LINGUIST List 6.874

Mon 26 Jun 1995

Qs: Chomsky, English -t/-ed, Game theory, Body part terms

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  1. Alexis Manaster Ramer, Q:Chomsky on Theory; Antirhyme
  2. , Q: English -t, -ed
  3. , Game Theory & Linguistics
  4. (lexis Manaster Ramer, Body part terms becoming adpositions

Message 1: Q:Chomsky on Theory; Antirhyme

Date: Sun, 18 Jun 1995 15:23:50 Q:Chomsky on Theory; Antirhyme
From: Alexis Manaster Ramer <amrCS.Wayne.EDU>
Subject: Q:Chomsky on Theory; Antirhyme

Content-Length: 322

Does anybody know where it was that Chomsky said that in
unclear cases we should allow the theory to choose the right

Does anybody know of any work on what I call antirhyme, i.e.,
cases where rhyme is not allowed (or at least not intended)
by the poet and their relevance to phonology?

Alexis Manaster Ramer
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Message 2: Q: English -t, -ed

Date: Mon, 19 Jun 1995 01:22:34 Q: English -t, -ed
From: <>
Subject: Q: English -t, -ed

Content-Length: 1774

Recently I was perusing the chapter in Trudgill and Hannah's "International
English" that treats the general grammatical differences between the English
and North American varieties of English. Like most such examinations, it
appears to be, by necessity, a bit oversimplified, showing British forms that
seem as frequent in the US as the supposed US forms, and I assume vice versa.

One part that struck me, however, was how they treated the difference in
usage of the past-tense suffixes -t and -ed. As is usual, T&H point up the
fact that many verbs that are irregular in the British standard, taking the
-t suffix (and often an attendant vowel change) are regular in North America,
and take the -ed suffix.

While this is true for many of the verbs (e.g., "learnt," "spelt"), the
situation does not seem so simple to me with others. In my dialect (upper
middle class southeastern Michigan) many of the irregular "EngEng" forms seem
quite common, even apart from set phrases, like "He who smelt it dealt it,"
or, "There's no use crying over spilt milk." However, I seem to perceive a
difference in connotation between the -t forms and the -ed froms in ordinary
American speech.

Do other native English speakers perceive a difference in meaning or "feel"
between the following pairs of sentences, and if so, what?

1.a. Last night I dreamed something strange.
1.b. Last night I dreamt something strange.

2.a. The leaves burned.
2.b. The leaves burnt.

3.a. The milk was spilled.
3.b. The milk was spilt.

4.a. We kneeled down.
4.b. We knelt down.

5.a. She leaped up.
5.b. She leapt up.

This being a query on English, it will likely take a while to plow through
all the responses, but you'll get a summary, if there's anything interesting.

James Kirchner
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Message 3: Game Theory & Linguistics

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 19:18:20 Game Theory & Linguistics
From: <>
Subject: Game Theory & Linguistics

Content-Length: 1068

I am looking for references to the application of game theory to linguistic
phenomena, especially to linguistic behaviour in plurilingual situations,
including acknowledged or unacknowledged translation activities. I would be
happy to prepare a summary of any responses I might receive.

Sean Golden (N.B.: I-U-T-S-zero)
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Message 4: Body part terms becoming adpositions

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 15:33:30 Body part terms becoming adpositions
From: (lexis Manaster Ramer <>
Subject: Body part terms becoming adpositions

Content-Length: 1341


On Friday, 26th May, Alexis Manaster sent a message asking about
languages where body part terms became adpositions. I am sorry for my
ignorance but I didn't know the existence of that kind of languages.
I can't help Mr. Manaster but can anybody tell me which languages
are them? Can anybody give me information about those languages?
Does anybody know references about them ( languages or body parts
becoming adpositions)?.

Thanks in advance.

Olga Fullana (
Universitat de Girona
Dept. Filologia i Filosofia
Pl. Ferrater Mora, 1
E-17071 Girona
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