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Morphosyntax / Re: Adjectives and punctuation
« Last post by Daniel on April 22, 2019, 07:26:05 AM »
Yes, I think I'd punctuate it that way. You're not wrong to think it might be a little awkward with many adjectives and no commas, but that's what I personally would prefer in this case. Note that comma usage does vary by different standards/individuals.
Morphosyntax / Re: Adjectives and punctuation
« Last post by Natalia on April 21, 2019, 10:35:52 PM »
OK, so if didn't use any commas at all, would this sentence be better then? That is, She's got short straight brown hair, big blue eyes and a little thin nose.
Linguist's Lounge / Opinions?
« Last post by Elizabeth on April 22, 2019, 05:39:29 AM »
Hi everyone,
I am badly in need of your opinions. We are launching a new line of services and stuck with the slogan. What do you think which one sounds more interesting:
"Tomorrow delivered today" or "Digital future today"?
Your opinions are highly appreciated!
Phonetics and Phonology / Re: apicals
« Last post by Bärenhunger on April 22, 2019, 05:33:32 AM »
The website Speech of Language is very useful and your explanations also helped a lot: I think I understood the difference :)

Thanks again!
Phonetics and Phonology / Re: apicals
« Last post by Daniel on April 21, 2019, 08:30:35 PM »
Short answer: pull the body of your tongue back a bit so that only the tip of the tongue is stretched out near your teeth (think of your tongue as sort of balancing on its tip), and then from that position try to say "s".


To clarify, I don't think there is a difference between a "French apical S" and a Spanish apical S, except that as the image you scanned says, that is not the normal pronunciation in French. So the question instead should just be how to pronounce a Spanish apical [s̺], which you can look up online. It's a subtle distinction that is difficult for a non-native speaker (me included). I also don't think that it's ubiquitous for Spanish, but most common in Spain (also mentioned here:

To pronounce [s̺] you will hold your tongue a little differently. It's a bit like "th" (but farther back) rather than a typical English or French "s". When I pronounce [s] in English, I close my jaw fairly tightly, with my tongue somewhat relaxed, behind my teeth, and my lips flat. Compare this to "sh" where my lips are a little raised instead, similar to the position they're in for "th" also. For apical [s̺], my lips would raise a bit, and my tongue would actually go back a little bit, creating a sort of flat space between the roof of my mouth and the front end (not just tip) of my tongue for the air to slide along for frication, especially because the back/middle of my tongue has been raised a bit to create a longer channel than with basic [s]. At least that's my impression for apical [s̺], which is not a native or even particularly natural sound for me. So you may want to check more descriptions online, but that's a good start.

For an animated illustration of how this works, see this very helpful website: (it's having some odd technical issues at the moment so you'll need to log in with the guest username and password they give you). Go to Spanish > modo > fricativas > [s] and [s̺].

The clear distinction there is that the whole tongue is pushed forward near the teeth to pronounce [s], while for the apical [s̺], only the tip of the tongue is forward, creating a channel of frication along/above the body of the tongue, rather than just behind the teeth. (So whether this sound is "forward" or "back" depends on your perspective. To me it feels a bit back or restrained, because my tongue is held back and I feel the frication farther back in my mouth, but in terms of the tongue, it's the tip, so it's "fronted" on the tongue in a sense, which is what the typical terminology means.)
Morphosyntax / Re: Adjectives and punctuation
« Last post by Daniel on April 21, 2019, 08:17:11 PM »
It actually looks very strange to me, unbalanced, like something (a second comma) is missing. In context it might make sense, with different emphasis on the adjectives, but I certainly wouldn't recommend that as the default pattern. It looks a bit like you made a longer expression (adding a third to an expression already with two adjectives) and then got a bit confused about punctuation, and added the comma to make it look less awkward without really thinking about the whole structure.

Certainly we can get a structure like that, maybe something like yelling, screaming small children where "yelling" and "screaming" are in a different relationship to "children" than "small" (they're the yelling and screaming kind of small children), but that's an exception, not the rule.

As a simple rule, most of the time a comma should be a substitute for "and", so try replacing it:
Yelling and screaming small children (OK)
short and straight brown hair (maybe OK, a little awkward)
Phonetics and Phonology / apicals
« Last post by Bärenhunger on April 21, 2019, 10:39:05 AM »

Does anybody know the difference between the French apical ["s"] sound, which is (according to the Dictionnaire de linguistique et des sciences du langage from Larousse) realized with the anterior part of the tongue, and the apico-dental ["s"] in Spanish? As a native French speaker who studied some Spanish, I can't tell the difference, even if I try to pronounce the ["s"] positioning my tongue either ways.

Thanks a lot!


Morphosyntax / Re: Adjectives and punctuation
« Last post by Natalia on April 21, 2019, 03:16:22 AM »
Thank you for your answer. Personally, I often use just one comma (as in example 2), indicating "the short and straight type of brown hair (that's how I understand it). For example, if I were to describe a certain person, I'd say something like: She's got short, straight brown hair, big blue eyes and a small thin nose. Is it fine?
Morphosyntax / Re: Adjectives and punctuation
« Last post by Daniel on April 20, 2019, 08:00:00 AM »
Commas are used to indicate a pause. The meaning here is essentially the same, although lack of commas might indicate modification rather than coordination ("the short version of straight brown hair" rather than just "short and straight and brown hair").

Assuming the three adjectives are being used equally, (2) is a very unusual option. But if you mean to say "the short and straight kind of brown hair" that would be fine, with the lack of comma before the last adjective expressing a slightly different kind of relationship.

In the end, they all mean the same thing, but I'd suggest being consistent (commas or no commas) unless you intend a specific effect.
Morphosyntax / Adjectives and punctuation
« Last post by Natalia on April 20, 2019, 06:51:40 AM »
Here are three sentences:
1. I've got short straight brown hair.
2. I've got short, straight brown hair.
3. I've got short, straight, brown hair.

I guess they are all correct, as a matter of punctuation is rather a personal issue, and I've come across all these three structures on the Net. However, I wonder which version would be more preferred (e.g. by you) in this particular case.
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