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Morphosyntax / Re: Copular Clauses -- Predicational, Specificational & Equative
« Last post by Daniel on February 18, 2018, 11:54:53 AM »
I'm not exactly sure on those specific terms, but I think you're referring generally to two well known functions of copulas. One links two things that are equivalent, and another links something to a property.

In the case of two things that are equivalent, you should be able to reverse the order (setting aside pragmatic preferences):
"The doctor is a kind person." > "A kind person is the doctor."
(Admittedly reversing these things has a different tone, and in some cases, such as with pronouns, it sounds very strange, but you get the idea.)

For the descriptive type, it only works in a very poetic sense:
"The book is red." > ?Red is the book.

Is it that in equative CCs, two existing entities are given the same identity, and in specificational CCs,  there's only one entity and that entity is assigned a value?
Yes, that sounds about right. It might oversimplify things regarding whether they are necessarily "entities" or not, but that seems to be the main idea of it.

Note that in Spanish there are actually two different copulas, ser and estar. And at least to some degree they follow this distinction (but not exactly!). Ser is often said to describe "permanent" things, including the equivalence of two nouns. But estar is then said to describe "temporary" things, especially for most adjectives that only apply at the moment. You can actually use either with adjectives, but if you say "soy felíz" (ser.1SG+happy) that means "I'm a happy person", while "estoy felíz" (estar.1SG+happy) means "I'm happy [now]." So that's much more common/natural with estar, because it's describing rather than identifying. Arguably the first type is more like the "equative" type you describe, even though it's not an entity, because it's actually describing the identity of the person as opposed to describing the current state. African American English also does something similar (in a way) where omission of 'be' is used for a current description, while including it is more of an identification: "He sick" = 'he's not feeling well today', vs. "He be sick" = 'he's a sickly person, terminally ill, etc.'.

So maybe the more natural distinction would be between "identifying" and "describing" uses of copulas. Compare also restrictive and nonrestrictive relative clauses:
"You must give $5 to all of the people who are polite."
"You must give $5 to all of the people, who are polite."
Very subtle difference, but the second sentence would mean that "all of the people" are polite. The first just means that you find all of the people who are also polite-- not necessarily all of them. The nonrestrictive type works to identifying who you mean (the second example), while the first actually further restricts the set of people you are referring to. The nonrestrictive type is "optional" in the sense that you have already effectively identified the group (although that additional information can help of course). The restrictive type is not optional because it adds additional (restricting) information.
Sociolinguistics / Re: Urban dialect
« Last post by Daniel on February 18, 2018, 11:36:09 AM »
It's hard to hear in that (mp3, recording quality, volume levels, etc.). But it's possible for both sounds there's a glottal stop. I'm not sure. It sounds to me like the stops are unreleased, so the sound wouldn't be too different for [t/k/ʔ].
Sociolinguistics / Re: Urban dialect
« Last post by dalila on February 18, 2018, 04:42:30 AM »
Thank you very much!  I have another question: can you tell me whether you can hear a glottal stop for "make" and "it" in this sentence?
Computational Linguistics / Master's degree in computational linguistics
« Last post by george90 on February 18, 2018, 03:45:16 AM »
Hello everybody!
I am a philology major and have taken courses of Linguistics(more theoretical) during my studies. I am actually really interested in working as a computational linguist (not so much for an academic career). Could anyone suggest a good MA programme in Europe  to set me up for a career? I have also started learning programming in C++ two months ago, hope that proves helpful. Any general advice for entering the field would also be higly appreciated.
Linguist's Lounge / Re: Aspiring Linguist
« Last post by turnoi on February 18, 2018, 03:21:42 AM »
There are several options:
1. Looking for a job as a freshly graduated linguist from uni could make you a credentialled taxi driver, a pizza hut vendor, a doorman or an ESL teacher (the latter, which is according to my experience not a real job with prospects for a good career).
2. If you do not opt for an academic career at uni, you should be able to master at least 2 or 3 foreign languages with a high proficiency level (near nativ-speaker level) which would enable you to work as a translator/interpreter.
3. Otherwise, specialise in an area like Psycholinguistics or Forensic Linguistics; those are areas where you can apply your lingustic knowledge and competencies in practice if there is a demand for someone like you.

Being an excellent linguist academically alone will - unfortunately - not help in "earning your bread"!

Good luck!
Linguist's Lounge / Re: Introduction Thread
« Last post by turnoi on February 18, 2018, 03:09:38 AM »
I am new here and just registered for access to this forum. I am a retired university professor in Linguistics and spent most of my professional life abroad in developping nations in teaching, research and working with several community projects organised by ethnic groups on language developoment and reform. I also have a passion for education and initiated some non-proifit projects helping students mature and grow. I specialised in areas like language planning, foreign language teacher training and linguistic field research with a focus on Sino-Tibetan and Bantu languages in Africa. Currently, I am helping a Ph. D. graduate student from Nepal to accomplish a research project on the native language of this student. The language is Dhimal with approx. 20,000 speakers in Nepal and India which I estimate to be one of the endangered languages.
Morphosyntax / Copular Clauses -- Predicational, Specificational & Equative
« Last post by Morphosyntax on February 18, 2018, 12:52:12 AM »
What is the difference between a specificational copular clause and an equative copular clause?

I know that a predicational CC ascribes a property to the subject, e.g. "Mary is pretty", but I can't quite seem to put my finger on how the two other CCs differ. Both look and feel the same to me, and both can invert.

Spec CC: Mary is the president of the IT club -- The president of the football club is Mary
Equative: Mary is Jane -- Jane is Mary

Is it that in equative CCs, two existing entities are given the same identity, and in specificational CCs,  there's only one entity and that entity is assigned a value?
Linguist's Lounge / Re: The ethimology of the word “Decomposed”
« Last post by panini on February 17, 2018, 09:15:50 AM »
"Deconstruct" is a modern term most generally meaning something in literary studies: ideas and the like are what is most frequently deconstructed. If a thing A is made up of parts but the parts are usually not presented separately, and if you present the assembled bare elements, you could say that you have an A, deconstructed, especially if you are inclined to use the word deconstruct.

Decomposition generally refers to rotting, and I cannot think of any context where it can be cutely used to refer to "not combining the ingredients to form the end product". The distinction doesn't have to do with liquids versus solids. It would be odd to take the ingredients of a drink and say that you're going to "compose" a Harvey Wallbanger from them (unless you're in a group of musicians).
Linguist's Lounge / The ethimology of the word “Decomposed”
« Last post by Walidsad22 on February 16, 2018, 06:32:42 PM »
Hi Everyone,

Im Walid and happy to be here, I am French and live in New York

I have this debate with friends over the deference of the word ( Decompose and Deconstruct).

As a case study I am in need of a professional linguistic opinion, the situation is about a drink served with all the components being apart for them to be composed / constructed.

My point is that deconstructed is applicable to a solid matter as in constructing something and decomposing is related to liquids and chemical mixture ( as a drink is a actual chemically mixture of deferent substance/ as in mixing oil and water ( which is none to be none homogeneous).

I do believe that Americans mix common and general knowledge as ultimate truth.

I would like to have a professional expertise from a linguist.

Thank you guys

Historical Linguistics / Re: Historical linguistics for music
« Last post by panini on February 15, 2018, 02:21:04 PM »
I think the key to the lack of resonances is the lack of a frame of reference. I didn't used to understand Uighur music, until I did (by reference to Persian and Arabic music, which in itself was the product of other reference points like Andalusian and distinguishing North and South Indian music). I won't claim that I understand Uighur music, but now I think I can at least distinguish it from Kazakh.
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