Skip to main content

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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0 votes
1 answer
62 views

Why is the spelling of an English word only a rough guide to its pronunciation?

As a non-native speaker of English (and a native speaker of an Abugida language that is mostly written as it is pronounced), I always wondered how English (and similar languages) developed the ...
1 vote
1 answer
295 views

How did English end up with a voiced "z" at the end of words?

How did English end up with a voiced "z" at the end of words, for example in "is", "was", "those"? Does this phenomenon exist in any Indio-European language ...
1 vote
2 answers
254 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?
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Origin of current order pattern in English/German

It is well-known, or better said, well-accepted, that the ancestral language Proto-Indo-European (PIE) was a OV language with a very limited (or nonexistent) use of subordinate clauses. In Proto-...
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

Having trouble drawing a tree diagram [closed]

I'm having trouble drawing a tree diagram for the following sentence: Chrissy believed that the earrings she bought for Sue were real silver. In the task we have to divide the sentence into its ...
3 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why do people with a British accent make an "r" sound at the end of words ending in an "ah" sound

I'm American so I've seen this in so many movies and just wondering, what's up with that? Example: We will not need those blankets in Russia-r.
1 vote
1 answer
209 views

Is “actual” both a false friend and a cognate?

English definition of “actual”: existing in fact; typically as contrasted with what was intended, expected, or believed. Spanish definition of “actual”: current, present, contemporary These are ...
1 vote
0 answers
76 views

Cot-Caught Merger in NYC and New Jersey?

I'm a bit confused with the cot-caught and father-bother merger, especially as they appear in the NYC / New Jersey area? I'm a native of the area and have lived there my whole life, yet I have the ...
0 votes
0 answers
51 views

Do second language learners, at times, perceive the language to be acquired as more quiet or more difficult to hear when uttered, volume independent?

Has any person experienced the perceived lowering of volume or difficulty in hearing (perception of increased noise, for example) when attempting to listen to a second language? Is the effect ...
0 votes
0 answers
91 views

What is the information density of factual knowledge in large bodies of English text?

An ML paper I was reading mentioned an estimate of no more than 0.7 bits per word, in footnote 4: As of February 1, 2024, English Wikipedia contains a total of 4.5 billion words [...] We estimate ...
4 votes
1 answer
211 views

The analysis of 'for NP to VP' in HPSG

This is from a paper titled "What for?" by Bas Aarts: (35) [NP It [S′ [COMP for] [S Mary see his relatives]]] [M may] [VP distress John] Bresnan’s account was very influential in proposing ...
2 votes
1 answer
161 views

Can a complementizer (C) take two complements (COMPS)?

The 1997 paper "English Relative Clause Constructions" by Ivan A. Sag has these diagrams: (53) shows a diagram of to go to the UK, and (54) of for them to go to the UK. In (54), ...
3 votes
0 answers
39 views

Canonical flaps

Dear colleagues: I have a question about canonical flaps. The literature is not clear on whether a canonical flap has a burst or not. I have found in my data that many flaps do have a burst (sometimes ...
0 votes
0 answers
40 views

Noun Phrase - complement vs. postmodifier

Let's look at these two noun phrases: 1 - The chapter of the book. 2 - A mother of two kids. Could you please help me understand why 'of the book' is a postmodifier while 'of two kids' is a complement?...
0 votes
1 answer
112 views

How many dimensions do phonemes have?

I was wondering if there was a better or alternative ordering for the letters of the English alphabet, than the standard “a b c d e …”. This led me to wonder by what parameters they would be ordered. ...
1 vote
0 answers
72 views

Is "because" always a subordinating conjunction introducing a subordinate clause?

My grammar book says that a word like "because" is a subordinating conjunction, meaning that it is a word that can introduce a dependent clause. I know that a dependent clause contains its ...
-3 votes
1 answer
134 views

What's this linguistic phenomenon in English speaking?

I was enjoying the relaxing vibes that the hotel provided. When Americans say the above sentence, do they sometimes say "vibes that" in a way that sounds like "vibesat"? Does it ...
2 votes
0 answers
109 views

Is this preposition stranding or not?

I am a linguistics student and am currently doing research on supposed cases of preposition stranding in Brazilian Portuguese. So far I've come up with a few assumptions, but my data has been mostly ...
12 votes
3 answers
36k views

Why is "Aurora Borealis" from Greek, but "Aurora Australis" from Latin? [closed]

In astronomy we have the Aurora Australis in the south and the Aurora Borealis in the north. According to Wikipedia, auster is in fact the Latin equivalent of the Greek νότος, or southern wind. ...
1 vote
1 answer
118 views

Has the spread of English removed any phonemes or characteristics from pre-existing languages?

I know there's already an answered question on here about English adding sounds and characteristics to languages, but I was wondering if there were many examples of the removal of intricacies from pre-...
4 votes
1 answer
248 views

Is subject auxiliary inversion (do-support) unique to English?

In English, some question sentences are formed by the inversion of the subject and the auxiliary verb. I see you? Do I see you? *See I you? From what I understand, the inversion cannot be done with ...
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Does "and" come from the PIE word for "and"?

From the etymology of and: Old English and, ond, originally meaning "thereupon, next," from Proto-Germanic *unda (cf. Old Saxon endi, Old Frisian anda, Middle Dutch ende, Old High German enti, ...
2 votes
1 answer
199 views

Does California English have an additional vowel phoneme?

I've noticed that my pronunciation of the word only differs from the General American pronunciation (I'm from coastal California). This is the pronunciation of only that I assume is General American: ...
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the phonetic difference between "White House" and "white house"?

I guess this is really a difference of stress (though I confess, as a non-native, I barely perceive it). Obama lives in the White House (white has primary stress?) I live in the white house on this ...
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why in English words is [o] followed by [ʊ]?

The close-mid back rounded vowel is usually diphthongized to [oʊ] or [əʊ] in North America and respectively, Britain. Examples: row, also. In fact, in the Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary I ...
2 votes
1 answer
141 views

What is the name of the "clicky" t sound used in some british accents in words like "little" and "mental"?

Emma Stone tries to replicate it here. It's not a glottal stop; the t is definitely being pronounced in the mouth and not the throat. It's almost exclusively used when a "t" sound is ...
3 votes
2 answers
962 views

Is there research on which diphthongs are perceived by English speakers as single sounds?

In English, diphthongs are single phonemes, and monolingual English speakers hear them as a single vowel. However, this does not mean that English speakers will hear all diphthongs in other languages ...
1 vote
2 answers
63 views

How do you attest that two modal particles in different languages are of similar semantic attributes?

especially fellow English-Dutch speakers. I am wondering as to how we can attest that two modal particles in different languages share similar semantic attributes. Is there any metrics/theories to ...
5 votes
2 answers
217 views

Linguistically speaking, what is the standard phraseology that pilots and air traffic controllers use to communicate?

There is a standardized phraseology used in aviation radio communications. It is based on English, but it is significantly different, and many of the statements are not grammatically correct in ...
2 votes
2 answers
4k views

What percentage of English words have Germanic/Romance/etc. roots?

I'm wondering what percentage of English words have Germanic roots, what percentage have Romance roots, what percentage have Greek roots etc. Is there a table available that gives an overview of this?
3 votes
1 answer
179 views

What is "o'clock" in English?

Please don't say "adverb" because that is an ad hoc part of speech that means "anything that doesn't fit". Certain words in the English language, from a functional perspective, map ...
1 vote
1 answer
92 views

When the short /i/ sound in English is lenthened very much (in singing, for example), will its quality change so it resembles long /i:/?

In singing, when a singer lengthens a word that contains short /i/, will it cause any confusion (between that short /i/ and the long /i:/) for the native English speaker's ear? When I listened to this ...
1 vote
2 answers
279 views

I'd like for this to be a word. Why isn't it?

I am a high school student with a question, and I am not entirely sure this is the right place to voice it. I often encounter situations where I want to use a word to describe a specific situation I'm ...
4 votes
1 answer
261 views

Singular countable nouns that don't require determinatives?

The English determiners wikipedia page says The determinative function is typically obligatory in a singular, countable, common noun phrase (compare I have *a* new cat to I have new cat). and In ...
2 votes
1 answer
206 views

Phonetic/acoustic difference between /ˈæb.sə.luːt/ and /ˈæp.sə.luːt/

My understanding is that "b" in "absolute" can be pronounced either as /b/ or /p/. In both cases, the plosive is usually not released (or has an inaudible release). Clipping occurs ...
21 votes
1 answer
587 views

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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
105 views

Why do nouns typically have their main stress on the penultimate while verbs on the ultimate (according to theories other than that of Hayes)?

I'm working on English stress acquisition by non-native speakers for my Master's Thesis. According to the theories of Hayes (1981) and, subsequently, Halle & Vergnaud (1987), extrametricality (i.e....
-2 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
4 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
-1 votes
1 answer
87 views

Are the Croatian word "struna" (string of a musical instrument) and the English word "string" related? [closed]

So, are the Croatian word "struna" (string of a musical instrument) and the English word "string" related? And, if so, why does the English word contain -ng, while the Croatian ...
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why are voiceless plosives (p, t, k) unaspirated after /s/?

Take for example English voiceless plosives such as /p t k/ which are aspirated at the start of a stressed syllable and before a vowel as in kill, tar, pie: [kʰɪl] [tʰɑː(r)] [pʰaɪ] But after a ...
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Aspiration of Voiceless Affricate in English

My question is about the voiceless affricate /tʃ/ ( CHair, maTCH, baTCH, strucTure) as it is used in ENGLISH: English has two affricates: the /tʃ/ in "chair" and the /dʒ/ in "jar". ...
13 votes
8 answers
4k views

Do non-tonal languages evolve into tonal languages?

I have read that the language in China did not always use tones or was less reliant on them. Native speakers have emphasized to me how much more compactly the same idea can be expressed in Mandarin ...
1 vote
1 answer
177 views

We typically say rates are 'hiked' and cuts are 'swingeing' - is there a term to describe this?

You never really hear of interest rates 'going up', they're always 'hiked'.. and government cuts are rarely 'deep' or 'severe',. they're 'swingeing'. Is there a word/term for either this use of ...
4 votes
1 answer
219 views

Chomsky on licensing parasitic gaps in English

Chomsky (1995: 69) says (115) that "(115b) is ruled out for independent reasons of control theory." What reasons? (115) a. the book that you filed [without PRO reading e] b. *the book that ...
4 votes
0 answers
116 views

Are there languages where grammatical parallelism does not matter?

English has a strong preference for parallelism (Wikipedia link), even though sentences lacking parallelism are still considered grammatically correct: Good: She likes cooking, jogging, and reading. ...
-1 votes
1 answer
174 views

Emphasis through capitalizing the first letters of words

I've begun to see this style of emphasis used more frequently, like in the following passage: People whose careers depend on the great stuff working as advertised may decide instead that they Simply ...
-1 votes
2 answers
106 views

How to represent and distinguish between inflected and related words in English dictionary?

In English we have these words: create created creates creating creator creation creationism creativity creative I am unsure which one is an inflection, and which one is a new word. Created and ...
-3 votes
5 answers
384 views

Does English have genuine literary conversation without the use of Latin and Greek words?

The most languages ​​have their own literary and original way of conversation and writing, which is different from common conversation. This dichotomy between the speech of the courtiers and the ...
2 votes
7 answers
402 views

Why do so many loan words have a different pronunciations of letters like X and Q (among others)?

I have been thinking about the following question quite a bit recently: why do other languages, which often do not even use the Latin alphabet, seemingly get to decide on the way their words get ...

1
2 3 4 5
22