LINGUIST List 2.552

Mon 23 Sep 1991

Misc: macs, needs, being, roles

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Michael Newman, Re: 2.546 Queries
  2. , It needs washed
  3. Phil Bralich, Imperatives and the progressive tense
  4. Monica Macaulay, Re: 2.546 Queries
  5. Michael Newman, Re: 2.546 Queries
  6. , Re: 2.543 Responses

Message 1: Re: 2.546 Queries

Date: Sun, 22 Sep 91 22:05:24 EDT
From: Michael Newman <MNEHCCUNYVM.CUNY.EDU>
Subject: Re: 2.546 Queries
In response to Gabriel Decio's request for bibliography on thematic roles in
Spanish, I don't have anything on Spanish, but is Catalan of any use? The cit-
ation is
Gracia, Lluisa (1990)
Teoria Tematica
Publicacions de la Universitat Autonoma
This is a dissertation written in Catalan, but that shouldn't be a problem if
you can handle French, Spanish and Italian. If you want it you should probably
write the author at the University; I don't have an E-mail address for her.
The address is
Department de filologia catalana, Facultat de lletres
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Bellaterra 08193 (Barcelona) Spain
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Message 2: It needs washed

Date: Sat, 21 Sep 91 20:17:47 CST
Subject: It needs washed
In a recent posting Joe Stemberger writes that he has a standard Central
Pennsylvanian dialect which includes:
 It needs washed.
 (The lawn needs mowed. The baby needs changed. etc.)
Sedley in Anatomy of English also says this is accepted in Central Penn-
sylvania. I find it distinctly odd and would say: it needs to be washed.
How widespread is this construction? I grew up in central Illinois (Peoria)
and was surprised to find that my sister, brother and sister-in-law find it
perfectly acceptable. Likewise, most of my students in central Missouri find
it acceptable.
Bob Yates
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Message 3: Imperatives and the progressive tense

Date: Sat, 21 Sep 91 16:20:12 -1000
From: Phil Bralich <bralichuhccux.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu>
Subject: Imperatives and the progressive tense
I would like to reply to Bruce Nevins comment to in linguist 2.547 about
an earlier comment I had made. He states:
>Phil Bralich <bralichuhccux.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu> writes in 2.534:
>Specifically, Susan Ervin-Tripp was wondering what would explain the lack
>of -ing in some examples of Harris. Two of the examples are repeated in (1).
>	 (1) Don't be the mommy. I am not being the mommy.
>	 Don't be horrid. I am not being horrid.
>In examples like this the lack of the word being is explained quite naturally
>by the use of the English tenses. An imperative cannot make a command with
>a progressive form of the verb simply because the progressive refers to
>actions in progress while the imperative seeks to initiate an action. Since
>the action the imperative is seeking to initiate is NOT in progress the pro-
>gressive form of the verb is not used. These sentence variations have nothing
>to do with adjectives.
>The following is a common imperative in many dialects of English:
>	Don't be swinging on that bannister!
>The problem is rather with the use of the progressive with an adjective,
>noun, or preposition which, because its sense is more durative relative
>to that of verbs, (a) requires be to carry tense morphology and (b) yes,
>is difficult to construe as progressing as opposed to not.
The example, "Don't be swinging on that bannister," is not an ordinary imper-
ative. It has an emphatic sense that imperatives generally do not. For
example, if you wanted to tell a child not to swing on a bannister you
would use the ordinary, "Don't swing on the bannister." However, if one
were warning a child who had repeatedly swung on the bannister not to be
caught again swinging on the bannister one might say, "Don't be swinging
on that bannister!" This emphatic usage quite naturally requires the
progressive because the sense is something like, "I don't want to see you
swinging on (i.e. action in progress) that bannister." The ordinary use
of the imperative, "Don't swing on that bannister" refers to a situation
where the admonition refers to an action that is not in progress and orders
that the action not be initiated. There is still no reason to appeal to
parts of speech to explain these variations. They are a natural consequence
of the use of English tenses.
The last part of Bruce Nevins posting concerned a digression which is not
a problem for the precedind discussion.
Phil Bralich
University of Hawaii
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Message 4: Re: 2.546 Queries

Date: Sun, 22 Sep 91 17:15:15 -0500
From: Monica Macaulay <>
Subject: Re: 2.546 Queries
Re Leslie Barratt's query: I just (6 months ago) took the plunge
and switched from IBM to Mac. Like you, I had been using an IBM PC
since the early 80's, and was completely unwilling to switch to a
different system (the thought of learning to use a mouse was enough
to discourage me!). But I did it. Why? Because of the phonetic
characters. YES, you can get them on an IBM. But it just seemed
like so much hassle - there are a million different ways to do it,
and it all depends on your software and your printer... not to
mention that as far as I can tell, a lot of these ways to do it
would involve designing your own symbols. My attitude is: I don't
want to spend *any* time learning about computer programs. I just
want to use my computer to do my work. And the symbols are right
THERE on the Mac! (I can't remember the name of the company that
designed them right offhand.)
So I recommend switching. It's really not hard to learn how to use
the Mac. (In my old pro-IBM days I used to sneer "they're computers
for idiots!" - but y'know, that makes them a lot easier to learn
to use!)
In this eternal IBM/Mac debate, I really think the only thing that
linguists need that Macs can do better is symbols. They can both
do all the word-processing things you need to do. But I was just
tired of writing in all those diacritics by hand...
p.s. Mouses are really easy to use. Mice?
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Message 5: Re: 2.546 Queries

Date: Sun, 22 Sep 91 22:19:06 EDT
From: Michael Newman <MNEHCCUNYVM.CUNY.EDU>
Subject: Re: 2.546 Queries
In response to Leslie Barrett's query about the Mac and phonetic script. I have
 Mac and I've been using a shareware phonetic font from Educorp Corporation
developed by Paul Rapoport, International Fonts, 7 Cradock Court, Ancaster Onat
rio L9G 3Z5, Canada. You might be able to get them from him directly. In any
case you would probably be able to get ahold of him faster than I could find
Educorp's number. The font is part of a package which includes a Roman, Greek
and Cyrillic and costs $20 (+$6 for educorp if you get it from them). I have
been able to everything I need with these fonts and I'm making all kinds of
handouts and transarencies for a History of English course. They are advert-
ized as meant for an Imagewriter, but NOTHING looks good on an Imagewriter. I
print them out on a laser and they look fine, tho' a little square. I think
fonts you mentioned are very expensive, more than my department would ever pay.
And I'm happy with these. By the way, Paul, if you see this,I'll send
you the money soon, I swear. Even if you don't see this, I'll send you the $.
 Michael Newman, Hunter College
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Message 6: Re: 2.543 Responses

Date: Sat, 21 Sep 1991 14:42 CST
From: <>
Subject: Re: 2.543 Responses
John Barnden's Mexican queso fondu reminded me of the restaurant in
Salt Lake City called Gino's Chinese Cuisine.
C. Kamprath
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