LINGUIST List 4.292

Wed 21 Apr 1993

Disc: Rude Negation

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Directory

  1. Mark H Aronoff, expletive infixation
  2. , rude neg: chinese
  3. , rude neg: chinese
  4. , Idiolectal variation in Rude Negation

Message 1: expletive infixation

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1993 15:42:32 expletive infixation
From: Mark H Aronoff <MARONOFFccmail.sunysb.edu>
Subject: expletive infixation


In response to the query about expletive infixation in English, I invite
everyone to read John McCarthy's absolutely lovely piece on this topic in
Language 58: 574-590 (1982). It should answer most questions and save a lot of
electrons to boot.
M. Arofuckinnoff
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Message 2: rude neg: chinese

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 93 16:06 EDT
From: <DSW3PSUVM.PSU.EDU>
Subject: rude neg: chinese

In case anyone is interested in in more on "rude" negation in languages
other than English, as far as I can tell, the following is another instance
of "post-clausal" rude negation in Mandarin:
 A: Ni yinggai lai.
 you should come

 B: Wo yingai lai, jian nide da tou gui.
 I should come, see your big-headed ghost.

As far as I can tell, B's rude negator means "I shouldn't come" or
"I could care less whether you think I should come."
Maybe some native speakers could tell us whether it's a frozen expression
or the possessor can vary (his/her/their big-headed ghost etc.) and what the
regional distribution is.I'm familiar with it from Taiwan.
Is this the only rude negator mentioned so far that is itself a clause?

David Wible
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Message 3: rude neg: chinese

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 93 16:06 EDT
From: <DSW3PSUVM.PSU.EDU>
Subject: rude neg: chinese

In case anyone is interested in in more on "rude" negation in languages
other than English, as far as I can tell, the following is another instance
of "post-clausal" rude negation in Mandarin:
 A: Ni yinggai lai.
 you should come

 B: Wo yingai lai, jian nide da tou gui.
 I should come, see your big-headed ghost.

As far as I can tell, B's rude negator means "I shouldn't come" or
"I could care less whether you think I should come."
Maybe some native speakers could tell us whether it's a frozen expression
or the possessor can vary (his/her/their big-headed ghost etc.) and what the
regional distribution is.I'm familiar with it from Taiwan.
Is this the only rude negator mentioned so far that is itself a clause?

David Wible
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Message 4: Idiolectal variation in Rude Negation

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1993 22:34:54 Idiolectal variation in Rude Negation
From: <fcoswsux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: Idiolectal variation in Rude Negation

Sheri Wells remarks (4.290),

>It seems to me to be true that negators which precede the material they negate
>can only be followed by very short sentences as in:
>
>(A) Like hell it was.
>
>but cannot be followed by longer material:
>
>(B) *Like hell it was a great idea.
>
>On the other hand, the same sentence is okay if the rude negator follows:
>
>(C) It was a great idea my ass.
>
>I TEND to have 'like hell etc.' at the beginnings and 'my various-body-parts'
>at the ends of sentences, (almost but not quite in complementary distribution)
>so I can't tell if it's the positional variation or the specific negator
>chosen that makes the difference.

I wish to note that there may be some idiolectal complications here. While
i agree that 'like hell' tends to precede and 'my X' (where X = {ass, eye,
foot}) tends to follow the expression it 'modifies', for me all three
sentences A-C are OK. In fact, i tend to prefer B to C; for me, 'my X'
(where X = {ass, eye, foot}) is more likely to 'modify' an NP, as in D:

(D) Great idea my ass!

while i prefer 'like hell!' as a modifier of a whole proposition (either
'left-adjoined' to a whole sentence as in (B) or to a 'pro-sentence' as in
(A) or by itself in dialogue as in (E)).

(E) Speaker 1: In that case, you will have to bail out immediately.
 Speaker 2: Like hell!

For whatever any of these remarks is/are worth ...
------
Dr. Steven Schaufele c/o Department of Linguistics
712 West Washington Ave. University of Illinois
Urbana, IL 61801 4088 Foreign Languages Building
 707 South Mathews Street
217-344-8240 Urbana, IL 61801
fcoswsux1.cso.uiuc.edu
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