LINGUIST List 4.45

Fri 29 Jan 1993

Disc: That's

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. Ron Smyth, Re: 4.38 Relatives
  2. "Dennis Baron", greengrocer's apostrophe
  3. Claire Quilty, Re: 4.38 Relatives
  4. John Bro, Re: 4.38 Relatives - that's
  5. Prof. Roly Sussex, Re: 4.38 Relatives, genitive "that", greengrocer's apostrophe

Message 1: Re: 4.38 Relatives

Date: Sat, 23 Jan 93 14:09:24 ESRe: 4.38 Relatives
From: Ron Smyth <smythlake.scar.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Re: 4.38 Relatives

I'm afraid I can't give proper credit for this, but someone once said that
the function of the apostrophe for some writers is simply to signal
that an 's' is coming up!
Ron Smyth
smythlake.scar.utoronto.ca
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Message 2: greengrocer's apostrophe

Date: Mon, 25 Jan 93 10:20:24 CSgreengrocer's apostrophe
From: "Dennis Baron" <debaronuiuc.edu>
Subject: greengrocer's apostrophe

I like the term greengrocer's apostrophe and will use it from now on.
Some months ago (sorry, month's) a sign appeared at the local IGA
(a grocery store chain in the US) next to some items whose freshness
(sell-by) date was up and whose price had been lowered to
encourage quick sales: OUT IT GOE'S.

Dennis
--
debaronuiuc.edu (\ 217-333-2392
 \'\ fax: 217-333-4321
Dennis Baron \'\ ____________
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Message 3: Re: 4.38 Relatives

Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1993 14:40:45 Re: 4.38 Relatives
From: Claire Quilty <joebrownu.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: 4.38 Relatives

 The "greengrocer's apostrophe" may well be an orthographic matter,
as in the familiar confusion over "its" (genitive) and "it's" (contraction)
where the ABSENCE of the apostrophe marks the possessive.

 The notion of a new relative is an idea that's also sometimes a
neo-orthographic convention (!), but the important matter is that all the
terms being confused are acting as specifier of the following clause: thus
in American English "that's" is used in colloquial utterances to mean
"whose", as well as "who is" as in:

 "the boy that's going is my brother."
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Message 4: Re: 4.38 Relatives - that's

Date: Sat, 23 Jan 93 11:09:44 ESRe: 4.38 Relatives - that's
From: John Bro <broelm.circa.ufl.edu>
Subject: Re: 4.38 Relatives - that's

| Subject: 4.21 Queries: Curious "it", Genitive "that"

| jlawlerumich.edu writes Sat, 16 Jan 93 10:47:48 EST:
|
| >"Bottom line is we want them to bring a product to market that's <===
| > time had not yet come," said Ray Farhung, a Southern California{

| > Note the genitive case of the relative marker "that" in the quotation
|
| What you seem to have here is a type of referential relative marker
| complementary to the "whose".

I agree.. "whose" analyzed as "who's", analogizes easily to "that's"
for -Human..

There was a discussion of "that's" on Linguist (or was it sci.lang?)
a year or so ago, I think. At the time I asked my 2 sections of
"Language & People" (60+ mostly South Florida kids) what they thought
of
 "the pencil that's lead is broken.."

and the majority reaction was "so?" -- perfectly acceptable. As for
me, (age 42, raised in Iowa) it's not... er, wasn't..
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Message 5: Re: 4.38 Relatives, genitive "that", greengrocer's apostrophe

Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1993 05:32:55 Re: 4.38 Relatives, genitive "that", greengrocer's apostrophe
From: Prof. Roly Sussex <sussexlingua.cltr.uq.oz.au>
Subject: Re: 4.38 Relatives, genitive "that", greengrocer's apostrophe

The genitive "that" looks like a construction freely available in
Slavonic, German, etc. English, having become so analytic, sometimes
finds itself at a loss for a neat construction. The other marginal
choice here is to use "whose", whose use in referring to non-animates
seems to be increasing, especially outside the written language.
"Of which" is not a happy alternative: I would be most interested to hear
about its frequency from anyone working on large text corpora.

On the "greengrocer's apostrophe": it is far more widespread than
hapless greengrocers. I did a paper on the misuse of the apostrophe
with plurals a few years ago:

Roland Sussex
Deformed <<plural's>> in English
Papers and Studies in Linguistics 12, 1979, 527-534.

Roly Sussex
Director
Centre for Language Teaching and Research
The University of Queensland
Queensland 4072
Australia

email: sussexlingua.cltr.uq.oz.au
phone: +61 7 365-6896
fax: +61 7 365-7077
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