Questions tagged [english]

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

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43 views

Expressions of internal vs external directionality in English, Latin or Greek

For physical placement "up vs down" meets this meaning in relation to the Earth (even though the intended meaning is relative to the top vs bottom of an observer's visual field) and "...
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153 views

Is there evidence of a disposition for certain races to learn certain languages? [closed]

For example would those of Chinese descent have a disposition to learn Chinese? Chinese is a quite different language being logographic then say English which is alphabetic. Another example would be ...
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Is “them” in “I care for them” an indirect object, a direct object, or neither sort? What exactly is the term “object” describing?

I’m try­ing to sort out verb com­ple­ments (broadly de­fined here as any phrase that de­ter­mines, com­pletes, or re­fines the mean­ing of a verb) and the re­la­tions they form with verbs: ob­ject re­...
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Why can “however” be used independently, when “but” cannot?

According to Purdue OWL, there are two kinds of words that can be used as connectors at the beginning of independent clauses: coordinating conjunctions (so, yet, but, and) and independent marker words ...
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Do the two meanings of “badass” belong to pragmatics or semantics?

As far as I know, pragmatics is about context-dependent meanings and semantics is about literal i.e. context-independent meanings. For example, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/badass says: badass (...
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How to Romanize “شایق” in order to be easiest to an English speaker?

Question How to Romanize "شایق" in order to be easiest to an English speaker? Description I am Iranian; my last name is شایق (Persian). To get a passport, it is needed to submit your full ...
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Stress bearing suffixes in Optimality Theory

Stress bearing suffixes in English words like Chinese, Japanese, cigarette, fifteen violate the non-finality constraint. Can anyone explain what other constraints outrank non-finality and allows the ...
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1answer
162 views

When speaking a foreign language, why do people use the corresponding word of their native language for the word “so”?

I have noticed people using the word for "so" (in order to / therefore) in their language, rather than the language they are trying to speak. This happens with persons who are otherwise very ...
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60 views

Is rhymability of languages a quantifiable concept?

I know some languages besides English, and poetry in them rhymes much better than it does in English. It's subjective, I know, but I feel like poetry generally sacrifices clarity for rhyme, while in ...
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Is there a thesaurus for homonyms?

I was considering building some dnd puzzles based on homonyms (it took me awhile to discover the correct term). I was both surprised and not that there were already riddles/puzzles based on this theme,...
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Is there evidence that English speakers associate black with bad and/or white with good

Prompted by the recent move towards replacing the terms "blacklist" and "whitelist", I wonder if there is research around the topic of how people feel about the words "black&...
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“Go” and “Went” — how words expressing (to modern speakers) very related concepts sound so different?

Does the difference in sound of these two words in English imply that at one time to "go in the past" was not understood as being related to going in the present? Or that there was no way to ...
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Is by - near - related to bi - double?

Is by - near - related to bi - double? I tried going through wiktionary to find out, but to no avail. I can tell that 'bi-' is from latin, and there is no mention of 'by' being from latin. However, in ...
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Why do Chinese and Hindi have more terms for relatives than English does?

I was thinking about labels we assign family members (like cousin, grand mother etc.) and it struck me that in my native language of Hindi, we have different labels for maternal and paternal family ...
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Was it ever common to pronounce “wife's” as “wives”?

Spelling, in principle, should reflect pronunciation, but I've also read that the opposite can happen, and that the pronunciation of a word already in circulation can be changed by altering/...
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Are there any studies on some English passive verb constructions currently being replaced by new intransitive senses?

In the past couple of years I've noticed a new trend in younger generations of native English speakers, at least in American English and Australian English. But I can't find it discussed anywhere on ...
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Is there a term for translating a word to a language that has a different alphabet (such as Hindi to English)?

The specific example that I am thinking of is the word "दाल का सूप" in Hindi. It translates to "lentil soup", and is pronounced "dal", however there are multiple ways of ...
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117 views

Is there any case in English where a noun phrase is not the subject of a sentence, or a complement of a verb, or the object of a preposition?

It's a simple question but limited to how noun phrases function in English sentences. Time phrases like last week, are an example of noun phrases functioning adverbially but they are still verb ...
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151 views

Why did “s” use to look like “f”?

Example: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b6/Houghton_EC65.M6427P.1667aa_-_Paradise_Lost%2C_1667.jpg Paradife loft. There is no way that I can ever read that as: Paradise lost. The ...
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43 views

Measuring lexical similarity between two arbitrary languages

Pardon me if this question is naive, but I am wondering if there is a way to quantify lexical similarity between two corpora of text, each written in different languages whose alphabets differ greatly....
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78 views

Is there any rule in Old English / Modern English a/o, a/oa transformation?

Is there any rule in Old English / Modern English a/o (ham/home, ban/bone, stan/stone), a/oa (fam/foam, hlaf/loaf, gat/goat) transformation?
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Does the word Culture come from Tamil “கலாச்சாரம்”? [closed]

The Tamil word "Kalacharam" is very similar to the English "Culture". The "am" can be ignored as it is in many Tamil ideas, so Kalachar is very similar to Culture. Did ...
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Why can you say “I am not sure whether it's raining” but not “I am sure whether it's raining”? [closed]

I know that some verbs take interrogative clauses ("I know where they are") while others don't (* "I believe where they are"). The verb "sure" is kind of like "...
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Is English modeled as a deterministic CFL or a CFL?

Books on linguistics and NLP often mention that English is modeled by context free grammars, but also is parsed by LR(k) parsers. LR(k) parsers are for parsing deterministic CFLs, while CFLs are ...
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104 views

Differences between free languages and official languages?

In short: as far as I know, English in the USA has no official standards from the government for how it's to be written and used. There are just dictionaries. Spanish however, has the RAE, which is an ...
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Why are some (coda) clusters hard to pronounce in onsets?

Consider the following examples: Fact -> /fækt/ Hard -> /hɑːrd/ Paint -> /peɪnt/ In all these words, the clusters in the coda are easy to pronounce. However, when these clusters come in the onset ...
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Does an adverb either modify verbs (not adjectives and adverbs), or modify adjectives and adverbs (not verbs)?

From Manning's Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing: Adverbs modify a verb in the same way that adjectives modify adverb nouns. Adverbs specify place, time, manner or degree: (3....
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Question about habitual aspect and object licensing in English

In the following sentences: (1) I am writing a letter. (2) I wrote a letter yesterday. (3) I will write a letter tomorrow. (4) I often write letters. (5) I like writing letters. (6) It is my ...
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Can first order logic represent a past occurring adverbial dependent clause with a present main clause to form the perfect tense?

Can first order logic represent a past occurring adverbial dependent clause with a present main clause to form the perfect tense? Is this the way to represent an adverbial dependent clause with first ...
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Which online sources provide narrow transcriptions for English?

I've tried a dozen of online English dictionaries, and all of them give broad transcriptions. So it's impossible to tell from them, for example, how many aspirated "p"s there are in "appropriate". ...
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Aspiration of p, t, k in English

I'm trying to figure out when exactly p, t, k should be aspirated in (American) English. Here's what I found here: Voiceless stops are aspirated at the beginning of a word, and at the beginning ...
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Semantic category of [VERB] + as a + [NOUN]

I have the following examples from a corpus (ICNALE corpus) "They can grow as a member of society." "At university, students are regarded as adults not children." "I worked in a hotel as a service ...
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Do nouns in simple apposition semantically unpack to predicate nominatives in English?

A Koine Greek grammar states that nouns in simple apposition are semantically understood as predicate nominatives. So, "Paul the apostle" unpacks to "Paul is the apostle" and "the apostle is Paul" ...
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224 views

What is the name for the tense/mood/aspect of “You will have seen the news that…”?

There are two superficially similar constructions in English, which have quite different implied meanings: You will have seen the news that the company is furloughing 15% of its employees, but I ...
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91 views

Is there a term for how English replaces the preposition “of” by putting the word that comes after “of” before the word that comes before “of”?

EG, Apple Juice --> (The) Juice of Apple(s) Gold Castle --> (The) Castle of Gold Liver Disease --> Disease of (the) Liver Et Al.
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Is the following sentence a CP? Does it contain another CP?

Lies, do you think that she tells you? Is this sentence grammatical? Is the whole sentence a CP, in which lies is the CP Specifier and do is the head C? If yes, is that the C head of a second CP in ...
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1answer
90 views

How is the ungrammaticality of the following sentence explained?

Maria asked I read which book This sentence is ungrammatical. Is this because an IP I read cannot be a complement or sister to a V asked Is there a CP in this ungrammatical sentence?
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Why are constructions such as ‘AN historian’ commonly pronounced with a non-silent H?

It is well-known that the determiner a is substituted with an when the following word begins with a vowel (letter or sound). In some cases, however, an has been used preceding words beginning with (as ...
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Is there a principled reason behind differing compound verb stress in English?

Is there a principled difference between compound verbs in English with stress on the first root and those with stress on the second root? First root stress compound verbs: Dropkick Spoonfeed ...
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is PP ‘out’ an adjunct or a complement of V ‘get’ in ‘get out’

As the title shows, in a VP ‘get out’, is PP ‘out’ an adjunct of VP ‘get’, or a complement of V ‘get’?
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Dataset of English verb forms (conjugation)

What are some exhaustive/accurate datasets of English verb forms? From this closed SO question, I see: http://www.ibiblio.org/webster/: GCIDE, which contains plurals, alt spellings and conjugations, ...
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My teacher wants me to disambiguate the sentence by separate tree diagrams [closed]

the sentence: The scared monster saw a very lovely dog with one eye. here is what I finished so far : to change as 1.The scared monster with only one eye saw a very lovely dog. and other one is that ...
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120 views

sentence structure vs word order difference

What is the difference between a sentence structure and a word order? (could you please explain that on a few examples?) Thank you.
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What is the difference between “ɪ”, “i”, “i:”? [duplicate]

What is the difference between “ɪ”, "i", “i:”? Is “ɪ” lax and short, "i" tense and short, "i:" tense and long?
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Why does English have words from Latin and none from Celtic?

It is known that Britain's history of invasion goes as: Celtic arrival, Roman domination, Saxon settlement, Nordic settlement, Norman invasion. If England's identity was largely made from the Saxons (...
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68 views

What is case for pronouns in different positions? [closed]

Can we say "the case of subject in a sentence is nominative, the direct object of a verb is accusative, the second object of a ditransitive verb is accusative, the objective of a preposition is ...
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53 views

Checking Definitions for Self-Consistency and Cycles

I am building a "self-contained" set of definitions, and would like to ensure that the definitions: Do not contain circular definitions (which might include other words within that cycle, not just a ...
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112 views

ʃɔː can you pls help me what word is this po? [closed]

/ʃɔː/ can you pls help me what word is this po?
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a question about reflexives and nonreflexives

Why "the house(i) had a fence around itself(i)" is ungrammatical but "Susan(i) wrapped the blanket around herself(i)" is grammatical?
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70 views

Binding Puzzle in English Generative Syntax!

Consider the following sentences: (1) Anna believes [ IP herself to be a hero] ] (2) Anna wants [ IP him to leave] ] (3) *Anna wants [ IP herself to leave ] ] (1) is an example of Exceptional Case ...

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