Questions tagged [linguistics]

Questions relating to the scientific study of language.

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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 ...
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9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is there any difference between "nexus" and "locus"?

As the question implies, I'm interested in only the semantical aspects of the two words I've listed. I've looked up these two words on some online dictionaries. After some searching, I've noticed that ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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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 (...
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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,...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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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: CGEL, page 26 To get the tree ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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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 ...
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How does structuralism linguistics play an important role in defining word categories in the book CGEL?

I read the older work of Rodney Huddleston (co-writer of CGEL) in which he implemented structural linguistics in defining the word categories in a language: he said "The fundamental principle of ...
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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?
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Word Order with Geographical Places [duplicate]

I can't find a general textbook or a thread on internet with grammar rules for word order regarding the names of Geographical places, for example: Mount Everest vs Rocky Mount River Nile vs Colorado ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What are words and phrases called collectively?

Is there a term for simply "a unit of language"?
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3 votes
2 answers
178 views

Origin of stating indirect object by sentence structure and no pronoun

Background Consider the following from The Punisher season 2, with names replaced to avoid spoilers: ― Where is Donna, Jim? You tell me where she is, maybe I can pull your ass out of the fire with ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Are there any collections of "autological cycles"? (e.g. calque -> loanword) [closed]

I am interested in a natural generalization of autological words: cycles of words that each describe their successor (but not themselves). e.g. an autological 3-cycle is a set of of words "A"...
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3 votes
3 answers
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What's the synonym of "Module"? [closed]

I want to know the synonym of the word "module" in the context of university. What is another way to call a module of a university course? can I call it a subject ?
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3 votes
1 answer
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What is the correct linguistic term for names that are statements?

What is the linguistic term for names, that are actually statements? examples for this type of names are ancient egyptian names such as Neferkare, meaning Perfect is the Ka of Ra, or Indigeneous ...
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0 votes
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What do you call it when people say 'like' a lot? [duplicate]

So like, I like, have like, a like, question, like, you know! Like, is there a, like, term, for, like, when someone, like, talks, like, like this, you know? PS: I'm also curious to know what other ...
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Is “disregard for semantics” an apt description of this?

If a person uses perfect grammar while speaking but doesn’t make sense to anyone but themselves, are they disregarding semantics? If not, what exactly are they disregarding? I want to stress that what ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is morphological analysis of words to estimate their meaning called?

Is there a word for this? I'll use an example to show what I mean: Let's say you don't know what sepsis means, which is bacterial infection of blood. So, you start thinking. You break the word up into ...
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How long has the word "site" been used as a noun in English? [closed]

I am writing a book that takes place in the fictional past, so I'm trying to make sure the language used in my writing doesn't draw the reader back to the present because of it not fitting well with ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Significance of "prepost" in the word Preposterous? [closed]

What does the chunk "prepost" mean in the context of the word preposterous?
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1 vote
0 answers
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Does anyone know what "involution" means? [closed]

It's a word frequently used in China now. Quote from an article: "Originally used by anthropologists to describe self-perpetuating processes that keep agrarian societies from progressing, ...
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-1 votes
3 answers
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What's the grammatical or linguistic term for general, non-specific words? [closed]

What's the term for general, non-specific words, like: and, is, the, of, in, on, or, this, that... I mean the words which don't specify the content subject-matter of a sentence, but which rather ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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How can I divide this clause? [closed]

How can I divide this clause from spoken text, in order to analyse the theme and type of the clauses? Announcer: Welcome back everyone, so doctors are warning people to not take pain relievers like ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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What will happen if I attach the suffixes "-ize" and "-ify" to a word that end in /ŋ/? Will they make it [ŋg]?

This question is related to my previous question: Why does “singer” have /ŋ/ and “longer” have /ŋg/? but not a duplicate. From Herrison's answer, I learned that the -er in both "singer" and &...
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0 votes
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"a" and "an" - What is the name for adding characters for better pronunciation?

We say "a while" but "an hour". The n seems to be added for better pronunciation. What is the name for this linguistic construct (adding characters to improve pronunciation)? In ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Need help deciphering the meaning behind a phrase spoken in 1893

While trying to find a word that describes someone as having a fondness/interest in microbes, I stumbled across this Nature news article in 1893 that utilized the word, "bacillophil" seen ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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What is the name of the category that describes all the ways a number can be read?

Written numbers can be read aloud in multiple different ways: Nominal numbers can be read by pronouncing each digit individually: "My phone number is 123456" read as "one, two, three......
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0 votes
1 answer
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where are the descriptive grammar and prescriptive grammar used? [closed]

I understand the difference between these two approaches(prescriptive and descriptive?), but I need to know where or how do we use each them? When is prescriptive is better to use?
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How did these two sentences "I am looking for a responsible man" and "I am looking for the man responsible" come to take on different meanings?

The first sentence "I am looking for a responsible man" means that I am looking for someone who can be trusted whereas the second sentence "I am looking for the man responsible" ...
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4 votes
2 answers
154 views

What function does the comma serve in the salutation of a letter, and when did it come about?

In a letter, we say "Dear Alexthecampbell," before starting the body. We then capitalize the first letter of the next sentence. Since the salutation functions like a header and isn't part ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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What is a good synonym for "sememe" that sounds less like academia jargon?

What is a good synonym for "sememe" that sounds less like academia jargon? We're using this term to mean, a "unit of meaning" that a UI element of an iOS app should try to ...
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1 answer
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Meaning of “linguistic phenomenon” [closed]

A corpus (pl. corpora) is a collection of spoken or written texts to be used for linguistic analysis and based on a specific set of design criteria influenced by its purpose and scope. There are ...
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1 vote
2 answers
164 views

Is it possible to have a "noun or noun phrase" as object/subject complement in "Depictive or Resultative" construction?

A sentence containing ditransitive verb can have two objects. In the ditransitive verbs a subcategory, as it is described in some of the articles, usually called "Attributive ditransitive verbs&...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Why does a sentence make no sense without a finite verb?

I understand that a finite verb serves as a 'direct link' between a subject and a predicate. I also understand the grammatical aspect of why a finite verb makes a sentence complete. For instance, ...
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6 votes
1 answer
275 views

Was the Shark frightening to 16th / 17th-century English speakers?

Undoubtedly, in our Modern-mind-set, for many the mere utterance of the word "Shark" (more so when in the ocean, swimming) brings a sort of dread or at the least, undesirability to the ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Why is the L silent in "walk" but not in "bulk"?

TL;DR Why is the letter L silent in walk, talk, calm, folk, half, chalk etc but not silent in bulk, hulk, milk, silk, bold, bald? Explanation of the question and Research: The letter L seems to be ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What is the difference between "appreciation" and "gratitude"? [closed]

Should I be appreciative of, or be grateful to, what my parents do for me, when they both mean "thankful"? Is there a difference in between? How is the difference identified? Any efforts ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Might "worm" in Psalms 22.3 refer to "wyrm"/"wurm"? [closed]

I was re-reading my favorite piece of scripture, Psalms 22, from a copy of the Geneva translation, and found myself interpreting the English translation of 22.6 with some distinct difference after ...
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0 votes
1 answer
193 views

In a case of hyponymy, mention which word is the hyponym; in a case of antonymy, tell what kind of antonymy it is [closed]

Is the relation between "night" and "day" 1/ a hyponymy? 2/ an antonymy? If antonymy, what kind of antonyms are they? I need quick help.
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Why is the sound 'air' in words like 'chair', 'pear' and 'where' considered a phoneme? Should it not be considered a blend of the sound? [closed]

We know that phonemes are the smallest unit of sound in speech, and that in the IPA, each character represents only one sound. Wouldn't 'air' be considered two sounds - the combination of the sound /...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Qur'anic Studies: Meaning of the word "tooth" [closed]

In the meantime, Luxenberg has made two proposals that relate to the question of how the text was first written. First, he argues that the “Ur-Qur’an” sometimes used a single “tooth” as mater ...
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0 votes
1 answer
111 views

To be+ past simple verb [duplicate]

What is the point in using the structure "To be + past simple verb"? Example: "For the first time in connection with the plagues, God specifically noted the discrimination to be made—...
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1 vote
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Why are spoken and written English so different? [duplicate]

This is in some way a question regarding the evolution of the English language: why did it happen that, more than any alphabetic lamguage that I know of, English language has developed such ...
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Can this text be misconstrued in a way that perverts its meaning?

The sentence in question is the first sentence: "Thank you for the opportunity of a 1 - 1 meeting" "Sorry, I am busy. I cannot attend meet with you" Without the 2nd sentence, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Historic Discussions of Probability and Probability Comparisons

I was curious if anyone has any resources about how probability and comparisons of likelihoods were discussed in early English, or in other languages earlier in human history. In particular, I'm ...
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0 answers
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What’s going on with "hot -> heat”? [duplicate]

I am looking for a particular linguistic term for this process of turning words like hot into words like heat. English has a bunch of pairs like these: Hot -> heat Whole -> heal (Folk)lore ->...
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0 votes
1 answer
191 views

the meaning of 'even up' and 'even out'

Can you plz tell me the difference between even up and even out with some examples? And which one do you think would be better to use for this situation? ex) I made two cocktails at the same time and ...
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