LINGUIST List 10.1105

Sun Jul 18 1999

Qs: Referential/Expressive, Introductory Text

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

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  1. George Elgin, Suzette Haden Elgin, Referential/Expressive
  2. Christopher Miller, Introductory text

Message 1: Referential/Expressive

Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 15:17:05 -0600
From: George Elgin, Suzette Haden Elgin <>
Subject: Referential/Expressive

July 14, 1999

Dear Linguistpersons,

I'd be grateful for your help with the following pair:

Q: "How could you do that?"
A: "Well, I guess I could start by putting them all in alphabetical order."

Q: "HOW could you DO that??"
A: "Well, if I hadn't done it she wouldn't have *gone* to Bermuda with me!"

I haven't been able to find any information about work done with pairs like
these; if you could direct me to a source, I'd be grateful. I'd also like
to know how, precisely, you would explain the meaning difference regarding
this pair to beginning students. (The more beginning the better, since what
I have to do is explain it do nonlinguists.) Explanations such as "There
are things that Providence doesn't intend for us to know" won't speak to my

If anything useful comes of this query, I'll post a summary.

Suzette Haden Elgin

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Message 2: Introductory text

Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 17:08:15 -0400
From: Christopher Miller <>
Subject: Introductory text

I'm wondering, given the relative maturity of
cognitive/functional/non-autonomist approaches to grammar and the by now
large body of literature in the field, whether any introductory overviews
have yet been published?

Christopher Miller
Groupe de recherche sur la LSQ et le francais sourd
(Research group on Quebec Sign Language and Deaf French)
Universite du Quebec a Montreal
C.P. 8888, Succ. Centre-Ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3P8
+1 514 987-3000 extension 2787 (voice)
+1 514 987-4079 (TTY)
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