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Questions tagged [grammar]

A body of rules, features, or generalizations which reliably differentiate between grammatical and ungrammatical constructions.

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Is *grandmother* a compound?

"Grand is used in a specialized sense in kin terms like grandmother or grandson to indicate a further degree of lineal distance beyond that expressed in the head. Such forms can themselves be modified ...
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1answer
168 views

Etymology of Latin infinitive verb endings

I was wondering, what the etymology of Latin infinitive verb endings -are, -ere and -ire was. I assume they are Indo-European, but I haven't found any information about it.
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Universal Grammar or Other Area of Study

So, what I am wondering about is what I should look up to study the following. From my understanding, there is a limited number of ways languages are implemented. That is, there is a set of abstract ...
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2answers
46 views

Can the need for ambiguity lead to merge of grammatical person, or other semantic merge?

My mother tongue doesn't distinguish 3.SG.F and 3.SG.M in speech. In some cases I feel the redundancy of it and the need for ambiguity of the grammatical person when I speak a language which ...
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Are there any statistic how similar are any two languages? [duplicate]

Are there any statistics on how similar any two languages are? For a whole language (lexical and structural) or maybe just a comparison of two dictionaries (vocabulary)?
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2answers
88 views

Understanding Feature Grammar syntax

Background: I am a software dev who doesn't really know much about linguistics but I am trying to learn some of it for an application I'm making I am trying to understand Feature Grammar syntax, and ...
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33 views

How are clauses containing adverbial clauses and free modifiers represented in syntax trees?

I know that relative clauses simply go in the noun phrase containing the noun they modify, but what about adverbial clauses and free modifiers? How do you represent a clause containing an adverbial ...
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4answers
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All that glitters is confusing!

"All that is gold does not glitter" "Not all that is gold glitters" The first phrase appears in Lord of the Rings, modified from Shakespeare, and contextually implies that "Aragorn is vastly more ...
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1answer
89 views

Experimental support for construction grammar?

I realize there are many different instantiations of Construction Grammar (CxG), and I'm not necessarily tied to any particular version yet. I was curious if there are experiments that support CxG, or ...
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30 views

Noun Phrase/absolute clause distinction

What is the difference between a supplemental noun phrase and a absolute clause? In these examples and in general. Is it just the non-finite nature of the second example ? He won at his favourite ...
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0answers
40 views

Phrase structure trees for serial verb constructions

I have not found an example of a phrase structure tree for a serial verb construction like let’s go [and] see a movie The serialized verbs go and see would have to be sister nodes, I think, but I am ...
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57 views

Phrase structure trees for different languages

I am trying to get to the bottom of the difference between (1) and (2) below, and how the intended meanings would be reflected in a phrase structure tree: (1) If you think that $100 is too little you ...
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1answer
148 views

What ex­act­ly is “lev­el shift” in trans­la­tion the­o­ry by Cat­ford?

Catford (1978) divides the shift in translation into two major types, level/rank shift and category shift. Level/rank shift refers to a source language item at one linguistic level that has a target ...
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0answers
44 views

Markers that affect intensity of the imperative mood

I'm working on a project that explores how imperative mood varies in 'intensity'. For example, one can 'soften' the tone of a directive by including the speaker in the command: "Let's go to school"...
5
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1answer
122 views

'm' of predication vs. nominal sentence in Middle Egyptian

Consider the sentence: "I am a scribe, skillful of fingers." This is typically stated in Middle Egyptian using the 'm' of predication: iw=i m sš iqr n(y) ḏbaw I think this is correct, and 'm' of ...
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2answers
54 views

What is the proper terminology for “I touch” in this sentence?

I am trying to diagram this sentence for a personal project: Everything I touch with tenderness pricks like a bramble. From what I understand, Everything is the subject, and pricks is the ...
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68 views

“Peter sang a song to Julie”, Is “to Julie” is an adjunct or complement?

Peter sang a song to Julie. It seems that the verb "sang" selects the preposition, but to Julie is optional. And if we apply it to an X' Schema, how shall we do it? To Julie is the dependent of sang ...
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1answer
66 views

How to construct a grammar given a text and a dictionary

So I would like to learn how to construct a grammar from scratch. In order to do this the first step is collecting data, primarily texts, and compiling a dictionary. I think this can be simulated for ...
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1answer
103 views

Why Do We Say “The Same”?

Generally, sentences are constructed like this: Compared to Joe, he looks similar. Compared to Joe, he looks different. Compared to Joe, he looks handsome. Compared to Joe, he looks ugly. Yet, when ...
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1answer
134 views

Why Creole languages aren't the default

I am new to exploring Creole languages, after seeing them compared to "Riau Indonesian": The dialect of Malay spoken in Riau Province is considered by linguists to have one of the least complex ...
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1answer
79 views

Explaining Grammatical “Mood” for the Laymen

I have seen "mood" a lot in linguistics articles, have read about it a few times, but it never seems to click. Wikipedia links to Linguistic modality. I have come across Modal Logic which basically ...
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1answer
64 views

Complete guide to cross-language grammar [closed]

Wondering what the best (free) resources are for learning about grammar generically across languages. I have seen a lot of "Guide to the X grammar", but not "Guide to grammar in general". Would like ...
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1answer
67 views

The languages with the most complicated grammars [closed]

It looks like Navajo has a very difficult-to-tease-apart verb morphology, as seen here: Unusually for a natively North American language, Navajo is sometimes described as fusional due to its ...
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Does anyone know if there are plans for a 'successor' to Huddleston and Pullum (CamGEL or CGEL)?

Huddleston and Pullum's The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (CamGEL or CGEL) is widely considered a 'successor' to a previous 'great English grammar': Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik's ...
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1answer
138 views

Why is sign language different from spoken language?

I have read a bit about sign language, and apparently they have different grammar from the local spoken language. Why would they need this? Doesn't it complicate things to have to learn 2 languages ...
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Why was 'grammar' chosen to signify the model of linguistic competence, when 'grammar' was already strikingly polysemous?

Page 5 of (R.L. Trask, Robert McColl Millar's) Why Do Languages Change? (2010 Rev. ed), expounds that 'grammar' originally didn't mean its linguistical meaning (quoted at the bottom): no surprise, as ...
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2answers
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Latest research on the meaning of prepositions

Trying to understand what a preposition is. Wikipedia gives some hints (adpositions are the general case of preposition/postposition/circumposition): ...Adpositions are classed as syntactic ...
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1answer
51 views

Is there a grammatical case indicating displacement?

As part of a constructed language experiment I am trying to write phrases with clause structure of [noun supersedes noun] as just two words. For example, “death before dishonor” or “freedom over ...
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4answers
184 views

Example of a tenseless sentence

I just learned about Tenseless languages, such as Chinese. But I'm interested to see what this looks like and/or means. For example, wondering if one could write a tenseless sentence in English and ...
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1answer
48 views

How can I identify Grammatical Categories in a sentence?

Please excuse the fact that I'm not an academically trained Linguist. I am working on a computer program with example sentences and their equivalents in different languages. The idea I am trying to ...
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2answers
92 views

Does it make any sense when saying someone's grammar was wrong?

This is a followup question of this question that I asked 3 and a half year ago. So based on what I could gather there, "descriptive" grammar comes after a language, hoping the rules are best ...
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1answer
34 views

What part of speech is “group” when used in a construct like “people group,” or “product group”

Given a class C, we may append it with the literal "group" to obtain a class of sets whose elements are instances of C, and which are related in some way. If you're not super familiar with object ...
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3answers
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How can you know that a word in a sentence is a verb?

I am wondering what it takes to parse a sentence with incomplete knowledge. That is, take a sentence like this: If I use timeout I have to call again my function at the end of the execution of the ...
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0answers
52 views

Pattern to Prefixes and Suffixes in English

I've come across a list of English prefixes and remember learning in school about Latin and Greek being helpful for learning words in English based on prefixes/suffixes. I'm wondering though if there ...
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1answer
41 views

Do the WALS chapters cover the core grammatical structure of Spanish?

How complete is their description for the Spanish language? Is it missing something out? Here is the description http://wals.info/languoid/lect/wals_code_spa Thank You
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1answer
99 views

Instrumental - nominative inversion in Polish

While scrolling through a course in Polish, I saw the following sentence: Wynikiem wyrażenia jest nowa relacja. This is not the first time I notice this pattern, where the instrumental is used for ...
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0answers
46 views

This/that: a determiner or pronoun? [duplicate]

Is there commonly accepted opinion on what lexemes this/that are, determiners or pronouns? E.g. in the following phrase: ... can help you work these out these seem to show some properties of ...
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1answer
359 views

Python list to Parse tree

In Python, I have an input of list like following: [('S', ['NP', 'VP']), ('A', ['V', 'NP']), ('VP', ['V', 'NP']), ('NP', ['DET', 'NP']), ('N', "'mouse'"), ('NP', "'mouse'"), ('DET', "'the'"), ('V', "'...
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53 views

Are there languages which have ways to distinguish between an adjunct noun and an adjective?

(Take some example). Do other languages (than English) have means distinguish between their adjunct nouns and adjectives or is it a very complex/grammatical structure that cannot possibly be ...
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3answers
109 views

One usage of infinitive clause

My question is about the sentence A few opportunities exist to get a better education in the U.S.(1) Some people said: "It is a correct sentence." However, I don't think so and will explain why. ...
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1answer
73 views

Is there any theoretical explanation of putting infinitive clause at the beginning?

There is a sentence which my Canadian professor today talked about. 1-) I see no reason to do these stupid things. The Canadian English professor at the university said that we could put the part "...
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0answers
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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0answers
24 views

What do introductory non-finite clauses modify?

The introductory non-finite clauses below (in bold) Speeding down the road, Peter ran a red light. Discouraged by his losing record, the boxer quit boxing what, if anything, do they modify? Do ...
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0answers
40 views

How broad should the corpora be to describe the grammar of a proficient speaker?

What's the minimum size of a corpus that you need to cover substantially the grammar of a language? I know that the limits of 'substantial' might be open to speculation. But imagine you wanted to ...
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2answers
95 views

Doesn't Sanskrit use adpositions of any kind?

For some reason, the Wikipedia article makes no mention of any adpositions of any kind. I find it highly unbelievable that the language makes no use of such. It has a case system, but there's only 8 ...
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2answers
210 views

“Den” or “det” in Swedish

I am native Swedish speaker and I have a problem that the language seems to have no grammar in some cases. For instance there is both "en lag" and "ett lag" meaning completely different things but the ...
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1answer
93 views

direct object and indirect object [closed]

Which is the direct object and which is the indirect object in the following sentence? The school has given David's proposal serious consideration. I think that "David's proposal" is the indirect ...
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1answer
67 views

To what extent do different languages allow different understanding of reality?

I know that some languages have more or less tenses, have a more or less complete vocabulary, and in these ways it seems they would allow a native speaker a more or less accurate understanding of ...
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38 views

(How) Can one create a language in a classroom setting?

My wife questioned me if there's a subject that I cannot teach effectively (per my standards of making the students salivate for more). I mentioned my weakness at teaching languages, English for ...
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128 views

What are the main features of an agglutinative language?

As I was beginning to study some Esperanto, it immediately became clear that the language used the same morphemes without significant modification. Therefore, on further research, concluded that it ...