Tags » Morphosyntax

Go left, then right: faire la bise

I’m bald…et je suis gentil–I’m putting it nicely.  The full version: I’m bald, fat, and old.

Nevertheless, every Tuesday morning I stop at Giorgio’s hair salon and take my seat in the chair.  728 more words

The ideal and the desired, French and American versions

Why Paul Ryan should vote for Hillary Clinton. —headline, The Fiscal Times

Speaker Paul Ryan should disavow Donald Trump. —headline, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel…

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Men, chocolate, and coffee: compositionality and the mapping problem

Linguists and philosophers are sometimes accused of spending their time navel-gazing over sentences that are not realistic.  However, the truth is that you don’t have to look any further than your daily life for real puzzles, and sometimes for real challenges to linguistic theory. 1,128 more words

What happens when you spend less than 24 hours in Peru: the English perfect tenses

I should’ve expected trouble from the moment that the stewardess on the Lima-to-Houston flight recognized me. ¿No venimos de hacer este viaje anoche? “Didn’t we just do this trip last night?” I smiled a “yes” at her. 2,171 more words

Mouthing off: English denominal verbs that come from mouth parts

To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.

Winston Churchill, at the White House in 1954.  Source: http://www.bartleby.com/73/1914.html

I’ve always been more into depth than breadth. 

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I can't tortilla: denominal verbs and hand surgery

I’m in Guatemala at the moment. I come here once a year with a group called Surgicorps. We’re volunteer surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, technicians, therapists, and interpreters (that’s me) who provide surgical services to people who are so poor that for them, even the almost-free Guatemalan health care system is too expensive. 1,636 more words

Before it rains again, and often: hypercorrection

I was waiting in line at the boulangerie the other day.  Outside, a nicely dressed woman sat and sipped a coffee while the rain poured down. 1,776 more words