Questions tagged [grammar]

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

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Is "because" always a subordinating conjunction introducing a subordinate clause?

My grammar book says that a word like "because" is a subordinating conjunction, meaning that it is a word that can introduce a dependent clause. I know that a dependent clause contains its ...
Elisa's user avatar
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Pro-form vs pronoun

The definition of a pronoun according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is "any of a small set of words... that are used as substitutes for nouns or noun phrases". The definition of a pro-...
shea's user avatar
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Question Constructions in CxG

Suppose we have a sentence stating some fact and an question specifying something from the sentence as in I'm studying. - What are you studying? Given this form, does the question have to "mirror&...
Shpekard's user avatar
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Can an affix still be considered an affix without being fixed to the base word?

What do you call a situation where a phrase that does not act as an infix but can be inserted into a multisyllabic word that is formed out of a base word and an affix? In the Mong language, we have ...
Mòòb Lajleeb's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
85 views

Wh-movement of D/NP in Russian

I have recently come across the following expression: (они) попрали даже то, что ими диктуется о смысле жизни. (they) trampled even what they dictated about the meaning of life. It made me wonder: ...
Shpekard's user avatar
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Are there any languages with dominant VSO word order that DON'T switch to VOS in copular sentences?

VSO languages are few and hard to find. The few I know of all switch to VOS order in copular sentences. Is this universal or are there exceptions? Do humans really dislike de-coupling V and O so much ...
user8600's user avatar
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How do different grammar theory (e.g. PSG, FG) explain word order in different language? [closed]

In typology, how do different types of grammar theories (such as phrase structure grammar, functional grammar, etc.) explain different linear word order in different languages? I know that dependency ...
Rongrong's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is there a reason why certain verbs use certain cases?

For examples, in German there are certain verbs that always use the dative cases and others that always use the accusative case. Is there a logical or semantical reason for this? Does the use of a ...
Agustin G.'s user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
196 views

What part of speech is "CQ"?

In radio communications, "CQ" (pronounced as individual letters, i.e. "see-queue", or as a mnemonic, "seek you") is a standardized term used to mean "calling all ...
Someone's user avatar
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16 Genders of the Kivunjo Language?

Some of the Bantu languages have many grammatical genders. One of these, Kivunjo, is said to have 16. Would anyone let me know all of the 16 genders? Steven Pinker’s The Language Instinct quotes ...
samhana's user avatar
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Can one word form a phrase?

Can one word form a phrase? For example: Man is mortal. There is no modifier. So, here is there any phrase?
Salim uddin's user avatar
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Are there languages where grammatical parallelism does not matter?

English has a strong preference for parallelism (Wikipedia link), even though sentences lacking parallelism are still considered grammatically correct: Good: She likes cooking, jogging, and reading. ...
MWB's user avatar
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1 answer
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Coreferentiality of relative pronoun and its antecedent explanation

I am struggling with the intuition behind understanding an antecedent as that part of speech which is 'referred back to' and coferential with a relative pronoun. In the case 'Tom is kind, so I like ...
Karas Ielder's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
30 views

Defining an 'unexpressed antecedent'?

I think I understand that an expressed antecedent is the word or set of words, actually stated, which provide meaning to a pronoun or pro-form. That is, the pronoun or pro-form refers to the same ...
Karas Ielder's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
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Is there always at least one parse which accounts for all words cleanly using Phrase Structure Grammar trees?

A few small but related questions here. I'm looking at ways to define "sentence patterns", at least starting with English. That led me back to phrase structure grammars, which have nice and ...
Lance's user avatar
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Albanian, usage of definite nominative for proper nouns

I am learning Albanian using the book "Discovering Albanian". In chapter 2, the book introduces the definitive form of the nominative case and explains how to use it whit proper names. It is ...
Lukas's user avatar
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Marking TAM without an explicit TAM marker

There's this concept related to how Semitic verbs conjugation - not the vocalic templates, more a logical consequence of them - that I think is really interesting. How they manage to communicate TAM ...
Arcaeca's user avatar
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Third-person singular used for emphasis in online communication -- Why?

I signed up simply to ask this question, although it's awfully niche. In textual situations, such as for roleplay or for humor, on the internet, one will use the third-person singular form of a verb ...
urro's user avatar
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0 answers
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Information Selection with Because

I'm having difficulty with the extraction of information from sentences containing the word "because." I was analyzing a text about the advantages and disadvantages of open-plan offices. ...
lans's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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How do I identify constituents and clause boundaries?

I'm going through some practice exercises for an upcoming exam and trying to do syntax trees is really tripping me up. Could anyone please walk me through how they would break them down and how to ...
Sam's user avatar
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Is there any type of app that trains my english skills?

I like to write some more in english and for that I want to improve my vocabulary (and overall grammar skills). Is there an app that focuses on teaching new words and explains their meaning? I know ...
user42532's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
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What is one-place predicate and two-place predicate?

When I read some linguistic articles, I encountered two names. One is called a "one-place predicate" and the other is a "two-place" predicate. So what are the definitions of these ...
Rongrong's user avatar
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0 answers
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Is direct reported speech more common in Turkish than indirect reported speech?

Working in subtitles production, I have noticed direct reported speech is very common in Turkish TV shows dialogs. In Hebrew, my target language - and I thinks in English, as well - it is more common ...
Avital's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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How to write a program that lists out all the grammar patterns used in a given sentence?

Disclaimer, I have no formal background in linguistics so I'm really asking in the dark here. Problem: I'm trying to write a program that, given a grammatically correct (this is assumed) sentence, ...
minmax19's user avatar
-2 votes
2 answers
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All the ways you can describe a relationship outside of nouns/verbs/adjectives across languages (i.e. like with prepositions)? [closed]

Having dug more into prepositions, I learned they are often "function words" (as opposed to "lexical words", i.e. "content words"). However, in at least one paper I read (...
Lance's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
238 views

Are there two senses of "grammar" with respect to semantics?

Are there two senses of "grammar"? Is it correct that in linguistics, semantics (and maybe also pragmatics) belongs to and is specified in grammar? (My impression from limited reading of a ...
Tim's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Rule Interaction and the Organization of a Grammar

Apologies for not posing a proper question, but I'd like to find a copy of Rule Interaction and the Organization of a Grammar, by Geoffrey K. Pullum (1979), which I believe to be his doctoral thesis. ...
Matthew Rips's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
90 views

Grammar/syntax rules for structures larger than the sentence?

All grammar syntax rules (afaik) pertain to words in the same sentence. For example, a complete sentence must have a subject and a verb. But there must be rules for structures larger than the sentence....
StLouis9's user avatar
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1 answer
66 views

New knowledge via HPSG

I've happened to read a little bit of HPSG literature (a certain part from Sag's textbook and a dissertation on prepositions) and it felt like this framework was more of a description model to capture ...
Shpekard's user avatar
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2 answers
108 views

Mysterious uncertainty about ablative case in Turkish

Yesterday I was watching a Turkish trivia game show on TV when a question came up about the ablative case in Turkish. The question, asked during a part of the show when questions are generally deemed ...
mdirkse's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
249 views

Why do languages seem to lose the dual number in particular?

Proto-Indo-European is reconstructed as having a dual number; Ancient Greek and Sanskrit both had one, yet modern Greek and all Indo-Aryan languages have lost it; similar patterns can be observed in ...
noah johnson's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
217 views

How many grammatical cases does Telugu have?

I can't figure out how many grammatical cases Telugu has: Wikipedia says 8 (Telugu grammar) Telugu itself says 8, but I'm not sure if they map 1-1 to linguistic cases (విభక్తులు/viḅaktulu) I found a ...
shreyasm-dev's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
71 views

Unclear Polish case usage

I saw the following two constructions in Polish: Za około dwadzieścia minut Po około dwudziestu minutach And I don't really understand their grammatical rules. Za takes accusative, 20 and około take ...
Michael's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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Correspondences between syntactic categories and human cognition: are telic classes missing (in English)?

A basic but rich question (to me) seems to be, we have these familiar lexical categories that come up again and again across languages, but why? Nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositional ...
Julius H.'s user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
93 views

Are there any languages with no distinction between perfect, imperfect, and simple tense aspects?

I am currently trying my hand at making a conlang, and I just wish to know, are there any languages that don't distinguish between perfect, imperfect, and simple tense aspects? Thank you in advance.
Cricket's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
97 views

Where can I find books from the late 17th/early 18th century about English grammar, and books from the same period about English phonology?

I'm interested in finding books that explain English grammar (as much of it and in as much depth as possible), written by scholars from the late 17th/early 18th century. Which do you recommend? Could ...
high-strung_violin's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
426 views

Acceptability and grammaticality

My understanding of acceptability and grammaticality is this: As someone who is able to communicate in a given language I find given sentences that I hear or read more or less acceptable (in terms of ...
Hans-Peter Stricker's user avatar
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0 answers
67 views

In general Western languages, how to terminate a phrase, which starts with a question but ends with a statement?

I just entered the following comment on a StackOverflow question: Is this a purely theoretical question, because sleep 5 without any quotes is working fine? I have no idea if this sentence is ...
Dominique's user avatar
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0 answers
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Which aspect is actually communicated by Supine verb form in Estonian

there is one bit of Estonian grammar that bugs me in particular for years already. Why to have 2 separate infinitive forms (so called, -ma and -da infinitives, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
62mkv's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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How can I understand "remnant movement" in English heavy-NP shift construction

Kayne 2003 mentions that there exists remnant movement in English. As background, note: I predicted that John would marry Susan, and marry Susan/her/*Ann he will. The argument(s) in the preposed VP ...
Yili Xia's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
90 views

Is there a formal system in Linguistics like Boolean algebra to reduce the grammar rules of a language to minimum items ignoring semantics? [closed]

To get the grammar rules down to the minimum necessary for teaching. Semantics not included. This is example what what I am thinking about. Grammar with all the semantics cut out, means it is easy to ...
Aseku Vena's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
227 views

How to make a reference grammar of colloquial forms of a language?

Recently, I became interested in trying to document the grammar and phonologies of colloquial or "street" forms of English. Is there an easy way to figure out how people in my neighborhood ...
nearsighted's user avatar
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1 answer
121 views

Question about a phrase with the Polish case genetive (dopełniacz)

in the following sentence: "Teraz idę do żabki po sok" What is the function of the genitive case applied on the noun "żabka"? I'm aware that with the preposition "do", ...
FMB's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
134 views

What is the name for the phenomenon where an English verb that takes a clausal complement either does or does not mark the infinitive with "to"?

Let them go home. *Let them to go home. *Allow them go home. Allow them to go home. Make them go home. *Make them to go home. *Force them go home. Force them to go home. What is the reason that &...
Sam Engel's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
75 views

Relation Between Unreal & Past Tense Forms

Background I am learning English grammar. Having been confused about modal usage, I decided to pick out a book on the subject, coming to "Modality and the English Modals" by F. R. Palmer. In ...
Later's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
60 views

About the location of 'đươc', can it be placed both before a verb and before a noun? [closed]

In my Vietnamese self-learning book, I saw this sentence: Rất vui đươc gặp cô. I'm very pleased to meet you. (To an elderly lady) So I thought đươc is used like đươc + verb (đươc gặp = can meet). ...
Chan Kim's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
76 views

Alternate classification of Language objects?

In the normal Grammar that we learn in school, we have concepts such as nouns, verbs, adverbs and so on. In some languages, certain concepts of this framework have no resembling equivalent. For eg, in ...
tryst with freedom's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
27 views

What are the practical differences between type-logical/categorial and context-free based approaches to semantic parsing?

I am currently reading Bob Carpenter's Type-Logical Semantics, which goes over the Type-Logical approach to natural language semantics. I understand that categorial grammar is technically different ...
Nathan BeDell's user avatar
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0 answers
53 views

The difference between headwords and main words

Not while ago, I was provided with a handout adressing types of phrases and in the very beginning, my lecturer stated this : Now, what I'm basically trying to know is, first: whether the info is valid ...
Kenny FürEver's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is there a standardized way to classify languages according to how much the order of the words is tied to the words themselves?

(I'm a language enthusiast, not a linguist, so the question is probably longer and contains more examples than it needs; maybe it could have been shorter if I had more techinical terminology at my ...
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