Questions relating to the scientific study of language.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
2answers
41 views

What's the name for when a word changes its pronunciation because of how people read?

With greater literacy in the past 100 years, most English speakers are also proficient at writing. Sometimes due to the great divide between English spellings and the true pronunciation, people will ...
0
votes
2answers
55 views

Verbal analogy: sweet _ness_ is to suffix as boat _swain_ is to … In other words, what is the term for the _swain_ morpheme?

At some point in the past I encountered the following verbal analogy: SWEET NESS : SUFFIX :: BOAT SWAIN : ? In my view, the question is asking what one would term the "swain" morpheme in ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

petabyte vs terabyte, which one? [closed]

I assume they both has meaning like "million gigabyte", right? Then, why two words are coming out to English world?
4
votes
11answers
423 views

Is there a phrase for someone being ashamed of, or self-conscious about their accent when moving to another region?

I was reading a book about accents at a local library and there was a chapter where the author says "some varieties of a language are more aesthetically pleasing than others". Some accents are ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Looking For an Excellent Resource for People Learning Linguistics [migrated]

Was wondering if anyone knows of a solid resource (site) on the web or even an app in the play store that would be a good place to go to supplement my learning in school...i.e. someplace that has a ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

What phenomena of English syntax can be used to support Universal Grammar?

As the title suggests, I would like some examples of syntactic phenomena in English that strongly suggests the existence of Universal Grammar. An example of this is recursion in English, since the ...
2
votes
0answers
70 views

Substitution or Ellipsis? (Linguistics)

I want to ask a question which is not clear for me. In an exam, we were given such a question that it says which of the following dialogues doesnt have ellipsis. Two most possible answers are these ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Can “ were known” be considered as a copular verb?

I have to analyze the valency pattern of this clause "These glorious full colour prints that resulted were known as brocade pictures". Can I consider "were known" as a copular verb followed by the ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

What is a postpositional enclitic? [closed]

What is a post positional enclitic? I don't know anything about it, but I think it is a part of english grammar.
3
votes
1answer
72 views

What is the need of an invisible affix?

When nothing means something: In morpheme-based morphology, a null morpheme is a morpheme that is realized by a phonologically null affix (an empty string of phonological segments). In simpler ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Did English “borrow” or “inherit” from Proto-Germanic (PGmc)? [closed]

I wanted to see a cage match on this question, which started in the comments to this answer. We were left with these opposing assertions: PGmc was never homogeneous. Most English expressions ...
1
vote
0answers
122 views

A term for two different words whose “multiple senses” share similar or identical meanings (e.g. Peers/Peeps) [closed]

One such example of words like this is: peer (v) = look = peep peers (n) = associates = peeps Is there a name for words such as this? Or a more technical definition for this phenomenon that would ...
2
votes
1answer
108 views

Is there a linguistic term for “word pairs” where the masculine term is positive but its feminine equivalent is not?

The feminine form usually has a neutral to negative range of meanings. e.g. master (“a man who controls things”) x mistress (“a woman who is having sex with a married man”) governor (“the chief ...
3
votes
3answers
151 views

Words that are synonyms for multiple meanings?

A lot of words obviously have multiple meanings. Also, a lot of words have synonyms. Are there groups of words that are synonyms for multiple meanings? For instance, say word A has Definition A1, ...
8
votes
1answer
133 views

What is the term for replacing a name or brand with a funny pejorative / sardonicism?

What is the term for when one replaces a well-known name [(Proper) noun, company, brand, etc.] with one that tries to be funny yet pejoratively descriptive, different but similar enough that one's ...
-2
votes
1answer
61 views

Specifically, what makes some words harder to spell, pronounce, and remember?

Edit: I apologize if my question lacks research effort, and is neither clear nor useful. Perhaps if you could tell me why this is in conjunction with your downvote, the quality of my post might be ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Term for greetings that are also valedictions

Is there a specialized term in linguistics for those words that, in a given language, can be used to say both hello and goodbye? For instance, I've heard tell that in Hawaii the word "aloha" is used ...
0
votes
3answers
54 views

Is there a specific linguistic term for words like “Carolingian”, “Ricardian” and so on?

I'm talking about words used for the followers and eras of kings and queens. They have a Latin origin. Is "Latinisation" enough, or is there something more precise? I've done a search, and haven't ...
2
votes
0answers
187 views

I need help with english grammar/conversation? [closed]

I'm a pretty good user of the English language, I can read, write, and converse rather well in english. But I'm not very good with grammar, consequently I began searching for resources on the subject. ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

Can “masters” (plural) be used to refer to a single entity?

I was perusing the forums of a video game I play. I began reading a thread about the lore of the game, because a few things lore-wise are left pretty vague. Two individuals got into an argument about ...
0
votes
2answers
104 views

The future tense (will / going to )? [closed]

Could anyone answer this then explain correctly? Choose : Be careful, you ..... your hand with that knife . will cut / are going to cut /are cutting
2
votes
1answer
82 views

What is the linguistic perception phenomenon when a person can read a word whose inner letters are rearranged?

What is this linguistic perception phenomenon called? Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht ...
0
votes
2answers
306 views

What's the difference between respected and respectable? [closed]

He is highly [respected/respectable] owing to his good manners and gratefulness. I know the difference but I can't decide which one to choose, either he is respected (the passive form)or he is ...
-1
votes
1answer
111 views

A dataset of equivalent English phrases?

There is a similarity or even equality between many sentences in English language such as: I happened to come across the scientific definitions while reading. I came across the scientific ...
0
votes
3answers
137 views

Or, Ore, Awe and Oar [closed]

Does everyone pronounce these the same way? (I mean all 4 words - not American vs. English)
2
votes
1answer
1k views

One-letter words in English language

The original question that came to my mind was "How many one-letter words are there in English language?". But of course, I did some research and found out there are three: A – an indefinite ...
1
vote
0answers
80 views

Phrases and clauses, what are they both? [closed]

What do you call the category of sentence component that contains both clauses and phrases?
3
votes
0answers
119 views

What's the linguistic term for when you use an object in place of a person who uses or is associated with that object? [duplicate]

For example, a common one is calling someone who helps out a hired-hand. Another example is gumshoe for a detective, or a private eye. Sometimes the association might be metaphorical, like whips in ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

True meaning of these 'adverbials'

Recently I had a discussion with someone and the following examples were brought up. I was told that I was wrong, but as a native speaker I don't think any of my explanations of the meaning were ...
1
vote
1answer
223 views

Why does English have a word for pink? [closed]

We have a word for light red (pink), but not light blue. Why is this? Russian, for example, has specific words for light and dark blue.
7
votes
1answer
270 views

Is there a well-known term for the synonym or near-synonym “telescoping” words?

This has been rattling around in the back of my mind for many years (way before Stack Exchange came into existence), so it's a relief to finally ask the question. There are words that can be ...
2
votes
1answer
923 views

Grammatical term for words like “yesterday”, “today”, “tomorrow”

We class words like "he", "she" and "they" as pronouns. Is there a category of words that "yesterday", "today" and "tomorrow" fall into?
3
votes
2answers
103 views

What is it called when a language sounds strange to a speaker of another language?

Is there a linguistic term for, for example, certain Russian words sounding strange to the ears of a native English speaker? Thanks
1
vote
2answers
603 views

A question on anaphoric and cataphoric references

Is it 'this' or 'that' that conveys an anaphoric reference? I want to refer back to "that I wrote critical and analytical essays". It is true that I wrote critical and analytical essays on a ...
0
votes
4answers
194 views

Is Noam Chomsky correct when he says the rules of a language are made up? [closed]

In this video, Chomsky says that the rules of a language are pretty much artificial. How correct is he in regard to English? If what he says is correct, doesn't that undermine nearly every 'correct' ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Morphological analysis of 'unlawfulness'

How would you give the internal structure of the word 'unlawfulness'? My attempt: un - law - ful - ness prefix - noun - suffix - suffix Internal structure: law + ful > Adjective un + law + ful > ...
5
votes
1answer
266 views

Why did “thou” become obsolete?

In the Elizabethan era, "thou" was universally used as well as "you". "Thou" represents intimacy. In French, "tu" is still used. The same for German "du". Why did "thou" become obsolete?
1
vote
0answers
95 views

What are the terms for same meaning phrases that only differ in having a preposition?

I don't know sentence structure terminology much, however, provided with these two sample phrases, that mean the same thing. Refrigeration of Food Food Refrigeration My questions are, in the ...
3
votes
1answer
736 views

Are there any mutually unintelligible English dialects?

Are there any mutually unintelligible English dialects? So far I've only been able to learn is that English is highly intelligible among its different dialects, but no actual statement that all ...
1
vote
2answers
728 views

What are “crutch words”?

Please tell me what crutch words are. I think they are used to fill spaces between sentences like a filler word, but I am not sure.
0
votes
0answers
81 views

Linking confusion

I just want to ask a quick question that is confused to me, in the verb phrase: "picked out". When I link these words together, I say "pick tout". However, my English teacher told me that is not ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

parts of the sentence(syntax) [duplicate]

could you be so kind and tell me which and where parts of sentence are in sentences like this? (by parts of sentence i mean attribute, subject, predicate, object, etc) It was a bright room and I ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

What is the word “spirituality” derived from? [closed]

What is the word spirtuality or spirit derived from? Is it's origin based on the Christian idea of the Holy Ghost, or perhaps something earlier, like how the Greeks and Romans believed in spirits? ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

The practice of identifying authors from their writings

Is there an English word for the practice of analysing texts to determine their authors? For example, comparing three texts A, B and C and realising that the choice of words, grammar and style of ...
0
votes
5answers
376 views

Which grammatical features does English lack, which it is expressively poorer for? [closed]

Which grammatical features does English lack, which it is expressively poorer for? These could be features found in other languages – living, extinct or invented – or even be completely new ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Much and not much

Why is it that much doesn't fit in many of the places not much does? Compare "Have you got any food in the house?" "Not much." "Would you like this old box?" "That's not much use to me." with ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there such a thing as an unvoiced vowel?

I can't think of any and google has not been helpful.
2
votes
3answers
348 views

Ambiguous transitive verb whose meaning is determined by its subject

I am looking for an example of a transitive verb with an ambiguous meaning that is determined by its subject. To explain what I mean, here is an example of a transitive verb whose meaning is ...
3
votes
2answers
599 views

Are “I scream” and “Ice cream” homophones, or do we have another term here?

When two phrases are pronounced alike but have different spelling and meaning, can they be called homophones? e.g. "ice-cream" and "I scream", "nitrate" and "night rate", "that's tough" and "that ...
1
vote
1answer
595 views

Two types of sound for letter L?

Consider two words, for example, lot and all. The phonetic symbol of l in the two words are the same, which makes me wonder why the sound of l in the first is considered to be the same as in the ...