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Linguist's Lounge / Is Burushaski, at its core, an Indo-European language?
« Last post by Voynichologist on August 17, 2018, 05:50:27 AM »
So, guys, what do you think about the thesis that Burushaski is, at its core, an Indo-European language?
http://www.clarkriley.com/JIES4012web/059-153Casule.pdf
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Semantics and Pragmatics / Re: Help me pick the right words
« Last post by Paul Basileus on August 16, 2018, 07:11:04 PM »
Well, many thanks to you, I'll follow your advice
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Semantics and Pragmatics / Re: Help me pick the right words
« Last post by Daniel on August 16, 2018, 07:03:55 PM »
This is a forum for linguistics, which is the scientific study of language, not about language learning or proofreading. There are many English learning or English usage forums on the internet. In this case, maybe your best feedback would just come from asking (potential) players, on a gaming forum.

As for the question, I don't think it matters so much because players will get used to the names, which will have specific meanings in the game anyway.

As for a little semantic analysis, the words you have picked do seem a little odd to me with "quality" in the middle. Try listing them out to think about semantic sets of properties. You have old/modern, and rare/common as clear pairs of semantic sets, but the medium category doesn't fit. This isn't really a question of translation, but meaning. Once you know the right meaning you can find the right word. But again, a gaming forum is probably the better place for this discussion.
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Semantics and Pragmatics / Help me pick the right words
« Last post by Paul Basileus on August 16, 2018, 06:25:15 PM »
Hello everyone! Well, I've made a game called Antiquaria (a hidden object game the plot of which revolves around antiques) and there are a few thousand items in it: their names are meant to begin with adjectives that must:
1. hint the players at the items’ price
2. make players understand that there are 3 groups of items that differ in price
3. sound good (that’s why we don’t use such words as cheap and broken)
What do you think, are the adjectives below well chosen? Propose your ideas, we will be glad to get your suggestions.
1.High price:
Rare/Old/Valuable
2. Medium price: Quality
3. Low price:
Common/Modern

Need help of native english speakers to find out whether the words I chose are right

P.S.: I'm a newbie here and don't know if I chose the right place of this forum to place this post
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Historical Linguistics / Nicknames in Various Historical Cultures
« Last post by kiragecko on August 15, 2018, 10:39:27 AM »
There are a variety of ways to form casual address terms.
Using family terms is common ('brother'), shortening/modifying a given name ('Teddy' from Theodore), or something based on the person's characteristics ('Shorty').
What idea do we have of what people did in the past?
I know a lot of our sources are official, and less likely to have informal names. But what info DO we have?

PS. General trends for a culture, or specific examples, are both appreciated.
PSS. I'm most interested in the Early Medieval/Post-Classic period - 500AD-1200ADish. And/or in the Americas, India, SE Asia, Eastern Africa, Japan, Ireland, and the Middle East. But any and all anecdotes/facts would be appreciated. Onomastics is fascinating.
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Phonetics and Phonology / Re: IPA - syllable breaks
« Last post by Daniel on August 13, 2018, 08:56:48 AM »
The use of a hyphen is, however, standard for marking morpheme boundaries, usually not in the context of a phonetic transcription (unless your orthography happens to be IPA, as is the case, rarely, for some descriptive grammars, but then just as normal letters not in slashes/brackets).

I suppose you might end up with a transcription between slashes that has hyphens to show morpheme boundaries, but just like word boundaries, that is usually not marked in IPA, and as far as I know not standard/recommended, and either way not narrowly a phonological (but morphological) question. In doing so, you'd be mixing up several tiers of description and it could get confusing fast.
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Phonetics and Phonology / Re: IPA - syllable breaks
« Last post by panini on August 13, 2018, 08:07:28 AM »
I can't say that I have ever seen anyone notate syllable breaks with a hyphen. If you want to know about the IPA, the absolutely authoritative source is Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, which you can get, used, for around $15. The official and authorized symbol for syllable breaks is the period. Unfortunately, there are many informal versions of the IPA out there which mix together systems and terminology.

If you want an official version of the IPA, I recommend looking at the association's charts online at https://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/content/ipa-chart.
98
Phonetics and Phonology / IPA - syllable breaks
« Last post by brittk on August 13, 2018, 03:07:02 AM »
Hello,

When using IPA, I am aware that <.> (full stop) represents a syllable break.
However, I have also read that a <-> can also be used? Is this correct? If so, is it simply a matter of personal preference, or is one considered better or more appropriate than the other? Also, what kind of hyphen is it (is it an em dash, regular hypen, etc?)

Thanks for your help!
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Quote
And what would, according to you, be a proper way to say whether the names for the numbers in a language are Indo-European in origin or not?
The only way is to show systematic sound changes/correspondences in a large sample of vocabulary items. If the numbers fit into that pattern then they probably also have the same origin. (But individual items can be exceptions, so there's really no way to be absolutely certain.)

Remember, you can't prove anything in science. You can just provide evidence that is consistent with a hypothesis and falsify alternative hypotheses by showing evidence that is inconsistent with those.

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Etruscan names for the numbers 1-10 don't particularly resemble that in Indo-European languages, but they aren't much more different than the Armenian and Albanian ones are from other Indo-European languages.
That's untrue because you are using the wrong methodology. The numbers in Armenian and Albanian can be traced back via regular sound changes to PIE roots. You're approaching this the wrong way, asking whether something is "different" or "similar", instead of asking whether there is a predictable path of development. There is no way to know just by looking at words whether they're related or not, regardless of how similar or different they are.

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Armenian and Albanian names for the numbers 1-10 are supposed to be derived from the Proto-Indo-European ones by some counter-intuitive sound changes.
Sound changes are not "intuitive" (or "counter-intuitive"). They are facts of history, shown by recurring patterns. I won't argue about this with you, because this has been known and accepted for about 200 years. The validity of a specific change is based on whether it can be shown to consistently apply to and explain the vocabulary of a given language. Grimm's Law for example might seem "counter-intuitive" to you (it's certainly not especially transparent) but it's well established and explains a huge amount of Germanic vocabulary. Your intuition is irrelevant. (Mine too.)

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Therefore, on the first glance, regular sound correspondences don't exist in the numbers...
No, no, no!
1) "First glance" is irrelevant. That's not science. On first glance I can't see gravity, but it's there because I can observe it experimentally (such as by dropping a bowling ball on my foot).
2) "Regular" in this context means rule-based, not "obvious" or "intuitive" or "simple". Look for consistency, not transparency. That's how this works.

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How do we know that the same is not true for Etruscan?
We do not know that it isn't true. But we also should not assume it is until there is evidence to support it. The reason we do not currently accept that it is true is because there are no consistent patterns of sound change (=rules, =regularity) that derive those words. It does not matter whether it looks like it might (or might not) be true to you. It matters whether we can identify consistent patterns.

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After all, the Etruscan names for 2 and 10 start with a similar sound
Again, "similar sound" is irrelevant and arguably meaningless. That's just your impression. What matters is not whether it's the same or different, but whether that pattern fits.
A big mistake people often make when trying to imagine distant relationships over large time depths is to say "look, these sounds are the same (or similar)!" when in fact, over enough time, it's unlikely the sounds would be the same. For example, trying to relate PIE and Proto-Afro-Asiatic some people have pointed to fairly transparent "cognates" in Latin and a Semitic language. The odds of those being real cognates are low, however, because over that much time, real cognates probably would have shifted farther apart rather than inexplicably not changing. Therefore the only way to identify real cognates is to show the same sound correspondences across a large number of vocabulary items, regardless of whether the sounds are the same/similar/different.

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and the Etruscan names for 6 and 7 start with the same sound (and the same is true for most of the Indo-European languages).
An interesting coincidence is that "six" is quite similar in a lot of languages, some of them unrelated. This is just a coincidence (or possibly borrowing in some cases), though, and it shows that "it looks the same" isn't a good argument.

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In other words, isn't the fact that there appear to be two sound correspondences (each with two examples) between Etruscan and Indo-European names for the numbers 1-10 a much stronger argument that the Etruscan numbers are related to the Indo-European ones than "they don't look similar" is against it?
No, because neither of those arguments is how sound change works, see above.
"They don't look similar" is not the reason that trained linguists give for the lack of a relationship between PIE and Etruscan: it is because we have no evidence for regular sound changes (=patterns!).
"There appear to be two sound correspondences (each with two examples)" is not nearly sufficient evidence to establish consistent patterns across the vocabulary. When you have several dozen examples, reconsider this. And it won't be accepted until you can show many such patterns, and also don't find an overwhelming number of exceptions to the proposed patterns.

Search online for "Regularity of sound change" for background information on this. There are also some good discussions of how to avoid bias from coincidental similarities.
100
Quote from: Daniel
That's a lazy argument, but not too bad for an impressionistic criterion.
And what would, according to you, be a proper way to say whether the names for the numbers in a language are Indo-European in origin or not?
Etruscan names for the numbers 1-10 don't particularly resemble that in Indo-European languages, but they aren't much more different than the Armenian and Albanian ones are from other Indo-European languages.
Armenian and Albanian names for the numbers 1-10 are supposed to be derived from the Proto-Indo-European ones by some counter-intuitive sound changes. Therefore, on the first glance, regular sound correspondences don't exist in the numbers (the names for 2 and 10 or 6 and 7 start with the same sound in almost all Indo-European languages, but not in Armenian and Albanian).
How do we know that the same is not true for Etruscan? After all, the Etruscan names for 2 and 10 start with a similar sound (they start with the same sound in almost all Indo-European languages), and the Etruscan names for 6 and 7 start with the same sound (and the same is true for most of the Indo-European languages).
In other words, isn't the fact that there appear to be two sound correspondences (each with two examples) between Etruscan and Indo-European names for the numbers 1-10 a much stronger argument that the Etruscan numbers are related to the Indo-European ones than "they don't look similar" is against it?
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