Sometimes I’m just going about my day eating cereal or whatever and I remember that Hannibal takes place in the same universe as Wonderfalls and have a bunch of emotions.
Just the ramblings of student studying linguistics.
My hobbies include getting unreasonably excited when people use positive ‘anymore’ constructions.
What makes an effective synonym for Benedict Cumberbatch?
I wrote an article for The Toast on the phonological constraints that allow you to identify Bandicoot Cumbersnatch, Bendandsnap Candycrush, and even Wimbledon Tennismatch as synonyms for the same long-faced British actor, by analyzing all of the names from the Benedict Cumberbatch name generator.
You should go read it there first to see what the constraints are and how I got them, and then come back here for a bonus in-depth investigation into how we can model them using constraint rankings loosely inspired by Harmonic Grammar (don’t worry if you don’t know what that is).
But why do we say ‘We wouldn’t’ isntead of ‘We’d not’?
"We" is a pronoun that replaces a Determiner Phrase (which is comprised of a determiner with a noun phrase as its complement) and "would not" is part of the Tense Phrase. They’re two separate constituents, and we systemically show that by not contracting "We would not" as "We’d not".
- We hadn’t —> We had not
- We shan’t —> We shall not
- We won’t —> We will not
This makes so much sense now thank you!
That still doesn’t explain why both “we’re not” and “we aren’t” are commonly used. Or, for that matter, why “we’d” exists.