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Grammatical Object
In linguistics, an object is any of several types of arguments. In subject-prominent, nominative-accusative languages such as English, a transitive verb typically distinguishes between its subject and any of its objects, which can include but are not limited to direct objects, indirect objects, and arguments of adpositions ( prepositions or postpositions); the latter are more accurately termed ''oblique arguments'', thus including other arguments not covered by core grammatical roles, such as those governed by case morphology (as in languages such as Latin) or relational nouns (as is typical for members of the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area). In ergative-absolutive languages, for example most Australian Aboriginal languages, the term "subject" is ambiguous, and thus the term "agent" is often used instead to contrast with "object", such that basic word order is often spoken of in terms such as Agent-Object-Verb (AOV) instead of Subject-Object-Verb (SOV). Topic-prominent language ...
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Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because it entails a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise analysis of all aspects of language, particularly its nature and structure. Linguistics is concerned with both the cognitive and social aspects of language. It is considered a scientific field as well as an academic discipline; it has been classified as a social science, natural science, cognitive science,Thagard, PaulCognitive Science, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). or part of the humanities. Traditional areas of linguistic analysis correspond to phenomena found in human linguistic systems, such as syntax (rules governing the structure of sentences); semantics (meaning); morphology (structure of words); phonetics (speech sounds and equivalent gestures in sign languages); phonology (the abstract sound system of a particular language); and pragmatics (ho ...
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Pragmatics
In linguistics and related fields, pragmatics is the study of how context contributes to meaning. The field of study evaluates how human language is utilized in social interactions, as well as the relationship between the interpreter and the interpreted. Linguists who specialize in pragmatics are called pragmaticians. Pragmatics encompasses phenomena including implicature, speech acts, relevance and conversation,Mey, Jacob L. (1993) ''Pragmatics: An Introduction''. Oxford: Blackwell (2nd ed. 2001). as well as nonverbal communication. Theories of pragmatics go hand-in-hand with theories of semantics, which studies aspects of meaning, and syntax which examines sentence structures, principles, and relationships. The ability to understand another speaker's intended meaning is called ''pragmatic competence''. Pragmatics emerged as its own subfield in the 1950s after the pioneering work of J.L. Austin and Paul Grice. Origin of the field Pragmatics was a reaction to structura ...
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Dependency Grammar
Dependency grammar (DG) is a class of modern grammatical theories that are all based on the dependency relation (as opposed to the ''constituency relation'' of phrase structure) and that can be traced back primarily to the work of Lucien Tesnière. Dependency is the notion that linguistic units, e.g. words, are connected to each other by directed links. The (finite) verb is taken to be the structural center of clause structure. All other syntactic units (words) are either directly or indirectly connected to the verb in terms of the directed links, which are called ''dependencies''. Dependency grammar differs from phrase structure grammar in that while it can identify phrases it tends to overlook phrasal nodes. A dependency structure is determined by the relation between a word (a head) and its dependents. Dependency structures are flatter than phrase structures in part because they lack a finite verb phrase constituent, and they are thus well suited for the analysis of languag ...
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Ergative Verb
In general linguistics, a labile verb (or ergative verb) is a verb that undergoes causative alternation; it can be used both transitively and intransitively, with the requirement that the direct object of its transitive use corresponds to the subject of its intransitive use, as in "I ring the bell" and "The bell rings." Labile verbs are a prominent feature of English, but they also occur in many other languages. Terminology The terminology in general linguistics is not stable yet. Labile verbs can also be called "S=O- ambitransitive" (following R.M.W. Dixon's usage), or "ergative", following Lyons's influential textbook from 1968. However, the term "ergative verb" has also been used for unaccusative verbs,Keyser, Samuel Jay & Thomas Roeper. 1984. On the middle and ergative constructions in English. Linguistic Inquiry 15(3). 381–416. and in most other contexts, it is used for ergative constructions. In English Most English verbs can be used intransitively, but ordinarily t ...
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Unergative Verb
An unergative verb is an intransitive verb that is characterized semantically by having a subject argument which is an ''agent'' that actively initiates the action expressed by the verb. For example, in English, ''talk'' and ''resign'' in the sentence "You talk and you resign" are unergative verbs, since they are intransitive (one does not say "you talk someone") and "you" are the initiator or responsible for talking and resigning. But ''fall'' and ''die'' in the sentence "They fall and die" are unaccusative verbs, since usually they are not responsible for falling or dying but still the verb is intransitive, meaning it is comprehensively used without a direct object. (They cannot "fall something" or "die someone").Note: Dąbrowska (2016)pointed out that the phrase "''to die''" in English does not comply with the strict definition of an unaccusative verb, since it fails some of the distinctions from unergative verbs such as causative alternation, where an unaccusative like "br ...
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Unaccusative Verb
In linguistics, an unaccusative verb is an intransitive verb whose grammatical subject is not a semantic agent. In other words, the subject does not actively initiate, or is not actively responsible for, the action expressed by the verb. An unaccusative verb's subject is semantically similar to the direct object of a transitive verb or to the subject of a verb in the passive voice. Examples in English are "the tree ''fell''"; "the window ''broke''". In those sentences, the action (falling, breaking) can be considered as something that happened to the subject, rather than being initiated by it. Semantically, the word "tree" in the sentence "the tree fell" plays a similar role as it does in a transitive sentence, such as "they cut down the tree", or its passive transformation "the tree was cut down". Unaccusative verbs thus contrast with unergative verbs, such as ''run'' or ''resign'', which describe actions voluntarily initiated by the subject. They are called ''unaccusative'' becau ...
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Object–subject Word Order
In linguistic typology, object–subject (OS) word order, also called O-before-S or patient–agent word order, is a word order in which the object appears before the subject. OS is notable for its statistical rarity as a default or predominant word order among natural languages. Languages with predominant OS word order display properties that distinguish them from languages with subject–object (SO) word order. The three OS word orders are VOS, OVS, and OSV. Collectively, these three orders comprise only around 2.9% of the world’s languages. SO word orders ( SOV, SVO, VSO) are significantly more common, comprising approximately 83.3% of the world’s languages (the remaining 13.7% have free word order). Despite their low relative frequency, languages that use OS order by default can be found across a wide variety of families, including Nilotic, Austronesian, Mayan, Oto-Manguean, Chumashan, Arawakan, Cariban, Tupi–Guarani, Jê, Nadahup, and Chonan. Example ...
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Analytic Language
In linguistic typology, an analytic language is a language that conveys relationships between words in sentences primarily by way of ''helper'' words (particles, prepositions, etc.) and word order, as opposed to using inflections (changing the form of a word to convey its role in the sentence). For example, the English-language phrase "The cat chases the ball" conveys the fact that the cat is acting on the ball ''analytically'' via word order. This can be contrasted to synthetic languages, which rely heavily on inflections to convey word relationships (e.g., the phrases "The cat chase''s'' the ball" and "The cat chase''d'' the ball" convey different time frames via changing the form of the word ''chase''). Most languages are not purely analytic, but many rely primarily on analytic syntax. Typically, analytic languages have a low morpheme-per- word ratio, especially with respect to inflectional morphemes. A grammatical construction can similarly be ''analytic'' if it uses un ...
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Word Order
In linguistics, word order (also known as linear order) is the order of the syntactic constituents of a language. Word order typology studies it from a cross-linguistic perspective, and examines how different languages employ different orders. Correlations between orders found in different syntactic sub-domains are also of interest. The primary word orders that are of interest are * the ''constituent order'' of a clause, namely the relative order of subject, object, and verb; * the order of modifiers (adjectives, numerals, demonstratives, possessives, and adjuncts) in a noun phrase; * the order of adverbials. Some languages use relatively fixed word order, often relying on the order of constituents to convey grammatical information. Other languages—often those that convey grammatical information through inflection—allow more flexible word order, which can be used to encode pragmatic information, such as topicalisation or focus. However, even languages with flexible ...
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Cataphor
In linguistics, cataphora (; from Greek, '' καταφορά'', ''kataphora'', "a downward motion" from '' κατά'', ''kata'', "downwards" and '' φέρω'', ''pherō'', "I carry") is the use of an expression or word that co-refers with a later, more specific, expression in the discourse. The preceding expression, whose meaning is determined or specified by the later expression, may be called a cataphor. Cataphora is a type of anaphora, although the terms ''anaphora'' and ''anaphor'' are sometimes used in a stricter sense, denoting only cases where the order of the expressions is the reverse of that found in cataphora. An example of cataphora in English is the following sentence: * When he arrived home, John went to sleep. In this sentence, the pronoun ''he'' (the cataphor) appears earlier than the noun ''John'' (the postcedent) that it refers to. This is the reverse of the more normal pattern, "strict" anaphora, where a referring expression such as ''John'' or ''the soldier'' ...
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Syntactic Category
A syntactic category is a syntactic unit that theories of syntax assume. Word classes, largely corresponding to traditional parts of speech (e.g. noun, verb, preposition, etc.), are syntactic categories. In phrase structure grammars, the ''phrasal categories'' (e.g. noun phrase, verb phrase, prepositional phrase, etc.) are also syntactic categories. Dependency grammars, however, do not acknowledge phrasal categories (at least not in the traditional sense). Word classes considered as syntactic categories may be called ''lexical categories'', as distinct from phrasal categories. The terminology is somewhat inconsistent between the theoretical models of different linguists. However, many grammars also draw a distinction between ''lexical categories'' (which tend to consist of content words, or phrases headed by them) and ''functional categories'' (which tend to consist of function words or abstract functional elements, or phrases headed by them). The term ''lexical category'' therefore ...
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Secundative Language
A secundative language is a language in which the recipients of ditransitive verbs (which takes a subject and two objects: a ''theme'' and a ''recipient'') are treated like the patients (targets) of monotransitive verbs (verbs that take only one object), and the themes get distinct marking. Secundative languages contrast with '' indirective languages'', where the recipient is treated in a special way. While English is mostly not a secundative language, there are some examples. The sentence ''John gave Mary the ball'' uses this construction, where ''the ball'' is the theme and ''Mary'' is the recipient. The alternative wording ''John presented Mary with the ball'' is essentially analogous to the structure found in secundative languages; ''the ball'' is not the direct object here, but basically a secondary object marked by the preposition ''with''. In German, the prefix ''be-'' (which is sometimes likened to an applicative voice) can be used to change the valency of verbs in a sim ...
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