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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7
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3answers
2k views

Is a Gerund-Participial a "clause adjunct" or a "noun/adjective post-modifier"?

I'm not sure how the "doing my homework" phrase is to be analyzed in the following sentences: I felt good doing my homework. I had trouble doing my homework. I needed help doing my homework. ...
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0answers
14 views

With one click or in one click? [closed]

How would you write the following sentence? Use AI to auto translate your store in one click. Or Use AI to auto translate your store with one click.
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2answers
136 views

Non-standard English spelling and other things in 18th century writing -- how much due to quill pens?

I was just thinking how even in books and newspapers prior to the computer age, like in the 1950s and before, there were a lot of errors that are glaring now but I am sure were accepted then. So I ...
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1answer
25 views

When are prepositional phrases sibling to leaf nodes?

In syntax trees in English, can prepositional phrases, modifying either verbs or nouns, ever be sibling to the verb or noun itself for example and not a verb phrase/noun phrase? I've heard the correct ...
3
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1answer
284 views

Does Euro-English exist?

There is debate on the existence of this variety within the expanding circle, I think it exists in as much as we can categorise other varieties (i.e. Singlish falls under the 'Asian-English' label). ...
0
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1answer
130 views

Do other languages using the Latin alphabet borrow diacritics from one another?

I've always found the convention of borrowing diacritics on foreign names and occasionally words (although the latter is less standard) from other languages with Latin alphabets in written English to ...
6
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3answers
375 views

Why do two English personal pronouns — "you" and "it" — lack an objective case?

Most English person pronouns have an objective case — I/me, we/us, thou/thee, he/him, she/her, they/them, who/whom. But "you" and "it" have no such form. Did they every have one? ...
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1answer
3k views

Meaning of the root "ject"

What does the root "ject" mean? It occurs in words such as "subject", "object", "project", "injection", "surjection", "bijection". As far as I know these words came to English from French and, in turn,...
4
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1answer
185 views

In English are there any rules to prefer the word order "rock, paper, scissors" to name the game?

Reading some buzzfeed article I saw someone claiming that in their part of the world they say "paper, scissors, rock" As the article mentions, this seems crazy wrong to most Americans and to ...
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1answer
60 views

what is the headword in this sentence? [closed]

"Before the Saturday kidnappings, professional associations and businesses in Port-au-Prince had called for an indefinite strike." How many noun groups are in the bold clause? and what is ...
2
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1answer
106 views

Consonant clusters in English - how many exist exactly?

I am really struggling to find a complete list of all consonant clusters that are possible in the English language. Can anyone point me in the direction of one? I have spent hours looking online with ...
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2answers
206 views

Why Do We Say "The Same"?

Generally, sentences are constructed like this: Compared to Joe, he looks similar. Compared to Joe, he looks different. Compared to Joe, he looks handsome. Compared to Joe, he looks ugly. Yet, when ...
4
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1answer
187 views

Why we do not usually say "who did eat the apples" while "What did she eat" is perfect to use? [closed]

I noticed that in English, it is incorrect to say "Who did eat the apples?" but it is correct to say "who ate the apples?" It would be very helpful if you can give me some clues ...
2
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1answer
61 views

What is it called when a verb takes its "logical" or "usual" object as its grammatical subject?

This usually occurs for objects that are used by a person, and in English often feels to me like an Americanism. Examples: The sofa sits five. The wine drinks very smoothly. The car drives very ...
4
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1answer
124 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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0answers
51 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 ...
3
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1answer
106 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 ...
4
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1answer
142 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
175 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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0answers
45 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
68 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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0answers
55 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&...
5
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3answers
716 views

Why is the passive voice more prevalent in English than in other Indo-European languages?

Although the active voice is predominant in the English language the ‘ideal’ proportion of recommended passive sentences is still regarded as between 5% and 10%(source1) ( source2). Which is ...
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1answer
91 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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0answers
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
89 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 ...
4
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3answers
314 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 ...
3
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2answers
88 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
112 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
88 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
97 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 ...
5
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2answers
938 views

When did Aspirated Consonants appear in English?

As stated here : (in English) "The voiceless stops /p/, /t/, /k/ are typically aspirated when they begin a stressed syllable, becoming [pʰ], [tʰ], [kʰ] [...]" Since these consonants weren't ...
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2answers
123 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 &...
3
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1answer
1k views

Phrase structure tree of a Wh question

The sentence would be "Whose dirty underwear is this?". I assume that the base (is that called deep structure sentence?) would be "This is whose dirty underwear" but I'm not sure what ...
4
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1answer
131 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 ...
12
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1answer
1k views

What is this feature of British English called?

In British English you'll often hear them post-fixing expressions that American English tends to keep up front. For example, I've heard British English speakers (golf commentators in particular) say ...
1
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1answer
83 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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0answers
122 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 ...
2
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1answer
95 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?
3
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2answers
786 views

What is the consonant equivalent of Well's lexical sets for English vowels?

In Accents of English (1982), John C. Wells came up with a useful notation for English vowels that allows easy comparison of the pronunciation of English vowels in varieties of this language. This ...
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0answers
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 ...
3
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3answers
9k views

Is there an English to Coptic translator online?

I've found two sites that claim to do this, neither of them work. I need a translator, not a dictionary. Non-workers: Bablefish Online Translator and a lot of spam... I wasn't sure whether this ...
4
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1answer
121 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
1k views

Meta-operational grammar

On the bottom page 6 of this paper, the author starts describing Henri Adamczewski's meta-operational grammar theory. What the author says is complete Latin to me, a complete newbie. Can anyone of ...
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1answer
137 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 ...
6
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2answers
3k views

need to understand infinitive

What is the easiest way to understand what an infinitive is? How do I know which verb in which sentence is an infinitive? For example, let us take this website: Infinitive This is the example I am ...
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1answer
72 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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1answer
97 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 ...
5
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3answers
474 views

Other than Scottish rolled "r" and North American rhotacised vowels, are there any differences across "r" sounds in English dialects?

I'm wondering about subtle differences in /r/ sounds across varieties of English. By subtle I mean I want to ignore the obvious large differences such as the trilled "r" in Scottish English and the ...

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