All Questions

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
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 "...
7
votes
1answer
257 views

In languages with quotative markers, is extraction allowed out of quotative-marked clauses?

That is, is there a language that allows the following type of movement WH1 ... (ATTITUDE-VERB) QUOT ... t1 DP-TOP1 ... (ATTITUDE-VERB) QUOT ... t1
22
votes
9answers
4k views

Are some languages inherently harder for children to acquire?

I don't see why this shouldn't be the case. Surely children around the world don't learn to speak fluently by the same age?
4
votes
1answer
103 views

What is the technical way to talk about patterns that work sometimes vs. those that work always?

To say that John ate something, you say John ate (something), and it's always grammatical. To talk about the state or time of filling some role, you append -hood or -ship, as in womanhood, but for ...
6
votes
1answer
357 views

How could the Sumerian cuneiform impose constraints on some languages?

It is said that the adoption of Sumerian cuneiform by Akkadian and other languages in the Middle East imposed constraints on those languages (due to the limited number of sounds represented in ...
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 ...
18
votes
6answers
6k views

What's the global difference between nouns and verbs?

Is there a way to distinguish nouns and verbs that applies to all languages? This problem has been occupying my mind for some time now. I'm not quite sure how to approach this question, so I'll just ...
5
votes
2answers
603 views

Is our mental lexicon structured like a tag-cloud system or hierarchical?

Thinking about this discussion on meta i was reasoning about simple self-experiments you can do in psycholinguistics, where you dont need great background knowledge in Cognitive Psychology or ...
11
votes
2answers
850 views

What is an “adjectival article”? Apparently Albanian “të” is one

Being in Albania I decided to sit down with a word frequency list of the language and look each up so I would know some of the common words I see around me. The second most common word in Albanian is ...
6
votes
2answers
527 views

Why does complementiser drop not occur in negative English sentences?

English that can often be dropped from a sentence. (1) I think (that) she can come. (2) I don't think (that) she can come. In some negative constructions, complementiser dropping sounds marked....
17
votes
8answers
7k views

How is definiteness expressed in languages with no definite article, clitic or affix?

According to WALS Feature 37A: Definite Articles, 198 languages have no definite or indefinite article, and 45 have no definite article but have indefinite articles. These number excludes languages ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do languages have different syllable complexity from each other?

Assuming human vocal tracts are similar and equally capable of articulating different syllable structures, why is it that languages develop different syllable complexity? Why is it that it is not ...
20
votes
2answers
909 views

Why is it that Latin was more “successful” in the western part of the Empire than in the eastern part?

The Roman empire ruled over the lands around the Mediterranean for hundreds of years, and I imagine imposed its language on its subjects. But why is it that the western part of the empire (France, ...
7
votes
2answers
522 views

How do clusive forms arise?

Most non-European languages exhibit a clusivity (exclusive/inclusive) distinction. What are the common ways of developing new clusive forms and which clusivity is tied more tightly to the first person ...
13
votes
5answers
828 views

Outside of Modern Hebrew, do any previously dead languages have native speakers again?

What previously dead (i.e. no more native speakers) or remnant (i.e. not very well or hardly documented) languages have been revived to the point that there are native speakers? Accounts of revival ...
13
votes
5answers
4k views

What are some examples of recent studies investigating strong linguistic determinism?

One of the most controversial ideas put forth in linguistics is the idea of linguistic determinism. Also known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, it states that people who speak different languages would ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do tone and simple syllable structure appear to be correlated?

I happen to have been struggling to learn a bit of Mandarin Chinese lately, and it's been my first attempt to really deal with tones to any significant extent. I find distinguishing tones quite ...
15
votes
1answer
855 views

Does capitalization of nouns aid reading comprehension?

German is the only widely used language prescribing capitalization of nouns in the written language. I speak English and German fluently myself, but I can read German texts significantly faster than ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How do we perceive and read words and sentences? Does the order of the inner letters play no significant role?

Try to read this texts, start with the most difficult one, if you cant read, skip to the next easier one: all letters mixed I onlucd't ieebvel ttah I udloc talyulac rsddetanun hwat I swa radgeni....
16
votes
6answers
45k views

Weird behavior of two fruits' names (ananas/pineapple, banana/plátano)

Some time ago I found two tables that reported the names for two fruits, which were supposed to be funny, because they specifically reported a single exception among those several languages, where ...
6
votes
2answers
154 views

Are there some studies or resources comparing the two living creole languages in Australia?

In Australia there are two creoles in daily use, Kriol (rop, also known as Roper River Creole etc) in the Northern Territory with about 30,000 speakers and Torres Strait Creole (tcs, also known as ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Semantic head vs Syntactic head parsing

I've run into "semantic head parsing" and "syntactic head parsing" and while I think I have a feel for the difference, I was wondering if anyone could give a more concrete definition or reference to ...
17
votes
4answers
13k views

Monogenesis vs. Polygenesis

By following the comments to another question about the evolution of Khoisan languages, I learned that there is a heated debate in Evolutionary Linguistics about the origin of language. Some quick ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

When is the end of the critical period?

At what age, approximately, is the end of the critical period for native language acquisition? Of course, I understand that many details surrounding the critical period are up for debate. I want to ...
12
votes
1answer
610 views

What are some resources that I can use to gather Twitter data for an NLP project?

I was going to use the Edinburgh Twitter Corpus that is referenced in this paper: The Edinburgh Twitter Corpus. But apparently Twitter has changed their Terms and the corpus is no longer available. ...
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?
28
votes
4answers
4k views

Do the Khoisan languages resemble the world's first language?

I have read somewhere that if there ever was a world's first language*, that language must have had very much in common** with the Khoisan languages. Arguments in support of this hypothesis are: ...
7
votes
3answers
482 views

Are there some analyses or linguists with the view that Chinese does not have lexical word class?

I'm not a linguist but a language enthusiast and I read lots of stuff about all languages mostly on the internet in blogs but also in accessible books and sometimes attempt to read some things not ...
7
votes
1answer
608 views

What diagnostics distinguish demonstratives from definite articles?

Historically, definite articles are often related to demonstratives. How might one characterize whether a word in a language is a definite article or a demonstrative?
4
votes
4answers
205 views

Is there any language that observe root changes in response to the addition of affixes?

If yes, what are the examples? What change patterns are exhibited? *modified from Area51
16
votes
1answer
1k views

How much is known about verb regularization rates?

According to this abstract, published in 2007, "the half-life of an irregular verb scales as the square root of its usage frequency: a verb that is 100 times less frequent regularizes 10 times as fast....
12
votes
3answers
35k views

What's the 'official' term for when a word is at the tip of your tongue?

If I remember correctly from the half year I studied linguistics, there is a sort of official name for the situation or state your brain (or your speech center) is in when a word is at the tip of your ...
9
votes
2answers
374 views

Is there a term in linguistics for underdeveloped number systems?

I had trouble phrasing a recent question because I couldn't find simple wording to convey the difference between languages like English where all kinds of numbers are expressible, such as "nineteen ...
5
votes
3answers
571 views

Are there languages with indefinite articles but for which the word for “one” is not related etymologically to any of the indefinite articles?

This is part of a set of three related questions but note they are each specific and distinct, they are not duplicates. In all the languages I'm familiar with that have an indefinite article, the ...
5
votes
2answers
404 views

Are there languages which lack a full number system but which have an indefinite article?

Most languages have a fully developed concept of numbers but many do not, for instance most Australian Aboriginal languages lack numbers and counting beyond a few such as 1, 2, and 3. Many languages ...
14
votes
2answers
274 views

How do linguists determine whether a language has an indefinite article?

Given: For those languages which have it, the indefinite article mostly if not always is derived from the numeral for "one". Most languages have numbers but many lack articles. How do linguists ...
17
votes
2answers
6k views

How did Italian manage to stay (mostly) phonetically spelled despite its long written tradition?

Italian is commonly cited as an example of a phonetically spelled language. It is easy to guess how an Italian word is pronounced based on the way it is written, because each written symbol highly ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the term for correspondence between the written and the spoken form of a language?

Not all languages have the same degree of correspondence between the spoken and the written form. Saying correspondence, I'm referring to the equivalence between what we write in a certain language ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Are there examples of pidgins or creoles in sign languages? If so, which are the major ones?

The other day I was wondering, are there occurrences of pidgins or creoles in the world of Sign languages? So I made a quick search but there doesn't seem to be much. For example, I found the Hawaii ...
6
votes
1answer
275 views

Where did the semantic categories of C. D. Buck's dictionary of synonyms come from?

The 22 categories of words used in Carl Darling Buck's "A Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages" (1949) are quite different from for instance the categories in Roget'...
6
votes
2answers
762 views

What are some examples of well-known agglutinatve languages moving toward inflecting morphology?

We've had questions about inflected languages moving towards analytic morphology and about isolating languages moving to agglutinating morphology but we haven't yet investigated the third case. In ...
14
votes
2answers
503 views

How do computational linguists abstractly represent a language?

When building models of the evolution of languages or similar phenomena where many different languages are involved and change over time, how do computational linguists abstractly model a language? ...
25
votes
9answers
10k views

The relationship between “orange” the colour and “orange” the fruit

This is something that bugged me before I studied linguists, and it still does - why is the word "orange" so often used for both the colour and the fruit cross-linguistically? Every language I've ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

How to characterise set/assign-from/to

If I want to talk about moving information, I can use verbs "set" or "assign" in combination with nouns referring to source and target information containers, right? My intuition/instinct is to ...
36
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does speech speed seem to vary between different languages?

I feel that French and Spanish speakers speak their languages faster than English speakers do. Is this difference real, or is it just a mistake in my observation (note: I am much less familiar with ...
6
votes
5answers
6k views

Is etymology considered part of linguistics or a separate field outside the scope of linguistics?

Etymology is the study of the origins and history or development of words and phrases. Is it considered though to be part of the study of linguistics or is it considered to a separate field like we ...
7
votes
3answers
809 views

Examples of physical signs adding content to conversation?

I love constructed languages, especially in fiction where I get a taste of constructed culture to go with it. One interesting idea that has popped up a few times in what I've been reading is the idea ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What's the etymology of the Albanian word for hello, “tungjatjeta”? [closed]

In Albanian the usual greeting is "tungjatjeta", what is it derived or descended from? What are its origins?
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Case reassignment without change in number of cases

Most languages with cases seem to be either gaining or losing them diachronically (The Indo-European languages are an example of the latter, and the Uralic languages of the former). Manchu and Xibe (a ...
12
votes
2answers
599 views

Bar-Hillel's critique of machine translation 50 years later

More than fifty years ago, philosopher Yehoshua Bar-Hillel wrote wrote an influential paper about computerized translation entitled: A Demonstration of the Nonfeasibility of Fully Automatic High ...

15 30 50 per page
1
171 172
173
174 175
177