Update: 2012-11-24 06:19 AM +0630

TIL

TIL Grammar Glossary

D01.htm

Compiled by U Kyaw Tun (UKT), M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.), and staff of TIL (Tun Institute of Learning, http://www.tuninst.net ), from various sources. Prepared for students of TIL Computing and Language Center, Yangon, Myanmar. Not for sale.

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Grammar Glossary - D

• dangling modifier (dangling participle) • data • database • declarative • declension • deductive reasoning • definite article • definition • degree • demonstrative • demonstrative adjective • demonstrative • pronoun • denotation • dependent clause • derivational suffix • description • description adjective • descriptive grammar • descriptor • determiner • determiner phrase • developing (planning) • diachronic • dialect • diction • dictionary • dictionary form • dictionary types • dictionary of contemporary English • direct address • direct object • direct question • direct quotation (direct discourse) • direct speech • discourse analysis • discussion list • disjunct • disyllabic • ditransitive verb • division • documentation • document • design • domain • double negative • double possessive • double talk (doublespeak) • download • drafting • dyad • dynamic verb

UKT Notes

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dangling modifier (dangling participle)

See • misplaced modifier

From LBH

A modifier that does not sensibly describe anything in its sentence. (See pp. 403–05.)

* Having arrived late, the concert had already begun. -- dangling
Having arrived late, we found that the concert had already begun. -- revised

From AHTD

A participle, usually in a subordinate clause, that lacks a clear grammatical relation with the subject of the sentence, such as approaching in the sentence :

* Approaching New York, the skyline came into view.
€ As we approached New York, the skyline came into view. -- correction by UKT

(UKT: The following is in Usage Note under the entry "participle" in AHTD. My views are within [...])
The "dangling participle" is quite common in speech, where it often passes unremarked; but its use in writing can lead to unintentional absurdities, as in:

* He went to watch his horse take a turn around the track carrying a copy of the breeders' guide under his arm.
€ Carrying a copy of the breeders' guide under his arm, he went to watch his horse take a turn around the track. -- correction by UKT

Even when the construction occasions no ambiguity, it is likely to distract the reader, who will ordinarily be operating on the assumption that a participle or other modifying phrase will be associated with the noun phrase that is immediately adjacent to it. Thus the sentence:

* Turning the corner, the view was quite different. [-- sentence #1]
[The inclusion of a comma after 'corner' in written form or the inclusion of a noticeable pause during speaking is sufficient to make sentence #1 unambiguous. However, AHTD would have the sentence rewritten as:]

The view was quite different when we turned the corner. [-- sentence #2]
Turning the corner, we saw a different view. [-- sentence #3]
[The effect on the listener by #1 and #3 would probably the same. As for #2, the sentence is rather unimpressive.]

A number of expressions originally derived from active participles are now well established as prepositions of a kind, and these may be used freely to introduce phrases that are not associated with the immediately adjacent noun phrase. Such expressions include:
• concerning • considering • failing • granting • judging by • speaking of  .
Thus one may write:

Speaking of politics, the elections have been postponed.
Considering the hour, it is surprising that he arrived at all.

 

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data

From LBH
In argument, a term used for evidence. See • evidence.

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database

From LBH
A collection and organization of information (data). A database may be printed, but the term is most often used for electronic sources.

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declarative

From UseE
The Declarative Mood is the normal form of a verb, in contrast with the Imperative and the Subjunctive.

UKT
Declarative Mood is also known as Indicative Mood. Verbs are usually given in the dictionaries in this form. (to check with peers)

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declension 

Contrast • conjugation

From LBH
A list of the forms of a noun or pronoun, showing inflections for person (for pronouns), number, and case. See p. 293 for a declension of the personal and relative pronouns.

From AHTD - AHDEL
declension
linguistics
1. In certain languages, the inflection of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives in categories such as case, number, and gender.
2. A class of words of one language with the same or a similar system of inflections, such as the first declension in Latin.

From WRUD
declension
grammar
1. Inflection of nouns, adjectives, etc., according to the grammatical cases.
2. The form of the inflection of a word declined by cases; as, the first or the second declension of nouns, adjectives, etc.
3. Rehearsing a word as declined.
Note: The nominative was held to be the primary and original form, and was likened to a perpendicular line; the variations, or oblique cases, were regarded as fallings (hence called casus, cases, or fallings) from the nominative or perpendicular; and an enumerating of the various forms, being a sort of progressive descent from the noun's upright form, was called a declension. -- Harris.

From WN
declension
grammar 
1: the inflection of nouns and pronouns and adjectives
2: the complete set of inflected forms of a noun or pronoun or adjective
3: a class of nouns having the same inflectional forms: "the first declension in Latin"

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deductive reasoning

From LBH
Applying a generalization to specific circumstances in order to reach a conclusion.
See also • syllogism. Contrast • inductive reasoning. (See pp. 166–69.)

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defining relative clause

From UseE
A defining relative clause gives essential information about the noun or noun phrase it modifies, without which the sentence wouldn't make sense as the listener or reader would not be able to identify the noun in the sentence:

The hotel that we stayed in wasn't bad.
'that we stayed in' tells the listener which hotel we are talking about; it defines the hotel

'Who', 'whose' and 'that' can be used for people. 'Which' 'whose' and 'that' can be used for things.
Related Article: Relative Clauses - Learn about Relative Pronouns in Non-Restrictive Clauses (Non-Defining clauses) and Restrictive Clauses (Defining clauses).

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definite article

From UseE
'The' is the definite article is English. It is used to restrict the meaning of a noun to make it refer to something that is known by both the speaker or writer and the listener or reader:

He's gone to the shops.
Here the listener knows which shops I mean

It can also be used to refer back to something that has already been mentioned:

There's a word for that. Now, what is the word?

It can be used to refer forwards to something that is coming:

The key to the front door is under the mat.

It can be used to refer to a group:

The car has changed our way of living.

 

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definition

From LBH
Specifying the characteristics of something to establish what it is and is not. (See pp. 27 and 97–98.)

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degree

See • comparison.

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demonstrative / demonstrative adjective

See • adjective.

From UseE
A demonstrative indicates whether something is near or far from the speaker or writer and also shows singular or plural:
[E.g.]  • This book  -  singular, near • That book -  singular, distant • These books - plural, near • Those books - plural, distant

A demonstrative can be used as a determiner or a pronoun:
[E.g.] • Could you pass me those leaflets? (determiner) • Give me that. (pronoun)


From UseE
Demonstrative adjectives (this, that, these, those) show whether the noun they refer to is singular or plural and whether it is located near to or far from the speaker or writer.

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demonstrative pronoun 

See • pronoun.

From UseE
This; that; these; those; none and neither are Demonstrative Pronouns that substitute nouns when the nouns they replace can be understood from the context. They also indicate whether they are replacing singular or plural words and give the location of the object:

This : singular and near the speaker
That : singular and at a distance from the speaker

These : plural and near the speaker
Those : plural and at a distance from the speaker

You take these bags and I'll take those.
Those refers to bags that are at a distance from the speaker.

We bought this last year
This refers to something that is sing., near the speaker and readily understood in the context of the conversation.

 

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denotation

From LBH
The main or dictionary definition of a word. Contrast • connotation. (See p. 567.)

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dependent clause

dependent clause n. Grammar 1. A clause that cannot stand alone as a full sentence and functions as a noun, adjective, or adverb within a sentence. Also Called subordinate clause . -- AHTD

From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subordinate_clause 081219

A dependent clause cannot stand alone as a sentence. In itself, a dependent clause does not express a complete thought; therefore, it is usually attached to an independent clause. Although a dependent clause contains a subject and a predicate, it sounds incomplete when standing alone. Some grammarians use the term subordinate clause as a synonym for dependent clause, but in the majority of grammars, subordinate clause refers only to adverbial dependent clauses.

A dependent clause usually begins with a dependent word. One kind of dependent word is a subordinating conjunction. Subordinating conjunctions are used to begin dependent clauses known as adverbial clauses which act like adverbs. In the following examples, the adverbial clauses are bold and the subordinating conjunctions are italicized:

Wherever she goes, she leaves a piece of luggage behind.
-- The adverbial clause wherever she goes modifies the verb leaves.

€ Bob enjoyed the movie more than I did.
-- The adverbial clause than I did modifies the adverb more

Another type of dependent word is the relative pronoun. Relative pronouns begin dependent clauses known as adjective clauses, which act like adjectives, or noun clauses, which act like nouns. In the following examples, the dependent clauses are bold and the relative pronouns are italicized:

€ The only one of the seven dwarfs who does not have a beard is Dopey.
-- The adjective clause who does not have a beard describes the noun one

€ No one understands why experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
-- The noun clause why experience is something you don't get until just after you need it functions as a direct object.

Dependent clauses are classified further into:
1. Noun clause
2. Adverbial clause
3. Adjective clause

UKT: More in the article.

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derivational suffix

See • suffix.

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description

From LBH
Detailing the sensory qualities of a thing, person, place, or feeling. (See pp. 27 and 96.)

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description adjective

See • adjective.

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descriptive grammar

From UseE
A descriptive grammar looks at the way a language is actually used by its speakers and then attempts to analyse it and formulate rules about the structure. This kind of grammar does not deal with what is good or bad language use; forms and structures that might not be used by speakers of Standard English would be regarded as valid and included. It is a grammar based on the way a language actually is and not how some think it should be.

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descriptor

See • keyword

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determiner

From LBH
A word such as a, an, the, my, and your which indicates that a noun follows.
See also • article. (See pp. 356–60 for the uses of determiners before nouns.)

From UseE
A determiner is used with a noun and restricts the meaning by limiting the reference of the noun. The following types can be used:

1. Article: • a boy • the girls

2. Numeral: • two cars • the first day

3. Possessive adjective: • my job • their friends

4. Quantifier: • some coffee • few tickets

5. Demonstrative adjective: • this tape • those books

 

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determiner phrase

From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DP_hypothesis 080613
(Redirected from DP hypothesis)

In linguistics, a determiner phrase (DP) is a syntactic category, a phrase headed by a determiner.

Examples In the determiner phrases below, the determiners are underlined:
• a litter dog • the little dogs -- indefinite or definite article
• this little dog • those little dogs -- demonstrative
• every little dog • each little dog • some little dog • either dog • no dog -- quantifying

In English and many other languages, determiner phrases have a noun phrase as a complement (Wiki-fn01) (Wiki-fn02). This is opposed to the alternative view that determiners are specifiers of the noun phrase. The overwhelming majority of transformational grammarians today adopt the DP hypothesis in some form or other. However, large numbers of both traditional and formal grammarians consider nouns, not determiners, to be the heads of NPs.

Determiners govern the referential or quantificational properties of the noun phrases they embed. The idea that noun phrases preceded by determiners are determiner phrases is known as the DP hypothesis. The DP hypothesis goes very well with the theory of generalized quanitfiers, which is the prevailing theory of the semantics of determiners (Wiki-fn03) (Wiki-fn04).

Wikipedia references

Wiki-fn01. Szabolcsi, A. (1983). The possessor that ran away from home. The Linguistic Review 3. Wiki-fn01b.

Wiki-fn02. Abney, S. P. (1987). The English Noun Phrase in its Sentential Aspect. Ph. D. thesis, MIT, Cambridge MA. Wiki-fn02b.

Wiki-fn03. Montague, Richard: 1974, 'The proper treatment of quantification in English', in R. Montague, Formal Philosophy, ed. by R. Thomason (New Haven). Wiki-fn03b.

Wiki-fn04. Barwise, Jon and Robin Cooper. 1981. Generalized quantifiers and natural language. Linguistics and Philosophy 4: 159-219. Wiki-fn04b.

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developing (planning)

From LBH
The stage of the writing process when one finds a topic, explores ideas, gathers information, focuses on a central theme, and organizes material. Compare drafting and revising. (See Chapters 1–2.)

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diachronic

From UseE
Diachronic language studies look at the development of a language over a period of time.

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dialect 

See • creole • pidgin

From LBH
A variety of a language used by a specific group or in a specific region. A dialect may be distinguished by its pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. (See p. 559.)

From UseE
A dialect is a variety of a language that is spoken by a group in a particular area or of a social group or class. It can have a different pronunciation , vocabulary and use different grammatical structures.

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diction

From LBH
The choice and use of words. (See Chapter 38.)

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dictionary

From UseE
A dictionary is an alphabetical list of words giving their definitions, examples and grammatical classification, together with information about the pronunciation. It can also be an alphabetical list with definitions of the key words from a particular area or field, like a dictionary of law or computing.

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dictionary form

See • plain form

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dictionary types

From UseE
• Bilingual Dictionary • Monolingual Dictionary • Etymological Dictionary • Crossword Dictionary • Rhyming Dictionary • Mini-Dictionary • Pocket Dictionary • Thesaurus • Glossary

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dictionary of contemporary English

From UseE
If a dictionary, in any language, claims to be CONTEMPORARY, it means that it tries to include the latest and most up-to-the-minute vocabulary and uses, normally including slang, jargon and other colloquial language.

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direct address

From LBH
A construction in which a word or phrase indicates the person or group spoken to:

Have you finished, John?
Farmers, unite.

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direct object

See • object

From UseE
The direct object of a verb is created, affected or altered by the action of a verb, or appreciated or sensed by the subject of the verb.

She closed the door.
door is directly affected by her action.

From AHTD
In English and some other languages, the word or phrase in a sentence referring to the person or thing receiving the action of a transitive verb. For example, in mail the letter and call him, letter and him are direct objects.

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direct question 

From LBH
A sentence asking a question and concluding with a question mark:

Do they know we are watching?

Contrast • indirect question.

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direct quotation (direct discourse)

See • quotation.

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direct speech

From UseE
Direct speech is used to give the exact words used by another speaker. The words are given between quotation marks (" ") in writing:

"I'm coming now," he said.

UKT
The British and the American place the double quotation marks and a comma or a period differently. The above is the American way. The British way is as follows:

"I'm coming now", he said.
Needs to be checked with peers.

 

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discourse analysis

From UseE
Discourse Analysis
is the area of linguistics that is concerned with how we build up meaning in the larger communicative rather than grammatical units; meaning in a text, paragraph, conversation, etc, rather than in a single sentence.

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discussion list

From LBH
A mailing list of subscribers who use e-mail to converse on a particular subject. Also called an e-mail list, listserv, or list. See also newsgroup and Web forum. (For the use of discussion lists in collaboration among students, see pp. 245–46. For the use of discussion lists for research, see pp. 659–60.)

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disjunct

From UseE
A disjunct expresses the speaker or writer's attitude to what is being described in the sentence.

Fortunately, we managed to get there on time.
Fortunately shows us that the speaker was pleased about the result of the action.

 

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disyllabic

From UseE
A disyllabic word has two syllables.
     • cannot • over • under • forwards • therefore • neither; • doctor

UKT :
Generally you cannot guess the number of syllables in a word. I usually rely on a pronouncing dictionary like Daniel Jones English Pronouncing Dictionary, 16th edition, 2003 (DJPD16). In the following the pronunciation is given in IPA within [...] . You can count the number syllables in the IPA transcriptions.

• cannot ['kæn.ɒt]
• over ['əʊ.vəʳ]
• under ['ʌn.dəʳ]

 

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ditransitive verb

From UseE
A Ditransitive verb is one that takes both a direct object and an indirect object.

He gave her the letter.
The letter is the direct object, what he gave.
Her is the indirect object, the person he gave it to.

This sentence can also be written:
He gave the letter to her.

 

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division

See • analysis.

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documentation

From LBH
In research writing, supplying citations that legitimate the use of borrowed material and support claims about its origins.
Contrast • plagiarism. (See pp. 698–99.)

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document design

From LBH
The control of a document's elements to achieve the flow, spacing, grouping, emphasis, and standardization that are appropriate for the writing situation. (See Chapter 9.)

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domain

See • uniform resource locator (URL).

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double negative

From LBH
A generally nonstandard form consisting of two negative words used in the same construction so that they effectively cancel each other:

* I don't have no money.

Rephrase as:

I have no money. or
I don't have any money.

(See p. 354.)

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double possessive

From LBH
A possessive using both the ending -'s and the preposition of :

That is a favorite expression of Mark's.

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double talk (doublespeak)

From LBH
Language intended to confuse or to be misunderstood. (See p. 563.)

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download

From LBH
To transfer data from another computer.

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drafting

From LBH
The stage of the writing process when ideas are expressed in connected sentences and paragraphs. Compare • developing (planning) and •  revising. (See pp. 48–51.)

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dyad

From UseE
Two people speaking is a dyad; the smallest unit of communication. Relationships between people; employer / employee, etc., are dyads as well.

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dynamic verb

From UseE
A dynamic verb is one that can be used in the progressive (continuous) aspect, indicating an unfinished action.

She's lying on the bed.
An incomplete action in progress.

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UKT notes

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End of TIL file