LINGUIST List 2.401

Sunday, 11 August 1991

Disc: Gender, Reflexives, Military spending

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Directory

  1. Barbara Johnstone, Pronouns and gender
  2. , Re: Latin Reflexives
  3. Mark Seidenberg, Ironies of Military Funding

Message 1: Pronouns and gender

Date: Fri, 09 Aug 91 17:20:57 CDT
From: Barbara Johnstone <H560BJ%TAMVM1RICEVM1.RICE.EDU>
Subject: Pronouns and gender
There's no question that "he" is marked for maleness: "He invited
me to dinner" refers to a man, not to a woman. This fact about the
meaning of "he" carries over into supposedly generic uses. There is
lots of evidence for this. The first discussion of this, and still
one of the most compelling, is Robin Lakoff, 1975, Language and Women's
Place (Harper and Row).
On another use of a gender-marked pronoun which people sometimes think
is so idiomatic as to be meaningless: A recent New Yorker cartoon has
a car salesman showing a sporty model to a women. He says, "You'll
love how he handles."
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Message 2: Re: Latin Reflexives

Date: Sun, 11 Aug 91 11:59:05 EDT
From: <PesetskATHENA.MIT.EDU>
Subject: Re: Latin Reflexives
In reply to A_DENCHfennel.cc.uwa.oz.au's interesting Latin example:
Ariovistus ad Caesarem legatos mittit uti ex
suis (=Caesaris) aliquem ad se (=Ariovistum)
mitteret
"Ariovistus sent ambassadors to Caesar to ask that Caesar
should send some one of his (Caesar's) men to him
(Ariovitstus)."
as far as I can tell 'suis' poses no problems as long as the subject of
'mitteret' is the antecedent of 'suis', i.e. pro bound by 'Caesar'. It
is locally bound by the subject of its clause. 'Se' is apparently
functioning as a long-distance reflexive bound by the subject of the
higher clause, 'Ariovistus'. As Dench notes, Long Distance anaphora of
this sort does not fall under Principle A of LGB's Binding Theory, but
it has been a subject of intensive investigation. Among the many
interesting places to look, I'd include Lars Hellan's book 'Anaphora in
Norwegian and the Theory of Grammar' (Foris) and recent joint work by
Eric Reuland Tanya Reinhart, which may by now have come out in a volume
on LD anaphora edited by Reuland and Koster.
-David Pesetsky
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Message 3: Ironies of Military Funding

Date: Fri, 9 Aug 91 11:06:27 PDT
From: Mark Seidenberg <marks%neuro.usc.edu%usc.eduRICEVM1.RICE.EDU>
Subject: Ironies of Military Funding
I think it should be pointed out that the packet-switching technology that
makes e-mail possible was developed as part of a DARPA project in the 60s.
That makes this list an unintended application of military-funded research,
no?
Mark Seidenberg
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