58

The World Atlas of Language Structures Online Chapter 49 lists 84 languages with at least 6 distinct cases (24 of them with at least 10 cases). A number of them are spoken in remote areas of Australia or South America where schooling is limited, if it happens at all. As far as I know, speakers of these languages have no problem using the case system in an ...


38

Though as some other posters have noted, some Russians may use dialect case forms, anyone who is out of diapers uses the full case system. Case is a core concept of the language. The very idea that using cases is a burden is alien to Russian. If you hear someone speaking Russian while ignoring case and gender, he isn't uneducated, he is a foreigner. He ...


38

The question has been well answered for specifics. I'd only want to add that a little thought would have answered it in general: most of language learning happens before a learner ever goes to school, so level of schooling cannot possibly be relevant. Furthermore, for most of human history, most people have been unschooled, unlettered, and illiterate, and in ...


27

Morphological complexity as such as is not related to the level of schooling. Some of the most morphologically complex languages are spoken by people without any education. So, all Russian and German speakers (including those with no formal schooling) use the morphological cases in their respective languages. So did speakers of Vulgar Latin which was really ...


24

All people use cases in Russian. Uneducated people may make some typical mistakes however, so use cases and other things wrongly, but the number of such possible characteristic mistakes is limited. For instance. Standard speech requires use of indeclinable possessive pronoun "их" "their". But uneducated people may decline it, adding the ending "ихний", "...


19

I live in Poland, and my first language is Polish, a slavic language somewhat related to Russian, with a quite complicated case system. From my experience, I can confirm what others have written: Every one who normally learned Polish in his or her childhood is able to use the case system with only occasional minor mistakes, usually involving one of several ...


19

This is a difficult question. Greek is perceived as one language despite the fact that Classical Greek is no longer intelligible for a native speaker of Modern Greek without exposure to the classical language. For the Romance language, the split into several different descendants (Italian, Provençal, French, Spanish ...) surely helped to form different ...


18

Cases are properly used by pre-school children Any kid who can speak the language can use the cases properly. There may be edge cases where "the prescribed way to say this is X, don't use Y" - which refers to prescriptive vs descriptive language principles, and perhaps has some parallels to things like British 'acquired pronounciation'. The full case ...


17

Yes, your assumption on a correlation between pitch variance and vocabulary size is wrong. The use of pitch you speak of is called "prosody" in linguistics; different speaking groups in society may use different levels of pitch in their prosody, or even different prosodic melodies, without any predefined relationship to vocabulary or social standing (for ...


16

You should not confuse the two terms: The Cossacks: are a group of predominantly East Slavic people who became known as members of democratic, semi-military and semi-naval communities,[1] predominantly located in Ukraine and in Southern Russia. The Kazakhs: are a Turkic people of Eastern Europe and the northern parts of Central Asia (largely Kazakhstan, but ...


16

People who natively speak a language that has grammatical cases do generally use them commonly and consistently. Like all language features, case systems do also evolve, and it's quite common for there to be variation in case use between different dialects of a language, or e.g. between literary and colloquial language, but (at least from a descriptive ...


15

After the Norman Conquest in 1066 French quickly replaced English in all domains associated with power. French was used at the royal court, by the clergy, the aristocracy, in law courts. But the vast majority of the population continued to speak English. Had the aristocracy and clergy miraculously vanished in 1100 English would have taken over right away. In ...


15

Lexical tones and prosody peacefully co-exist in these languages. The speakers intuitively use only those pitch contours that do not overlap with the lexical tones. Even more, sometimes an exaggerated tone may serve as an intonation, and this is used in "ghetto talk". Tonal contours in normal speech Native speakers often dilute the lexical tones in ...


13

The Norman conquest was hardly a case of 'French' colonization. France barely existed at the time. The Normans were fervently not French in their self-identity and can't even really be said to have spoken 'French'- rather they spoke a dialect of the Latin-based languages spoken across the old Roman world, the Parisian dialect of which would later develop ...


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 ...


11

Their presence across all known world languages constitutes a linguistic universal according to research from Allan and Burridge (1991) Refer to this article here. And to this paper, here As @Wilson interestingly points out, it's not easy to say, "There exists one", also because, where do you draw a line and say this particular saying is not a Euphemism for ...


10

Not in only in jargons, but in most languages in general there are more nouns, verbs and adjectives than conjunctions and prepositions. The former are called open word classes and the latter closed class. Open word classes readily admit new members, but closed word classes don't give in so easily - although closed is a bit of an exaggeration, over time they ...


10

These two forms are not equivalent. It is true that anywhere the -se forms are used in Spanish, the -ra forms can be used, but the opposite is not true. So while both these pairs are fully equivalent: No estaba seguro de que viniera/viniese. [both imperfect subjunctive forms freely interchangeable](I wasn’t sure he was coming.) Después de que llegara/...


10

It is normal that you find this rule1 "unnatural". It is entirely artificial and has no logic. It is considered artificial by most grammarians of the French language nowadays (including Grevisse). The agreement with the preceding past participle with avoir was introduced into French in the 16th century (by Clement Marot) a French Renaissance poet, ...


10

The short answer to your question for both English and German is early twentieth century stage pronunciation, an artificial, overarticulated accent designed to project to the back rows of a theater before the routine use of microphones. English In a 1920s recording of John Gielgud reciting Othello’s speech from Act I, Sc. 3, the actor pronounces an alveolar ...


10

I feel like this is more of a cultural question than a linguistic one. Euphemisms do not require the currently spoken language to accommodate them. Euphemisms rely on a person's understanding that A is a less extreme version of B, regardless of the language of the words that are being spoken. The only way you could have a language where a particular ...


10

Niger-Congo languages tend to have a system of noun classes, somewhat similar to gender in Indo-European languages (in terms of adjectives having to agree with nouns, for instance), but consisting of several categories of entities instead. In Swahili, the ki-vi class, while mainly used for inanimate objects, can be used, quoting Wiktionary, "for things ...


9

You may have heard this about Turoyo, though the situation is slightly different from what you describe. Turoyo is a Neo-Aramaic language, mostly spoken by Syriac-Orthodox Christians. In the 1970s, Turoyo-speaking immigrants in Sweden obtained governmental support for promoting Turoyo as a minority language. They developed a writing system (previously, ...


9

Analogous to the word "maestro" in Western classical music to refer to conductors, Hindustani Classical music has "ustad" and "pandit" to address virtuoso performers. While either of them can be considered a translation of "maestro", in practice, "ustad" is used exclusively for Muslim virtuosi, and "pandit" for Hindu virtuosi. The titles in Pandit Ravi ...


9

English "honorifics" can denote marital status (for women only) - Mrs. vs Miss. (The newer Ms. marks the addressee as a woman without specifying marital status. All men are Mr. regardless of marital status. I've seen the newer Mx. as a gender-neutral honorific.) Dr. is very common (for doctors). I have seen a few others that denote specific professions but ...


8

This board is supposed to be for actual linguistics-based questions with possible fact-based answers and I don't mean to encourage these types of opinion-based questions here in the future but I do feel a bit bad for you since I don't know where else you could ask. I seem to remember a good linguistics thread over at the Something Awful Forums but that was ...


8

This phenomenon has been studied a lot over the years. People do not refer to it as animal foreign languages but sometimes the word dialect is used. You will find plenty of descriptions in books on animal communication. Just be careful in your search because a lot of books with this title are about 'speaking' to animals. Most intros to linguistics also have ...


8

It's hard to answer a question with a definite negative, since that leaves the possibility open for someone to come along later and say, "I know an example which disproves your position". But I think that naturally occurring human languages are all going to have euphemisms, since humans seem to like that. The only languages I know which do not have ...


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

This pattern does show up a lot, and there seem to be multiple factors driving it. Rural areas (though not only such areas) tend contain small, immobile, tight-knit populations, in which local identity is socially important and outside communication is (historically) limited. On one level, simple isolation means there's less exposure to the mainstream ...


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