Questions tagged [english]

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

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55 views

Why glides are also called semivowels?

I thought glides and semivowels are different but my teacher says glides are also called semivowels. I'm confused.
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Visemes analogue for phoneme pangram?

There are several famous short texts which covers most of the English phonemes. For example "With tenure, Suzie'd have all the more leisure for yachting, but her publications are no good." ...
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What is the IPA of the two-syllable r sound in English?

For example, the word "Emperor" in IPA on Wiktionary for General American is written /ˈɛmpɹɚ/. But that's kind of cheating because ɚ is basically /ɹ/ as far as I can tell. Yet, when you say ...
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English words that can be only used as nouns

Is there a term for words that can be only used as nouns? For example, I think "history" and "sofa" are such words, but "book" and "dog" are not. I'm looking ...
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489 views

Origin of the English word 'tooth' being pronounced /tʊθ/?

According to Wiktionary, the English word 'tooth' can be pronounced as /tʊθ/ (as opposed to its regular pronunciation in RP of /tuːθ/) in certain areas of Wales and the British Midlands. Is there any ...
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178 views

Why did 'r' disappear in English “speak” (compare German “sprechen”) and in German “Welt” (compare English “world”)?

I cannot help but notice some 'r'-s seem to have randomly disappeared in both German and English. What is going on there?
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The connection between ركن and corner [closed]

The arabic word ركن /rukn/ and the English word corner /ˈkɔɹnɚ/. Is there any connections between them?
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2answers
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How to syllabify 'behave' and 'behaviour'?

I'm well aware of the Maximal Onset Principle which says that 'intervocalic consonants should be syllabified as the onset of the following syllable as long as the Phonotactic constraints allow it'. I ...
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1answer
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Past Simple vs Present Perfect Continuous in questions [closed]

It is my first ask in this forum. I am not sure about proper grammar usage, so I want to ask someone who knows it well. If I want to ask a person for a duration of time he has worked at the specific ...
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1answer
49 views

When are 'or' and 'unless' exclusive in (daily) English?

I have two questions since I saw this SE answer. First, for the following sentence: English 'or' is only exclusive when only one premise is possible: 'You hydrate or you don't hydrate.' or 'I saw a ...
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What is the origin of the pronunciation difference between 'replicate' (noun) and 'replicate' (verb)?

In English, the noun 'replicate' is pronounced with a schwa (ə) at the end while the verb is pronounced with the diphthong 'eɪ'. The same is true for the word 'duplicate'. Is there a more general ...
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Is there a region in which velarized L is the primary (and sole) articulation? Or is it indicative of an articulation disorder?

Listening to Ira Glass the other day, I noticed his 'l', to my ears, sounds exclusively velar with little to no dental component. Here's a clip (he says the word "like" a couple times in ...
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Why are the organization of mental lexicon and lexical access interdependent?

I read in Carroll ("Psychology of Language") that how the mental/internal lexicon is organized and how we access lexical information are interdependent issues. However, he does not really ...
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Non-standard English spelling and other things in 18th century writing — how much due to quill pens?

I was just thinking how even in books and newspapers prior to the computer age, like in the 1950s and before, there were a lot of errors that are glaring now but I am sure were accepted then. So I ...
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1answer
71 views

Are there any academic papers on the “Adjective like (article) Noun” construction/ phrase?

I am currently working on a paper about the "Adj like (article) Noun" construction. Some would consider that which comes after the "like"-part to be a prepositional phrase if "...
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Common steps used in solving Linguistics Olympiad problems?

What are some common steps that are often used in solving Linguistics Olympiad? For example, finding the structure of a sentence in a particular language, separating verbs based on plural/singular, ...
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74 views

Help in translating Classical Nahuatl

I was solving this puzzle here. Problem : In many languages of the world, whole sentences can be expressed with a single word. This is true in Classical Nahuatl, the language of the Aztec Empire that ...
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Formant frequencies of regional Irish English vowels by female speakers

Do you know any research that show the formants of English Irish vowels by female speakers?
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56 views

What are the minimum number of words needed to express any complex thought?

Most of the words in English are just quicker ways to express things that otherwise needs many words to describe. So, what is the minimum number of words or smallest dictionary that one can use to ...
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The possible sound change when /t/ sound is preceded by fricatives or affricatives

Here, I am talking about the assimilated /t/ sound that is one of the most common features of Standard Southern British English (such as /t/ at the beginning of a syllable, time, task, Twitter, twice, ...
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Theoretical framework of comparing linguistic landscapes of an urban and a rural location

I am working on a thesis and I chose a topic about comparing linguistic landscapes of two locations. One is urban with international community and relatively economically privileged class of the ...
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1answer
44 views

In what century did people start using the word “profession”?

I need to find out in what century the word "profession" appeared. My final goal: to understand whether this word could be used in the Middle Ages in everyday communication, in the meaning ...
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Which books did John read which books? Displacement and reconstruction

In his talk available on YouTube as “Language, Creativity, and the Limits of Understanding” by Professor Noam Chomsky (4-21-16) at 56:36s Noam Chomsky starts talking about the phenomenon of ...
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1answer
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Vowels in the second syllable of 'harmonic' and 'harmonious'

I came across a question on English Language & Usage asking about why the vowels in the second syllable of 'harmonic' and 'harmonious' are pronounced differently. Harmonic → /hɑːˈmɒn.ɪk/ ...
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some basic questions about morphological aspect

According to the definition, morphological aspect presents the reported event or state of affairs as if viewed either from inside the event (‘in progress’) or outside the event (‘as a whole’). For ...
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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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162 views

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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255 views

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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60 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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74 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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253 views

/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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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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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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1answer
120 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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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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117 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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1answer
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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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/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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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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1answer
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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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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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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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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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