30

No, this is not generally assumed. In fact, it is assumed that any human (of any ethnic background) can learn any language as first language or second language. Large language families often cross ethnic boundaries, the speakers of Semitic languages comprise both light-skinned Causasians and African people from Ethiopia, the Austronesian languages are ...


27

The academic field concerned with reading illegible manuscripts is palaeography. As the name implies, only deciphering old manuscripts is apparently included: as palaeographers, we are not trained in deciphering modern handwriting, for better or worse. This is probably because modern manuscripts are less likely to contain information required for academic ...


20

Problem 1. Identify the language I found this diagram (in Russian). It seems to be pretty simple, and it amazingly covers a vast majority of world's languages. I took my liberty to adjust it slightly. Note: this diagram does not pretend to be scientific at all. Its only goal is to let a beginner to quickly identify the script and, possibly, a language. ...


11

I'll speak for the research tradition I work in, namely Construction Grammar. In CxG you have something called constructions which are symbolic units that directly link form and meaning. A construction can the be a word, say tree, but it also can be an idiom kick the bucket, or a semifixed construction [the mother of all X] or [what is X doing Y] (what is ...


11

It does not, it only establishes that there was some communicative contact between the ancestoral populations (which before the interwebs was invented meant "living in proximity"). However, the notion of "ethnic relatedness" is itself vague enough that it may well be the case that "ethnic relatedness" exists in all such cases. As an example, we would say ...


10

First, I'll point to a previous question on this SE, What meaningful distinction is there between morphology and syntax?. I'll just present one line of approach. A seminal article is Mark Baker's 1985 The Mirror Principle and morphosyntactic explanation, wherein he defines the Mirror Principle as follows: Morphological derivations must directly reflect ...


10

It looks as if the courses you intend to take are introductory courses, so it's not likely that you need too much background knowledge. If so, you should be set just reading one introductory book to linguistics, which will cover the basics of all the subdisciplines in linguistics. There are many books to choose from here. Some of them are: a) Edward Finegan:...


10

The claim about Esperanto having propedeutic properties for French learners comes from the EKPAROLI project, you can find a somewhat outdated but detailed report about the project. Some more recent information can be hopefully found on the webpage of the Mondeto society which is currently trying to continue the efforts of EKPAROLI on the global scale. A ...


8

This is what they recommend at Oxford as introductory textbooks to students starting a Masters' in Linguistics. Background and reference: Macaulay, Monica. (2006) Surviving Linguistics: A Guide for Graduate Students. Cascadilla Press. *Matthews, P. H. (2007) Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics. Oxford University Press. Pinker, Steven. (2000) The ...


8

Wikipedia (as another commenter already mentioned): 168 languages or language families. Internet Archive: Rosetta Project: Swadesh Lists: 1234 languages - the most extensive I know of (unless you wish to go and dig through primary literature). Swadesh Lists for some less well-known languages: ca. 290 languages. There seem to be only the raw lists, so if you ...


8

Vox Latina: A Guide to the Pronunciation of Classical Latin by W.Sydney Allen is probably what you're looking for.


8

Wiktionary is a great free resource for inflection, meaning, pronounciation, etymology and other information on a large amount of words from many languages, and provides a "Descendants" section containing exactly what you are looking for:


8

Although anecdotally the answer to the question is a confident "yes", there is a big complication: the many concepts of economic value that are bundled into the Western European concept of "money". This of course is a question for historical economics and anthropology, more than linguistics. A related question would be the question of the origins of the ...


7

I would like to make a more general contribution, but still regarding your specific question. There are many definitions of synonymy. Let's agree in a simple one: it is a semantic relation between the meanings of words or sentences. We now have the problem of defining meaning. In one way or another, the concept of synonymy is understood without requiring ...


7

I really depends on what you are after. Here is a list of my favorite text books, together with some short annotations. Heim & Kratzer 1998: one of the best intro to semantics if you are interested in the interface between syntax and semantics and working a generative grammar background for syntax. Intentionally a bit light on the logical background, ...


7

Here's the citation: Hockett, C. F. (1985). Distinguished lecture: F. American Anthropologist, 87(2), 263-281. The link is here, but it's also behind a paywall. Google Scholar profiles, personal webpages and CVs are the most common places where we find publication lists of a certain author, though this doesn't work for Hockett, who passed away in 2000 and ...


7

The largest publication and seriously academically attempted transcription of oracle bones in modern script (using an umbrella method known by Chinese paleographers as 隸定, or clericalification), is the title 郭沫若《甲骨文合集》 (Guo Moruo's Compilation of Oracle Bones), detailing the transcription of 41956 fragments of various sizes, freely accessible here. The ...


6

Unfortunately, my sources for this are in Swedish and/or from old periodicals from the actual time when Esperanto was new, so I can't link anything. If you can read Swedish, find the book called "100 years of Esperanto", and in Esperanto there's another book you can try, "La Esperanto-Movado en Upsalo" (as I remember the title). Basically what happened is, ...


6

It is not easy to describe the relation between syntax and semantics, but it is probably easy to say why that is not easy: there are different perspectives about syntax and semantics, so the relation depends on what you understand by form and meaning, structure and content. If you look at the history of Chomskyan linguistics, you will find the chapter in ...


6

Specifically on aspect, Comrie's 1987 Aspect, 3rd printing, in the Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics series. To fit aspect into the framework of the rest of linguistic semantics, Frawley's 1992 Linguistic Semantics, from Erlbaum. Here's an outline of Chapter 3 in Frawley 1992 (on Entities, i.e, nouns), a list of questions and topics for study in the ...


6

I agree with Greg Lee that McCawley is the place to go for the canonical generative treatment of English syntax and that GPSG is the generative counterpart to that. However, things have moved on since then. I would further recommend looking into Unification Grammars (which is very much at the heart of minimalism under a different name) and Construction ...


6

With English verbs the notion of lexical aspect is only useful up to a point. It's a handy device for explaining things like why some verbs are rarely cast in the progressive construction, or why some verbs imply temporal embedding while others imply temporal envelopment. But the awkward fact is that many verbs have evolved senses which recategorize their ...


6

The book Romanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch by Wilhelm Meyer-Lübke contains the Romance descendants of Vulgar Latin words. It does not include direct borrowings from Latin (such as Spanish causa in the entry for causa), but it is very comprehensive. It includes terms in little known languages, such as Dalmatian, and has entries for some Germanic, Gaulish,...


6

This list includes both common recommendations and stuff I've actually read: Deutscher, G. (2010). Through the language glass: Why the world looks different in other languages. Macmillan. Gumperz, J. J., & Levinson, S. C. (1996). Rethinking Linguistic Relativity: Studies in the social and cultural foundations of language. Cambridge: CUP. Lakoff, G. (...


6

Burrow’s The Sanskrit language (1955) is still very good (though pre-laryngealist). There is also an English translation of Mayrhofer’s Sanskrit-Grammatik, which is short but also very good.


6

You're essentially describing the field-worker's script. In reality, such a list is an ever-growing project constructed on the basis of previous results (when e.g. you discover that you can't use the -ááka- tense in questions, and have to figure out why). The problem with constructing a universal list of actual sentences to get is that you will either omit ...


6

That answer on Spanish SE is misleading on key points - "neural networks" have nothing to do with dictionaries. Let's step back and imagine that we are tasked with creating bilingual dictionaries for many language pairs. To start, we have human-compiled ones, either from processing Wiktionary entries' Translations sections, or purchased from companies ...


5

Concerning discourse markers: Maynard, Senko (1993) "Discourse modality: Subjectivity, emotion and voice in the Japanese language" (John Benjamins Publishing Company) is seminal work. Newer work can be found in Onodera, Noriko O. (2004): Japanese Discourse Markers: Synchronic and Diachronic Discourse Analysis (John Benjamins Publishing). Check out the ...


5

Not sure if this is the same text you're thinking of, but "The North Wind and the Sun" ("Βορέας καὶ Ἥλιος"), one of Aesop's fables, is commonly translated into various languages and used as an example text in phonetics. The International Phonetic Association has a tradition of using it as an example text to illustrate its phonological descriptions of ...


5

Skim "The Linguistics Wars" by Harris to get a bit of political history for the field. Then you'll be aware that you might be served only a very small slice of the pie. For a bit of culture/humor, read the "Speculative Grammarian". The more linguistics you know, the more funny it gets. For phonetics, phonetics is great fun if you go in for actually being ...


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