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Semantics and Pragmatics / gauge - what does it mean in this sentence?
« Last post by ian-st on June 17, 2018, 08:39:40 AM »
In the The Metaphysical Touch by Sylvia Brownrigg the word gauge is used in a way I cannot find in any dictionary.
"She was greeted at the door by a woman with a comfortable, weathered face: a face riven by warmth and comedy and the deep gauge of alcohol"
Is it being used in the sense of "a large measure of alcohol"? It is an attractive use of the word but I'm not sure it is correct.
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Semantics and Pragmatics / Re: in the 7th period / in 7th period?
« Last post by Daniel on June 16, 2018, 08:19:32 PM »
Even simpler: it's the same difference between "the math class" and "math class". You'd say "What did you do in math class" only when that's a name for an established class someone is taking, assumed to be the only one, so you don't need to say "the" before it.

By the way, that only applies at school (or equivalent institutions). In other contexts you'd need "the", such as "In the 6th period, the pendulum swung at the same rate as the 1st period."
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Semantics and Pragmatics / Re: in the 7th period / in 7th period?
« Last post by Natalia on June 16, 2018, 01:44:15 PM »
Thank you.
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Semantics and Pragmatics / Re: in the 7th period / in 7th period?
« Last post by Daniel on June 16, 2018, 11:50:04 AM »
Either one. "6th period" is a name, so you can refer to it as just that, and it would be the most natural way to phrase it (at least to my American ears). But "in the 6th period" is a more formal way of expressing it if you are describing how your schedule works, for example, explaining how the time is divided during the day. So you would skip "the" with classmates, but to explain to an outsider unfamiliar with your school's typical schedule, you might say "in the...", but even then it wouldn't be required.
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Semantics and Pragmatics / in the 7th period / in 7th period?
« Last post by Natalia on June 16, 2018, 11:13:51 AM »
Hello.
When we are talking about the timing of the school day, should I say, e.g.

1. I have biology in the 6th period.
or
2. I have biology in 6th period.

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I'm glad my response was helpful.

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That's what definite literally means-- previously introduced (defined) in the discourse, right?

. Not being a linguist and only being exposed to a small subset of the material I would disagree with this.
I was referring to the etymology of the term: definite means defined, as in established or known from the discourse context. Of course now it's just a technical term not necessarily always meaning (only?) that.

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Definiteness through bridging relations, situational context etc would indicate that previous discourse mention or even activation need not be present for something to be definite. Russell's theory of uniqueness of entity has come under a fair bit of flack by relevance theorists. Powell is an interesting read on this. Happy to modify my views though if you have more thoughts?
There are (at least) two types of definiteness that interact, and can't necessarily be substituted or explained by the other.
1. Established in context (literally "defined"): "I bought a boat. ... then the boat sank."
2. Specificity/uniqueness: "the book on the table", suggesting either there is only one, or it is the obvious one.
The first may sometimes have a sort of anaphoric ('referring back', as in pronouns) sense.

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[Switch-Reference]
Urmmmmm, I am well and truly out of my depth here, but will look this up.
The term "Switch-Reference" is used to refer to when there is a change in subject from one clause to the same, in contrast to maintaining the same subject:
1. He arrived home. He watched a movie. SAME SUBJECT
2. He arrived home. She watched a movie. DIFFERENT SUBJECT

Different languages have different ways of expressing this.

In some languages, there are different endings on the verbs indicating whether the subject of a following clause is the same or different:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switch-reference


But that's getting away from the main point I wanted to make:

In languages where subjects are optional (these are called "pro-drop languages" by linguists, sort of an odd term, meaning "pronoun-dropping"), then:
1. When many verbs have the same subject, it is normal to omit repeated pronouns.
2. When pronouns are used, very often they refer to new (different) subjects.
So this means that in general, the use of pronouns is associated with change of reference in the discourse.

Note that this is a somewhat similar situation to what you describe for Greek, but exactly the opposite tendency: pronouns tend to disappear in repeated usage, while you find repeated usage of "ho" when the same referent is mentioned repeatedly.

For the relevant sense related to the use of pronouns, see this reference:
Cameron, Richard. 1995. The scope and limits of switch reference as a constraint on pronominal subject expression. Hispanic LinguisLcs 6/7. 1–27.
And look up various papers citing that one (it's probably the most cited article, though there are many more if you want to read them).

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Good luck with your research. The proposal sounds interesting, especially investigating those ideas experimentally.

The potential weakness in the argument regarding Relevance Theory, and not necessarily specific to your work, is that it seems equally plausible to come up with the opposite hypothesis for similar reasons also motivated by relevance. This is why I referred to omission of pronouns in same subject contexts above.

Roughly, if the speaker and hearer already know about the subject, then why would we need to reinforce it?

You say the repeated usage somehow highlights its salience, and I can see that. But wouldn't this mean that you could get a contrast between repeated use of salient subjects, versus repeated use of unimportant subjects? Or, if not that, then try to find a way to distinguish these hypotheses.

The experimental results may be helpful in this, depending on how you design the experiment!
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Morphosyntax / What is “Classifying nouns to groups to subject”?
« Last post by giselberga on June 13, 2018, 06:27:30 AM »

Icelandic gender nouns Classify nouns to groups to subject
What is “Classifying nouns to groups to subject”?
I don’t understand it
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Morphosyntax / Minimalist Syntax - Clausal Subjects
« Last post by Morphosyntax on June 13, 2018, 05:53:19 AM »
What is the analysis of sentences with clausal subjects in the MP with regard to movement of a clausal subject to SpecTP (if that’s even where clausal subjects go)?

It is obvious that he is a guy - That he is a guy is obvious
It kills me to see you go - To see you go kills me

Is the clause attracted by an EPP feature on T? I’m not sure about this because, for all I know, an EPP feature only targets DPs. The simplest solution would be to say that clauses have an EPP feature as well. Then again, there are people who say that clausal subjects move to CP.

I’d say the clause moves to SpecTP because if it moved to CP, the expletive would still be the subject. That’s because the clause wouldn’t land in the intermediate TP (constituting an ungrammatical mixed A-A’ chain), so the EPP feature on T would still remain unchecked, enabling the merge of an expletive due to the absence of an actual subject.

Does anyone know of any MP/late P&P literature on clausal subjects.
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Linguist's Lounge / Re: Introduction Thread
« Last post by PetitTom on June 13, 2018, 05:29:14 AM »
Greetings! My name is Tom, happy to join this community. I am not graduaded specialist in linguistics, but linguistics represents my favorite hobby. Interested in Romance languages, I am currently learning French, Spanish and Franco-Provençal dialects. Do I want to link my professional activities with linguistics? Maybe, I am not sure at this moment.

But I can say with confidence that I am big lover of languages. I learned French in university for 4 years and also I finished Coursera french online course (level B1). Now I would like to improve my knowledge to B2. 

Thanks for attention and have a nice day!
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Historical Linguistics / Why was norn language extinct?
« Last post by giselberga on June 13, 2018, 04:50:12 AM »
Norn Language was like a old Norse and extinct
Why was norn language extinct?
And Many minor language in UK was extinct?
(Ex: Manx language, Cornish language etc)
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