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 ...


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

As usual, yes and no depending on what you mean. I disagree with the characteristics attributed to Japanese, French and German. I do however understand that there are popular language stereotypes, and in theory someone could conduct a survey of people asking what they thing about some list of languages. You would probably get a lot of characterizations based ...


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 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 ...


6

Balto-Slavic languages developed their own way to decline adjectives, by combining the nominal forms with the forms of personal pronouns (In Slavic *jъ, ja, je). Many Slavic languages (e.g., Russian) still allow the old nominal declension, but Czech mostly allows only the modern compound declension. Wikipedia calls these short and long https://en.wikipedia....


5

As a supplement to MGN's great answer on CxG in general, there's a closely related approach by Ray Jackendoff and Peter Culicover called "Parallel Architecture" that I think is relevant here. The question asks whether syntax determines/constrains semantics, semantics determines/constrains syntax, or neither. But there's a fourth possibility: both. Syntax ...


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

If i had to recommend just a couple of textbooks for syntax, semantics/pragmatics and phonology respectively, they'd be the following: Syntax Syntactic Argumentation and the Structure of English (Perlmutter & Soames, 1979). Not easy to get a hold of, and a lot of the theoretical machinery is quite dated, but for the purpose of learning how to actually ...


5

I've downloaded the Thai Wikipedia dump of the 29/08/2013, converted its 82,200 articles into text files with wp2txt and counted the 195,667,724 characters with a small python script. wp2txt is supposed to remove the metadata, but the statistics can be skewed anyway, and since I don't know any Thai, I have no way to check whether the statistics below make ...


5

I assume you're referring to the World Atlas of Language Structures a.k.a. WALS.


5

It is alive enough that there is a Wikipedia entry. It is a dialect of Kabyle Berber indigenously called Taqbaylit ([ˈθɐqβæjlɪθ] if Wiki is to be believed). Shaltz doesn't get more specific than say "Northeast zone" and doesn't name the specific village. (The mapping from speling to pronunciation they give conforms to what I know of Berber phonology; ta-...-...


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