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7:01 AM
Q: Hi, I am looking for word that includes following meanings: Children, Seniors, Disabilities

Jason YuI am looking for word that includes following meanings: Children, Seniors, Disabilities I already searched google, and it shows me words like, "Disadvantages," and "Social Minorities." However, these words are inappropriate for using in my sentence. Thanks for reading it and hope I can get ...

Word golf!
4 hours later…
11:22 AM
"It might be a locative ("We will start by the river and move uphill from there"), but it is more likely to take as its object a gerund designating the first action taken by the agent, the action which constituted the start."
It took me a couple of re-readings to understand this, StoneyB!
I wish all the good luck to the Chinese guy in understanding this sentence. (0:
Q: Which one is right; "My dream has started ~" or "My dream was started ~"?

Jason YuI have a grammar question. Here are sentences. 1. My dream has started by ~ 2. My dream was started by ~ I want to know which one is the correct one. (If you add good explanation, I will appreciate it! :)) Thank you !

7 hours later…
6:31 PM
What a quiet day when Dam king isn't around.
7:11 PM
Whoops. Wrong room again.
7:52 PM
@Snail I have a question.
What is the head of the NP in "All of the students of the class"?
In Persian, there's controversy regarding whether "all" or "students" should be considered as the head.
8:10 PM
How might you argue for one or the other?
What do you mean?
Well, when you say something is "the head" of a phrase, that must have some sort of observable consequences for it to have any meaning.
So what sort of phenomena are related to something being the head of a phrase, and how might they be relevant here?
You can make arguments either way.
Aha. So you're saying it's not that critical in English to discern this?
Well, no one needs to know how to be able to identify the head of a phrase in order to speak English. That's a matter of analysis. And different linguists analyze it differently.
8:18 PM
And unless you connect your theory to some sort of observable phenomenon, the answer doesn't matter, because it doesn't predict anything.
@snailboat It's sometimes useful. It gives means of an objective way to determine what verb to choose between "do" and "does" in "does/do a number of edits count as helpful towards determining whether a candidate is good in a moderator election?"
So there's one thing you can observe, subject-verb agreement.
Another is what can be omitted.
Usually, the head of a phrase can't be omitted.
> Four of the students passed. Four of the students passed? I thought only three of the students passed.
Most of the time, verbs agree with the grammatical number of the subject. But sometimes verbs agree with the semantic number of the subject:
> The committee has/have made its/their decision.
Subject-verb agreement is most reliable as a test for simple subjects.
In Persian, "some of the members is" and "some of the members are" are equally acceptable.
8:22 PM
Even then, sometimes it's overridden by semantics.
@snailboat Indeed.
@Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. In English, it's always are.
Nouns like "society, community, committee" etc.
@snailboat Yes, since "some" doesn't send convey the same meaning as the Persian "some".
Strings like some of and a number of are grammaticalized, acting as quantifiers.
Wait, "society" might not count in English.
8:24 PM
> A number of students like/*likes taking tests.
Yeah, good reminder.
Number is grammaticalized here and doesn't act like a full lexical noun. It appears as part of a number of, acting more like a quantifier. You aren't talking about a number, you're talking about students.
There are different ways you can analyze these things, but you have to start by looking at the evidence (what people say, what people don't say, what people accept, what people reject), and then come up with an analysis afterwards.
تعدادی از vs. تعداد
SV agreement is one of those cases where many prescriptions fail.
Well, the fact is, subject-verb agreement is extremely complicated in English, and there's a good deal of variation.
The most common cases are clear-cut and easy to teach.
But there are a lot of cases that have to be described individually.
I imagined as such. English has way more dialects.
Among other reasons.
8:28 PM
Strings like a number of fit into that category. Number here is one of CGEL's "number-transparent quantificational nouns".
BTW TIL: "Aspect" is good old وجه in Persian.
They want to analyze number as the head of the NP because it's possible to omit the of-phrase, and in general you can't omit a head.
Today we were studying verbs in Persian Structure class.
But the verb seems to agree in number with the complement of of.
So they came up with the concept of "number-transparency" to explain how words like lot or number work. H&P want to claim that lot and number in examples like a lot of snails are the heads of the NP on grounds of omissibility, but that doesn't seem to work on grounds of subject-verb agreement. So in their analysis, lot and number take on the grammatical number of the complement of of.
@snailboat Wait!
8:31 PM
In the specific case of number, it can only take plural complements, so number ends up always being plural in this construction!
@Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. If you move messages here, they'll end up above the ones I typed just now :-)
45 messages moved from ELL's Cabin
It keeps them in chronological order.
@snailboat Yeah, and that's still confusing.
So I was just finishing what I was saying in the Cabin :-)
Good past-midnight y'all!
8:32 PM
Now, we have a theoretical conflict here, since in a lot of snails some evidence points to lot being the head (omissibility) and other evidence points to snails being the head (subject-verb agreement).
@CopperKettle \o
Whatever theory you adopt, you have to explain this case specifically.
@snailboat Very interesting.
TilesView had been consuming the complete screen until I overrode onMeasure(). ----- I wonder why we can't say had consumed. It is because of until?
How do you pick, then? On grounds of parsimony, ideally – the simplest explanation that accounts for the phenomena in question is the best one. But sometimes an explanation is theoretically simpler, but students have a harder time grasping it. So you might choose on grounds of pedagogy – the explanation that's easier to understand is the better one.
So although CGEL says that lot is the head, and I think you can make that argument, it might be better for students if you tell them a lot of is a quantifier and snails is the head.
It makes your definition of "head" slightly more complicated, but in general I don't think this is a problem for learners, who mostly don't care what a head is anyway.
8:36 PM
@Snail you have failed not to be an awesome teacher.
Every. Single. Time.
@CopperKettle Maybe because consume is telic (meaning it has a well-defined endpoint), and when you put it in the past tense ("I consumed a bagel"), it implies the activity completed.
Lenin's rule had consumed many innocent lives before he finally died himself.
(seems to work with before)
(or not?)
Each time a life is consumed (regrettable as that is), the act of consumption is completed. A life is lost.
@snailboat So had consumed is an accomplishment verb, and had been consuming is an action verb?
8:38 PM
@CopperKettle Accomplishment verb? O_O
@CopperKettle You can put it that way
@Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. We're talking about lexical aspect
You mean telic?
The lexical aspect or aktionsart (German pronunciation: [ʔakˈtsi̯oːnsˌʔa:t], plural aktionsarten [ʔakˈtsi̯oːnsˌʔa:tn̩]) of a verb is a part of the way in which that verb is structured in relation to time. Any event, state, process, or action which a verb expresses—collectively, any eventuality—may also be said to have the same lexical aspect. Lexical aspect is distinguished from grammatical aspect: lexical aspect is an inherent property of a (semantic) eventuality, whereas grammatical aspect is a property of a (syntactic or morphological) realization. Lexical aspect is invariant, while grammatical...
@snailboat It's interesting that the use of Progressive switches a verb from "accomplishment" to "activity"
8:40 PM
Vendler came up with a rather regrettable choice of vocabulary for different types of verbs based on how the situations they describe are organized in time.
@Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. hehe
@CopperKettle Well, BE 〈verb〉-ing is the progressive construction, right? It expresses aspect.
So telicity is a grammatical aspect?
It tells us the process of consumption was still going on.
@snailboat Ah, it overrides the verb's inherent aspect.
8:41 PM
If it's still going on, it can't be complete.
Seems lexical to me.
The term lexical here means that it's a property of verbs, which is mostly true. Different verbs are different aspectually.
Aspect is a kind of meaning, the way an event is arranged in time. Is it ongoing? Beginning? Ending? Happening over and over? Happens all the time?
If I said "I knocked on the door", I might have actually physically hit the door with my knuckles three or four times.
In that case, the situation described by "knocked on the door" is one short event made up of three or four smaller events.
If I say "I swim every day", then I'm saying the event occurs over and over again on a regular basis.
If I say "I started learning to swim yesterday", the situation I'm describing began and is ongoing.
All of these sorts of things are aspect.
And different verbs have different kinds of aspectual meaning associated with them.
"Lexical aspect" is the study of the kinds of aspectual meaning associated with individual verbs.
The actual aspect, though, depends on the entire sentence, not just the verb.
Huh, what's the difference between accomplishment and achievement verbs?
@Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. achievement is momentary
Accomplishment has duration.
@CopperKettle No!
8:48 PM
Yes! Accomplishments have duration, and they are also telic.
Activities have duration, but they're atelic.
So the two elements at play are "duration" and "telicity".
> I ate an apple in an hour. ← durative, telic
> I ate apples for an hour. ← durative, atelic
There's more to aspect than just that, but yes.
It's easy to see how the aspect changes with different objects.
8:50 PM
The first example has a clearly defined endpoint: when you finish eating an apple, you're done eating that apple.
An apple is a specific number, so it's "bounded".
Apples isn't a specific number. You can keep eating apples as long as you like.
It's not "bounded".
So I ate apples is atelic.
Of course there's more. So, let's review: Accomplishment → durative, telic. Achievement → not durative, telic. Activity → durative, atelic. State → not durative, atelic.
So we can call the former an "accomplishment", and the latter an "activity". I really don't like these words, though, because I feel like it's easy to mix them up.
It sure is.
Telicity is mostly relevant when you have duration.
States are durative, by the way.
8:53 PM
But we usually only need to talk about duration when we're discussing non-stative situations – that is, dynamic situations.
Oh wait.
At the top level, we can divide situations into stative and dynamic.
Lemme . . .
Processing new info
Then we can divide dynamic situations into durative and non-durative.
And last, we can divide durative situations into telic and atelic.
@snailboat so 3 duratives, 1 not durative?
8:53 PM
@Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. State is durative.
I'm gonna ask @Snail to edit that message for me.
So you've got three variables, not two.
@snailboat Stative/dynamic, (non-)durative, (a)telic?
@snailboat But "achievement" has no duration and is "telic" (0:
States          = [+stative]
Achievements    = [-stative -durative]
Activities      = [-stative +durative -telic]
Accomplishments = [-stative +durative +telic]
We can call states durative, but it's a bit redundant since it's implied by stative
8:57 PM
I need to TeX a chart now.
Likewise for talking about telicity
Hm.. Wikipedia lists the achievement verb "realize" as telic.
Achievements are telic, states are durative and atelic
We can list that in the chart if we really want to
That's in the section additional notes. :)
But we don't distinguish different kinds of states using either criterion
It's enough to just say that it's a state, because [+stative] implies [+durative], and so on.
Sorry, had to fix a typo there :-)
That's why I didn't list them in the chart, even though we could. It's just redundant information.
We care about the telic–atelic contrast when we're contrasting activities and accomplishments.
But states are states are states.
9:07 PM
Thank you for the explanation, Snails
I've concocted an answer based on it. (0:
A: Past tenses: did/had questions

CopperKettle TilesView had been consuming the complete screen until I overrode onMeasure(). I chose Past Perfect + Past Simple to position the first "event" deeper in the past. Furthermore, I made it Past Perfect Continuous: had been consuming instead of had consumed. Why? Firsly, "consume" is a dynam...

I'd've said simply consumed.
Well no, took up.
No complicating aspects needed.
@tchrist Without had?
You didn't do anything wrong.
But with had, one needs to apply the progressive form? Interesting.
You could use was taking up if you really wanted to.
But you don't need had.
It's not wrong to use it.
9:16 PM
was consuming would look strange.
Just not required.
@CopperKettle Why?
@tchrist I just thought so. I imagined the screen, hm, half-consumed and being in the process of being consumed.
Simple past, no progressive works ok here too.
So "was consuming" works, "consumed" works, and "had been consuming" works.
Not passive.
9:18 PM
sorry, sleepy
It's 2 a.m. here (0:
Just consumed.
It took up half the screen till I fixed it.
2pm here.
I'll leave it for somebody to give a more complete answer then.
Yours is fine.
But it's incomplete, and I'm too sleepy to add the variations.
I just meant that in this particular case, I would use simpler constructions normally.
9:23 PM
I don't know how common had been doing really is in corpora. It certainly occurs.
"Shucks, I'd been going to call you!"
A kilometer-high tower is being built. Wow.
Not to be confused with Kingdom Centre or Mile High Illinois Kingdom Tower (Arabic: برج المملكة‎ Burj al-Mamlakah), previously known as Mile-High Tower (برج الميل), is a skyscraper currently under construction in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, at a preliminary cost of SR4.6 billion (US$1.23 billion). It will be the centrepiece and first phase of a SR75 billion (US$20 billion) proposed development known as Kingdom City that will be located along the Red Sea on the north side of Jeddah. If completed as planned, the Kingdom Tower will reach unprecedented heights, becoming the tallest building in the world...
It's often said that AmE favors non-perfect constructions in situations where BrE favors perfect constructions. But if you look at overall frequency, the numbers end up looking pretty similar. (Biber et al 1999, p.463)
Both AmE and BrE tend not to use perfect constructions when doing so is optional, although you might be able to find differences where speakers in one dialect group tend to prefer using the perfect and the other tend not to.
I don't have numbers for past perfect + progressive, but the past perfect is particularly uncommon outside fiction (and to a lesser extent news) to begin with.
It's quite common in fiction! :-)
Biber et al 1999 is the Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English (there's no the, but I always add one). Of the major reference grammars of English, it's the only one which is based entirely on corpora, and it focuses quite a lot on frequency information.
@snailboat Never noticed.
@snailboat That doesn't surprise me. I've never noticed any big difference there in real life.
I think the past perfect shows up in fiction because the past tense is so common as a narrative tense. Relative to that, the past perfect is natural.
9:37 PM
EFL students may get too much emphasis placed on there being huge transatlantic difference that aren't even there.
Whereas in conversation, the past perfect is quite rare.
And it tends to stick out, I think.
I didn't know that versus I hadn't known that.
A: Verb tenses when asking a question

FumbleFingersThe guiding principle should be don't use Past Perfect unless you really have to. The uncertainty occurred after the asking - chronologically, and in the narrative sequence of OP's text. That's what normally happens when you report a series of events... I did this. Then I did that. It's gr...

FF is, of course, not an AmE speaker :-)
I agree that maybe one shouldn't reach for it if one can help it.
1 hour later…
10:46 PM
> \documentclass[landscape]{minimal}
\fill (0,6.25) node{{\fontspec{Lucida Fax}Lexical~aspects}} (1.6,7.25);
\fill (0,5.5) node{{\fontspec{Lucida Fax}in~verbs}} (1.6,6.25);
\draw [decorate, decoration = {brace, amplitude = 5pt}, xshift=-4pt,yshift=0pt] (1.8,2) -- (1.8,9) [black,midway,xshift=-0.6cm,very thick];
\filldraw [top color = red!70!black, bottom color = white!60!, rounded corners] (1.8,8.75) rectangle node{{\fontspec{Algerian} Stativ
I wonder if I got the chart right @Snail:
11:00 PM
@Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. Close! Switch durative and non-durative :-)
Also, you can take the plural -s off of aspect. It's an abstract noun here and is treated as non-count.

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