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LINGUIST List 17.832

Fri Mar 17 2006

Qs: Semantic Shift Name;Syntactic Analysis of Sentence

Editor for this issue: James Rider <riderlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Will Fitzgerald, Name for a Kind of Semantic Shift (dial, key)
        2.    Eduard C. Hanganu, Syntactic Analysis of Sentence

Message 1: Name for a Kind of Semantic Shift (dial, key)
Date: 17-Mar-2006
From: Will Fitzgerald <will.fitzgeraldpobox.com>
Subject: Name for a Kind of Semantic Shift (dial, key)

Words like 'to dial' and 'key' and 'album' take on a shifted meaning as the
underlying technology changes. Wordnet, for example, still defines 'to
dial' as something like 'to enter a telephone number using a dial.' Of
course, most dialing now occurs via push-buttons. Similarly, keys are now
often made of a plastic card (or are completely virtual), and an 'album'
can be a CD.

Is there a term of art for this kind of semantic shift? I've reviewed web
sites on lexicographic change, which recapitulate what I recall from an old
semantics course.

Will Fitzgerald

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics

Message 2: Syntactic Analysis of Sentence
Date: 17-Mar-2006
From: Eduard C. Hanganu <ehanganuevansville.net>
Subject: Syntactic Analysis of Sentence

Hello to all!

I have been working on this syntactic problem for about a week now, for the
purpose of understanding fronting or adpositioning, but I do not think I
have the knowledge or the information sources necessary to solve it.

I have trouble doing the syntactic analysis of the sentence:

“Running from the back of his skull down to the front is
a patch of white hair that opens up into his lip''

It appears from the beginning that the sentence does not follow the
standard SVO structure of the English language. An SVO reordering of the
words would therefore be:

''A patch of white hair that opens up into his lip is running from the back
of his skull down to the front''

In the reordering the subject seems clear, ''a patch of white hair''. But
is the relative clause ''that opens up into his lip'' part of the subject,
or not?

The initial structure seems to be structured in a marked word order with an
adpositional (prepositional) phrase:

''Running from the back of his skull down to the front''

But is the adpositional phrase a participial phrase, or the verb in the
sentence is in the Present Progressive Tense?

How would a tree structure of the sentence look? Should it contain a double
tree indicating the movement between the surface structure and deep structure?

Could someone help, please?


Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

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