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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Query Details

Query Subject:   Q:on Zhang1san1 zhui2lei4 le li3si4
Author:   Jiun shiung Wu
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Semantics

Query:   Dear Linguists,
I have been working on some probelms of the meanings of ''even if'',
especially the following so-called consequent-entailment reading of
''even if''. Please help me check the accptablities of the following

Are the following sentences acceptable or have natural flow of
interpretation? Please put OK, ? or * in each slot and comments, if
any. If the sentences you judge are unacceptable, what kind of context
would you consider to increase the acceptabilities?

(1) ( ) (Context: My employer is so puritanical that he would fire
me if I behaved in what he considered a libertine manner. ) ''Even if''
my wife smoked cigarettes, he would fire me, but, since she wouldn't
ever smoke, he won't fire me.

(2) ( ) ''Even if'' you drink just a little, your boss will fire you,
but, since you sruely won't drink at all, he won't fire you.

(3) ( ) ''Even if'' you drink just a little, your boss will fire you,
butsince you surely drink a lot, he won't fire you.

(4) ( ) If it doesn' rain, the game will continue. ''Even if'' it
rains lightly, the game will continue; but if it rains heavily, the
rain will be cancelled.

(5) ( ) If it doesn't rain, the game will continue. ''Even if''it
rains lightly, the game will be cancelled; but if it rains heavily,
the game will continue.

(6) ( ) ''Even if'' the president were to get ingestion tonight, the
cease-fire would end, but, if we resume negotiations with the enemy
for a treaty of peace, it will continue.

(7) ( ) ''Even if'' my wife smoked cigarettes, I would not scold her,
but, if she ever broke my favorite dishes, I would scold her.

(8) ( ) ''Even if'' my wife smokes cigarettes, I will not scold her,
but,if she breaks my favorite dishes, I will scold her.

Thank a lot in advance. I will post a summary. Please give a reply
to me directly.

Best wishes,

Hiroaki Tanaka

Associate Professor
Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences
Tokushima University, Japan

1-1, Minamijousanjioma,
Tokushima, 770,

phone & fax: +81 886 56 7125
e-mail: hiro-t@ias.tokushima-u.ac.jp
LL Issue: 8.959
Date posted: 29-Jun-1997


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