Questions tagged [english]

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

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Origin of “boor”

The Talmud frequently calls an individual a "boor". Two examples: It has been reported: If one has learned Tanach and Mishnah but not Talmud, Rabbi Eleazar says he is an ignoramus [am ha-aretz]; ...
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White - Whitening, Light -? [closed]

It's a question that was asked in an aptitude test I appeared in. It seems pretty straightforward but I gave the answer "Lighting". The released answer says "Lightening" which looks right logically ...
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How is it possible that so many words seem to get the exact opposite meaning when adopted to a different language?

"Semester" in Swedish means "vacation". In English, "semester" means the exact opposite: the time period of the year when you are in school. I don't know which stole the word from which, or if it's a ...
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Outside of English, is there a difference between noun infinitives and gerunds?

In English class in high school, we learn (or at least I did) about verbals, words that stem from verbs but do not function as verbs. Two kinds are infinitives and gerunds. Infinitives are usually ...
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Aside from English clause adverbs, are there other suborders?

A suborder is a set of related expression elements which are more strictly ordered with respect to each other than they are with respect to other expression elements. This is my own term. I offer ...
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Is there a term for when words that sound like antonyms are actually synonyms?

Seeded grapes are actually seedless An inflammable object is really flammable It seems to me that, superficially, the use of those affixes make the words sound like they should be antonyms, but ...
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Negative &/or incorrect use of specific words in American English

Firstly, please note, I am NOT a linguistics student nor have I ever studied language past US highschool curriculum. I have always been able to comprehend meanings from "seeing" the word. Not sure if ...
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Is saying or typing “one-hundred and twenty two” using Arabic numbers? [closed]

While thinking just now, it struck me that it's not immediately obvious to me whether "one-hundred and twenty two", spoken or written, can be considered using Arabic numbers (122). Is there something ...
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Why do swear words mean the same thing in both English and Spanish (possibly more languages)

Earlier today, I was talking about swearing in other languages with some friends (this is a serious question, bear with me), so I decided to look up some lists of Spanish swear words for fun. This ...
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In what circumstances is d devoiced in English?

I have noticed that speakers of languages which have /d/ and (unaspirated) /t/ as distinct consonants are sometimes unsure whether my natural pronunciation of the English name "Dan" starts with a /d/ ...
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Cumbrian sources

I'm interested in the cumbrian dialect, but I couldn't find good sources of vocabulary and pontual aspects of its grammar. Also, I was trying to understand the following poem: I'll tell the' We're ...
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Why the prevalence of “ph” in transliteration?

Why is "ph" used so often (as opposed to "f") to transliterate the Hebrew "fei" sound into English? Examples: Alef - 17.5 million Google hits (MGh) Aleph - 13.8 MGh Seraf - 0.9 MGh Seraph - 23.4 MGh
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If our requirement says that the only thing that isn’t a phrase in an NP is the N itself, why a problem?

Andrew Carnie. Syntax A Generative Introduction (3 ed, 2012). p 209. Pls see red underline. I don't see what is problem?
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Are words classified (PoS) according to their use in a sentence, or does classification precede usage?

This is a rather broad question, so I'd like to limit this to verbs, at least in this explication of the question. Verbs take many forms and roles in sentences. Present participles can take the role ...
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Why hasn't English borrowed more words from China? [closed]

Why hasn't English (or Latin/Greek/others from which English arrived) borrowed more words from China? I am looking at Wikipedia and there's probably only 30 words there out of the millions of words ...
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/ɹəʊd/ vs /ɹoʊd/ etc

For words with the vowel sound in road and coal, Wiktionary: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/road#English https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/coal#English lists the British pronunciation of the vowel as ...
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Case in English phrase “friend of mine”

In English phrases like Jesse is a friend of mine/*of me the case of the word "mine" is not the oblique ("me") which usually occurs with prepositions ("That's a part of me that you don't see too ...
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370 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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Where can I find a translation for romanized (english texted) sanskrit into english?

I am trying to find a translator link to change romanized or english texted sanskrit (as in bollywood and other Indian songs and chants) into actual english so that I can understand what the song ...
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Preposition vs. Subordinating Conjunction in English

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Huddleston & Pullum), which was published in 2002, expanded the scope of the part of speech "preposition" to such a great extent that a significant ...
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'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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What is the past tense of 'yeet'?

Yeet (/ji:t/) is a recently coined verb in English that seems to have taken on the characteristics of a strong verb, as seen in this hilarious urban dictionary definition. In English, the strong ...
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Automated Verb Correction for Subject Agreement Using Penn Treebank Tags

I'm working on a software method to correct the verb in an English sentence based on the subject count (singular or plural) and using a corpus of verbs tagged with their Penn Treebank Tags. (I have ...
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Does this sentence violate Principle A of Binding Theory?

In the sentence John(i) wanted to buy himself(i) a pair of shoes. With (i) to mark co-indexation. Is the anaphor "himself" bound in its binding domain? Or is the binder in a separate domain ...
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Is there a term for syntactically and semantically linked modifying phrases?

What I'm talking about is when a string of prepositional phrases take the object of the previous one as their antecedent, and where the entire string is linked back to the original antecedent, a noun ...
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What is a “Phonetic Language”?

Once I've spoke with a friend of mine and I've asked him why in the french language there are so many discrepancies (or incongruities, inconformities...) between the written and the spoken words and ...
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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 ...
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Their class has more singers than (we/us) — possible syntactical derivations?

Forgive me if this is not the right sort of question to post here, but I was curious as to the derivation of the above sentence. (Apparently the correct choice is 'we'). Their class has more singers ...
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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 ...
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Which accents distinguish “golf” and “gulf”?

From Wikipedia's article on the NATO spelling alphabet: The IPA form of Golf implies it is pronounced gulf, which is neither General American English nor British Received Pronunciation. However, ...
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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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The schwa in [meɪkəθ] for *maketh* in KJV English

This Wiki article seems to suggest that words like makes had lost their final syllable schwa in normal speech already by Chaucer's time (palmeres > palmers is the example they give). The rule, as ...
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Corpus of English sentences written by non-native speakers?

I am working on a hobby project which tends to help the non-native speakers figure out if the sentences they write are good enough and sounds like written by English native speakers. Any relevant info ...
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How to numerically rate the beauty of the word? [closed]

On the Internet we can find lists like "The 100 most beautiful words in English". How could I create an algorithm to rate the beauty of any given English word, so that I could run this algorithm and ...
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How do we distinguish a preposition from an adverb?

Huddleston and Pullum analyze the final word in each of these as a preposition, where traditional grammar would define them as adverbs. How can we tell which is the correct analysis? the sky above ...
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What is the history of the word “addict”? [closed]

Usually the origins of the word "addict" are referred to Latin. Once I read somewhere that such word could have greek roots, from "diké", justice, rights. Something like "adiktoi" could mean "those ...
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Searching for an English Whats-app Corpus

I am searching an English Whats-app Corpus in order to analyse a linguistic phenomena. I had some difficulties to find one and maybe some of you can help me out. It is only for corpus driven study and ...
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Why does anger has something to do with spleen in both Chinese and English?

The English word spleen has two meanings in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, an organ near the stomach which produces and cleans the body's blood. a feeling of anger and disagreement. ...
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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 ...
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Why is it “untenable” and not “untainable” in English?

I am aware that words like "obtain," "retain," and "contain" are related to the root "tenere" meaning "to have." What (if anything) determines if the "ten" goes to "tain" in English? We have words ...
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Some “LINGUISTIQUE formulas” to translate French texts into English?

I am not sure is it correct to ask my question here or not! I've asked this question here (in MathStackExchange) before! Maybe it is better to see the question there, because it was written ...
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Subcategorisation Frame with DPs

I want to construct a subcatagorisation frame for some words, for example that take a DP complement. Take the preposition "between" as example. I arrive at this point: Form: "...
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From Old French -iss into English -ish

I have read this information on the word perish: "mid-13c., from periss- present participle stem of Old French perir" And this comment is below a question of mine on English Language & Usage ...
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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, ...
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Diacope Confusion

I'm a little confused by diacope as a rhetorical feature. All examples I can find are short simple sentences "drill baby drill" for example. I'm trying to work out what the correct term would be to ...
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Are there any unattested, reconstructed Middle English words?

Are there any unattested Middle English words that were attested in Early Modern English? I'm asking this because, on Wiktionary, I saw that there are only 2 words: the F word and halibut that have ...
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The difference betWeen the writting and pronunciation [duplicate]

Why is English "W" written as two "V" but pronounced as "double U"?
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How to understand “otherwise experience very largely” in the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis? [closed]

I’m a Chinese and can’t understand a classic text from The Status Of Linguistics As A Science (1929) by Edward Sapir. We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the ...
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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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