to describe a specific situation I'm ...
Cailyn Fitz's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
8k views

The reason why Semitic languages are written right to left

I have seen a video where the host said the reason why Semitic languages are written right to left is because in the old days in that region paper-like material was scarce and people usually carved ...
blackened's user avatar
  • 463
4 votes
0 answers
73 views

Does any language add additional speech marks to the question and exclamation mark in writing?

In English (and any other languages I've studied) we have special marks which are used to identify questions (i.e. ?) and exclamations (i.e. !). Does any written language add additional markers to ...
Neil Tarrant's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
219 views

Why is phonology part of a language, but writing isn't?

I very often see the pretense of something like "writing is not language" which I still don't quite understand. As I understand, writing is a representation of a language, but not the ...
NeonGooRoo's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
170 views

Emphasis through capitalizing the first letters of words

I've begun to see this style of emphasis used more frequently, like in the following passage: People whose careers depend on the great stuff working as advertised may decide instead that they Simply ...
kalkronline's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
663 views

Does it make sense to study linguistics in order to research written communication?

According to this question and its answers, linguistics primarily focuses on spoken language and not written language. This answer to another question indicates that this focus is a matter of ...
T Hummus's user avatar
  • 151
2 votes
1 answer
196 views

Why did the ancient people use different languages for speaking and writing and why don't we?

Why did the ancient people use different languages for speaking and writing? For example, in my country in 10-13th centuries people used for speaking colloquial Slavic language which evolved into ...
Robotex's user avatar
  • 129
3 votes
1 answer
160 views

Does the concept of slang exist in cultures without established written or formal education traditions?

In English and, presumably, many of the world's other commonly spoken languages, there exists a rough category of words considered slang. This concept is not quite the same as taboo (many slang words ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
  • 714
-1 votes
1 answer
125 views

Isn't it misleading to call written representations of spoken languages as written languages?

In the following sentences I would refer to anything that can be used to denote something as a symbol. Any language uses some kind of symbol to denote different things. I presume that any language ...
Harshit Rajput's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
155 views

Relationship of spoken and written language and truth of sentences

I am not entirely sure if this is the appropriate site and whether these are the appropriate tags for this topic, so if that is not the case, please feel free to let me know. I never thought twice ...
user3118's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
54 views

I need help with searching a corpus for a complex sentence

I am trying to formulate a search request that will show me example sentences for sentences that contain the phrase "In the beginning" or "At the beginning" followed by the word &...
Mara's user avatar
  • 11
4 votes
1 answer
132 views

Ways of classifying writing systems by appearance?

Are there any common groupings of writing systems by grapheme appearance? I'm currently writing about language identification and one specific goal I have as part of the work is to include steps for ...
Callum Booth's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
115 views

Do English words have a sort of de-facto inherrent gender (or gender stereotype) to them?

I apologize in advance if this question goes all over the place, I was just randomly thinking today about gender in the English language. One thing in English that I find is overlooked is gender in ...
Franglishman24's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Beta vs eszett character difference

How to write the Greek letter beta and the German letter eszett so that they look different enough? I've seen variants of beta with the final arc ending on the vertical line and ones which have a ...
ByteEater's user avatar
  • 143
3 votes
2 answers
486 views

Books on historical writing systems

Can you recommend books on the writing systems that are not widely used today (e.g. the Germanic runes, the Old Turkic script)?
Jim's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
153 views

Boustrophedon-like writing system with single character orientation

Did a writing system ever develop that had a bi-directional writing style, alternating every line, with character orientation and order being preserved between lines? (Essentially Boustrophedon, ...
TomDot Com's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
6k views

Why were writing systems invented independently during roughly the same period across multiple civilizations?

Homo sapiens have been around for 200,000 years, and spoken language is believed to have been around for 50,000 to 150,000 years. Writing is a relatively new phenomenon. According to this source, ...
J Li's user avatar
  • 587
-1 votes
2 answers
211 views

Which language has the most distinct written and spoken forms?

I know about Persian as an example. For example, we have "خانه" (transliterated as Khaneh, which means home) for the written form. But we say "خونه" (Khooneh) for the spoken form ...
Snack Exchange's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
285 views

Prevalence of Western/Latin Arabic numerals (digits 0-9) in cultures using the Hindu-Arabic Numeral System?

How prevalent is the use of Western/Latin Arabic numerals (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, hereafter referred to as Latin digits)† as the primary means of symbolically manipulating numeric ideograms in ...
Indolering's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
322 views

Tabannusi in cuneiform script

I'd like to know how to correctly write a word "tabannusi" (build) in sumerian alphabet. Is there a chance then anyone can help me?
Marek Lothrain's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
390 views

Are there any languages that don't "fit" on a keyboard?

The standard QWERTY keyboard has keys for all the letters in English, and also numbers, symbols and a few punctuation marks. Other languages, such as French, might have diacritics in their spelling. ...
William's user avatar
  • 143
25 votes
3 answers
4k views

Can Someone Identify This Diacritic?

My mother is working on genealogy and has run across a diacritic mark that I could swear I've seen before but cannot identify. Here is the last name (said to be Austrian) from two documents. It's the ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 493
14 votes
5 answers
4k views

Are there languages where a change of character casing can lead to a different meaning of a word?

I'm no expert on linguistics. In fact I'm no even a proper amateur but please, bear with me on this: Are there any languages where a word would change its meaning depending on the casing of one or ...
Mats's user avatar
  • 243
1 vote
1 answer
78 views

What is the technical term for the copyist error of replacing a letter with another, similar-looking letter?

One form of textual criticism (which is under the branch of corpus linguistics) is arguing that a text was mistakenly copied by a copyist to reflect an erroneous reading. An example of this is that ...
Reb Chaim HaQoton's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Can a natural language be non-serializable?

Typically, a serializable language can be expressed by strings. Can a natural language be non-serializable? Fictional source which motivated me to ask this question: a character in C. Stross' novel "...
J. Doe's user avatar
  • 195
3 votes
1 answer
105 views

Searching for an English Whats-app Corpus

I am searching an English Whats-app Corpus in order to analyse a linguistic phenomena. I had some difficulties to find one and maybe some of you can help me out. It is only for corpus driven study and ...
Jannik's user avatar
  • 82
0 votes
3 answers
247 views

Some “linguistic formulas” to translate French texts into English?

I am not sure is it correct to ask my question here or not! I've asked this question here (in MathStackExchange) before! Maybe it is better to see the question there, because it was written ...
Davood's user avatar
  • 119
1 vote
2 answers
337 views

Are there differences in writing among Arabic dialects?

I am currently looking for text data in Arabic. However, for this I need to know whether there exist some significant differences among dialects in its written form. Surely, dialects very likely ...
Stefan Falk's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do you break words across lines in Arabic?

I have been searching for this for a few hours today and haven't found anything but this really, well maybe this is as close as it gets. Just found this, too, which is nice. I've asked this on the ...
Lance's user avatar
  • 4,338
21 votes
9 answers
5k views

Languages which changed their writing direction

I am interested in account of languages that had undergone a change in the writing direction somewhere in the history. We might say, for example, that Greek was used to be written also (not sure if ...
d_e's user avatar
  • 331
4 votes
1 answer
250 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 ...
Hayk's user avatar
  • 143
0 votes
2 answers
390 views

Conventions on sorting phrases with whitespace and punctuation (for an index)

I'm sorry if this is not the correct community to ask this question, if not please suggest a transfer. I'm compiling an index of sorts for a large songbook where all the titles and first lines of the ...
Louis Somers's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
112 views

How and why do languages evolve to use different types of quotation marks?

For example, English uses "...", but French uses «...». Also, which of these is more common? What did the first written languages use?
joe's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is a text with orthographic or grammatic mistakes in a language X still a text in that language X?

Let us suppose that we have a text that in its majority follows the orthographic or grammatical rules of a language X, but 10% of the words have orthographic mistakes, and 10% of the sentences have ...
algo's user avatar
  • 143
5 votes
0 answers
99 views

Are there studies which attempt to quantify the information conveyed by written languages - especially Japanese/Chinese?

I'm curious as to whether anyone has attempted to come up with a quantitative measure of information conveyed by written words, symbols or graphs, and particularly curious if anyone has studied ...
Lou's user avatar
  • 1,270
0 votes
3 answers
443 views

Alphabet size affects complexity of written ideas?

Do relatively simple alphabets (Rotokas, Hawaiian) limit the complexity of written ideas? Example: could Rotokas be used to write a technical manual for the space shuttle?
Chris's user avatar
  • 11
35 votes
2 answers
13k views

Why is “ß” not used in Swiss German?

What are some of the historical reasons why the orthographic symbol ß is not used in Swiss Standard German and “ss” is used instead?
alecxe's user avatar
  • 313
-1 votes
2 answers
119 views

Do any languages allow merging of two sentences without punctuation?

I teach some students who are not native English speakers and commonly make this mistake in their writing: They often combine two complete sentences without any punctuation or break between them. ...
WillG's user avatar
  • 683
3 votes
2 answers
984 views

What language(s) should I learn to read the Epic of Gilgamesh?

I wasn't sure where to ask this question. I hope this is the right place... My question is a little more complicated than the title suggests. I'm wanting to read the Epic of Gilgamesh in the ...
Phillip's user avatar
  • 141
-1 votes
1 answer
66 views

What are all of the possible punctuation that are used within words in the majority of languages?

I know it's potentially a bit of an odd question, but I am working on an app that needs to analyze text that can be written in any of the most common languages. What I need to know is what punctuation/...
nr0's user avatar
  • 11
9 votes
1 answer
233 views

Does (or should) the terms "spoken language" and "speech" include signed language?

And if not, is there a term, accepted by both the Deaf and linguistic communities, that includes both spoken and signed language, in contrast to written language? Reputable linguistic sources, ...
obstruction's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
202 views

Ontology of logogram, pictogram and ideogram

Is it fair to say that a pictograms are a subset of ideograms which are a subset of logograms? What is an example of an ideogram that is not a logogram or pictogram?
bnieland's user avatar
  • 123
3 votes
2 answers
4k views

If there is a pattern to Chinese characters

Many people say that written Chinese is a difficult language to learn because the characters don't have any relation to the sound of the word, like in English and other languages, even Japanese. But I'...
Lance's user avatar
  • 4,338
-2 votes
1 answer
308 views

Does a written language exist with 1 symbol for every word?

We could create a dense written language with 1 symbol for every word. Lets say that it is read by a computer aloud or translated into normal language.(Like a QR code) I know that QR code does ...
Zav's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
271 views

The reason some languages write down the accents while others don't

This may be a difficult question to answer but I'm curious as to the reason for this. The word película in Spanish is pe-LEE-cu-la. It has an accent to mark how to say the word. The word peninsula ...
Lance's user avatar
  • 4,338
2 votes
1 answer
731 views

Do any languages not have the concept of "words"?

I'm wondering if there are any languages that are basically just streams of basic sound blocks, like letters or syllables, and they don't have words.
Lance's user avatar
  • 4,338
0 votes
1 answer
249 views

Is punctuation necessary in written language?

I'm wondering if punctuation is necessary for written languages. I can't quite tell if in spoken languages we use "punctuation". It seems like "we say multiple words without pauses, breaks, or other ...
Lance's user avatar
  • 4,338
3 votes
0 answers
165 views

Are there written languages that commonly start direct speech without marking?

In English and many common languages nowadays, punctuation marks are used to introduce direct speech. This makes it possible to start direct speech without lexical clue, as in the second example here: ...
Keelan's user avatar
  • 4,136
-1 votes
1 answer
136 views

Is ending a sentence with a possessive considered informal? [closed]

Does corpora show any genre preferences for ending sentences with a nominal possessive? Does it occur more in spoken and informal written texts than in academic texts? I really appreciate your input.
Eman 's user avatar