Questions tagged [linguistics]

Questions relating to the scientific study of language.

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25 views

Plurals of words end with “th”

Some words that end with 'th' have voiceless th sound (θ) and their plurals have voiced th sound (ð). For example: mouth /θ/ -> mouths /ðz/, path /θ/ -> paths /ðz/. However, it does not happen in '...
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2answers
50 views

What case is B in 'Use A as a B'?

For example, what case would 'sword' be in the following sentence: He used the broom as a sword Is it simply accusative/dative? I don't think this is just synonymous to 'general' in 'He acted like ...
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9 views

Phonemes or allophones? how to chose the underlying structure? [migrated]

In our coursebook, introducing phonology by David Odden, one of the exercise questions asks us to decide if the obstruents of Thai are phonemes or allophones. My teacher says they are allophones but ...
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2answers
41 views

Technical Term Needed

Is there a technical term for this? I've Been jogging my memory for something specific, but have only come up with general words like variations, modes (moods, maybe?), etc. Below are the different [...
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3answers
95 views

Interweaving A and E (e.g., æ) in written words [duplicate]

New to this particular community. My question relates to the word propaedeutic. In particular, I have witnessed the "a" interwoven with "e" to produce propædeutic. I once read that this is an ...
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1answer
68 views

Is it worth studying linguistics if your goal is to simply improve your communication?

My goal in studying modern grammar has been to improve my ability to communicate (both verbally and in writing). I am having a problem in that no matter what I study, I cannot help going down ...
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0answers
80 views

Why is the adjective “below” rare compared to adjective “above”?

Above and below can be used as both an adverb and an adjective to indicate an earlier or a later part of a piece of writing respectively. However, adjective below is rare compared to adjective above (...
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1answer
39 views

Linguistic term for a type of reply

just wondering what the word or phrase is for a reply that indirectly answers the following way: Mum: Could you please do your homework? Child: I've already done my homework. So, the child ...
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0answers
31 views

Name of Semantic Relationship: “has-instance” / “is-instance-of”

I am looking for the name of the semantic relationship "has-instance". For example: "swimmer" - "Michael Phelps". What is the correct name of this relationship? And further: What is the name of the ...
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41 views

Distinction between prefixes 'super-' and 'extra-' in similar contexts

From my understanding, both the prefixes super- and extra- can mean above or beyond, though a possible distinction could be as follows (from the answer to this question): ...using super-something ...
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1answer
67 views

noble - can it be split into morphemes?

Can I split noble into nob + the suffix -le? -le is found in other adjectives such as little, brittle, fickle nob is found in noble, nobleman, nobleness, nobler, noblesse, noblest, nobly. But ...
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1answer
68 views

What's an elegent way to describe a phrase that flows nicely because its vowels and consonants alternate?

What know ye of an elegant way to describe a word or phrase that either perfectly or close-to-perfectly alternates vowels and consonants, either in sound or spelling? Usage of such a word might ...
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92 views

Adjunct or Argument: “The bird flew over the lake”

In the title sentence, does "over the lake" serve as an adjunct or an optional argument? Here are the tests I tried using, though they weren't very enlightening beyond giving what kind of argument it ...
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2answers
109 views

How did English gradually change into an analytic language?

English might be the most analytic language in the IE family, in that it has no case, no gender, and very few personal pronouns. Since PIE and other IE languages are generally synthetic, then what ...
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1answer
501 views

The spelling “ui” and the pronunciation /uː/ in juice, fruit, bruise, cruise, sluice, suit, nuisance, recruit, bruit

The words juice, fruit, bruise, cruise, sluice, suit, pursuit, suitcase, lawsuit, nuisance, recruit, bruit are spelled with ui and pronounced with the IPA phoneme /uː/. Full pronunciations from OED: ...
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2answers
42 views

Possible semantic shift for verb 'brief'?

I've always been partial to organic interpretation/operation in literature and language. Much of my personal choice of use in words and phrases comes down to an intuitive stylistic bearing that ...
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1answer
98 views

Meaning of suffix ''- ic'' in relation to ''materialist'' vs ''materialistic''

If there are any, what are the differences in meaning between the statements ''I am a materialist person'' and ''I am a materialistic person'' ? *Context: In a conversation on philosophical ...
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1answer
52 views

“Mining” as opposed to “minting” w.r.t. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

I find it fascinating that nearly everyone refers to the algorithmic generation of cryptocurrencies (CC) as mining. Personally, I've never found minting in this context. In my understanding of the ...
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1answer
56 views

Eponymous adjective formation

I’m writing an essay on Homer’s Odyssey, and I was wondering whether the correct adjectival form would be Odysseian or Odyssean according to etymology, as I’ve seen both used in academic contexts. I ...
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2answers
79 views

Term for direct antonyms?

The word "antonyms" covers any pair of words where the meaning is opposite -- quiet and loud, cautious and foolhardy, simple and complex -- but each word in these pairs could have other partners ...
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1answer
29 views

Adjectives that describe vs. distinguish their referents

Sometimes an adjective describes its referent: “My wonderful brother” means I think my brother is wonderful. Sometimes an adjective distinguishes its referent from others like it: “My younger brother”...
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2answers
240 views

Is there a linguistic term for using a common noun as a proper noun?

In some situations, a common noun in a specific scenario is treated as a proper noun because it refers to a specific entity that satisfies the common noun. Is there a special term for this ...
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0answers
118 views

The use of reflexive pronouns [closed]

I am currently doing homework for a linguistics course I am taking. The question is about creating a rule to make confirm if certain sentences are grammatical or ungrammatical. Here are some ...
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0answers
74 views

Does the change of “y” to “ies” in plural form of words have a phonological explanation?

I've been looking for phonological rules or explanation for the change that occurs in -ies ending plural form but all I found was : When we have a vowel before "y" we add "s", such as "boys". When we ...
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1answer
76 views

Meter and rhythm in Poetry [closed]

Why is poetry called a 'literature in metrical form' or 'a composition forming rhythmic lines'?
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1answer
287 views

“This looks like him” or “This looks like he”? [duplicate]

Another, easier case question: Obviously, of the two variants This looks like him and This looks like he the first seems more naturally idiomatic. However, is it grammatically correct? I ...
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1answer
55 views

Can passive reduced relative clauses precede a head noun?

I have zero background in linguistics, so forgive me if this is trivial. The Wikipedia article for relative clauses claims that, with regard to the positioning of the relative clause, "English, for ...
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4answers
1k views

What is it called when one person calls another something they metaphorically resemble?

What name or word would be given for the examples below, metaphor? A mother calls her child cat, or tiger The wife calls her husband "Hey Baby". You're my moon. A very muscular person might be called ...
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4answers
3k views

Do laypersons understand medical terms? [closed]

I'm from China and I would like to ask English native speakers whether a non-medical professional understands medical terms? Examples: rhinorrhea rhinitis laryngoscopy laryngitis laryngostenosis ...
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3answers
283 views

Usage of plesionyms (i.e. slightly differing synonyms)

Plesionyms are synonymous words which have slight differences in meaning. What are the examples of it? I found: Fog v Mist Fearless v Brave When and why are they are used? What are the aspects ...
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1answer
355 views

How many morphemes in words most/worst

My intuition tells me that they are both 2 morphemes, where /t/ represents the superlative form.
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1answer
45 views

Can two nouns appear together in a sentence without a punctuation or a conjunction?

I am a new NLP engineer and totally a beginner in English linguistics. I want to know if two nouns can appear together in a sentence without a punctuation or a conjunction between both of them? Also, ...
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1answer
118 views

What do you call the revival of an obsolete word for a new meaning?

Let's say carrot for a shade of orange. Suppose carrot is not used for the color and I wanted one to describe the vegetable's color. So, I revive the displaced more for the color. What do you call ...
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2answers
142 views

'The phrase “cute puppy,”is not considered a collocation.' Is this correct?

I am a data scientist who has a question about collocations based on a book I am reading. The book is "Feature Engineering for Machine Learning: Principles and Techniques for Data Scientists" by ...
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1answer
45 views

What is the lingustic term for a language's usage conventions?

Every language has usage conventions that cannot be deducted from a basic dictionary. For example, to describe highly concentrated tea, English speakers will usually use "strong tea". Is there a ...
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1answer
105 views

What is the opposite of a loanword? [closed]

The words in a language that weren't borrowed.
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5answers
641 views

How to write Spanish Vowel sounds into English?

Background I'm writing a novel with original character names, and I want to find the way of how to correctly write their names in English to keep the same pronunciation as they had had in Spanish. ...
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0answers
124 views

Words like “no-no” and “boo-boo”

I was just thinking about these words and was curious what they might be called. After a little scrounging around on Google, the best answer I could come up with was "reduplication." This doesn't seem ...
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1answer
636 views

Removal of a repeated syllable for ease of pronunciation

What do you call the removal of a repeated syllable in words for ease of pronunciation? I read about it once. I think it has to do with alliterative sounds. Not sure if it was deliberate or not.
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2answers
216 views

Term for this type of mis-pronunciation?

When I was a kid, for years I thought nihilism was pronounced "nil-ism". I guess this is because I only ever read it, rather than being exposed to hearing it. Since "nil-ism" perfectly ...
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1answer
50 views

What do you call it when an ethnic slur has lost its offensive sense? [duplicate]

Or when the supposed target of the slur claim it as an unoffensive word and treat like something of a term of endearment among themselves.
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1answer
580 views

Why do Oppress, Suppress and Depress have the same last syllable? [closed]

I usually get confused between those words, when I want to use them while speaking. They are very close to each other, yet they have completely different meaning (at least from my mother tongue ...
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3answers
510 views

Is changing nouns to verbs indicative of the evolution of English?

I have lately noticed a tendency, at least in the US, for sports commentators to change nouns into verbs. For example many American football broadcasters will now say a player "lost contain" of ...
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3answers
95 views

Is there a formal principle which states that THIS IS LOUDER than this?

I'm writing a school paper on linguistics and the English language and I'm curious about whether a theory exists outlining why larger words appear louder? That is, why words either of a greater font ...
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0answers
181 views

Can copula+adjective be transitive or intransitive?

The beginning of the article What is consciousness, and could machines have it? (full text PDF is a google search away) contains the following: The word “consciousness,” like many prescientific ...
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1answer
575 views

Any English terms for ‘to change the part of speech (of a word) without applying modification’? [duplicate]

Is there any appropriate English terminology for changing the part of speech (of a word) without applying any modification? This is a concept including verbing (where the verb verb means "to use a ...
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68 views

Is there any alternative term for ‘syntactic word’?

What do you call a group of adjacent letters having punctuation except for apostrophes on either side? For example, in this sentence, the groups are Let's, see, the, fireworks: Let's see the ...
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1answer
177 views

consonant assimilation in linguistics

In Old English, the word was "leofmann" and in ME, the word is "lemman (‘lover’)" What is the change that took place to change the word? a. simplification of word-initial consonant clusters ...
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1answer
124 views

What is this verb noun association called in linguistics? [duplicate]

Not all verbs work with all nouns. It is better to say "fix errors" than "solve errors", for example. In linguistics, is there a name for semantic compatibilities between nouns and verbs that go ...
2
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1answer
37 views

A term for how a word is defined

Merriam-Webster Online: Faith: (1a) belief and trust in and loyalty to God; (1b) belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion; (2) firm belief in something for which there is no proof. ...

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