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Questions tagged [verbs]

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

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Cross-linguistic study of distribution of number of verbal arguments

I think I remember reading once that cross linguistically, at least in "normal" spoken or written language, verbs almost never take more than ~4-5 obligatory arguments. This seems to be true in my ...
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Question about Macedonian Grammer

I'm trying to learn Macedonian and one if the resources out there was paraphrased as saying the following about the Macedonian language: Belamaric-Wilsey says that the majority of Macedonian-...
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1answer
45 views

Where can I find an analysis of the semantic overlap of English “to have” and “with”?

For years I've understood via my native speaker intuition and my interest in languages and linguistics that the preposition "with" can carry the semantic meaning of the verb "to have". The man who ...
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2answers
59 views

Why some verbs have -tion while others don't, when being nounified

Verbs like animate become a noun animation, and others like graduate become graduation. But then there are verbs that are just straight converted into nouns, like capture the verb and a capture the ...
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1answer
44 views

The most different meanings a verb has been found to have

After considering How we can use the same word in multiple different ways and distinguish it so easily, I'm wondering now how complex it can get. I'm wondering what an example is from any language ...
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3answers
73 views

How Nesting Verbs Works (and if it is Even Possible)

Wondering the different ways you can nest verbs, and what is technically allowed from a mental perspective, not necessarily from a grammatical perspective b/c I imagine it would vary significantly ...
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Causative/factitive vs denominalizing morpheme

Generally, a morpheme combined with a verb and that increases the valency as 'make', it is considered causative/factitive morpheme. But If it is combined with a noun/adjective, either the same ...
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3answers
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Is there a language where another verb form is simpler/more basic than the imperative?

Imperative tends to be the simplest verb form, cf. Latin dic, fac. English is not very inflecting, so other verb forms can be just as simple as the imperative. Nevertheless, is there a language, where ...
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2answers
59 views

Stolen, part of speech

I've checked several dictionaries for the word "stolen" only to find it labeled a verb. Virtually all of the examples sentences use it in a manner that I would have considered an adjective: "The ...
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2answers
77 views

Is there a language where semantic aspect determines which tense is unmarked in a verb?

For every language there is a tense that is morphologically closest to the root, e.g. English present is more basic than perfect since perfect either adds a suffix -(e)d or has ablaut as tense marker. ...
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35 views

Resource for getting agentive noun from verb automatically

I am trying to get (in some automated fashion) the agentive noun of a given verb. For instance we have buy, buyer sell, seller invest, investor I was wondering whether there is some resource that ...
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2answers
484 views

What is the past tense of 'yeet'?

Yeet (/ji:t/) is a recently coined verb in English that seems to have taken on the characteristics of a strong verb, as seen in this hilarious urban dictionary definition. In English, the strong ...
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1answer
91 views

Why is there not passive imperative? [closed]

It doesn’t exist. I have the proof. Look. It’s missing.
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46 views

English verbs requiring PP

Are there a set of English verbs that require a prepositional phrase? For example: "The set consists of A and B." = GOOD "The set consists" = BAD Is there a name for this type of verb? They seem to ...
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1answer
67 views

(A)Telicity & Events

Dowty's (1979) classified predicates into: 1. States 'the woord is burning' ---Atelic 2. Activities 'Mary pushed the cart' ---Atelic 3. Accomplishments 'Mary melted the chocolate' ---Telic 4. ...
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3answers
153 views

Is there any language where the past tense is the base form of a verb?

The fictional language Flaidish has this feature. But I recently found out about a natural language (Mixtec) where the present isn't the base form of a verb, its the future tense. I found this ...
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3answers
102 views

What functional motivations are there for the choice of light verb constructions over full verbs?

I am doing a reasearch on light verbs and wondered if anyone could give some opinions on why people tend to use light verb cosntructions, such as "take a shower", "make a decision" etc., over the ...
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1answer
78 views

Is there a language in which personal suffix precedes the temporal suffix in conjugation?

A fictional example: zelun (zel- (verb stem: "to make leather") + u (personal suffix, 3rd person sg.) + n (temporal suffix, present)) vs. zelud (u (3rd sg.) + d (preterite)) zelun = "He/She/It is ...
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1answer
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What is the concept of verb agreement with passive-active level in Hebrew?

In this Duolingo discussion, 'S.Liebermann' mentions that in Hebrew and Arabic, "the verb needs to agree with the level of passive/active" and "Hebrew has 7 degrees of passive/active, while Arabic has ...
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1answer
78 views

Periphrastic verb forms in Gothic

What periphrastic verb form are attested in the Gothic language, the oldest Germanic language we have substantial records from? Skimming through a grammar of Gothic I found that for the past tense ...
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3answers
199 views

Is there a natural language that doesn’t use an action verb to describe death?

English uses “activity” verbs such as the verb “to be” to describe that a person is dead, as in “He is dead,” or “He died.” Is there a language that doesn’t do this? I know that some languages have ...
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1answer
57 views

Are copulas object/complement heads? P&P & LFG

In P&P, I assume that 'be' occupies the head of VP as P&P doesn't allow for empty heads. From that I assume that copulas head objects/complements in the same way that a lexical verb would? In ...
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Does a main verb undergo inversion in “Has he any shame?”

My undergraduate textbook builds a case to posit separate classes of verbs as lexical, auxiliary, modal in nature. One criterion is how auxiliary and modals (unlike main verbs) undergo inversion but ...
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When was the concept of verbs' principal parts codified, and by whom?

For example, I'm wondering whether the Greek/Roman grammarians already wrote about six/four basic forms based on which a Greek/Latin verb can be conjugated in all its forms. If they did, did they ...
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1answer
70 views

Romance-like pronominal verbs elsewhere

Romance languages are known to have lots of so-called pronominal verbs, which are always conjugated with a reflexive pronoun even though the action is not actually reflexive: for example, Spanish irse,...
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1answer
55 views

Is there a term for an adjective or noun becoming a verb, like “to adult”?

Is there a term for a word that is traditionally an adjective or noun becoming a verb over time? A word I'm thinking of is "adult", which Merriam-Webster has reported has become increasingly used as a ...
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What explains the semantic sameness in 'Verb + preposition + Direct Object' and 'Verb + Direct Object'?

Why can prepositions following a verb not affect the meaning of Verb Phrases that differ by only a preposition? I.e., what explains the semantic sameness between Verb Phrases that differ by only a ...
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Are there any languages that either effectively don't have verbs or that somehow get around using a “standard” verb system?

By this, I'm asking whether there are languages (natural or constructed) which somehow function without verbs, relying instead upon other types of words like prepositions or something like that. ...
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2answers
162 views

Verb pairs similar to “buy” and “sell”?

"buy" and "sell" that are basically the same action/event, but reverse arguments (subject of one, the object of the other): X sold his car to Y. Y bought a car from X. Is there a any special name ...
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1answer
68 views

Why use “être” with pronominal verbs in complex tenses in french?

While some verbs in french with intransitive sense use "être" for complex tenses (Je suis entré), other verbs with transitive sense use "avoir" to show subject-object relations: Je les ai vus. ("Je" - ...
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1answer
191 views

Why is the verb “to need” and “to observe” always imperfective in Slavic languages?

I have been reading into Balto-Slavic languages and come across a problem. "To need" is always imperfective. If I use the imperfective past verb, "to need," I am going to be still, presently needing ...
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1answer
312 views

How can the perfective aspect apply to the present tense?

The perfective aspect is makes it so that the verb is viewed "outside" the verb, while imperfective verbs have an internal view into the verb. This makes sense for past tense verbs, in order to view ...
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2answers
175 views

Tenses, voices, moods, and what else?

John sings the hymn. John sang the hymn. John sang the hymn. The hymn was sung by John. It is important that John is at the meeting. (This presupposes that he is and says that is ...
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2answers
179 views

Why does 'seem' behave differently?

Mary seems[ t to be here] Mary tried [PRO to be here] Why can't Mary be generated in spec VP of 'seems' but can in 'tried'? Instead it looks like it works more like a passive verb: Mary is believed ...
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3answers
131 views

How do we explain the fact that agreement comes from the object with 'there'?

For example: There is a man. There are men. How do we explain that agreement of the verb comes from the object in this case alone? What movement happens in the verb complex of the xbar tree of the ...
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1answer
70 views

How to know whether a word is context appropriate? [closed]

So as we all know in both Englisch und Deutsch there are many nouns/verbs that either mean the same or close to the same as eachother, but are chosen based on the context (ex: damp, moist, soggy, etc.....
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2answers
326 views

What languages have a Perfect Imperative and what is the meaning of such a tense-mood combination?

I self-studied Greek long ago, and I found this Perfect Imperative. Now all the Greek grammars I looked at just throw it at you, expecting you to either completely ignore or downright not have what ...
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3answers
1k views

Is a language possible without verbs or without nouns?

Is a language without nouns possible? And another one without verbs? And other ones without adjectives or adverbs? Is there some real examples? (In preference: non-constructed languages, because ...
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1answer
225 views

Do-So Tests for VPs and PPs

How will a Do-So test help in identifying if a PP is an adjunct or complement to the verb? Example : I ran to work. I need two pieces of evidence to prove the status of PP in a sentence.
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Why do so many grammars divide a clause into Subject and Verb instead of Subject and Predicative?

I used to start learning a few languages, admittingly my interest ,stamina and brain force didn't last for more than a couple of days each. Nethertheless, I noticed , that the different grammars ...
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1answer
86 views

Do other languages than English have verbals ,too?

As I understand it, verbals are nouns,adjectives and adverbs which are derived from verbs. I don't understand if a verbal is indeed one of the three parts of speeches mentioned or a part of speech of ...
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49 views

Why can the Internal Argument of “Matter” NOT Raise?

The internal arguments of unaccusative verbs in English must raise to subject position to obtain case and satisfy the EPP. For example, verbs like melt, fall, die, arrive, etc.must have their internal ...
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1answer
152 views

Lithuanian possessive perfect

Can someone explain what exactly the 'possessive perfect' is? The book I read gave the following example: Turiu atsinešęs maisto. have:PRS.1SG bring:PTCP.PST.ACT.NOM.SG....
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1answer
55 views

English sentence patterns or verbs in the order of the degree of introduction

I've been wondering if there is any classification, academically established or researched, of verbs or sentence forms that introduce new referents, with the forms/verbs enumerated in the order of the ...
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1answer
377 views

How to detect verb in a sentence where the verb is invisible in the sentence?

In case of some Indo-European languages it seems there is no visible verb in the sentence. This is specially visible in languages like Bangla, Hindi etc. For example the sentence Who is there? is ...
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4answers
308 views

What does every verb have in common?

Am trying to deduce what the essential function that all verbs have in common, they are defined as: a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence To see the issue that am having, let my ...
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1answer
113 views

Syntactic vs Morphological features for generation of English VGs

NEW QUESTION From a production/generation perspective, one can say that a realization X is the result of a collection of features (attribute-value pairs) applied to the base form of a word. For ...
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1answer
325 views

Understanding implicit arguments

We started learning about argument structure in my syntax class, and I am confused by implicit arguments, which our book hardly touches on. What is the argument for a verb having an implicit argument ...
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1answer
527 views

Does English have [ inchoative aspect ]?

Does English have the [ inchoative aspect ] ? The first passage quoted below says NO, but the second says YES. . . . So I guess it depends on the definition. Is English generally/usually said to (...
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0answers
63 views

Using (e.g.) Stanford NLP for retrieving specific “indirect” objects

I am a computer scientist using Stanford NLP for extracting a Semantic Graph from plain text. Through this tool I am already getting the universal dependencies but now I want to get all the possible ...