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Tutor profile: Leah B.

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Leah B.
Linguistics Tutor
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Questions

Subject: Japanese

TutorMe
Question:

When is "u" not pronounced in Japanese?

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Leah B.
Answer:

"U" is not pronounced in Japanese when it occurs either between two unvoiced consonants (p, t, k, etc.), as in "suki", or between an unvoiced consonant and the end of a word, as in "desu".

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

Is it OK to end a sentence with a preposition?

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Leah B.
Answer:

This is a hotly-debated topic, but in my opinion, it's fine to end a sentence with a preposition. Apparently this rule came about because writing prescriptivists were trying to make the use of English align with the rules of Latin (the "educated" language at the time), and it's not possible to end a sentence with a preposition in Latin. Winston Churchill has a famous quote about that rule: "This is the kind of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put."

Subject: Linguistics

TutorMe
Question:

What is the difference between descriptive linguistics and theoretical linguistics?

Inactive
Leah B.
Answer:

Descriptive linguistics seeks to document languages as they are spoken. Descriptive linguists tend to focus on the work required to compile dictionaries and grammars. They may base their analyses on a theory, but they are not necessarily looking to advance a particular theory or create a new one. In contrast, theoretical linguistics seeks to build a framework that explains the underlying rules of language in the brain. The idea is that our brains contain a limited number of rules that dictate the shape of Language (in general), and the differences between human languages come about because of the different interactions of the universal rules on those languages.

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