LINGUIST List 8.758

Tue May 20 1997

Qs: Coordination, Spitzer, Intensifiers

Editor for this issue: Susan Robinson <>

We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate.


  1. Jacques Rollin, Coordination and plural
  2. Bvdeecken, About Spitzer
  3. Jan K Lindstrom, Comparative intensifiers

Message 1: Coordination and plural

Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 11:36:43 +0000
From: Jacques Rollin <>
Subject: Coordination and plural

Has anyone ever heard of a language where coordination would be the
main (hopefully, the only) form of plural?

If so I'll be happy to post your answers.
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Message 2: About Spitzer

Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 04:33:27 -0400 (EDT)
From: Bvdeecken <>
Subject: About Spitzer

Hello Linguists!

I am working on my PhD which concerns mainly a Francophone author from
Belgium, Jean Muno, and one of the chapters will deal with the
analysis of his work thanks to the theories of Leo Spitzer and the
philological circle.
 I wonder if any of you have used his approach before and to what
extend it seems relevant to the study of literature. Also, if you
could advise me on books to read about/by him (I have read his "Etudes
de Style").

Thanks for your help
Barbara Van der Eecken
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Message 3: Comparative intensifiers

Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 14:15:50 +0300
From: Jan K Lindstrom <>
Subject: Comparative intensifiers

Dear Linguists

I am trying to gather some information on how compared items
(adjectival or adverbial) may (typically) be intensified in different
languages, preferably from different language families (my knowledge
limits here to Germanic, with the exception of Finnish). The
phenomenon can be illustrated with following equivalent expressions in
English, German, Swedish and Finnish with a normal (a) and an
intensified (b) comparative
(note the SGML codes for national characters):

1. a. The train went faster.
 b. The train went ever faster. (Possibly also: all the faster?)

2. a. Der Zug wurde schneller.
 b. Der Zug wurde immer schneller.

3. a. Ta'get gick fortare. (a' =3D &aring;)
 b. Ta'get gick allt fortare.

4. a. Juna meni lujempaa.
 b. Juna meni yha" lujempaa. (Possibly also: aina lujempaa)
 (a" =3D &auml;)

The comparative intensifier, e.g. EVER in English, is in all these
cases some kind of an all-quantifier (or universal quantifier), and
they also seem to relate to the temporal domain communicating ca
'always' (Well, Swedish is here less transparent as regards
temporality). I would like to know if this is a general pattern
cross-linguistically. How often are "all-expressions", e.g. ALL THE
TIME/WAY, ALWAYS etc., used as intensifiers of the comparative in the
languages of the world?

Perhaps You fellow Listers would like to provide me with examples from
your own language(s) for starters. I would also appreciate literary
pointers to some introductory work on "universal quantification" in
general (please, not too philosophical!). Of course, I will summarize
if there is enough interest.

Jan K. Lindstr=F6m=09=09<>
Scandinavian Languages and Literature
P.O. Box 4=09=09=09<phone +358-9-191 23007>
FIN-00014 Helsinki University=09<
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