Questions tagged [grammar]

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

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1answer
131 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
112 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
483 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
483 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
179 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
144 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
7k 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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1answer
96 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
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

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
81 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
45 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
685 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
60 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
376 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
98 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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1answer
134 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
65 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
158 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
50 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
1k 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
58 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
303 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
83 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
652 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
72 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
77 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
47 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
101 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
50 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
67 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
115 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
93 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
52 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
123 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
202 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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0answers
82 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
53 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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6answers
755 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
76 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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4answers
367 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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2answers
85 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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1answer
259 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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0answers
76 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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2answers
316 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
111 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
1k 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
97 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
92 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
61 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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