LINGUIST List 3.93

Fri 31 Jan 1992

Disc: Is, is

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  1. ginny gathercole, Re: 3.18 Is, is
  2. Alex Monaghan, Re: is, is - overcorrection

Message 1: Re: 3.18 Is, is

Date: Fri, 10 Jan 92 12:15:51 MST
From: ginny gathercole <ATVCGASUACAD.bitnet>
Subject: Re: 3.18 Is, is
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Re: *is is* constructions: I have been collecting such utterances for over
two years now, and the data I have collected so far suggest that this
construction is not a simple result of the deletion of a *wh-* word (e.g.,
going from "What the problem is is that ..." to "The problem is is that..."),
as several people on the Linguist network have suggested.
I have several utterances in which people have used the appropriate *wh-*
word along with three verbal elements. Unfortunately, I don't have the data
with me here, but the structures go something like "What he can do is is put
the car in the garage."
Re: a change in tense: Most utterances do involve *is is*, although I have
a few utterances involving *was is* and *will be is*--the second element
is always *is*.
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Message 2: Re: is, is - overcorrection

Date: Tue, 28 Jan 92 11:27:12 GMT
From: Alex Monaghan <>
Subject: Re: is, is - overcorrection
just to point out an instance of overcorrection to avoid "is, is" which
richard sproat's contribution to 3.82 (nothing personal - it could have been
me instead!) contained the sentence:
> What the best avenue for pointing this out is, however, unclear.
i'm sure we can all have some fun analysing this one - the boring old
slip-of-the-keyboard explanation,* my personal favourite for the "is, is"
stuff, is not nearly convoluted enough for most of you, i'm sure!
* this explanation assumes, of course, that syntactic constraints above
the phrase (or perhaps the clause) simply do not exist, leading to
confusion at the bounfdaries of certain constructions.
	alex monaghan.
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