37 votes
Accepted

Why are "eat" and "drink" different words in languages?

The claim that there are always separate lexemes for "eat" and "drink" is not a linguistic universal. From Anna Wierzbicka's chapter "All people eat and drink. Does this mean ...
Michaelyus's user avatar
  • 7,466
20 votes

Why are "eat" and "drink" different words in languages?

Adding on to the other answer, probably the most widely-spoken language without an "eat" ~ "drink" distinction is Bengali, which has adapted the native Indo-Aryan "eat" ...
Aryaman's user avatar
  • 1,134
10 votes

What is the minimal set of words that make a language "complete"?

This is of course highly debated, but some linguists would answer yes, there is a small set of words/concepts common to all natural human languages. The major theory currently representing this view ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
  • 6,192
10 votes

Why are "eat" and "drink" different words in languages?

Thai technically has different words for eating (กิน) and drinking (ดื่ม), but I've heard native speakers frequently say stuff like กินน้ำ ("eat water") when they ought to say ดื่มน้ำ ("...
cmw's user avatar
  • 979
6 votes

Why are "eat" and "drink" different words in languages?

We have less specific and more specific verbs so that we have a choice of which information to present. First, consider the intransitive forms. These descriptions each paint a different scene: My ...
Jessica Knight's user avatar
5 votes

Which (australian aboriginal?) language classifies nouns in "upright" things and "lying" things?

The language you're thinking of could be Enga. It's got all these existential verbs, depending on the referent! kata- occurs with subject NPs whose typical referents are judged to be tall, large, ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Resources for Bantu Language IPA

The Handbook of the IPA is the basic reference source on the IPA, though you can get online copies of the chart which is what most people are satisfied with, e.g. here. You may want to specifically ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
4 votes

How many words can be considered "core words"?

This is of course highly debated, but some linguists would answer yes, there is a small set of words/concepts common to all natural human languages. The major theory currently representing this view ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
  • 6,192
4 votes

How many words can be considered "core words"?

I would say the most frequent words in a given language can be considered core words. Nation (1990) showed that 1000 words account for 85% of spoken speech, for example. Sometimes people call this an ...
axme100's user avatar
  • 460
4 votes

Why are "eat" and "drink" different words in languages?

I'll give you an explanation based more on anthropology and logic than linguistics. Languages have evolved from prehistory to convey verbal information that was essential for survival. Consider that ...
LorenzoDonati4Ukraine-OnStrike's user avatar
3 votes

How can an endonym for a specific group mean "people" or "humans" in this group at the same time?

I don't know the state of things with the Inuktitut or Shoshoni, but I can tell you how it works in Romani, an Indo-Aryan macrolanguage of the Romani people living around the globe in different ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 18.3k
3 votes

How can an endonym for a specific group mean "people" or "humans" in this group at the same time?

I don't know the details in any specific cases but if the large majority of people you interact with belong to your people group, then the word "person" or "human" will be assumed ...
Tristan's user avatar
  • 8,322
3 votes

Are there any languages in which verbs are a closed class?

There are many languages wherein the part of speech category 'verb' (inflecting for person-number and TAM) is a closed class. These languages are common in north Australia, some having as few as five ...
Gaston Ümlaut's user avatar
3 votes

What is the minimal set of words that make a language "complete"?

I think it is an interesting question, but immensely difficult to answer. First of all, expressions are dependent on both meaning and structure in natural language. In other words: do you want to ...
Raoul Buurke's user avatar
3 votes

Is there a source displaying when and where a word was first attested?

The Oxford English Dictionary quotes early attestations for most of the words in the dictionary. The latest edition is available online, but most of the entries require a payed subscription to access ...
b a's user avatar
  • 2,775
3 votes

Is there a word in which the concept and its complement is expressed?

Sounds like you're referring to words such as "length". Is that what you mean, or are you looking for words that explicitly morphologically consists of a pair of antonyms for that? If the latter is ...
Rethliopuks's user avatar
3 votes

Are synonyms belonging to different dialects "absolute synonyms"?

Well, those are among the first candidates to be called absolute synonyms if we do accept the existence of absolute synonyms, but there are always arguments for the opposite idea. For example, autumn ...
Matvey Sokolovsky's user avatar
3 votes

Animal Species discrimination in languages

"Non-primitive" languages have plenty of "absurd" designations for animals: Starfish Fledermaus Chauve-souris Peixe-boi Guinea pig These designations weren't changed when we ...
Luís Henrique's user avatar
3 votes

Animal Species discrimination in languages

Languages usually mark those differences that the culture they're part of consider important, and downplay or erase those that don't seem that important to the speakers. I would expect the languages ...
pablodf76's user avatar
  • 1,235
3 votes
Accepted

Is compounding a universal word-formation strategy?

This will depend how you define "word", but the process of combining words (expressions with fixed, learned meanings) to create bigger words (expressions with fixed, learned meanings) seems ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.2k
3 votes
Accepted

What transliteration/romanization scheme does Strong's Hebrew Dictionary use?

AFAICT it is SBL academic with spirantization. Note that the examples page you linked shows the second word as "ʿălêk̲em", with a k̲ character (that is, k with an underline below it), which ...
January First-of-May's user avatar
3 votes

Are auxiliaries not lexical?

It's just terminology in this case: a lexical verb is a verb that is not an auxiliary. By most definitions, auxiliaries (ones like "be" and "have", not "will" and "...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.2k
2 votes

Which linguists from the 1940s–1970s believed that language comprised two distinct parts, “lexis” and “grammar”?

I don't know how to understand your term "lexis" -- does it mean "vocabulary", or "morphology"? I don't know who could have ever thought that "vocabulary and grammar were unconnected". How could ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
  • 12.5k
2 votes

Which language among South East Asia has the most and least loanwords from English?

The languages with the most loanwords from English: There are several candidates, depending on how you define "loanword" (which is not quite clear in the case of creoles), "language" (as opposed to a ...
michau's user avatar
  • 1,779
2 votes

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

It’s called ‘reconstructability’ of language (Russian достраиваемость языка, the term of S. Burlak). In a nutshell, nobody remembers every single word of a language. For example, one may be acquainted ...
Aer's user avatar
  • 520
2 votes
Accepted

Is there a word in which the concept and its complement is expressed?

There are many in Sanskrit सतासत् n. satAsat true and the false See Monier Williams Sanskrit Dictionary at http://www.spokensanskrit.org/index.php?mode=3&tran_input=satAsat&direct=se ...
Partha Shakkottai's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Is there a list of common English verbs with all of the inflectional "principal parts"?

I have no idea of the frequency, but here is a downloadable list of 1,000 verbs with each of the five forms from the Bangladesh University of Business and Technology
Araucaria - him's user avatar
2 votes

Which (australian aboriginal?) language classifies nouns in "upright" things and "lying" things?

You could be thinking of the way many Australian languages use positional verbs for locative and existential predication, ie where English would use 'to be'. For example (from Pintupi, Pama-Nyungan) ...
Gaston Ümlaut's user avatar
2 votes

Which (australian aboriginal?) language classifies nouns in "upright" things and "lying" things?

The language you're thinking of could be Yuchi. It has a complex gender system, involving animacy, biological sex, and uprightedness of inanimate objects. (But it does not coalesce biological sex ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Are adpositions lexical or grammatical morphemes?

As usual, it depends on what you think "functional" and "lexical" mean. They certainly are a closed class (understood to mean new forms aren't as readily innovated as the typical open classes of nouns,...
one-off-post's user avatar

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