LINGUIST List 3.554

Tue 07 Jul 1992

Qs: Portugal, SSC, Sexist Language

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , Re: PORTUGAL
  2. , A question about the SSC
  3. , sexist langauge & the word *dog*

Message 1: Re: PORTUGAL

Date: Tue, 07 Jul 92 12:20:24 BSRe: PORTUGAL
From: <>
Subject: Re: PORTUGAL

Excuse me but ...
does anyone out there have experience of working in higher education
in Portugal - if so please get in touch. I need to talk to you!!
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Message 2: A question about the SSC

Date: Tue, 7 Jul 92 09:54:40 -04A question about the SSC
From: <>
Subject: A question about the SSC

I'm stumped by the presence of a dash in the definition
of the SSC, and I haven't met a linguist who can tell me
what it means. I'm sure there's someone out there who can
answer this question--

When Chomsky gives the Specified Subject Condition (p. 90,
Essays on Form and Interpretation) it looks like this:

No rule can involve X, Y in the structure

...X...[ . . . Z . . .-WYV. . .]...

where Z is the specified subject of WYV in alpha.

What is that dash for? It's not mentioned. Newmeyer, in his
book on the history of modern linguistics, copies
the constraint exactly, but also doesn't mention the dash.
If it's simply there to seperate the constituents, why isn't
there a dash between the W, Y and V?

 Janet Hitzeman
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Message 3: sexist langauge & the word *dog*

Date: 07 Jul 1992 07:07:13 -0600sexist langauge & the word *dog*
Subject: sexist langauge & the word *dog*

 I'm trying to collect some data speaking to the claim of a
Chevrolet dealer that a billboard they've erected is not sexist but
speaks of both men and women.

 In Salt Lake City is a billboard depicting a corvette. The
slogan reads, ''If your date's a dog, get a vet.''

 Now, aside from the associations of animals and
veterinarians, I can't think of an instance where 'dog' with the
meaning 'unattractive person' is used of a man, and if so, then
the meaning here is more properly rendered, 'unattractive

 I recently heard two 'jokes' demeaning women in which
'dog' is used in this fashion.

 1) Q. What's the difference between a dog and a fox?
 A. A sixpack (of beer).

 2) Q. What's a dog with wings called?
 A. Linda McCartney.

 If it turns out that indeed 'dog', as unattractive person, is
exclusively used as an insult to women, I want to present this
car-dealership with a huge list of examples to defeat his claim of

gender-equity and show his billboard to be woman-demeaning
message I think it is.

 So, anybody who knows a joke, saying, etc, in which 'dog'
refers to an unattractive human, please send it to me.


Rebecca S. Wheeler
Logan, Utah
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