LINGUIST List 7.939

Thu Jun 27 1996

Disc: not really

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <>


  1. "Andrew S Mccullough", Disc: Not really

Message 1: Disc: Not really

Date: Wed, 26 Jun 1996 13:52:01 EDT
From: "Andrew S Mccullough" <>
Subject: Disc: Not really
While I have not followed all of the discussion re: not really, I was drawn to
the discussion by the interchange between Charlie Rowe and Mex Butler,
responding to D. Ganelin and the sentence "He's not just real sick."
After asking a few colleages to respond to that version and the following,
"He's just not real sick" we all agreed with the Mex Butler view that the
former 'not just real' = more than real sick, in fact deathly ill. To say that
a person is not very sick, we needed to change the word order to "He's just not
real sick" where 'just'is modifying 'not'. For us the syntax makes the
difference, and the word order 'not just' means beyond 'just sick' to extremely

Andrew S. McCullough
Graduate Assistant, English Language Center
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 353-0800
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