LINGUIST List 3.517

Mon 22 Jun 1992

Disc: That good of; Completives; Voice Projection

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Directory

  1. "Barbara.Abbott", 3.493 "that good of"
  2. "Bruce E. Nevin", that good of--3.479
  3. , RE: 3.498 Queries: Bib. Software, Reality, Etc.
  4. "Bruce E. Nevin", dribble off--3.498
  5. "Bruce E. Nevin", voice projection

Message 1: 3.493 "that good of"

Date: Mon, 15 Jun 92 16:03 EDT
From: "Barbara.Abbott" <ABBOTTmsu.edu>
Subject: 3.493 "that good of"

I agree with Eric Schiller's comment that the "that" in "that good of"
is a degree word, but not that the "of" is functioning as a determiner,
or that it's promoted to that use by sounding like "a". The problem
with saying that is the more common construction "that good of a/an X"
which presumably "that good of advertising" (the example my brother
gave me) represents an extension of. The construction also doesn't
seem to me like hypercorrection. One possibility is that the "of" comes
from a superficial misanalysis of "that good a/an X" as an adjective
taking an NP as complement. (So maybe that's a kind of correction,
and a mistaken one, but not a hyper one.)
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Message 2: that good of--3.479

Date: Thu, 18 Jun 92 09:58:23 EDthat good of--3.479
From: "Bruce E. Nevin" <bnevinccb.bbn.com>
Subject: that good of--3.479

Barbara Abbott wondered about expressions like "they don't have
that good of advertising." This looks to me like a generalization of
a kind of partitive genitive that has been around in English
dialects for a long time.

	He's not that good of a pitcher.

There seems to be some awkwardness about an adjective separated from the
following noun by an intervening indefinite article (e.g. in "He's not
that good a pitcher"). An adjective before a prepositional phrase seems
more digestible. I suspect the construction may have its roots in a
real partitive genitive, back in the mists of time. My impression is
that the usage spread from mid-Atlantic US "hillbilly" dialects which
are known to have preserved archaisms.

The generalization is in allowing it in phrases without the indefinite
article "a", I suspect only with nouns used in a mass or aggregate
sense, like "advertising" in the example you gave, Barbara. But I may
be wrong, and this may be dialectal spread of archaic partitive genitive
in such cases as well.

	Bruce Nevin
	bnbbn.com
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Message 3: RE: 3.498 Queries: Bib. Software, Reality, Etc.

Date: Wed, 17 Jun 92 11:36 GMT RE: 3.498 Queries: Bib. Software, Reality, Etc.
From: <HILTONMmole.pcl.ac.uk>
Subject: RE: 3.498 Queries: Bib. Software, Reality, Etc.

RE Dennis Baron's completive/dribble off. I have no written examples, but a
very clear impression of a British English

	dah di dah di dah dah dah

as a fossilised form with perhaps similar functions - origin unkown though!
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Message 4: dribble off--3.498

Date: Thu, 18 Jun 92 09:51:35 EDdribble off--3.498
From: "Bruce E. Nevin" <bnevinccb.bbn.com>
Subject: dribble off--3.498

Dennis Baron wondered about the origin of "didah didah didah didah didah"
for "etc." (Five of them is canonical in my experience.) I always
suspected it was a lexification of "dot dot dot" quoting ellipsis marks.

	Bruce Nevin
	bnbbn.com
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Message 5: voice projection

Date: Thu, 18 Jun 92 13:15:42 EDvoice projection
From: "Bruce E. Nevin" <bnevinccb.bbn.com>
Subject: voice projection

Laurie Bauer (3.440) asked about the meaning of instructions for voice
projection.

>He said . . . 'The main problem is that they speak down here
>[indicating the ventral pharyngeal wall] rather than in the front of their
>mouths'. . . . Can
>anyone interpret this expression? More generally, is there any source which
>interprets in phonetic terms the weird but apparently effective instructions of
>speech and singing teachers, such as 'sing with your forehead'?

All of this refers to a perceived focus of resonance. I think Liberman
and Blumstein talk about it a bit in their book on linguistic phonetics,
but don't have my copy handy to check. Sorry, I don't know any studies
of the articulatory correlates of different vocal qualities. A
"covered" tone or "chest" tone seems to have higher frequencies damped,
and so is less "penetrating". A "covered" tone seems to me to be
produced by expansion of the pharynx ("yawning"). A "head" tone seems
to be a resonance through the sinus cavities that may be helped or
initiated by something like pharyngealization. (It feels something like
nasalization, but visual inspection in a mirror suggests not.)
Differences of vowel quality may be involved. It seems to me that
serious studies of vocal differences would be very useful, and there may
indeed be some in the pages of JASA. (I remember seeing a JASA paper on
how Tibetan monks do their famous "two-voice" chanting.) I too would
like to know more about this.f

	Bruce Nevin
	bnbbn.com
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