LINGUIST List 9.820

Wed Jun 3 1998

Disc: Recent Change in English

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <martylinguistlist.org>


Directory

  1. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, 9.806, Disc: Recent Change in English
  2. Mark Mandel, Disc: recent change in English (apple sauce)

Message 1: 9.806, Disc: Recent Change in English

Date: Mon, 1 Jun 98 09:19 EDT
From: Dr. Joel M. Hoffman <joelexc.com>
Subject: 9.806, Disc: Recent Change in English

>There's no compounding the problem of 'fun game'.
>[etc.]

All of the discussion of "fun game" etc. seems to have strayed from
the point, which is precisely that the use of "fun" has >changed<. I
agree that for many speakers it is now an adjective (as the examples
concerning comparitive forms, stress, etc. all demonstrate) but it
used to be a noun (as examples as "very much fun" and others
demonstrate).

-Joel
(joelexc.com)
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Message 2: Disc: recent change in English (apple sauce)

Date: Wed, 03 Jun 1998 11:04:01 -0500
From: Mark Mandel <Markdragonsys.com>
Subject: Disc: recent change in English (apple sauce)

In 9.806, Benji Wald writes:

>>>

The issue is, however, more complicated. Thus, theoreticians are at a
loss to give a principled explanation for why 'apple pie' is
even-stressed, but 'apple sauce' is forestressed (and it may be
significant that there is dialectal variation here).

<<<

Maybe it has something to do with the fact (for me, at least) that an
apple pie is a pie, but apple sauce is not sauce. For me, a *sauce* is
a semi-fluid condiment that is consumed with or as an adjunct to
another food, whereas applesauce, as I prefer to spell it, is often an
independent food. While it *can* be eaten on latkes (potato pancakes)
or with some kinds of meat, it is just as likely to be served (or
taken from the fridge) as a snack, dessert, or appetizer on its own,
possibly sprinkled with cinnamon or topped with whipped cream.

OTOH... as I think about it, "pineapple sauce", "hard sauce", and "rum
sauce" all have forestress. Might the fact that they ARE condiments be
relevant? In context, there's not much information in the word
"sauce"; most of the distinction is in the chief ingredient, not the
consistency or form.

 Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist : markdragonsys.com 
 Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 796-0267
 320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA : http://www.dragonsys.com/
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