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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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Constructing a Czech adverb from an adjective

I am looking for an algorithm to create Czech adverbs when given an adjective. I was looking for a decent set of rules, but I was not able to find anything comprehensive. Going from example words I ...
Pux's user avatar
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79 views

Why do we actually use the subjunctive in languages like Spanish?

I am aware of when to use it; that is not my question. Why do we say "Sugiero que vayas" rather than "Sugiero que vas" when it is clear that the latter would express the meaning ...
Paolo Mancini's user avatar
-1 votes
0 answers
63 views

The polysemy of French prepositions

Please, are there any links, articles, or free resource materials on the polysemous nature of French prepositions?
Ukachi Chima's user avatar
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1 answer
67 views

Is vocabulary different from grammar in a language

I read this post and an answer in it says that vocabulary and grammar aren't actually discrete, I have the following questions: Are they different but not distinct? Could someone explain how they ...
John greg's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
76 views

wh-word and adjunction (Russian as an example)

I am reading The Syntax of Russian by John Frederick Bailyn. He takes the wh-word который to be of category AP/NP. Also he assumes that adjuncts operates at the level of XP, not X-bar. Given that, if ...
Shpekard's user avatar
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What is "description" in terms of a metalanguage?

Suppose I have a formal system consisting of a formal grammar and deductive rules. To "describe" the formal grammar and deductive rules, I require some sort of metalanguage. My question is, ...
JayZenvia's user avatar
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0 answers
51 views

Czech declension of Masculine Names ending in -a

I have come across several examples where at least in the genitive of a two-word phrase the name ending -a does not decline, e.g., svatého Sáva (vs. standard and more common Sávy), Alexandra (or ...
Attila the Pun's user avatar
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0 answers
45 views

Preposition stranding and Wh-islands

I am doing research on a few apparent cases of preposition stranding in Brazilian Portuguese (a non-P-stranding language) and, by comparing them to languages that have bona fide P-stranding, I am ...
Nobody16's user avatar
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0 answers
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Noun Phrase - complement vs. postmodifier

Let's look at these two noun phrases: 1 - The chapter of the book. 2 - A mother of two kids. Could you please help me understand why 'of the book' is a postmodifier while 'of two kids' is a complement?...
Houcine's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
72 views

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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1 vote
0 answers
111 views

Are all pronouns proforms?

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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2 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
35 views

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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2 votes
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
204 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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1 answer
194 views

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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2 answers
516 views

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
4 votes
0 answers
116 views

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 vote
1 answer
59 views

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
34 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
47 views

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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2 votes
0 answers
39 views

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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1 vote
0 answers
24 views

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
  • 422
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1 answer
113 views

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
  • 21
1 vote
0 answers
81 views

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
  • 141
2 votes
0 answers
76 views

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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0 votes
0 answers
19 views

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
1k views

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
  • 327
1 vote
1 answer
82 views

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
66 views

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
59 views

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
249 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
41 views

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
96 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
0 votes
1 answer
70 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
  • 183
0 votes
2 answers
113 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
285 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
301 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
81 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
61 views

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 Hamilton's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
113 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
128 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
559 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
0 votes
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
  • 157
0 votes
0 answers
62 views

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
  • 173
2 votes
0 answers
115 views

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
  • 653
-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
231 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
0 votes
1 answer
125 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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