Studies of grammar in prose




"Parsesnips" are posts about miscellaneous grammatical matters I've encountered in reading. It's short for "parsing snippets". Many of the posts are tentative, groping, and detail-oriented. Despite their flaws I am leaving them here as a record of my thoughts. A couple of articles originally appeared at Spicks and Specks.

The original inspiration for the directions explored in this "quasi-blog" is this page on the use of relative clauses in describing the Basilisk at Harry Potter.

Parsesnips will be relatively inactive for the time being as I concentrate on explorations of Mongolian grammar while learning the language, as covered at Crystallising Mongolian Grammar.


的时候 as a hypothetical counterfactual (currently a 'stub') 14 Mar 2017
Overkill in English journalese (Clumsy use of hackneyed devices) 8 Jun 2016
成 indicating a change of state in Chinese 6 May 2016
"Choppy Japanese": dramatic journalistic prose 22 Apr 2016
是-sentences indicating the content of news in Chinese 19 Apr 2016
是-sentences expressing the content of memory in Chinese 16 Apr 2016
The verb 保护 in Chinese 7 Mar 2016
Reported speech in Chinese 17 Feb 2016
The 的 conditional: an unusual construction in legal Chinese 23 Jan 2016
Valency of 上报 and verbs requiring passive in English 3 Dec 2015
The place of 成语 in sentences, and an interesting 是-sentence construction 26 Nov 2015
Use of numbers in Chinese slogans 15 Jan 2013
Shares for shares (Share swaps in Chinese and Japanese) 9 Feb 2012