Questions tagged [grammar]

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

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1answer
75 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
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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
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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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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

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
81 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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0answers
53 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
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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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6answers
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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
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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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2answers
167 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
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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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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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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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2answers
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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
51 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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2answers
911 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
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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 ...
4
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1answer
205 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
116 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
66 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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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
86 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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2answers
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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
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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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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
111 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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1answer
39 views

Which option should I use if I want to learn theories that will account for as much English sentence's structure as possible

Option 1: "Cambridge English Grammar Language" by Geoffrey Pullum or Option 2: a site which, i think, is based on government and binding theory: https://www.ling.upenn.edu/~beatrice/syntax-textbook/ ...
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1answer
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How definitive are “patterns” in grammar across languages?

So when you learn a new language from English like Spanish in school, they make it seem like "hey there's these clear patterns and rules once learned you'll master spanish". So you learn the verb ...
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3answers
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What is the 'best' language, and by what metrics, why those metrics…? [closed]

This is sort of the old question that you'd see whispered about a lot in Western academia, and shouted out by linguists of the past, who had their own circumstances, own canons, own less-connected (?) ...
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2answers
174 views

Why do languages modify their words for different moods?

At the bottom on Wikipedia's Grammatical Moods page they list a bunch of different moods, but not all of them. I have yet to find a list of all moods across languages (if you know of one please ...
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1answer
87 views

How does the Thai language express the instrumental?

In English and many European languages the instrumental is expressed with a preposition: I eat noodles with chopsticks. (But "with" is not dedicated to this function and has other uses such as the ...
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3answers
159 views

In which languages could a phrase like “We went to lunch with Bob” signify an event in which exactly two people took part?

I'm sorry for the perhaps weirdly worded question, but here's my attempt to explain better what I mean: In English, if I say "We went to lunch with Bob" means that the people involved are me, Bob, ...
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3answers
56 views

In what sense do non-restrictive phrases limit meaning?

In what sense do non-restrictive phrases limit meaning? It's well known that non-restrictive phrases are inessential to the meaning of the sentence because they do not limit the reference of a ...
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2answers
73 views

What is the boundary of morphologically decided gender assignment and the phenomenon like a/an-distinction in English from a synchronic perspective?

And are there any examples in world's languages of the one mechanism developed into the other? Grammatical gender is a specific form of noun class system in which the division of noun classes ...
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4answers
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Why isn't “I've” a proper response?

Suppose someone asked me the question, "Have you completed the project?". A standard response would be "I have". Why does the equivalent "I've" sound so strange and never used as a replacement? I am ...
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1answer
151 views

Can anyone explain me the structure of the FCFG grammar

I was not able to understand the grammar rules explain in discourse.fcfg file. Can any one help me understanding SEM means in S[SEM = <app(?subj,?vp)>] -> NP[NUM=?n,SEM=?subj] VP[NUM=?n,SEM=...
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3answers
501 views

Is the concept of grammatical function related to inflexion?

Studying the book Understanding Morphology by Martin Haspelmath, arrived at this fragment. The importance of the latter part of the definition is seen in paradigms like insula. Although there are ...
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1answer
109 views

What is considered a grammatical case in the framework of turkic languages?

Let's take kazakh language as an example. In every source I've read there are 7 cases in kazakh language: nominative úı - a house, laq - goatling; genitive úı-diń - of a house, laq-tiń - of a ...
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3answers
286 views

How to 'correctly' measure the complexity of the grammar of a language?

Linguists have some methods to measure the complexities of the grammar of a language. Some linguists may refer to how many grammar rules that language has. some may also refer to how many morphemes ...
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1answer
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Paradigmatic vs syntagmatic relationship

I was exploring some various aspects of corpus linguistics and studying different approaches to corpus research on the internet when I came across these phinomena of paradigmatic and syntagmatic ...
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When is a thing correctly called a person? [closed]

When does a thing become a person, in any language. When is it correct grammar to refer to a thing as a person?
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133 views

Can we predict language death just by looking at grammar?

Is it possible to predict that a language is about to die out just by looking at its structure? So without taking into account the number of native speakers it has and other external factors? If so, ...
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1answer
101 views

Standardized and ambiguity-free language

Is there exist a language (the natural or the constructed one) with a completely standardized and ambiguity-free rules, and which is suitable for the modern use? I am wondering for a language which ...
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1answer
173 views

Grammatical case vs semantic case

I'm not sure what these terms mean. In my lecture notes I wrote that grammatical case is used to show the syntactic functions of a nominal syntagm, depending on its relation to the verb. Semantic case,...
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2answers
64 views

How to break down sentences into known grammatical categories

I'm trying to break down and analyse different sentence structures in English. Each group contains one present, past, and future sentence, but otherwise should be the same within a group. 1 He ...
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3answers
601 views

What's the difference between a modifier and a complement?

Take this syntax tree as an example: Why is a prepositional phrase (PP) sometimes a post-modifier and sometimes a complement? What is the difference in general? I need to be able to spot them and ...

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