Questions tagged [verbs]

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

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1answer
164 views

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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17 views

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 &...
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4answers
90 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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1answer
176 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
203 views

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. ...
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3answers
267 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 ...
4
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1answer
106 views

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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47 views

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. ...
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1answer
123 views

Both subject and object of an act defined by same verb?

I have in my hand a rather ancient text in Arabic. There's a frequent construction which I couldn't grasp the full meaning. It is [ transitive verb + preposition ], in which the preposition is fixed ...
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2answers
188 views

When an existential verb is used existentially as the predicate to a subject, is it true in all languages that it cannot take another predicate?

When an existential is used existentially verb as the predicate to a subject, is it true in all languages that it cannot take another predicate? In other words, when the existential to-be verb means '...
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0answers
76 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 ...
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2answers
701 views

Is there something deeper behind the “verb classes swapping” of the subjunctive endings in Romance languages?

I first asked this question in https://spanish.stackexchange.com/q/15929/11155 However the Spanish community has not found any answer yet and the phenomenon is observable in many Romance languages. I ...
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1answer
48 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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1answer
54 views

Are Turkish aorist (wide-tense) verbs originally finite or nonfinite?

There are countless examples in Turkish of third person aorist forms in -A/Ir or -mAz (negative form) which are employed as nouns: gelir (income), gider (spending), yazar (writter) or adjective su ...
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4answers
6k 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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4answers
2k views

Is there a difference between a preterite and an aorist?

I am reading about aorist and preterite verb forms. It seems that they are both forms which express perfective aspect and past tense. Is the difference between them simply in differing terminology or ...
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2answers
562 views

Do languages besides the Kartvelian family have a property of verbs called “version”?

I'm currently studying the Georgian language and it has quite a few interesting properties not common in more well known languages. One property of the verb is called "version", "version markers" or "...
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0answers
39 views

Across languages, what, if any, syntactic or semantic differences distinguish compound verbs from serial verb constructions?

Across languages, what semantic or syntactic differences distinguish serial verb constructions from compound verbs? Let's disregard phonological differences for the purposes of this question. Let's ...
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0answers
284 views

Are there any studies on some English passive verb constructions currently being replaced by new intransitive senses?

In the past couple of years I've noticed a new trend in younger generations of native English speakers, at least in American English and Australian English. But I can't find it discussed anywhere on ...
10
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1answer
314 views

Origin of -s verbs in Norwegian and Swedish

(Disclaimer: I am not a linguist.) I am learning Norwegian now, and they have some verb form when you attach -s to the end. It is often called passive voice (used in Present tense and in infinitive ...
1
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1answer
112 views

What's the precisest term for verbs that belong to the same stem without any affixes?

RA Duff. Intention, Agency and Criminal Liability (1990). p 33.       Notice too the various cognates of 'intention' which are used in ordinary language. We talk of intending to ...
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5answers
14k 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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0answers
37 views

Is there a principled reason behind differing compound verb stress in English?

Is there a principled difference between compound verbs in English with stress on the first root and those with stress on the second root? First root stress compound verbs: Dropkick Spoonfeed ...
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2answers
3k views

need to understand infinitive

What is the easiest way to understand what an infinitive is? How do I know which verb in which sentence is an infinitive? For example, let us take this website: Infinitive This is the example I am ...
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0answers
34 views

Is “in favour of John” a resultative here?

In the sentence, "The judge settled the dispute in favour of John", is "in favour of John" a resultative? I am being asked to explain what this string shows about the verb "settle". Thanks!
1
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1answer
131 views

What can these verbs be called as a group?

I'm going to teach my students about different patterns of usage of these verbs: marry (e.g. get married, marry sb, marry to), die (e.g. die of , die from, die for), match (e.g. match (something), ...
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0answers
65 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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2answers
132 views

Name for a verb form meaning “feign or pretend to do sth”

Is there an accepted name for a derivational process applied to a verb which conveys the meaning "feign or pretend to do sth". As a corollary, is anyone aware of any languages (especially ...
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0answers
146 views

Why don't modern Romance languages have the verb “to stand”?

I noticed that modern Romance languages don't have a specific word for the verb "to stand", or - you could say - don't consider the notion of standing to be a verb. For example, in Spanish - you can ...
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2answers
493 views

Are there verbs in Swahili which can be both active and passive?

In English some verbs can be both active and passive, depending on the context - for example: The mother is cooking. The chicken is cooking. In the case of my mother, I am using the active sense - e....
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3answers
89 views

Second Person Inanimates in Swahili

I know what when making verbs about people I can use an object placeholder in order to indicate the difference between the first, second and third persons. So if I'm talking to my daughters I might ...
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1answer
120 views

Pattern of use of modal verbs across languages

So I am toying with language and understand how to treat basic verbs and nouns and adjectives. But I am stuck on modal verbs like "I should have gone home". I would like to know basically a cheat ...
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2answers
297 views

What is the proper term for a verb that can be used transitively with the patient as object or intransitively with the patient as subject

For example: I am cooking the chicken The chicken is cooking in the oven Cp: I am building a sandcastle x The sandcastle is building on the beach
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2answers
258 views

Is there a linguistic term for replacing past tense verb with present tense?

In my dialect of English (North West England), we sometimes use the present tense of a verb when standard English employs the past tense, such as in the sentence below: "I waits for the bus ...
7
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3answers
483 views

Are there any languages with minimal distinctions between the noun and verb categories?

Are there any languages in which the, largely Indo-European/PIE, and more compartmentalized parts-of-speech system don't work very well? In particular, I am wondering if there are any languages in ...
2
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1answer
233 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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0answers
62 views

Is “be set to” a subject-to-subject raising predicate?

Consider the sentence "Conservative Party (is) Set to Win (a) Majority". Is it right that "set" in this case is a subject-to-subject raising? I don't think "set" has an agent theta role. However, all ...
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0answers
55 views

What was the role of “compound” verbs in Middle English?

I was just reading a book where it is said that when perfect started to acquire modern meanings, "compound" verbs appeared. Here are some examples (I`m assuming with "compound" verbs on the right): ...
3
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2answers
174 views

Why can Japanese Godan verbs only have nine possible consonant sounds before the final -u?

The dictionary form of Japanese verbs always ends in a -u syllable. Ichidan (one row or single-step in German) verbs will always end in -る (-ru, e.g. 食べる, taberu, to eat) while godan (five rows or ...
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2answers
130 views

How regular were Latin verbs compared to Spanish?

Compared to English, Spanish is very consistent within its rules about verbs. The endings for the three kinds of verbs—grouped as -ar, -er, and -ir verbs—are pretty consistently regular, and few words ...
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4answers
739 views

Is “imperatives have invisible subjects” a universal?

In English, it's widely held that imperative verbs have "invisible" subjects, on the syntactic level. For example, we see look at yourself in the mirror, rather than *look at you in the mirror, which ...
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2answers
167 views

Is it normal for only one verb class to be productive in Indo-European languages?

In another question on this site, there is some discussion on the view that the so-called "strong verb" class in English is no longer "productive" - that is, newly formed or coined words (neologisms) ...
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2answers
173 views

why can't we have two main verbs in a sentence in syntax

Would you please exlain to me why can't we have two main verbs in a sentence in syntax? Thank you so much
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2answers
115 views

Where can you find a list of all nouns and verbs “forms” in each language? [closed]

The only languages for which I have found a book (not even a webpage) is for Hebrew and Arabic. Are there books or webpages that contain all the noun declensions and verb "conjugations" (or noun and ...
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3answers
3k views

English words which are both verbs and adjectives

A question about UI design led me to speculate about English words which are both a verb and an adjective. My answer to the question addresses this linguistics issue as the root of the UI issue. I ...
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0answers
38 views

How do languages express multiple simultaneous applicatives?

Some languages use an applicative voice construction exclusively for certain meanings. Applicatives may also be the only way of expressing such roles, as in the Bantu Chaga languages, where ...
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3answers
738 views

Why does it appear certain Georgian verbs take preverbs in present forms?

Georgian verbal morphology includes a concept called a preverb, which has several functions compounded into one morpheme: distinguishes present (without preverb) from future (with preverb) adds ...
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0answers
62 views

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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1answer
111 views

Why a verb “to be” has a lot forms [duplicate]

I really can't understand why this verb changes to "am", "is", etc. The common answer is "just became as historical legacy", but how actually it happend?
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4answers
920 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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