Questions tagged [grammar]

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

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32 views

Do nouns in simple apposition semantically unpack to predicate nominatives in English?

A Koine Greek grammar states that nouns in simple apposition are semantically understood as predicate nominatives. So, "Paul the apostle" unpacks to "Paul is the apostle" and "the apostle is Paul" ...
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92 views

Why is Spanish SVO and not VSO?

I understand that Spanish sentences have an SVO sentence structure. (S)(Yo) (V)compro (O)los zapatos. What confuses me is the fact that when the subject is a pronoun, it is omitted so often that you ...
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57 views

How can one differentiate syntax and morphology for ESL students?

Do morphological and syntactical approaches to grammar instruction co-exist? I am writing a paper on the importance of clause structure in lexicogrammatical approaches to grammar instruction at the ...
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2answers
106 views

What is the difference between compound words and derivational words?

I know that compound words are made up with two small words, but is "tax-free" or "timeless" compound word? How about "thought-free"?
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1answer
72 views

Is there a term for how English replaces the preposition “of” by putting the word that comes after “of” before the word that comes before “of”?

EG, Apple Juice --> (The) Juice of Apple(s) Gold Castle --> (The) Castle of Gold Liver Disease --> Disease of (the) Liver Et Al.
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30 views

Non-projective tree sentences

I'm trying to generate the non-projective tree of the sentence: "A hearing is scheduled on the issue today." But with the Stanford Core NLP tool (https://corenlp.run/), I obtain a projective ...
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54 views

What does this quote by Chomsky mean?

“Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied.”
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1answer
124 views

Why are constructions such as ‘AN historian’ commonly pronounced with a non-silent H?

It is well-known that the determiner a is substituted with an when the following word begins with a vowel (letter or sound). In some cases, however, an has been used preceding words beginning with (as ...
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40 views

Determining the semantic “complexity” of a grammar computationally from text

I'm working on a computational text analysis project which uses ngram data from journal articles, and I'm trying to find a way to measure some aspect of the semantic "complexity" of the grammar in one ...
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2answers
51 views

Is ‘for’ a complementizer or a preposition in ‘prefer for John to stay’

As the title says, in ‘prefer for John to stay’, is ‘for’ a complementizer and the following is a CP, or a preposition?
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1answer
46 views

How can we explain “head feature” of a phrase? [closed]

For example, how can we explain the head feature of an adjective phrase?
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115 views

sentence structure vs word order difference

What is the difference between a sentence structure and a word order? (could you please explain that on a few examples?) Thank you.
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1answer
75 views

Sentence ambiguitiy

The sentence “Why did everyone’s father think that Tom said that you were fired?” is supposedly ambiguous in three different ways. However, I can’t seem to get any ambiguous reading from it. I have ...
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160 views

What is non-headed phrase?

I know most of the phrases in English are headed phrases, like noun is the head of NP. But what is non-headed phrase?
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1answer
67 views

What is case for pronouns in different positions? [closed]

Can we say "the case of subject in a sentence is nominative, the direct object of a verb is accusative, the second object of a ditransitive verb is accusative, the objective of a preposition is ...
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2answers
68 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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1answer
31 views

What's the difference between coindexing and coreferential? [closed]

Here is a sentence. I(i) enjoy yourself(i). Can we say "I" and "yourself" are coindexed but not coreferential?
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1answer
82 views

Is ungrammatical speech evenly distributed across languages?

Often when I talk in English, I create ungrammatical or non-canonical sentences. Question is: Does this happen equally often among all languages? What influences the occurrence of ungrammatical ...
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46 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
59 views

How to provide evidence that my hypothesis is correct (the same structure but the constituents are different), syntactic structures, constituency

How can I provide evidence supporting the hypothesis, that is, prove by means of constituency tests that my hypothesis is correct? The sentences: (1) Jeff lost the watch with the big numbers (2) Jeff ...
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1answer
81 views

What are all the primary variants of these languages? [closed]

In order to make the transliterator more precise, it looks like I am going to need to distinguish between different versions of a language. My question is, is this the complete list of languages and ...
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2answers
60 views

How to build a robust transliteration scheme across languages?

So I am trying to imagine building a transliterator across languages that takes any language and converts it into IPA or some less-detailed equivalent (like a Romanization). I am thinking about ...
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1answer
40 views

What etext sources do we have for the Gothic Language?

It is very hard to search for "Gothic" in Google, because it finds modern gothic stuff which is not what I'm looking for. I found the word "𐌰𐌻𐌰𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐍃" (but I can't find a definition haha), and ...
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1answer
74 views

I read the Quran syllable by syllable but I don't know where a word begins and where it ends.If I knew that I could translate them from the dictionary [closed]

Salaam aleikum. I have learned the entire Arabic alphabet. And also the harakat and long vowels. But I have a big problem. I read the Quran syllable by syllable but I don't know where a word begins ...
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1answer
98 views

How to extract grammar rules from a language (grammar induction?) using a neural network like a LTSM

I have a simple artificial language. It has about 200 words and it has a grammar. I am trying to figure out how to learn that grammar, which I think is called grammar induction, then print those rules....
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56 views

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
48 views

Combine flexibility + ism , how ? thanks [closed]

I want to use the word flexibility in an "ism" form. I have two possible forms in mind but sure which one is better: flexibilism flexibiltyism Which of the above forms is correct? ...
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700 views

Do Modern Grammar Theories fall short in explaining Free Word Order?

Here's my childish challenge to generative grammar: Could anyone give me an analysis of Russian sentence Мама мыла раму. (Mom washed the (window) frame.) from the point of view of modern grammar ...
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3answers
67 views

What is the name of introductory expressions like “It is not the case that…”

I'm trying to find out what is the grammatical category that corresponds to such expressions that use to introduce clauses, such as: It is not the case that... It is very possible that... It is ...
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3answers
226 views

Why does Spanish have obsolete tenses?

In Spanish, there are a few tenses that exist but are almost never used in daily life, like the subjunctive future and future perfect tenses. They are only utilized in legal documents and older pieces ...
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3answers
67 views

The linguistic terms for “chains” of similar structures (review material)

Could someone help me identify what these are? I know that "noun chains" are called "noun phrases", and "verb chains" are called "verb phrases", but I don't know the equivalent for adverbs, ...
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204 views

What is the origin of the “redundant” pronouns in the Venetian language?

From the examples taken from Wikipedia: • Venetian: (Ti) te jèra onto or even Ti te jèri/xeri onto (lit. "(You) you were dirty"). • Venetian: El can el jèra onto (lit. "The dog he was dirty"). It ...
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66 views

What are the unique features of the Australian Aboriginal Languages compared to other world languages

Not looking phonologically but grammatically, what are the languages which would be a good reference point for starting studies in Australian Aboriginal languages? Western Desert Language? Others? Are ...
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139 views

When an existential verb is used existentially as the predicate to a subject, is it true in all languages that it cannot take another predicate?

When an existential is used existentially verb as the predicate to a subject, is it true in all languages that it cannot take another predicate? In other words, when the existential to-be verb means '...
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1answer
54 views

What are the thematic structures of a clause?

While going through Rodny huddleston's An outline of English Grammar; I came across a concept named :Thematic structures of a clause. Its been more than a year when I first read it but have failed to ...
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941 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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1answer
91 views

Has grammar ever been observed in animal communication?

This question came into my mind while thinking about the question by JohnDoea: What is the essential difference between human languages to other earthly Animalia languages? I hypothized this could be ...
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2answers
79 views

A counter-example to the parsing rule model?

The idea that we have some strict "correct" parsing rules which we use to parse sentences seems a bit wrong to me. Here's why. Consider these sentences: Yesterday I went to the beach. I, yesterday, ...
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1answer
60 views

Is there specific grammar used in Newspaper headlines?

I need to find some general rules used in Newspaper headlines. I will use computational linguistics (nltk python library) to develop classification algorithm to distinguish news and not news by ...
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1answer
235 views

Absense of cases in Bulgarian

Nowadays, Bulgarian and Macedonian are the only Slavic languages where the system of cases isn't developed. Bulgarian and Macedonian are very close to each other, but are considered to be 2 ...
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1answer
120 views

Distribution and origin of reflexive pronouns like “myself” across languages

I'm neither a professional linguist nor a native English speaker, please excuse me if I use any term incorrectly. Feel free to make and suggest edits to make my question more clear. Question Hello, ...
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1answer
67 views

How does switch-reference typically arise in a language?

How does switch-reference typically arise in a language? In linguistics, switch-reference (SR) describes any clause-level morpheme that signals whether certain prominent arguments in 'adjacent' ...
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37 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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2answers
111 views

How to know when to use a direct and indirect object pronoun [closed]

Il faut les rendre actifs - we have to make them active Nous devons leur donner le choix - We have to give them the choice Please can someone explain why the second sentence takes an indirect object ...
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85 views

Is wrong article use a matter of pronunciation or grammar?

I was in a discussion with someone, where they described my wrong use of an article as a "mispronunciation". I argued it was rather a matter of grammar, as I did pronounce the article correctly, but ...
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2answers
75 views

Why isn't this sentence in a passive form? [closed]

I found this sentence in a grammar book for grade 10 Which CD sells the most? A traditional music CD. I wondered why it isn't in a passive form, or just because it's used in spoken context?
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166 views

Chains of nouns in English

English is becoming so indifferent to the proper roles of parts of speech that I have been finding longer and longer chains of nouns in written materials. I am under the impression that chaining ...
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1answer
5k views

Is it unusual that English uses possessive for past tense?

When learning some basic French, I was somewhat surprised to learn that phrases of the form "I have found the cat" generally translate almost word-for-word from English (J'ai trouvé le chat). To me, ...
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2answers
121 views

Context-Free grammars and Language

As someone trained in neither, how could you explain the analogies between context free grammars / languages and certain programming languages in computer science? Have I misunderstood whether there ...
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2answers
120 views

How many sound-to-letter sequence mapping rules does English have compared to other languages?

In English (I haven't really thought too much about English yet), there are tons of what-seem-like one-off patterns. (the "oo" sound) tool /tul/ two /tu/ to /tu/ through /θɹu/ blue /blu/ queue /ku/ (...

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