Questions tagged [morphosyntax]

Structure and meaning of morphemes and how they interact with the grammatical structure of utterances.

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Are the morphologies of languages based on regular grammars?

Is the sets of possible morphemes of any given language a regular set, and can thus be recognized by a finite state automaton, or, equivalently, matched by regular expressions? Or are there any ...
Kaz's user avatar
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Is there a strong case for the existence of languages that lack a clear morpho-syntactic distinction between nouns and verbs?

Is there a strong case for the existence of languages that lack a clear morpho-syntactic distinction between nouns and verbs? If so, what would be an example of a phrase structure for a uniclausal ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
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Are there languages where adjectives are clearly neither noun-like nor verb-like?

Most language I have some knowledge of have adjectives with are either a) nominal in nature or b) verbal in nature. (apologies if this is not the best wording.) In German, Romanian, and Georgian, ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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9 votes
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Can anyone point me toward articles/theory that syntax and morphology operate on the same principles?

Looking for articles and or theories that explore the idea that morphology and syntax are not separate but operate on the same principles; for example, that the sentence is just an extended ...
JGgray's user avatar
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1 answer
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Are all "Ergative Languages" split-ergative?

I've noticed that in a lot of examples of "ergative languages," there is some piece of the language that does not fit the pattern we call "ergativity." For example, Basque does not mark ergative case ...
matan-matika's user avatar
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8 votes
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Origin of Present Perfect in Romance Languages

Since in Latin no compound form of verb tense exists, AFAIK, I thought that origin of Present Perfect should be sought in Proto-Germanic also for Romance languages, but I found out that Present ...
Gary MacKenna's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
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Why do some languages lack family name markers?

This is an extension of the questions that I have asked in the German and French communities: some languages have a subset of family names that are indistinguishable from given names, occasionally ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
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Are there right-branching agglutinative languages?

The major agglutinative languages like Turkish and Japanese are also notable for being almost strictly left-branching, much more so than, say, English is right-branching. Is it a coincidence, or is ...
Adam Bittlingmayer's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
428 views

Is it okay that Ergative case be unmarked?

I found a language of Celebes island in Indonesia, its name is Mongondow (mog). It has a Phillipine's Alignment morphosyntactic which it has combination of Accusative and Ergative languages. The word ...
Ray Yunanda's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
954 views

Vocatives and Case Assignment

Vocatives, which are basically nouns that refer to the person to whom the speech event is directed, are said to be detached from the sentences in which they occur. Mary, I hate you. I don't think I ...
Morphosyntax's user avatar
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How frequent are different morphosyntactic types?

I started wondering what share of all world's languages are polysynthetic (on any practical definition of polysynthetic, i.e. the prototype approach, the macroparameter theory (Baker 1995), etc.), and ...
Ivan Kapitonov's user avatar
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1 answer
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In Latin protases, what's the different between the future and future perfect tenses?

In Latin, so-called "future more vivid" conditionals can take one of two tenses in the protasis: Future: Si aedificabis, venient "If you build it, they will come." Future perfect: Si aedificaveris, ...
TKR's user avatar
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6 votes
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TAM categories: Can they be predicted from their numbers (a language's TAM inventory size)?

To some extent, vowels can be predicted based on the size of the vowel inventory, so, for example, in a 3-vowel system, it will be /a i u/, whereas in a 4-vowel system, we will get /a i u ɛ/ or /a i u ...
Pavel Jetušek's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
471 views

Corpus Linguistics: Is it possible to add a tag for "sentence ending"?

I'm new to Corpus Linguistics and I'm writing a paper about the English and Portuguese "because noun", a type of construction such as "I'm going home because GTA5". However, when I try to search this ...
Matt's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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Balto-Slavic Infinitive and PIE 3rd p., sg, present endings

I'm curious to ask if the suffix -tī for the infinitive in Balto-Slavic is related to the PIE third person, singular, present suffix -ti? Although there is no reason (from a functional point of ...
LinguistNewbie's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
113 views

Are there any universals about how m-case can pattern for predicate NPs?

Predicate noun phrases (NPs) have different patterns of case in different languages. Even closely related languages can show significant differences (Sigurðsson 2008). For example, among the Germanic ...
brass tacks's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
383 views

Arabic word stress in the presence of an elided hamza ("hamzat al-waSl")

Word stress in MSA follows a precise set of rules, which are described consistently in various Arabic grammar textbooks, e.g. Ryding's "A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic" (2005). ...
Evan Aad's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
263 views

How do various frameworks account for situations when multiple cases can be assigned?

My mother and I went to the market. My mother and me went to the market. Many (most?) English speakers today will accept both of these as grammatical. But it would be hard to argue that they ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
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Is Conversion syntactic or morphological?

Conversion, such as: permit (verb): I permit you to do so permit (noun): Take this permit Can be considered to be a morphological (i.e. lexical) process. But there are arguments for it being a ...
Danger Fourpence's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
399 views

In English, is the use of the -ing participle verb form as adjectives or subjects or objects an example of conversion (a.k.a. zero-derivation)?

This is a pretty straight forward question. But here are some examples: Baking is my hobby. (used as a subject thing, or as some would call it, a gerund or verbal noun) I will be a contestant in the ...
Ubu English's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
203 views

Are first-person and second-person pronouns always co-referential for a given speaker at a given context?

For the first-person singular pronouns, it seems obvious that these pronouns can only refer the speaker, since there is always only one speaker, so it must be always coreferential, as in I(i) took my(...
charlieh_7's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
120 views

How is declension class represented in Distributed Morphology?

Does somebody knows a good paper or textbook that would have a Distributed Morphology (DM) approach to declension class? Ora Matushansky writes that it is an "underlying nominal property influencing ...
varya's user avatar
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Kuryłowicz on cases and prepositions

I've read Kuryłowicz's classic paper "Le problème du classement des cas" and I'm not sure how to interpret what he says about the difference between case affixes and prepositions. Does he in effect ...
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
273 views

Constructions like the double accusative outside of the Ancient Greek word "διδασκειν"

I'm looking for examples of having 2 or more nouns in the same case but with the different semantic roles given by the differing referents of the nouns, not entirely by one of morphological case, ...
Jacob Stewart's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
562 views

"used to" for past habitual: analysis

I teach ESL at the adult level. I am trying to analyze "used to" for past habitual, as in: My car used to malfunction a lot. Is "used to" an adverb-phrase meaning something like 'for a long time in ...
Paul L New Jr's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
275 views

How does one gloss a case that has both locative and genitive meaning?

I am designing a language where a single case affix expresses both loc and gen. How should such a case be labelled? An example would be: house-GEN.LOC 'in the house'; he-GEN.LOC house-3POSS 'his ...
żaba's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
293 views

How can case systems emerge diachronically?

This questions applies only to the languages which originally did not feature noun case systems and developed it over time through various sound, morphological and syntactical changes. By a case ...
czypsu's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
607 views

Can a language have both nominative/accusative and ergative/absolutive syntactic systems in its syntactic structure?

These examples are from Kui, a Trans New Guinean language spoken on Alor island, Indonesia. (1) nya yai umasingin u=ga=sam u=ga=bur=i. 1pl.Sub v. n. appl=3sg....
Acel Kupang's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
336 views

Case in German Nouns

German has an interesting situation in its noun phrases - articles and adjectives reflect case, but the noun itself does not. Der große Mann sieht das Haus. ("The big man sees the house," ...
matan-matika's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
294 views

"Enumerators" and Approximate Inversion

There's a term that, as far as I know, goes back to traditional Celtic grammar called "enumerators". These are essentially words that inflect for number in weird ways when preceded by a numeral, that ...
dustinalfonso's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
100 views

Was there a tendency of Indo-European languages to avoid syntactical ambiguity by introducing more complex morphology?

In (Peškovskij, 1914, p. 246) I stumbled upon the following (Russian) assertion: Opisannoe vytesnenie predikativnogo imenitel'nogo tvoritel'nym možno rassmatrivat' kak častnyj slučaj obščego ...
Damiaan Reijnaers's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
259 views

Particles and Words Affixing Heads and Phrases

In Malay, there are quite a few words and particles that can affix or modify both heads and phrases. The interrogative suffix -kah is one of them. -Kah affixing heads Tidak-kah sakit kecederaan ...
Morphosyntax's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
252 views

Word classes reliant on phonological form?

1) Are there any documented languages in which a certain word class corresponds to a particular phonological structure? A. CVC(VC) = Noun In Polish, the word kot 'cat' (CVC) corresponds to a ...
BorneOf's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
342 views

Subject/Complement Agreement. How to describe problem with "The thing is the objects."

In https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/29140/is-or-are-the-only-thing-that-i-want-you-to-hit-right-now-is-are-the-books/29170#29170, I provided the following, problematic, wording (especially ...
CoolHandLouis's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
248 views

What's the difference between a light noun and a nominalizer?

I've been studying Japanese, and sometimes I see some words, like の and こと, get classified as "nominalizers," and other times as "light nouns." Plus, I've read somewhere that light nouns sometimes ...
OdraEncoded's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
351 views

How does one write out possessive pronouns under DP

Would for example "their" be divided into they and 's under the DP theory when writing out a tree?
ghood96's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Do phrase structure rules for natural languages explicitly mark which constituents can consist of coordinated constituents of the same type?

I'm only beginning to review phrase structure rules, so let's take a very basic example: "A sentence consists of a noun phrase + a verb phrase." S --> NP + VP Now the NP can consist of "NP + NP," ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
115 views

Meaning of "access to Universal Grammar"

I'm reading a paper and the authors that seems to revolve around the concept of L2 learners' "access to Universal Grammar." They argue that the initial state of the learners' L2 grammar is the whole ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
1 answer
344 views

Evidence for/against Lexical integrity principle

Some (mostly lexicalist) theories of syntax assume that there's a 1-to-1 relationship between the words in a sentence and the nodes in its syntax tree. It seems pretty obvious to me. Is there ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
71 views

Are there any languages where the dependent agrees with the head's intrinsic property?

In head-marking languages, the head usually takes the marking based on the dependent's intrinsic properties. For example, every English noun/pronoun has an intrinsic property of person: "bear&...
Slavus's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
335 views

Direct–inverse marking on the noun, or the possiblity of inverse alignment

A direct-inverse language, Wikipedia claims, is one which involve[s] different grammar for transitive predications according to the relative positions of their "subject" and their "object" on a ...
Widdershins's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
78 views

What is some standard analysis for "Look me in the eye"

I am looking for hints where to find a ("standard") analysis of something like this english dative construction: Look me in the eye Clearly, the "the" in this phrase is semantically scoped BY the me ...
purlupar's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
127 views

Why "Monotonicity" Hypothesis? (Koontz-Garboden)

Should't it be "monodirectionality hypothesis"? In my understanding, this is about the one-way that material/structure can be added to a sentence-while-generated, but never deleted. (Harley 2013 ...
purlupar's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
90 views

On the search for an example sentence from a German textbook

Once I read three sentences build of made-up words with correct German declination and conjugation, so you were able to parse this sentence although it beared no semantic meaning. It was something ...
Largo's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
50 views

Looking for books etc on gender animacy in Oromo

I request you if you are willing and able to help me on my linguistics thesis with the title of The morphosyntax of gender animacy and clitics in Oromo. Oromo is one of the Cushitic branch languages ...
Leta Tesfa's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
355 views

What are some theoretical motivations for do-support?

I've been attempting to put together an overview of the various theoretical motivations that have been proposed for do-support in the literature, but the topic has been frustratingly difficult to ...
Jeremy's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
1 answer
145 views

Morphology: Machine-Learning

Isn't the compound 'machine learning' problematic, inasmuch as the non-head of the compound is the external argument of learning. This would make it an auspicious compound (http://www.bobaljik.uconn....
MJM's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
142 views

are words more independent from syntax in non-analytical languages? Does this affect language processing? [closed]

When we think about the morphology and syntax, the debate arises. Even if they are protagonist parts of linguistic debates, and even if they are usually address separately, the importance of each ...
Daniela Arellano's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
758 views

How do formal theories analyse the syntax of polysynthetic languages?

How is syntax of polysynthetic languages (e.g. Inuktitut, Mohawk) represented in formal theories of syntax? In many cases, a sentence consists of only one or two words so the syntax tree is rather ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
190 views

Why did the Rebracketing from "Napron" to "Apron" Figuratively Stick?

I read that the cloth that painters and chefs wear, the one now called "apron", used to be called "napron". But then because of rebracketing, "a napron" became "an ...
MeltedStatementRecognizing's user avatar