Questions tagged [grammar]

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

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2
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1answer
39 views

Past Simple vs Present Perfect Continuous in questions [closed]

It is my first ask in this forum. I am not sure about proper grammar usage, so I want to ask someone who knows it well. If I want to ask a person for a duration of time he has worked at the specific ...
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0answers
20 views

How does the Tree-Structure look like for this sentence? [closed]

I'm practicing drawing tree structures and I can't figure out how the tree for the following sentence looks like: Peter thinks that John has disclosed their plan to the police. I don't really ...
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0answers
38 views

Are the hoor in Jannah aaqil? [closed]

In Arabic, humans, jinn and angels are considered "aaqil" ("عاقل"), meaning they are sentient or thinking beings. Everything else is considered "gair aaqil" ("غير ...
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0answers
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What is the definition of Phrase structure grammar ? is phrase structure grammar and context free grammar is the same thing?

Is phrase structure grammar is a subset of generative capacity ? and Transformational grammar is the same thing as generative grammar ? if not what difference ? I was searching everywhere but I still ...
3
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0answers
33 views

Interleaving (Cross serial dependency) using context sensitive grammars

I saw from different sources that Context Free Grammars are insufficient to generate cross serial dependencies (interleaving) in languages and it would require mildly context sensitive grammars to do ...
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0answers
34 views

What exactly is the meaning of “predicated of” in linguistics literature?

I'm having a hard time understanding what exactly the verb "predicate" means below (and more generally, in linguistics; I believe e.g. here it is used in the same sense (more precisely, its ...
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0answers
29 views

Automating the identification of a language grammar based on samples — is this something that is done, and what is it called?

I'm trying (not very successfully) to find research papers to help with a project. Suppose you had a relatively small sample of a target language (e.g. a bible translation) and you would like to write ...
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32 views

What are some more examples of doubly centre embedded clauses?

Hey guys I am a uni student doing psycholinguistics and currently studying doubly centre embedded clauses for a study on comprehension. For example a phrase such as: "The man the boy the cat ...
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1answer
160 views

What makes “can't get any” a double-negative, according to Steven Pinker?

The Rolling Stones famously sang "I can't get no satisfaction", which is a double-negative. "I can't get any satisfaction" is seen as more grammatical in modern English. In his ...
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1answer
56 views

For English, is there a finite set of patterns for constructing sentences?

I am wondering about conlangs and thinking about English currently. I'm wondering does English have a finite set of patterns for constructing sentences? That is, could you build a computer program ...
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2answers
154 views

Why is the subject outside the VP in most theories of syntax?

I'm trying to understand why in most theories of syntax, the subject of a sentence is the sister of the verb, and not the child eg: S -> NP VP instead of VP -> NP V (NP...) The latter feels more ...
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0answers
73 views

Verb-ing after this phrase or clause “this is my first time”

Is the verb with '-ing' in the phrase or clause "this is my first time eating this" a gerund or a present participle verb? I think now I see that "this" probably is or means "...
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0answers
37 views

Where can I find a table/list of all/many languages' plural/singular forms for hours/time?

Even though I'm natively Swedish, I'm seriously unsure if it's "1,1 timme" or "1,1 timmar". That is, what in English would be "1.1 hour" or "1.1 hours". Even as ...
2
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1answer
126 views

Arabic grammar: The difference between the terms raf` and marfu'

I have begun to learn Arabic, and the difference between following terms confuse me. There is this topic of ʾirāb—the science which deals with how the Arabic noun inflects with respect to its ...
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0answers
69 views

What exactly is the Structure-Dependency Principle

Could someone explain what structure-dependency is in layman terms, and why it's so important? Resources I've found on the internet weren't of much help so I'm asking on here. Thanks!
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2answers
81 views

What can explain the appearance of “self-made” language features if neither of languages a person speaks or learns have similar features?

I know a woman, whose native language is Kyrgyz (Turkic family) and who learned Russian as an adult (mostly, maybe she was somewhat exposed to it before as well). What striked me is that she invented ...
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0answers
37 views

Adjunct vs complement with intransitive verb

Tony came from outside the traditional media Am I right in thinking because came is intransitive that "outside the traditional media" is an adjunct rather than a subject complement?
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0answers
77 views

Where did English get its perfect tense(s) from?

Apologies if this is too basic, but I know very little about linguistics and figured this would be a good place to ask. English seems like it draws from several other langiuages, notably the romance ...
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1answer
56 views

What is the name of the formulation where you specify sentence parts

Say I have the sentence: The cat sat on the mat What's the name of the formulation: The-DET. cat-NOUN. sat-VERB. on-PREP. the-DET. mat-NOUN Or this example from Wikipedia Kin á-ø-sh-łééh make-3....
3
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1answer
99 views

Is English grammar teaching tradition rooted in Latin?

I heard once that the way English grammar was taught as school was rooted in Latin and it wasn't a correct approach for a number of reason ? This was a long time ago, so I cannot remember the details. ...
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1answer
61 views

What do the numbers 206.835, 1.015, 84.6, 0.39, 11.8, 15.59 mean in the Flesch reading ease and Flesch-Kincaid grade level formulas?

I am looking to understand what do these numbers mean in the formulas, and how do they affect results, and why they were specifically chosen. Here are the formulas: Flesh reading Ease = 206.835 - 1....
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2answers
431 views

Is it possible in Sanskrit to distinguish between the names Rāma and Rām i.e. राम and राम् when used in a sentence?

Consider this sentence: रामो लेखन्या लिखति Is रामो in that sentence always referring to someone named राम (Rāma) or could it be equally possible that the person's name was राम् (Rām)? Are names like ...
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3answers
388 views

Subconscious grammar knowledge

I am reading the textbook Contemporary Linguistic Analysis by William O'Grady ninth edition. The text makes the claim that "grammatical knowledge is subconscious". They submit that most ...
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1answer
168 views

Is there evidence of a disposition for certain races to learn certain languages? [closed]

For example would those of Chinese descent have a disposition to learn Chinese? Chinese is a quite different language being logographic then say English which is alphabetic. Another example would be ...
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0answers
119 views

How does syntax of our language affect our thoughts?

Our language affects the way we perceive the world. I know it is not only because the words that don’t exist in one of the languages may exist in the other ones, but also because of the grammar. We ...
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8answers
6k views

Are there languages that don't have this kind of ambiguity?

In the sentence "John told James that he's happy.", the pronoun "he" is ambiguous, since it could refer to either John or James. Are there any languages which try to solve this ...
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0answers
36 views

How can I compare the grammatical complexity between two texts using their sentences dependency length?

This is a continuation to the following thread. I have two texts, common English texts such as news articles and informative texts versus a technical textbook. I want to compare the grammatical ...
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1answer
89 views

How to differenciate the long vowels from the actual letters in arabic?

I'm learning beginner in arabic and I can't find a proper grammar rule to figure it out. There is a lot of lessons on long vowels but they are totally disjointed from the question "How to ...
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1answer
77 views

How to determine grammatical complexity using quantitative features?

I'm doing a research on defining the complexity of language used in technical documentations for technologies (libraries and modules) used in data science and machine learning engineering. And I'm ...
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2answers
68 views

Are there approaches to/theories of grammar that do not deal with the acceptability problem?

As I understand, grammars boil down to the acceptability problem: Is an utterance acceptable to the users of some language X? How to differentiate acceptable from non-acceptable utterances? Those who ...
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1answer
59 views

The semantics of grammatical transformations? [closed]

Please see the following: We start with a sentence/clause like - Mr Wilkins is the oldest person in the village. It seems like we can "transform" the clause using certain "grammatical rules": Mr ...
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0answers
43 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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3answers
349 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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0answers
59 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
163 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
93 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.
2
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1answer
66 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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0answers
62 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
152 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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0answers
43 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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4answers
684 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
55 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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2answers
160 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
78 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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2answers
329 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
69 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
73 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
39 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
91 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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0answers
48 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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