Some Thoughts on Why Participles Express Urgency?

Sep 21, 2015 by

A recent LanguageLog post by Mark Liberman about a Doonesbury cartoon made me wonder about the import of different English verb forms. The first two and last two panels of the cartoon are reproduced on the left. Liberman writes: The...

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Person, place, thing…

May 22, 2012 by

Many school grammar books definite a “noun” as a category that denotes “a person, place or thing”. While many objections can be raised to such a definition, it provides a useful three-way distinction of nouns...

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Google Translates Gender

Feb 13, 2012 by

[Thanks to David Pesetsky for inspiring this post] The topics of Google Translate and of translating gender have been discussed in this blog before. I have argued that Google Translate fails to understand language (as many...

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On H-dropping again

Feb 6, 2012 by

In an earlier post, I mentioned H-dropping as one of the characteristic features of Cockney, the lower class variety of English from the streets of London’s East End. Recall Professor Higgins’ complaints: “Hear them down in...

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The plural of virus? Latinate plurals reconsidered

Jan 19, 2012 by

[Thanks to Cynthia Typaldos for bringing this topic to my attention! The cartoon to the left is from this site] A recent article on by Robert Andrews states:   “Google (NSDQ: GOOG) already operates its own legal...

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