Questions tagged [grammar]

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

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0answers
16 views

How do you draw a x-bar tree with negative inversion?

For example: 'Never was I so offended' There is already a T to C inversion with 'was', where do we put the word 'Never'? And how should we label it? AdvP or Neg?
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2answers
90 views

What are some examples of text, which should be grammatically wrong, but which is still very comprehensible? [closed]

What are some examples of text, which should be wrong in grammar etc., but which is still very comprehensible? I.e. are there examples where text is comprehensible, even when it does not follow some ...
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1answer
33 views

In syntax trees, why aren't single-word phrases reduced to that word?

Why do phrases like "the car in Texas" break down into (NP (Det the) (N car) (PP (P in) (NP (N Texas)))) Why is the prepositional phrase "in Texas" constituted of the ...
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1answer
38 views

Can adjuncts modify nouns?

The Wikipedia page on adjuncts gives the example Yesterday, Lorna saw the dog in the garden. Notice that this example is ambiguous between whether the adjunct in the garden modifies the verb saw (in ...
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1answer
283 views

Does Euro-English exist?

There is debate on the existence of this variety within the expanding circle, I think it exists in as much as we can categorise other varieties (i.e. Singlish falls under the 'Asian-English' label). ...
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1answer
87 views

What causes people to make mistakes in language usage? Is it bad concentration or mislearned rules or ...?

What causes people to make mistakes in language usage? Is it bad concentration or mislearned rules or ...? This confuses me. If the rules are to be reasonable, shouldn't people "know" ...
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9answers
3k views

Why are there grammars in languages in the first place?

I recently took an interest in linguistics and is currently working through the various interesting phenomenon like x bar theory, wh-movement, binding theory, etc. It all sounds very fascinating to me....
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1answer
55 views

Syntax Analysis

I am not sure if we can ask a question like this here, but what I am trying to look for is references or texts (perhaps works) that gives us a higher order syntax to analyize sentences as objects in ...
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1answer
102 views

Does Morpho-syntax = Grammar?

According to Fukuyama University Asst. Prof. Warren M Tang1 What is morphosyntax? – in other words Morphosyntax is another word for grammar. Grammar can be divided into morphology and syntax. ...
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1answer
91 views

What's the significance of correct grammar (as long as the information gets across)?

What's the significance of correct grammar (as long as the information gets across)? This confuses me, because I intuitively think that: Yes, if there are grammar rules, then one should attempt to ...
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2answers
205 views

Why Do We Say "The Same"?

Generally, sentences are constructed like this: Compared to Joe, he looks similar. Compared to Joe, he looks different. Compared to Joe, he looks handsome. Compared to Joe, he looks ugly. Yet, when ...
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1answer
61 views

What is it called when a verb takes its "logical" or "usual" object as its grammatical subject?

This usually occurs for objects that are used by a person, and in English often feels to me like an Americanism. Examples: The sofa sits five. The wine drinks very smoothly. The car drives very ...
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1answer
126 views

Why "a liter of water" but not "a 100ºC of water"?

Imagine a volume of water, 100 ml in size, with a temperature of 100ºC. Interestingly, you can refer to the water as "100ml of water" but you cannot call it "100ºC of water". That ...
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2answers
314 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
68 views

Why does the pronoun and verb order vary in Polish language?

My go nie lubimy - we do not like him On nie kocha mnie - he does not love me Why in the first example go is followed by nie lubimy, but in the second sentence we have the opposite: nie kocha followed ...
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1answer
133 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
206 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
140 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
113 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
165 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 ...
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1answer
57 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
61 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"? ...
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1answer
201 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
61 views

Is there a root final stop in English?

Is there a root final stop in English? I can't seem to find any
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0answers
40 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 ...
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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
88 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
92 views

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 ...
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1answer
85 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
92 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. ...
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2answers
115 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?
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1answer
129 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 ...
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1answer
68 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 ...
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4answers
235 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
136 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
987 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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1answer
100 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
73 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
178 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
67 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
375 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
137 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
117 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
103 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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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
229 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 ...
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1answer
552 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, ...

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