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Unanswered Questions

1,187 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
14
votes
0answers
216 views

Reversal of kinship terms when speaking to a child

When Turkish people speak to children, they often address them with the kinship term that the child is supposed to use for the speaker. For example a mother may call her child "anneciğim" ("my dear ...
10
votes
2answers
535 views

Do dialects without the meet-meat merger neutralize the distinction in some contexts?

For many dialects of English (including my own) multiple historical lexical sets are merged into one "FLEECE" set (this diaphoneme can be represented with IPA /iː/). I've read about the basics of the ...
9
votes
0answers
189 views

Cultural bias in early modern Western linguistics

I answered a question on this site yesterday where in my answer, I alluded to a problem with cultural bias in early modern Western linguistics. I tried my best search engine fu to come up with a good ...
9
votes
0answers
1k views

Do “only if…” and “if… only then…” have the same LF representation?

I'm currently writing a term paper where I am comparing if... then..., only if..., and if... only then... statements. I've noticed that only if p q and if p, only then q have the same truth ...
9
votes
1answer
479 views

Feminisation of men's language?

I was wondering whether there has been (generally) a feminisation of "men's language". Lakoff's claims in "women's and men's language" are almost half a century old and there have been contradictory ...
8
votes
3answers
336 views

Have we observed classes changing from open to closed, or vice versa?

Classes of words in languages tend to be either "open" (accepting new members readily) or "closed" (rejecting new members). This distinction is fairly easy to see: compare how readily English accepted ...
8
votes
0answers
72 views

In which non-Sinitic languages do negative clauses retain older constituent order in SVC-derived complex predicates?

Many complex predicates are historically derived from serial verb constructions. This is not only true of the Sinitic family. For example, in Saramaccan (Byrne 1987, as cited in Givón 2009): (1) a ...
8
votes
0answers
111 views

What are some common diachronic origins of interrogative pro-forms?

My impression is that, whereas the grammaticalisation pathways of personal pronouns, agreement markers, auxiliary verbs, case markers, etc. all seem well understood, we know much less about ...
8
votes
1answer
170 views

Representing knowledge extracted from output of dependency parsing

I am working on a problem to represent knowledge extracted from a paragraph and rank it to produce abstractive summaries. I have implemented dependency parsing using Stanford NLP, which gives dot ...
8
votes
0answers
98 views

Are there any rankings of languages' rates of change?

This question involves the commonest languages still used in 2015. Prof. John McWhorter and this answer argue different rates of language change, e.g. the language change from Old Norse to ...
8
votes
0answers
212 views

What has the study of second language acquisition brought to foreign language teachers?

Learning a second language, either by immersing yourself into the culture that speaks it or by being formally taught by a fluent speaker, is an old practice in history. But the scientific study of ...
7
votes
1answer
133 views

Are any of the Old Chinese reconstructions for「能」plausible descendants of Proto-Sino-Tibetan /*dɣwjəm/?

(Apologies if this is off-topic.) The Chinese character「能」was originally a picture of a kind of bear. The character was once used to represent a word meaning bear, but this word doesn't appear to ...
7
votes
0answers
101 views

Is linguistic change pushed by humor?

Through "meme culture," young people are inventing all sorts of new linguistic constructions purely because they think they sound funny. The interesting thing is that these jokes don't end at a ...
7
votes
0answers
74 views

How do I gloss a Semitic verb?

"Standard" glossing (following the Leipzig rules) uses a linear model of breaking down words into morphemes. In other words, it assumes you can draw lines between all the morphemes to separate them. ...
7
votes
0answers
96 views

Does anyone know if there are plans for a 'successor' to Huddleston and Pullum (CamGEL or CGEL)?

Huddleston and Pullum's The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (CamGEL or CGEL) is widely considered a 'successor' to a previous 'great English grammar': Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik's ...

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