Author Topic: simple analysis  (Read 3537 times)

casey61694

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simple analysis
« on: December 14, 2014, 01:54:16 PM »
I have a quick question.

In this sentence:

"The development of these circuits [as the brain evolved through evolution], and [as each domesticated primate (human) brain recapitulates evolution in growing from infancy to adult- hood], makes possible gene-pool survival, mammalian sociobiology (pecking order, or politics) and transmission of culture."

Are the "as" clauses functioning adjectivally (as complement clauses modifying "development") or adverbially?

All help is appreciated!


Offline Daniel

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Re: simple analysis
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2014, 03:14:23 PM »
Adverbials. Either manner or temporal.
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casey61694

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Re: simple analysis
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2014, 06:05:03 PM »
Under what conditions can an adjective act like an adverb without changing form?

For example:

"Only the good die young. "

"He came to the party late."

"Make sure you stand erect."

Thank you for your help!

Offline Daniel

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Re: simple analysis
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2014, 06:40:26 PM »
Hard to say. For some speakers, always. In German too.

But those specific cases you listed appear to be "depictives" or "resultatives". They're actually adjectives in the construction. Compare:

He died intelligent.
He died intelligently.
I made the bike quick.
I made the bike quickly.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2014, 06:42:47 PM by djr33 »
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casey61694

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Re: simple analysis
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2014, 07:12:04 PM »
OK, I see how "intelligent" modifies the subject in the first sentence and "intelligently" modifies the manner in which he died in the second, but I don't get this distinction in your second set of sentences.  To me, they mean the same in that "quick" and "quickly" both modify the verb.

P.S. What if I said:

"The hunchbacked man attempted to stand erect."

Now "erect" cannot possibly modify the subject, right?


« Last Edit: December 15, 2014, 07:35:15 PM by casey61694 »

Offline jkpate

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Re: simple analysis
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2014, 07:32:24 PM »
I strongly prefer the reading for "I made the bike quick" in which "quick" logically modifies "bike." In this reading, the bike used to be slow, but is now quick. Maybe I changed the gear ratios or something.
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Offline Daniel

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Re: simple analysis
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2014, 07:39:58 PM »
Quote from: jkpate
I strongly prefer the reading for "I made the bike quick" in which "quick" logically modifies "bike."
Same. It's possible to read it as an unmarked adverb like "I went quick", but to me it's just like "I painted the bike red", on the most natural reading.

Quote from: casey
Now "erect" cannot possibly modify the subject, right?
It does exactly that. This is a case of secondary predication. It isn't even limited to adjectives:
I made the bike a sailboat and took it for a trip around the world.
(Assume I'm great at creative engineering.)


[This usage does seem somewhat limited, though, not available in all contexts where adjectives are allowed.]
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casey61694

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Re: simple analysis
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2014, 08:04:07 PM »
So the type of "secondary predication" I have in my sentence isn't subject to any kind of locality constraint since the subject and the adjective are separated by the entire sentence?

Thank you for the help!

Offline Daniel

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Re: simple analysis
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2014, 08:18:06 PM »
It's not modifying the subject directly. It's semantically modifying that referent though.

"I wanted to be an astronaut" -- who's the astronaut? Me. Theories have various explanations for how that subject is associated with the embedded predicate there
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casey61694

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Re: simple analysis
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2014, 06:03:18 PM »
I think I have another pretty simple analysis problem here.

In this sentence:

"For instance, my wife, a sociologist, trained our dog, Fang, not to beg at the table in [the most direct mammalian language possible]."

Could someone explain structurally what's going on here or how "possible" is related to the superlative?

Thank you!

Offline Daniel

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Re: simple analysis
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2014, 08:20:53 PM »
Semantically, this refers to the most direct among all of the entities in the set "possible mamalian language(s)".

In terms of word order, I think something is displacing it from preceding the noun due to the superlative. Not exactly sure how that works.
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casey61694

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Re: simple analysis
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2014, 08:56:35 PM »
This is something else I've been wondering about:

Is there a language you know of in which their name for time itself (in general) is used in time expressions?

Examples in English:

I go there all the time.
I go there most of the time.
I went there the last time you went.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2014, 09:11:34 PM by casey61694 »

Offline Daniel

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Re: simple analysis
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2014, 09:50:22 PM »
There's overlap in various languages. One that comes to mind is Arabic where there's some definite overlap between the noun "time" itself and, for example the word for "hour":
waqt, saa3a, mara, zaman
(All of those words are used for some of those functions, I'm not sure exactly which, but there's a lot of overlap.)

In German, Uhr means either 'hour' or 'clock'.
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casey61694

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Re: simple analysis
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2014, 03:54:42 PM »
I just need some clarification.

In this sentence:

"Opiates and small doses of alcohol seem to trigger neuro-transmitters [ ] characteristic of Circuit 1."

Is there inflection in the brackets that we leave out since "seem" is already carrying the inflection for the sentence?

Offline Daniel

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Re: simple analysis
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2014, 06:52:43 PM »
It has nothing to do with seem:
It triggers neuro-transmitters characteristic of Circuit 1.

Nor triggers:
Neuro-transmitters characteristic of Circuit 1 [are found in the brain].

It's just a normal noun phrase, with a post-posed adjective because it's a longer modifier (possibly for grammaticalized euphonic reasons). In general, adjectives modified by prepositional phrases are postposted:
The man scared of spiders....
The zebras covered in stripes....
etc.
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