50

Yes, this feature is called clusivity, there are dozens of languages that have it, for example Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese, Malay, Hawaiian, etc. This article has a list of such languages together with their inclusive and exclusive forms of "we": Clusivity (Wikipedia).


38

The proper term for what you're asking is Linguistic distance. Sometimes it is also called Lexical distance, if only lexical units have been compared/measured. Also, there is an article on Wikipedia called Mutual intelligibility, and it has a nice list of mutually intelligible languages. As noticed, there are several aspects by which linguistic ...


35

The only such language I know about is Pirahã, the indigenous language of the isolated Pirahã people of Amazonas, Brazil. It is minimalistic in many ways, having the least number of phonemes (only 11), lacking words for numbers and for colors. Daniel Everett, the greatest specialist on Pirahã who spent years living with the tribe, states Pirahã has the same ...


31

The World Atlas of Language Structures has a feature about gender distinctions in personal pronouns. According to it, there are at least 254 languages without gender distinctions and even 2 with gender distinctions in 1st and 2nd, but not 3rd person pronouns (Iraqw and Burunge).


27

In Thai, 1st person singular pronouns differ by gender: Masc.: ผม [pʰǒm] Fem.: ดิฉัน [dìʔt͡ɕʰán]


26

First of all I would like to say that these words are not cognates; they are loanwords. The coffee plant is indigenous in the highlands of Ethiopia. It was transplanted to the Yemen in the 14th century (which is fairly recent), where the drink coffee became popular among Sufi circles, and was soon after exported to Istanbul, and hence to Europe. For a long ...


26

It’s worth pointing out that uppercase and lowercase characters are mostly a quirk of the Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic alphabets.[1] While these alphabets probably make up a plurality of written texts,[2] many languages especially in Asia do not use these, and thus have no such uppercase/lowercase distinction. Second, some languages may use symbols that ...


24

There are many such languages. Examples include Turkic languages (as kiyoshigaang's answer mentions), Uralic languages (such as Finnish, Hungarian, Estonian), spoken Mandarin and Cantonese, and doubtless many others. Languages which lack grammatical gender generally will usually lack gendered third-person pronouns specifically (although there are exceptions ...


23

Coming at this from a different direction, Japanese personal pronouns (*) are an open class, with many variations in meaning and connotation. So while there's no official "first-person masculine pronoun", 俺 (ore) is primarily used by men, and あたし (atashi) primarily by women. Others, like 私 (watashi), don't have strong gender associations. All of ...


22

Proto-Afro-Asiatic likely marked gender on second-person pronouns, and many of its descendants do the same. For example, second-person singular masculine is אַתָּה (ʔattāh) in Hebrew, أَنْتَ‎ (ʔanta) in Arabic, atta in Akkadian, ntk in Egyptian; feminine is Hebrew אַתְּ (ʔattə), Arabic أَنْتِ (ʔanti), Akkadian atti, Egyptian ntṯ. I don't know of any Afro-...


21

As the other answers show, English is not the only language with this phrase, but we can examine the etymology of it to explain what it means. When did this usage start? The OED has 3d. A polite formula used in response to an expression of thanks, with the first citation in 1907. How did it originate? It is a natural extension of the use 3a. Freely ...


20

It depends on what you mean by "/a/", "/i/". First, slash brackets refer ambiguously to "phonemes" or "underlying forms". Only phonetic forms, notated with square brackets, have directly-observable phonetic properties. A propos that point, there is a high back vowel phoneme in Japanese, which is pronounced more like [ɯ] than like [u], and on that grounds you ...


20

In German, I am aware of two instances where the "reverse" order is used: 1) The weather forecast of the newscast "Tagesschau" (and quite possibly many other weather forecasts, but not all) always states the range of lowest expected temperatures with the higest number first. From today's 8pm broadcast: In der Nacht 19 bis 12 Grad; am Tag 18 Grad im ...


19

It certainly comes up occasionally, but mainly, I would think, across morpheme boundaries where one is a doubled letter and the other is that same letter but in its singular form (as in the new German orthography Schifffahrt, Balletttänzer, etc) or where a letter has both consonant and vowel values. Undoubtedly at some point uvula and any other words with ...


18

Modern Englishes, and many other well-known languages, use base 10 (ie decimal) systems of numerals. But there are many languages in the world that currently use different systems. Eugene Chan has been studying the numeral systems of the world's languages for many years and his website Numeral Systems of the World's Languages contains a vast amount of ...


18

In Arabic the word for “human being of either sex” is ʼinsān, from the same root as nisāʼ “women”. The usual word for “male human being” is rajul.


15

In German, you can make up such words on your own, as needed. Find words that ends with two of some vowel, like schnee (snow), tee (tea) and words that begin with the same letter, and you have: Schneeeule, also written as Schnee-Eule to make it less confusing. Teeei, also written as Tee-Ei to make it less confusing.


15

Estonian "jäääär" ("edge of the ice") comes to mind. It contains the letter ä 4 times in a row.


15

Visiting Quebec I heard "vous êtes bienvenue" a good few times! I assumed this to have entered the language from English, but this is a part of the world that's very proud of its French heritage (to the extent that the stop signs read "Arrêt", which isn't even the case in France). It's not easy to find online (as it also works in the sense of "You're ...


14

Here is a relevant Wikipedia article: Nominal TAM There is a fair amount of literature that mentions the existence of languages that mark tense on nouns; the first result I found on Google was this paper by Judith Tonhauser, "Towards an Understanding of the Meaning of Nominal Tense" (2005), about Paraguayan Guaraní. Depending on the language, the meaning of ...


13

Yes: Japanese, Farsi, and Basque are well-known examples. Japanese verbs (and adjectives) are closed class, with new verbal senses almost exclusively expressed by “do verbal noun”, as in 勉強する benkyō suru (studying do) for “study”. This is conspicuous in Japanese due to the large number of Sino-Japanese words, with verbal senses expressed in this way. Not as ...


13

As already said, Japanese works this way: 私 + 達 = we watashi tachi But the same happens in Chinese as well: 我 + 们 = we wo men The first portion of both is the standard way to say "I" (we'll ignore other versions for the sake of this answer). The second is a plural marker.


13

Russian has several words with triple letters: длинношеее - 'having a long neck', also короткошеее - 'having a short neck' змееед - 'snake-eater', the name of a bird доооновский - 'pre-UN' зоообъединение - 'zoos' association'


13

Ancient Greek has ἀάατος "inviolable".


13

Look into the Bantu languages, such as Swahili. Tense, aspect, and subject agreement are all marked at the beginning of the verb.


13

Since Bantu has been mentioned, I won't mention it again, much. I'll mention Athabaskan, Ket (not Athabaskan but probably related), Semitic, Berber, Coptic, Bongo, Krongo, Nilotic, Nyulnyul, Gooniyandi, Tiwi, Lenakel, Camsá, Cayuvava, Seri, Nahuatl, Lakota. You can get more examples here. That said, if you mean "only prefixing, with no suffixing at all", ...


13

One interesting marker of social distinctions is an avoidance register, a special way of speaking to certain family members. You might also hear this called mother-in-law language or hlonipha/isihlonipho, after some of the most famous examples. In general, languages with this feature have a special, usually very restricted register (=way of speaking), with ...


12

Vietnamese names, like Chinese, have no specific name set. So the choice depends on the parents or the person who gives the name. They can choose any syllable they like to combine into the name. But of course there's a set of words that are much more commonly appear in names because they are "more beautiful" words. However Vietnamese name have no limit in ...


12

WALS has a chapter on numeral bases. It appears most languages use either a decimal or a vigesimal (base 20) system (or some mixture thereof, as in Basque), with other patterns being relatively rare. There are also some language that cannot actually express all possible numbers but only a limited set. Pirahã is even claimed not to have any numerals at all (...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible