Questions tagged [verbs]

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

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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
183 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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290 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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110 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
107 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
175 views

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
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
221 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
79 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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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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45 views

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
108 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
145 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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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1answer
103 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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275 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
1k 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
291 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 important.) It is ...
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2answers
1k 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
155 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
290 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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831 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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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
794 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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52 views

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
110 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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55 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
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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57 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
535 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
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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1answer
265 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
432 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
878 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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84 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
39 views

Is there a name for verbs that describe regular activities?

Basically I mean, for activities one consistently performs, is there a special name or category for those verbs? Examples: He runs I play table tennis She surfs They study linguistics See how each ...
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1answer
29 views

Is case of PRO always the same as its controller?

I have a question about empty category PRO. I'd like to know if PRO is always bearing the same case as its controller, or not? Are there any lingusitics laws that clames such a thing? Many Thanks ...
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2answers
649 views

English verbs with more than one past tense [closed]

In English, there are verbs that have two valid past participles. An example for such a verb would be sow which has the two forms sowed and sown. Are there English verbs that have more than one valid ...
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1answer
777 views

Which language has the most types of irrealis moods?

A mood in grammar is a verb form that depends on how its containing clause relates to the speaker’s or writer’s wish, intent, or assertion about reality. Mood is distinctive from tense (how a verb's ...
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346 views

Is there a language in which the verb “to ask” can be followed by a dative case?

So far as I know, the ditransitive verb "to ask" takes two accusatives in German (fragen), and the verb "to give" takes one dative and one accusative in many languages. Is there a language in which ...
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106 views

Is “focus on verbs” a well-known aphorism in linguistics?

In a technical mailing list where I participate, someone asked: A famous linguist once said that "to understand a new language, that you should focus on the verbs first." Who said that? One ...
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153 views

Why doesn't English have contracted forms for past tense verbs?

In English, we contract things like "They are" to "They're." As far as I know, for indicative moods, this is only done for present and future tense verbs. Why is it not done for past tense (I know ...
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59 views

Why was the prefix 'anti-' chosen for the terms 'antipassive' and 'anticausative'?

Source: Understanding Semantics (2 ed, 2013) by Sebastian Löbner [p 137:] The antipassive in English consists of demoting the direct object argument by omitting it. It removes the THEME/PATIENT ...
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853 views

Why does French use “be” as the auxiliary for a few verbs? [duplicate]

In French, there are a set of 17 verbs lovingly called the Vandertramps: Devenir (to become) Revenir (to come back) . & Monter (to climb) Rentrer (to reenter) Sortir (to exit) ...
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118 views

Truth-neutral, truth-indifferent, & truth-committed verbs?

In English, I go to the store. is understood to mean It is true that I go to the store. Suppose I want to succinctly express I am indifferent to whether it is true or false that I go to ...
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3answers
438 views

Is there any language in which the gender of the subject/object is marked in every verb conjugation?

Besides Spanish where you have comerla (feminine, eat her) or comerlo (masculine, eat him), but only works for certain verb conjugations. Any other language where the gender of objects/subjects is ...
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1answer
197 views

Anticausative/unaccusative verbs - a way to express causer of the event

Can be sentence with unaccusative verb describing some state change on the subject changed to sentence (with different verb of course) which contains cause of that event on the subject position (like ...