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Q&A

General Q&A about specific languages, language in general, and linguistics.

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How does the semantic notion of “in defiance of” signify “notwithstanding”?

The semantic notion of “in defiance of” feels unrelated to “notwithstanding”! What underlies or relates these semantic notions? This question appertains to all languages that founds this conjuncti...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 11mo ago by PSTH‭

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Why did the Tironian et survive in Irish, when it died out everywhere else?

The Tironian et was a scribal abbreviation for the Latin word et; it was used for centuries across Europe, but finally died out and was replaced with &amp; in almost all languages. The exception wa...

1 answer  ·  posted 12mo ago by TRiG‭  ·  last activity 12mo ago by Jirka Hanika‭

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What semantic notions underlie "pull, drag" (in tractō) 🡒 "negotiate, bargain" (in 'treat')?

Etymonline below blazons the sense of "negotiate, bargain" in treat. Please see the green line for the sense of "pull, drag" from tractō. I added the red lines beside 8(b) and 9, because these sen...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by PSTH‭

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What semantic notions underlie vērum's 2 superficially unrelated senses — "truly" vs. 'but; yet; however'?

How did the adverb vērum semantically shift from "truly" to mean 'but, yet, however'? These 2 senses look completely unrelated to me! Oxford Latin Dictionary (2012 2 ed), pp 2254-5.

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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Modern English words originating in Norman

Where should I learn about words that came into Modern English most likely from Norman? Please example some words which most likely came to Modern English only from Norman (i.e. words which are li...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by dsr‭

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Why does "counter" mean the area of a letter entirely, or partially, enclosed by a letter form or a symbol?

Etymonline's entries for the homonyms "counter" don't semantically appertain to its meaning in typography. How does "counter" in typography relate to the common lay English 2021 meanings of "co...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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Why did linguists choose 'Patient' (noun) to denote this Thematic Role?

        THEMES and PATIENTS are rather similar, and not all linguists distinguish between these roles. A THEME typically moves from one location or one person to another, like the letter in (31...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Keelan‭

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Why is the word "maniac" considered such a strong insult in Hebrew?

When I first moved to Israel, one of the first things I was warned about was using the word "maniac". As an American, this is considered a very minor insult - minor enough for little kids to use wi...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Mithical‭

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Swedish verbs with the meaning of mixing

I do a research on Swedish verbs with the meaning of mixing something. I struggle with some of words. There are two words 'blanda' and 'röra' which are usually used with prepositions, like 'om', 'i...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Supermiledi‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Lundin‭

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Why does the Latin prefix 'in-' also mean the English 'to', when Latin 'ad-' already means 'to'?

I quote Etymonline on impute (v.): early 15c., from Old French imputer, emputer (14c.) and directly from Latin imputare "to reckon, make account of, charge, ascribe," from assimilated form of ...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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How can the Latin prefix 'in-' possibly befit imputare?

I quote Etymonline on impute (v.): early 15c., from Old French imputer, emputer (14c.) and directly from Latin imputare "to reckon, make account of, charge, ascribe," from assimilated form of ...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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Does Japanese have pronouns?

It is often said that Japanese doesn't really have a pronoun word class, such as in the Wikipedia article on Japanese Grammar: Although many grammars and textbooks mention pronouns (代名詞 daimeish...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by curiousdannii‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Jirka Hanika‭

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How does taking, buying, procuring (emō) semantically appertain to destruction, annihilation (perimō)?

As you can read below, emō meant to take, buy, gain, procure. But perimō meant to destroy and annihilate. Plainly, their meanings differ! So why was perimō formed from emō and compounded with per-?...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by PSTH‭

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How does "happening" appertain to "(be)falling"?

I don't understand why English and Latin (see the two quotations below) uses the notion of "(be)fall" to signify "happening". How are they related semantically? accident [14] Etymologically, an...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by PSTH‭

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How does saeculum ( “generation” or “lifetime") semantically relate to PIE root *se- "to sow"?

Why did historical linguists impute saeculum to PIE *se-? What semantic notions underlie them? All boldenings are mine. secular (adj) c. 1300, "living in the world, not belonging to a religious...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Jirka Hanika‭

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How did 'less than' semantically shift to mean 'if not'?

What semantic notions underlie less than and IF NOT? How did less than semantically shift to mean IF NOT in at least these 5 languages? Just edit this post if you pine to add other languages with t...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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How does propitius (“favorable, well-disposed") semantically relate to PIE root *per- (1) "forward")?

Why did historical linguists impute propitius to PIE *per-1? What semantic notions underlie them? All boldenings are mine. propitiation (n.) late 14c., propiciacioun, "atonement, expiation," fr...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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Resources for a speaker of Modern Hebrew to learn Biblical Hebrew?

Re-asking a question I answered elsewhere: As a speaker of modern Hebrew I[1], I can tell that some things have changed since the Hebrew of the bible -- some words I think I know just don't make s...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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How did 'consideration' shift to signify grounds and the act of deliberation, then inducer of a grant or promise?

        The name of Consideration appears only about the beginning of the sixteenth century, and we do not know by what steps it became a settled term of art. The word seems to have gone throug...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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How did 'style' signify names of court cases?

Can you please expatiate on ohwilleke's answer? She asseverated My suspicion is that the Latin/French word for a writing instrument ends up being used for the act of using a writing instrument t...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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How did 'unless' evolve to mean 'if not'?

[Etymonline:] mid-15c., earlier onlesse, from on lesse (than) "on a less condition (than); see less. The first syllable originally on, but the negative connotation and the lack of stress changed ...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭

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How did syn + ek + dekhesthai compound to signify "supply a thought or word; take with something else, join in receiving"?

In particular, the ex- befuddles me, because synekdekhesthai doesn't appear to signify any notion of outness or outwardness! I quote Etymonline. synecdoche (n.) "figure of speech in which a par...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭

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Is the etymology of 'amphigory' semantically related to the English idiom 'go round in circles'?

Any semantic relationship between amphigory amphigory (n.) "burlesque nonsense writing or verse," 1809, from French amphigouri (18c.), which is of unknown origin, perhaps itself a nonsense word...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭

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How did 'equity' semantically broaden to mean 'common shares'?

I ask about its meaning merely for stocks here (not Equity = Assets — Liabilities). See Personal Finance For Canadians For Dummies (2018), p 217. Equity — not to be confused with equity in real ...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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How did "bail" shift to signify "money deposited as a guarantee when released"?

I fail to understand this etymology for bail (n.1), particularly the first paragraph. [3.] "bond money, security given to obtain the release of a prisoner," late 15c., a sense that apparently de...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Ullallulloo‭

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How did 'equity' semantically shift to signify 'Assets — Liabilities'?

Here I ask merely ask about Equity = Assets — Liabilities here, not its meaning as stock. 1. Why was 'equity' was adopted to describe this difference? equity: In the real-estate world, this ter...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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How did « histoire », in « histoire de/que », semantically shift to signify "in order to/that"?

This French StackExchange post merely paraprhased "histoire de/que" as afin de / afin que, meaning pour / pour que — all this can be translated as "in order to/that" in English. But nobody in fact...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Jirka Hanika‭

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What is "Charter change bill" in English?

I have read this headline in a news website which think is being primarily written in Australian English: Government's charter change bill sails through 3rd reading How should this be underst...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by mcalex‭

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scilicet: How did 'it is permitted to know' semantically shift to signify 'that is to say, namely'?

How did signification 1 beneath semantically shift to 2? I'm befuddled by the relevant of licit, because what does "permitted" here signify? Why would a Roman require permission to know so...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Jirka Hanika‭

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Which phrase is correct? (Is using plural form for singular object make sense?) (Does using plural form for singular object make sense?)

Replying to the last edit (#4)... Since it language related site hence I am asking the question by creating new Q rather than commenting there. The earlier title was Is using plural form for sin...

3 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  edited 1y ago by deleted user

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What language is this (cursive) sample?

A recent post on Language Log includes this sample of an unidentified language: The article says this about the source: This is from RG 84, General Correspondence of the American consulate in...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Jirka Hanika‭

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What should I use instead of `have` in present perfect tense?

As we know have is verb and auxiliary also. What should I say when I have to use have in present perfect tense (sentence). Usually, what came to my mind that is Have you have it? (completely wro...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by Cereal Nommer‭

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Does using plural form for singular object make sense?

Some people use they/them if they can't identity gender/sex (gender and sex isn't same). But when mentioning a single person should we use plural pronoun? We know that "they/them" is plural form. ...

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  edited 1y ago by Moshi‭

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What is the difference between a guild and a lodge?

What is the difference between a guild and a lodge? The context to this question is pretty much Freemasonry terminology but please feel free to answer with a general English context.

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by gmcgath‭

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How to say in Thai "There isn't a necessity to think in the pattern of X"?

I want to know what is a useful proper way to say in Thai: There isn't a necessity to think in the pattern of X Google translate brings (words separated): ไม่ จำเป็น ต้อง คิด แบบ X I am...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user

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How did "re" + "join" semantically compound to mean "riposte"?

In French, « joindre » means "to join". What semantic notions underlie « joindre » with the 2020 English "rejoin", which means to riposte? How did rejoindre shift to signify the 2020 English "rej...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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How did “-able” semantically shift to mean “requiring”?

Etymonline on "-able" doesn't expound the origin of "requiring". -able common termination and word-forming element of English adjectives (typically based on verbs) and generally adding a notion...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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How does "drive out" shift to signify "weigh out"?

I boldened the relevant parts of the quotations, so that you don't have to read all of the quotations. I'm untrained at metaphors! How did "drive out" develop the metaphor of "weigh out"? exact ...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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What causes people to write compound words as distinct words?

In many Germanic and Finno-ugric languages there are many compound words. One does not write "yhdys sana", but rather "yhdyssana". Learning to write these correctly is notoriously hard for people, ...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by tommi‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Moshi‭

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Linguistics of categorization

I think that in most languages, when people define sets of data in general and when people create taxonomy for website webpages in particular (webpage categorization), they would mostly name catego...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  edited 1y ago by deleted user

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What's the semantic field of "putare"?

What SINGLE bigger picture and base meaning relates, bestrides, and underlies all 9 of putare's superficially UNrelated, but multitudinous, meanings below? Oxford Latin Dictionary (2012 2 ed), ...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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How did 'repraesentāre' semantically shift to signify 'standing in the place of another'?

To wit, how does "present again, bring back" (in repraesentāre) semantically appertain to the notion of 'standing in the place of another'? represent [14] English borrowed represent from Latin...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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How did 'folding back' semantically shift to mean 'reply'?

To wit, how does the notion of "folding back" semantically appertain to "respond"? reply [14] Etymologically, reply means ‘fold back’. It comes ultimately from Latin replicāre ‘fold back, unf...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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How's “drag” (tractāre) semantically related to “handle, deal with, discuss”?

How exactly did tractāre branch out "metaphorically to ‘handle, deal with, discuss’"? How does "dragging" semantically appertain to ‘handle, deal with, discuss’? Dragging connotes phy...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭  ·  edited 1y ago by PSTH‭

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How did 'in-' + 'putare' compound to mean 'to attribute, credit to'?

I quote Etymonline on impute (v.): early 15c., from Old French imputer, emputer (14c.) and directly from Latin imputare "to reckon, make account of, charge, ascribe," from assimilated form of ...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by PSTH‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Jirka Hanika‭

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Human general communication languages with generally no plurality

I inquire about Languages or language families in which, in general / in flowing conversion there is no plural ; from a bit of read I understand that both Mandarin and Japanese are such language; t...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  edited 1y ago by Moshi‭

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Malay languages or Indonesian languages --- which is more close to Philippine languages?

Malay languages or Indonesian languages --- which is more close to Philippine languages? I don't know much about any so I would not make any assumptions.

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by Jirka Hanika‭

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Is there any country in South America in which Spanish and/or Portuguese aren't dominant (excluding the Caribbean's)? [closed]

Is there any country in South America in which Spanish and/or Portuguese aren't dominant? (excluding the Caribbean's but not excluding any other island around South America).

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  closed 1y ago by Moshi‭

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How to use the soft sign (Ь)?

I can read Russian, and the character that interests me most is Ь. In other words, the soft sign as it's called. I know other languages also has this but I got this from Russian so I'll focus on th...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by General Sebast1an‭

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How tan pronounced?

I noticed whenever I say tan it sounds like ten. I guess, it is not understandable all the time. So, how tan pronounced? I know little bit of phonetic. So, that will be OK for me also.

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by Jirka Hanika‭

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