Questions tagged [verbs]

Part of speech whose members indicate an action or a state of being.

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1 vote
0 answers
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What is the benefit of tenses when time period can be pinned down by adverbs?

In language like English and German, there is two ways to indicate time period. One is with conjugation and the other with time adverbs. To my understanding, the adverbs allow for exact pinning down ...
1 vote
2 answers
124 views

Can non-finite verbs be not active nor passive voice?

Non-finite verbs can show voices as finite verbs do, but in some cases they seems to be without subject, so what are their voices? Are they just not showing voices? For example, “this was my first ...
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What type of verbs take a clause as the direct object?

We have detailed transitivity classification for the valence and the number of objects a verb can take. Some transitive verbs can take a complete sentence (a clause) as the direct object. For example, ...
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How do "transform into" and "turn into" function syntactically?

He turned into a car He transformed into a car What are the syntactic categories of "transform", "turn", and "into" in each sentence? I think that "turned into&...
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1 answer
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How do languages without adjectives, that treat them instead as verbs, handle more complex adjective-like phrases?

I am looking at papers like Where have all the adjectives gone? The case of Jinghpaw which show stuff like: fi=go ggba=thinn re. 3sg=TOP be.big=SUPER COP 'He is the biggest.' Also, Approaches to the ...
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How does Case work in an impersonal sentence?

The Case filter is what prohibits the phonetic realization of a DP that recieves no grammatical Case. In languages such as Portuguese, people use impersonal constructions like "há/tem um carro na ...
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1 answer
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What languages use a conceptual parallel to the Hebrew verb ירש?

The Hebrew verb ירש is loosely translated to mean "inherit," but does not quite mean the same thing as the English word inherit because the Hebrew verb refers to an heir inheriting his ...
2 votes
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Is there a specific verb category for verbs that act on other verbs

In the phrases below: He started to eat food John decided to kick the ball Justin prepared to face the challenge Are the verbs started, decided, and prepared in s special category since they don't ...
2 votes
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Is telicity a property of verbs or predicates?

In English, the verb "walk" is atelic. One could in principle walk indefinitely. Fatigue and aging limit the activity, but that fact is not an inherent part of the meaning of the verb. ...
7 votes
3 answers
609 views

Are there any languages where verbs in the past form are used with the future tense?

I have learned that in the Galician Ukrainian dialect the verbs in past tense are used in the future. Are there any other languages with the same structure? For example: "Будеш з нами їв?" = ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Is there a list of common English verbs with all of the inflectional "principal parts"?

I am looking for a list of common English verbs (1000 to 2000 most-frequent) which gives the distinct inflectional forms (spelled: pronunciation is irrelevant). For example, "sits, sit, sat, sat, ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Is there "adjunct indexation" in some languages?

The arguments of a verb may leave markers on the verb about the person and number features, which is commonly called as argument indexation. We know the distinction between arguments and adjuncts is ...
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2 answers
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List of Lexical and Auxiliary verbs [closed]

I am wanting to know if anyone knows where I get a list of the verbs that are Lexical and Auxiliary. Not what the differences are, but what the actual verbs are. And maybe which are which. I've tried ...
1 vote
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Is there a word for a pair of verbs that mean the same thing but with subject and object swapped?

In logic, you can say: (A and B) --> A / 'A and B' implies 'A' (as the 'B' is just discarded) Computer programmers working from a specification to an implementation, sometimes talk about ...
4 votes
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Why is a verb omitted in English coordination?

In English coordination, it is very common that a verb should be omitted so that the whole expression sounds natural as exemplifed below. Ann came with, and Bob without, a date. (Langacker 2012). ...
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What is the subcategorizarion of the verb "thought"?

I'm writing a grammar and I see that VP->thought SBAR. The sentence "the president thought that a sandwich sighed ." In the stanford parser. But what is this type of verbs? Transitive/...
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Verb subcategoriztion - intransitive, transitive, ditransitive, Verb with a complement clause

I'm trying to avoid building grammatically incorrect sentences in some small toy grammar I'm building. I find subcategorization of verbs bit confusing. Can there be more then one classification per ...
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3 votes
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Object of certain constructions

I am sure you have all come across constructions such as these: She slept a long sleep He lived a productive life. These verbs are traditionally intransitive verbs, and yet here are transitive. ...
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OVS in English dialogue

English is an SVO language. When writing dialogue, especially in literature, writing a sentence with the speech first is considered grammatically correct. Take for example this extract from Ursula K ...
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1 answer
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Is it possible to make a statement without involving time?

All verbs seem to assume time. Is, was, will be, etc. I don't mean specific times, but the concept of time in general. Is it possible to make any statement without involving time?
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3 votes
1 answer
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How would you classify a verb that denotes a close temporal relation to another verb?

I am looking at a Papuan language that uses a serialized verb to denote temporal proximity to the main verb's occurrence. I am translating it as "just" in English, as in "he just left&...
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21 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the proper definition of a verb?

I do apologise if the question is wordy, but I feel some context is required for me to stand any chance of finding a satifactory answer. I have been struggling to understand why the word "is"...
3 votes
2 answers
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What percentage of verbs in English take both a direct and an indirect object?

I am assuming that the number of transitive verbs that take both a direct and indirect object in English is a subset of those that just take just a direct object. Does anyone know how much smaller? ...
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1 answer
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Does "Inchoative Construction" mean constructions with intransitive inchoative verbs?

The following is the sentence I extracted from a book, Binding Theory, written by Daniel Burning. The fact that a language like English, which lacks a simple reflexive, has extremely few reflexive ...
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2 answers
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a term for the type of ambi-transitive verb that can do away with an object

I found some terms like (non)ergative, inchoative, but neither quite fits the type of transitive verb that can do without an object, for example, "eat" I ate. Have you eaten? I ate an apple. ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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What is "mupigane" in Swahili? [closed]

In this sentence: "Wazazi waliwaambia watoto wao: 'Badala ya kufa nyumbani nendeni mupigane.'", I assume "mupigane" is a conjugated form of the verb "kupiga" (fight). ...
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11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why is tense obligatory in some languages and not in others?

In some languages like Chinese, it isn’t imperative that the tense of the verb is explicitly marked. So if you mean an action that will occur in the future, you can still refer to it in an all-...
1 vote
1 answer
132 views

What determines the valency of predicates?

According to this example, arrive takes only one subject valent. Can somebody specializes in syntax help me apprehend this notion of valence? Specifically, what factors are used to determine the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
13 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is there a name for the type of word that the word, “scarecrow,” is? (a transitive verb conjoined with its object)

The English word, “scarecrow,” spontaneously came to mind the other day, and I realized just how similar this word is to other words and phrases in other languages. For example, there are many ...
0 votes
0 answers
486 views

Is 'love' transitive?

I was just watching a linguistics video in which it was stated that in the sentence "John loves Mary", the verb love requires the direct object Mary, implying that it would be incorrect to ...
2 votes
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Is there any database with English verb argument structure?

To simplify -- different verbs require different number of nouns to be complete. Some of arguments may be implicit in the real usage of language. So, my question is there any database containing many ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Languages with definite and indefinite conjugation

Apart from Hungarian, are there any other languages with definite and indefinite conjugation (verbal inflections)? For example (in Hugarian): Definite conjugation: I see the tree. – Látom a fát. ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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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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1 vote
1 answer
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Why do verbs use 1st singular present active indicative instead of infinitive as the "canonical" or "representative" form in Latin?

I see many dictionaries use the 1st person singular present active indicative form as the "canonical" or dictionary entry for verbs in Latin. For example, a typical dictionary would show ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What do "finite" and "non-finite" mean in linguistics?

What do "finite" and "non-finite" mean in linguistics? I know that they occur in other languages and in some cases not only in verbs.
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2 votes
0 answers
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what is the difference between reference time and event time

what is the difference between reference time and event time , also i am native Arabic speaker , i tried to translate by google translate two examples the reference time before and after event time ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Simple cases of gapping (verb ellipsis in coordinate structures)

What are some simple cases of V or Verb Phrase gaps? For instance: I love the location and the apartment. Is this considered a gap (missing 'love' in the second conjunct)? If not, why not? What about ...
1 vote
0 answers
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The aspect of imperative mood in English

What is the aspect of imperative mood in English? e.g., Go home! I know the mood of the verb is imperative here, but I am not sure about the aspect.
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1 answer
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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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1 vote
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What is the history behind the use of the infinitive form with an imperative function in Germany, Dutch, and other languages

In German, Dutch, and other languages, the imperative is distinct from the infinitive: Dutch would be doe mee! (singular), doet mee! (plural or formal, dated). German would be mach mit (singular) or ...
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3 answers
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What is meant by "s/he flies" in Plains Cree dictionary?

The Plains Cree Dictionary has things like this: ᐋᐦᑕᐦᐅᐤ âhtahow VAI-1 s/he flies to another place The VAI (animate intransitive verb) page doesn't have a description. In English we have verbs "...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the term for the role of "believe", "think", and "feel" in a sentence?

I remember vaguely that there is an encompassing terms for these words when used in a sentence. Something that represent it is not a normal factual claim, but something that is subjective to the ...
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Are there such things as verbs that are experiential AND ditransitive?

Does any natural language have verbs that are both ditransitive and experiential? I'm working on a conlang in which ditransitive experiential verbs exist. For example, we could have verbs that mean &...
0 votes
4 answers
161 views

What sort of "root" patterns do languages have that don't have infinitive verbs?

I am trying to gather the "base" form of verbs across languages. The form that is used to generate all the other various verb forms. But it seems some languages don't have infinitive forms ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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How did verb conjugation by person, number and gender appear? Why do we still use it?

I'm Russian native,learning German and English. I'm interested in teaching myself some linguistics. Russian verb inflects for person, number in present and future tense; for gender in past tense. ...
4 votes
1 answer
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What is the reason for having irregular verbs?

Having irregular verbs makes the language more complex. Users have to memorize more rules. Is there a historical reason, or some other reason, that English had all these irregular verbs?
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Where do nominal sentences (null/lacking verb sentences) come from and what does their existence imply?

Nominal sentence is a grammatical feature of some languages that a grammatical correct sentence can have no explicit verb. The implicit verb at least in Arabic is simple present form of 'to be', e.g. ...
4 votes
0 answers
176 views

Are there languages that mark mood but not tense or aspect?

Are there languages where verbs inflect for mood but don't inflect for tense and aspect? For instance, if a language had one set of indicative forms and another set of subjunctive forms, but didn't ...
1 vote
1 answer
56 views

Is there a database out there for mapping verb tense to its base form?

Obviously, almost all the online dictionaries could map some verb forms like "spoke, spoken, speaking, speaks" to its base form "speak". I've searched this on github but didn't ...
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