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We are going to have a problem here. On the LanguagE page, languages are being categorized by their origin. This entry, SouthEastAsianLanguages, is a classification by geographical area. Both are possible and should be on separate pages. I am not at all sure this entry belongs directly on the LinguistcS page. Perhaps a LanguagesByGeography page should be added to the LanguagE page?

Do you think it's necessary to separate out geography of languages like that? As far as national languages go, there's nothing wrong with just linking to them from the appropriate country pages. I think what we probably need is some higher level geographical categories, like SouthEastAsia, which can handle languages, countries, and a lot more besides.

I was just suggesting some way to separate out language families by origin and by geography. I am not wedded to any particular scheme. I wouldn't want readers to assume that SouthEastAsianLanguages are necessarily similar. Also, eventually, casual language descriptions of a particular language shoud be separated from Linguistic analysis of particular languages, I should think. Assuming the content appears...:-).---- Neither etymology nor philology are strictly speaking areas in the modern study in Linguistics. Both these areas have nothing to do with making generalizations about Language with a capital L. For example, etymology studies specific words and their origins, but not the processes involved in a change. This later general discussion is part of Historical Linguistics.---- There is now duplicate material on "phonemes" on this page and the phoneme page.

Nothing wrong with that, in principle.

One separately analyzes the units from which words are assembled, the "morphemes." These are the smallest units of sound that a native speaker recognizes as significant and can often be determined by a series of substitutions. A speaker of English recognizes that "Make" is a different word from "Makes," so the s-sound is a distinct morpheme.

It's been a long time since I had a class in linguistics, but wouldn't "make" be the better example of a morpheme? I thought morphemes were the smallest units of meaningful language, whereas phonemes were the smallest units of sounds that make a difference in the language. I am not criticizing, I'm just confused and want enlightenment. --LMS -- Revising an earlier comment, which appears not to have been saved. The linguist's definition of a phoneme is what's given in the article, the smallest unit of sound that makes a difference in meaning. It's identified by paired-sound tests and some comments on field procedure emphasize that one is only gathering sounds--they're supposed to be analytically distinct from meanings. So in that sense, phonetic research is only supposed to find out what distinctions of sound a native speaker can recognize. But, to repeat, the article's definition is correct so far as I know. The 's' in "makes" is an example of a morpheme that is one phoneme long. Correct as an example, I think, but possibly confusing. Using "make" as an example opens up another confusion though--a morpheme is not a word.AMT


I'm not saying it's not correct. I'm saying it's confusing. It needs to be clarified for those who have not studied linguistics. --LMS


It may be that the term Adamic language is only used specifically by the Mormons, in general linguistics I know this concept as the Proto-World language (as for example Proto-Bantu, a language which has been reconstructed as the ancestor of the Bantu language family). Additional reserarch needed. Hannes_Hirzel

I thought so, but someone (don't remember who) said it was more than Mormons, although Mormons are the only ones who still believe it. Obviously more research needs to be done. It may also be linguists no longer use the term, but it was more widespread a few hundred years ago. Probably the info here in Linguistics will get more review and research then Adamic language. I'll be sure to copy any insights over, though. --Dmerrill