LINGUIST List 3.155

Wed 19 Feb 1992

Disc: -Ish, All's

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  1. Richard Coates, Re: 3.140 -ish, Def
  2. Eric Schiller, Re: 3.140 -ish, Def
  3. Brian Teaman, Re: 3.131 Alls I know
  4. , 3.131 Is, is

Message 1: Re: 3.140 -ish, Def

Date: Wed, 12 Feb 92 11:44:36 GMRe: 3.140 -ish, Def
From: Richard Coates <richardcsyma.sussex.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: 3.140 -ish, Def

On -ish:

In reply to Dick Hudson: my usage isn't restricted to time of day
expressions; cf. middle-of-Septemberish, round about closing-timeish
(well I suppose that's time of day), and I have caught myself using
it in place expressions, e.g. sort of Eastbourne-ish, i.e. 'in the
region of Eastbourne'. I take the point about the problem of formalizing
the constraint, whatever it is.

Richard Coates
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Message 2: Re: 3.140 -ish, Def

Date: Thu, 13 Feb 92 23:25:48 CSRe: 3.140 -ish, Def
From: Eric Schiller <schillersapir.uchicago.edu>
Subject: Re: 3.140 -ish, Def

-ish

Maybe I am missing something, but I see no direct link to time phrases here,
since age in years (he is twenty five-ish), color phrases (he is lime greenish),
and other scalable items (How tall is he? Two point five-ish (of a British
boxer or basketballer, on this side of the atlantic 6 foot nine-ish).

Anyway, Sadock's Autolexical approach is one of many generative lexicalist
approaches that can handle it without difficulty, simply invoking the
semantic subcategorization facts. But I am not sure where the conceptual
or practical problem lies for ANY theory I know.

On the other hand, it is certainly a fun topic worthy of exploration
at the dissertation level, whatever one's theoretical preference.

I would agree with Hudson in one sense. I wonder how many generative
linguists would be interested enough to invest the time to study
the phenomenon, and can only hope the number is higher than I am
inclined to guess.

I keep a copy of the 1977 CLS Squibs volume in my bathroom, where it
provides numerous similar challenges, some of which evolve into full
fledged studies.

Eric Schiller
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Message 3: Re: 3.131 Alls I know

Date: Mon, 10 Feb 92 19:51:12 ESRe: 3.131 Alls I know
From: Brian Teaman <teamanunagi.cis.upenn.edu>
Subject: Re: 3.131 Alls I know

"Alls I know" is one feature I have in my English that doesn't seem to be
common on the East Coast. I must have acquired this in Lorain, Ohio (near
Cleveland) where I grew up. Others have pointed out that it struck them as
unusual. I think I can credit Peter Patrick for first pointing it out to me.

As for the analysis "All as I know", alls I know is it might be a historical
fact but it is not part of my understanding of the form. To me, it was always
just "all" with an "s" attached. I absolutely cannot say the full form "as" in
this context. And, until now, I don't think I ever wrote it down; perhaps this
could be some indication that I recognized it as non-standard, or at least only
a spoken form.

Brian Teaman
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Message 4: 3.131 Is, is

Date: Wed, 12 Feb 92 09:13:24 ES3.131 Is, is
From: <elc9jprime.acc.Virginia.EDU>
Subject: 3.131 Is, is

on "all's I know is...": I had always heard that this was a dialect
form of "all", retaining an -s originally derived from German "alles"--
no connection to the copula at all. Is it found outside of areas
that were settled by German speakers?
Ellen Contini-Morava
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