11 votes
Accepted

How linguists select phonemes to construct an alphabet for a language

You should not be surprised if I tell you that the process is highly variable. Very roughly speaking, you start by eliciting a bunch of words and writing them down. Linguists have varying degrees of ...
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5 votes
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Is Generative / X-bar Theory prescriptivist? (can the descriptivist linguist create X-bar syntax trees?)

X-bar theory is prescriptivist in a certain sense. It prescribes certain things about the structure of syntax trees: that all branching is binary, for example, and that every XP level dominates an X' ...
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3 votes

How to Identify Copulas in the Wild

This may not be a satisfying answer (is this becoming a trend with my answers?), but here's the best advice I can give: A word is a copula if and only if calling it a copula makes your theory more ...
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3 votes
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What's a good resource where I can publish some narratives in a minority language?

The question seems to be about where one would put such materials (not how one would handle the typesetting issue). There are at least three places which don't require content review: Zenodo, Figshare,...
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3 votes
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Symbols to indicate different dialects in text

There isn't a standard way to do this. Rather you can establish symbols or very short abbreviations and write it before the sentence. But it also depends on how you want to represent these examples. ...
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3 votes
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Possible to describe phonetics before phonology of an unknown language?

First, you need to explain what you mean by "phonetic", "phonological" and "analysis". You also need to explain what you mean by "before". To simplify matters, I reduce "phonetics" to acoustics, ...
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3 votes
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What's the conventional way to gloss ergative inflection?

The most commonly used generic guidelines for glossing in linguistics are the Leipzig Glossing Rules. Your best bet is to use their labels. Depending on what exactly it is you want to show, you can ...
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3 votes

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

It's common for someone to insist on particular terminology that he considers clearer, especially when he has a point to prove. In fact, it's so common, it's become a storytelling trope. I'll give one ...
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2 votes

Is meaning prescribed?

Existing words already have meaning. The relationship between the word (form) and the meaning is conventional, and in learning a language (as a child or second language learner), you learn that ...
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2 votes
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Do any languages have a nominal suffix meaning 'former' or 'ex-'?

In Guarani, the derivational suffix -kue means former, ex-. It's also used in Jopara, the mix of Guarani and Spanish.
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2 votes

Possible to describe phonetics before phonology of an unknown language?

Well, of course you have to start with phonetics, when you're just starting work with an informant. You can hardly start with phonemics, because there is no way for you to know what the phonemes are. ...
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2 votes

What's a good resource where I can publish some narratives in a minority language?

Another potential archive for documentation of endangered languages is The Language Archive currently hosted by the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics at Nijmegen (The Netherlands).
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2 votes
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How to diagram a sentence containing a sentence adverb?

Simplified Tree Diagram of Supplementary Adjunct:
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  • 780
1 vote

How to Identify Copulas in the Wild

The most sensical cross-linguistic definition of "copula" is an element that is required for non-verbal predication. The elements in your examples could all qualify as copulas depending on what verbal ...
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1 vote
Accepted

Term for "regional linguistics"?

Sounds like what I'd call philology.
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1 vote

Possible to describe phonetics before phonology of an unknown language?

Imagine a situation where you have a recording of people speaking in some language, but you have no possibility to talk to these people. You can't ask them questions that would lead to finding minimal ...
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1 vote

Glossing and translating personal pronouns absent from Indo-European languages

First of all, lexical items should be glossed as words. That is, you just can't gloss the word meaning he as "3", "3p.MSg", or anything like that. It is "he". All the other stuff is for grammatical ...
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1 vote

Glossing and translating personal pronouns absent from Indo-European languages

I don't understand what would make such a gloss "Anglocentric", especially since "proximal" and "animate" are Latinate terms. I only partially understand "clunky". You have to distinguish between ...
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1 vote
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What languages have been documented using Minimalism?

The Syntax of French by P.Rowlett (see here) would be a canonical answer for French. That said, I think it is worth pointing out that the project of writing a full grammar of a given language (...
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