Questions tagged [english]

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

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1answer
77 views

Do linguistics academics adhere to arbitrary rules of English prescriptive grammar in their writing?

I'm specifically curious about passive voice and how it's often said to be a weak writing style. Since linguists ostensibly might view scorning passive voice as maybe a meaningless rule, would it be ...
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5answers
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Is future tense in English really a myth?

Does English really have two tenses - present and past? Some linguists argue that it is a Latinate fallacy to think that English has three tenses. Some English professors and even some native ...
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Slip of the tongue

Just now, I had a slip of the tongue which resulted in a silly grammatical error. I said "if I had, I would not commented on it". I added "have" afterwards. My question is "do natives make such ...
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1answer
86 views

Define “own” with more primitive linguistic concepts?

I am trying to define the concept of ownership or "having" with basic more primitive concepts. My first try is: I own X == Only I can take X But does the word take imply taking ownership of? So ...
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2answers
125 views

Is “parent” a hyponym or a meronym of “parents”?

A hyponym is a word or phrase whose semantic field is included within that of another word. A meronym denotes a constituent part of, or a member of something It can be said that "parents" is ...
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4answers
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Why isn't “I've” a proper response?

Suppose someone asked me the question, "Have you completed the project?". A standard response would be "I have". Why does the equivalent "I've" sound so strange and never used as a replacement? I am ...
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8answers
4k views

What are some interesting features that are common cross-linguistically but don't exist in English?

This is on purpose not a very concrete question, I simply want to know some interesting properties other languages have that English doesn't, or features you even think English ought to have, this can ...
3
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1answer
213 views

Why is the passive voice more prevalent in English than in other Indo-European languages?

Although the active voice is predominant in the English language the ‘ideal’ proportion of recommended passive sentences is still regarded as between 5% and 10%(source1) ( source2). Which is ...
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1answer
390 views

Can someone explain the English 'W' sound?

I have found out that the English letter 'W', as in the word "weep", is classified as a voiced labiovelar approximant. To quote Wikipedia: Its place of articulation is labialized velar, which means ...
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40 views

How are measure expressions in English analyzed?

English seems pretty flexible in allowing "measure expressions" to appear in positions modifying adjectives and determiners. What are these things actually called? How are they usually analyzed? 1) ...
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1answer
174 views

Where does the spelling <ea> as a short e sound (such as bread) come from? [closed]

Where does the spelling as the short e sound (such as bread) come from?
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65 views

English phonemes audio database

I need an audio file database with any audio format which will contain the 44 English phonemes spoken by different speakers.
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1answer
100 views

Is English unusual for using compound comparisons for describing unusual things? [closed]

English seems to create normal/not normal divisions. For instance: Paranormal Supernatural Extraterrestrial I'll call these compound comparisons. To me this seems to be very problematic in may ways. ...
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1answer
100 views

Why did Oftentimes not become standard English outside of the US

I had never heard anyone use "oftentimes" as a word until I watched an American in a youtube video about 5 years ago. I am confident that where I am in Australia and in the UK that it wouldn't be ...
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1answer
120 views

Where does Texan English derive its l-vocalization?

My English teacher grew up in Texas and unsurprisingly her native dialect is Texan English. I noticed that when intervocalic /l/ is followed by /i/, the /l/ is elided and /y/ takes its place. For ...
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2answers
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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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2answers
248 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 ...
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1answer
168 views

Diphthongisation in varieties of English

Consider the vowel in a word like "know". The way I pronounce it sounds maybe like /nøʉ/ to me. But other Brits oftentimes think I have a foreign accent, so I don't know about that. And I am sure I've ...
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0answers
145 views

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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0answers
87 views

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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2answers
122 views

“I gave Tom an apple” and “I gave an apple to Tom”

"I gave Tom an apple" and "I gave an apple to Tom" have the same meaning. The meaning of Tom receiving the apple comes form the position of the word in the former example and from the preposition in ...
2
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1answer
76 views

Does anyone have a link to the American Local News Corpus V1.0?

I found a paper http://www.cs.jhu.edu/~anni/papers/alnc_lrec14.pdf that has made this epic text corpus of over 1 billion words available somewhere, but I can't find it anywhere online. The paper says ...
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41 views

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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2answers
162 views

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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4answers
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Is the schwa sound consistent?

The first syllable in "about" (ə'baʊt) is schwa, so is the second one in the "salad" ('sæləd), but iv'e never heard them pronounced the same way. in salad it sounds more like the i in "trick". ...
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1answer
138 views

Can “of”, “on”, etc. be regarded as complementizers just as “for” is?

In the following sentence, the word “for” is commonly postulated as a complementizer which introduces a non-finite clause. Is it okay for me to put these away? And there are some other sentences ...
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1answer
132 views

Is English opposite all other languages?

A German teacher (spoke fluent German and English) stated in high school to our class that “English is opposite every other language.” Is this accurate? What does that even mean?
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Why isn't intervocalic /ŋ/ analyzed as an onset in English?

I think that sɪ.ŋɪŋ does not seem too unreasonable as a syllabification of the word singing, so I'm a bit puzzled why that option for the syllabification of intervocalic /ŋ/ seems to be dismissed in ...
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1answer
83 views

Why do we write read for both present and past tense, but we pronounce them differently? [duplicate]

read verb \ ˈrēd \ read\ ˈred \ The words have the same spelling, but they are pronounced differently, and one of the words is pronounced exactly the same as a color’s name, “red,” yet its ...
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1answer
77 views

Homographs non-homophones

Homophones that are not homographs are common in languages like English. This arises because several letters (or diphthongs) can have the same pronunciation. But where do the (less common) homographs ...
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3answers
107 views

What is the French equivalent of the English linguistic term “reflex” (the descendant sound of a sound in a proto-language)?

I looked it up in different dictionaries but could not find anything. Thank you in advance.
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3answers
93 views

Extensive English word corpora

I am looking for an extensive list of english words[including American and British... just an exhaustive list]. This list of english words should contain an exhaustive collection of all forms of all ...
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1answer
171 views

Etymology of impersonal pronoun “one”

The 'impersonal' pronoun in Germanic and Romance languages seems to come from one of two paths: Cognate with the word for 'man' Proto-Germanic: *mann- Dutch: men German: man Old English: man (< ...
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3answers
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What's the difference between /ɪ/ and /i(ː)/?

In English there's the vowel sound /ɪ/ as in "bin" and /i(ː)/ as in "been". My girlfriend, who is Greek, cannot perceive the difference, but to me they sound very different. Is the difference ...
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1answer
120 views

What is 'OE Gloss.'?

I'm not a linguistics student, so my bad if this is actually very obvious/can be found online (I tried. Really.), but what is, exactly, the OE Gloss.? All I could find is that it means Old English ...
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1answer
399 views

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
345 views

When an outsider describes family relationships, which point of view are they using?

You see a family in the park and you naturally list the members as "Mom, Dad, son, and daughter". But from whose perspective is this? "Mom" and "Dad" are identifiers as seen from the perspective of ...
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2answers
113 views

Words that can belong to more than one category

Is there a term in (English) linguistics for a word that belongs to more than one word class? For example fast, which can be either an adjective, or a noun. I've been trying to find a term for this, ...
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2answers
31 views

Where can I find a set of Spanish-English comparable texts? ***(Not translations)***

This is my very first post, I hope I'm making myself clear. What I'm asking for is a set of texts that are equivalent in both languages in terms of difficulty, word frequency and register (i.e. two ...
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1answer
152 views

The “th” sound as a plosive in British dialects

I've noticed that the th sound often becomes a plosive sound in Appalachian English. When and how did this phenomenon start?The only case I know where this happens in the british isles is Irish.Does ...
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4answers
130 views

Are there other aspirated phones in English?

It is known that English has a set of aspirated consonants, the allophones [pʰ], [tʰ] and [kʰ] of /p/, /t/, /k/, respectively. Are there other consonants with aspirated allophones? In which cases do ...
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5answers
398 views

Is there a theory of word polysemy? Case of snake versus serpent

Snake and serpent mean exactly the same thing. But they're different words when they're treated as derivations. The obsolete brass instrument is a serpent but cannot be called a snake. The plumber's ...
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2answers
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“program” Equivalent in Arabic [closed]

Program and programming language don't have a known translation in Arabic. برمجة and برنامج are used, even though they aren't Arabic. Is there a native word that can be used instead?
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Why was apostrophe so vaguely used in Early Modern English?

So I have noticed in many of Shakespeare's poems that he used apostrophes in places where we don't usually see them now. For Example: In the poem 'Fear No More' the first line is "Fear no more the ...
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2answers
883 views

Why are the word-initial consonant clusters /tl/ and /dl/ absent in English?

The clusters /pr/, /br/, /kr/, /gr/, /tr/, /dr/, /pl/, /bl/, /kl/, /gl/ are all pretty common. But why are /tl/ and /dl/ missing? Is there any linguistic or historical explanation?
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Why is “index” as a noun pluralized as “indices” while the present tense verb is “indexes”? [closed]

What is the reason behind this? Do the noun and the verb have different derivations?
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1answer
498 views

Relative Clause Tree Diagram

My teacher drew this diagram in the class. He seperated the sentence as NP and S2 but it doesn't seem true. Can somebody help me?
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389 views

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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1answer
85 views

“To whom” in pied-piped infinitive relative clauses

In English wh raised from, or in situ in, a direct object or prepositional object, you can almost always use "who" at least as well as "whom",1 and in some cases you can only use "who": Who/whom did ...
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1answer
216 views

DP acting as AdvP?

Is it possible for a DP like "three times" to act as an AdvP ("He read the book three times.")? How would such a constituency tree look like? How does the DP modify the verb? Conversely, would the ...

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