Part of speech whose members indicate an action or a state of being.

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Is “focus on verbs” a well-known aphorism in linguistics?

In a technical mailing list where I participate, someone asked: A famous linguist once said that "to understand a new language, that you should focus on the verbs first." Who said that? One ...
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54 views

Why doesn't English have contracted forms for past tense verbs?

In English, we contract things like "They are" to "They're." As far as I know, for indicative moods, this is only done for present and future tense verbs. Why is it not done for past tense (I know ...
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31 views

Why was the prefix 'anti-' chosen for the terms 'antipassive' and 'anticausative'?

Source: Understanding Semantics (2 ed, 2013) by Sebastian Löbner [p 137:] The antipassive in English consists of demoting the direct object argument by omitting it. It removes the THEME/PATIENT ...
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239 views

Why does French use “be” as the auxiliary for a few verbs? [duplicate]

In French, there are a set of 17 verbs lovingly called the Vandertramps: Devenir (to become) Revenir (to come back) . & Monter (to climb) Rentrer (to reenter) Sortir (to ...
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11 views

Truth-neutral, truth-indifferent, & truth-committed verbs?

In English, I go to the store. is understood to mean It is true that I go to the store. Suppose I want to succinctly express I am indifferent to whether it is true or false that I ...
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74 views

Is there any language in which the gender of the subject/object is marked in every verb conjugation?

Besides Spanish where you have comerla (feminine, eat her) or comerlo (masculine, eat him), but only works for certain verb conjugations. Any other language where the gender of objects/subjects is ...
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56 views

Anticausative/unaccusative verbs - a way to express causer of the event

Can be sentence with unaccusative verb describing some state change on the subject changed to sentence (with different verb of course) which contains cause of that event on the subject position (like ...
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60 views

Conjugation of the word प्रकटयमास [closed]

I have been reading Sudharma and I have encountered a new type of words such as प्रकटयमास, प्रकटयमासुः and समादिदिशुः. I know what the roots mean. What I don't know is what type of conjugation is ...
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52 views

Different types of verbs [closed]

There are different types of verbs in languages. I am interested in formal name of these types. I want to distinguish between verbs that don't have antonyms and synonyms simultaneously, like 'see', ...
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1answer
37 views

Is v-spec Specific for agent? If so, How to Solve This Problem?

In my syntax classes, I learnt that v-spec is specific for agent role. The thing is, I came across a structure in the resource below: Radford, A. (2004). Minimalist Syntax: Exploring the Structure ...
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32 views

verbal or adjectival suffix -ed in the word “excited”

is the suffix -ed verbal or adjectival in the sentence: I was excited about my new job. Would the answer be different if the sentence was: I was excited by my new job. Maybe by indicates ...
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80 views

History of Preverbs in Indo-European

As you may know, quite some of the IE languages know preverbs, who may modify the meaning of a verbal root. I would like to know more about the interrelation of the various preverbs found in these ...
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110 views

Is there something deeper behind the “verb classes swapping” of the subjunctive endings in Romance languages?

I first asked this question in http://spanish.stackexchange.com/q/15929/11155 However the Spanish community has not found any answer yet and the phenomenon is observable in many Romance languages. I ...
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1answer
98 views

Did all regular/irregular verbs arise from the same two sources?

I'd like to confirm something that I read long ago in a since-forgotten source. I'm not sure if it was an accepted theory, fact or just a marginalized idea. But, essentially, the story goes: There ...
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1answer
64 views

How should I organize my grammar?

So I'm doing a grammar for my conlang (constructed language). My conlang is a very verb-heavy/polysynthetic language. E.g. subordinate clauses are marked on the verb. To create a conditional clause ...
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232 views

The origin of the term 'verb'

References tell me that the term 'verb' originally means 'word'. This is easily understood by usages such as 'verbal abuse', 'verbal agreement', 'he's very verbal', etc. That said, of all the various ...
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205 views

V-to-I lowering and split IP hypothesis

English is I-lowering language, but on split IP hypothesis([AgrP [TP [VP]]]), verbs move to the head of TP: V-raising. /John often kissed Mary./ On unsplit IP(IP[VP]), [+tense] which the head of IP ...
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2answers
131 views

Can a control verb simultaneously be a raising verb?

For example, take believes, which is a raising to object verb. However, employing various selection tests, you can observe that believes selects an experiencer subject: #the cat believes to be out ...
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30 views

Why ordering is not a Part of Speech?

PoS of imagine is vv0, which means: base form of lexical verb (e.g. give, work) This means "to try to picture something in mind". It's a description of an action. However, sometimes it's used ...
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128 views

What explains the differences between doublet verbs that differ by a prefix?

The differences in meanings of doublet verbs such as 3-6 below: Are there any resources that investigate the big picture behind them? I abhor to memorise, and prefer to understand, such ...
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2answers
93 views

Origins of gender distinction in verbs in Slavic

This is a thing that I have been thinking about for a while. I know that PIE did not have gender distinction in verb forms, and its presence in modern Slavic languages must be an innovation. If I am ...
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105 views

What is to verbs as pronouns are to nouns?

"Mr. Hemmingway, do you write books?" "I do." "Did Mr. Hemmingway write this book?" "He did." Just as the pronoun "he" or "I" stands in place of the noun "Mr. Hemmingway", so the verb "do" or "did" ...
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1answer
62 views

If two verbs are in a row, is the first always an Auxiliary? [closed]

Consider the sentence: He has gone. This is one of the example auxiliary verb sentences from: "Radford, A. English syntax: An introduction, Cambridge University Press, 2004" has is an auxiliary ...
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1answer
38 views

Why does väcka/wecken seem to be built as a causative although vakna/wachen is a weak verb?

The causative verbs in germanic languages are built upon the preterite of a strong verb. However there's one verb that seems to fall out of that scheme: Swedish: vakna - väcka; German: (auf)wachen - ...
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79 views

What's a good test to distinguish past participles from predicate adjectives?

Most past participles can act as predicate adjectives: "The island was inhabited." but there are some words that may look like both parts of speech, but can only be used in one way or the other: ...
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98 views

Participle + indicative of the same verb (gustans gustavi, videns vidi etc.)

A couple of excerpts from the Bible (Septuagint, Nova Vulgata, Elizabeth, KJV): Acts 7:34 ἰδὼν εἰ̃δον τὴν κάκωσιν του̃ λαου̃ μου του̃ ἐν Αἰγύπτω̨ καὶ του̃ στεναγμου̃ αὐτω̃ν ἤκουσα καὶ ...
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1answer
81 views

Where can I get a good Maltese grammar book?

I am looking for a good Maltese grammar book which lists all verb forms, tenses, and declensions. Where can I find one (perhaps anywhere on the Island given that Amazon does not seem to carry such ...
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2answers
34 views

Second Person Inanimates in Swahili

I know what when making verbs about people I can use an object placeholder in order to indicate the difference between the first, second and third persons. So if I'm talking to my daughters I might ...
2
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1answer
167 views

Why do some languages partition 'to know' into 2 or more verbs?

I was reading the etymology of the Modern English verb 'know', when its reference to other languages motivated this question: [...] Once widespread in Germanic, this form is now retained only in ...
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108 views

How does the prefix 'ad-' function in 'attribute'?

attribute (v.) [<--] late 14c., "assign, bestow," from Latin attributus, past participle of attribuere "assign to, add, bestow;" figuratively "to attribute, ascribe, impute," from ad- ...
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51 views

Is there any verb net project in Japanese?

I'm looking for a verb network or verb dictionary project in Japanese which shows verbs with its own dependencies (like [iku DP DP] [kaeru DP] etc.). Is there any?
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1answer
105 views

What prevents verbs from taking more than a two or three complements/arguments?

So I'm writing a term paper for my introductory syntax class on Larson's and Jackendoff's theories of the structure of double object verbs. Jackendoff argues for a more linear, tertiary branching ...
2
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1answer
88 views

the distinction between inchoatives and unaccusatives

I'm having difficulty understanding what are inchoative verbs and how they are different from unaccusative verbs. Is it generally the case that inchoatives are subsumed under unaccusatives? Verbs of ...
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1answer
88 views

Semantic roles in the sentence with ´have´

I would like to ask for help with the clarification of some semantic roles. I am not sure what semantic role may be assigned to SUBJECT in the sentences with ´to have´ I need to assign role in the ...
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110 views

How is the dative case for help being used here?

Swiss-German has dative and accusative case-marking for its objects. In the sentence "I gave him the book," "him" must be marked as dative and "the book" must be marked as accusative. It's clear that ...
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822 views

Does any linguist honestly believe that nouns and verbs are not universals?

Does any serious scholar really believe that some languages have no distinction between verbs and nouns? Wikipedia pages suggest this. I studied physics, so linguistics is not my field at all. ...
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1answer
134 views

Are there verbs in Swahili which can be both active and passive?

In English some verbs can be both active and passive, depending on the context - for example: The mother is cooking. The chicken is cooking. In the case of my mother, I am using the active ...
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1answer
45 views

Common change of conjugation of the verbs in spoken languages?

Is the natural tendency of the verbs in spoken language towards more or fewer conjugations? For example, in my language, we use conjugations related to time, person, etc. In English we have ...
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213 views

Do other languages distinguish the verbs “to drink” when talking about alcohol?

It's interesting that English uses the verb "to drink" intransitively exclusively when talking about alcohol, as in: I drink a lot. But transitively when talking about anything else, as in: ...
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1answer
157 views

Raising aspectual verb “stop”

On this webpage http://www.lel.ed.ac.uk/~gpullum/grammar/nonfiniteclauses.html prof.Geoffrey Pullum's explains basic syntactic tests used in distinguishing raised from ordinary subjects/verbs. The ...
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157 views

Why do PIE verbs have suffixes -m-, -s-, -t-, while personal pronouns have m-, t-, s-?

Usually it is assumed that in PIE the verb forms for the singular first, second, and third person are respectively -m-, -s-, -t- (cfr. Latin). The personal pronouns, instead, have the second and ...
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1answer
129 views

Are imperative verbs starting a command subordinating conjunctions?

I have come across a syntax tree with a subordinate clause phrase (as opposed to just a sentence) whose left daughter is a verb in the imperative, e.g. Wash your laundry tonight. I have read this ...
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4answers
350 views

Intransitive verbs that take Indirect objects

Can there be intransitive verbs which take an indirect object? In the sentence "It pleases me" is "me" an indirect or direct object? What languages frequently have indirect objects in a sentence ...
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85 views

Word commonly tagged as noun but use as verb

Given a sentence "Someone has to walk the shore and map the island, see what else there is". The "map" word is a verb, but it's commonly used as noun, i.e., in most of dictionaries, the first word ...
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1answer
220 views

Why are the plural and singular first person forms of the verb “go” so different in the Romance languages?

In many Romance languages, the first person plural and singular forms are completely different: French (aller): je vais, nous allons Italian (andare): io vado, noi andiamo Catalan (anar): jo vaig, ...
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290 views

Origin of Russian class 6 and class 10 verbs

In Russian, class 10 contains only a handful of verbs ending in either -олоть or -ороть. On the other hand, looking at the list in Wiktionary, class 6 contains only one verbs in -рать (орать) and ...
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2answers
121 views

Are there any languages with a plufuture for tense sequencing?

(I admit a Romance bias in asking this question, perhaps expressing what I'm looking for is quite common in other families) After answering a question recently on the Spanish SE on tense sequencing, ...
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1answer
106 views

Why is “speak” a class 4 strong verb?

I've been trying to understand the how strong verbs in Germanic languages work, and reading the Wikipedia article I understand that class 4 strong verbs originated from, in PIE, vowel + a sonorant (m, ...
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338 views

Given a verb get a noun that corresponds to subject or object

I have verbs and I would like to find their corresponding noun for either subject or object. e.g. run:subject -> runner kill:subject -> killer kill:object -> dead I also would have groups of them ...
3
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1answer
78 views

Verb conjugation convergence

Portuguese has a strange coincidence in the preterit perfect tense of the verbs ir (to go) and ser (to be): they are conjugated exactly equally. Portuguese — English to go | English to be Eu fui — ...