Language description pages

As in the case of the philological reference pages, this page exists largely as an aid to organization.

Geographical distribution of the dialects of a...

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Each language description will first describe the context of the language, meaning that the page will start with a description of the overall history and development of the language and identification of the specific form of the language referred to in the summary that follows. All languages are characterized by who used the language, when and where and in what context, and of course languages change over time and from place to place. Therefore, knowing for example, that one is talking about classical Greek as opposed to the proto-Greek written with Linear B makes a difference.


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Next, one describes the pronunciation or phonology, beginning with the relevant writing system or systems. Beginning with individual phonemes, one then proceeds to syllabification and when relevant effects of context. Accentuation is also included here. As much as possible, links are used for the specifics in this and all the sections which follow.

After that, one addresses morphology, including inflection patterns (or lack thereof) for nouns, verbs and other parts of speech, both regular and irregular. Only the most important irregular verb will be addressed. In the course of this, one will necessarily deal with related issues such as for example uses of a case system, number and gender. Typically, nouns and their modifiers will proceed verbs and their modifiers with any other parts of speech then being addressed thereafter.

After the above, one discusses syntax. Largely this consists of discussion of word order and archetypal forms of both sentences and longer discussions.

Finally, any other issues relevant to the given language will come last. These would be any issues that do not fall in the normal categories of phonology, morphology or syntax. In most languages, nothing of this sort will exist, but if some tangential note is needed the place exists for it.


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