Questions tagged [english]

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

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27 views

Raised object vs. Subordinate subject (I didn't want 'Kim' mistreating my cat)

(1) I didn't want Kim mistreating my cat. (2) I didn't want Kim to mistreat my cat. Semantically, Kim is not the object of want but the subject of the respective subordinate clauses mistreating ...
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61 views

Labialised /r/ in RP

Is /r/ in RP labialised in all positions? For example: In words like real, free, proud, tree, brother, borrow, dream, throw etc. Is it labialised in all positions (like intervocalic, post-...
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American production of /ɾ/ in other languages

Why is it common for Americans who study foreign languages to keep producing /ɾ/ as a retroflex sound, even though [ɾ] is present in their pronunciation of native words like city and water?
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Name That Phenomenon: I worry that once I STOP doing an action “just to be safe,” the thing I'm being safe from will occur

I've always had feelings like these before. I've seen sad movies when I was younger, but the thing that got me the most was the kid (who lost their parents) said, "The last thing I ever said to them ...
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Errors in my linguistics textbook

There were a couple of things I learned in linguistics class that turned out to be wrong, but at the moment I only recall one: they told us that no native English speaking child would ever say "What ...
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102 views

Do the DRESS vowel (/e/) and SQUARE vowel (/ɛː/) have the same vowel quality in contemporary RP?

I understand that the SQUARE vowel is now often realized as the long monophthong /ɛː/ instead of the traditional diphthong /eə/ in contemporary RP. The DRESS vowel is now also closer to the open-mid ...
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Does California vowel shift occur in bilingual Spanish speakers?

I know that recently there has been a lot of research done on the California vowel shift being a key part of a California accent for younger kids who have grown up there. Knowing that there is a ...
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53 views

Does anyone know the history of the infinitive?

I teach grammar, and I think it is no mystery to anyone that infinitives are strange. I think it might help me to know the history of this verb-cum-noun-adjectiv
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62 views

Is T-Glottalization in English a modern phenomenon?

The phenomenon of T Glottalization, which is distinct from the Queen's English in that the T sound is replaced with a glottal stop, is evidenced in some of the papers of linguists working in the 1960s ...
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1answer
646 views

How did this alternation happen?

Wiktionary's entry for "seldom" contains the following etymology: From late Middle English seldom, alteration of earlier selden, from Old English seldan (“seldom”), from Proto- Germanic *...
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79 views

White - Whitening, Light -? [closed]

It's a question that was asked in an aptitude test I appeared in. It seems pretty straightforward but I gave the answer "Lighting". The released answer says "Lightening" which looks right logically ...
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How is it possible that so many words seem to get the exact opposite meaning when adopted to a different language?

"Semester" in Swedish means "vacation". In English, "semester" means the exact opposite: the time period of the year when you are in school. I don't know which stole the word from which, or if it's a ...
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60 views

Outside of English, is there a difference between noun infinitives and gerunds?

In English class in high school, we learn (or at least I did) about verbals, words that stem from verbs but do not function as verbs. Two kinds are infinitives and gerunds. Infinitives are usually ...
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46 views

Aside from English clause adverbs, are there other suborders?

A suborder is a set of related expression elements which are more strictly ordered with respect to each other than they are with respect to other expression elements. This is my own term. I offer ...
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101 views

Is saying or typing “one-hundred and twenty two” using Arabic numbers? [closed]

While thinking just now, it struck me that it's not immediately obvious to me whether "one-hundred and twenty two", spoken or written, can be considered using Arabic numbers (122). Is there something ...
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328 views

In what circumstances is d devoiced in English?

I have noticed that speakers of languages which have /d/ and (unaspirated) /t/ as distinct consonants are sometimes unsure whether my natural pronunciation of the English name "Dan" starts with a /d/ ...
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44 views

If our requirement says that the only thing that isn’t a phrase in an NP is the N itself, why a problem?

Andrew Carnie. Syntax A Generative Introduction (3 ed, 2012). p 209. Pls see red underline. I don't see what is problem?
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104 views

Why hasn't English borrowed more words from China? [closed]

Why hasn't English (or Latin/Greek/others from which English arrived) borrowed more words from China? I am looking at Wikipedia and there's probably only 30 words there out of the millions of words ...
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911 views

Are words classified (PoS) according to their use in a sentence, or does classification precede usage?

This is a rather broad question, so I'd like to limit this to verbs, at least in this explication of the question. Verbs take many forms and roles in sentences. Present participles can take the role ...
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117 views

/ɹəʊd/ vs /ɹoʊd/ etc

For words with the vowel sound in road and coal, Wiktionary: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/road#English https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/coal#English lists the British pronunciation of the vowel as ...
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2answers
133 views

Case in English phrase “friend of mine”

In English phrases like Jesse is a friend of mine/*of me the case of the word "mine" is not the oblique ("me") which usually occurs with prepositions ("That's a part of me that you don't see too ...
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20 views

Automated Verb Correction for Subject Agreement Using Penn Treebank Tags

I'm working on a software method to correct the verb in an English sentence based on the subject count (singular or plural) and using a corpus of verbs tagged with their Penn Treebank Tags. (I have ...
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129 views

Cumbrian sources

I'm interested in the cumbrian dialect, but I couldn't find good sources of vocabulary and pontual aspects of its grammar. Also, I was trying to understand the following poem: I'll tell the' We're ...
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3answers
552 views

What is a “Phonetic Language”?

Once I've spoke with a friend of mine and I've asked him why in the french language there are so many discrepancies (or incongruities, inconformities...) between the written and the spoken words and ...
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4answers
220 views

GVS similarity in cognate words other Germanic Languages

I am no professional Linguist (nor have I ever studied it) so there might be a straightforward explanation to this which I could't find searching in ordinary places. I was analysing a few words from ...
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89 views

The schwa in [meɪkəθ] for *maketh* in KJV English

This Wiki article seems to suggest that words like makes had lost their final syllable schwa in normal speech already by Chaucer's time (palmeres > palmers is the example they give). The rule, as ...
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89 views

Does this sentence violate Principle A of Binding Theory?

In the sentence John(i) wanted to buy himself(i) a pair of shoes. With (i) to mark co-indexation. Is the anaphor "himself" bound in its binding domain? Or is the binder in a separate domain ...
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45 views

Corpus of English sentences written by non-native speakers?

I am working on a hobby project which tends to help the non-native speakers figure out if the sentences they write are good enough and sounds like written by English native speakers. Any relevant info ...
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1answer
60 views

How to numerically rate the beauty of the word? [closed]

On the Internet we can find lists like "The 100 most beautiful words in English". How could I create an algorithm to rate the beauty of any given English word, so that I could run this algorithm and ...
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1answer
51 views

How do we distinguish a preposition from an adverb?

Huddleston and Pullum analyze the final word in each of these as a preposition, where traditional grammar would define them as adverbs. How can we tell which is the correct analysis? the sky above ...
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33 views

Searching for an English Whats-app Corpus

I am searching an English Whats-app Corpus in order to analyse a linguistic phenomena. I had some difficulties to find one and maybe some of you can help me out. It is only for corpus driven study and ...
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1answer
129 views

Why does anger has something to do with spleen in both Chinese and English?

The English word spleen has two meanings in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, an organ near the stomach which produces and cleans the body's blood. a feeling of anger and disagreement. ...
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87 views

Some “LINGUISTIQUE formulas” to translate French texts into English?

I am not sure is it correct to ask my question here or not! I've asked this question here (in MathStackExchange) before! Maybe it is better to see the question there, because it was written ...
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1answer
122 views

Why is it “untenable” and not “untainable” in English?

I am aware that words like "obtain," "retain," and "contain" are related to the root "tenere" meaning "to have." What (if anything) determines if the "ten" goes to "tain" in English? We have words ...
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1answer
110 views

Is there a term for syntactically and semantically linked modifying phrases?

What I'm talking about is when a string of prepositional phrases take the object of the previous one as their antecedent, and where the entire string is linked back to the original antecedent, a noun ...
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38 views

Subcategorisation Frame with DPs

I want to construct a subcatagorisation frame for some words, for example that take a DP complement. Take the preposition "between" as example. I arrive at this point: Form: "...
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3answers
145 views

From Old French -iss into English -ish

I have read this information on the word perish: "mid-13c., from periss- present participle stem of Old French perir" And this comment is below a question of mine on English Language & Usage ...
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36 views

Diacope Confusion

I'm a little confused by diacope as a rhetorical feature. All examples I can find are short simple sentences "drill baby drill" for example. I'm trying to work out what the correct term would be to ...
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80 views

Are there any unattested, reconstructed Middle English words?

Are there any unattested Middle English words that were attested in Early Modern English? I'm asking this because, on Wiktionary, I saw that there are only 2 words: the F word and halibut that have ...
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22 views

The difference betWeen the writting and pronunciation [duplicate]

Why is English "W" written as two "V" but pronounced as "double U"?
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102 views

How to understand “otherwise experience very largely” in the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis? [closed]

I’m a Chinese and can’t understand a classic text from The Status Of Linguistics As A Science (1929) by Edward Sapir. We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the ...
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1answer
85 views

Does understanding in Russian imply understanding in English? [closed]

I am a native Russian speaker. There is a Past Continuous as well as a Past Simple tense in Russian, does that mean that my brain understands how the tenses work in English too? (English is not my ...
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109 views

What are the semantic functions of a complementizer phrase (CP)

What does semantic functions mean? and what are they for a CP? Thank you
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99 views

Nouns used as verbs.What is this process called?

I am milking the cow He is watering the garden In English many nouns can be used as verbs.some languages I know , for example, Hindi, does not have this facility. What is the process of nouns ...
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5k views

Is it unusual that English uses possessive for past tense?

When learning some basic French, I was somewhat surprised to learn that phrases of the form "I have found the cat" generally translate almost word-for-word from English (J'ai trouvé le chat). To me, ...
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42 views

Usage of the implicit object-subordinate clause in Italian (i.e. Usage of the implicit objective subordinate clause in English - part II)

In a sense, the following question is a sequel of this one: Usage of the implicit objective subordinate clause in English. In that question I asked some information about the usage of the implicite ...
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Why do adjectives come before nouns in English?

Why does the attributive adjective come before a noun in English? In most languages, the adjective comes always after a noun. For example, white car is written as the equivalent of car white in Latin ...
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221 views

Is to always a preposition? [closed]

[1] I am looking forward to seeing you. [2] I want to see you. In the sentence [1] we say that to is a preposition. followed by a gerund. In [2] we say to is a particle ...
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12k views

Why do English transliterations of Arabic names have so many Qs in them?

I remember when the Muslim holy book was the Koran when I was in middle school, but now it's the Quran. But it's always been Qatar and Iraq (but still Kuwait.) Who decided that 'Q' was going to be ...
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120 views

How many sound-to-letter sequence mapping rules does English have compared to other languages?

In English (I haven't really thought too much about English yet), there are tons of what-seem-like one-off patterns. (the "oo" sound) tool /tul/ two /tu/ to /tu/ through /θɹu/ blue /blu/ queue /ku/ (...

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