They Found A Universal Word?

Huh?

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Re: They Found A Universal Word?

#21  Postby Ironclad » Nov 24, 2013 9:07 am

Yeh, I think you inadvertantly found the other universal word, the English language's gift to the world - "shit".
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Re: They Found A Universal Word?

#22  Postby Nostalgia » Nov 24, 2013 10:02 am

I bet you it's something different in the Basque language... :coffee:
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Re: They Found A Universal Word?

#23  Postby don't get me started » Nov 25, 2013 4:34 am

I too was not that convinced by this study.
In addition to the limited set of languages compared, they skated over any discussion about repair functions in different languages. In English words like 'Huh' and 'eh' are (in the language of conversation analysis) deployed as general trouble source indicators. Whether the trouble source is lexical, grammatical, pronunciation linked, misheard or unheard is not specified by the use of 'huh'; specific repair strategy phrases perform these roles. ( "You went where?", "Sorry, could you speak up? I didn't catch that," "What does etic mean?")

Is 'huh' a generalized trouble source indicator in all languages, or is it limited to mis-hearings or non-hearings in some languages, lexical problems in others and non-sequence turns in others?

On a more academic note, some work has been done on universal words...referred to as Semantic Primes. This theory supposes that there are a core number of words that are a) universal in all languages, b) undefinable without recourse to circularity or obscurity.
Even though the form of the word varies by language, its concept is universal. For example, 'I' in English corresponds exactly to 'Watashi' in Japanese as a basic concept of the speaker and cannot be defined without recourse to higher order lexis.
Here is a link.
http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/semantic_primes
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Re: They Found A Universal Word?

#24  Postby quas » Dec 27, 2013 7:54 am

Bribase wrote:
amok wrote:Ow! :waah:


Nope!


Really? 3 syllables long!
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Re: They Found A Universal Word?

#25  Postby juju7 » Dec 27, 2013 8:09 am

Ironclad wrote:Yeh, I think you inadvertantly found the other universal word, the English language's gift to the world - "shit".


Pooh!
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Re: They Found A Universal Word?

#26  Postby Saim » Dec 30, 2013 7:09 am

amok wrote:Oh, cool! Shows what I know. I would have thought "ow" was a natural "sound/grunt" that became a word, spelled O-W in English. Hm.


It is a kind of grunt, but interestingly enough it varies from culture to culture. Certainly you've heard Spanish-speakers say ¡ay! before, no? :grin:
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