Talk:Zero (linguistics)

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From the description of the pronoun form of zero, it sounds very similar to a Metasyntactic variable in computer programming. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:41, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Character doesn't get displayed[edit]

On my pc (Windows XP Home Edition, IE 8.0.6001), trying to disply the Unicode Character 'EMPTY SET' (U+2205) using {{Unicode|∅}} (producing "") shows a square. Using {{IPA|∅}} (producing "") shows the correct symbol (a diagonally crossed circle). Tips? Suggestions? Comments? May I replace the Unicode template with the IPA one? Dan 14:36, 7 March 2010 (UTC)


"the zero in the book ∅ I am reading works like the that in the book that I am reading. This is also referred to as PRO." I've seen PRO (or 'pro', depending on theoretical considerations) used for empty pronouns, but I haven't seen it used for an empty complementizer. I'm not saying it isn't--the complementizer in this case is sometimes called a relative pronoun--so I don't want to change the wording. (If the change is made, I would suggest swapping the order of the two sentences, since the preceding examples are indeed empty pronominals.) Mcswell (talk) 17:42, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

The sooner the better[edit]

The article says “In English the copula is sometimes omitted in set phrases, such as "The sooner the better," [...]”. This is wrong. First, that’s not just a set phrase. It’s a quirky grammatical construction (CGEL calls it the correlative comparative construction) that produces all sorts of statements along those lines: the uglier the better, the more ridiculous the better, and ultimately stuff like the more people contribute, the harder it is to manage. Second, this clearly is not a case where the copula is omitted, because if you put it in, you’re looking at a totally different sentence. The sooner is the better can mean that the sooner of two options we’re discussing is the better one. On top of the change in meaning, the article the in that sentence is etymologically unrelated to the word the in the correlative comparative construction. —Jorend (talk) 15:23, 10 April 2011 (UTC)