LINGUIST List 2.548

Mon 23 Sep 1991

Disc: Chomskyite

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Directory

  1. Geoffrey Russom, Re: 2.541 Chomskyite
  2. Vicki Fromkin, Re: 2.541 Chomskyite
  3. "Michael Kac", Re: 2.541 Chomskyite

Message 1: Re: 2.541 Chomskyite

Date: Sat, 21 Sep 91 14:41:18 EDT
From: Geoffrey Russom <EL403015brownvm.brown.edu>
Subject: Re: 2.541 Chomskyite
Could it be that the pejorative connotations of "-ist" for some people
have to do with its relation to "-ism"? In circles where "theory"
is viewed with suspicion (just the facts, ma'am), founders or adherents
of theories showing a tendency to spread would naturally be viewed with
alarm.
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Message 2: Re: 2.541 Chomskyite

Date: Sat, 21 Sep 91 18:44 PDT
From: Vicki Fromkin <IYO1VAFMVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU>
Subject: Re: 2.541 Chomskyite
Only the anti-Lovestoneites called them Lovestoneites. VAF
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Message 3: Re: 2.541 Chomskyite

Date: Sat, 21 Sep 91 18:47:52 -0500
From: "Michael Kac" <kaccs.umn.edu>
Subject: Re: 2.541 Chomskyite
The interesting comments of the numerous net subscribers who have sought to
both analyze and bring additional data to bear on the -an/-ite distinction
prompt the following codicil to my original query on the subject.
First: In cases where *-ite*, as in *Paiseleyite*, is the ONLY suffix in
use to mean 'follower of', perhaps it is reasonable to not expect pejorative
content. So maybe the issue should be down to whether, when there is a contrast
of suffixes one of which is *-ite*, *-ite* is or tends to be pejorative.
Second: It may be that to use *-ite* in a nonpolitical context (e.g. in
characterizing linguists as accepting the views of a well known member of
their profession) carries with it for that very reason a pejorative conno-
tation, suggesting that for any X, an X-ite is a follower for ideological
or political reasons, not intellectual ones.
Comments welcome, of course.
Michael Kac
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