Questions tagged [grammar]

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

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4
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1answer
153 views

why in Polish we change ją to jej when negating the phrase?

ja lubię ją - I like her ja nie lubię jej - I do not like her Do I understand correctly what these sentences mean? If yes, why do we change ją to jej when negating the phrase? In both cases the ...
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1answer
135 views

How do you tell a spelling mistake from a grammar mistake?

How do you tell a spelling mistake from a grammar mistake? For example: Your the best. This iz the end. I likes music. She preatend to be asleep. One method is to read the erroneous sentence aloud (...
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0answers
107 views

What is the maximum number of accusatives you can have in an English sentence? [closed]

I know things like the double-accusative exist in English, like "I call sodas cokes." Then things can get more complex with words like "bet," where you can have "I bet you 5 ...
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4answers
151 views

When/how did "articles" like "the" first appear in language?

I am wondering this sort of cross-linguistically. I know many (most?) languages don't have a word for "the", but the English language does. First part of the question is, did Middle English ...
0
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1answer
56 views

(how) do natural languages distinguish classes and instances of things?

In data modeling and other areas of knowledge organization there is often a strict separation between abstract classes of things and individual objects. For instance I am an instance of the class ...
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0answers
57 views

The grammatical analysis - "most of them civilians"

I came across this sentence today: They were most of them civilians. Now how will we analyse"most of them" here? Is it just a modifier in Noun Phrase - "most of them civilians"? ...
5
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1answer
197 views

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

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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1answer
60 views

Is there a root final stop in English?

Is there a root final stop in English? I can't seem to find any
2
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0answers
36 views

When can FOR be used as a preposition and a complementiser?

This question is based on several suppositions: For as a preposition is able to be transformed into a wh- question with the wh- phrase preposed with for, as below with senators John acting as the ...
0
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1answer
82 views

The verb "to hit" does not change the form between active voice and passive voice - implications [closed]

As adults we confidently grasp the concept of searching for context when information in a few words spoken to us is not enough. Moreover, we apply logic and cause-effect dependencies, filtering out ...
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3answers
1k views

I have my hair cut - "my hair" a Direct Object?

I am confused about the following sentence: I have my hair cut. Now here I am not sure whether "my hair" is the Direct Object (DO) of the verb "have", or if it is just the ...
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2answers
86 views

Meaning of Old Babylonian word pāqidūtum [closed]

I am learning the Old Babylonian language and just stumbled over the word/form pāqidūtum. It seems to be a third person male stativ singular + u + the female ending tum of the verb paqadum (to care ...
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2answers
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Could the at symbol '@' be considered a vocative marker?

Specifically, the at-symbol as used e.g. on Twitter or Github (or many other sites besides), e.g. '@somename, what do you think about this?' or '@foobar, I'm waiting!' Comparing it with English/German ...
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2answers
3k views

need to understand infinitive

What is the easiest way to understand what an infinitive is? How do I know which verb in which sentence is an infinitive? For example, let us take this website: Infinitive This is the example I am ...
0
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1answer
83 views

Does grammar allow two questions in one sentence? [closed]

This is not an English-specific question. In Japanese, you might also ask "何時から何時までですか。" Or "nan ji kare nan ji made desu ka", "From what time to what time?" (from Google)...
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2answers
87 views

Is there a name for the idea of having grammatical rules for the purpose of easy pronunciation?

For instance, in German you'll have Der Mann singular, Die Männer plural, instead of, say, Die Männen. It seems this is because you don't want to over-expose the speaker to the "n" sound. ...
4
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2answers
112 views

Is there a universal (general) definition of gerund, infinitive and participle?

Is there a universal (general) definition of gerund, infinitive and participle applicable to all languages despite the differences between them?
4
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1answer
117 views

What's a grammatical feature?

This is not a naif question asked by a layman just out of curiosity. I am presently editing a book by a colleague which is devoted to the notion of grammatical feature (with a special focus on ...
3
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1answer
65 views

Combinatory categorial grammar for English

I am working on theoretical NLP things, in particular to do with combinatory categorial grammar (CCG). I don't have much knowledge of CCG, or of grammar in general. I was wondering how much of English ...
7
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4answers
220 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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4answers
133 views

What are some reasons why grammar is often more complex than needed for communication purposes?

It shouldn't be controversial to say that the grammar of certain languages is more complex than what communication calls for. For instance, some languages have gendered nouns, and it is often unclear ...
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2answers
973 views

Can one sentence have two or multiple possible phrase structure grammars? And what is this called?

After reading about syntactic structure and phrase structure grammar in Wikipedia and on the internet, I was wondering if there are any sentences with more than one possible phrase structure grammar? ...
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2answers
270 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 '...
2
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1answer
102 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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1answer
97 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 ...
2
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2answers
72 views

What is terminology for the difference between, for instance, "see" and "sees"?

To clarify, I'm referring to the terminology for the difference between just a the word "see" as a verb, and the word in a statement like "Alice sees Bob". What is the correct ...
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2answers
115 views

Grammatical function vs. Semantic role

What is the difference between grammatical functions and semantic roles? Are they the same?
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1answer
66 views

Question about a specific grammatical feature

In one Conlang I am developing there is a feature where owned items are treated as the subject of a verb, and the owner as the Object. So, for example: Car sohi Amelia Would mean Amelia's Car, with ...
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2answers
365 views

Chomsky's Syntactic Structures: Why is {a^n b^n : n ∈ ℕ} not a finite state language?

In (10) (i) of Chomsky's Syntactic Strucures (1957), the set of sentences of a specific language is defined as ab, aabb, aaabbb, ..., and in general, all sentences consisting of n occurrences of ...
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4answers
136 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
114 views

Are Rhyming, Alliterative Verse etc. forms of linguistic Error Detection/Correction Schemes?

Rhyme (Wikipedia) Alliterative verse (Wikipedia) Metre - Poetry (Wikipedia) Mechanisms such as these appear to help lower information corruption during long range communication, especially during pre-...
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2answers
97 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 ...
2
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1answer
51k views

Drawing tree diagrams of ambiguous sentences generated by a CFG

Suppose I have the following CFG rules: S -> NP VP NP -> (D) NOM VP -> V (NP) (NP) NOM -> N NOM -> NOM PP VP -> VP PP PP -> P NP X -> X+ CONJ X How should I draw the tree ...
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1answer
227 views

Are Spanish "que" clauses following "parece" complements or postponed subjects?

The Spanish equivalent of It seems that they hate each other is Parece que se odian. In both languages seem/parecer are one-place predicates (well, both can optionally accept a second argument with ...
0
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1answer
342 views

Is 'clothes' countable or uncountable? [closed]

I can't decide if the word 'clothes' is countable or uncountable. The dictionary only writes - plural.
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2answers
4k views

When are numbers nouns?

In my native language, Portuguese, numbers have officially been in various classes, from adjectives and nouns to "quantifiers" and determiners. I'm thinking that perhaps we can't group them all, ...
2
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1answer
49 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 ...
3
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0answers
40 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 ...
5
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2answers
260 views

Conflation of language dialects and phonology

The main idea behind this questions is that I have some difficulty to accept that a certain language can be a dialect of another one by simply basing that argument on the similarity of the vocabulary ...
2
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4answers
554 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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0answers
31 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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0answers
34 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 ...
2
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1answer
179 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
153 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 üi - a house, baqşa - garden; genitive üi-diŋ - of a house, baqşa-niŋ - of a ...
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0answers
82 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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4answers
603 views

Relationship between possession ("to have") and tenses ("I have seen")

In several Indo-European languages the verb that denotes possession (to have) is also used to construct verb tenses. Some examples: I have seen ... I have a dog. (English) Am văzut ... Am un câine. (...
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0answers
235 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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0answers
39 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
204 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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4answers
358 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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