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Linguist's Lounge / Re: What would you change in your native language?
« Last post by panini on October 24, 2017, 05:42:09 PM »
I was hoping that it was obvious that I wanted much better, and pitch accent is simply "settling". A good pitch-accent system would be interesting. From what I can tell, Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian all have interesting prosodic systems, the problem is that the facts are obscure (and made more obscure by the spelling system). If I had it in my language, it would be easy to get all sorts of informative data. My interest is not making English be the easiest language for others to learn. I likewise would not want to eliminate tone or all of those palatal-like consonants from Chinese just because other people find them hard to cope with. My basic motivation is that I'm a linguist, and am interested in the nature of grammars.
Linguist's Lounge / Re: Help me with my new website!
« Last post by Daniel on October 24, 2017, 12:28:20 PM »
Using SMF software, yes. And I have modified it some. I do know some PHP. But my knowledge of Javascript or other types of browser/interface interaction is minimal, especially when it comes to mobile browsers. (I really do recommend dynamicdrive, though. I learned a lot there for a number of years, though I've been concentrating on linguistic research for a while now and haven't done much with programming, another reason I'm not up to date on mobile browsers.)

Well, I tried the game now on my iphone. It works about as well as on the computer (Firefox browser). It is somewhat unresponsive so it's a little hard to control, but it's functional. One quirky problem is that double tapping in iOS Safari zooms to the relevant section of a website, in this case the game, or back to the full window. So when I'm playing if I double tap to try to get the pacman character to move (again, it doesn't always respond the first time), sometimes it'll zoom out to show the whole website.
Linguist's Lounge / Re: Politics
« Last post by Daniel on October 24, 2017, 12:22:01 PM »
To become a dictator, you basically need to brainwash an entire nation.
Or just have the biggest guns in a power vacuum and declare yourself dictator. It's easier than a coups.

Why would getting rid of a government return us back to a hunter-gather lifestyle?
I didn't say that. I just pointed out that the reconstruction of prehistoric languages doesn't solve modern problems. It doesn't matter if they did or did not have words for it.
Linguist's Lounge / Re: Help me with my new website!
« Last post by FlatAssembler on October 24, 2017, 11:48:54 AM »
No idea about the programming questions.
I haven't really asked a programming question, I've asked how the game works on your smartphone. You don't have a smartphone?

Didn't you make this forum? I thought forums were made in the PHP programming language.
Linguist's Lounge / Re: Politics
« Last post by FlatAssembler on October 24, 2017, 11:41:16 AM »
Nobody has an infinitely correct theory of when to use force to protect rights.
If someone wants to use force, he has to prove that it's necessary to use it. I don't think it's been proven that force can be used to lower the homicide rates. If somebody claims there should be a law preventing gay marriage or abortion, he has to prove that law would do more harm than good. The same goes for the laws supposed to prevent murder.
It is also impractical to have anarchy because at some point someone will take power, and the farther from an organized form of government that is, the worse it will tend to be.
To become a dictator, you basically need to brainwash an entire nation. Why do you think it would be easier to do that in an anarchy? It seems to me it's easier to do that if you already have a government, because, well, you can control the media by censorships.
And would you really want to go back to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle?
Why would getting rid of a government return us back to a hunter-gather lifestyle?
Linguist's Lounge / Re: What would you change in your native language?
« Last post by FlatAssembler on October 24, 2017, 11:26:59 AM »
Why would you like English to have a pitch accent system? I can tell you why I'd like Croatian not to have one: many Croatian dialects don't have one, and the speakers of those dialects often find the standard Croatian hard to pronounce. Everyone speaks in a "different accent" and we often sound wrong to one another.
As for morphology, I'd at least get rid of the declension of numerals. It seems to serve no other purpose except making it harder to speak the standard language grammatically.
Language Acquisition / Re: Silent period
« Last post by Daniel on October 22, 2017, 08:32:19 PM »
What I meant by my signature was questions about the forum. Of course content questions are always welcome too, but there is a general (if unwritten) rule about "homework" type questions. It's nothing personal. The reasons are that the goal of homework is to figure it out yourself (or if this is a test, then of course to do it yourself), as well as trying to avoid answers to assignments being posted here for students to Google.

As for the question, as I said, I think it's an oversimplification without a single right answer. We could discuss the topic if you want, but maybe you should tell us what you think about it. It's not my area but I have some idea what you're talking about. In short, I would just say that it's odd to phrase it as "do most of the work themselves" as if the teacher can actually teach someone language. They're more of a guide or a coach, an information source, than actually a teacher when it comes to language, especially in terms of the students gaining confidence and fluency. So it's a partnership and cooperation one way or another, although I don't know what the specific context of this multiple choice question is to know the "right answer" (since it varies by context!). I'd say a good balance of everything, and possibly some different approaches for different students (or classes), but that doesn't fit the format of the question.

But now you've deleted the original question (which might be a good thing because it's from a test!), so maybe you should repost something else as a general topic to discuss if you want.
Linguist's Lounge / Re: Help me with my new website!
« Last post by Daniel on October 22, 2017, 08:26:52 PM »
No idea about the programming questios (I'd recommend the forums at for web design and programming!), but the game was fun to click for a minute.

As for linguistics, it's hard to think of a game that would fit. Maybe something about a conlang, but still it's hard to say what that would be exactly. Of course you could design something other than a game, such as a grammar tool (whether it makes trees, or conjugates verbs, or whatever), but some of that would be text/language-based rather than the interface.
Semantics and Pragmatics / Re: Apocope, meaning change and lexeme
« Last post by Daniel on October 22, 2017, 08:24:34 PM »
That's an interesting (and very long) list. You might almost be able to argue for a semantically-based derivational process with that data. Well done!

There is still the question of why, though. My guess would be something like this, sort of from an economic perspective: people say shorter things for products and goods that are tangible, so they truncate longer forms to refer to concrete things that are of immediate relevance. So the resulting semantics might just be coincidental (but perhaps almost conventional now, since it is so common).
Semantics and Pragmatics / Re: Apocope, meaning change and lexeme
« Last post by vox on October 22, 2017, 05:35:05 AM »
In French, it seems that truncation always selects a concrete meaning and eliminate the abstract one. It’s obvious when the original form is a noun of property :
actualité ‘currentness;the news’ > actu ’the news’
publicité ‘publicness;advertising’ > pub ‘advertising’
faculté ‘faculty/aptitude;college’ > fac ‘college’
promotion ‘fosterage/support;professional elevation;special offer (in a shop);advertising for the release of a new movie/book/etc.;school group/year group’ > promo all but ‘fosterage/support’
combinaison ‘combination;sort of suits often made in one piece combining the high and low part (wetsuit, ski suit, tracksuit, coveralls, space suit, etc.)’ > combi ‘sort of suits’ (I think the meaning ‘combination’ is not completely impossible in a community of mathematicians or engineers)
cinéma ‘movie art;movie theater’ > ciné ‘movie theater’
chorégraphie ‘art of composing dances;particular sequence of dance movements’ > choré ‘particular sequence of dance movements’

When the original meaning is concrete (animate, inanimate and material, locations, etc.), nothing changes except from the language register :
microphone ‘microphone’ > micro ‘microphone’ (either the one to speak with or the one to spy with)
métropolitain ‘subway’ > métro ‘subway’ (informal)
homosexuel (noun) ‘homosexual’ > homo ‘homosexual’ (informal)
restaurant ‘restaurant’ > resto ‘restaurant’ (informal)
adolescent (noun) ’teenager’ > ado ’teenager’ (informal)
mythomane (noun) ‘mythomaniac’ > mytho ‘mythomaniac’ (very informal)
appartement ‘appartment’ > appart ‘appartment’ (informal)

May be an exception with fanatique (noun) ‘religious zealot;very intolerant person’, the meaning changes in fan ‘admirer, nut’ (borrowed from English, not a French truncation) and fana ’nut’  (as in I’m a moto nut). Neither fan nor fana can be used to express the meaning ‘religious zealot;very intolerant person’, even in an informal way.
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