Tag: english linguistics
The fixed syntax of English
English syntax today is comparatively fixed than to the past. Every statement form adheres to the seven sentence patterns with two being variations of the five base sentence patterns. Once understood, the speaker has in their grammar arsenal the tools necessary to make beautiful sentences. The seven sentence patterns are: All English sentences will adhere…
The origin of English words
Source: Thomas Finkenstaedt; Dieter Wolff (1973). Ordered profusion; studies in dictionaries and the English lexicon. About 85% of words in the English language are from three languages – Germanic, French and Latin. 12% are from Greek and other minor languages like Chinese and Japanese. About 4% are proper names. Different languages had influence on English…
In any English sentence there are either zero, one, two or three actants. Actants are the “participants” of the sentence. They are either people or things. In (1) below the action of “to rain” itself is the “zero” actant. (1) It is raining. “It” is the dummy subject. In (2) and (3) the subjects “Peter” and…
Original Pronunciation of Shakespearean Plays
This is a fascinating introduction to the differences in pronunciation of Modern English and Early Modern English (Shakespeare’s time). Explanations and examples are very clear by linguist David Crystal and his son Ben, an actor.