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Questions tagged [english]

A Germanic language, which originated from England, and is considered the leading language in international communication.

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Can anyone identify this language? I’ve exhausted all other search methods [on hold]

I don’t need to know what it says just the name of the language in the next 24 hours.
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2answers
88 views

“there” and “everything” in linguistics is a “pronoun” or “noun”?

Regarding to drawing a syntax tree, "there" and "everything" in linguistics is a "pronoun" or "noun"? For example, 1. There is an apple. 2. It is not everything.
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Name for a syndrome where someone falls in love with their rescuer? [closed]

Think of a scenario similar to your classic fairytale, where a damsel in distress is rescued by the prince, and she falls in love with him. Is there a name for this as a syndrome or similar? ...
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1answer
74 views

Why do swear words mean the same thing in both English and Spanish (possibly more languages)

Earlier today, I was talking about swearing in other languages with some friends (this is a serious question, bear with me), so I decided to look up some lists of Spanish swear words for fun. This ...
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1answer
57 views

proper terms for tipper and dipper S articulation

I just learned for the first time from a WIRED video about movie accents (at 4:30) that American English has multiple possible places of articulation for the "S" sound. I was able to find terms for ...
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1answer
79 views

Is it a causative morpheme or a modal morpheme?

Let us take the verb 'get', we can say both: 1- Someone gets to take something 2- Someone gets someone to take something In the 1st sentence, 'get' is a modal morpheme, but in the other sentence '...
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1answer
36 views

Different ways to interpret stressed words in a sentence

I'm reading an introductory book on syntax and one of the exercises says to discuss the interpretations which the italicized expression can have in the given sentences and to give an appropriate ...
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1answer
43 views

Phonetic mapping between English accents

Does anyone know if there is a resource which lists the mappings between phonemes in different English accents? e.g. a given phoneme in RP maps to this phoneme in Liverpool, that phoneme in Newcastle, ...
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57 views

Why some verbs have -tion while others don't, when being nounified

Verbs like animate become a noun animation, and others like graduate become graduation. But then there are verbs that are just straight converted into nouns, like capture the verb and a capture the ...
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3answers
111 views

Are There Any Monophthong [o] Words in English?

Whenever I look up a transcription for a word containing [o], it's either an [oɪ] diphthong or an [oʊ] diphthong. Is it not possible to pronounce [o] without gliding through [ʊ] too? Is it possible, ...
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2answers
375 views

Why English is missing some phoneme sequences (/aʊv/ or /aʊp/)

Wondering why English is missing some phoneme sequences. By that I mean, I understand English doesn't have some primitive phonemes like χ, but I'm wondering about sequences of phonemes, not sure if ...
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Does anyone know if there are plans for a 'successor' to Huddleston and Pullum (CamGEL or CGEL)?

Huddleston and Pullum's The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (CamGEL or CGEL) is widely considered a 'successor' to a previous 'great English grammar': Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik's ...
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1answer
87 views

Language in England during 1066

For how many years after 1066 did we speak French in England? I tried looking this up on many sites, but I couldn’t find anything. I'm hoping someone knows their history and can tell me when people ...
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1answer
43 views

Transposition of words in questions

In English, the following is grammatically correct: Am I going to the cinema today? In contrast, the assertion that this is true is grammatically correct only with the first two words reversed. ...
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2answers
116 views

Why languages have the concept of “the”

Wondering why you write a sentence like this, with the word the: The person went to the store. La persona fue a la tienda. I don't understand why that extra word needs to be there. It could just ...
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0answers
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Axioms in English: If we try to find the root meaning of every English word in the dictionary,which word will we land on the most [duplicate]

Assume an alien has landed on Earth and wants to learn English with the help of an English Dictionary. He looks up the meaning of "the". Meaning of "the": "denoting one or more people or things ...
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5answers
129 views

Algorithm for figuring out the pronunciation of a word

Wondering how we pronounce words. I feel like I learned this when I was a kid in school with all the language rules, but now I can't remember. I am trying to think about how we pronounce words. How ...
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1answer
84 views

Why and how do some words come to mean multiple completely unrelated things?

Take an example of the English word 'just'. While it means 'morally fair' in "a just social system", it also means 'a little' in "just less than 8%". For a myriad of colourful meanings of 'just', ...
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Does the English “Garden” come from the French “Jardin” or the German “Garten”?

I always assumed that the English word "Garden" was similar to the German "Garten" due to the Germanic roots of English. But according to Wikipedia, "Garden" in English is related to the French "...
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1answer
152 views

Why do I speak more accurately in English rather than my native language?

I have a diction/vocal issue from birth so I can not speak on the "right rhythm" of my tongue. My speech seems always slow and boring at my native language so that I have a huge difficult to verbally ...
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1answer
101 views

Apical postalveolar approximant [ɹ̺] and retroflex approximant [ɻ]: What is the difference?

English [ɹ] has two realizations: apical and bunched (aka molar). ExtIPA (extensions to the IPA) thus recommends the use of [ɹ̺] and [ɹ̈] to differentiate the two. But I also often see English /r/ ...
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1answer
108 views

How to transcribe 'courage' in IPA

I am very new to linguistics, and am trying to transcribe the word 'courage' into IPA. I have come across a few different transcriptions, but I think the correct one might be "kʌrɪdʒ". Is this correct?...
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Pattern to Prefixes and Suffixes in English

I've come across a list of English prefixes and remember learning in school about Latin and Greek being helpful for learning words in English based on prefixes/suffixes. I'm wondering though if there ...
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1answer
68 views

Minimal English: Lack Of Clarity And Redundancy

In terms of semantic useful words, Minimal English lists: Foods: corn (yams, etc.) flour meat rice salt sugar sweet wheat Technology And Transport: bicycle boat car engine phone pipe plane radio ...
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1answer
56 views

Why was the Passive Present Progressive judged vulgar compared to the Active Present Continuous? [closed]

John McWhorter PhD Linguistics (Stanford). Doing Our Own Thing (2003). pp. 16 Bottom - p. 17.   One of my favorites is that as late as the 1800s, many stewards of "good English" considered a ...
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2answers
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“In his desk(,) he kept a black book.” Is “in his desk” a preposed complement here?

The answers and comments beneath my question about the sentence “He kept a black book in his desk” seemed to agree that “in his desk” acts as a complement and not as an adjunct in that sentence. But ...
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1answer
83 views

Difference between English and French in the use of subjunctive mood in counter factual protasis

The following is from English Conditional Sentences in Wikipedia. If I liked parties, I would attend more of them. If it rained tomorrow, people would dance in the street. The past tense (...
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0answers
56 views

Is it plausible there will be an established form of European English in the future?

What is more probable: A) there will be an established form of European English in the future that will differ slightly from British or American English? Or B) the English dialects in the world ...
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0answers
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Resource for getting agentive noun from verb automatically

I am trying to get (in some automated fashion) the agentive noun of a given verb. For instance we have buy, buyer sell, seller invest, investor I was wondering whether there is some resource that ...
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2answers
325 views

What is the past tense of 'yeet'?

Yeet (/ji:t/) is a recently coined verb in English that seems to have taken on the characteristics of a strong verb, as seen in this hilarious urban dictionary definition. In English, the strong ...
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1answer
53 views

What did Sapir intend to say when he wrote that 'whither' repeats all of 'where'?

I first learned of this quote on p. 105 Bottom. McWhorter, J. PhD Linguistics (Stanford). Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue (2009). Primary Source: Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech. ...
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What is the difference between “As if!” and other similar discourse markers?

According to Oxford Dictionary of English 3rd edition (2010:90), discourse marker “as if” means, in informal style, “I very much doubt it.” Oxford English Dictionary 3rd edition explains that “as if” ...
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1answer
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Why does saying the word “fuck” help vent frustration?

I have observed a good number of people muttering "fuckfuckfuck" under their breath when nervous. It somehow seems to vent the frustration out, and calm the person down. Why does this happen? I found ...
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0answers
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Which friend did he find to study with?

The question is about what happens to phrases during the time of making them questions. We know that the following sentence is a normal English sentence which is correct grammatically. He found a ...
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2answers
189 views

Are the diphthongs “ae” and “ea” essentially identical? [closed]

Originally, the word "tea" was pronounced "tay", which would suggest that a simple "e" is short (pronounced "eh") and by adding the "a", it becomes long "ay". However, we also have the diphthong "ae",...
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1answer
106 views

When does the “dark l” sound in English date back to?

There is no "dark l" sound in Proto-Germanic language and Proto-Indo-European language.
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2answers
100 views

Grammatical Case for Noun Phrase in English

Consider the sentence: John's book is blue. What is the grammatical case of "book" here? The two obvious choices are nominative or genitive. Most information online suggests it is nominative, ...
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6answers
326 views

Are English modal verbs tensed or non-tensed?

My assumption: English modal verbs are non-tensed (i.e. we don't say shoulds or shoulded). Yet, in X' bar theory, modal verbs appear under the inflection node I', precisely where we find the ...
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1answer
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Early Middle English diphthongs

Wikipedia has a helpful page on Middle English phonology: but there are two diphthongs in its table which I cannot identify: the close-mid diphthongs “/oi/, developing into /ui/” and “/ei/, developing ...
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1answer
95 views

The origins of PIE *-nt- and *-to-

I have learned that English present participle suffix -ing and past participle suffix -ed came from PIE *-nt- and *-to- respectively. I have two questions about them. (1)Were these also used to form ...
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What does CGEL mean by 'instability in the system' in their explanation of case?

Consider the following passage from CGEL (p. 458, boldfaced emphasis mine): We look first at the contrast between nominative and accusative case, where we find a considerable amount of variation ...
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1answer
151 views

Please explain the following contrast in grammaticality in syntax [closed]

*Mary to be accepted at Boston College would be great. For Mary to be accepted at Boston College would be great
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1answer
41 views

Is there a source displaying when and where a word was first attested?

Is there a source at which one can find out when and where a word first came into use/print? Especially interested in scientific discourse.
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1answer
59 views

“in relation to which” - what type of subordinated clause and is this conjunction somehow distinct?

I am trying to analyse the sentence: Building land is a plot of land in relation to which a construction permit has been issued. and my question is - what type of subordinated clause is introduced ...
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2answers
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Why do Americans and Canadians pronounce “t” with flap [ɾ] in unstressed syllables in English?

Most Americans and Canadians pronounce "t" with flap [ɾ] in unstressed syllables. Why?
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Are there words for “second cousin twice removed” in other languages?

I know in english we have a whole bunch of terms like this, do other languages have something similar?
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2answers
59 views

Is either of these meanings of the word “sentence” more conventional?

The Wikipedia article on Generative Grammar states: Generative grammar is a linguistic theory that regards grammar as a system of rules that generates exactly those combinations of words that ...
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1answer
101 views

'u' as a substition for 'v'

In Shakespeare's First Folio (please see the picture), I found that a letter 'u' is used instead of 'v'. For example, "seuen" means "seven". To know this reason, I visited many websites, but what I've ...
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132 views

Ago and on vs. in

Consider the phrase a month in in the following sentences: [1] a. Richmond turned nineteen his third week in Vietnam. A̲l̲m̲o̲s̲t̲ ̲a̲ ̲m̲o&...
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1answer
50 views

Why was the English 'so' imputed to the PIE *se-?

Etymonline states 'so' to originate: from PIE reflexive pronominal stem *swo- "so" [...], derivative of *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (see idiom). What semantic notions ...