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Q&A

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

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Is it correct to use `Had I had it?`

Past participle of have is had. I asked a question What should I use instead of have in present perfect tense?. I was recently thinking of past perfect. Had I had it? (While had is past particip...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user

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What is "phoolon" in Hindi?

What does "phoolon" mean in Hindi? Google translate said that it means flower. But, I know that "ful" means flower. phoolon word is new to me. I guess, it is not usable nowadays,is it?

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

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+1 −0
What does "po" mean in Filipino?

What does "po" mean in Filipino?

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by General Sebast1an‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by General Sebast1an‭

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How does the original meaning of “but” (“outside”) relate to its current 2021 meanings?

How do the principal 2021 meanings of "but" relate, if any, to its original meaning of "outside"? E.g. how does "no more than; only" appertain to "outside"? CONJUNCTION Used to introduce ...

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

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Why didn't the same one (ancestor) language preponderate over China, Japan, Korea?

Don't hesitate to revise my post, particularly if you want to add maps. I'm basically extending this question on Reddit to Chinese. Unquestionably China, Korea, Japan are much closer to each other...

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

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Is it true to say that Lao script is a simplified version of the Thai script?

Is it true to say that Lao script is a simplified version of the Thai script? A criteria might be: Less letters Less diacritics Less Tone markers More reforms over the years (possibly due to...

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

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A possible common confusion between electronic, digital and virtual

Over the years I have noticed a common confusion between the terms: Electronic Digital (something can be electronic but analogue instead of digital) Virtual (something can be defined as virtua...

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

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Why did David Ricardo coin "rent", to signify income from a factor of production that exceeds the minimum amount necessary (to beget that factor of production)?

At the time that Ricardo (1772-1823) coined "rent", did "rent" already signify Modern English's lay meaning of 'rent' (tenant's regular payment to a landlord for the use of property or land)? ...

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

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How did "as" amass all its confusing "broad and vague meanings"?

as. Do not use the conjunction as when you mean “since,” “because,” “when,” or “while.” Its broad and vague meanings can create confusion. For example, As a potential work stoppage threatened to ...

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

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What sound did the letter ℵ encode in ancient Hebrew, and why did it morph into the greek vowel Α?

Here are two claims I've often heard or read: The Hebrew language originally did not write down vowels. The Greek (and subsequently the Latin) alphabet developed from the Hebrew alphabet....

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

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How did 'forfeit' shift to signify ‘penalty imposed for committing such a misdeed'?

I don't understand this semantic shift, because a misdeed differs from a penalty or "something to which the right is lost through a misdeed". Can someone please fill in the gap? forfeit [13] ...

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

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Is any theory according to which Yiddish is Turkic or Khazar-based supported by any serious evidence?

I never understood a bit of Yiddish until I started to understand a bit of German. In my understanding Yiddish is a German language seasoned with words and sentences in Hebrew, Aramaic and possibl...

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

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The Thai words for "definition" and its derivates

I understand that in Thai language there are two ways to say "definition". กำหนัด == gam-hno(a^)d นิยาม == Ni-yam If I understand correct, the first one is used to describe how a person defi...

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

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Why do only certain letters have an ending form in Hebrew? [duplicate]

There's a list of certain letters in Hebrew that have a different form if they're at the end of a word - much like capital letters at the beginning of a sentence in English, but only for specific l...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Mithical‭  ·  edited 1y ago by msh210‭

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How did 'solicit' semantically shift to signify ‘manage affairs’?

I don't understand the semantic shift from sollicitāre ‘disturb, agitate’ to the meaning of "manage affairs", probably because "disturb, agitate" pejoratively connotes discontentment and upheaval, ...

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

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Why “chose” in action? Why not “right/droit” in action?

Chose (in action) this can be translated as ‘thing in action’. It is an intangible right which is essentially a right to sue. JC Smith's The Law of Contract 2021 3 ed, p 476. Law French us...

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

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Why is the word here "HaNofelet" and not "HaNofalet" when there's a grammatical pause?

When reading this section of Amos on Saturday, something struck me about this verse (Amos 9:11): :בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא אָקִ֛ים אֶת־סֻכַּ֥ת דָּוִ֖יד הַנֹּפֶ֑לֶת וְגָדַרְתִּ֣י אֶת־פִּרְצֵיהֶ֗ן וַהֲרִ...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Mithical‭  ·  edited 1y ago by msh210‭

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Why do the most spoken human languages in 2021 greet with words related to health or peace?

Why do most Asian, Middle Eastern and European languages greet with words anent health or peace? I know that "salutation" itself meant "health". salute [14] Salute goes back ultimately to ...

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

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How did “negotiable” mean “a good or security whose ownership is easily transferable”?

I knew merely the first most popular meaning of negotiate. I never knew this second legal meaning A document of an amount of money, or a title, which is readily transferable to another. Diff...

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

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What is the most dominant Arabic dialect in Horn of Africa region?

What is the most dominant Arabic dialect in Horn of Africa region? Egyptian Arabic dialect? Sudanic Arabic dialect? Somali Arabic dialect? Some other Arabic dialect?

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by deleted user  ·  edited 2y ago by deleted user

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Are Sudanic Arabic and Yemeni Arabic similar?

Are Sudanic Arabic and Yemeni Arabic similar? By means of the very nuances of the two Arabic dialects.

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by deleted user

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What spoken human languages in 2021 don't salute with words related to health or peace?

What are the exceptions to the fact that most Asian, Middle Eastern and European languages greet with words anent health or peace? I know that "salutation" itself meant "health". Why don'...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭

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How did "join issue" mean ‘jointly submit a disputed matter to the decision of the court’?

Kindly see the embolded phrase below. Etymonline is written too abstrusely. issue [13] The words issue and exit are closely related etymologically. Both go back ultimately to the Latin v...

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

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How did "put under" shift to signify "cause to take the place of", then "enough"?

How did "put under" shift to signify "cause to take the place of"? Then how did "cause to take the place of" shift to signify "enough"? sufficient [14] _Sufficient _originated ...

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

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How did 'quibus?' shift to mean 'evasion of a point at issue'?

quibble [17] _Quibble _probably originated as a rather ponderous learned joke-word. It is derived from an earlier and now obsolete _quib _‘pun’, which appears to have been based on quibus...

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

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Please expound and simplify the semantic progression behind "reduce"?

I don't understand the "semantic progression" that I emboldened below. The steps in the "semantic progression" feel too farfetched and unconnected. Can someone please fill in, and expound, the ste...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭

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How did kúklos ("circular") shift to signify "general"?

encyclopedia [16] Etymologically, encyclopedia means ‘general education’. It is a medieval formation, based on the Greek phrase egkúklios paideíā (egkúklios, a compound adjective formed ...

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

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Why are service or maintenance contracts called 'warranties', when they aren't Legal Warranties?

The term 'warranty' is used to distinguish between a term (warranty) and a mere representation, and also to distinguish between terms that give no right to termination upon breach (warranties) an...

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

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How can "lemma" be translated as "rede-ship" with merely Germanic etymons?

Attempts to fashion a purer form of literary English can be seen in the poetry of Edmund Spenser in the 16th century and William Barnes in the 19th century. Barnes’ arguments against borrowing ...

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

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+3 −0
Vietnamese lệnh and Thai เลย

If I understand correctly both Vietnamese lệnh ("ley") and Thai เลย ("l'ey") are vague in both languages in the sense that they can have various meanings which depend on context but generally used ...

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

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What did the etymons of “on by + out, over, up” mean?

What did the etymons of "on by out", "on by up", "on by over" mean? Why did Old English tack and jam these different prepositions together? E.g. didn't ufan alone mean "above"? Why prefix...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭

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Expound and simplify the "semantic progression" behind "must"?

I don't understand the "semantic progression" that I emboldened. The steps in the "semantic progression" feel farfetched and unconnected to me. Can someone please fill in, and elaborate, the steps...

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

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Does al-Asma'i's poem "صوت صفير البلبل" (the sound of the whistle of the bulbul) has a story to tell?

There's this famous story about al-Asma'i الأصمعي challenging the caliph abu Ja'afar al-Mansur أبو جعفر المنصور by composing a poem that is difficult to memorize, as the caliph himself used to memo...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Medi1saif‭  ·  edited 2y ago by Medi1saif‭

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How do Latin etymons that end in English in *-tion* nearly always name a process?

I don't think the emboldening is correct, because -ing gerunds name a process. See https://english.stackexchange.com/a/444498. -tion just names a result of that process. What do you think?      ...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by PSTH‭

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Why past tense in imaginative play in Finnish?

When playing house with a child, they say things like "Nyt se meni nukkumaan." when they mean that I should have the toy I am playing with go to bed. Similar use of the simple past / imperfect tens...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by tommi‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by viäränlaenen‭

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What is the origin of the missing "to be" in sentences like "the car needs washed"?

I grew up in western Pennsylvania (US), where constructs like "the car needs washed" are common. I was taught (yes, in schools in that region) that correct formal grammar requires "to be" in this ...

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

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'Caution' and 'cautious' with ʃ or ʒ?

I know some people pronounce caution with an /ʃ/ and others with a /ʒ/, and the same is true of cautious. I wonder if anyone can provide information on who says each (by region, time, etc.).

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by msh210‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Jirka Hanika‭

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How does backwardation semantically relate to "backward"?

What semantic notions underlie any sense of 'backwardness' (like "backward" or "backwards"), with the meaning of 'backwardation' below? Etymonline overlooked this term. OED is too brusque and doesn...

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

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"Us neither" - Is it valid?

Recently, I read the phrase "Us neither", and for some reason it irked me. I don't know why though, since I can't immediately say what exactly is wrong with it. Logically, "Me neither" and "Neither...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Moshi‭

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What is a good translation for "waypoint" into Catalan?

I am reading some texts about routes for running. They explain interesting routes and allow getting the GPS track. Also, there is the option to modify the GPS track by adding waypoints. Now I wan...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by fedorqui‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Peter Taylor‭

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What explains Arabic "Greater Etymology"?

This article discusses "Greater Etymology" (الاشتقاق الكبير) in Arabic, which "recognizes the common meanings words with different base letters share," as opposed to "Lesser Etymology" (or morpholo...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by user53100‭  ·  edited 2y ago by user53100‭

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Why does the dollar sign precede the number in English?

In English, at least in USA, people write $3 and mean three dollars (rather than dollars three), while other units are written after the number; no c99, h13, min22, '5, etc. to be seen. Why is it $...

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

75%
+7 −1
Order of pronouns

In an examination in my country (India) I had a multiple choice question on the order of pronouns. Q: Please try to remember when I, you and my wife were talking there. Options: A. you, I and ...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Severus Snape‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Severus Snape‭

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Why was Spanish the only Romance language to lose the initial "F" in Latin words?

Going through the History of the Spanish language article in Wikipedia, I read the section Latin f- to Spanish h- to null some interesting insight: F was almost always initial in Latin words, an...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by fedorqui‭  ·  edited 2y ago by ArtOfCode‭

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Difference between Hindi verbs that ends with "a", "e" and "i"

I can speak/understand/write/read many Indian languages but my grammar is not good in all those languages which I have learnt later. I have typed using English text here for brevity. Let's say I h...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Severus Snape‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Severus Snape‭

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Etymology of "ohyra"?

I'm wondering about the origin of the Swedish word ohyra (vermin). Someone humorously suggested that this would be because vermin are unwanted guests not paying rent (hyra), though they had no sour...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Lundin‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by tommi‭

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Should we use "por que" or "porque" in "las autoridades se sentían estafadas *por que* se escaparan"?

I read this sentence in a book ("La Guerra Civil española", by Paul Preston): La tortura explicaba el gran número de suicidios que se registraban en las cárceles, y las autoridades, que se sentí...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by fedorqui‭

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How can a problem or puzzle be analogized as a knot?

An ESL student was asking about the quotation below at my school, but I don't know how to expound or simplify to her that "A problem or puzzle can be thought of as a knot." Any ideas? She knows wha...

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

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Why is my Danglish pronunciation much better than Danish?

For background, there exists a stereotypical Danish pronunciation of English. "Danglish" can also mean other things, but this is what I am referring to, here. I lived one year in Denmark and can r...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by tommi‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Jordan‭

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Why word future events in the present?

If you're around tomorrow, stop by. I'll eat when I'm hungry. She'll be coming around the mountain when she comes. You're around tomorrow, I'm hungry, and she comes are describing fu...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by msh210‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Jirka Hanika‭

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