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Languages less arbitrary than long assumed

It is a cornerstone of theoretical linguistics: the principle of arbitrariness, according to which the form of a word doesn't tell you anything about its meaning. Yet evidence is accumulating that natural languages do in ...

dateOct 01, 2015 in Social Sciences
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All words from all languages in one dictionary

The universal online dictionary Kamusi has just added 1.2 million terms from several databases in its quest to translate all the meanings of every word in all the world's languages. Three African languages and 200,000 words ...

dateSep 18, 2015 in Software
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Finding iconicity in spoken languages

Have you ever wondered why we call a dog a dog and not a cat? Is this an arbitrary decision, or is it based on iconicity—the resemblance between word structure and meaning? New research shows that for Indo-European languages, ...

dateSep 09, 2015 in Social Sciences
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