Questions tagged [english]

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

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3
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2answers
76 views

a question about reflexives and nonreflexives

Why "the house(i) had a fence around itself(i)" is ungrammatical but "Susan(i) wrapped the blanket around herself(i)" is grammatical?
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Binding Puzzle in English Generative Syntax!

Consider the following sentences: (1) Anna believes [ IP herself to be a hero] ] (2) Anna wants [ IP him to leave] ] (3) *Anna wants [ IP herself to leave ] ] (1) is an example of Exceptional Case ...
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How can we say modals are of category T, but auxiliaries are really verbs? [duplicate]

Are there any arguments or theories to account for it?
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2answers
464 views

What is the relation between a specifier and a determiner?

Does specifier mean "the" and "possesser" and determiner mean "the" and "possessive 's"?
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1answer
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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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2answers
210 views

What is the distribution of pronominal “one”?

(Based on the comments this question has received, more is needed to avoid confusion. The original question remains as stated below the line below. What is added here now is a more complete rendition ...
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2answers
129 views

Considering the English language, is there only one way to divide a word in syllables?

I should do a words analysis. More specifically given a word I should split it into syllables and I was wondering if, given a word, there is only one syllables subdivision. This is because I have read ...
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1answer
58 views

How much more often is a definite article used with a noun than an indefinite article in the English language?

I'd be happy if I could get an overall answer to this question, but if someone is also capable of breaking this down by single vs. plural nouns nouns as subject vs. nouns as direct objects nouns as ...
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0answers
44 views

What is the ratio of uncountable nouns to countable nouns in the English language?

I want to make the claim that uncountable nouns far outweigh countable ones in the English language, but a cursory search of the web did not lead me to anything that might support this claim, so all I ...
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49 views

Why is “woman” in “the woman teacher” an adjunct while “literature” in “the literature teacher” a complement?

Is it because we cannot say "teacher of woman" but we can say "teacher of literature"?
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1answer
62 views

Why do the equivalents of “moody” in other Germanic languages mean “courageous”?

If it wasn’t clear, “moody” is a word found in the English language. It generally implies a sense of melancholy on the thing it is describing. However, in other Germanic languages, the cognates of ...
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2answers
97 views

Raised object vs. Subordinate subject (I didn't want 'Kim' mistreating my cat)

(1) I didn't want Kim mistreating my cat. (2) I didn't want Kim to mistreat my cat. Semantically, Kim is not the object of want but the subject of the respective subordinate clauses mistreating my ...
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1answer
104 views

Labialised /r/ in RP

Is /r/ in RP labialised in all positions? For example: In words like real, free, proud, tree, brother, borrow, dream, throw etc. Is it labialised in all positions (like intervocalic, post-...
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2answers
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American production of /ɾ/ in other languages

Why is it common for Americans who study foreign languages to keep producing /ɾ/ as a retroflex sound, even though [ɾ] is present in their pronunciation of native words like city and water?
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Name That Phenomenon: I worry that once I STOP doing an action “just to be safe,” the thing I'm being safe from will occur

I've always had feelings like these before. I've seen sad movies when I was younger, but the thing that got me the most was the kid (who lost their parents) said, "The last thing I ever said to them ...
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1answer
82 views

Errors in my linguistics textbook

There were a couple of things I learned in linguistics class that turned out to be wrong, but at the moment I only recall one: they told us that no native English speaking child would ever say "What ...
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2answers
171 views

Do the DRESS vowel (/e/) and SQUARE vowel (/ɛː/) have the same vowel quality in contemporary RP?

I understand that the SQUARE vowel is now often realized as the long monophthong /ɛː/ instead of the traditional diphthong /eə/ in contemporary RP. The DRESS vowel is now also closer to the open-mid ...
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0answers
67 views

Does California vowel shift occur in bilingual Spanish speakers?

I know that recently there has been a lot of research done on the California vowel shift being a key part of a California accent for younger kids who have grown up there. Knowing that there is a ...
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0answers
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Does anyone know the history of the infinitive?

I teach grammar, and I think it is no mystery to anyone that infinitives are strange. I think it might help me to know the history of this verb-cum-noun-adjectiv
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1answer
165 views

Is T-Glottalization in English a modern phenomenon?

The phenomenon of T Glottalization, which is distinct from the Queen's English in that the T sound is replaced with a glottal stop, is evidenced in some of the papers of linguists working in the 1960s ...
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1answer
673 views

How did this alternation happen?

Wiktionary's entry for "seldom" contains the following etymology: From late Middle English seldom, alteration of earlier selden, from Old English seldan (“seldom”), from Proto- Germanic *...
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2answers
186 views

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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2answers
131 views

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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1answer
85 views

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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3answers
108 views

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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1answer
451 views

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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1answer
49 views

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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1answer
118 views

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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2answers
988 views

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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2answers
173 views

/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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2answers
150 views

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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1answer
139 views

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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3answers
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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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4answers
262 views

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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0answers
99 views

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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2answers
102 views

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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1answer
54 views

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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1answer
62 views

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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1answer
64 views

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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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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2answers
219 views

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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3answers
99 views

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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1answer
130 views

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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1answer
127 views

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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44 views

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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3answers
158 views

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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42 views

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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1answer
114 views

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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1answer
96 views

Does understanding in Russian imply understanding in English? [closed]

I am a native Russian speaker. There is a Past Continuous as well as a Past Simple tense in Russian, does that mean that my brain understands how the tenses work in English too? (English is not my ...

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