LINGUIST List 14.438

Thu Feb 13 2003

Qs: Weak Crossover Effect, Similes

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Directory

  1. Toru Ishii, Weak Crossover
  2. Joseph T. Farquharson, Linguistic Research on Similes

Message 1: Weak Crossover

Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2003 02:36:43 +0000
From: Toru Ishii <tishiikisc.meiji.ac.jp>
Subject: Weak Crossover

Dear Linguists,

The following examples show the typical Weak Crossover (WCO) Effects,
where the pronoun ''his'' cannot be interpreted as a variable bound by
''who(m)''

(1) a.*?Who(m) do you think that his teacher scolded [t] in 
 yesterday's geology class? (who(m)=his)
 b.*?Who(m) does his teacher think that Mary scolded [t] 
 in yesterday's geology class? (who(m)=his)

But, Mahajan (1992) observes the following contrast in acceptability
regarding the WCO effects with Topicalization. In (2b), where the
pronoun ''his'' is in the matrix clause, the WCO effects emerge. In
(2a), where ''his'' is in the embedded clause, the WCO effects are
canceled:

(2) a. John, I think that his mother likes [t]. (John=his)
 b.???John, his mother thinks that Mary likes [t]. 
 (John=his)

Then, I'd like to know whether the same contrast can be observed with
movement of a wh-phrase of ''which-N'' type (so called ''D-linked''
wh-phrases). Like in (2), is there any contrast whatsoever in
acceptability between (3a) and (3b) under the reading ''which
student'' = ''his''?:

(3) (Among the students in this classroom:)
 a. Which student do you think that his teacher scolded 
 [t] in yesterday's geology class? 
 (which student=his)
 b. Which student does his teacher think that Mary 
 scolded [t] in yesterday's geology class?
 (which student=his)

If you find a contrast in (3), can you see the same contrast in (4),
where the moved wh-phrase ''which student'' is not the object of a
verb, but the object of a preposition. Is there any contrast in
acceptability between (4a) and (4b) under the reading ''which
student''=''his''?:

(4) (Among the students in this classroom:)
 a. Which student do you think that his teacher will 
 present a special prize to [t] this semester? 
 (which student=his)
 b. Which student does his classmate think that the 
 teacher will give a special prize to [t] this 
 semester? (which student=his)

I'll post a summary if I have enough response. Thanks.

Toru Ishii
Meiji University, Tokyo, JAPAN 

Subject-Language: English; Code: ENG 
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Message 2: Linguistic Research on Similes

Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2003 19:30:26 +0000
From: Joseph T. Farquharson <jtfarquharsonyahoo.com>
Subject: Linguistic Research on Similes

I am aware of numerous studies on metaphors especially within the
sub-field called Philosophy of Language(e.g. Lycan [1999]; Moran
[2000]) plus the works of Goodman, Davidson, Searle and
Black. However, I am trying to locate linguistic studies on similes of
these exist. The only time I have seen similes treated is in relation
to metaphors. Does anyone know of any research which deals focuses on
similes.

I would be most grateful for the assistance. 
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