Questions tagged [english]

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

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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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Research on development of language of modality in children 8-12?

Let me quickly introduce myself to provide a context for my questions. My PhD research focuses on ways that we can teach primary school children (9-12) ways of handling complex, contradictory and ...
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Is there any dialect of English with clusivity?

What it says on the tin. The closest thing that I'm aware of is in Tok Pisin, a creole language which involved English in its creation, which distinguishes “we without you” (mipela) from “we with you” ...
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What historical change(s) shortened vowels in Old and Middle English?

In a 1968 paper by Kiparsky ("Linguistic universals and linguistic change"), a historical-change argument is made for the brace notation of SPE, based on the history of vowel shortening. The premise ...
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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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139 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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The pronunciation of the voiced “th” in English

I speak General American English, and I pronounce voiced "th"'s in two different ways. The first, which is how I pronounce it in "the" and "father," feels somewhat like a stop; part of my tongue ...
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Reference for a standard, systematic, conceptual categorization of count and noncount nouns?

I'm aware of the use of the terms 'count nouns' and 'mass nouns', but this dichotomy doesn't seem to lend itself to a viable explanation to Japanese students of which nouns in English allow for ...
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Dictionary with real IPA and English sandhi rules?

I don't like English dictionaries that use pseudo-IPA to indicate pronunciation. I've seen none indicating that most plosives should be aspirated, but when they're in "sp", "st" and other combinations ...
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230 views

Patterns of accent changes by non-native English speakers

I am looking for a list of 'accent changes', or pronunciation inaccuracies, non-native English speakers commonly make when speaking English words. The list would obviously be native language specific ...
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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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*through* vs. *tough*: ME*-ough* /uːx/ > –? How are the sound shifts from ME -ough explained?

How is it explained that the sound sequence /uːx/ -ough has developed so differently in different words? Not-dipthongized in through, shortened and unrounded and retained fricative in tough, lowered ...
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52 views

Test for function or content word? (LFG)

This might only apply to LFG, but are there any tests for if a word is functional or content/lexical? I have been trying to ascertain whether or not there is a lexical 'be' in English. The active '...
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Does “a little” (en) correspond to the same grammatical class as “ein wenig” (de)?

If you want to say in German, "I speak a little German", you would say, Ich spreche ein wenig Deutsch. The phrase "ein wenig" is reminiscent of the English phrase "a little", but what is ...
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Where can I find a list of English words that contain a rare combination of phonemes

I am looking for a wake up word for a digital product that would be easily detected with a voice recognition engine. This calls for a word that has a rare combination of phonemes so the product is ...
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How often can the words in a sentence be rearranged to form different but similarly likely setentence

I have a conjecture that given a particular (multi)set of words without knowledge of ordering, then one ordering is normally much more likely than any others. Its not always true, Show me flights ...
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Stanford NLP parsers and idioms that have common semantic meaning

I have parsed the following sentence in the Stanford CoreNLP demo page and the Stanford parser demo page. Although both result in a parse that can imply purpose semantics (hinging on the advcl and the ...
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493 views

Is there any corpus for idioms?

I'm looking for a corpus for English (American, GB, Australian) idioms. Preferably created manually, because I already have two, but they are rather small and were built semi-automatically.
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635 views

How do homonyms impact English Language Learners' comprehension?

I understand that homonyms are words that sound alike but have different meanings. They may or may not be spelled the same. For example, the word 'fair' is spelled and pronounced the same for three ...
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75 views

Particular verbal inflection classes in “The Proclamation of Henry III”

I'm reading a document about "The Proclamation of Henry III", in which the text is presented and a short commentary and glossary follow. I'm interested in the survival of some of the distinct verbal ...
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145 views

Is the Figure-Ground Theory adaptable for inversion in subjunctive condition clauses in English?

People use Figure-Ground Theory to explain inversions. By putting ground before figure, emphasis focus changes. But how to explain inversion in condition clauses for subjunctive mood? In English, if ...
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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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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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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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59 views

Which language expresses aspect most similarly to English?

I suppose there are at least two ways to read this question (forgive me, I'm not a linguist, just a struggling practical language student): 1) Which languages' aspects map onto those in English most ...
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69 views

Is standard written English really more open to the repetition of words?

In written English, I often see redundant repetition of the same or similar words even in the same sentence. Here's an example I've just seen: She was born to Patrick Mbatha, a black African doctor ...
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62 views

Subjective pronouns in English copulas: gradual loss of objective case, or emphatic construction taking over?

I'm interested in the historical linguistics of constructions like "that's me" versus "this is she" when answering the phone. Searching online led to a Google Books peephole view of a book that ...
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Is there a study of contemporary changes in V+preposition constructions

I am interested in knowing of any studies of historical changes to verb plus PP constructions in contemporary English. An example is the rise of constructions like "advocate for NP", e.g. "He's ...
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102 views

Is there a meaning difference between “each” and “every” as NP modifier?

I have an ineffable feeling that there is a pragmatic difference between "each N" and "every N", which has to do with evaluating the individuals denoted by "each N" one at a time, vs. evaluating them ...
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47 views

How do I distinguish between traits and states using NLP?

In an English sentence: Harry was displeased. – displeased is a state Harry was benevolent. – benevolent is a trait Given an adjective, how can I distinguish between a trait and a state? The ...
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101 views

Truth-neutral, truth-indifferent, & truth-committed verbs?

In English, I go to the store. is understood to mean It is true that I go to the store. Suppose I want to succinctly express I am indifferent to whether it is true or false that I go to ...
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Does Japanese have as many English-derived words as English has French-derived words?

According to current corpora and other tools used by language researchers, does the current vocabulary of Japanese already contain as many words borrowed/derived from English as the number of English ...
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N-gram translations from Spanish to English

I have a large list of n-grams for spoken Spanish. I wish to establish for each n-grams whether or not it represents something idiomatic (phrasal verb, idiom etc.) or not. For example, these are ...
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589 views

'penance' vs 'penitence'

penance (n.) [←] late 13c., "religious discipline or self-mortification as a token of repentance and as atonement for some sin," from Anglo-French penaunce, Old French peneance (12c.), from ...
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Why were prefixes repeated as postverbal prepositions?

French: s'abstenir de    Spanish: abstenerse de    English: abstain [from] (v.) [<--] late 14c., "to withhold oneself," from Old French abstenir (14c.), earlier astenir (13c.) "hold (...
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'dispose' vs 'dispose of' & « disposer » vs « disposer de »

[Source:] [D1.] dispose (v.) - (a) to arrange in order; (b) to lean toward or incline (typically used as a past participle). ... [D2.] dispose of (phrasal v.) - (a) to throw away or discard; (b) to ...
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What is the type of adjective that denotes capability?

I have encountered a number of adjectives while programming that all have the same use case of describing capabilities of a noun. "Clonable", "serializable", "runnable", "hashable", "immutable", "...
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What phonetic features are commonly used in forensic speaker identification and verification?

Speaker verification is the task of estimating how likely it is that two speech recordings come from the same speaker, while speaker identification tries to match a speech recording with one of a ...
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Is there a public list of negation and affirmation cues?

I am trying to find a public list of "negation" and "affirmation" cues (I'm not a linguist so I apologize if I am using incorrect terminology). A simple example for a "negation cue" I'm looking for is ...
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Questions about transitive alternation

The following data show that the prefix re- can be attached only to transitive verbs. List A List B reblacken *rego resoften *recry reharden *resleep The verbs of List A whose ...
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Different accent for different genders and age groups

Probably due to a desire to sound cute or otherwise I find teens (girls mostly) using an accent wherein they have to pout their lips a bit more in speaking while this may give them a more appealing ...
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224 views

What has been written about English completive “up”?

English up can be used to express completion or thoroughness: eat it up 'eat all of it', beat him up 'beat him thoroughly'. What research exists on this construction, from any angle (syntax, ...
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383 views

Why do only a few English demonyms have a -man suffix?

Several English demonyms (Englishman) are compound words ending in -man, but most are not (Greek). The vast majority of -man demonyms refer to England and close neighbors: Frenchman, Irishman, ...
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860 views

Third-person singular suffix [eth] in Middle English

Related: Grammaticalization of third person singular -s in English According to responses to this question, there was a dichotomy between northern -s and southern -th in Middle English. What I am ...
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506 views

Small English parser written in Java

I need an English parser written in Java with a small memory/processing input. I have used the Stanford parser, but it is rather heavy. I am also considering using the link grammar parser, which is ...
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“Peter sang a song to Julie”, Is “to Julie” is an adjunct or complement?

Peter sang a song to Julie. It seems that the verb "sang" selects the preposition, but to Julie is optional. And if we apply it to an X' Schema, how shall we do it? To Julie is the dependent of sang ...
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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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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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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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46 views

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?