11

I'm afraid I'm going to have to frame-challenge this one. For example, it seems intuitive that a spoken language cannot hold too many words without having a way to write them down (imagine having to memorize 100000 words without the possibility of saving them for later reference). Perhaps surprisingly, this does not seem to be the case! Writing systems ...


9

The similarity in sound is the result of two factors: overlapping phonetic inventories, and word length (which affects syllable duration). If you wanted to quantify the similarity, those would be the factors to focus on. The other part of "why" focuses not on what you are reacting to, but what causes the languages to be similar. The best explanation is that ...


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, ...


7

This raises the question, "what is a word?" Perhaps surprisingly, linguists don't have a solid answer to that question. The most common definition cross-linguistically is "a unit that's useful to describe how this particular language works". However, all languages have morphemes (groups of sounds that have meaning), and in a language with no real ...


6

Yes, English has influenced at least one language's phonology (and probably many more). Japanese did not distinguish the phonemes /ɸ/ and /h/ before English loanwords. You can read a description of the current situation in "An acoustic study of the Japanese voiceless bilabial fricative" by Scott Ruddell. In native Japanese words, this sound etymologically ...


5

In the 1960’s, the linguist William Stokoe showed that the American Sign Language is a full fledged language, and subsequent linguistic studies confirmed that sign languages share all the characteristics of oral languages (expect the obvious sign/sound difference), and there is no reason to consider them differently. So ASL is “langue”, and the concrete ...


5

Extremely similar phonemic systems. In particular, both languages tightly limit syllable-ending consonants, unlike English which permits almost any consonant to end a syllable. Large numbers of loan words from Chinese converted into those similar phonemic systems means that there are many phonetic cognates. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...


5

One standard term is receptive multilingualism, which can be via the oral medium or the written medium (or of course, both). One definition: This particular description fits the person who understands a second language, in either its spoken or written form, or both, but does not necessarily speak or write it. An alternative term for this case is passive ...


5

The winners are probably writing systems with heterograms: words written in one language but spoken in another. We actually have a few of these in English, such as the abbreviation "e.g." which stands for Latin exemplī grātiā but is usually read aloud as the English equivalent "for example". Examples: In Hittite cuneiform, the written ...


4

MT is hard. Google Translate is based on statistical methods with models trained on large bilingual corpora. There are a few rule-based systems that produce better translations but only in closed specialized domains. As for now nobody has an algorithm or method that performs better. It's impossible to predict the future but I wouldn't hope for ...


4

This Theano tutorial provide a dialogue state tracking systems (slot filling) with a graphical model based (recurrent neural networks) dialogue state representation. You probably need a decently large training set though: on the Fourth Dialog State Tracking Challenge (DSTC4) last year, we (and other teams) unsuccessfully tried some neural networks but in ...


4

Before I retired (7 years ago) I taught a linguistics course in articulatory phonetics from time to time. About half my class were undergraduate majors in Speech Pathology. So that course was clearly a requirement for Speech Path at that time. I used IPA in the course, but there was never a requirement to learn IPA. Linguistics is not about learning ...


4

Besides what others mentioned here, there's also the fact that as foreigners, we are more likely to hear the similarities (especially when we know a few words) than the differences. For me, after I met a few people from the south and from the north of China, Cantonese and Mandarin seemed pretty similar. Mostly because my limited vocabulary (of maybe 10 ...


4

Phones are a "thing" because they were the first decent method of objectively and accurately recording unwritten languages (in the 19th century). Back then, if you heard a Lushootseed speaker translate English "The bear ate the salmon", the standard practice was to guess with untrained English-speaker ears that the person said "Oo uhshluh tube tea skuchicuss ...


4

Any cavity that is open to the vocal tract can contribute a resonance. Subglottal resonances are not linguistically controllable, but they exist. Resonances produced in the nasal cavities are widely used contrastively – languages have nasal vs. oral vowels, and they are not part of the oral cavity. The lower pharyngeal cavities are technically not part of ...


4

Slang isn't necessarily pejorative but, as you mentioned, it does imply use in particular groups. If the phrase started as slang in the '60s and has already become mainstream, colloquial or informal should be more suitable. There's no clear threshold. Jargon is more like a sublanguage used in a particular field of science, engineering, etc, so not ...


4

Since you talk about the "original" Irish people, I'm going to assume you mean the original inventors of the script, who spoke an early Q-Celtic language in the fourth century CE. (Also note that Celtic is not my area of expertise, so others should comment to correct me if I say something wrong.) At this point, the twenty "classical" Ogham letters mapped ...


3

English influenced Polish phonotactics in some very frequent words, such as weekend (which currently is a perfectly Polish word for, well, a weekend). In general, /wi/ is not allowed in Polish and a natural adaptation of "weekend" to Polish phonology would be /vikent/ or /wɨkɛnt/ (cf. Wikipedia /vikipɛdja/). However, nobody pronounces weekend with /v/ or /ɨ/ ...


3

When French borrowed English words that contain [ŋ] (e.g. camping), French kept the [ŋ] sound, which thus became an addition to French phonology.


3

It looks like Pierce & Karlin 1957 might be a good starting point. It came out almost a decade after the original Shannon (1948) entropy paper and a decade before Kolmogorov's 1968 paper on quantifying information. Here's the abstract: The limitation on the rate at which information can be transmitted over an ordinary telephone channel is a human one. ...


3

In a project that produced a corpus of (spoken) Nigerian English we used HES for hesitation. I've also come across HES in articles in linguistics journals, but not FILL.


3

It seems to me that your argument about the simultaneity of articulatory gestures in speech is mostly irrelevant, because the hearer does not perceive these various gestures, but the (single) resulting auditory stream. It is true that in general each such gesture will have an effect on the stream (though in some cases barely detectable) but there is no ...


3

Simultaneity just means producing two or three signs simultaneously. It is common in British Sign Language, of which I have a very incomplete knowledge. All you have to do is pick two one-handed signs and add a facial expression (many facial expressions are signs in themselves), and you can easily produce three signs simultaneously, which is like saying ...


3

Your question makes some broadly misleading assumptions about both translation and machine translation. The problem here is not "grammatical" correctness. It's not a problem for Google to generate superficially grammatical sentences. But sentences only appear as part of text/utterance which is the really carrier of communicative meaning. Any one word or ...


3

York University (Ontario, Canada) has a site where you can hear all the IPA sounds: http://www.yorku.ca/earmstro/ipa/


3

There is an older conlang that can be "spoken" via music, Solresol (http://www.sidosi.org/faq). So, yes, people have used music to make conlangs. I'm unsure of how it would arise, but, then, there are whistled languages that aren't conlangs. I don't think it would go away or anything, but why did it exist in the first place?


3

There is a clear dispreference for using contractions in term papers and journal publications, and a clear preference for using 'em in ordinary conversation. There's an extremely strong dispreference for contracting future will when the point is to deny a claim that some event won't happen, so it would be bizarre to say "No, he'LL bring it back". In mixed ...


3

Coming from a very specific point of view, namely writing high quality metadata for language resources, I think that spoken language is indeed a different modality from signed language, and should be interpreted as such. I don't know a cromulent term that comprises both spoken and signed language as such, maybe something like spontaneous speech production ...


3

Take a look at 2Hz Noise Suppression API. It's language-agnostic and is a REST API so you can use it from any programming language. Currently the API isn't designed for real time however this will be added down the road. (full disclosure - I work at 2Hz)


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