12

No. Plain and simple. But let's break down your question. There are several aspects to the whole idea of 'word in a language' that make the question a lot more difficult to formulate properly. In fact, I'd say that there's two quite distinct questions in here that would require quite different disciplinary approaches. Question 1. Is there a word that (...


7

I assume, based on the your posts elsewhere, that by 'sentence parts', you are referring to grammatical relations (GRs) like subject, object, etc. In the future, it would be clearer for you to call them that, as this is the standard terminology in English. I think you are confused about argument structures and grammatical relations. Argument structures ...


7

First of all, part-of-speech is not an observable. It is a latent category inferred from the utterances we can analyse. As a latent category, it is dependent on our analysis. There are lots of parameters we can play with: Granularity of the analysis (some part of speech tagsets have more the 500 tags, simple models come with 8 or 10 parts-of-speech), input ...


6

I think even a better question would be do any languages have sentences? Sentence is an artifact of writing and punctuation. You can see how this study found it hard to compare sentence length in writing and speech for this very reason: The structure of children’s writing: moving from spoken to adult written norms. In many ways, it's not that different from ...


6

One has to be careful how the words Noun and Verb are understood, if one wants a good answer. Semanticists talk about Entities and Events, and leave Noun and Verb as formal categories, dependent on criteria of usage (can it be a subject? can it take a definite article?) instead of meaning. Frawley (Linguistic Semantics, 1992 Ch.3 "Entities", p.62) notes ...


6

The "Natural" in Natural Semantic Metalanguage is intended to contrast with other semantic metalanguages which use non-linguistic symbols and syntax. Here's an example, which apparently is describing the semantics of have to: [[have to ϕ]]w,f,g = 1 iff for all v ∈ f(w) such that there is no v' ∈ f(w) such that g(w)(v',v),[[ϕ]]v,f,g = 1 In contrast, a ...


5

I think one of the first major studies was Bybee (1985). Bybee, J.L. 1985. Morphology: A study of the relation between meaning and form. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. She proposed the hierarchy Justin Olbranz refers to: verb-valence-voice-aspect-tense-mood-modality-person-number Another prominent study that argues along the same line is ...


5

For most Romance languages at least, there's a totally separate set of conjugation forms called the "subjunctive mode", used to indicate things that could/should/might be, could/should/might become, or that somebody wishes they did as opposed to the "indicative mode" which usually indicates stuff the way it is. Usually, subjunctive present has nothing to do ...


5

I have found a paper that addresses this question directly (finally!). Svenonius & Ramchand's 2014 paper (here) offers an explanation for universal "grammatical zones" that appeals both to innate grammatical principles and properties of extralinguistic cognition. From the abstract: ...there remains an irreduceable universal functional hierarchy, for ...


5

In Arabic, تَسْبِيح‎ [tasbi:ħ] is pronounced with s. It may well be common in human languages that sequences of obstruents agree in voicing, and the main tendency is for regressive assimilation, but such assimilation is not inevitable.


5

Japanese appears to be an obvious counter-example: no plural morphology but tenses.


4

I suspect subjunctive merged with indicative in English simply due to phonetical reasons. Look at Old English: "I ate" (indicative) - Ic æt "I ate" (subjunctive) - Ic æte or "we beat" (indicative) - bēoton "we beat" (subjunctive) - bēoten (according to wiktionary) Then vowel reduction happened, and unstressed vowels in affixes all turned ...


4

Well, the basics are the same: all languages have consonants and vowels, and always more consonants than vowel qualities. All of them have verbs and, slightly controversially, all of them have nouns. The reason for the controversy is that some languages have nouns that look and behave a bit like verbs. All languages have syntax, the core words for body ...


4

At least, other Indogermanic languages have the ability to derive nouns from verbs, too. In Latin, there is a suffix -tio, -tionis that forms abstract nouns (like derivatio "derivation" from derivare), there is a suffix -or (applied to the supine stem) that derives agents (like actor "actor" from agere, ago, egi, actum). The process of derivation is part of ...


4

I think there is a distinction here, and it's cross-linguistic—but your example falls on the wrong side. Most English adjectives (that aren't already in comparative/superlative form—"*more best") are comparable. But a handful are not, such as "only", "galore", "additional", and maybe "daily".1 And "unique" is not in that small category. Compare: John is ...


4

Languages are more than just collections of words, and you're going to run into many problems at many levels. Let's pick one really obvious problem: What counts as a word? The single Yupik word "tuntussuqatarniksaitengqiggtuq" crams an entire clause into it. The root "ssur" just means "to hunt", but after attaching 6 affixes, the full word means "He had not ...


4

Compounding is very rare in Semitic, which appears to contradict the claim. The following is from Orin D. Gensler, 'Morphological Typology of Semitic', in Stefan Weninger (ed.), The Semitic Languages: An International Handbook, pp. 287–288: Compounding as such is almost unknown in Semitic. There are of course lexicalized or semi-lexicalized collocational ...


3

Any linguistic answer to this question has to be at least partly theory laden. There are many approaches to linguistic universals. The most general points would be: 1. All natural languages can be acquired by people born into a community of speakers, or learned by people as a second language (with well-known limitations). 2. The propositional content of ...


3

Part of the/a explanation to the question is provided in librik's comment and part in Jlawler's comment. The disappearance of morphological case from English and French has led to the divergence of the two groups of pronouns. Languages with rich case systems do not have the division, e.g. German. The insight that I think can be added is that the marked ...


3

Is it thought that there is universal (the universe being humans) structure of mathematics that is the result of the structure of the human brain? Yes, if we are speaking about basic mathematical concepts, like integers and basic spatial relations. It is now well established, for instance, that infants already possess a concept of number. A good place to ...


3

Agglutinative languages can be non compounding, like Turkish for example. As a contrast, Hungarian and Finnish are compounding languages. Also German and Dutch are compounding, they are, however not agglutinative, but flective languages.


3

All languages have sentences; both the basic building blocks (parts of speech like nouns and verbs) and the systems for constructing sentences out of these building blocks are very similar across languages.' -Mark Aronoff (2007) Language. Scholarpedia, 2(5):3175. So in answer to your question: YES!


3

If you are asking whether there are any features which in principle could only exist in a single language, there would be no such thing. OTOH if you are asking whether there are properties that have only been observed in a single language (living or dead), there are such things. For example, Nyole is the only language known to have the phonological rule ŋ → ...


3

First, you need to understand the position of 'Universal Grammar' in linguistics. It is a particular theory that grew out of very specific concerns - mostly having to do with learnability of syntactic structures. It posits a set of universal innate constraints on the syntax of languages - and is not really a grammar. It is highly controversial and linguists ...


3

Russian has, probably, the most interesting schema: 0 - Plural 1 - Singular 2,3,4 - Dual 5-20 - Plural 21 - Singular 22-24 - Dual 25-30 - Plural ... The genral rule is to check on what digit the number ends: 1 - Singular 2-4 - Dual 5-9,0 - Plural E.g. 12345 - Plural 54321 - Singular In case of long numbers we have to switch ...


3

There has been a general desire to equate unmarkedness with structural simplicity, so that [i], [a] and [u] might have only one feature and [ø] would have more features. If order for this to work out, one either needs underspecification so that some values are not underlyingly present but are filled in by later rule, or are never filled in (i.e. privative ...


3

We imagine the time flowing at us from our front to our back, so the future is in front of us and the past is behind us, for us the time flows from the future into the past. I don't know about all the languages, but for those who speak Aymara, a South American language, it is all vice versa, for them the time flows from behind, from the past and into the ...


3

I don't understand the alternative question. But, Gricean maxims are not absolute rules about human language, they are defeasible assumptions about human social behavior which aid a person in getting from a grammar-based meaning to a probable actual communicative intention. The maxim of brevity does not say that the word "elephant" is somehow amiss because ...


3

Greenberg's universal #38 ("Where there is a case system, the only case which ever has only zero allomorphs is the one which includes among its meanings that of the subject of the intransitive verb") presupposes the existence of intransitive verbs, and by convention the primary argument of an intransitive verb, to which the verb may agree, is called the ...


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