LINGUIST List 3.991

Wed 16 Dec 1992

Qs: Romanian, Inversion, Bells

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Martin Haase, Romanian Infinitive
  2. CALIX, Queries
  3. DEBRA HALPERIN BIASCA, Query: "bells on"

Message 1: Romanian Infinitive

Date: Wed, 16 Dec 92 11:37:24 MEZ
From: Martin Haase <MHAASEdosuni1.rz.Uni-Osnabrueck.DE>
Subject: Romanian Infinitive
I'm currently working on a paper on infinitives in Romance languages.
Romanian presents an interesting case, as it has infinitives as well as
the Balkan "finite infinitive construction". I would like to know more
about it. So if you have bibliographic data, language data, and/or an
opinion about my example sentences, please let me know. I'll send a
summary to the list.
Examples (partly from grammar/text books, from the literature, and
my own):
1. Are all of the following sentences correct?
2. If two alternatives are given, is there a semantic/pragmatic/stylistic
difference between them?
3. If only one construction is given, is there an alternative one?
(1) Nu ma> pot ret,ine...
(2) Se cuvine a merge eu la milit,ie sa> o i5ns,tiint,ez
(3a) Vreau sa> ma> prega>tesc.
(3b) Trebuie sa> ma> prega>tesc.
(3c) Pot sa> ma> prega>tesc.
(4) (i) Pot,i pleca.
 (ii) Pot,i sa> pleci.
(5) S,tit,i toarce.
(6) Nu avem unde parca.
(7) I5ncercarea sa sa>-s,i recupereze ra>mi5nerea i5n urma> s-a soldat
cu un succes.
(8) I5ncercarea sa de a-s,i recupera ra>mi5nerea i5n urma>...
(9) El a poruncit ca palatul sa> fie reconstruit ci5t mai curi5nd.
(10) (i) ...porunci la vro doi ostas,i de-l scoase d-acolo.
 (ii)...porunci la vro doi ostas,i sa>-l scoata> d-acolo.
(11) El dores,te sa> vorbeasca> cu reponsabilul restaurantului.
Martin Haase mhaasedosuni1.bitnet
Universitaet Osnabrueck FB 7
Postfach 4469 Phone: (+ 49 541) 969-4340
D-W-4500 Osnabrueck FAX: (+ 49 541) 969-4256
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Message 2: Queries

Date: 16 Dec 1992 19:03:31 +1000
From: CALIX <>
Subject: Queries
Two queries:
An example of verb/subject inversion in English, which I had not
consciously been aware of, was pointed out to me recently:
Only when X is not Y, can X be ........
Except when X is Y, is X.......
Are there any other examples of inversion in English other than in
yes/no and wh questions?
The following sentence from a term paper by a Native Speaker of
English set me thinking about its acceptability, productivity in
modern English, how to describe the syntax of infinitives, and what
constrains its occurence:
"Parents will have to crystal ball gaze for their children."
to Verb preposition object -> to object Verb ?????
WHY not "to man kill" if "mankiller" ?
Why is the example more acceptable to me than infinitives spilt
with adverbs?
Lloyd Holliday School of Education, La Trobe University
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Message 3: Query: "bells on"

Date: Tue, 15 Dec 92 12:58:31 MST
From: DEBRA HALPERIN BIASCA <biascaucsu.Colorado.EDU>
Subject: Query: "bells on"
The expression "I'll be there, with bells on" means, to me, that I'll be
there, eagerly awaiting what I expect to be a positive experience, or
something to that effect.
Does anyone know the etymology, folk or otherwise, of this expression?
Reply to me directly,, please.
Debra Halperin Biasca
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