Questions relating to the scientific study of language.

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2
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1answer
122 views

What is the opposite of “intensifier?”

Adverbs, adverbial phrases, or devices of any sort that are used to add force or emphasis to the meaning are called "intensifiers." I wonder if there is a name for phrases that caste some doubt on the ...
1
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2answers
95 views

What word describes the act of converting a phrase into its opposite?

Turning a phrase negative (e.g. good → not good, and a question → not a question) is called negation. One can say "I negated the phrase". What is the act of turning a phrase into its opposite (e.g. ...
0
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0answers
33 views

infinitive vs present participle in subject control sentence

Over three consecutive sessions, Oscar averaged 80% independence identifying the letter "A". Over three consecutive sessions, Oscar averaged 80% independence to identify the letter "A". I believe ...
0
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1answer
90 views

Is “apps” a concatenation?

I am aware that "apps" is commonly used as a plural form of "app" in this time and age, which in itself is an abbreviation of "application". But if I assume that "apps" is actually formed from "...
0
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4answers
111 views

Is this statement nonsensical?

The experience of transition1 requires negotiation between sacrifice and opportunity I asked this on philosophy.SE a while ago. Most agreed that the statement is nonsensical: You cannot negotiate ...
0
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0answers
41 views

Arrangement of Words and Omission of “of”s

Could you list the difference between the terms "set functionality", "set of functionality", "functionality set" and "functionality of a set"? For example, the terminology is used here: And ...
-1
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4answers
317 views

What is a gender neutral word to describe an individual? [duplicate]

Before I begin, I'd like to point out that my primary interests aren't actually in literature/linguistics, but within the domain of music. However, I have come accross a problem I feel is of much ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Why do we say 'year 1993' as “nineteen ninety three” instead of “one thousand nine hundred ninety three”?

Why do we read some calendar years by their two-digit place value and not according on their numerical place value like: 1500s as fifteen hundreds and not one thousand five hundreds 1895 as ...
8
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2answers
1k views

How much of the English language comes from each of its influences?

I was watching a video linked in this answer and it made the following claim: [...] like most words in English is derived from German. That got me thinking. While I know that Germanic languages ...
4
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11answers
624 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
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2answers
134 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 "...
13
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4answers
2k views

Why did “insofar” become a word, not “insofaras”?

So I'm thinking about how "insofar" became a word. This slightly unfair comparison shows that it happened relatively recently. Now, whenever I've seen it written, "insofar" is followed by "as". So ...
0
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0answers
81 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
67 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
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1answer
78 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.
4
votes
1answer
176 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
183 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 "...
9
votes
8answers
880 views

Term for using “thingy-esque” phrases rather than a common word

{This question came to mind because of the recent question .. What do you call the interconnecting bits of a puzzle piece in English? } In my opinion, in English, it's reasonably common that—...
1
vote
2answers
155 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 ...
3
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3answers
471 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
242 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
182 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 ...
24
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7answers
5k views

Is it true that iambic pentameter is “natural” to English? If so, why?

When I first read Dante's Divine Comedy in high school, I remember once being puzzled at what I thought were strained rhymes in the translation, and mentioned it to my English teacher. In reply, she ...
1
vote
1answer
161 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 ...
-1
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1answer
250 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
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3answers
70 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 ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Why do we say 'commentator' instead of 'commenter'?

Another thread addresses the Englishness of the words. My question is different and a lot more convoluted: I hope I can make it plain and simple. I. There are straightforward nouns of action and ...
2
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0answers
789 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. ...
7
votes
1answer
437 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?
0
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2answers
224 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
147 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
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2answers
971 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 ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Etymology of “binky” — three questions

Definition 2 of binky at wiktionary is "(rabbit behavior) A high hop that a rabbit may perform when happy." This definition is consistent with that at rabbitspeak, and not inconsistent with "A kind ...
16
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5answers
122k views

What are “coherence” and “cohesion” in text linguistics?

I am still learning English. My English language professor has given me an assignment on coherence and cohesion. But it seems difficult to me. I've consulted my friend and he told me: Cohesion and ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Old English instead of Latin in early Britain

For almost 400 years, Britain was a Roman province. During that period, naturally, Latin was an important language in the region. When the Germanic tribes invaded the British Isles (around the 5th ...
0
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3answers
261 views

Or, Ore, Awe and Oar [closed]

Does everyone pronounce these the same way? (I mean all 4 words - not American vs. English)
3
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1answer
7k 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 ...
3
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0answers
438 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
137 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 wrong,...
1
vote
3answers
982 views

Subject-verb inversion / verb-subject-object — is this correct?

I recently read the following in a schoolbook: Wrote the researchers, "[...]" I wonder if this is correct English. I have seen it a couple of more times. Is this just a matter of preference? ...
2
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1answer
342 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.
9
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1answer
500 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 "...
189
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9answers
42k views

Is there a word or phrase for the feeling you get after looking at a word for too long?

Sometimes after looking at a word for a while, I become convinced that it can't possibly be spelled correctly. Even after looking it up, sounding it out, and realizing that there's simply no other ...
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2answers
3k views

Is the history of h-dropping in English in any way related to the silent h of French?

I was reading up on Richard the III, and his exploits just now in Wikipedia — as is the nature of Wiki, that further me led to stumble to Stafford, Duke of Buckingham's page, where I learned ...
14
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5answers
553 views

Regarding the “i” in “think” vs “bit”

This is a phonetics question. I am teaching English as a Second Language. In phonetics, we all know the "i" in "think" is a "short i" sound. Additionally, the "i" in "bit" is a "short i" sound. ...
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2answers
3k 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
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1answer
111 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 > ...
2
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1answer
4k 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?
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3answers
71k views

Meaning of “native speaker of English”

Who is considered a native speaker of English? I am a little confused by the various answers found online.
3
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2answers
187 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