Tags » Morphosyntax

Tutelary gods and how to use "tout"

I’m a big believer in tutelary gods.  These are the local deities that rule over or protect a place.  You could make a good case that part of the reason that Judiasm was able to survive its exile from its place of origin was that the original idea of its typically Fertile Crescent god–he lived on top of a particular hill, and in order to really worship him properly, you had to go there–changed to an idea of an… 1,585 more words

Build your own chrestomathy

It’s two days until your French test and you just discovered that there’s an entire agreement phenomenon that you’ve never heard of before.  Chrestomathies to the rescue! 

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Cataphora, pro-VP, and why my office is so messy

I know it’s not cool to do so, but I still read on paper.  I like to take a few articles and sit on the couch outside my office with a cup of coffee and a highlighter.  1,055 more words

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