Questions tagged [english]

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

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How are measure expressions in English analyzed?

English seems pretty flexible in allowing "measure expressions" to appear in positions modifying adjectives and determiners. What are these things actually called? How are they usually analyzed? 1) ...
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Where does the spelling <ea> as a short e sound (such as bread) come from? [on hold]

Where does the spelling as the short e sound (such as bread) come from?
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61 views

Is the letter “Q” even necessary? [on hold]

Why is the letter “q” even necessary? We could simply do with “Kw” and get the exact same sound as “qu”. Is there a history of the letter being necessary?
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English phonemes audio database

I need an audio file database with any audio format which will contain the 44 English phonemes spoken by different speakers.
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1answer
75 views

Is English unusual for using compound comparisons for describing unusual things? [closed]

English seems to create normal/not normal divisions. For instance: Paranormal Supernatural Extraterrestrial I'll call these compound comparisons. To me this seems to be very problematic in may ways. ...
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Does English language stand special in terms of phonology?

I am a native Russian speaker. When I am listening to songs and music in other languages, which I do not know, such as Italian, Romanian, Greek, Bulgarian, and even Japanese, Finnish, Kyrgyz and ...
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88 views

Why did Oftentimes not become standard English outside of the US

I had never heard anyone use "oftentimes" as a word until I watched an American in a youtube video about 5 years ago. I am confident that where I am in Australia and in the UK that it wouldn't be ...
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664 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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140 views

Etymology of impersonal pronoun “one”

The 'impersonal' pronoun in Germanic and Romance languages seems to come from one of two paths: Cognate with the word for 'man' Proto-Germanic: *mann- Dutch: men German: man Old English: man (< ...
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Subordination. Chinese vs English

Linguists claim that subordination is universal across the world languages. Subordination in English looks can be understood by looking into these examples: I know a person who has a dog I know a ...
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141 views

What's the term for the use of “this” in “there's this guy called John, who…”?

What's the term for the use of "this" in "there's this guy called John, who..."? Here, the "this" is used like an "a", not literally "this". I'm not sure if there's a term for this.
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DP acting as AdvP?

Is it possible for a DP like "three times" to act as an AdvP ("He read the book three times.")? How would such a constituency tree look like? How does the DP modify the verb? Conversely, would the ...
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The current status of Irish Gaelic in Ireland

In addition to all the usual phonology, grammar, and vocabulary one has to learn for a new language there is the social situation, among many things when is it appropriate to speak in one register or ...
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78 views

Where does Texan English derive its l-vocalization?

My English teacher grew up in Texas and unsurprisingly her native dialect is Texan English. I noticed that when intervocalic /l/ is followed by /i/, the /l/ is elided and /y/ takes its place. For ...
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224 views

Why did Canadian English remain so close to standard U.S English?

TV Stereotypes about exaggerated Canadian accents not withstanding, to me Canadian English sounds identical to standard U.S English. I can't tell English speaking Canadians from Americans with ...
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1answer
141 views

Diphthongisation in varieties of English

Consider the vowel in a word like "know". The way I pronounce it sounds maybe like /nøʉ/ to me. But other Brits oftentimes think I have a foreign accent, so I don't know about that. And I am sure I've ...
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Theory of Enunciative Operations and the present progressive

Please, take a look at this answer from English.SE. I have spent a lot of time trying to understand what the poster meant, but to no avail. His suggestion nicely deals with the cases of be, need and ...
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130 views

What happened to the number of english speakers in february 2018?

I recently noticed that English was in front of Mandarin in the Wikipedia list of languages by total number of speakers, so I wondered when it became first. I didn't find any convenient statistics on ...
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111 views

“I gave Tom an apple” and “I gave an apple to Tom”

"I gave Tom an apple" and "I gave an apple to Tom" have the same meaning. The meaning of Tom receiving the apple comes form the position of the word in the former example and from the preposition in ...
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Tomorrow, he should pretend he *was* on a bus

"He is afraid of flying. When he flies tomorrow, he should pretend he was on a bus instead of an airplane." I uttered the above statement in a recent conversation. Of course, I could replace the "...
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Which Frisian language/dialect is the most similar to Modern English?

When person asks a question, "which language is the most similar to Modern English?", the most common answer is: Frisian But most people that answer this question as it is, are unaware, which ...
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1answer
50 views

Does anyone have a link to the American Local News Corpus V1.0?

I found a paper http://www.cs.jhu.edu/~anni/papers/alnc_lrec14.pdf that has made this epic text corpus of over 1 billion words available somewhere, but I can't find it anywhere online. The paper says ...
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Is there an english news corpus available to download for between 1900 and 201X (free or low cost)

I'm attempting a word embedding analysis (think underlying meaning and implications, but computational) of certain keywords through time in the English language, but I am having some difficulty ...
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Is the schwa sound consistent?

The first syllable in "about" (ə'baʊt) is schwa, so is the second one in the "salad" ('sæləd), but iv'e never heard them pronounced the same way. in salad it sounds more like the i in "trick". ...
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539 views

Feminisation of men's language?

I was wondering whether there has been (generally) a feminisation of "men's language". Lakoff's claims in "women's and men's language" are almost half a century old and there have been contradictory ...
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4k views

Is “soon” in “it is soon” a predicative adverb or adjective or both?

In English in sentences like it is soon or he is fine what is the part of speech of the last word?
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258 views

Why is there no Subject-Auxilliary inversion in Subject questions?

In questions where a wh-element refers to the object, we can observe SAI (Subject-Auxilliary inversion). [Who did [you see]]? As far as I'm aware, C-head has a [+Q] feature and it's occupied by a ...
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347 views

Is English “lake” Derived from Latin, or is it Indo-European?

I'm having a bit of trouble figuring this one out. Lake, meaning "A large, landlocked stretch of water." seems to have some confusion in the Wiktionary pages. I've looked in the American Heritage ...
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Can “of”, “on”, etc. be regarded as complementizers just as “for” is?

In the following sentence, the word “for” is commonly postulated as a complementizer which introduces a non-finite clause. Is it okay for me to put these away? And there are some other sentences ...
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509 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 more typologically unusual phonemes like /χ/, but I'm wondering about sequences of ...
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120 views

Is English opposite all other languages?

A German teacher (spoke fluent German and English) stated in high school to our class that “English is opposite every other language.” Is this accurate? What does that even mean?
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Why isn't intervocalic /ŋ/ analyzed as an onset in English?

I think that sɪ.ŋɪŋ does not seem too unreasonable as a syllabification of the word singing, so I'm a bit puzzled why that option for the syllabification of intervocalic /ŋ/ seems to be dismissed in ...
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Why do we write read for both present and past tense, but we pronounce them differently? [duplicate]

read verb \ ˈrēd \ read\ ˈred \ The words have the same spelling, but they are pronounced differently, and one of the words is pronounced exactly the same as a color’s name, “red,” yet its ...
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66 views

Homographs non-homophones

Homophones that are not homographs are common in languages like English. This arises because several letters (or diphthongs) can have the same pronunciation. But where do the (less common) homographs ...
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128 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 ...
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166 views

Genocide vs. genticide [closed]

I was interested in understanding the origin and meaning of the word "genocide" and went to the Online Etymology Dictionary where it says that "The proper formation would be genticide." Why would the ...
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What is the French equivalent of the English linguistic term “reflex” (the descendant sound of a sound in a proto-language)?

I looked it up in different dictionaries but could not find anything. Thank you in advance.
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656 views

What's the difference between /ɪ/ and /i(ː)/?

In English there's the vowel sound /ɪ/ as in "bin" and /i(ː)/ as in "been". My girlfriend, who is Greek, cannot perceive the difference, but to me they sound very different. Is the difference ...
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3answers
77 views

Extensive English word corpora

I am looking for an extensive list of english words[including American and British... just an exhaustive list]. This list of english words should contain an exhaustive collection of all forms of all ...
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546 views

Classification of Relative Clauses in English

While reading the wikipedia article on relative clauses, I was puzzled somewhat by a description of a relative clause in English. It asserts that in the relative clause "that I saw yesterday", as in "...
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71 views

“To whom” in pied-piped infinitive relative clauses

In English wh raised from, or in situ in, a direct object or prepositional object, you can almost always use "who" at least as well as "whom",1 and in some cases you can only use "who": Who/whom did ...
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104 views

What is 'OE Gloss.'?

I'm not a linguistics student, so my bad if this is actually very obvious/can be found online (I tried. Really.), but what is, exactly, the OE Gloss.? All I could find is that it means Old English ...
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222 views

When an outsider describes family relationships, which point of view are they using?

You see a family in the park and you naturally list the members as "Mom, Dad, son, and daughter". But from whose perspective is this? "Mom" and "Dad" are identifiers as seen from the perspective of ...
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Words that can belong to more than one category

Is there a term in (English) linguistics for a word that belongs to more than one word class? For example fast, which can be either an adjective, or a noun. I've been trying to find a term for this, ...
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Where can I find a set of Spanish-English comparable texts? ***(Not translations)***

This is my very first post, I hope I'm making myself clear. What I'm asking for is a set of texts that are equivalent in both languages in terms of difficulty, word frequency and register (i.e. two ...
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1answer
82 views

The “th” sound in appalachian dialects

I've noticed that the th sound often becomes a plosive sound in Appalachian English. When and how did this phenomenon start?The only case I know where this happens in the british isles is Irish.Does ...
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Are there other aspirated phones in English?

It is known that English has a set of aspirated consonants, the allophones [pʰ], [tʰ] and [kʰ] of /p/, /t/, /k/, respectively. Are there other consonants with aspirated allophones? In which cases do ...
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Biggest freely available English corpus?

Any help on finding the biggest freely available English corpus that can be used on research? So far I have found OANC with 15 M words.
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3answers
3k views

English co-compounds? Is bittersweet a co-compound?

I'm looking for English or other standard European language co-compounds, and for other common examples. I came across "bittersweet" but I'm not sure if it's really a co-compound. It has a ...
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always | never | “all the time” - what kind of words are these?

always never "all the time" They aren't 'expletives', but they express a non-expiry. What word would describe this type of word? Context : he never brings me flowers; he's always late; you criticise ...