LINGUIST List 7.793

Thu May 30 1996

Qs: "Not really", Faroese, Textbooks on pragmatics

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  1. Eleanor Olds Batchelder, "not really"
  2. HOWARD GREGORY, Faroese
  3. "Beatriz Juacaba", Textbooks on Pragmatics

Message 1: "not really"

Date: Wed, 13 Mar 1996 16:50:11 EST
From: Eleanor Olds Batchelder <EOBGCCUNYVM.CUNY.EDU>
Subject: "not really"

The recent discussion about intensifiers has
reminded me of something I have been curious about
for a long time: the current use of "not really,"
perhaps particularly among young people. I became
aware of it some years back, in exchanges with my
then-adolescent son:

 Me: Would you like carrots for dinner?
 Him: [pause] Not really...

I thought, this means no, why doesn't he just say,
no thank you. Over a lot of instances like this,
I hypothesized that it meant "I realize I should say
YES, if I want to [be polite to/make things easy for]
you, but my true feeling is NO." In view of the
current hypotheses here, this would be a use of "real"
to mean "in fact" rather than as an intensifier.
In fact, I'm having trouble coming up with an example
of "not really" as an intensified; all my attempts
seem to have the same flavor of reluctance to go
against some expectation:

 He is not really qualified for the job.
 The soprano was not really very good.

What do you think?

Eleanor Olds Batchelder, CUNY Graduate Center -or-
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Message 2: Faroese

Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 18:41:37 GMT
Subject: Faroese

I would be grateful if a speaker of Faroese could give me data on Case
assignment with the following verbs (I use "dh" for "edd") :

bjodha, fagna, fordha, fylgja, hjalpa, prisa, trugva, taena

What options does each have (i) for the Active Object (Acc/Dat) and
(ii) for the Passive Subject (Nom/Dat)?

Thank you for your help.

Howard Gregory
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Message 3: Textbooks on Pragmatics

Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 15:11:13 GMT
From: "Beatriz Juacaba" <>
Subject: Textbooks on Pragmatics
Dear linguists,

I am searching for textbooks on pragmatics to be used in an elective
course for undergraduate students of English as a Foreign Language in
Rio, Brazil. Of course, I am already familiar with the contributions
by Green, Prince and Levinson, which will definitely be of great value
in the design of my syllabus. However, I was wondering if anyone has
any suggestions for titles of textbooks with more comprehensive
descriptions of the fundamentals of pragmatics, including exercises
and activities that can speed up the process of acquisition of
pragmatic competence. I would appreciate any info on the above
mentioned. Please reply directly to either of the following addresses: or

Thank you for your cooperation,
Beatriz Juacaba
Georgetown University
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