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LINGUIST List 17.758

Mon Mar 13 2006

Qs: A Little Bit of Irony; Vowel and Nasal Harmony

Editor for this issue: Jessica Boynton <jessicalinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Lieselotte Brems, A Little Bit of Irony
        2.    Shakuntala Mahanta, Vowel and Nasal Harmony

Message 1: A Little Bit of Irony
Date: 13-Mar-2006
From: Lieselotte Brems <Lieselotte.Bremsarts.kuleuven.ac.be>
Subject: A Little Bit of Irony

Hello Linguist list readers,

A study on expressions like "a bit of" has led me to uses where the downtoning
quantifier semantics of "bit" ('only a small quantity of') have in fact reversed
into the more or less emphatic meaning of 'rather a lot', as in examples such as
"She is a bit of an old bag" in contexts where the speaker actually means that
she is a really old bag. Both face work and irony seem to be at play here, but I
cannot really get my head around the systematic strategies behind it.

I was wondering if there are some general formulations of such reversal
strategies for ironic purposes available and known to fellow linguist list
readers. Since this is a somewhat of a side road in my study, I am not really au
fait with such literature.

Any comments or references are much appreciated.

Kind regards,
Lot Brems

K.U. Leuven
Departement Linguïstiek
Assistent Engelse Taalkunde
Blijde-Inkomststraat 21
B-3000 Leuven
e-mail: Lieselotte.Bremsarts.kuleuven.ac.be

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics
Message 2: Vowel and Nasal Harmony
Date: 11-Mar-2006
From: Shakuntala Mahanta <shakuntala.mahantalet.uu.nl>
Subject: Vowel and Nasal Harmony

Dear linguists,

I am working on Vowel Harmony and I would be delighted to get some
information regarding this question:

Does anyone know of any language where nasals or nasal harmony
impede/intervene or in any way interact with the process of vowel harmony?

I hope you will respond if you are aware of any work which discusses the
interaction of the two phenomena.

I will definitely post a summary of all the responses.


Linguistic Field(s): Phonology

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