Questions tagged [english]

A Germanic language, which originated from England, and is considered the leading language in international communication. For non-linguistic questions about the English language, visit one of our sister sites English Language & Usage or English Language Learners.

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40 views

Is the rule that "Lists with three items sound better" specific to English?

For example, the sentence "Todd liked crunchy apples, brown bananas, and small oranges" sounds better than "Todd liked crunchy apples and brown bananas". Generally, if you're ...
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80 views

When / why can adjective phrases come after nouns in English?

When and why can adjective phrases come after nouns in English, if at all? So, firstly: I am not talking about special usages like poetry or drama etc. where people may say things like "The night ...
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Peculiarities of English as spoken/written by Norwegians [closed]

I'm writing a fiction book. Some of its characters are Norwegians who exchange emails in English. I'd like to lightly stylise their texts. What mistakes / peculiarities / word choice / sentence ...
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93 views

Pre-fortis clipping of /n/

Pre-fortis clipping is usually defined as operating on vowels. See, for example, John Wells’s blog post on the subject. But at least in my idiolect (Northern English-influenced RP), in the environment ...
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Native Pronunciation of -rr- in the place name Wirral as voiced alveolar stop -d-

I was surprised to hear the Native Pronunciation of -rr- in the place name Wirral as voiced alveolar stop/tap -d- in this video as spoken by a native centenarian at the time point 0:47: Life Lessons ...
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160 views

Why is the intransitive form of "obtain" so common in academic writing and so uncommon elsewhere? [closed]

There's a low-frequency use of "obtain" that's intransitive, and means something like "occur" or "hold true." Merriam Webster says: intransitive verb 1: to be generally ...
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1answer
66 views

etymology of "a" being used as a prefix to mean "not" [closed]

Was merely curious about the origination of "a" being use as a prefix to mean "not", as in atypical or asymptomatic. I have only done a cursory search for an answer, but I figured ...
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54 views

Looking for socio research on "Latinx"

I'll crib the intro from Wikipedia: Latinx is a gender-neutral English neologism, sometimes used to refer to people of Latin American cultural or ethnic identity in the United States. "Latinx&...
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1answer
80 views

Accents of Sung Language vs. those of Spoken Language

I'm a GenAmE speaker, but I've noticed that many BrE-speaking singers seem to sing in an accent that is almost indistinguishable from my own. I first noticed it with Ed Sheeran, who I didn't even know ...
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113 views

What is the maximum number of accusatives you can have in an English sentence? [closed]

I know things like the double-accusative exist in English, like "I call sodas cokes." Then things can get more complex with words like "bet," where you can have "I bet you 5 ...
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1answer
84 views

Do Polish 'rz' /ž š/ and rhotic English have something in common? [closed]

This is a bit of a silly question that will need an explanation of the background that motivates this question. Background. I met a man named Andrzej. He was called approximately An-jay /dʒ/, or ...
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2answers
86 views

How to quantify the semantic depth of a sentence?

I'm looking for a robust way to roughly quantify the amount of information conveyed in a sentence, specifically in English. For instance "He went to the place" conveys less information than &...
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1answer
108 views

Middle English: y or ȝ

Lately I've been looking up the Middle English of many Modern English words via Wiktionary. It was my understanding that by this point in the history of English ȝ was in heavy use. Yet these ...
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1answer
85 views

language varieties that are languages

Language varieties Any set of linguistic forms which patterns according to social factors: i.e. used under specific social circumstances. The term includes different accents, different linguistic ...
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1answer
95 views

Which regularly used writing scripts commonly spoken are not alphabetic? [closed]

I believe Japanese and Chinese are logographic and the rest are simply alphabetic or abugida/abjad/alphabetic. Using Wikipedia as a reference it appears their definition of an alphabetic is not as ...
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2answers
122 views

The correct/consistent pronunciation of -ae in English [closed]

There are many Latin words in English that contain -ae-, including proper names in biology (Archaea, Rosaceae), generic scientific terms (larvae, medusae), Church Latin (Summa Theologiae) and more &...
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1answer
126 views

Where does Google's pronunciation notation come from?

When you search for "X pronunciation" on Google, it shows the "Sounds like x·y·z" box with phonetic respelling. Does anyone know if this respelling system is based on a particular ...
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72 views

Simple Way to Determine if IPA Words Rhyme (English)

As a follow-up to my question at Mathematics of Rhyme (perfect, slant), I have been able to map most English words to IPA using a mix of custom code and a dictionary stored at flancast90.github.io. ...
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1answer
68 views

Mathematics of Rhyme (perfect, slant)

I have recently been working on some programming frameworks incorporating audio analysis of the English language, particularly whether words "rhyme" or not (pure rhyme, slant rhyme, etc.) ...
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99 views

Is 'love' transitive?

I was just watching a linguistics video in which it was stated that in the sentence "John loves Mary", the verb love requires the direct object Mary, implying that it would be incorrect to ...
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1answer
93 views

What category does "broken English" fall into?

So I've been reading for about two hours now about pidgins and creoles. Can broken English such as Engrish be considered a pidgin? Or do they fall into another category?
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44 views

-logy Nouns: Referring to the Same Objects? [closed]

I am confused on how to understand nouns that in -logy. For instance: "I studied metereology in college." My confusion lies in that these are common nouns. But they seem to refer to a single ...
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1answer
119 views

Is Affix Hopping Still a Thing?

Tense affixes used to be analysed to have moved downwards from T to V in English. Is this analysis still current? Do minimalists still analyse it like this?
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1answer
136 views

Why is English so flexible?

In handling the concept of dialects of a common language among characters in "classical" role-playing games (e.g., D&D, Traveller), one idea for signalling 'foreign' dialects that often ...
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1answer
70 views

Compound English word with most etymologies

There are many English words with two different core etymologies, often Latin + Greek. For example: Claustrophobia – from the Latin claustrum meaning "confined space" and Greek φόβος (...
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Computer analysis of ESL learners' mistakes

This is a very broad question; I'm trying to get a sense of the current state of this subfield of NLP and what relevant resources may already exist, so even tangential answers will be welcome. To what ...
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1answer
70 views

Why are phonemic transcriptions used in English pronunciation courses (instead of phonetic ones)?

I'm doing an English pronunciation course. There, I'm asked to pronounce, for example, the following: /i:/ In each case, I'm presented with articulatory and mouth position guidelines. However, if I ...
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2answers
2k views

How did Greek loanwords with 'ae' come to be pronounced [i] in modern English?

There are a bunch of Greek loanwords in English that orthographically include the vowel sequence 'ae'. Examples include: aegis aether aeon The 'ae' vowel here is pronounced [i] in English, but at ...
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1answer
63 views

What parts of speech and sentence constituents are "yes" and "no" words in answers?

Let's look at some examples: — Would you like some ice cream? — No. — Are you happy? — Yes. According to Wiktionary “yes” is a particle: ParticleyesUsed to show agreement or acceptance... “No” and “...
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47 views

Reflexive Pronouns and Relative Clauses

At least in my dialect of English, sentences like the following are perfectly grammatical: The picture of himselfi that Tomi most liked is on the table. How does one account for the binding here? If ...
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2answers
158 views

In English the suffix sometimes changes the stress pattern of the rest of the word. Is English the only language with this system?

TELephone, telePHONic, teLEphony. PHOTograph, photoGRAphic,photOgraphy. biOLogy, bioLOGical. The suffix changes the stress pattern of the rest of the word. Is English the only language with this ...
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50 views

How to determine structure of answer for a wh- question

Consider a wh-question (in english language) such as "Who closed the door?". Personally, I can determine that an answer will look like "NP closed the door.", where NP would be a ...
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1answer
61 views

Praat 16,000 Hz

When I opened an American English Podcast in Praat, the area below 16,000 Hertz were all gray or dark. Then I speak some sentences in japanese then the area below 8,000 hertz were dark. How do english ...
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1answer
443 views

Words in English which elided medial 'g' or 'v' (or initial 'h' before 'l', 'n', or 'r')

What I am looking for is a list of words which in Old English either had a medial 'v' sound (spelt 'f'), which was dropped in Modern English, so words like 'head' from 'heafod' and 'lord' from '...
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Analysing the data from the study on Jocks and Burnouts by Eckert

I have a question for those who are familiar with the study by Eckert. I got stuck trying to analyze the table (the screenshot is attached). Do you know what "Input" and "Sig." ...
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91 views

Are there national accents that are "perfect neutral" for English?

I am French and I spent my days speaking English with people from various nations for the last 25 years. I heard English spoken in many different ways, some were easy to understand, and some difficult....
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50 views

What is the difference between the 'ea' and 'ēa' in both history and pronounciation in Old English?

I am aware that these two are essentially the same diphthong, just one is short and one is long, but I heard that they originated separately, so if it is so, what did they each originate from and what ...
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76 views

The aspect of imperative mood in English

What is the aspect of imperative mood in English? e.g., Go home! I know the mood of the verb is imperative here, but I am not sure about the aspect.
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1answer
93 views

Where could I find a list weak nouns in modern English which were strong in old English?

So I have been doing a thing recently for which I need to find a list of all (or at least most) of weak (regular) modern English nouns (and verbs, if possible) which were strong (irregular) in old ...
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1answer
37 views

Figure of speech name [closed]

Is there a name for a situation where a word is not needed because a the previous word doesn’t require it? Example: heart attacks are harmful for your health. “harmful” makes no sense there because ...
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44 views

Is the Irish English accent derived from the phonetics of the Irish language?

Did Hiberno-English originate as native Irish speakers speaking English from Scotland and England with their native accent, or is it derived from Scots phonetics after the Scots were settled in Ulster?...
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56 views

Visemes analogue for phoneme pangram?

There are several famous short texts which covers most of the English phonemes. For example "With tenure, Suzie'd have all the more leisure for yachting, but her publications are no good." ...
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What is the IPA of the two-syllable r sound in English?

For example, the word "Emperor" in IPA on Wiktionary for General American is written /ˈɛmpɹɚ/. But that's kind of cheating because ɚ is basically /ɹ/ as far as I can tell. Yet, when you say ...
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83 views

English words that can be only used as nouns

Is there a term for words that can be only used as nouns? For example, I think "history" and "sofa" are such words, but "book" and "dog" are not. I'm looking ...
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1answer
648 views

Origin of the English word 'tooth' being pronounced /tʊθ/?

According to Wiktionary, the English word 'tooth' can be pronounced as /tʊθ/ (as opposed to its regular pronunciation in RP of /tuːθ/) in certain areas of Wales and the British Midlands. Is there any ...
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222 views

Why did 'r' disappear in English "speak" (compare German "sprechen") and in German "Welt" (compare English "world")?

I cannot help but notice some 'r'-s seem to have randomly disappeared in both German and English. What is going on there?
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80 views

The connection between ركن and corner [closed]

The arabic word ركن /rukn/ and the English word corner /ˈkɔɹnɚ/. Is there any connections between them?
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2answers
100 views

How to syllabify 'behave' and 'behaviour'?

I'm well aware of the Maximal Onset Principle which says that 'intervocalic consonants should be syllabified as the onset of the following syllable as long as the Phonotactic constraints allow it'. I ...
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1answer
52 views

Past Simple vs Present Perfect Continuous in questions [closed]

It is my first ask in this forum. I am not sure about proper grammar usage, so I want to ask someone who knows it well. If I want to ask a person for a duration of time he has worked at the specific ...
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1answer
55 views

When are 'or' and 'unless' exclusive in (daily) English?

I have two questions since I saw this SE answer. First, for the following sentence: English 'or' is only exclusive when only one premise is possible: 'You hydrate or you don't hydrate.' or 'I saw a ...

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