#1
Well having seen the amount of threads involving people asking for help on language work for school, threads covering people wanting to learn languages, and other assorted stuff involving languages and needing help, it seemed to me a good idea to create this thread, along with compiling a basic guide to language.

Basically the idea is if anyone needs help with anything involving a language or linguistics, they can ask here. As there are people here from so many different countries, speaking many different languages, I'm sure almost anyone would be able to find help with a particular language.

Now, without further ado, the first part of my guide to language.


Basic Grammar

Lexical Categories (Word Class or Parts of Speech)

Lexical categories are used to describe what a word does. There are eight major lexical categories, each of which is outlined below.

Noun
At the simplest, nouns are words used to name things. Within sentences nouns are found as subjects and objects, and indeed form the majority of words used in these positions.

The types of noun are:
Proper noun – These name unique entities. Examples include Jupiter, John, France, and New York.
Common noun – These name classes of entities. Examples include person, planet, country, and city.
Count noun – These are common nouns that can become plural, or be combined with a numeral. Examples include chair, house, hand, and bus.
Mass noun – These are nouns that can’t become plural, or combine with a numeral. Examples include cutlery, furniture, laughter, and oxygen.
Collective noun – These are nouns which refer to groups consisting of multiple entities, whether singular or plural. Examples include committee, herd, and baggage.
Concrete noun – These are nouns that refer to objects that can be observed with at least one of the senses. Examples include apple, road, and car.
Abstract noun – These are nouns which refer to ideas or concepts. Examples include justice, hatred, and love.

A noun may fit into more than one of those categories.

Verb
Verbs are words used to describe an action, occurrence, or state of being. As such, they are often called “doing words”. Along with the subject and the object, verbs form up the main part of almost all sentences. Verbs are generally found in three tenses, which, depending on the language, may change to fit point of view as well.

These tenses are:
Past tense – These describe things that have already happened. For example went, walked, and swam.
Present tense – These describe things that are currently happening. For example going, walking, and swimming.
Future tense – These describe things that will be done. For example will go, will walk, and will swim.

All verbs in any language will have an infinitive form. This is the verb at its most basic, which will be modified according to tense and point of view. For example to go, to walk, to swim.

Interjection
Interjections are used to express emotion, and have no grammatical connection with the rest of the sentence. Examples are hello, goodbye, cheers, and hurray.

Pronoun
Pronouns are used in place of nouns. A single pronoun can replace a large number of nouns. Examples include I, you, he, she, this, those, and they.
Adposition
These are words used to modify nouns and verbs, and to compliment nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and other adpositions. Examples are to, in, from, and on.

Adjective
Adjectives are used to modify nouns and pronouns. They generally describe the noun or pronoun they modify. Examples include big, old, wide, and tall.

Adverb
Adverbs are used to modify words other than nouns. Examples are greatly, beautifully, and well.

Conjunction
Conjunctions are words used to join two words, phrases, or clauses together. Examples include and, but, yet, and so.


Sentence Structure

There are three main parts to a sentence. These are a subject, an object, and a verb. The order these words appear in changes according to language, but all three parts will be found in most sentences.

Subject – is normally a noun or a pronoun. This is the thing doing a particular action.
Object – is also normally a noun or a pronoun. This is the thing the action is being done to.
Verb – The action being done.

Word order
There are six basic word orders used in language. All of them contain a subject (S), an object (O), and a verb (V).
These basic word orders are:
SOV – The most used word order. Found in Japanese, Mongolian, Turkish, and many other languages.
SVO – The second most used word order. Found in English, Russian, Spanish, and other languages.
VSO – Third most used word order. Found in Classical Arabic, Celtic languages, Hawaiian, and others.
VOS – Found in Fijian and Malagasy, among others. Rather rarely used order.
OVS – Found in Tamil, and some other languages. Rarely used.
OSV – Found in Xavante, and a few other languages. Most rarely used word order.


A comparison between the different word orders, using the sentence Sam ate an orange.

SOV – Sam an orange ate.
SVO – Sam ate an orange.
VSO – Ate Sam an orange.
VOS – Ate an orange Sam.
OVS – An orange ate Sam.
OSV – An orange Sam ate.


Writing

There are three main categories of writing. These are formal, semi-formal, and informal. The style you write in will depend on who you are writing to, and the purpose for your writing.

Formal writing
Formal writing is used when writing to people you do not know personally, such as a company president, people of importance, like a politician, and people who are older than you and as such require respectful address. Formal writing is also used for academic writing, journal articles, official correspondence, and essays.

With formal writing you should avoid using contractions (don’t, isn’t, etc), slang (arvo, cool, etc), abbreviations (km, mph, etc), and acronyms (LOL, CEO, etc). Colloquialisms (y’all, gonna, etc) should also be avoided.

An example statement written formally: It is requested that all staff refrain from alcohol consumption this Friday afternoon and evening, as anyone may be called at any time to deal with a case.

Semi-formal writing
Semi-formal writing is used when a lesser level of formality is required. It is generally used for things like school work, letters to older relatives, such as grandparents, and communications between departments of a business. Semi-formal writing is also used for correspondence with people you know, but still need to address in a respectful manner, such as a coach or a teacher.

With semi-formal writing contractions, abbreviations, and certain acronyms (CEO, NATO, etc) are acceptable. Other acronyms (LOL, ROFL, etc) and slang should be avoided.

An example statement written semi-formally: We ask that staff don’t drink this Friday afternoon/evening, as you may be called to deal with a case.

Informal writing
Informal writing is used for communications between friends, co-workers, cousins, and fellow students. Informal writing can also be used for memos within departments, emails, personal notes, and notes to staff.

The only real thing to avoid in informal writing is slang that the target audience wouldn’t understand, and language inappropriate to the audience.

An example statement written informally: Please don’t drink this Friday arvo/evening, you’re on call.
Ka pu te ruha ka hao te rangatahi.
#2
i learnid something
Without music, life would be a mistake.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Quote by noob888
I love you for that thread...


Quote by MightyAl
I am now mentally scarred by the image of Peter Crouch getting penalised.
#3
i dint lern shit.
funkyducky


Icing happen when de puck come down, BANG, you know,
before de oder guys, nobody dere, you know.
My arm go comme ça, den de game stop den start up.

Quote by daytripper75
Get To Da Choppa!
#4
Quote by DirtyMakik
i dint lern shit.

wTf iz dat @ da 3nd
Without music, life would be a mistake.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Quote by noob888
I love you for that thread...


Quote by MightyAl
I am now mentally scarred by the image of Peter Crouch getting penalised.
#6
If anyone needs help in French, just ask!

Also, ENGRISH IZ FOR TEH LULZ

Also (2), people writing "I would of" or "I should of" instead of "I would have" and "I should have" deserve to suffer a painful death, preferably in a fire.
#7
Sticky this nerdness
Quote by CoreysMonster
Why, my pasty danish cracker, I believe you've got it!
#8
Quote by Astyan
If anyone needs help in French, just ask!

Also, ENGRISH IZ FOR TEH LULZ

Also (2), people writing "I would of" or "I should of" instead of "I would have" and "I should have" deserve to suffer a painful death, preferably in a fire.


Eille, j'ai b'soin d'aide pour mon Français. Ça fait trois jour qui mange pu. Qu'est-ce que j'devrais faire?
funkyducky


Icing happen when de puck come down, BANG, you know,
before de oder guys, nobody dere, you know.
My arm go comme ça, den de game stop den start up.

Quote by daytripper75
Get To Da Choppa!
#9
Quote by Astyan
Also (2), people writing "I would of" or "I should of" instead of "I would have" and "I should have" deserve to suffer a painful death, preferably in a fire.

I agree with this. The only time it is acceptable is with non native english speakers who are unsure of the proper phrase.
Ka pu te ruha ka hao te rangatahi.
#10
Quote by DirtyMakik
Eille, j'ai b'soin d'aide pour mon Français. Ça fait trois jour qui mange pu. Qu'est-ce que j'devrais faire?


Give him some baguette!
#11
That's a bit of a basic description, but well done for trying and not making any obvious mistakes.

I really doubt people who are too dumb to know that english is SVO will searchbar before making a thread
#12
Jeg kan snakke litt norsk.
Catch me,
heal me,
Lift me back up to the Sun
I choose to live
#14
Quote by Firenze
Jeg kan snakke litt norsk.


snakke = speak?


Thanks for teaching me something!


This thread delivers after all
#15
Quote by Mistress_Ibanez
snakke = speak?


Thanks for teaching me something!


This thread delivers after all


Haha, ikkeno problem.
Catch me,
heal me,
Lift me back up to the Sun
I choose to live
#17
Quote by SlackerBabbath
FABRICATI DIEM PVNC.


...that's Latin for 'Make my day, punk!'


I decided that I wanted to start learning Latin. I'm a bit of a language buff, and Latin seemed interesting.

edit: Also, I don't know if I ever mentioned to you but your username and avatar always make me laugh, without fail.
Catch me,
heal me,
Lift me back up to the Sun
I choose to live
Last edited by Firenze at Nov 9, 2009,
#18
Quote by Firenze
I decided that I wanted to start learning Latin. I'm a bit of a language buff, and Latin seemed interesting.


It's hard work, I tried ages ago and gave up, still... as they say, 'NIL ILLIGITIMI CARBORUNDUM'....


...'don't let the bastards grind you down!'



Quote by Firenze


edit: Also, I don't know if I ever mentioned to you but your username and avatar always make me laugh, without fail.

Ahh, well I'm glad I made someone laugh.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Nov 9, 2009,
#19
Quote by Firenze
I decided that I wanted to start learning Latin. I'm a bit of a language buff, and Latin seemed interesting.

edit: Also, I don't know if I ever mentioned to you but your username and avatar always make me laugh, without fail.



If you can learn the case tenses it will be easier, because Latin relies a lot on the nominative/accusative/genitive/dative cases. They are the most common ones you will come across.
#20
I plan on taking classes to learn Latin, just a matter of time until I transfer to Ohio and find someplace there I can learn. I think the university I'm transferring to actually teaches it.
Catch me,
heal me,
Lift me back up to the Sun
I choose to live