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Questions tagged [linguistics]

Questions relating to the scientific study of language.

39 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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46 views

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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60 views

What is the 'predicate' in the sentence 'Frank has been studying syntax lately.'

Certainly the content verb is viewed as the (core of) the predicate. but I am curious about the auxiliary verbs. Should they be included in the main predicate? In other words, is the main predicate in ...
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106 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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218 views

Is there a grammatical categorizational heirarchy?

The issue that I am having with my assimilation of knowledge of English grammar is not so much the actual content itself, but how the content is structured. You hear alot of words thrown around, such ...
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81 views

Is there a word for words being lost and rediscovered in different time periods?

In this thread, it became clear that a verb, 'to bug', seems to have been current in the 1950s and 60s, then dropped out of favour entirely, then re-appeared in the Internet age. However, the new ...
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239 views

Is Lana's "Yup!" a triphthong?

At some point in the Archer series, Lana starts saying very emphatic Yup!s. I was recently wondering about triphthongs and whether they occur in English, and found the Wikipedia entry had only a few ...
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119 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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151 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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160 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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261 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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505 views

How are Grammar and Parts of Speech terms related?

I'm wanting to build my understanding of English grammar and parts of speech. I want to sort out which terms build on each other but am getting confused because there are so many terms that I'm not ...
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723 views

"Check if you haven't" or "check if you have" left anything behind?

This might be trivial but it didn't sound right to me when I thought about it, so I decided to ask. An automated message I've heard says "please check if you haven't left anything behind". It ...
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93 views

Can transitive verbs be further broken down?

Can transitive verbs be further broken down into different types of transitive verbs? For example, I think there are change of state transitive verbs and stative transitive verbs, and was wondering ...
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383 views

Diagramming simple wh- "to be" sentences

I have read a syntax book cover to cover and it seems to stubbornly avoid diagramming sentences with "to be" (or other auxilliary verbs) functioning as the principal verb. For example: That dog is ...
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1answer
44 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 isn't ...
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2answers
128 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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33 views

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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29 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?
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19 views

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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34 views

"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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23 views

Is there a linguistic difference between state-of-affairs and action-occurring phrases

Compare Alice married Bob on Labor day. with Alice and Bob are married. The former relates to an action occurring at a time and place with a resulting change in the state of the world. The ...
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50 views

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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34 views

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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30 views

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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325 views

same as what she said vs same as she said

I have some questions confusing me. (I work in a cafe.) Is this the same order as she said. Is this the same order as what she said. What is the difference between 1 and 2 and which one is correct? ...
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37 views

a word that describes this phenomenon : 'the constituents are attributed a term, but the usage of the term does not imply the constituents'

Here's a puzzle : I'm looking for a word (or a phrase) that describes the case where the components belong to a term, but the term does not essentially map back to the components. I think it has ...
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13 views

Is there any way, I can get to the brief history of any words or phrases?

It's hard to remember the word until I get to the history or until I feel the word. I'm wondering any apps or sites to help me out with this.
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67 views

Is there a single origin for the connection between the beguiled and gullible?

I was thinking that there might be a connection between beguiled and gullible because of the similarity of their letters and their meaning. I believe there's a connection because gullible means ...
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49 views

commas in English speech

I know commas can make a big difference in the meaning and interpretation of sentences. However, in speech, when we speak out loud, how does the listener interpret sentences if there is no punctuation....
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33 views

I have a question about the X-bar tree of a VP "ask Mary if she can come"

I know the structure for "ask if she can come" is "V': V CP", but how about "ask Mary if she can come"?
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330 views

How many morphemes are there in "assertion"?

Is it "a+sert+tion" or "assert+tion"? I found an article here that says its the former, but the answer key of the quiz which this question is in says otherwise, Help?
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39 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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246 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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88 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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389 views

What does it mean that inserts carry "discoursal meanings"?

According to Biber's Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English, insterts are one of the three families of words (apart from lexical and functional words). At some point, the author ...
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1answer
159 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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1answer
132 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 "...
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2answers
43 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
169 views

How can I write these sentence to avoid ambiguity?

How can i disambiguate these sentences? The design has big squares and circles. they found a book on Hafez street. Its drinking water. I can't find the other meaning of these ...