Questions tagged [grammar]

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

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“Such” as a pronoun and “Reduction Transformations”

I just ran into this in the novel "Pride and Prejudice" -"Ah! you do not know what I suffer." -"But I hope you will get over it, and live to see many young men of four thousand a year come into ...
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1answer
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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
439 views

Why are phrase structure rules always inconsistent?

I've noticed that phrase structure rules have been very inconsistent over my studies. I've seen NP = (det)(adj)N ; NP = (det)N(PP); these definitions seem to change with context. Is it just because ...
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English Phrase Structure Rules and adjectives

I am learning about English grammar, but as a programmer, I have natually gravitated towards learning about syntactic structure. I am learning from university lecture notes which I found through ...
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What are the other types of grammatical numbers different from those determined by 'quantity of items'?

Different languages have different grammatical numbers. For most IE languages, these are Singular, Plural and, sometimes, Dual. Other languages have grammatical numbers differentiated by the quantity ...
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1answer
227 views

Gender/tone sandhi in [classical] Tibetan grammar?

Tibetan alphabet is a kind of abugida where glyphs may combine into new different forms, taking different positions in their combinations according to their types (see H.B. Hannah, pp. 16- 45). Each ...
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Are there grammars for subset of English?

I'm looking for grammar for relatively simple subset of English, tokens in which contain only letters, digits and comma. No quotes, colons, dashes and so on. Is there such thing? If no, is there other ...
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1answer
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Help with syntax trees for sentences [closed]

I am trying to understand syntax trees for sentences, i have been working through linguistics by myself and am having trouble understanding the structure of syntax trees (English is my second language)...
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Expressing Context Free Grammar from academic article with Python's NLTK

Please forgive the potentially noob question, but I'm trying to get started with semantic text analysis, particularly in the legal space. I found a very good paper which describes a context free ...
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1answer
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Conditional participles

Does any language besides Esperanto have conditional participles? Esperanto has these only "unofficially"; they're not considered correct Esperanto usage by authorities, but common sense will tell ...
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2answers
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How are foreign terms incorporated into the Arabic system of vowel alternation?

I don't know much at all about the specifics of Arabic grammar, so this question might not make sense, but as I understand it, most Arabic words consist of a three-consonant root with vowels inserted ...
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What are the main criteria for a grammar mistake to become a new normative?

I am conducting a small research on the usage of dual in the Czech language. Normally, the dual is used only when referring to body parts (legs, eyes, knees etc) and the number 200. However, in spoken ...
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Do we know of any influences on Tibetan from Chinese (other than lexical borrowing)?

With China asserting its influence on Tibet, including the standard Chinese language, what changes if any have taken place in the Tibetan language due to influence from the Chinese language? ...
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What are the various rules to deal with "markedness" if the speaker doesn't know?

I mean obligatorily marking a word for number, gender, animacy, direction etc, I don't actually know what I'm asking about. For example, in English, we have that awkward situation where we don't know ...
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Resources comparing grammars of different languages

I'm looking for a book on comparative grammar, where the grammar of different languages and/or language families is described and compared. EDIT: A comment made me realize that the question is ...
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2answers
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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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732 views

Hebrew - Arabic grammar book

I've been searching for quite a long time for a Hebrew-Arabic grammar book to study both languages in more depth at the same time while being able to compare similar roots and the root system for ...
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4answers
760 views

Seeking free grammar or detailed description of Avar

The more I learn about the Georgian language the more eager I am to compare it with nearby Caucasian languages, to which it is not related but shares a common Sprachbund with. Although I'm also ...
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Checking grammar of non-English text (NLP)

I am writing a program that will take input from users in non-English languages (German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese) and will need to determine whether the input is grammatically correct....
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1answer
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Grammatical constraint of language

I have a question for a machine translation exam which reads; "Provide examples where unigram, brigram, trigram and 4-gram models would fail to capture a grammatical constraint of the English ...
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Generalisations which a bi-gram probabilistic model might infer from a dataset

I have the following exam question for a machine translation course: From my understanding, I assume the answer is looking for incorrect English grammar which get discovered by bi-grams. So the ...
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Non-Projective Example

I'm looking for an example sentence with a non-projective dependency parse. It doesn't have to be in English, though such an example would be nice.
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2answers
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What are the constituent morphemes in 'preposition'?

The word preposition. I am trying to break down a series of words into their constituent morphemes and am having trouble with the word 'preposition'. I can obviously see that the 'pre-' is a morpheme ...
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9answers
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What's the difference between syntax and grammar?

From what I've read, both terms have to do with the rules of formation of sentences. I've seen grammar used in mathematical contexts, in computability theory, where it has a precise definition. But ...
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What is syntactically wrong with these sentences?

I am currently analysing a poem, and I have come across two sentences that are obviously grammatically incorrect, but I can't figure out how to describe what is wrong with them. "Beside him, the ...
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Does speech transcription change syntax/grammar?

Just a question out of curiosity. Before typing became commonplace, many writing communications must have been transcribed from dictation. My hypothesis is that certain syntax and grammar must change ...
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1answer
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Is it *incorrect* to use single digit numerals? [closed]

I had an argument with someone recently and figured I should find out, so I went on a research spree and could not find any authoritative answers on the subject. I am sure there are many disputes ...
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Does writing influence grammar?

Do we know of any cases where the grammar of a language was influenced by the imperfection of its writing system? For example, has any language become isolating because it had a logographic writing, ...
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How is the hesternal past, crastinal future etc. conveyed?

Hesternal Past tense describes an event occurred yesterday (in an absolute tense system) or the day preceding the day under consideration (in a relative system) and the crastinal future describes and ...
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Do any languages have verbal inflection with a plural object?

The verb in a language like English can inflect for person, for example: I see the cat > he sees the cat and the verb can inflect for tense: I see the cat > I saw the cat But do any languages ...
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862 views

How do you gloss a language with no definite or indefinite article?

Some languages have no definite or indefinite article, for example, I think, Polish. So the Polish word kot could mean "a cat" or "the cat". So in a glossed example, and not knowing the context, how ...
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Analysis of "go there", "turn left", "move back", etc

How are phrases such as go there, turn left, move back etc. analysed syntactically? are they copula + predicate, verb + object, or something else? Neither of these solutions seem correct to me, so ...
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concept/name extraction rules

I'm doing an NLP research, trying to extract concepts/names from phrases, I need your help defining all rules for doing so, so i can feed them onto the computer. example rules I observed:if a ...
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What characteristics are unique to English (or at least rare among language as a whole)?

After wondering about this today at work, I turned to the Internet. A short piece that focuses on pronunciation points toward "none". I've scoured ELU and Google (perhaps not as thoroughly or ...
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553 views

Will use of descriptive grammar ever overtake use of prescriptive grammar?

We all know that language changes over time and that what is "correct" in a language is how people actually use language, yet there are still many people who adhere strictly to prescriptive grammar. ...
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Types of questions and questioning "ordinality"

I would like to know if there is a system for classifying the types of questions that can be asked in languages. In other words, how are sentences that query the why, where, what, who, when, and how ...
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Why hasn't functional grammar been more popular?

It’s nearly 30 years since Michael Halliday first published ‘An Introduction to Functional Grammar’ and yet, at least in Britain and in the United States, functional grammar seems not to have entered ...
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5answers
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Are there any "simple" languages?

In all the languages I know, at least one of the following aspects is complex/difficult: Alphabet: Complex meaning a large alphabet like in Chinese. Pronunciation: Complex meaning that, for example, ...
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Is there a well-established metric to measure the effectiveness of a parsing algorithm?

My understanding that 100% accurate parsing (analyzing a text and creating a syntactic tree) is an impossible task for computational linguistics at this moment. However, there are many heuristics or ...
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Which language would be easiest for a computer to parse?

I have an idea for a programming language that would work more like a spoken language. "sentences" would have an initial context in which specific subjects, verbs, and objects would have meaningful ...
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Looking for XML for English language grammar instruction

Some colleagues and I would like to put together a grammar compendium to teach English grammar and would like to record the rules and examples in XML so as to increase the kinds of ways it can be ...
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Agglutination in Proto-Indo-European

Based on numerous sources, it seems clear that Proto-Indo-European was Productively agglutinative with non-root morphemes (and perhaps some specific roots that are also able to act like bound ...
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Looking for a good beginners reference to learn computational linguistics

Recently in my work I came across the Backus–Naur Form (BNF), one way of describing a context-free grammar. Since then, I've been interested in learning how to deconstruct and parse not only computing ...
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What is an example of a syntactic structure that can't be represented by a BNF grammar?

The tools for working with BNF grammars are a little more discoverable (ANTLR, Gold, etc) and usable than for other types of grammars. What sort of sentences can't be represented with ordinary BNF ...
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Are there any papers etc analyzing Japanese as a language with noun cases rather than particles?

Japanese is often included in lists of agglutinating languages. Many (most?) agglutinating languages are analysed as having case systems. Of course cases and prepositions/postpositions fill the same ...
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Are word classes universal?

I'm working on an application that takes a special database of words and its word class and determines the such from a given sentence. I'm now working to see if word classes that are found in English ...

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