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Summary Details

Query:   Sum: Object detion of "and not"
Author:  Hiroaki Tanaka
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Pragmatics

Summary:   Dear all,
To the query I posted about a month ago(LINGUIST List 15.625
Mon Feb 16 2004 Qs: Object Deletion), three people kindly responded, whose names are:

Bruce Despain
Ekaterina Jasinskaja
Barbara Zurer Pearson

I am grateful to all of them.

First, Ekaterina Jaskaja introduced me the following paper in the farmework of DRT(Disourse Representation theory), with which I am of concern.

Txurruka (2003) ''The Natural Language Conjunction And'' Linguistics and
Philosophy 26:255-285

She comments ,

''This is a theoretical proposal in the framework of SDRT which tries to
account for both temporal effects of ''and'' (i.e. A and B is not the same
as B and A), and its purely ''logical'' uses.

In general, with the exception of some linguists like Txurruka and the
Relevance theorists (e.g. Blakemore & Carston 1999) who are interested
specifically in the discourse functioning of cojunction ''and'', the
mainstream of formal semantics and pragmatics actually assumes that the
English ''and'' is equivalent to logical conjunction. One of the founding
fathers of this approach is Grice

Grice (1975) ''Logic and Conversation'' in Cole & Morgan ''Syntax and
semantics 3: Speech Acts'', pp.41-58

Grice (1989) ''Studies in the Way of Words'' Cambridge, Massachussets''

Of course I know how important the works of Grice is to the study of pragmatics and semantics in present-day linguistic philosophy. Thanks again for letting me know the above DRT paper, the volume of which I found in my universoty's library.

The two points I asked were the seemingly twofold objet interpretaions of eat in (1), and how 'and' is intrepreted, sequentially or reversedly.

(1) You can't fish and not eat.

Bruce Despain and Barbara Zurer Pearson agree that (1) could be read ''you can't fish and then not eat what you catch, the specific fish you caught.'' However, as Barbara Pearson correctly (and also intrestingly to me as a non-native speaker of English) points out that you need the specific objects in both object positions like, ''You can't catch something and then not eat it.'' That, I think, clearly is a good way of avoiding an ambiguous construction. As Bruce Despain suggets, the more general object can be interepreted if we provide more specific context before the sentence in question is put forward.

In fact, I found the same sentence as (1) in Hemingway's ''The Old Man and the Sea'', which it seemed to me the obeject of eat is generally the meals the old man eats in his everyday life. The translation in Japanese, translated about 40 years ago by a famous scholar of English/American literature, is just ''meals/super.''

The boy left him there and when he came back the old man was still asleep.
''Wake up old man,'' the boy said and put his hand on one of the old man's knees.
The old man opened his eyes and for a moment he was coming back from a long way away. Then he smiled.
''What have you got?'' he asked.
''Supper,'' said the boy. 'We're going to have supper.
''I'm not very hungry.''
''Come on and eat. You can't fish and not eat.''
''I have,'' the old man said getting up and taking the newspaper and folding it. Then he started to fold the blanket.
''Keep the blanket around you,'' the boy said. ''You'll not fish without eating while I'm alive.''
'Then live a long time and take care of yourself,'' the old man said. ''What are we eating?''
''Black beans and rice, fried bananas, and some stew.

The second point I am very doubtful about is that if ''and'' is intrepreted cause-effect-reversedly, how and when. To this, Depain made an interesting reply.

(2) You can't commit a crime and not be punished.

(3) You can't get good grades and not study.

In (2) the cause and effect are properly ordered and the two negatives imply
the two positives.

(2a) If you commit a crime, you will be punished.

In (3) the cause and effect are reversed. The more precise statement of (3)
would be that it is a conclusion of the speaker:

(3') You can't get good grades and not have studied.
(3'a) If you get good grades, you will have studied.

I may as well have an idea that (3) is not enough to give a reversal cause-effecr reading, instead we will need some more precise device of making it clearer, like he suggests.

Thank you very much to all the three poeple. Their comments is/will be of great help to me.

Best wishes,

Hiroaki Tanaka,

Professor, Kansai Gaidai University, Japan

LL Issue: 15.969
Date Posted: 22-Mar-2004
Original Query: Read original query


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