Questions tagged [english]

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

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37 views

Performative verbs - speech act

The sentence: "I order you to do X". order is a performative verb, it is a speech act which has the illocutionary force is an order. The sentence: "I inspire you to do X". Although ...
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What makes “can't get any” a double-negative, according to Steven Pinker?

The Rolling Stones famously sang "I can't get no satisfaction", which is a double-negative. "I can't get any satisfaction" is seen as more grammatical in modern English. In his ...
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Words with “hybrid” declension (in Latin, or borrowed by English from Latin)?

There is a recently-coined technical usage (in mathematics) of the word "anima", borrowed from Latin to English. The funny thing about this coinage is that the coin-ers of the term insist on ...
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Categorization of English and French connecting words

Does anyone know of a resource that proposes a categorization for connecting words (conjunctions, adverbs, prepositions, etc.) based on their semantic meanings? I'm working on analyzing the word(s) ...
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What language aptitude test do you recommend for kindergarten-grade 1? [closed]

I have read about the MLAT and PLAB language tests to test someone ability for learning languages. What test would be appropriate for a 5-6 year old? How do I choose such a test, I read that factors ...
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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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2answers
158 views

Dataset of English verb forms (conjugation)

What are some exhaustive/accurate datasets of English verb forms? From this closed SO question, I see: GCIDE_XML, which contains plurals, alt spellings and conjugations, and is in XML format. Need ...
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1answer
47 views

For English, is there a finite set of patterns for constructing sentences?

I am wondering about conlangs and thinking about English currently. I'm wondering does English have a finite set of patterns for constructing sentences? That is, could you build a computer program ...
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1answer
63 views

What is the diacritic macron bellow (◌̱) used in the IPA [closed]

Well, I'm learning English, (I speak Spanish) sometimes I use the translator or the dictionary and several times I find this sign in the phonetic transcription, what am I supposed to do?
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List of initial consonant clusters in English

At a certain point in a macro I have to determine whether shifting the final consonant(s) of one syllable to the next syllable results in a valid onset. Can anyone point me to a complete list of ...
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Germanic words together with Romance words

Do combinations of words of Germanic origin with words of Latin origin have any influence on the level or register of language? I can think of examples like: exquisite work, unwavering resolution, ...
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Why do Arabic names still have their meanings?

As someone born in Britain whose first language is English, but with origins in Pakistan and an understanding of both Punjabi and Arabic, it's always seemed to me that most modern Arabic names are ...
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/t/ sound is pronounced like [ts] in British English

My question is about the sound /t/ being pronounced more like [ts] in British accent. For example, The words like Tomato, Peter, water, task, Tom, talented, take the /t/ sound is definitely not ...
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How is Nigerian Standard English categorized?

From what I can tell, the only nontrivial difference between Nigerian Standard English and the catalog of commonly referenced dialects of English is that Nigerian Standard English has a different ...
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Are Russian words пять (five), пясть (fist), пятка (heel) related? What about English “fist”?

I wonder whether the PIE word for five in fact meant "fist", in other words, when people counted, they closed their fingers and when they obtained the closed fist, it was "five"? ...
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Is modern English the most spoken language of all time?

Out of all of the people that have ever lived, did/do more of them speak modern English than any other language? There are 2 billion English speakers alive today, but in my brief search I wasn't able ...
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/ðæs saɪd/ versus /ɡʊb bɔɪ/ - Assimilation of place versus manner

Good day I am facing a problem to distinguish between assimilation of place and assimilation of manner So in Peter R's book he said that (AOM) is much less noticeable, and he provided examples which ...
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Differences in realization of intrusive-r and linking-r?

Are there any good papers that have investigated this? I seemed to notice this with some speakers on television that their intrusive-r's seemed less pronounced than their linking-r's. I did find a ...
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What’s the name of this figure of speech?

Saying “The not tall boy” instead of “The short boy” does it have a name?
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114 views

Is there a reason for language names only sometimes corresponding with the word for people who live there or people who speak that language?

Some language names are also the names of the people who speak that language, for example Russian, Norwegian, Italian, and German. But others are not, for example Dutch, French, English, and Spanish. ...
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48 views

Origin of English's phrasal possessive

This site claimed that the phrasal possessive in English came from French influence, while the synthetic possessive is Germanic. Germanic Pattern: the king’s son - cf. German "des Königs Sohn&...
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Is the word “Language” in “Natural Language Processing” plural or singular, count or mass? [closed]

I want to translate the word language in the term NLP to the Arabic language. so I wonder, In Natural Language Processing, if the word language is countable or uncountable? whether it is plural or ...
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What word describes the unique possibilities when disambiguating a word?

The disambiguation page for the word turtle on wikipedia displays a list of possibilities to choose from. Many of these possibilities are just the same word turtle but with different meanings. ...
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Where can I find a table/list of all/many languages' plural/singular forms for hours/time?

Even though I'm natively Swedish, I'm seriously unsure if it's "1,1 timme" or "1,1 timmar". That is, what in English would be "1.1 hour" or "1.1 hours". Even as ...
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What is the origin of counting “Mississippis”?

The word "Mississippi" is often used in the United States as a filler in order to count seconds. Why is that particular word used and not another? What is its origin?
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Process or action?

In the real world, The sun melts the ice. (the sun is causing the change) but the same event can be described as Ice melts. Are both sentences describing the process, or is ...
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Why did English stop using thou?

In Shakespearean English, thou/thee/thy/thine were used for second person singular, and you/your/yours were used for second person plural. In modern English, you is used for both singular and plural. ...
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Deruny, deruni or deryni? [closed]

What is the correct spelling of potato pancakes, If we take the Russian or Ukrainian origin of the word? Deruny, deruni or deryni? A google search for the etymology says deryny And Wikipedia: Potato ...
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Do dialects without the meet-meat merger neutralize the distinction in some contexts?

For many dialects of English (including my own) multiple historical lexical sets are merged into one "FLEECE" set (this diaphoneme can be represented with IPA /iː/). I've read about the basics of the ...
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Adjunct vs complement with intransitive verb

Tony came from outside the traditional media Am I right in thinking because came is intransitive that "outside the traditional media" is an adjunct rather than a subject complement?
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Where did English get its perfect tense(s) from?

Apologies if this is too basic, but I know very little about linguistics and figured this would be a good place to ask. English seems like it draws from several other langiuages, notably the romance ...
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3answers
963 views

What is the name of this sound change, and do we have it in English?

I'm a Persian, I'm from Iran, and I speak Farsi. Here, we have a very strange rule that we turn آ into و in informal conversations. For example: خانه = house (formal) /kh a ne/ خونه = house (informal) ...
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Ambiguity in “Joe and David discussed his plans for tomorrow evening” [duplicate]

Is there a specific term for the ambiguity in the sentence, "Joe and David discussed his plans for tomorrow evening," the ambiguity arising from the use of "his" when it could ...
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2answers
477 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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1answer
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Is English grammar teaching tradition rooted in Latin?

I heard once that the way English grammar was taught as school was rooted in Latin and it wasn't a correct approach for a number of reason ? This was a long time ago, so I cannot remember the details. ...
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1answer
151 views

Does a main verb undergo inversion in “Has he any shame?”

My undergraduate textbook builds a case to posit separate classes of verbs as lexical, auxiliary, modal in nature. One criterion is how auxiliary and modals (unlike main verbs) undergo inversion but ...
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Why do some abstract concepts get described as a liquid in English?

For example, work is completely abstract but we talk about workflows, which is something pertaining to fluids. Why does this happen?
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Is there any evidence to support the claim that English grammar is unusually straightforward?

The renowned linguist Eddie Izzard devoted at least one of his standup comedy routines to the proposition that English grammar is unusually straightforward, at least in comparison (if I recall ...
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How to make a sonority curve for a word where a 'syllabic consonant' is followed by a vowel or vice versa

I've learnt that the number of peaks of sonority in a sonority curve determines the number of syllables in a word. The number of syllables depend on the pronunciation. It may also be true for other ...
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1answer
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Einbilden vs. Imagine

One of the German words for Imagine is Einbilden, which I believe literally translates to "in-picture". This made me think of the fact that Imagine itself has the prefix Im-, which (together ...
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3answers
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Is English tonal for some words, like “permit”?

I have heard the difference between tone and intonation described in the following way: Tone is when the pitch of a word determines its meaning. Intonation is when the pitch of a word conveys its ...
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93 views

grammar of the 'in the following'

Consider we have the sentence My bird likes sunflower seeds. She eats a lot of seeds everyday. Using pronoun resolution we can replace she with the actual subject 'My birds'; converting 'She eats a ...
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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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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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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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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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Ei (egg in German) and eye; Auge (eye in German) and egg

Is it known if there was some weird flipping of [Ei (egg in German) and eye] with [Auge(eye in German) and egg] that happened historically or do you think the apparent similarities are coincidence?
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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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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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