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4 posts tagged with language by cogneuro.
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Alphabet songs around the world?

Are there "alphabet songs" for alphabets other than English? THere is the familiar alphabet song, to the tune of "twinkle twinkle little star". Are there similar songs for children learning the alphabets of other languages, such as Finnish, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, etc.? [more inside]
posted by cogneuro on Apr 18, 2011 - 25 answers

How Many Homophones?

Which language has the most homophonic words (one sound, multiple spellings. In English, e.g., BEAR and BARE)? It's hard to do precise comparisons across languages because they differ in what counts as a word, in how complicated their inflectional system is, etc. But even approximate data would be useful. I saw one paper on automatic speech recognition which showed that the system made more errors on French than Italian German etc. and that most of them were due to homophones. But, where are some real facts about degree of homophony across languages?
posted by cogneuro on Nov 9, 2010 - 22 answers

any broth in brothel?

Is there any native speaker of English reading this for whom "broth" is pronounced the same in the words broth and brothel ? No joke. They aren't the same in my dialect, but maybe in yours?
posted by cogneuro on Sep 26, 2008 - 82 answers

What modifies what?

I think that a thesaurus that was organized in terms of which adjectives typically go with which nouns would be really useful. Like, the adjectives that modify the verb "urge" (as in deep or unfulfilled, say). Same thing could be done for adverbs, e.g., ones that modify "talk" (relentlessly, incessantly, insightfully). I am aware of WordNet and many other on-line lexical databases like the BNC. I'm looking for something like a compiled list, based on actual usage, of what modifies what. thanks.
posted by cogneuro on May 29, 2008 - 7 answers

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