LINGUIST List 7.207

Thu Feb 8 1996

Disc: Emphasis

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <>


  1. Larry Rosenwald, emphasis
  2. Dan I. Slobin, Re: 7.198, Disc: Emphasis

Message 1: emphasis

Date: Wed, 07 Feb 1996 12:21:43 GMT
From: Larry Rosenwald <lrosenwaldWELLESLEY.EDU>
Subject: emphasis
I'd respectfully disagree with James Jenkins' comments about the
Gettysburg Address. In "of the people, by the people, and for the
people," I think it's right to stress the prepositions, since they're
what's changing; Lincoln's oratorical emphasis would presumably
be on the "fact" that the government was not only "of" the people
but also "by" and "for" it. But having said that, I'd like to add that
these discussions of emphasis remind me that there are real difficult-
ies in this area. For example - there's a famous story about Samuel
Johnson and his friend the actor David Garrick. Johnson wanted to
prove that actors didn't understand emphasis, so he asked Garrick
to read "thou shalt not kill." Garrick read it with the emphasis
on "kill." Johnson said that proved his incompetence; of course,
said Johnson, the emphasis should be on "not." To me it seems
clear that Johnson was wrong, but not clear why. Best, Larry Rosenwald
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Message 2: Re: 7.198, Disc: Emphasis

Date: Wed, 07 Feb 1996 10:50:18 PST
From: Dan I. Slobin <slobincogsci.Berkeley.EDU>
Subject: Re: 7.198, Disc: Emphasis
Subject: Emphasis

Mark Mandel's analysis of Lincoln might make sense, but I recall
having read that, contrary to expectation, Lincoln stressed
"the people" each time. His message was apparently that the
people were central, and not the functions of government.

Dan Slobin (
Dept of Psychology
University of California, Berkeley
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