Questions tagged [english]

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

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1answer
105 views

Difference between English and French in the use of subjunctive mood in counter factual protasis

The following is from English Conditional Sentences in Wikipedia. If I liked parties, I would attend more of them. If it rained tomorrow, people would dance in the street. The past tense (...
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62 views

Is it plausible there will be an established form of European English in the future?

What is more probable: A) there will be an established form of European English in the future that will differ slightly from British or American English? Or B) the English dialects in the world ...
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62 views

Resource for getting agentive noun from verb automatically

I am trying to get (in some automated fashion) the agentive noun of a given verb. For instance we have buy, buyer sell, seller invest, investor I was wondering whether there is some resource that ...
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4answers
9k views

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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1answer
67 views

What did Sapir intend to say when he wrote that 'whither' repeats all of 'where'?

I first learned of this quote on p. 105 Bottom. McWhorter, J. PhD Linguistics (Stanford). Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue (2009). Primary Source: Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech. ...
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61 views

What is the difference between “As if!” and other similar discourse markers?

According to Oxford Dictionary of English 3rd edition (2010:90), discourse marker “as if” means, in informal style, “I very much doubt it.” Oxford English Dictionary 3rd edition explains that “as if” ...
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1answer
182 views

Why does saying the word “fuck” help vent frustration?

I have observed a good number of people muttering "fuckfuckfuck" under their breath when nervous. It somehow seems to vent the frustration out, and calm the person down. Why does this happen? I found ...
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79 views

Which friend did he find to study with?

The question is about what happens to phrases during the time of making them questions. We know that the following sentence is a normal English sentence which is correct grammatically. He found a ...
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2answers
2k views

Are the diphthongs “ae” and “ea” essentially identical? [closed]

Originally, the word "tea" was pronounced "tay", which would suggest that a simple "e" is short (pronounced "eh") and by adding the "a", it becomes long "ay". However, we also have the diphthong "ae",...
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1answer
199 views

When does the “dark l” sound in English date back to?

There is no "dark l" sound in Proto-Germanic language and Proto-Indo-European language.
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2answers
167 views

Grammatical Case for Noun Phrase in English

Consider the sentence: John's book is blue. What is the grammatical case of "book" here? The two obvious choices are nominative or genitive. Most information online suggests it is nominative, ...
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6answers
508 views

Are English modal verbs tensed or non-tensed?

My assumption: English modal verbs are non-tensed (i.e. we don't say shoulds or shoulded). Yet, in X' bar theory, modal verbs appear under the inflection node I', precisely where we find the ...
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1answer
118 views

Early Middle English diphthongs

Wikipedia has a helpful page on Middle English phonology: but there are two diphthongs in its table which I cannot identify: the close-mid diphthongs “/oi/, developing into /ui/” and “/ei/, developing ...
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1answer
129 views

The origins of PIE *-nt- and *-to-

I have learned that English present participle suffix -ing and past participle suffix -ed came from PIE *-nt- and *-to- respectively. I have two questions about them. (1)Were these also used to form ...
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148 views

What does CGEL mean by 'instability in the system' in their explanation of case?

Consider the following passage from CGEL (p. 458, boldfaced emphasis mine): We look first at the contrast between nominative and accusative case, where we find a considerable amount of variation ...
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198 views

Please explain the following contrast in grammaticality in syntax [closed]

*Mary to be accepted at Boston College would be great. For Mary to be accepted at Boston College would be great
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1answer
41 views

Is there a source displaying when and where a word was first attested?

Is there a source at which one can find out when and where a word first came into use/print? Especially interested in scientific discourse.
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1answer
104 views

“in relation to which” - what type of subordinated clause and is this conjunction somehow distinct?

I am trying to analyse the sentence: Building land is a plot of land in relation to which a construction permit has been issued. and my question is - what type of subordinated clause is introduced ...
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2answers
1k views

Why do Americans and Canadians pronounce “t” with flap [ɾ] in unstressed syllables in English?

Most Americans and Canadians pronounce "t" with flap [ɾ] in unstressed syllables. Why?
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52 views

Are there words for “second cousin twice removed” in other languages?

I know in english we have a whole bunch of terms like this, do other languages have something similar?
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2answers
68 views

Is either of these meanings of the word “sentence” more conventional?

The Wikipedia article on Generative Grammar states: Generative grammar is a linguistic theory that regards grammar as a system of rules that generates exactly those combinations of words that ...
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1answer
109 views

'u' as a substition for 'v'

In Shakespeare's First Folio (please see the picture), I found that a letter 'u' is used instead of 'v'. For example, "seuen" means "seven". To know this reason, I visited many websites, but what I've ...
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2answers
202 views

'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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1answer
66 views

Why was the English 'so' imputed to the PIE *se-?

Etymonline states 'so' to originate: from PIE reflexive pronominal stem *swo- "so" [...], derivative of *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (see idiom). What semantic notions ...
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2answers
133 views

Suffix -ed indicating current state

I'm noticing that some English verbs use the -ed suffix to indicate the current state. Using this example: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/base Specifically, the verb sense, ‘the film ...
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1answer
455 views

Is the “r” in “universe” syllabic?

Good morning, Is the "r" is the word "Universe" syllabic? I learned how to identify the syllabic letters, but still find it hard to do so.
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3answers
337 views

The ate-eight split?

The words "ate" and "eight" are supposed to be homophones in English, yet in (thick) Hungarian, Dutch and Swedish accents, they are not homophones. As a native Hungarian-speaker, I will attest to this:...
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0answers
65 views

Patterns and trends for startup names

Does anyone have any stats, research papers, etc. surrounding trends for startup naming. It seems quote popular to, for example: remove vowels from words, start the company name with a lower-case ...
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0answers
85 views

Etymology of the unit “Marc” (German►English)

Friends! First of all, thanks for your time and help. I'm conducting a research on the word "Mark", and before I explain all I know so far, let me tell you: The goal is to trace the connection ...
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4answers
2k views

Is English the most descriptive language?

I only know English as a language aside from classes in Spanish and French and the typical stuff learned through movies and the like. To people who are multilingual, is English the most descriptive ...
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1answer
81 views

Reading IPA sentence [closed]

I'm trying to read the following sentence. It should be some film or play (English). I'd be glad if you could help me with translating
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2answers
399 views

Are the English words “essence” and “essential” related to the Spanish word “ser”?

I always think of the Spanish verb "ser" being related to "essence", which can be contrasted with the verb "estar", which is related to "state". "Ser" is also a noun with various meanings including "...
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1answer
100 views

Has the letter ⟨u⟩ in english ever historically represented the phonemes /y/ or /ʏ/?

English's spelling was changed after sometime and became more like French in some areas, such as the digraph ⟨ou⟩ to represent /u/, after ⟨u⟩ came to represent /ʊ~ʌ/. The reason I ask this, however, ...
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105 views

Research on development of language of modality in children 8-12?

Let me quickly introduce myself to provide a context for my questions. My PhD research focuses on ways that we can teach primary school children (9-12) ways of handling complex, contradictory and ...
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50 views

A sort/type/kind of N. Which is the head?

Let's take the example 'A kiwi is [a type of bird]'. Page 109 of this book https://faculty.mu.edu.sa/public/uploads/1367260110.5528Understanding%20Syntax.pdf sais that the head of a phrase: A. Has ...
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4answers
618 views

Why is the “long i” sound in English written /aɪ/?

The "long i" sound in English, as in "fight" is usually written /aɪ/, so fight = /faɪt/. But /a/ is the sound in "hat", and /ɪ/ is the sound in "hit". When I say the two together it doesn't sound ...
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119 views

What historical change(s) shortened vowels in Old and Middle English?

In a 1968 paper by Kiparsky ("Linguistic universals and linguistic change"), a historical-change argument is made for the brace notation of SPE, based on the history of vowel shortening. The premise ...
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2answers
471 views

Is English “lake” Derived from Latin, or is it Indo-European?

I'm having a bit of trouble figuring this one out. Lake, meaning "A large, landlocked stretch of water." seems to have some confusion in the Wiktionary pages. I've looked in the American Heritage ...
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1answer
193 views

Looking for a database of minimal pairs

I'm looking for a database of english minimal pairs that is at least somewhat organized by some principle such as features or phonemes similar to : https://www.speech-language-therapy.com/index.php?...
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110 views

Why does the English Alphabet sometimes function like a syllabary?

One of the things that I never really noticed growing up until I began learning about other languages and the elegance of writing systems is how, in America for sure, we use letters like syllabic ...
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157 views

The pronunciation of the voiced “th” in English

I speak General American English, and I pronounce voiced "th"'s in two different ways. The first, which is how I pronounce it in "the" and "father," feels somewhat like a stop; part of my tongue ...
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1answer
134 views

Is there a word-list for child English?

Are there any publications which list words of English that one might reasonably expect a child to know? I assume that "father" would be on the list, and "allophone; metallurgy" would not be. As for ...
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1answer
96 views

Which language expresses aspect most similarly to English?

I suppose there are at least two ways to read this question (forgive me, I'm not a linguist, just a struggling practical language student): 1) Which languages' aspects map onto those in English most ...
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74 views

Does a main verb undergo inversion in “Has he any shame?”

My undergraduate textbook builds a case to posit separate classes of verbs as lexical, auxiliary, modal in nature. One criterion is how auxiliary and modals (unlike main verbs) undergo inversion but ...
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1answer
69 views

Estimate of the number of homographs in english

Am curious as to the number of homographs (sets of word meanings that share a common spelling) that occur in the English language. Also what the current state of the art would be for automatically ...
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2answers
186 views

help with minimal pairs in English

In a famous paper on phonology R. Jakobson made an example of an English minimal triplet as follows: pop ~ tot ~ cock By this example he wanted to show that syllable onset and coda positions ...
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76 views

Why can't we explain exceptional case-marking as sentences with a three-place predicate?

In this sentence: I consider him a good person. What is prohibiting us from positing a three-place predicate here? In such a scenario, consider would discharge three theta-roles to agent (I), ...
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1answer
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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303 views

Are the inflectional endings in English known to have evolved from separate words or do they go too far back into PIE to know?

English isn't a highly inflected language, but it did evolve from one and still has at least: -s, -es; -ed, -ing; -er, -est; for nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Do we know if these all evolved from ...
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72 views

Is standard written English really more open to the repetition of words?

In written English, I often see redundant repetition of the same or similar words even in the same sentence. Here's an example I've just seen: She was born to Patrick Mbatha, a black African doctor ...

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