Questions tagged [grammar]

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

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5answers
802 views

Do auxiliary verbs always express different aspect/mood/tense?

Do auxiliary verbs always serve to express a mood or aspect that is different from simple indicative (or a tense)? Or are there cases where a sentence is in simple-indicative-present with the presence ...
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3answers
215 views

What part of speech is “as their native”?

In the sentence: The number of people who speak English as their native language will decline. what part of speech is as their native?
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1answer
325 views

Why Creole languages aren't the default

I am new to exploring Creole languages, after seeing them compared to "Riau Indonesian": The dialect of Malay spoken in Riau Province is considered by linguists to have one of the least complex ...
2
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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
103 views

How to construct a grammar given a text and a dictionary

So I would like to learn how to construct a grammar from scratch. In order to do this the first step is collecting data, primarily texts, and compiling a dictionary. I think this can be simulated for ...
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3answers
1k views

What are some grammatical features found only in modern languages?

By modern language I mean a language spoken since less than two thousands years. By grammatical feature I mean for example passive voice, which doesn't exist in PIE but is found in its descendants
2
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1answer
124 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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2answers
137 views

Context-Free grammars and Language

As someone trained in neither, how could you explain the analogies between context free grammars / languages and certain programming languages in computer science? Have I misunderstood whether there ...
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3answers
3k views

What's the difference between a modifier and a complement?

Take this syntax tree as an example: Why is a prepositional phrase (PP) sometimes a post-modifier and sometimes a complement? What is the difference in general? I need to be able to spot them and ...
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1answer
155 views

Explaining Grammatical “Mood” for the Laymen

I have seen "mood" a lot in linguistics articles, have read about it a few times, but it never seems to click. Wikipedia links to Linguistic modality. I have come across Modal Logic which basically ...
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2answers
168 views

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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2answers
277 views

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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2answers
162 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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4answers
680 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?
2
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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 ...
2
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1answer
127 views

Distribution and origin of reflexive pronouns like “myself” across languages

I'm neither a professional linguist nor a native English speaker, please excuse me if I use any term incorrectly. Feel free to make and suggest edits to make my question more clear. Question Hello, I ...
2
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1answer
52 views

What is the term for the formation of word groups with single meaning/function (e.g. “in relation to which”) in lingustics

Clearly - pharases "in relation to which" (subordinating conjunction) function as one word. How such process is named in linguistics. It would also be interesting to know how such formation is ...
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2answers
196 views

Downward entailing verbs: is the verb “remember” downward entailing?

I have some doubts if there is downward entailing environment with "remember": a. Mary forgot that she saw anyone. b. Mary forgot that anyone saw her. c. #Mary remembered that she saw anyone. d. #...
2
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1answer
121 views

Analytic grammar and characters in Chinese

Is there any relationship (either one implies the other, for example) between the usage of characters and analytic grammar. By analytic grammar I mostly refer to the lack of conjugations, and hence ...
2
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2answers
82 views

accusative being used to express an origin?

I read in Plutarch (Demosthenes.1) the phrase ὑπάρξαι ‘τὰν πόλιν εὐδόκιμον‘ (~ to be born in ‘a famous city’). (τὰν πόλιν εὐδόκιμον being a quote from (pseudo-?)Euripides' ode to Alcibiades, cf ...
2
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1answer
112 views

How many gaps should a sentence have to be solvable but not too easy?

At the moment I am coding an automatic cloze generator on Text on the following way: Use a summarizer to find relevant sentences in a text based on frequency Use Pos Tagging on the remaining ...
2
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1answer
298 views

Scrambling in Languages like Latin

Consider a clause in Latin that has n words. Latin frequently uses scrambling, so there are n! possible ways to arrange that clause given a free word order. However, Latin writers use only a small ...
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1answer
1k views

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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1answer
3k views

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)...
2
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3answers
196 views

How can you know that a word in a sentence is a verb?

I am wondering what it takes to parse a sentence with incomplete knowledge. That is, take a sentence like this: If I use timeout I have to call again my function at the end of the execution of the ...
2
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1answer
2k views

Auxiliaries in generative grammar

In a course of introduction to Generative Grammar, my teacher told that auxiliary (Aux in the tree diagram) is the element that comes before the subject (NP) in an interrogative sentence. But I found ...
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1answer
123 views

Which linguists from the 1940s–1970s believed that language comprised two distinct parts, “lexis” and “grammar”?

I’m looking for information about the linguists and/or researchers from before the 1970s who at the time believed that vocabulary and grammar should be taught as two completely separate entities, that ...
2
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1answer
491 views

Is there any CNF grammar available for English which can be downloaded directly?

For implementing the CYK algorithm for parsing, we need to have a grammar in CNF (Chomsky Normal Form) defined for a language. Is there any such CNF grammar readily available which covers all (or most ...
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2answers
121 views

What do you call a specific combination of grammatical categories?

What do you call a specific tuple formed by selecting grammatical categories? I mean for instance the combination of "present tense, imperfect, indicative, plural, 3rd person, subjunctive passive ...
2
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1answer
201 views

How should I organize my grammar?

So I'm doing a grammar for my conlang (constructed language). My conlang is a very verb-heavy/polysynthetic language. E.g. subordinate clauses are marked on the verb. To create a conditional clause -...
2
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2answers
189 views

Heads, classifiers

I'm really struggling to 'get' two things on my linguistics course right now, which is heads of phrases and classifiers. I understand that a head determines the nature of a phrase, but I just can't ...
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3answers
2k views

What is the relationship between lambda calculus and logical form?

I was first introduced to lambda calculus as a way to use syntax to compose the semantic value of a phrase from the semantic values of the components of that phrase. Lambda calculus does more than ...
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1answer
49k 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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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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2answers
7k views

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 ...
2
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2answers
109 views

Is English “<adjective> to <verb>” an idiomatic schema, or what do you call “easy to do”?

Is the question clear? Idiomatic scheme is not a term of art, I guess, but it's idiomatic and it follows a schema. It's a weird one, for sure. Some thoughts: The Adjective can't be removed * The ...
2
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1answer
70 views

generic definite article with uncountable/mass nouns after preposition 'of' indicating material

The 'generic' subclass of the definite article treated in the pag. 112, section 1.12.3.1 of the Modern Written Arabic: A Comprehensive Grammar reads as follows "it denotes a generic meaning مائدة من ...
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1answer
685 views

Austronesian Alignment [closed]

Can someone give a brief explanation for it? I heard about it once and I couldn't wrap my head around it, and the Wikipedia article wasn't much help either.
2
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1answer
160 views

Is there a name for self-reference in verbs?

In German and Swedish we have typically the ending ...sig (själv) or ...sich (selbst) (in German) when doing something with yourself, for yourself or oneself. Example Ändra sig (="change yourself/...
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1answer
117 views

Logic disambiguation in composed sentences with negative predicates and “or” conjunction

Today, I've attended a psychological test for the master thesis of a friend of mine. The target is children and adults. So don't scare if you see in the following lines that I speak about animals. I ...
2
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1answer
127 views

Why do time adverbials like “yesterday” have a different distribution than adverbials like “always?”

Consider these two sentences below, which employ some kind of temporal adverbial / adjunct. (I) Yesterday John won the Turkey Raffle. (II) John always wins the Turkey Raffle. My question is, why ...
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1answer
1k views

Help with syntax trees [closed]

I am having trouble creating a syntax tree for the following sentence: Ginny thinks Harry is dreamy. "Harry is dreamy" is clearly a sentence. However, I am confused what "is" should be. I think it ...
2
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1answer
241 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). ...
2
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1answer
3k views

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 ...
2
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1answer
34 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 ...
2
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0answers
68 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
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?
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
66 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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0answers
32 views

Grammar induction from grammaticality rules

Let's have formalisation of grammaticality judgments in some deduction system. Is it possible to learn/induce grammar from rules that govern grammaticality judgments? Is there theory, that connects ...

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