Tagged Questions

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

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30 views

What is the difference between case marking particles and adpositions?

Apparently there is some relevant book which claims, more or less: Case marking particles and adpositions are not identical, one is a morphological, one a syntactic unit. This claim was heard ...
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1answer
40 views

What part of speech is “probably”, and how can it be substituted?

In the sentence: Daenerys should probably keep that green dragon-egg. What is the syntactic category of "probably" here? Is it an adverb? If so, what substitution test should I use to verify ...
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38 views

How would you explain what a prepositionalphrase is to a person with a low iq? [on hold]

I read the article on wikipedia, but it is very complicated for me. could anyone explain this using a very easy way.
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24 views

What kinds of nested sentences exist in languages?

I am not sure if my examples are technically really considered nested sentences, but i try anyway, if i got it right a nested sentence is one or more separated sentences fused into one: David hates ...
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1answer
64 views

Is this tree diagram correct? [on hold]

the sentence is: Lucy reported that scientists wonder if the medicine will work /Users/tcalnitsky/Desktop/assignment2.jpg
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1answer
68 views

why can't quotative “be like” be fronted?

Consider the following data (spoken American English): John said "I'll come." John was like "I'll come." What John said was: "I'll come." ?What John was like was: "I'll come." Does anyone have an ...
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20 views

HELP with syntax trees! [closed]

I need help writing syntax trees for three sentences as soon as possible! 1) The man in the forest has kicked the bucket. 2) the man who saw sean saw me. 3) I kicked the man who saw sean.
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0answers
38 views

“an” -> “a” When Describing a Noun With Adjectives

Observed in fluent speech: a unrounded vowel To a native English speaker, the following would be expected instead: an unrounded vowel What's happening here? It looks like the speaker is ...
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1answer
41 views

in the definion of government, why can't we allow asymmetrical c-command while we accept symmetrical c-command?

When we define the term 'government' in syntax, we should exclude the interfering nodes which asymmetically c-command node B.Why can't we allow asymmetrical c-command while we accept symmetrical ...
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0answers
61 views

Why is a matrix clause called “matrix”?

I understand what a matrix clause is, but was curious why it's called a "matrix" clause.
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2answers
154 views

Why are syntax trees binary trees?

In p.26 of An Introduction to Syntactic Analysis by Sportiche et al. (2013), the authors specify that syntax trees aren't allowed to have more than two children: We never find morphological trees ...
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1answer
60 views

What does the term cascade refer to in syntax?

In Uriagereka's 1999 article, Multiple Spell-out, the term cascade is used in several places. I just conjecture its meaning but don't get exact one. What does a cascade mean in syntax.
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2answers
104 views

Binding theory - coindexes that produce grammatical sentences

Binding Principle C states that an R-expression must be free. Consider the following sentence: [Steven King]i is [Richard Bachman]i. (Richard Bachman is Steven King's pen name) The sentence is ...
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2answers
146 views

Does word order really not matter in Latin?

New to Latin, I can't help but wonder about the following: Every text I found online claims that since words are inflected (enough) to indicate the roles they play in a sentence, word order has no ...
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2answers
108 views

Languages with different open and closed word classes

The prototypical example of languages with unusual open and closed categories, which is mentioned almost every time that the topic comes up, is Japanese, where pronouns are an open category and verbs ...
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1answer
88 views

What is the scope of negation (again)?

I recently asked a question concerning the scope of negation. I received helpful feedback from a number of linguists who frequent this forum. My efforts to discern the scope of negation continue, and ...
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1answer
56 views

What are some alternative communities/forums that are home to engaged linguists? [closed]

I have made accounts on some forums that seem quite lackluster. Quora can be fun, but it's not really enough. Reddit fails in this regard. I would love to find a forum for discussion that I can look ...
4
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1answer
80 views

Case matching asymmetry in German dislocation

Left- and right-dislocation in German behave differently regarding the case the dislocated expression takes. Left-dislocation seems to be lenient, as it allows the nominative as well as the case the ...
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3answers
109 views

Is there a paradigmatic formalism for dependency grammars?

When looking on the web, wikipedia for example, at the concept of constituent, it is associated with the concept of phrase structure, and rather quickly with context-free languages (as the ...
2
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1answer
107 views

Can a language have both nominative/accusative and ergative/absolutive syntactic systems in its syntactic structure?

These examples are from Kui, a Trans New Guinean language spoken on Alor island, Indonesia. (1) nya yai umasingin u=ga=sam u=ga=bur=i. 1pl.Sub v. n. ...
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1answer
88 views

Introduction to linguistics from a practical application standpoint

I currently have a project that I need to do that involves quite a bit of computational linguistics. My background in linguistics is very high level - I wonder if there are any good introductory ...
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0answers
60 views

Egocentric constraint

What does it mean that a sentence is an egocentric constraint? I have this sentence: "They really released the bird from the cage" and I have to argue that this is an egocentric constraint. I would ...
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1answer
108 views

NP + “had better” + Infinitive V

It just occurred to me that this construction is very peculiar. Pronoun: I had better get going. NP: The cat had better be home. Expletive: There had better be food on the table. ...
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2answers
98 views

Theory behind the semantics of predicates

My goal is to build semantic representation of Russian sentences, i.e. to extract verb predicates and fill in the actant words. The tool I have is some kind of a shallow syntactic parser which works ...
2
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1answer
113 views

Nouns and Interrogative Complements

In English, there are many different verbs which can combine with clausal complements. These verbs can be further sub-categorised as to whether they embed a propositional that-clause, or an embedded ...
2
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0answers
69 views

In the Minimalist Program, can valued uninterpretable features still act as goals before they are deleted?

the title pretty much says it, if deletion happens with shipping to the interfaces SEM/PHON, can a valued, uninterpretable feature still be a goal for another probe of this feature? In a DP, maybe as ...
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0answers
43 views

What currency does the term “flip sense verb” have in linguistics?

In a recent comment on the question Ergative Verbs and some discussion about them, jlawler introduced a term I had not previously encountered: The rose smells good is completely different; this ...
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1answer
192 views

Ergative Verbs and some discussion about them

I know what ergative verb is - Consider the following sentences - I opened the door. The door was opened (by me). The door opened. The verb open is a transitive verb in sentence #1, ...
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1answer
87 views

Is the semantic component of a generative grammar especially difficult to incorporate in psycholinguistic proccessing models?

It is often said that it is difficult to match up the structure rules of a grammar with psychologically realistic models of competence. I was wondering if the semantic component was especially ...
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1answer
86 views

What is the structure of the sentence “For Bill to have been arrested so soon was disappointing.” according to the GB theory

Please consider the following: (0) For Bill to have been arrested so soon was disappointing. (1) ?It was disappointing for Bill to have been arrested so soon. If the sentence (1) is grammatical, it ...
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0answers
44 views

What are the composition rules of these sentences?

let the cat out of the bag, take off clothes, burn the candle at both ends For example: the C-Rule of "bring home the bacon" is: VC("the bacon",NP,AJ2)VA([home],A,AJ1); Here is also a good ...
3
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2answers
121 views

Are complement clauses with finite verbs noun phrases?

Are complement clauses that contain finite verbs be noun phrases? Consider English's "that" complementizer. A. Clauses introduced with "that" can be be replaced with pronouns. (1) I know ...
2
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2answers
69 views

Example of a 'grammatical' (vs thematic) dependency

This question may be a bit basic - I'm reading Rowlett's "The Syntax of French" (great text), without much background in syntax. He states, This approach to theta-role assignment also means that ...
2
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1answer
148 views

Does subject precede object in all natural languages?

From here : English and Chinese, for example, put the subject first, the verb in the middle, and the object at the end for an SVO word order. Irish and Biblical Hebrew are VSO languages that ...
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0answers
37 views

What's the term for N-PP expressions such as “lady-in-waiting”?

Does anyone know or can suggest a term for the following expressions: lady-in-waiting brother-in-law sergent-at-arms bride-to-be etc. Expressions like those above are special for (at ...
1
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1answer
108 views

Is there any phrase where common syntax fails?

Are there any phrases were a conventional grammar gives multiple syntactic analysis for the same phrase (without changing the meaning) or even fails to give a consistent structure? I thought about ...
1
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0answers
34 views

Are the phrases “both in water and land” and “for the loss and damage to” grammatical? [closed]

A. Consider the phrase that is boldfaced in sentence (1): (1) "It can live both in water and land." Is the phrase grammatical as it is, with no preposition before "land"? Or should the phrase ...
1
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3answers
114 views

Pro-Drop Typology in Indo-European Languages

A different question made me wonder what is the norm for Indo-European with regard to pro-drop? I know Italic languages generally do it, while Germanic languages generally don't. What about the rest ...
0
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1answer
57 views

Redundancy from grammar [closed]

Consider the following sentence: The pretty dog told the story the story. There is obviously some redundancy in the 'whom' of telling and the 'what' of telling. We can consider questions derived ...
2
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2answers
143 views

“He left the room angry” Is this a resultative adjunct?

He entered the room drunk. He left the room angry. I have heard that both drunk and angry are the examples of what is called resultative adjuncts. Is this correct? What does the term mean?
2
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0answers
67 views

Which dependency parsers take auxiliaries to to be heads over content verbs and prepositions to be heads over their complements?

The Universal Stanford Dependencies (USD) parsing scheme subordinates auxiliary verbs to content verbs and prepositions to their complements: ...
2
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1answer
76 views

NPs as adverbials; how to parse them?

NPs can function as adverbials as in the following sentences: I ran a mile. I am 5 feet tall. One way to confirm this is by substituting the NPs with adverbs, e.g. "I ran fast" and "I am very ...
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1answer
51 views

What's the technical term for illocative parenthesis?

I want to know whether there is a technical term, preferably an accepted one, for the following type of parenthesis (bold): (1) You are, I believe, not healthy. The (bold) parenthesis always ...
4
votes
3answers
211 views

Why is constituency needed, since dependency gets the job done more easily and economically?

I do dependency grammar (DG), and my personal view is that dependency gets the job done more efficiently than constituency by far. The average constituency parse (= phrase structure parse) contains ...
1
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1answer
78 views

Predication in X-Bar theory

Where do predicatives (predicative adjectives and nominals) over the subject or over the object fit into an X-bar-tree? For instance: Pedro pintó a María sentada. Peter painted Mary seated. ...
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2answers
72 views

The complement of postmodifying prepositional phrases compounded by “and”

How does one parse "the need for and development of education"? "Education" naturally acts as the complement of both the prepositions "for" and "of", and the prepositions surely postmodify the nouns ...
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1answer
35 views

Examples of tags?

I'm planning to do a study on tag-switching, but from the literature I read, tag-switching is commonly only found in sentences with 'you know', 'I mean', 'right?', and 'isn't it?'. Are there other ...
1
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1answer
86 views

Is it [Dr. [No]] or [[Dr.] No], or something else?

The question focuses on how we should structure expressions with a form of address, such as Mr., Frau, etc., or a title, such as Dr., Prof., etc., and a proper name, such as Smith, Yamada, etc. In ...
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0answers
62 views

What's the name of a lexeme's “surface form”?

Phonemes are realized through phones, morphemes are realized with morphs. What is the corresponding word for a lexeme? A casual google search isn't telling me much.
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1answer
80 views

Plausibility of getting a linguistics education when coming from another field entirely?

I have a couple questions: I have a B.S. in Environmental science & policy and a couple publications in the environmental chemistry field. Yet I've come to be really interested in Linguistics and ...