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.


The strangeness of Ishigami's letters in 容疑者Xの献身 ('The Devotion of Suspect X') 15 Sep 2017
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