Tags » Morphosyntax

"He said me haffi work, work, work..." - Rihanna's multivocal identity

First off I’d like to whole-heartedly thank my dear colleagues Eva Hänsel and Michael Westphal for their support and effort. Both are experts on Caribbean English varieties and helped with this song’s analysis. 923 more words


Brigitte gets her hair cut, I say something stupid, and we explore causation in French

One day Brigitte walked into the office looking even more fetching than usual.  T’as coupé les cheveux? I asked–did you cut your hair?  Je me suis… 1,067 more words

The Finnish Possessive Suffix (Part 2)

We established in Part 1 that there is both finite and non-finite agreement in Finnish, and that in both environments, agreement licenses null subjects (or, rather, null specifiers, NS, because there are non-finite domains in which calling null pronouns ‘null subjects’ would be misleading). 1,188 more words


Zipf's Law, the Poisson Distribution, reflexive verbs, and terrorism in the age of social media

By now, we know what goes hand-in-hand with Zipf’s Law: the Poisson Distribution.  Zipf’s Law explains why we run into words that we don’t know in a foreign language… 388 more words

Doing computational lexical semantics with your web browser: An approach to using data to build semantic representations

A lot of my work involves something called lexical semantics.  Lexical semantics is the study of how words mean things.  (That means that there’s some interaction with the question of how sentences mean things, since part of the meaning of a sentence comes from the words that it contains, but in lexical semantics, the focus is on the words and how they contribute to and interact with the semantics and the syntax (the phrasal relationships) of a sentence.  2,149 more words

I'm going to die in 2028

I’m going to die in 2028.  I calculated this by starting with my year of birth, adding the median of my father’s and paternal grandfather’s ages at the time of their first heart attacks, subtracting a bit for my smoking as a teenaged… 741 more words

Linguists versus normal people

A difference between linguists and normal people: non-linguists get excited about irregular things in language, while linguists mostly don’t.  I can hardly go to a wedding, bar mitzvah, or quinceañera–any place where you meet new people, basically–without someone saying “isn’t it funny how the plural of  743 more words