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2

First of all, it should be noted that in nearly all generative theories--even in ones which generate subjects inside the VP--the subject practically never stays there for long. Subjects generally move upwards into a position where they can receive Case; by most X' accounts, they move up into SpecTP (or SpecIP, etc.). This is what BillJ's response is ...


0

I see everyone answering regarding the neutral reasons why grammar gets complex and stays this way, but no one wrote about the more "political" aspect, so allow me: Grammar (and by extent, Orthograph), was often normalized when only rich/powerful people knew how to write. Back then, while matching the oral language was still the main goal, written ...


2

Short and unambiguous Complexity makes a grammar hard to learn, but not hard to use. Speakers of a language, having already learned the language, are not really interested in reducing its complexity. It is also not a conscious choice to adhere to the language's rules, so they don't feel "restricted" by them. What an language speaker wants from ...


3

Not really. "Participle" can be defined pretty reliably as "an inflected form of a verb that acts as an adjective". But the line between a participle and any other adjective derived from a verb is fairly arbitrary: there's no obvious descriptive reason why -tus adjectives in Latin are "participles" and -τος adjectives in Greek ...


5

I have my hair [cut]. This is a catenative construction, where causative "have" is a catenative verb with the past-participial clause "cut" functioning as its catenative complement. The intervening NP "my hair" is the (raised) syntactic object of "have" and the understood (semantic) subject of the subordinate clause.


12

First of all, the sentence I have my hair cut. is an example of a Construction. That is, there is a special model for this clause, with its own unique sets of meanings, uses, restrictions and affordances. So one shouldn't expect it to be a normal short sentence. And it isn't. In a sentence with only 5 words, there are 2 verbs and two noun phrases, so the ...


0

The question appears to assume that the language only exists as a method of communicating factual descriptions and making demands between humans. Once you consider the full range of things that language is actually used for, you should be able to see that mere communicative efficiency can be subordinated to other purposes, such as obfuscation and artistic ...


5

Redundancy. Speech (or signing, though there's been less research done on this) is an inherently imperfect communication channel. Information gets lost or corrupted very easily, and there's just no way to avoid it—communicating in a crowded party, or shouting across a long distance, or holding a conversation while music plays in the background, is often ...


0

This is an example of inflection. When verbs are inflected, that is called conjugation, but there are also non-verb inflection, such as adding the letter "s" to indicate plural nouns, or changing "he" to "him" to indicate that the pronoun is objective.


3

There's no terminology that generically describes all such differences, but the most likely kind of difference, what I suppose you have in mind, relates to the idea of a "verb form" – under that heading you would include for instance "saw", "seeing", "seen". In English, verbs can have a number of forms depending on ...


1

The two word string 'grammatical function' is sometimes used in ad hoc ways by different scholars, where grammatical is an adjective and function is a broad descriptive word, and the two-word string does not refer to any type of formal category. However, the fact that the Original Poster is asking this question—and that they frame it in the way they do—...


2

Traditionally, a grammatical function is "how it works in a grammar", so ability to triggering agreement, be nominative, bind a reflexive and so on are grammatical functions. Grammatical relations are concepts like "Subject", "Object", "Indirect Object" etc, which are related, in that being a subject implies having ...


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