The study of the rules that govern the arrangement of words to create well-formed sentences in a given language.

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List of written English linguistic phenomena?

I am doing exploratory research in written-English syntactic constructs that show variability. Is there any list of known linguistic syntactic phenomena? For example, I am familiar with the dative ...
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46 views

Questions about transitive alternation

The following data show that the prefix re- can be attached only to transitive verbs. List A List B reblacken *rego resoften *recry reharden *resleep The verbs of List A whose ...
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54 views

How can teacher embed academic language into their everyday lesson plan? [closed]

The question is how can teachers embed academic language into their daily lesson plan? What could be some possibilities?
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2answers
87 views

Can adjuncts be arguments?

I hear that only complements and specifiers can contain the argument for a verb. But there are certain structures with ditransitive verbs I believe you can represent as an adjunct. Here's an example: ...
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1answer
87 views

Why doesn't X-bar theory overgenerate?

X-bar PS rules are as follows: XP' -> <spec.> X' X' -> <adjunct> X' <adjunct> X' -> X <comp.> What's stopping us from generating phrases like the following? [SPEC ...
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87 views

Formal Language theory (context free grammars, pushdown automata)

Does anyone know any good introductions to Formal Language theory and Formal Grammar, that covers the mathematical basis of Syntax and things like context free grammars and pushdown automata? In ...
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230 views

What empirical evidence can be produced that all syntactic structure is binary branching?

A tenet of the Minimalist Program is that all syntactic structure is binary branching. Merge always merges two constituents to a greater constituent until the greatest constituent, the sentence, is ...
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54 views

Is there an established distinction between semantic and syntactic predicates?

My question is probing to learn whether semanticists (and syntacticians) draw a distinction between what I am calling here semantic and syntactic predicates. The question concerns the status of the NP ...
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1answer
87 views

What's the difference between open/closed class words and functional/lexical categories?

These two classifications seem to point to the same types of words.
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77 views

Reference for help in identifying the abnormal syntax or use of language in psychotic individuals

I have a job in which I must try to differentiate between persons who are actually psychotic and those who are faking psychosis, and it is often quite difficult. I would like to identify ...
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31 views

Node level with Stanford dependency parser

I am trying to find a way to select the node(word) level using Stanford dependency parser. But, i haven't found any method that help to get the node level. I will be very grateful for your help
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2answers
76 views

What thematic roles are played by the subject of an intransitive verb?

I am not familiar with the concept of thematic roles, just what is on wikipedia. Here is what I have come up with. agent: The man runs patient: The man was tripped. experiencer: The man falls. My ...
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1answer
53 views

Do any natural languages have phrase-coordinators that surround their coordinands?

For those who came in late, there are such things as discontinuous morphemes, i.e. single morphemes that are interrupted by other morphemes. Note this example from this SIL link: ...
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77 views

Is this a form of ellipsis: If (you are) hungry, you should say so?

I am currently working on the following phenomenon: (1) a. If (you are) hungry, you should say so. b. He touches his nose when (he is) exaggerating. c. Where (it is) cheap, watermelon sells well. ...
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74 views

Identify heads, specifiers, complements and adjuncts in this sentence

Hi could someone help me to identify the different elements cited above in the sentence below: so completely out [of control of the situation] No need to analyse the words inside the bracketed ...
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2answers
92 views

Does translation software use syntactic trees?

I'm a multilingual, and since syntax structures vary between various languages, it seems intuitive to me that translation software use syntactic rules to translate between languages. But when I see ...
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4answers
138 views

Can predicate adjectives take more modifiers than attributive adjectives in English? Across languages?

Witness this noun phrase that has an attributive adjective: "the angry girl" Witness this sentence that has a predicate adjective: "The girl is angry." Both adjectives in the last two ...
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1answer
152 views

Why can't these English sentences passivize?

The active sentences (1a) and (2a) below can be passivized just like most English active clauses, resulting in (1b) and (2b): 1a. His candor struck me. 1b. I was struck by his candor. 2a. Her ideas ...
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55 views

What morphosyntactic features are associated with VSO?

In an answer to another question, librik cited Orin Gensler's observation that Insular Celtic and Semitic share a surprisingly large feature complex. This makes it hard for a layman with ready access ...
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182 views

How to analyze this sentence in a tree diagram?

I tried to draw a tree diagram of this sentence In 1816 they were purchased by the British government and from then on displayed in the British Museum. but it leads nowhere. I think I'm fine ...
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94 views

Multiple Adjectives in an X-Bar Tree

I'm having some trouble integrating phrases with multiple adjectives into x-bar trees. Based on what I can understand from the textbook, I would get something like this (apologies for the verb ...
2
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1answer
77 views

Is the case described below hypothetical or does it occur in natural languages?

Suppose that you have a language, let's say it's SVO, has a clause pattern in which the subject typically stands for an agent or experiencer and the object typically stands for a patient or stimulus, ...
3
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1answer
190 views

Grammar for language L = {ww ∣ w ∈ {a,b,c} * }

I am new to linguistics and trying to understand how to construct a grammar. I am however having issues on this. L= {ww ∣ w ∈ {a,b,c} ∗ } is a linear indexed language, how can I construct the ...
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2answers
192 views

Accusative vs Ergative

In terms of syntactic structure, from the below grammar can we conclude that English is accusative language, not ergative. S --> NP VP VPtv --> Vtv NP VPiv --> Viv By intuition, I ...
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1answer
97 views

In which of these sentences is “and” used for coordination?

I had a discussion on coordination with one of my friends and thought it would be better to ask it here. The question is which one of these are coordination and why? Mary likes cakes and hates ...
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2answers
210 views

Almost half crazy vs Almost half sane

Forgive me if it is not the right place to ask this question in SE sites. I am mostly active on SO but I thought it might be a better fit here. I enrolled in a class this semester and there was a ...
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Are there any natural languages with exclusively asyndetic coordination?

Are there any languages with exclusively asyndetic coordination, i.e. in which constituents are coordinated solely by juxtaposition, with disjunctive (or) or adversative (but) meaninigs communicated ...
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42 views

How is disjunction of noun phrases expressed in languages that coordinate noun phrases by using pronouns?

According to the paper presented at http://depts.washington.edu/uwcl/matrix/sfd/Drellishak%20-%20MA%20Thesis.pdf, two of the most common strategies for coordinating pronouns are a) the use of a ...
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1answer
99 views

Different kinds of do's

At first I thought that there was only such a thing as lexical do and periphrastic, but recently I stumbled upon something else (unfortunately I do not recall what it was called). Whatever be the ...
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3answers
126 views

What range of strategies are common in natural languages for providing unambiguous answers to negative yes-no questions?

I have been told that, in Chinese, terms for "yes" and "no" used as answers for questions are not needed because one answers yes-no questions by either repeating the verb in the question or adding a ...
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1answer
116 views

Why are free relatives problematic for the theta criterion?

The sentences below contain a construction which is called Free Relatives. What conditions must be satisfied in order for the sentences to be grammatical? a. Mary will eat whatever John cooks b. My ...
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3answers
167 views

Are there any linguists out there to help identify country of origin from syntax?

I've come here in the hope that there may be some genius amongst you who could have a fair crack at identifying a potential country of origin through speech pattern. On the Movies&TV stack, we're ...
2
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1answer
87 views

Are phrase structure grammar and/or dependency grammar legitimate theories for describing the cognitive structure of syntax?

My hunch is (like always) there are people in both groups, but what was the original purpose of the theories? Are they mainly linguistic tools for describing various syntactic phenomena, rather than ...
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104 views

Clauses in sentences with questioning verbs, using “if”/“whether”

A friend who is a Spanish native speaker said something like this to me recently (in English) *He told her if she was Asian That sentence would be fine if the verb were "ask", but "tell" cannot ...
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2answers
635 views

X-Bar theory and Trees

I am studying linguistics and now this semester my subject is Syntax. I tried a few times to draw a tree using X-Bar theory and Dp's but I couldn't achieve. Can someone please draw a tree of the ...
2
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2answers
125 views

Syntactic representation of Across-the-board Extraction

I am reading a book on Government and Binding theory [1] and just finished a chapter on big pro (PRO). At the end of the chapter there is an exercise. Different sentences are written with faulty ...
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1answer
69 views

Do some isolating languages have something other than accusative morpho-syntactic alignment?

In R.M.W. Dixon's book, "Ergativity," I read that ergative-absolutive marking is generally morphological. IIRC, that goes for split-S alignment and fluid-S alignment as well. For those who came ...
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92 views

Linguistics resources for beginners [closed]

I'm currently reading Jackendoff's Foundations of language and I've realised that my knowledge of syntax, morphology and phonology isn't as strong as I'd like it to be. I'm coming from a psych ...
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1answer
118 views

Languages with subordinate imperatives?

English does not allow an imperative to be used in a subordinate clause: Eat that pizza! *There's a pizza on the table, which eat! (="which I order you to eat") *I told you eat that pizza! (A ...
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75 views

Questions on Chomsky's “Syntactic structures” #1

This would be my first series of questions on this book (Second ed). Chomsky warns that several answers to the question "On what basis do we actually go about separating grammatical and ungrammatical ...
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1answer
274 views

Problem understanding binding theory and c-command

I am reading about binding theory and I have a little problem. The book (1) says that: A binds B iff: (i) A c-commands B; (ii) A and B are co-indexed. and c-commanding is defined as the ...
5
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1answer
78 views

Epistemic modality inside deontic scope?

I was taught (according to Role and Reference Grammar) that epistemic modality applies at clause level while deontic modality applies at core level. So in theory a sentence which has both would have ...
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0answers
42 views

Generative Grammar

I would need to do a contrastive study on how "would" is dealt with in Generative Grammar and that of Leech and Svartvik (A communicative grammar of English). Has anyone worked on such a thing ...
2
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1answer
135 views

Why are phrase structure rules always inconsistent?

I've noticed that phrase structure rules have been very inconsistent over my studies. I've seen NP = (det)(adj)N ; NP = (det)N(PP); these definitions seem to change with context. Is it just because ...
3
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2answers
191 views

Deep structure tree VP help

I'm struggling to diagram the following sentence: The activist continued to protest. I understand the basic structure and what movement is taking place but I'm confused as to how to diagram the ...
3
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1answer
259 views

My otherwise monogamous friends came to the party with their wives

Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese) tend to say that "My friends came with their wife, who were all blowing their nose." (no polygamy, a cold epidemic but no monstrosity either), ...
2
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1answer
474 views

How widespread are Reed-Kellogg sentence diagrams?

A couple decades ago when I was in middle school in Colorado, I was briefly taught to diagram sentences using the Reed-Kellogg system. I have heard that the practice of teaching sentence diagramming ...
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2answers
140 views

How to solve 48÷2(9+3) from a linguistics perspective? [closed]

Suppose an alien life comes to Earth, and challenges us to answer a question that will allow them do determine if we can communicate without ambiguities and solve controversies in a rational way. The ...
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1answer
192 views

What motivates / allows preposition stranding in English, but disallows it in other languages, like Mandarin?

If someone could direct me to papers/sites that describe this, and a summary or something, that would be great. It is just a parameter for languages? What do linguists think so far? Example: "Which ...
3
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3answers
233 views

Does finite VP exist as a constituent?

A central distinction between dependency grammars (DGs) and phrase structure grammars (PSGs, also known as constituency grammars) is the understanding of the initial division of the clause. ...