What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of certain languages? I'm most interested in English and French but if you have knowledge of another that would also be fascinating! [more inside]
Is there any sort of dictionary or text corpora that outline which of a number of synonyms are the most universally understood by other language speakers or the least colloquial? [more inside]
In words like normcore, krishnacore, and all the words on this list, what do you think the meaning of the suffix -core is? What do you think people are trying to signify by adding -core to the end of words? Also, can you think of other examples of words that end in -core? [more inside]
Is it possible to hear a glottal stop at the beginning of an utterance? [more inside]
Sometimes, on restaurant menus or in other media that I'm not recalling at the moment, the text styling will reflect the meaning of the word. Examples off the top of my head: sizzling, hot, chilly. Here's an example in an advertisement. What would you call this phenomenon? The most apt description I can come up with is visual onomatopoeia, but is there a better word for this?
In other words, I'm looking for a list of adjectives that could complete the sentence "I am feeling __." This is actually a fairly extensive group of adjectives, and I'm wondering whether this type of adjective is identified formally as a certain type of adjective (which would make it easier to find the set) or whether anyone has assembled such a list.
Has anyone come across good sources on the history and evolution of the term "tax haven"? I am looking for sources detailing at least its first appearance in written or spoken English, and if possible the date in which it was (wrongly) translated into French as "tax heaven" (paradis fiscal). [more inside]
I am looking for a text file of a list of words (roughly the 5000-10000 most common English words) and their root word and root word language. My Google Fu only turns up single words or pages that I can type in a word to get to another page to get the etymology. Wikipedia has some stuff, but it is sorted by language root, which is not what I am looking for. I would like to have a long list of words in a text file so that I can manipulate it programatically. Comma separated or whatever, any format would be great. Here is one use case: Yoke - [list of words that have yoke in the etymological history] (Many, many many English words come from the root work for Yoke.) All answers appreciated!
I teach for a living but have a lot of linguistic baggage that I'd like to get rid of. Specifically, I have some weird pronunciation/accent issues and would like to speak "General American" or newscaster English. Is this something I can do on my own? What resources should I use? [more inside]
Does anyone have any resources to find historical forms of Ebonics? [more inside]
How could I describe in a non-technical way how certain English-speakers maintain a distinction between the "w" and "wh" sound? A certain amount of technical description could help. Its for a character in a story. For example: "The beginning of his 'what' still comes from deep within his throat." I don't know if that's technically true and it sounds awesomely terrible but something like that. [more inside]
Linguistics-filter: What sort of English accent makes "brown," "sun," and "shone" all be pronounced with a similar vowel sound? [more inside]
What do you call your brother-in-law's mom? [more inside]
Question for the language types: which is correct, ukuleleist, or ukulelist? [more inside]
"American English is like a mugger in a back alley who, instead of taking your wallet, takes your pocket dictionary". I read a quote in this vein a while ago and I'm trying to identify the actual quote and the source.
Calling etymologists, linguists, lexicographers, and research librarians! Was there a time when 'television,' 'radio,' or 'newspaper' were always capitalized? [more inside]
Taxonomy (or just a list) of English grammatical constructs suitable for use as a checklist for a second language learner? [more inside]
What are the rules governing English word-substitution into South Asian news broadcasts (ex: this S. Tendulkar interview)? Why is it done, when is it done, and what does it connote? [more inside]
What are some English words and terms that have changed meaning significantly in the last century or so? [more inside]
Is there a resource that demonstrates how to do foreign accents by re-spelling words in such a way that when read aloud by an American, will closely resemble the accent? For example, in "Australian", Down = Dan. [more inside]
When did "Maths" change to "Math" in American English? Or is it the other way around? [more inside]
I'd like to study about Comparative Literature, but as I've looked around at CompLit university departments it appears that there isn't really anything like an introductory course or textbook. [more inside]
What are some other examples of using 'an' in front of a non-vowel like some do with 'an historic...'? [more inside]
AccentFilter: What makes a New England accent recognizable? [more inside]
In Chinese, the meaning of a spoken word can change depending on where stress is applied. Can you think of English words which embody this characteristic? I can only think of one at the moment: invalid. [more inside]
He was killed; he got (himself) killed. It was sold; it got sold (possibly out from under me). What sort of semantic difference does using forms of "get" versus "be" in passive constructions convey? [more inside]
I was wondering if there are any non-Indo-European languages which would sound like gibberish, albeit English-like gibberish, to a native English speaker. [more inside]
There seems to be a consensus on how Chaucer and his contemporaries sounded. What I'd like is a summary (or links, or pointers to resources) of how we know how Middle English speakers sounded.
Cats have kittens, dogs have puppies, Geese have goslings, foxes have kits, goats have kids, people have kids. What do apes have?
Excuse me, but can anyone tell me: What exactly is the origin of the phrase Go piss up a rope? I know it's present in the American South and Midwest, but did it originate elsewhere? Does the phrase occur in other countries? And how exactly does one piss up a rope? Does it mean Go climb a rope (similar to Piss off!), or literally Go urinate up a length of braided twine? And, while we're at it, what the hell does the H stand for in Jesus H Christ? I've always wondered. [...a little more inside] [more inside]
Ever say an uncommon word or phrase -- such as "doxology" or "round-a-bout" -- in a crowded room and hear it travel across the room to different conversations? This happens to me all the time, but I have no idea what the term for it is, or if there even is one. Any guesses? In a related question, what do you call a freudian slip that you hear instead of say? (For insteance someone says "hold my glass" and you hear "hold my ass".)