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Solfe
2012-Mar-13, 01:11 AM
A few years ago, I stumbled on a wikipedia page about language. The page contained a list of concept-words that seem to appear universally in all langauges. (I hope I explained that right.) There were about 100 concept words that appear in all langauges.

It looked like this:

English: Spanish: Italian: and so on
head cabeza cappella*
hand mano canto*

*wrong context for those words... used for the example.

It also called out words that you would think should be on the list but aren't like sun, snow and rain.

Now since I can't find that a page at all, it is entirely possible that someone upload junk and it has been rightly deleted.

Is there a list of concept-words and what is it called?

vonmazur
2012-Mar-13, 02:51 AM
Solfe: I found one that had the same thing, now it is deleted...It had a chart of Europe for example, and the names for "Salmon" and "Birch Tree"....just to mention a few, then there was a map of where they could be found, and lots of other neat stuff....They said they found a language in the Cacusus that was related to Eukadia (Basque) and some other similar claims....like Algonquian and Ancient Norse....Mandan and Welsh, etc..I wish it was still there....(Unfortunately I deleted the link in favorites as well!)

Dale

Senor Molinero
2012-Mar-13, 03:34 AM
Try "Swadesh List".

grapes
2012-Mar-13, 03:44 AM
vonmazur, have you seen this:

http://hisp462.tamu.edu/Classes/603/Lects/BasqueHist.pdf

It also has a lot of references.

Strange
2012-Mar-13, 08:36 AM
A few years ago, I stumbled on a wikipedia page about language. The page contained a list of concept-words that seem to appear universally in all langauges. (I hope I explained that right.) There were about 100 concept words that appear in all langauges.

The nearest I am aware of is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-European_vocabulary
But that is just (obviously) Indo-European languages.

You might find something in one of these links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_proto-languages (Proto Human, maybe).

Strange
2012-Mar-13, 08:45 AM
Solfe: I found one that had the same thing, now it is deleted...It had a chart of Europe for example, and the names for "Salmon" and "Birch Tree"....just to mention a few, then there was a map of where they could be found, and lots of other neat stuff....They said they found a language in the Cacusus that was related to Eukadia (Basque) and some other similar claims....like Algonquian and Ancient Norse....Mandan and Welsh, etc..I wish it was still there....(Unfortunately I deleted the link in favorites as well!)

Sounds like it may have been deleted as being seriously ATM. Some of those language links are not well supported.

Solfe
2012-Mar-13, 12:15 PM
Try "Swadesh List".

I think I described the information very poorly. The doc was not making a direct link between languages, it is more of an observation that all languages have have word meanings that are common. Such as having a word for "I" and a word for "sun"; despite the fact that the root language are completely different and unlinked.

Thank you Senor Molinero, this is exactly what I was looking for!

My interest in this is I am learning Spanish and find that I have huge gaps in my ability to say even the simplest things like "right" or "left". The best I can say is "that one" or "this one".

slang
2012-Mar-13, 08:43 PM
Try "Swadesh List".

How strange.. that wiki page is not translated in the Dutch wikipedia version (and no, I don't need a translation, thanks for offering :)), but it is in the language that's spoken in the province where I was born, and where I still work (The Netherlands is officially a 2 language country).

HenrikOlsen
2012-Mar-13, 10:31 PM
Frysk?

Jens
2012-Mar-14, 04:12 AM
My interest in this is I am learning Spanish and find that I have huge gaps in my ability to say even the simplest things like "right" or "left". The best I can say is "that one" or "this one".

To be honest, though, I'm a bit unclear about why the Swadesh list would be of any help in learning Spanish. You are thinking of only learning the words on the list? If so, I'm afraid you'll be in for a bit of a surprise if you try communicating using only those words.

Solfe
2012-Mar-14, 01:24 PM
No, it isn't that. It is part amusement and part making up for a lack of creativity and drive. I find I want to use a word in Spanish, but don't know what it is. I keep coming back to the same key concepts. I figured the list would be good starting point for learning key words and concepts.

My Spanish textbook is meant for 3-4 semesters of study, so it has all of the information and words I need for basic usage. The problem is the book (in my opinion) is poorly set up; for whatever reason the index and table of contents list everything by chapter not page number.

Without some sort of direction or purpose, I stop looking for information.

Strange
2012-Mar-14, 01:31 PM
Many years ago I was browsing in a second-hand book shop. I found an interesting book on language which include an interesting looking chapter on tips for learning new languages - which verbs and nouns to concentrate on initially, etc. Based on techniques used by embassy staff, etc. So I bought it along with a pile of other books. When I got home I found that the book wasn't there. It was 200 miles too far to go back and too late to phone them. And I could never remember the author or title ...

slang
2012-Mar-15, 12:01 AM
Frysk?

Yes.

ETA: I'm not a linguist, but it is said that the Frisian language actually is closer to English than it is to Dutch, distinguishing it from the many Dutch dialects.

publiusr
2012-Mar-17, 07:27 PM
Chomsky worked with language. He might be a resource.

Substantia Innominata
2012-Mar-18, 06:54 AM
I think I described the information very poorly. The doc was not making...

Thank you Senor Molinero, this is exactly what I was looking for!

Exactly? Was looking for? I feel a bit uncertain as to whether you've actually found what you've been looking for, or not, so: Was it the Swadesh list then? Or does it only make a decent surrogate? Since in case of the latter (and Swadesh is not what came to my mind after reading your opener) there may well be further possibilities. For example, a version slightly more abstract altough (and in contrast to Swadesh) with the intent of truly universal scope might be seen in Anna Wierzbicka's and Cliff Goddard's Natural Semantic Metalanguage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_Semantic_Metalanguage). Which you may naturally bolster with Wiki's article on Semantic Primitives (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_primitives)–the theoretical construct underlying NSM and similar attempts. (For the hardy, there's much more information available on this site (http://www.une.edu.au/bcss/linguistics/nsm/).) You'll immediately recognize that this list of (presumably shared) lexicalized concepts falls clearly short of the 100 you appear to remember–but, quite frankly, 100 supposed universals seem a faaaairly high stake.. to me anyway. Also, a few decades ago there's been quite a bold as well as rather famous, although meanwhile hopelessly dated, study by Cecil H. Brown that, however, concentrated and focused on (possibly universally) shared lexicalized concepts concerning parts of the (human) body alone. (Might still be a candidate, as you kicked it off with "head", "hands", ...?) On the other hand, I can't quite imagine a Wikipedia article based on nothing but that study; yet parts of it could still have been incorporated into another one, or even remain so! Beats me, and I'd better stop short now, fearing that it really was.. the Swadesh list, after all. :D


Chomsky worked with language. He might be a resource.

Worked?! I very much hope he still does! ;)

DoggerDan
2012-Mar-18, 03:51 PM
vonmazur, have you seen this:

http://hisp462.tamu.edu/Classes/603/Lects/BasqueHist.pdf

It also has a lot of references.

Interesting list! Some fellow divers were Russian. They tried teaching me Russian. I didn't get much further than "prost!" <-- That may not even be correct.

Solfe
2012-Mar-18, 04:11 PM
Hi Substantia Innominata,

The Swadesh list is it. Keep in mind that I am not a Spanish or Linguistics major, I am only studying my first year of Spanish. There is a very high probability that I am not using any of this information in its intended form.

Those articles you shared are very interesting and I can't wait to read them.

What I am using the Swadesh list for is a starting point to look things up in a dictionary and learn vocab words.

I had this funny moment in class where I attempted to address one of the four students named "Matt" and then realised I didn't know their last names nor could I say "On the left" or "next to Jim" because I hadn't learned those words. While this list wouldn't have helped me, it does give a list of words that are common ideas across several languages. I can concentrate of thinking of situations to use those words in before I need to.

vonmazur
2012-Mar-19, 02:18 AM
Interesting list! Some fellow divers were Russian. They tried teaching me Russian. I didn't get much further than "prost!" <-- That may not even be correct.

Dan: "Prost" is German, and it is from Latin "Pro Sit"...But the Ruskiis could be using it as well, the last time I drank with Russians, they said "Na Strovya" (IIRC!)

The Japanese said "Kan Pai"....etc.. I have to write this down some time....

Slante!! (Gaelic...)

Dale

HenrikOlsen
2012-Mar-19, 02:28 AM
Dan: "Prost" is German, and it is from Latin "Pro Sit"...But the Ruskiis could be using it as well, the last time I drank with Russians, they said "Na Strovya" (IIRC!)

The Japanese said "Kan Pai"....etc.. I have to write this down some time....

Slante!! (Gaelic...)

Dale
Nostrovia (with variations nostrovie etc.) is common in the Slavic countries.
Kampai is the Japanese
Both of these are transliterated versions of the original so spelling will vary.
Slainte is the Irish Gaelic.

Having been involved with international students exchange for 20 years I know far too many of them. :)

SeanF
2012-Mar-19, 02:43 PM
Gan Bei! (Mandarin)

grapes
2012-Mar-19, 04:43 PM
Nostrovia (with variations nostrovie etc.) is common in the Slavic countries.
Kampai is the Japanese
Both of these are transliterated versions of the original so spelling will vary.
Na zdrowie, in the Polish :)

Essentially pronounced nostrovia