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Morphosyntax / Re: Sentence ungrammaticality
« Last post by panini on February 20, 2019, 09:56:05 AM »
It's because there is no rule of English grammar that will generate that sentence. It might be easiest to start with the rules that introduce "be" plus something else. You could have an NP, but "died" is not an NP. You can have a progressive particle, but "died" isn't one. You can have an adjective, but "died" isn't one ("dyed" is). You could have a passive participle, but that is only possible for a transitive verb (so you can have "John was arrested/eaten"). "Died" is only a past tense verb, and that would mean that tense is instantiated twice in the same clause (you have tense only once). So there is no rule of English that generates this, and by definition the string is ungrammatical.

I should point out that many people get confused about the difference between acceptability and grammaticality. Grammaticality is an abstract analytic judgment that requires you to explicitly know the rule of English grammar, by which I mean the actual rules of English grammar and not things they teach you in school. Usually, linguists conjecture that a certain sentence is ungrammatical because they have a reasonable theory of the rules of English and can do the computation. The underpinning of that theory is the intuitive reaction that a given sentence is unacceptable. Sentences can be unacceptable for many reasons, not all of which are about grammar. In this case, though, I'd say it is clearly about grammar.
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Morphosyntax / Sentence ungrammaticality
« Last post by Elena on February 20, 2019, 03:45:12 AM »
Hi, can anyone tell me why the sentence "john was died" is ungrammatical?
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Semantics and Pragmatics / Re: Use of the word "the"
« Last post by Daniel on February 17, 2019, 03:55:29 AM »
That usage is often called "generic". Note that "a" can, interestingly, be used in the same way. "A lion is a dangerous foe" or "The lion is a dangerous foe". This range of usage of definite (and indefinite) articles is part of well known variation and historical change, if you look up some of the trends of development. The meaning of "definite" is somewhat unclear because there are specific, generic, context-established, etc., meanings.
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Semantics and Pragmatics / Use of the word "the"
« Last post by Bunbury on February 17, 2019, 12:19:57 AM »
Is there a grammatical category for what might be called the universal determiner "the" - as in "the spleen."  That is, not using the word "the" to refer to a specific example or member of a class (as in "the spleen was transplanted yesterday"), and not to refer to all the members as in the class (as in "the speens are all organs"), but rather to refer to all the members of a class in terms of a single member (as in "the spleen has many cells" or "the spleen is found in the abdomen").  This is found in scientific writing all the time in phrases such as, "the brain has many neurons," "the heart pumps blood," and "the human body is a living organism." 
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English / Re: Linguistics exam
« Last post by Daniel on February 14, 2019, 04:47:38 PM »
Exams are meant to test your knowledge. You should be prepared for it in some way. It isn't clear what this is for, but if you are not prepared, then you should look at options to get prepared: take a class, read a book, etc.

This question is not appropriate here, or really anywhere on the internet or otherwise outside of your institution/program.

If you had a specific question about one of the ideas on the test, then we could discuss that, but even then actually discussing test content is generally not a good idea, and against the rules here.

Are you taking a class? Go talk to the instructor. Review your notes or the textbook.

--

I have also removed the images from the exam you posted, because that is inappropriate: posting exams and/or answers for exams online can too easily lead to cheating, regardless of whether this is allowed in your particular case (e.g., if this is a practice exam, but that is not clear from what you wrote).
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English / Linguistics exam
« Last post by Gricom on February 14, 2019, 05:26:00 AM »
Hi everyone,
I will need to retake the exam and I have no idea how to deal with the exam. I known that the retake exam will be different but this is not the case. I have notes from all lessons and I have read a few books, but sill I have no idea how to deal with it, can anyone help me with this? If this thread is in the wrong place please move it to the right one

[Attached images of exam removed by moderator.]
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Phonetics and Phonology / Re: Do you hear /b/ or /v/ ?
« Last post by Isaac Newton on February 12, 2019, 09:30:07 PM »
By the way here is my reading of Psalm 114 in the Yemeni pronunciation :

(A) Bet without dagesh voiced as a "v"
https://archive.org/details/NewRecording62_201902

(B) Bet without dagesh voiced as a "b"
https://archive.org/details/NewRecording64_201902

Which reading of bet without dagesh above sounds more like that of the native Yemeni reader we are inspecting ?
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Phonetics and Phonology / Re: Do you hear /b/ or /v/ ?
« Last post by Isaac Newton on February 12, 2019, 02:10:50 AM »
I hear [ʕavɪðɛ:] and [jɛvɔ:r] ("v" could be [β]); the file "kevinair" is too far from norms, and nothing sounds like [ v ] or [ b ] (check that you don't have the wrong word). Normally, when you look at the spectrogram, there would be a very rapid and "straight-line" reduction in amplitude for a voiced stop segment, which is lacking here. However, that's based on ordinary speech under clean recording conditions. Still, my eyes and ears say "v" not "b". IMO the evidence is not conclusive, and this is a classic case where you you can't say for sure. Even though it is either [ v ] or [ b ] (Aristotle's first law), you don't have sufficient reason to claim which one it is.

Incidentally, the Wiki article on Yemeni Hebrew indicates that bet with and without dagesh is neutralized in some dialect, naming Sharab.

Thanks for your thoughts Panini, much appreciated.
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Phonetics and Phonology / Re: Do you hear /b/ or /v/ ?
« Last post by panini on February 11, 2019, 09:26:42 AM »
I hear [ʕavɪðɛ:] and [jɛvɔ:r] ("v" could be [β]); the file "kevinair" is too far from norms, and nothing sounds like [ v ] or [ b ] (check that you don't have the wrong word). Normally, when you look at the spectrogram, there would be a very rapid and "straight-line" reduction in amplitude for a voiced stop segment, which is lacking here. However, that's based on ordinary speech under clean recording conditions. Still, my eyes and ears say "v" not "b". IMO the evidence is not conclusive, and this is a classic case where you you can't say for sure. Even though it is either [ v ] or [ b ] (Aristotle's first law), you don't have sufficient reason to claim which one it is.

Incidentally, the Wiki article on Yemeni Hebrew indicates that bet with and without dagesh is neutralized in some dialect, naming Sharab.

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Phonetics and Phonology / Re: Do you hear /b/ or /v/ ?
« Last post by Isaac Newton on February 10, 2019, 11:13:17 AM »
The slowed-down utterances are so mutilated that it's not possible to make a decent judgment of pronunciation. If you can post the unmodified words, maybe. The music will be a major distraction – if you can find a speaker who can just read the text, that would be preferable.


Here’s the word גְּ֝בָע֗וֹת (hills) not slowed down:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vg7hYubYv5ETROw6H770dPRHIzMI_D-v/view

Do you hear “JeBor...” or “JeVor..” ?

——-

Here’s the word עַבְדֵ֣י (servant) at normal speed:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1k3gxkh4x8pMY8MyHIl34P7efiQIRIWna/view

Do you hear “ABeday” or “AVeday” ?

Here’s the word כבני־/ צאן (like Sheep) at normal speed:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DHcO-LMRTPua8Ywy7BzUoXYVEIQ7mb9e/view

“KeBernay” or “KeVernay”?
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