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33 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

As @YellowSky pointed, a very large number of languages make this distinction. The Wiktionary lists don’t even scratch the surface, since most languages are not in Wiktionary, and the real number ...
melissa_boiko's user avatar
21 votes

Morphology vs Etymology

Etymology was the term used for both concepts up to the early 20th century. Then de Saussure postulated the incompatibility of diachrony and synchrony and nothing was ever the same again. Etymology ...
Artemij Keidan's user avatar
17 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

Another concrete example to extend upon these already excellent answers is the Swedish language. Here, the terms are "farbror" for a paternal uncle (literally: "father-brother") ...
physicalist's user avatar
13 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

In the Western variety of the Ukrainian language, maternal uncle is вуйко (vujko) [ˈʋui̯kɔ], and paternal uncle is стрий / стрийко (stryj / stryjko) [strɪi̯] / [ˈstrɪi̯kɔ]. Also, by analogy, maternal ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 18.5k
9 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

As melissa_boiko and Yellow Sky have already mentioned, the number of languages with this distinction is likely to be in the thousands. Here are some concrete examples from the Indian subcontinent. ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 191
8 votes

How is chapter related to head?

We can't know exactly which quality led so many languages to independently develop or borrow the metaphor — etymological dictionaries rarely speculate on the "why" — but here are my thoughts. There ...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
  • 2,442
8 votes
Accepted

Why "agoraphobia" not "agorophobia"?

The connecting vowel in Ancient Greek compounds depends on the declension of the first noun: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0007%3Apart%3D3%3Achapter%3D24 If ...
Nick Nicholas's user avatar
8 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

Southern Sami (Finno-Ugric) has several words for distinguishing maternal and paternal uncles by relative age and blood relation: jyöne, maternal uncle jiekie, paternal uncle, but only when he's ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Why does the name for Germany vary so much between languages?

The primary reason is because there were many Germanic tribes with which the other nations came into contact with directly. This may actually be because of the position in Central Europe - i.e. the ...
Eleshar's user avatar
  • 2,363
6 votes
Accepted

How is chapter related to head?

It's useful in linguistics to distinguish between the 'why' and the 'how'. The 'why' question is easy in the case of European languages because we know that in this part of the world, books and ...
Unbrutal_Russian's user avatar
6 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

German has (well, had, not in common usage any more, respectively the use changed for some to describe the cousins, though even then not that common) separate words for some cases: paternal aunt Base ...
ferada's user avatar
  • 169
6 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

Croatian/Bosnian has different words for it. "ujko" - maternal uncle, and his wife "ujna" "striko" - paternal uncle, and his wife "strina"
user32022's user avatar
6 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

Armenian: Keri for mother's brother and Horeghpayr for father's brother.
TT_ stands with Russia's user avatar
5 votes

I read the Quran syllable by syllable but I don't know where a word begins and where it ends.If I knew that I could translate them from the dictionary

Here is Quran word for word – every word is written separately, translated, explained grammatically, and recited audio by a professional reciter. If you click a word, you are redirected to a more ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 18.5k
5 votes

Do languages still invent absolutely new single words, or is coining done around pre existing words?

Do arbitrary coinages happen in language? Yes, but they appear to be rare, especially if we also remove onomatopoeias and sound symbolism from consideration (which OP has not done). FWIW, https://www....
Nick Nicholas's user avatar
5 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

Pashto (Indo-Iranian) also has separate words for maternal uncle and paternal uncle: paternal uncle: تره maternal uncle: ماما And Urdu: paternal uncle: چچا maternal uncle: مامو (or ماما)
Mellifluous's user avatar
  • 1,389
5 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

Arabic has separate words for: paternal uncle: 'Amm عَمّ maternal uncle: Khal خَال
5 votes
Accepted

Are different inflectional forms of a word different words or the same word?

The term "word" is a bit fuzzy here. When you want to be more exact, you may want to speak of word forms corresponding to the individual inflected forms and of lemmas or lexemes for ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
4 votes

What's the difference between לזכור and להיזכר in Modern Hebrew?

Both words come from the root זכר, but are in different conjugations (binyanim). לִזְכּוֹר or זָכַר is in the kal (pa'al) conjugation, and לְהִזָּכֵר or נִזְכָּר is in the nif'al conjugation. ...
b a's user avatar
  • 2,785
4 votes

Can words be formed by deriving from just prefix(es) and suffix(es) with no actual root morpheme between?

In Esperanto there are some words of this kind, e.g., malina "male" composed of mal- "negation, opposite of" and -ina "feminine" More examples can be found in this answer: https://esperanto....
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Can you build words by sound in Sumerian Cuneiform?

Yes, Sumerian scribes did sometimes write words entirely or partly phonetically using syllable signs. This could occur for several reasons: As Draconis already noted, grammatical prefixes and ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
4 votes

Is it true that English speakers will only accept one of the 120 possible combinations of the 5 morphemes de-nation-al-ize-ation?

I think you've just found an error here. I don't think they actually checked all of the possible permutations of the morphemes, so they missed that de-nation-ize-ation-al was also valid.
brass tacks's user avatar
  • 18.3k
4 votes

Which languages have different words for "maternal uncle" and "paternal uncle"?

In Finnish: Paternal uncle: setä Maternal uncle: eno
ruohola's user avatar
  • 141
4 votes

Are different inflectional forms of a word different words or the same word?

This is a classic "it depends on how you define it" problem. If you ask a large random sample of native English speakers across the globe, I expect that they would say that "child" ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
4 votes
Accepted

How is the ability of sortal classifiers to form compound words in Chinese and other Sino-Tibetan languages?

Modern Standard Mandarin Chinese does indeed have a propensity for "noun-classifier" compounds (名量式复合词 míngliàng-shì fùhécí). This is a subject with some active research going on. According ...
Michaelyus's user avatar
  • 7,476
3 votes

Genocide vs. genticide

Because the stem of the Latin word it is formed from is genti- (nominative gens, genitive gentis). So its combining form in Latin would be genti-. The geno- form appears to have been formed by ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 7,464
3 votes
Accepted

What is the consensus on how words are formed across cultures (generally)?

There are over 7,000 answers to the question, at present. You can cut the question up into parts -- what are the grammatical prerequisites, and what are the social factors, i.e. how do you sell others ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
3 votes
Accepted

Open ت and tied ة does both ت indicates at the end of the word that the word is feminine in arabic linguistics?

A /t/ suffix makes a noun feminine in many Afro-Asiatic languages. However, in many of these languages (including Arabic), it's gotten lenited over time, and is now pronounced as [h] or silent: ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.8k
3 votes
Accepted

Why do native English speakers analyze "a lot" as one word?

The problem starts not with the noun phrase "a lot of ...", but with the adverbial phrase "a lot [of the time]" (meaning 'often'). It is unusual for an adverbial phrase to begin with a determiner (...
amI's user avatar
  • 666

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