LINGUIST List 3.184

Thu 27 Feb 1992

Disc: All's, Not

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. , Re: 3.179 All's, Not
  2. Larry Horn, Re: 3.179 All's, Not
  3. Dr M Sebba, NOT and related items
  4. , Re: 3.173 Register, Linguistics In The Press
  5. Larry Horn, Re: 3.173 Register, Linguistics In The Press

Message 1: Re: 3.179 All's, Not

Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1992 19:21 ESTRe: 3.179 All's, Not
From: <MORGANLOYOLA.EDU>
Subject: Re: 3.179 All's, Not


The comment on "ways" struck a chord; I think there is a final "s" not
generally accepted in the US on many spatial adverbs; I grew up
saying "towards" only to be rudely corrected upon reaching graduate school.
(There are no British in my family, and I lived all up and down the
East coast, so I'm not sure where it came from.)

L Morgan (Loyola in Md.)
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Message 2: Re: 3.179 All's, Not

Date: Wed, 26 Feb 92 11:11:25 ESRe: 3.179 All's, Not
From: Larry Horn <LHORNYALEVM.YCC.Yale.Edu>
Subject: Re: 3.179 All's, Not

A comment and a query in response to the postings on "not". Dale Savage cites
a Zane Grey story from 1918 with the sarcastic observation "You an' Dad are
great hunters, I don't think!" In a 1978 article on negation for the
Stanford anthology "Universals of Human Language", I cited an instance of the
same turn from a post-WWII British novel by Joyce Cary: "Girls are a lot of
good, I don't think." These are clearly related to retro-NOT, as Dale points
out, and specifically serve as counterexamples to the general requirement that
negative parentheticals appear only in negative sentences in a position
following the main clause negation to which they are in apposition:
 They are not, I (don't) think, going to be able to get here on time.
 They are, I (*don't) think, not going to be able to get here on time.
Does anyone have any firsthand experience with these retro-parentheticals?
 Martin Wynne, also in 3.179, mentions the use of "much", which evidently
has spread now at least in some parts of Britain to a generalized retro-
cancellation following even affirmatives (he gives the constructed example
 - I'm going to get a job in the City.
 - Much!)
If anyone has any actual citations of this use, I'd love receiving them. What
I'm familiar with is the use of "not much" as a negative form of retro negation
to cancel one's own or someone else's negative assertion. It's less dramatic
than "NOT", more ironic than sarcastic (although please don't ask me to
define the difference). If anyone recalls the pop song from a while back
that goes something like
 I don't miss my arms around you
 No, not much.
or has other reflections on the transition from "not much" to "much", I'd love
hearing them. (LHORNYALEVM.bitnet)
 --Larry Horn
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Message 3: NOT and related items

Date: Wed, 26 Feb 92 11:02:11 GMNOT and related items
From: Dr M Sebba <eia023cent1.lancs.ac.uk>
Subject: NOT and related items

The contribution from Dale Savage reminded me that my mother
(born in London, grew up before World War II) uses this
"I don't think" construction, as in:
 He'll bring it when he says he will, I don't think.
I don't believe I often use it, but I have a feeling it's
quite standard for people of her generation. There may be more
than one variant, though: in my mother's variety, there is
not much pitch movement in the three words in question, but
there is some, on the last word, so the sentence above comes
out like:
 He'll BRING it when he SAYs he will, I don't THINK.

I think, though, that I've heard people say

 He'll BRING it when he SAYS he will, I DON'T think.

Does anyone reading this use either of these, and what do
they think?
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Message 4: Re: 3.173 Register, Linguistics In The Press

Date: Tue, 25 Feb 92 19:07:30 MSRe: 3.173 Register, Linguistics In The Press
From: <pbernickNMSU.Edu>
Subject: Re: 3.173 Register, Linguistics In The Press

>
> 3)
> Date: Mon, 17 Feb 92 15:06:57 EST
> From: Sarah Jones <SAAJONESucs.indiana.edu>
> Subject: the Popular Press discovers NOT
> 3)
> Date: Mon, 17 Feb 92 15:06:57 EST
> From: Sarah Jones <SAAJONESucs.indiana.edu>
> Subject: the Popular Press discovers NOT
>
> Lately, it's seemed pretty easy to bash the popular press for
> its treatment of linguistic/pseudolinguistic issues. The other
> side of the coin appeared in this morning's paper--the Indianapolis
> Star ran an article from the Orlando Sentinel, by Linda Shrieves...
> a report of the varying theories of the origin of post affirmative
> NOT.
>
> It's quite a nice article, surely with great appeal to the "mass
> market" with its light tone and references to Wayne's World and
> the 70's Steve Martin SNL skit in which he used NOT (the appearance
> of which she refers to as "a linguist's archaeological find")
>
> In trying to track down somebody to comment on the phrase, the author,
> getting nowhere with the various SNL folks, ends up with Pamela Munro
> and none other than our own Larry Horn and references to our own
> LINGUIST discussion. It was a very faithful treatment of the whole
> matter, yet still very "readable".
>
> So, maybe there's hope for a "pop" linguistics that doesn't make us
> cringe, after all.
>
> --Sarah Jones
> saajonesucs.indiana.edu
> saajonesiubacs.bitnet
>

This has been something that I have been wondering about since it
appeared in discussion, and it has occurred to me that an early user
of the juxtaposed not might have been e.e. cummings

	pity this busy monster man unkind not

.. of course this discussion is well dead, but I feel better for
having sent this.

philip

--
**********************************************************************
--The most convincing evidence that intelligent life exists elsewhere
in the universe is that none has ever tried to contact us.
							 Calvin
**********************************************************************
pbernicknmsu.edu				Las Cruces, New Mexico
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Message 5: Re: 3.173 Register, Linguistics In The Press

Date: Wed, 26 Feb 92 10:22:47 ESRe: 3.173 Register, Linguistics In The Press
From: Larry Horn <LHORNYALEVM.YCC.Yale.Edu>
Subject: Re: 3.173 Register, Linguistics In The Press

The rewards and perils of fame...
 Yes, as Sarah Jones notes, the popular press has discovered retro-NOT with
a vengeance. The Orlando Sentinel piece by Linda Shrieves, appearing February
12, complete with a user's guide (i.e. a minigrammar of the construction), was
picked off the wire service by the New Haven Register, yielding if nothing
else a nice headline:
 YALE PROF. STUDIES 'NOT'? NO WAY. WAY!!
--little did they know I work on negative polarity phenomena in my spare time.
Anyway, these articles triggered various responses, including some totally
irrelevant contributions (Jack Paar's "I kid you not", the expression "'fraid
not") from the non-linguist readership. I also had a curious conversation
from a reporter from the Bridgeport Post who wanted to send a photographer
over to take my picture standing next to the "bulletin board" on which
responses were posted--I had to explain that Linguist List is not the sort of
bulletin board that makes for great photo opportunities. But I did get one
remarkable citation from someone in Orange, Connecticut named John Wildanger.
This is the opening of a 1955 short story mystery by Rex Stout, "Immune to
Murder" (reprinted in Three for the Chair, Bantam, 1957). As the story opens,
Nero Wolfe has been summoned by the State Department to join a fishing party
in an Adirondacks lodge so that he might cook fresh trout for the Ambassador
of (apparently) Greece, but has become immobilized by a putative attack of
lumbago.

 I stood with my arms folded, glaring down at Nero Wolfe, who had his 278
pounds planted in a massive armchair... "A fine way to serve your country", I
told him. "Not. In spite of a late start I get you here in time to be shown
to your room and unpack and wash up for dinner, and now you tell me to go tell
your host you want dinner in your room. Nothing doing. I decline."

The speaker is of course Wolfe's factotum Archie Goodwin, who (as Louis
Goldstein reminds me) hails from Chillicothe, Ohio, just down the pike from
the Illinois headquarters of Wayne and Garth.

 --Larry Horn
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