The spelling “ui” and the pronunciation /uː/ in juice, fruit, bruise, cruise, sluice, suit, nuisance, recruit, bruit

The words juice, fruit, bruise, cruise, sluice, suit, pursuit, suitcase, lawsuit, nuisance, recruit, bruit are spelled with ui and pronounced with the IPA phoneme /uː/. Full pronunciations from OED: nuisance: Brit. /ˈnjuːsns/, U.S. /ˈn(j)us(ə)ns/ juice:         Brit. /dʒuːs/, U.S. /dʒus/ cruise:      Brit. /kruːz/, U.S. /kruz/ bruise:      Brit. /bruːz/, U.S. /bruz/ suit:           Brit. /s(j)uːt/, U.S. /sut/ recruit: … Read more

Adjectives that describe vs. distinguish their referents

Sometimes an adjective describes its referent: “My wonderful brother” means I think my brother is wonderful. Sometimes an adjective distinguishes its referent from others like it: “My younger brother” picks out which of my brothers I’m talking about. Sometimes people (jokingly or seriously) confuse these uses; I might say “My wonderful brother” to talk about … Read more

Is there a linguistic term for using a common noun as a proper noun?

In some situations, a common noun in a specific scenario is treated as a proper noun because it refers to a specific entity that satisfies the common noun. Is there a special term for this phenomenon? Examples: “Go ask his father”, said the teacher. vs “Go ask Father”, said the mother. and “Most city halls … Read more

Can passive reduced relative clauses precede a head noun?

I have zero background in linguistics, so forgive me if this is trivial. The Wikipedia article for relative clauses claims that, with regard to the positioning of the relative clause, “English, for example, is generally head-first”. However, intuitively, it makes sense that a “reduced object passive relative clause” would be able to precede the head … Read more

What is it called when one person calls another something they metaphorically resemble?

What name or word would be given for the examples below, metaphor? A mother calls her child cat, or tiger The wife calls her husband “Hey Baby”. You’re my moon. A very muscular person might be called “He’s solid”. Basically there’s extreme likeness to the other object and the person gets called by that name. … Read more

Do laypersons understand medical terms?

I’m from China and I would like to ask English native speakers whether a non-medical professional understands medical terms? Examples: rhinorrhea rhinitis laryngoscopy laryngitis laryngostenosis bronchiectasis bronchopathy bronchospasm pneumothorax pneumonitis pulmonologist pulmonary or pulmonic dyspnea bradypnea tachypnea apnea rhinoplasty thoracocentesis or thoracentesis pulmonectomy or pneumonectomy tracheostomy So do people with a high school degree readily … Read more

Can two nouns appear together in a sentence without a punctuation or a conjunction?

I am a new NLP engineer and totally a beginner in English linguistics. I want to know if two nouns can appear together in a sentence without a punctuation or a conjunction between both of them? Also, the two nouns should reflect two different entities, not one. For example, The name of the president is … Read more

‘The phrase “cute puppy,”is not considered a collocation.’ Is this correct?

I am a data scientist who has a question about collocations based on a book I am reading. The book is “Feature Engineering for Machine Learning: Principles and Techniques for Data Scientists” by Alice Zheng, Amanda Casari. In chapter 3, regarding working with text data and natural language processing, the authors state: “Collocations are more … Read more

How to write Spanish Vowel sounds into English?

Background I’m writing a novel with original character names, and I want to find the way of how to correctly write their names in English to keep the same pronunciation as they had had in Spanish. The basic problem for me is the sounds of the vowels, so how can you generate the Spanish vowels … Read more

Why do Oppress, Suppress and Depress have the same last syllable?

I usually get confused between those words, when I want to use them while speaking. They are very close to each other, yet they have completely different meaning (at least from my mother tongue perspective) I’m sure that if we dig into the roots of these words, we will find something common either from a … Read more