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Anthropology/Linguistic anthropology


I am doing a project in words that are not translatable, and why they are present in some cultures and not others, and what this says about their culture. It is also to do with disappearing words and how these show the way in which culture is developing. This is not necessarily within the confines of English language. I am struggling to find material for researching them, and if you had any information on them or would be able to tell me the name of a web site, book or journal etc, that could tell me more and give me examples along these lines then it would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Hi Amy,

As languages evolve words come and out of use.  Which is why we have old English, middle English and "modern" English.  Just as in Cornwall or Wales, the Gallic (Gaulic) languages are slowly disappearing.  And in fact Cornwallish is effectively gone.  If you look in some of the old dictionaries from 100 years ago you will find words that are no longer used in normal daily language.   You will also find many new words that have entered our language from many others.  Some of these are also regionally used.  An example of this is in the Southern US, the people use the "word" "YALL",  meaning "you all"  another is "ALYAL"  pronounced ALL YALL, meaning "every one".   There are many other examples of regional speech in the US as American English tends to be more malleable then British English.  

If you are looking for such words, try looking for "Anachronistic English Words" on  You can also find Anglo-Saxon words that have Norman parallels an example of this is the phrase "Rules and Regulations".  Or in foods, the animal like Pig is the Anglo-Saxon word while the food from the animal, Pork, is the Norman word.  The "Low" and the "High" uses of language.

I hope this has helped.  Ask more questions...



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Ralph Salier


Business Anthropologist. Business negotiations in multiple cultures and working with multiple cultures in the business arena. Broad understanding of business practices and business "ethics" in different parts of the world.


25+ years in international procurement and negotiations.


MA Anthropology, Proximics

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