LINGUIST List 6.50

Mon 16 Jan 1995

Qs: Do; Reduplication; Have) of; C-Insertion

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , affirmative 'do'
  2. , Reduplicative constructions and polarity
  3. Larry G Hutchinson, Re: 6.39 have) of
  4. , C-insertion

Message 1: affirmative 'do'

Date: 14 Jan 95 10:36:01 SAST-2 affirmative 'do'
From: <>
Subject: affirmative 'do'

I am working on a construction in a Cape Town dialect that involves
the use of unstressed 'do' in affirmative contexts: e.g. 'I did go to
the hall yesterday'. No contrastive pre-supposition is intended;
speakers appear to be simply highlighting a 'salient' activity
(there are present tense parallels too). Although this is
traditionally believed to be a 'contact' feature of Cape Town
English, it sounds to me rather like a relic from early modern
standard English, reinforced by natural (second language)
acquisition. The form does occur (though possibly with different
pragmatics) in child language acquisition (I have sporadic &
unsystematic examples from Britain); but is soon weeded out of the
 QUESTION: Does anyone know of any dialect (any L1 or L2
form of English; child language, early interlanguage etc.) that has
something similar? (I am familiar with early modern standard and
earlier forms of 'do'; with affirmative 'do' in Ireland and the south-
 west of England - the pragmatics there are different, incidentally:
'habitual' is not a function associated with the Cape Town dialect.)
Raj Mesthrie
Dept of Linguistics
University of Cape Town
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Message 2: Reduplicative constructions and polarity

Date: Sat, 14 Jan 1995 11:15:59 Reduplicative constructions and polarity
Subject: Reduplicative constructions and polarity

Moravscik (in Greenberg's Language Universals) notes that reduplicative
constructions that do not fulfill a purely grammatical function usually
intensifies the base morpheme. Sometimes, though, it may actually have
the exact opposite function: it de-intensifies the base morpheme. I am
interested in the connection between this process and the process by
which the literal message of a sarcastic utterance assumes the exact
opposite meaning by means of a conceptually similar feature: exaggeration
(of, say, amplitude, duration, pitch, or clarity). Does anyone know of
any further research on this particular phenomenon? Any speculations?
Perhaps there is an intimate connection here with the polarity-based
cognitive mapping Givon (in Negation in Language: Pragmatics, Function,
Ontology) proposed?

Lars Anders Joensson
Macalester College
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Message 3: Re: 6.39 have) of

Date: Sun, 15 Jan 1995 18:28:55 Re: 6.39 have) of
From: Larry G Hutchinson <>
Subject: Re: 6.39 have) of

It seems to me that the use of HAVE + SIMPLE PAST is rapidly increasing
in the U.S. It's showing up now in newspapers and on television, and,
perhaps most tellingly, in the speech of acquaintances who I am sure did
not have it a few years ago.

My first thought was that this had something to do with the HAVE) OF
reanalysis, but I have now heard too many instances of emphatic "have" to
believe this. Examples such as "Even if he HAD went earlier, ..." abound.
I find these examples easy to spot because I still wince whenever I hear one.
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Message 4: C-insertion

Date: Sun, 15 Jan 1995 22:42:40 C-insertion
From: <>
Subject: C-insertion

Can anyone guide me to material documenting insertion of consonsants to break
up impermissible vowel clusters, in which the choice of consonant is NOT
conditioned by the nature of its surrounding vowels? I'm thinking, for
example, of glides between non-high vowels, or relicts of consonants that
were once there historically, but are no longer considered underlyingly
present in the basic form of the word. Thanks for any help.

James Kirchner
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