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  #81  
Old October 24th, 2012, 6:52 am
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Re: On Linguistics

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Originally Posted by horcrux4 View Post
So are the double/triple negatives meant for emphasis rather than cancelling each other out?
Neither - there's no reason behind it, it's just how a negative sentence works in Bulgarian.

For Bill: Никога не съм казвала никакви лъжи на никого.


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  #82  
Old October 24th, 2012, 2:07 pm
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Re: On Linguistics

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
In my language you must use negatives in every place they can be used. For example: I haven't never told no lies to nobody. If you use "ever" or "anybody" instead of "never" and "nobody", it would make no sense to the native ear.
I've heard similar constructs in rural American English: "I ain't never told no lies to nobody."


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  #83  
Old October 24th, 2012, 5:21 pm
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Re: On Linguistics

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Originally Posted by LyannaS View Post
What about "You ain't seen nuthin' yet"?

(Yes, the temptation was too great here too!)
Or "I can't get no satisfaction".


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  #84  
Old April 4th, 2013, 7:57 pm
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Re: On Linguistics

I had posted this elsewhere because it's driving me crazy, but I thought I should bring it up in the appropriate thread, too.

I'm trying to diagram the clause "who will eat the Milky Way" without losing the underlying structure of it. My thought is that because it's an interrogative statement, there must be auxiliary inversion, and because it's a wh-question, the "who" has also replaced a noun phrase. I believe that is the case because the result is a clause that appears to be structured just like a declarative sentence, but clearly that's not what's really going on. Does anyone have any thoughts about this? Here's the clause in bracket notation:

[S [Comp who][S [Aux will][S [NP t][VP[VP [Aux t][V eat]][NP [Det the][N Milky Way]]]]]]

And here it is as a tree diagram:


(Also, I used a "t" symbol to stand in for the displaced phrases. And the parent is really a complementizer clause I guess, not a "sentence," but that part of the structure doesn't concern me unless this is an embedded clause, which I'm not dealing with right now.)



Last edited by canismajoris; April 4th, 2013 at 8:08 pm.
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  #85  
Old April 6th, 2013, 11:36 am
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Re: On Linguistics

I can't help at all, because I haven't parsed sentences for about 30 years, but I'd question whether it is an interrogative statement. It depends on the context. If it's part of a longer sentence e.g. In the last days, Loki will give birth to a giant wolf, who will eat the Milky Way", then surely it's a straightforward relative clause?


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  #86  
Old April 6th, 2013, 2:29 pm
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Re: On Linguistics

That's a fine point, but in this case it's interrogative because I say it is.


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  #87  
Old April 7th, 2013, 3:52 am
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Re: On Linguistics

Yeah, in looking at it, I was wonder whether it was a sentence with a question mark at the end (in which case, it is interrogative, but not a clause) or whether it was a relative clause, as Mel pointed out.

I always tuned out during sentence diagramming in grade school and haven't had to do it since (so I can't help with the diagramming), but I do have an interest in learning it... now.


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  #88  
Old April 7th, 2013, 8:26 am
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Re: On Linguistics

Yeah, sentence diagramming isn't really my thing either...


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  #89  
Old April 7th, 2013, 12:54 pm
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Re: On Linguistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
Yeah, in looking at it, I was wonder whether it was a sentence with a question mark at the end (in which case, it is interrogative, but not a clause)
I suppose it could be the main clause of a longer question, e.g. "Who will eat the Milky Way* if I eat the Snickers*?"
e.g.2 "Who will eat the Milky Way* that the cat licked?"


[*Brand name of a chocolate bar in the UK - I'm not sure if you have them in the US or not.]



Last edited by Melaszka; April 7th, 2013 at 2:54 pm.
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  #90  
Old April 13th, 2013, 10:16 pm
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Re: On Linguistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I suppose it could be the main clause of a longer question, e.g. "Who will eat the Milky Way* if I eat the Snickers*?"
e.g.2 "Who will eat the Milky Way* that the cat licked?"


[*Brand name of a chocolate bar in the UK - I'm not sure if you have them in the US or not.]
We have them in the U.S.

As has been pointed out, it depends on the punctuation. Is it a complete sentence, with a question mark at the end? Or is it a clause within a bigger sentence?
We didn't parse sentences in school, but I had a private tutor who believed in it. Personally, I hated it, and couldn't see the point, since I already knew how to construct a sentence in English.

Personally, I always hated learning grammatical terms, and that's why I never wanted to become an English teacher even though most English speaking immigrants to Israel of my generation were offered retraining as English teachers.


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  #91  
Old February 1st, 2014, 2:27 am
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Re: On Linguistics

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Originally Posted by Quickquill View Post
We didn't parse sentences in school, but I had a private tutor who believed in it. Personally, I hated it, and couldn't see the point, since I already knew how to construct a sentence in English.
Well I'm not sure parsing sentences in school is really quite the same thing, to be fair to any linguists out there. Attempting to understand the structure of a language is not only a matter of describing any one sentence, but of ascertaining rules about the language that can produce any grammatical sentence native speakers could think of, and every one they couldn't.

Now that's not what I was doing, as I'm only a mere beginner where syntax is concerned, but I feel linguistics deserves much more respect as a scientific discipline than being compared to rote memorization of grammatical terms.


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  #92  
Old February 28th, 2014, 11:24 pm
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Re: On Linguistics

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Originally Posted by Quickquill View Post
We didn't parse sentences in school, but I had a private tutor who believed in it. Personally, I hated it, and couldn't see the point, since I already knew how to construct a sentence in English.
I didn't like it very much at school either, but I found it really useful when I had to study other languages (specially Latin). Later I have been a tutor in English and I've found it very hard to teach the structure of a foreign language to people who didn't know the structure of their own. Specially because you English speakers have quite a definite structure (your adjectives always go before the noun and so) while we Spanish are quite free about where to place our words.

Quote:
Posted by canismajoris
Now that's not what I was doing, as I'm only a mere beginner where syntax is concerned, but I feel linguistics deserves much more respect as a scientific discipline than being compared to rote memorization of grammatical terms.
Indeed.


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  #93  
Old March 2nd, 2014, 2:14 am
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Re: On Linguistics

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Originally Posted by MmeBergerac View Post
I didn't like it very much at school either, but I found it really useful when I had to study other languages (specially Latin). Later I have been a tutor in English and I've found it very hard to teach the structure of a foreign language to people who didn't know the structure of their own.
The applicability of cross-linguistics education is the most important thing I've learned by studying linguistics over the past few years, exactly. It has always been a pet ambition of mine to teach foreign languages to primary school children, just to start the ball rolling early. I don't speak any languages but English, but I'm confident in saying I wouldn't need to in this particular case.

It's my belief that everyone is a linguistic genius, they just don't know why or how. Much in the same way a professional football player may be uniquely accomplished at taking a corner kick, but most likely can't explain how he or she arrives upon the ideal the ballistic trajectory of the ball, accounts for air friction and gravity, or fully understands whether and in what way the choice of shoes matters. So what I care most about is taking these people who've always had plenty of success in, you know, doing language, and showing them how remarkable it is that anyone can do it at all.

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Originally Posted by MmeBergerac View Post
Specially because you English speakers have quite a definite structure (your adjectives always go before the noun and so) while we Spanish are quite free about where to place our words.
We do now, certainly. Back in the day, by which I mean the years 500 to 1400 CE, things were a little more awesomely weird. English was then (well in the earlier part of that range) a much more inflected language, if you look at noun morphology. Our medieval forebears had four or five noun cases (there was an instrumental that seems to have merged with the dative--I blame the "Danes"), and so there was a pretty modest excess of scrambling going on. Indeed, for Modern English speakers, learning to live with a free word order is the chief obstacle to learning older forms of English.



Last edited by canismajoris; March 2nd, 2014 at 2:20 am.
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