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213 views

Is there any difference in meaning or nuance when the adjective follows the noun in Georgian?

Many languages allow the order of adjectives compared to nouns to vary, but for different reasons: Some languages have very free word order in which case there is little difference between adj + noun ...
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563 views

Comparative markers coming from low degree markers (“attenuatives”)? (List such languages.)

Which languages have a marker of the comparative degree of adjectives that coincides with a marker of a low degree? ...or which has evolved from such a low degree marker? (A message asking for the ...
5
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1answer
258 views

Is it more difficult to learn Japanese or English for a Chinese?

For Europeans it's easier to learn English than Japanese. Is the the same true for Chinese? As far as measuring difficulty I would propose the amount of hours that you need to study the language to ...
5
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1answer
465 views

Gulf Arabic vowels allophones

No matter how much I browse, I cannot find any true researcher's really precise and accurate data on the issue. Actually, I cannot find any Gulf Arabic Phonology compendium, so any help will be ...
5
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1answer
134 views

Is there a recognized foremost social factor from which idioms are derived?

I've heard some people posit that the reason a large amount of idioms in American English come from sports terminology (e.g. "ballpark figure" or "the whole nine yards") is due to the "competitive ...
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61 views

What is the syntactic function (if there is any) of the prefix in some German verbs?

Consider the following sentence: "Ich rufe dich an". It is a very simple Standard German sentence with the verb "anrufen", the unusual thing about it is this prefix that comes ...
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38 views

Where can I find a table/list of all/many languages' plural/singular forms for hours/time?

Even though I'm natively Swedish, I'm seriously unsure if it's "1,1 timme" or "1,1 timmar". That is, what in English would be "1.1 hour" or "1.1 hours". Even as ...
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39 views

Indus script: Hunter and Mahadevan signs

Early work on deciphering the Indus script (which still has not been acceptably deciphered) was done by Hunter in his 1934 Ph.D work at Oxford - https://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00013642/00001 Mahadevan's Indus ...
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168 views

Why does French use diminutive suffixes differently from other Romance languages?

I'm a native French speaker, and I noticed that for a lot of masculine objects, we use the suffix -ette to designate a smaller version of it, which turns it into a feminine word. Here are a few ...
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103 views

Stress bearing suffixes in Optimality Theory

Stress bearing suffixes in English words like Chinese, Japanese, cigarette, fifteen violate the non-finality constraint. Can anyone explain what other constraints outrank non-finality and allows the ...
4
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126 views

How does syntax of our language affect our thoughts?

Our language affects the way we perceive the world. I know it is not only because the words that don’t exist in one of the languages may exist in the other ones, but also because of the grammar. We ...
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109 views

What would count as a counterexample to the Final-Over-Final Constraint?

I'm interested in what the constraints are on head-directionality and, in particular, which combinations of features are disfavored, unstable, or thought to be impossible. I came across the final-over-...
4
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117 views

The letter <u> in Provençal: when is it [y] and when is it [œ]?

In most dialects of Occitan, the letter <u> is pronounced [y] generally. However, in Provençal it appears to be pronounced [œ] by some speakers some of the time. This wikipedia article states (...
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54 views

How to do an interlinear glossing to sentences written in two languages at the same time, e.g. sentences with code-switching?

I have sentences written in German and in the German sentences there are some Italian words and/or morphemes to find. It is like code-switching: When you start talking in German, then a word does not ...
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87 views

Etymology of initial “g-” in Sicilian “giurana” (frog)

Most Romance words for "frog" derive from Latin rana (e.g. es. rana, it. rana, pt. rã. See also va. renoc ("toad")). However, an unexpected initial g- appears in the cognates of several Gallo-: fr. ...
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69 views

Does California vowel shift occur in bilingual Spanish speakers?

I know that recently there has been a lot of research done on the California vowel shift being a key part of a California accent for younger kids who have grown up there. Knowing that there is a ...
4
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1answer
178 views

How to extract grammar rules from a language (grammar induction?) using a neural network like a LSTM

I have a simple artificial language. It has about 200 words and it has a grammar. I am trying to figure out how to learn that grammar, which I think is called grammar induction, then print those rules....
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145 views

How would languages that use an absolute frame of reference say that the heart is on the left side of the body?

In languages that use a relative frame of reference we can say that the heart is on the left side of the body, and no matter what direction you are facing that is true. But in an absolute frame of ...
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55 views

Can the shift in grammatical usage of “an X-ese [person]” be explained linguistically?

While reading An Introduction to Information Theory by John R. Pierce, I was distracted by a linguistic artifact (on page 251 of the second edition): We can tell our friends apart, […] but we find ...
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112 views

How can I find the word “behind” a cuneiform logogram?

Suppose I'm looking at a clay tablet, when come across an unfamiliar sign. Looking up that second glyph in a sign list, I see that it's called GAR; putting that into the ePSD, I'm told it can be read ...
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139 views

How can I tell if a vowel is “empty”?

In Hittite cuneiform, every glyph with a phonetic meaning is either V (a vowel), CV (a consonant followed by a vowel), VC, or CVC. As a result, there's no way to represent three consonants in a row ...
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857 views

Does pre-fortis clipping only operate within a syllable? If not, what is its actual scope?

English is known to have a phenomenon of "pre-fortis clipping": in certain contexts, vowel and sonorant phonemes before a fortis/voiceless consonant are realized with shorter duration than the same ...
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88 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?
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208 views

Usage of the implicit objective subordinate clause in English

I'm not a fluent english speaker. While speaking this language, we usually prefer the implicit objective subordinate clauses (with subject in the accusative case, if it exists) to the corresponding ...
4
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122 views

What language/script did Japan during the Yamato period and earlier have?

The Yamato period (300 - 710) had an organized ruler, civilozation, etc. However, only in Nara period (710 - 794), which existed along with the Tang dynasty of China, a Japanese script and language ...
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168 views

Onomatopoeia origin of language?

Are there any "modern scholars" that support the onomatopoeia origin of language hypothesis?
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87 views

What's the name for using a letter to represent its name's sound?

It's often whimsical to substitute a single letter for a group of letters phonetically identical to the letter's name. Such as rewriting "barbecue" as "bar-b-q", or the entirety of William Steig's ...
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96 views

Is there a name for this type of language divergence and isolation?

In South Australia there is a region called the Barossa Valley. At some point [after WW2? not sure] it was settled by a lot of German farmers who bought land and started dairy farms. They applied ...
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120 views

Relation between keltoi and galatai?

The ancient Greeks used both words and appeared to have originated both. The first form appears first in 517BC by Hecateus of Milietus. The word is still known in the 12th century AD where it's used ...
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54 views

PoS tagger - technical corpus

I try to find corpus with technical language to train my model, but I cannot find it. Do you know if there are any tagged PoS corpus in English related with technical language?
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207 views

Critical Period for reading, writing, and listening?

I have heard about about the critical period hypothesis and how that applies to things like accents and stuff, but is there a critical period for reading, writing, and listening? After a certain age ...
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283 views

What is the etymology of “Tarim” as in “Tarim Basin” and does it relate to Tocharian?

I was trying to obtain a proper etymology for the name "Tarim" and found it rather difficult. The Wiktionary page only lists the modern Turkish word tarım meaning agriculture, so was the Wikipedia ...
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74 views

How to formalize rules on what's a proper name?

TL;DR: Why do I have trouble deciding what is a proper name and how can I find a reasonable set of rules to follow when deciding? I’m a member of a team responsible for the National Photocorpus of ...
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97 views

*through* vs. *tough*: ME*-ough* /uːx/ > –? How are the sound shifts from ME -ough explained?

How is it explained that the sound sequence /uːx/ -ough has developed so differently in different words? Not-dipthongized in through, shortened and unrounded and retained fricative in tough, lowered ...
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70 views

Extension of “synesis”

In traditional grammar, synesis refers to inflection being determined by underlying semantics instead of morphological agreement; the most familiar instance in English is expressions like The ...
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116 views

What's the agent and patient in a causative clause

Normally, agent and patient always stay the same: The bread (patient) is eaten. Carol (agent) ate the bread (patient). But what if you had a causative clause, something like: Peter made Carol eat ...
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33 views

Calculating conceptual similarity of distinct languages

I'm new to linguistics (fresh off the boat) and am curious if there is some type of equation/field/sub-field that tries to quantify the conceptual similarity between distinct languages. Not just the ...
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0answers
44 views

Over what percentage of acceptance of a phrase is looked on as natural use?

This may not be qualified as a query. Over what percentage of acceptance as idiomatic would normally be considered as felicitous? For example, if 70% of native speakers agree a phrase is idiomatic, ...
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41 views

How broad should the corpora be to describe the grammar of a proficient speaker?

What's the minimum size of a corpus that you need to cover substantially the grammar of a language? I know that the limits of 'substantial' might be open to speculation. But imagine you wanted to ...
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135 views

4 or 5: is thumb a finger? Distribution across languages

Researching the origins of counting systems, I came across the question I cannot seem to find an answer for: what is the typological distribution of languages that consider thumb a finger (5 fingers ...
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0answers
162 views

The pronunciation of the voiced “th” in English

I speak General American English, and I pronounce voiced "th"'s in two different ways. The first, which is how I pronounce it in "the" and "father," feels somewhat like a stop; part of my tongue ...
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93 views

Where can I find the HISTORICAL data on the total no of speakers of a language?

E.g. in total, how many people around the world spoke Spanish and French respectively in the 18th century? Well, I know the data on most languages are scanty. So no, I'm focusing on major world ...
4
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67 views

Cross-linguistic cases of German 'trennbare' Verbs

How many languages have verbs where you can detach a prefix and put it at the end? That's like the German 'trennbare' Verbs. For example, in German, for depart/leave ('abfahren') you say: Der Zug is ...
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81 views

Are the to infinitives, gerunds and bare infinitives objects?

Are the to infinitives, gerunds and bare infinitives objects? I see that everyone says different things. For example: I agreed to give him the money Some people will say that here "to give" is a ...
4
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0answers
161 views

Tests for determining NP status

What are the tests for determining whether a noun is part of a full NP or if it is simply a noun? I'm aware of tests for nounhood generally (plural, formation of an NP with a or the, modification by ...
4
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0answers
93 views

Are there any universals about how m-case can pattern for predicate NPs?

Predicate noun phrases (NPs) have different patterns of case in different languages. Even closely related languages can show significant differences (Sigurðsson 2008). For example, among the Germanic ...
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0answers
83 views

Second and third language “search”

In my third or fourth language, when I don't know a word or phrase, I substitute a word from my other non-native language rather than the one I obviously know in my native language. Or if I'm looking ...
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0answers
101 views

How is declension class represented in Distributed Morphology?

Does somebody knows a good paper or textbook that would have a Distributed Morphology (DM) approach to declension class? Ora Matushansky writes that it is an "underlying nominal property influencing ...
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0answers
146 views

Reviewing the evidence of the spirantization of β (betacism) in Greek

Although I understand that it is impossible to assign a specific time to any sound change in Greek, I am curious about the spirantization of voiced stops, particularly of beta. I'll present the ...
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485 views

Parallel English-Spanish corpora?

I would like to know of parallel corpora for English-Spanish (that is, texts or language originally in English translated into Spanish and aligned by excerpts of texts) other than those on the Opus ...

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