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Historical Linguistics / Re: Uralic languages and their origins
« Last post by lormurr on Today at 03:55:16 AM »
Thanks, Panini, all of that material will be (and actually already has been) remarkably helpful.

@Daniel: It is an ancient Mediterranean language, and at present I'm just trying to see to what family it belongs. Since I've discarded the Indo-European hypothesis, and since there are good reasons to think this is an agglutinating language, I have decided to give Uralic languages a shot and see what can come forth. And so far it's been fruitful.
At present I ain't trying to find any historical connection, I'd be satisfied only if I could understand its family. Nonetheless, I agree that, if this language be proven to be Uralic (if, and only if!), then it would be a remarkable breakthrough in mapping non-Indo-European languages in Europe. But again, we're far from a definite conclusion...

Anyways, thank y'all!
Historical Linguistics / Re: Uralic languages and their origins
« Last post by Daniel on March 21, 2018, 06:57:01 PM »
Panini answered the question well.

Out of curiosity, though, what's the language? Is it modern, or are you supposing a prehistoric connection?
Historical Linguistics / Re: Uralic languages and their origins
« Last post by panini on March 21, 2018, 05:46:12 PM »
You can start with The Uralic Languages: Description, History and Foreign Influences (ed. by D. Sinor) and The Uralic Languages (ed. by D. Abondolo), also Survey of the Uralic Languages and Comparative Grammar of the Uralic Languages by Björn Collinder, The Uralic Protolanguage: A Comprehensive Reconstruction by Gy. Décsy. You might read through volumes of Suomalais-Ugrilaisen Seuran toimituksia if they're available to you online (though an institutional subscription). The article "On the structure of proto-uralic" is also online at (it's annoying because it just asserts conclusions without bothering with evidence, but whatevs).
Historical Linguistics / Uralic languages and their origins
« Last post by lormurr on March 21, 2018, 03:58:47 PM »
Good evening to y'all: my name's Lorenzo Murrone.
I am at present doing some research concerning a language (which I believe to be some kind of Uralic language, though it is unknown), and for this research I need a good analysis of Proto-Uralic grammar (both "declensions" and conjugations), although it seems to me that there has been a lot of discussion concerning the matter, and it seems like no "definite" or "semi-definite" conclusion concerning most of PU grammar can be given. Now, even though I am kind of a linguist, my areas of interest have always been Indo-European and Hamito-Semitic languages, so I never dealth with PU -- but now I have to!  :o
So, my question to you is: where can I find some advanced information concerning research about PU, maybe with some plausible conclusions concerning conjugations and declensions? It would be great if it could be on the internet, although I agree that most of the internet's stuff is either junk or poor. However, it seems like there are some experts here, so I came here in order to ask someone who's got some more experience than I in the field.
Thank y'all very much! Thank you!
This is one of those book-length topics; I'll try to keep it shorter than that. The easy answer is, yes you can make doing fieldwork your life, many people have done it, I still do it. You can do Bible translation if you want (that implies a bunch of other specifics that I will ignore for now). Let's assume that you want a different kind of job. Then (I hate to say), the options are seriously narrowed. You can get a job as the local field-worker, if you're good enough and luck enough. However, there could be specific facts about a language or region that justify more (or less) optimism. And there is not one thing wrong with learning the methodology of elicitation and language description, even if you end up carving shoes for a living.

The hard part is Basic Training in theory/language structure. You need a foundation of basic knowledge of grammatical theory, because you need to be able to construct sensible questions like "Is there a passive in this language; how do you distinguish objects and indirect objects; where do you put the negative word" and so on (there are also a ton of questions about phonology and morphology, and underlying any questions about morphology and syntax are questions about semantics). There is a limit to how much you really need to know, so as a phonologist who messes a bit with verb tense systems, I'm maybe a little interested in neo-Reichenbachian accounts of tense and aspect, but mostly it just gets in the way. Rather than spending all of your time learning how some bunch of theories operate, I'd learn some basics and then focus on reading up on how languages operate (consume grammar books and linguistic descriptions).

As soon as it is reasonably possible, it is best to actually start on a language. I recommend starting on a couple of throw-away languages. That is, don't wait until you're ready to for the language that you will commit your life to, start on some language that you don't know and can reasonably work on. I suppose if you live in Belgium and speak Waloon and Vlaams, you'd be somewhat limited, but not very limited because there are at least a few speakers of thousands of languages in Belgium, you just need a contact. (I think I could put you in contact with some folks).

Let us suppose that you've located a Finnish speaker in Belgium, and you don't know any Finnish, so as an exercise you start gathering grammatical information about Finnish. Here's the part where I say "And then a miracle happens..." Now that you have a basic understanding of Finnish structure and have had the experience of eliciting linguistic data (and you learned a bunch of things of the type "I know not to do that again"), you repeat the experience.

You don't need a "qualification" (certificate), you need knowledge of how to do it, which comes mostly by doing and somewhat by reading. The biggest challenge, if you're operating without professional assistance, is that you could be completely deluding yourself. Fieldworking is basically an apprenticeship-type career. It's really just the combination of language description combined with practical methods for handling, evaluating, and eliciting data. What you actually need is the practical-guide book that has not yet been written, but has been started.
Recently I read the book "Linguistic Fieldwork: A Practical Guide" about methods of field research and in order to put the advice provided there into practice, I started to learn Kuman by communicating with a boy from Papua New Guinea.
I would like to hear about experiences of a professional linguist, who have done fieldwork. What is the best way to learn how to do this type of research (especially if the region, where I live is not very rich in languages and I don't know anybody whom I can ask for advice or help)?
Is it possible to make fieldwork my main job? Do I need a PhD? What other qualifications are required? Where can I work? I heard only about SIL and Living Tongues Institute.
Sociolinguistics / Language and Power
« Last post by eleapost on March 13, 2018, 03:08:44 AM »
Hello to all. This text is taken from Fairclough's book and i need your clarification/help. Can someone help me understand the following text and rewrite it?
(1) P: Did you get a look at the one in the car?
. (2) w: I saw his face, yeah.
(3) P: What sort of age was he?
(4) w: About 45. He was wearing a ...
(5) P: And h9)'V tall?
(6) w: Six foot one.
(7) P: Six foot one. Hair?
(8) w: Dark and curly. Is this going to take long? I've got to
collect the kids from school.
(9) P: Not much longer, no. What about his clothes?
(10) w: He was a bit scruffy-looking, blue trousers, black ...
(11) P: Jeans?
(12) w: Yeah.Think of cases where a feature of discourse may be interpreted in
different ways depending on what social conventions people are
operating with - like the example of w's interpretation of the lack of
acknowledgements. Can people resist a particular set of conventions by
insisting on interpreting features according to another set? Try rewriting
the text with w in the position of resisting the conventions which the
interviewer is operating with, specifically in respect of the lack of
acknowledgement of information.
Linguist's Lounge / Where google fails, ask a linquist
« Last post by dravexpress on March 12, 2018, 07:00:46 PM »

My wife and I have been engaged in a great debate, and a simple google search has failed to resolve it.  We pose to you this inquiry involving the use of "could have" "should have" and "would have" and whether or not using them alters verb tenses following them.

I did the dishes.  (correct)
I done the dishes. (wrong)

I would have did the dishes. (wrong?)
I would have done the dishes. (right?)

Does the use of would have, could have, or should have alter which is the correct choice to use properly?
Sociolinguistics / Youth Slang and questionnaire
« Last post by Jula on March 12, 2018, 12:35:43 AM »
Hi everyone,

I am a French student and I'm doing my master's thesis in linguistics.  I am comparing French and English youth slang at different levels : morphological, semantical and sociolinguistical. I have this very short questionnaire that I would like to share with you so that you can fill it in (only English speaking people , please !) if you've got time. We can discuss it afterwards if you wish !

Here is the link :

Thanks for your help !

I need some suggestions for my reason of doing my research, why should I research about aviation.
The word formation is the linguistic case that I bring for aviation matter.
Strengthened reasons will be helpful. Thank you. Zakri
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