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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
2answers
120 views

Why are irregular verbs usually common words?

Whilst searching for the origin of irregular verbs, I came across this forum, which points out, among other things, that irregular verbs are more often than not common words. Is there a reason for ...
3
votes
2answers
122 views

Why does English have progressive aspect but German does not?

In english there are two ways to express a present action: I go I am going However, In German there is really only one way to express a present action: Ich gehe If English is a ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

ephelcystic nu of contract verbal forms in Ancient Greek

Since some verbal forms may have an ephelcystic nu (imperfect.3S : ἐπαίδευε/ἐπαίδευεν), I would like to know if [un/]contract forms too may have this ending, as if we had ἐτίμαεν instead of ἐτίμαε and ...
5
votes
3answers
112 views

Unaugmented contract imperfect in Ancient Greek?

Since unaugmented forms are ancient verbal forms (found by example in Homer), older than the augmented ones, and since vowels contraction is still a "work in progress" at homeric times and will be ...
3
votes
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
118 views

Is there any difference between imperfect and imperfective aspect?

For those who came in late, "perfect" and "perfective" aspects are not the same. Perfect aspect pertains to actions that have been completed at the time referenced by the tense. So English past ...
4
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

A better understanding of Verb Second

Verb second is the phenomenon in which the finite verb is preceded by exactly one constituent. Not all languages have verb second, though, as can be seen here. The only thing I do not understand is ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

What do you call the phrase/clause after a quotation in a novel?

Often in novels or reported speech, we have the quotation marked by opening and closing quotation mark. And before or after the quotation we have a phrase that states, <somebody> said or said ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

Pseudosemantic question

Forgive me if this isn't right place to ask this kind od question, which I'm aware is not, but at the same time I can't pick any more adequate from the list of SE sites. Premise is this: Verb [x] in ...
2
votes
1answer
180 views

Rules of forming past participle tense and perfect tense of a verb in Latin? [closed]

What are the rules of forming past participle tense and perfect tense of a verb in Latin? For example, about the word "parsimony (n.)", from etymonline early 15c., from Latin parsimonia ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

Is there a term for a finite verb which cannot be followed by an infinitive verb, in English?

For example, the verb "enjoy" cannot be followed by an infinitive. I enjoy to eat – ungrammatical I enjoy eating – grammatical Perhaps this question relates to the area of transitivity. This ...
3
votes
1answer
213 views

Are all copulas lexical verbs?

Normally, copulas hold a subject complement (or a predicate in any case). Example. The sky became clear. I am ill. But what is in the definition of a lexical verb that makes copulas lexical verbs? ...
4
votes
1answer
78 views

Conditional participles

Does any language besides Esperanto have conditional participles? Esperanto has these only "unofficially"; they're not considered correct Esperanto usage by authorities, but common sense will tell ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

Are there languages that mark different types of volition or causality morphologically?

A simple event description such as "The boy jumped" does not necessarily imply anything about the speaker's understanding of the cause of the event or of the volition of the agent. I can say "The boy ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

Are the two Lao (and Isan) words for “to be”, “ເປັນ” (pen) and “ແມ່ນ” (maen), etymologically related?

I've just learned that Lao has two words for "to be", that are mostly interchangeable: ເປັນ (pen) ແມ່ນ (maen) They both begin with a labial, have an "e-like" vowel, and end "n". I think it's ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

Why do certain verbs not accept the ergative schema whereas they accept the mediopassive (middle) one?

Ex : They scared me / I scare easily / but not * I scared last night. My first question was not ask properly so I tried again.
4
votes
1answer
156 views

Do applicative verbs ever govern the cases of their objects?

From what I've read (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrumental_case) applicative voice occurs when an oblique noun phrase becomes an argument of the verb when the verb takes some applicative ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

Is the term “ambitransitive” controversial?

In some grammar books, I see the term "ambitransitive" used to describe verbs that have two arguments in some contexts and one argument in others. From what I've read on Wikipedia, there are ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Aktionsart - “brought”

I'm trying to analyse the verb brought (or bring) in terms of lexical aspect, or aktionsart. More accurately, it's an analysis of the Hungarian verb "hozta" (bring-3sg.pst.def). Would it be telic ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Can some verbs be unergative in some contexts and unaccusative in others?

It seems to me that there are a number of English verbs that can stand for acts that can be done voluntarily or involuntarily. Sometimes we can't help but laugh, but anyone with even mild acting ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Can Georgian verb stems start with a vowel?

I'm interested in the kinds of ambiguities which can be encountered when attempting to analyse the agglutinative verbs of Georgian into their component "slots". Georgian verbs may have an optional ...
2
votes
1answer
355 views

finite/non-finite verb = conjugated/non-conjugated verb

Are those terms totally interchangeable in all contexts (finite = conjugated) (non-finite = conjugated) or are there slight meaning differences?
3
votes
1answer
152 views

Are there any atelic ditransitive verbs (or verb phrases)?

I am wondering if there are any verbs/phrases that qualify both as ditransitive, and as atelic. The following shows the relevant tests. The satisfying verb/phrase should have the same * patterns as ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

Constraints on Kartvelian preverbs

In Georgian and its related languages there is a concept of the "preverb", which is much like the separable and inseparable verb prefixes in German or in English phrasal verbs with a preposition or ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

Which features of Georgian verbs can cause an initial “ა” (a) to become an “ე” (e)?

Kartvelian languages such Georgian have a very complex agglutinative verb structure. Georgian is very well studied but there's not a lot of self-study books or online sites that go really in depth. I ...
5
votes
3answers
533 views

Why do stem-changing verbs have a vowel change in Spanish?

It may just be that I'm demonstrating my gross ignorance, but I can't seem to find a 'why' for stem-changing verbs in Spanish. I understand that there is some sort of perceived weakness in the vowel ...
5
votes
3answers
274 views

Is there a difference between a preterite and an aorist?

I am reading about aorist and preterite verb forms. It seems that they are both forms which express perfective aspect and past tense. Is the difference between them simply in differing terminology or ...
4
votes
2answers
153 views

Are we witnessing the death of stative “think”?

For those who came in late: From what I understand, English stative verbs don't take the progressive. We can use progressive in utterances with dynamic verbs. Witness "I'm eating," "She's ...
2
votes
2answers
172 views

Is there a computer program/script that can match a verb with its various conjugations?

For example, matching "protest" with "protested", "protesting", "protests", and also matching less regular conjugations, like "run", "ran", "running" and "grab", "grabbed", "grabbed". If there were ...
2
votes
1answer
157 views

Is there a term for a non-finite verb that does that work of gerunds and participles?

To ask the question more exactly, is there a term for a form of the verb that is a) not marked for tense, and b) can syntactically pattern like a noun-phrase or like a noun-modifier depending on the ...
3
votes
1answer
366 views

What are intransitive verbs with dative complement called?

First off, I was about asking this question on German Language & Usage since this is a feature specific to the German language. Possibly, this feature exists in other languages as well but as far ...
3
votes
2answers
352 views

Affix that makes nouns into verbs and verbs into nouns?

I have a friend studying a language from the pacific islands, and she found an affix that when added to a noun makes a verb and when added to a verb makes a noun. What would you call such a thing, and ...
2
votes
3answers
247 views

Forming an imperative mood by using other grammatical moods or aspects across the languages

I'm looking for some comparative analysis that would indicate how imperative meaning can be built in various languages by using grammatical moods other than imperative. The reason is that in many ...
3
votes
0answers
140 views

What's confusing about this sentence?

Consider the following sentence: Clean up the design database to initialize costing. I find the sentence to be confusing but I'm a native English speaker. I asked my wife about it and she ...
8
votes
3answers
255 views

Do any languages have verbal inflection with a plural object?

The verb in a language like English can inflect for person, for example: I see the cat > he sees the cat and the verb can inflect for tense: I see the cat > I saw the cat But do any languages ...
5
votes
1answer
211 views

History of the verb positioning in German

In German, the word order is SVO (or V2, to be precise) in main clauses, while in subordinate clauses have the finite verb in final position; there is some discussion of the word order in "German is ...
3
votes
0answers
103 views

Dimensions of a verb

A single verb usually describes an action or state --the common dimension of verb among languages. But in addition to that it may convey more information e.g. tense, person, gender of subjective, ...
7
votes
1answer
236 views

How do SOV languages develop agreement affixes on verb?

According to WALS, most languages using SOV as basic order of subject, object and verb have some kind of personal agreement markers. As far as I know, these affixes rise by grammaticalization of ...
9
votes
2answers
199 views

What is the historical basis for the use of this type of phrasal verb in English but less so in Spanish?

For example, English uses phrases like to look for and to look at, which (I believe) are considered phrasal verbs. Spanish, however, would under normal circumstances use some derivation of buscar and ...
3
votes
2answers
236 views

What is the maximum number of forms a (modern) Japanese verb can take?

Recently I've begun to wonder how many possible forms can be made from a single Japanese verb. I asked a similar question first on the Japanese Language & Usage site, where I received some ...
5
votes
2answers
227 views

Are there languages without valency changing rules?

Most languages have valency changing rules. In English and many other languages, we have passive constructions, which change transitive verbs into intransitive ones: "The man ate the hot dog," ...
6
votes
2answers
162 views

Is there are strong case for the existence of languages that lack a clear morpho-syntactic distinction between nouns and verbs?

Is there a strong case for the existence of languages that lack a clear morpho-syntactic distinction between nouns and verbs? If so, what would be an example of a phrase structure for a uniclausal ...
4
votes
1answer
486 views

Difference Phrasal Verb, Prepositional Verb and Prepositional Phrasal Verb

I am not sure how one can see the difference between these three. I can give an example of the three - respectively come in, went into and got along without - but I don't know why these are what they ...
2
votes
2answers
132 views

What's the best term for the group of concepts pertaining to verbs which includes tense, mood, and aspect?

There are many named concepts which relate to verbs across many languages. The three most well known would be tense, aspect, and mood. But person, number, and voice are others, and there must be many ...
5
votes
2answers
230 views

Do languages besides the Kartvelian family have a property of verbs called “version”?

I'm currently studying the Georgian language and it has quite a few interesting properties not common in more well known languages. One property of the verb is called "version", "version markers" or ...
7
votes
1answer
176 views

Is there an automatic way of identifying transitive verbs in Computational Linguistics?

Is there any straightforward way of identifying transitive verbs (or sentences containing transitive constructions) in an BrE English text? I've looked into semantic shallow parsers, such as Semafor, ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the difference between a copula and a transitive verb?

I can only speak from an English perspective. Be seems to me to be a transitive verb, when joining a subject and an object, yet it is described as a copula. What I mean is The bullseye is the ...
10
votes
3answers
296 views

Do Spanish speakers prefer certain words for certain aspects, like in Russian?

In an effort to clearly delineate durar and tardar to my Spanish students, I have been searching for some usage notes and I was not satisfied with anything I found. Instead, I was wondering if these ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

Why do languages with extensive verb cross-referencing morphology require less overt marking for embedding than other languages do?

Conlanging is my hobby, and I would like to think more creatively about embedding. Since nature is always more inventive than any hobbyist can be, I've been reading about embedding in natural ...