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Questions tagged [linguistics]

This tag is for questions about linguistics, the scientific study of language and its structure. It can involve areas like phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and phonetics.

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Re film title, "Kinds of Kindness" [duplicate]

Ever since I've heard the title Kinds of Kindness it's been bouncing around my head. I'm curious whether a technical term exists for linking two words with homonymic stems, as occurs here. My surface ...
FILMFAN0100's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
252 views

Term for pronouncing every letter, like t in water

Native USA English speakers frequently skip (or elide?) certain letters, like the t in water, and modify others. What is a term for someone who (self-consciously?) pronounces every voiceable letter? P....
Richard Haven's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
29 views

How to write a name of competition in an article? [duplicate]

Hi I am translating text from Polish to English. I would like to ask you about your thoughts on it: A title of a newspaper is in Polish, do I need to add quotation marks or italics? The name of ...
Milena's user avatar
  • 9
0 votes
0 answers
16 views

What's the rule about using I first in a sentence with multiple noun or pronouns? [duplicate]

A sentence can be written as I and my friends And My friends and I There are several references for both sentences but I want to know the rule for the first one.
Huma's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
60 views

What s, if any, the type of noun modifier for the receiver of a verb

I'm looking to find what it is called when a noun is modified by a prefix/suffix to mean that it is someone who receives x. And also, if there are examples of it in languages that are simple. The best ...
Durakken's user avatar
  • 121
5 votes
2 answers
441 views

Term for Foreign Speakers of a language using the prepositions etc. of their mother tongue

One of the things I notice when conversing with people who have largely achieved full conversational English, is that they have the correct noun, verb and adjective vocabulary, but they frequently (...
Brondahl's user avatar
  • 334
0 votes
0 answers
46 views

Term for a word based on an initialism

I recently came across the word 'geeb', a pronunciation and "wordification" of 'GB', itself an initialism of 'gravity bong'. It reminded me of 'okay', which has a similar relationship with '...
donotread123's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
307 views

Proper usage of the word “conducive” in some constructions

The most common and non-problematic use of this word is followed by “to” and a specific result, in a sentence like this: This environment is not conducive to good sleep. However, some other uses I’...
alouette's user avatar
27 votes
5 answers
10k views

Is English really a non-tonal language?

The British Council Teaching English site says: English is not a tonal language – i.e. pitch changes in words do not change meanings. Patterns of pitch changes (intonation patterns) are [instead] ...
Sazzad Hissain Khan's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
33 views

What is considered to be a "topic element"?

I can't make out clearly what could be defined as a "topic element". In "A Communicative Grammar of English", Geoffrey Leech has written: Fronting is often accompanied by ...
Gray Q.B's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
247 views

What is the recent etymology of the American expression "mosey''?

The two Spanish prevailing explanations that get repeated are the Spanish vamos and the British dialectical mose about. These explanations are at least two decades old and predate the internet ...
Mirliton's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
397 views

What is the word for the fusing of, for example, "-ed" and the final consonant "d" to give the ending (with voice removed) of "bent"?

Instead of giving the past tense form bended, the verb bend fuses together bend and -ed and removes voice, producing bent. Lent and sent are produced in similar fashion. What's the word for the fusion ...
ool's user avatar
  • 151
0 votes
4 answers
114 views

How should this English sentence be parsed linguistically?

On p173 of Section "Subjective Truth and the Problem of Relativism" of The Big Questions by Solomon: Rationality is tying our knowledge and our lives together in the most coherent and ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 10k
1 vote
1 answer
106 views

Is "went off in search of her hedgehog" a VP, and can it be broken down further?

I am new to linguistics and am currently learning how to figure out phrase markers for sentences. I am unsure about this sentence: She went off in search for her hedgehog. I know that "she" ...
lingheng's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
50 views

Is there a term for when the verb and the object it is acting upon are the same word? [duplicate]

Examples: I can throw a good throw. I want to run a long run today. Scoop me a scoop, please. She gave me drinks to drink. I really like these simple sorts of sentences, but I've never seen any ...
Daniel Pullicar's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
49 views

lo + adjective/adverb + que + clause in Spanish VS the adjective (superlative) + (that) + clause in English

Recently I learned a Spanish grammar "lo+adjective/adverb+que+clause" to translate"how ..." (indicative) of English. But I found the structure unusual because "lo+adjective&...
Atle's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
0 answers
23 views

Why did contractions (elimination of “e”) at the end of verbs disappear? [duplicate]

commonly seen in Early Modern English e.g. trimm’d, poliʃh’d extracted from a passage written in 1737 we are curious about why these verbs used to be spelled this way but aren’t anymore
Vicky's user avatar
  • 1
12 votes
2 answers
697 views

Has the conception of prepositions broadened?

When I studied linguistics 40-some years ago, it was understood that PP → Prep NP But I’ve discovered sources that suggest that the class of prepositions is (now?) understood much more broadly. ...
PaulTanenbaum's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
18 views

Is there a word to describe languages that are read/written from right to left? [duplicate]

Are there words that describe the directionality of languages? I only see compound words, such as left- to- right or top-to-bottom. I would have thought a human practice so ancient as language would ...
Sherman P.'s user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
249 views

"Look, lady", "Listen, lady" – lady as a pejorative

This question is inspired by the wonderfully-named subreddit r/IDontWorkHereLady. When a proficient English speaker addresses someone as "lady" (as opposed to "ma'am"), it seems to ...
Jo Liss's user avatar
  • 151
4 votes
1 answer
166 views

Is the expression "to hire help" a euphemism for "to employ servants"?

When reading about the differences in the language used by upper-class speakers and middle-class speakers in the 1940s in the US in Philadelphia Gentlemen: The Making of a National Upper Class, I ...
Elisa's user avatar
  • 41
1 vote
0 answers
41 views

If silent is an adjective, what are silence(n), silenced (verb), silently (adv) called? The cognate of silent? [duplicate]

I'm trying to find the term to describe a group of words in different forms (noun, verb, adjective, adverb) that is derived from the same word. I found that cognate refers to the derivation of a word ...
Wangcincay's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
272 views

Is there a regular phonological explanation for the diphthong in the infinitive of the verb "to say" becoming a monophthong in "he says"?

The infinitive form shows a diphthong /seɪ/, while the typical pronunciation of the third-person singular "simple present" form has /ɛ/ as the nucleus /sɛz/. Wiktionary suggests that the ...
Šāhbandar Bandūra's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
547 views

Why does the word "experience" have a different initial vowel from that in "expert" and "expertise"?

In American English, the pronunciation of the words "experience", "expert", and "expertise" can be transcribed as /ɪkˈspɪr.i.əns/, /ˈɛk.spɚt/, /ˌɛk.spɚˈtiːz/ respectively....
Šāhbandar Bandūra's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
108 views

When is the "all" in "all right" an intensifier?

I'm currently analysing intensifiers/amplifiers, and I have some trouble with the word "all". If used as in "I'm all fine, thanks", it's an intensifier, indicating the extent in ...
Kethachan's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
50 views

"Be ready to embrace your skin color"- is this an imperative sentence? [closed]

"Be ready to embrace your skin color" is a slogan from local beauty ads in my country and I wonder if this clause is an imperative or not? If so, does "be ready" function as a verb?...
Tata's user avatar
  • 1
1 vote
1 answer
186 views

Cot caught merger - /ɔɪ/ or /ɑɪ/ in boy, choice...?

Here is the pronunciation guide from Oxford American English dictionary: Some speakers only use the sound /ɔ/ when it is followed by /r/ (as in horse /hɔrs/) and use /ɑ/ in all other words that are ...
Nam N's user avatar
  • 65
0 votes
0 answers
28 views

Spatial and Non-spatial Domain [duplicate]

I go home. Why is home a preposition in this example?
mehedi hasan's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
373 views

L-epenthesis in “both” and other words

I’m a younger speaker from Chicago with some version of a General American accent. I’ve noticed that a small number of words seem to have a nonstandard pronunciation with an inserted lateral sound, ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
  • 890
0 votes
0 answers
111 views

Can "must have + past participle" ever express obligation (deontic modality)?

Can a sentence using a must have + past participle construction ever express deontic modality? These are all epistemic: He must have showered. Someone must have eaten the apple. The laundry must have ...
minseong's user avatar
  • 3,526
-2 votes
1 answer
32 views

Can nouns take more than one argument?

In semantic analysis, are n-predicate nouns, n>1, a formally accepted thing? When could a noun be n-predicate? I think of Friend as a 2-predicate noun: friend'(x, y) means that x thinks of y as a ...
minseong's user avatar
  • 3,526
0 votes
0 answers
140 views

What is the name of the ambiguity in "he loves a woman"?

What Are Scope Ambiguities? has the example Every man loves a woman. And says that it is scopally ambiguous because these two possible readings exist: "for every man, there is a woman, and it'...
minseong's user avatar
  • 3,526
0 votes
1 answer
140 views

Syntax of pre-head noun complements to nouns

In these kinds of NPs: a flower seller an income tax advisor (from The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, 2002) Are the emphasised nominal complements meant to be raw Ns sibling to the head ...
minseong's user avatar
  • 3,526
-1 votes
1 answer
190 views

Term for words that don't have a meaning on their own [duplicate]

Is there a term for words, phrases, etc. that on their own don't add any semantic information to a sentence. For example "Well" in "Well, I'm about to tell you" or "I mean&...
Vyralator's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
79 views

(Cognitive Linguistics) Is Morse Code an example of a sign, a symbol or an index? [closed]

Would Morse Code be an example of a symbol or an icon (or an index)? We had a lesson on it last week, and it made more sense as an icon to me (auditory input -> image representation; dots are ...
Aurora Lane's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
102 views

Opposite of "capped at" [duplicate]

If something like a score or a price is capped at 100, it means that if that score or price is higher than 100 it will be lowered down to 100. Now my question is, is there an opposite expression which ...
Mikael Wendt's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
105 views

Is the verb usage of "ladle" considered verbing?

She ladled water instead of soup... In this sentence, is "ladled" considered verbing or was it a regular and real verb before? I know informal English allows things like: "I'll ...
curiousgeorgecostanza's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
337 views

What do we call minimal pairs (words differ by only a single sound) that have similar meanings?

What is the term for minimal pairs that have minimal differences in sound as well as meaning? Per Wikipedia: In phonology, minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language, spoken ...
Kellviete's user avatar
19 votes
7 answers
3k views

Word for heavily foreign-influenced speech?

Is there a word for when someone uses words wrongly, or uses outright nonexistent words, due to influence from foreign languages? Examples: I thought she loved me, but she bedragged me. (<- bedra(...
x22's user avatar
  • 193
2 votes
1 answer
249 views

How can you 'test' for grammatical properties in A Student's Introduction to English Grammar?

According to the book, grammatical terms, e.g., subject, object, noun, verb, adjective, etc. should not be defined by meaning, but by grammatical properties. For example, an adjective has combinations ...
Guest1023854's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
201 views

How can I distinguish between supplements and modifiers as proposed in The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (CGEL)?

In CGEL, the authors use the term 'adjunct' as an umbrella term to cover an element that is either modifier or supplement. On page 1350, the authors explain the properties of supplements to ...
SalmonallDay's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
70 views

If you know that all of something is true, is saying some of them is true, incorrect? [duplicate]

For example, suppose that it is a known fact that all the pens I have are blue. Statement 1: All my pens are blue Statement 2: Some of my pens are blue Similarly, Statement 1: All dogs are animals ...
nubprog's user avatar
  • 11
3 votes
0 answers
127 views

Reverse Tensing of the /æ/ Phoneme in American English?

I am a native speaker of a General American sociolect that realizes the /æ/ phoneme as [ɛə] before nasal consonants (e.g. 'fan,' 'stand,' 'ram'), and I've recently noticed that I've begun un-raising (...
deevonstutter's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
67 views

How does one differentiate a "conceptual metaphor" from other kinds of metaphor?

There is a rather long list of metaphors: standard (stock) metaphors, extended metaphors, visual metaphors, implied metaphors, mixed metaphors, allegorical metaphors, absolute metaphors dead metaphors,...
rux23's user avatar
  • 53
0 votes
2 answers
354 views

Word for the phenomenon of pronouncing the noun & verb (with like spelling) differently? [duplicate]

Some words are both nouns and verbs (or rather, there are words with like etymology and spelling but one is a noun and the other a verb) but in at least some standard dialects are pronounced ...
OJFord's user avatar
  • 318
1 vote
0 answers
52 views

How do you figure out the prepositional object with a clause final preposition? [closed]

First time asking a question, sorry for any weirdness. The best way for me to illustrate might be with some examples. I believe all 4 of the following are both grammatical and would be commonly used ...
k0zm0tis's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
125 views

Could a comma be used after a question mark? [duplicate]

I'm unsure if this is the appropriate community to ask this question, but it is related to punctuation (:-)). I'm currently doing research for a city council in my state, where I and my colleagues are ...
Dwight Dinkins's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
210 views

Can I really follow the theoretical framework proposed in the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language?

In the book 'the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (CGEL)', the authors propose the theoretical framework used to describe the English sentences as shown below: Text version: Clause: ...
Mz2501's user avatar
  • 29
1 vote
2 answers
47 views

What is the term for a noun or phrase that is used in place of a longer list of nouns?

For example, I could refer to 'the big five', instead of listing the five animals considered dangerous to hunt. I've replaced the list of animals with the noun phrase 'the big five'. I know this could ...
Josh's user avatar
  • 13
0 votes
0 answers
62 views

How and why were different inflections applied to third-person singular verbs in the Early Modern period?

I can't get my head around why and how inflections were used in Early Modern English. I know that they were used to mark person, number and tense and so on but how and why exactly?
Nonie's user avatar
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