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Subject: Linguistic text analysis
Question: Hello, I am doing linguistic analysis of advertisements and have a question related to terminology. The sentence in the ad is, ''When was the last time wine won Best Beer in the World? Nineteen ninety never, that's when''. I am particularly interested in determining what the phrase ''nineteen ninety never'' is in linguistic terms. I know in slang it means that it never happened, but is there a particular linguistic term for this type of expression? Could anyone help?
Reply: The closest I could come to a term for it is "syntactic blend." "Nineteen ninety never" is a blend of a number phrase, a type of noun phrase, and a time adverb, "never." The classical term is anacoluthon, which translates literally into Latin as "non sequitur." The standard examples tend to involve interrupting a sentence with another thought, as in “you really ought—well, do it your own way.” The example comes from the Merriam-Webster on line entry for anacoluthon. Your example phrasal rather than sentential, but the term could probably be stretched that far.
Reply From: Herbert Frederic Stahlke      click here to access email
Date: 10-Dec-2013
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Linguistic text analysis    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (10-Dec-2013)

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