Thursday, March 31, 2005

Mmm? Hhmhmhm? Grmrmmm?

The new examples of Simpsons language humor are flowing in — be sure to check the comments section of the original post — as well as these examples from Bridget Samuels at ilani ilani, caelistis at sauvage noble, and my fellow U of A affiliate and Canadian(-raiser) Bob Kennedy, than whom there is no one I'd rather be locked in a room full of English majors with (t), at phonoloblog. Thanks, all! And keep 'em coming.

But I have to clarify something about my little phonetics/phono question at the end of my original post about Marge's annoyed noise, which seems to have become a question about Marge's vocal quality in general, which I didn't originally think it was. My original perplexity was occasioned by running across bits of dialogue transcribed on the web, like the following, excerpted on the site from Episode 512, 1F11, "Bart Gets Famous":
Lisa: And now you can go back to just being you, instead of a
one-dimensional character with a silly catch-phrase.
Homer: [breaks a lamp] D'oh!
Bart: Ay, caramba!
Marge: Mmm.
Maggie: [sucks her pacifier]
Flanders: Heidely-ho.
Barney: [burps]
Nelson: Ha, ha!
Burns: Ex-cellent!
[Everyone looks at Lisa]
Lisa: [unimpressed] If anyone wants me, I'll be in my room.
Good Simpsons fan that I am, I instantly recognized every single one of these (I could easily replay Maggie's pacifier noise and Barney's burp in my head from these descriptions) — except one: I couldn't think of what "silly catch-phrase" of Marge's could possibly be intended by "Mmm." A second's thought gave it to me — it's the noise she makes when she is annoyed. Now, this is definitely not just [mmm] as said by Julie Kavner. That is, it's not just something about Julie Kavner's voice quality. Heck, I can make that annoyed noise too, distinguishing it from the yummy mmm noise by doing some trick with my pharynx/tongue root/larynx, together with the other normal features associated with bilabial nasals, and I don't have anything at all like Kavner's distinctive vocal apparatus. (Indeed, trying to get this post posted, I find that I've made it several times, since Blogger is acting up.)

No doubt the reason it's a trademark catchphrase is Kavner's vocal quality, but the basic noise is available to anyone's oral tract. Simpsons fans, back me up here! In the context of the hypothetical Simpsons intro linguistics course, I was wondering if the mmmm/Marge's noise distinction might not be a possible segue into the things that can go on back of the teeth.

In any case, I think it's clear that "Mmm" just don't cut it, orthographically speaking. It oughta be spelled something like 'grmm', or 'hmhhmmhm' if it has to be spelled at all!

The question got generalized because Mark speculates that whatever Marge is doing when making her annoyed noise is part of what she does when she's annoyed generally (which might well be true), and Eric extends this to a question about what Marge's voice is generally like, annoyed or not, which is what Bob is replying to. Now, Marge's (Kavner's) voice is certainly one of the most distinctive ones in the world of American animation, but I think the "mmm"/"grmmgrm" distinction transcends her single voice. Not that it's not interesting to wonder what it IS that makes Kavner's voice so distinctive.

But re my original question: I think there might even be, somewhere in the 16 seasons of the Simpsons, a minimal pair — other characters besides Homer sometimes use the 'mmm... X' snowclone, and I think Marge might be one of them. I'll keep my ears open. If there was, one could extract that 'mmm', and contrast it with her annoyed 'grmgrmgrm' noise, and see what's different, if anything. I definitely think that Mark would be justified in purchasing the complete Simpsons DVD collection for his lab in pursuit of this important scientific question.

Update: Check out these spectrograms produced over at A Rogush Chrestomathy by q_pheevr!

Update update: ...and this follow up from Mark at Language Log. Now that he's got his database in hand, no doubt a full analysis is moments away. At one point he mentions a fiberoptic laryngoscope...I'd also been wondering about the possible utility in this matter of my colleague Diana Archangeli's ultrasound machine. Maybe when I get back to AZ in the fall I'll check it out.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Linguistic humor is popular, doesn't she?

My post about Simpsons language humor below seems to have tickled many funny bones, which is gratifying. I was going to hold off on any more of such frivolity for a while, but I was watching The Sketch Show (US version) for the first time last night, and they aired a pretty funny sketch about four students in an English grammar class. These students have real, albeit implausible, language problems, not involving stranding prepositions or choice of that instead of which; their ailments might actually be assisted by an English grammar class taught in a linguistically informed way, if any such existed. Here's the script of the BBC version of the sketch. (In the US version I saw, the Karen character's problem was not overexcitement but idiom-deployment; she said things like "I'm always crying over spilt chickens coming home to roost.")

It's mildly interesting to notice the way in which the Tim character's stress problem is represented in the script; rather than capitalize the sylLAble that he is wrongly stressing, which I think I would have chosen to do, the scriptwriter has tried to emphasize that the vowel/syllable in question is not reduced. He does this by including an 'r' after 'a' in words like 'empharsis' and 'therarpist', which in the relevant British dialect indicates lengthening of the preceding vowel, and hence non-reduction, and in other cases by spelling the relevant syllable as an independent homophonous word, as in 'sentenses' and 'awkwordness'. A combination of these strategies may be being employed in 'emberrarsement'.

At first, I had written the following about 'arse'='ass' in 'emberrarsement', above:
"...since the word ass is often written 'arse' in British English, again, I imagine, as an alternative spelling of the long back unrounded vowel in ass in that dialect. Does this mean that the r-ful independent word arse, which exists in the dialect I speak alongside of ass, originally arose as a spelling pronunciation?"
Then vague memories of arse in Shakespeare (when, I'm pretty sure, syllable-final r was still around in jolly olde Englande) prompted me to go check up on it, and I visited the OED... and of course it turns out to be precisely the opposite: Arse has got a pedigree as old as English itself, showing up at 1000 AD on the dateline and tracing its etymology to proto-Germanic, and ass (in this sense) first turns up only in 1860, presumably as a spelling variant after r-loss had been completed. Does this mean that the (independent word) ass in most of North American English is actually the spelling pronunciation? The OED dubs it a 'vulgar and dial. sp. and pronouc. of arse'. Hm! Anyway, at least I saved myself some embarrarsement (although having quoted my own embarrarsing mistake, maybe not).

But this makes for a segue into one final Simpsons note, from arses to the clothing that covers them, which I include since it's so topical w/r to what they've been discussing over at the Language Log recently: Chief Wiggum calls Milhouse's dad Kirk a tighty-whitey when arresting him in episode #1609 GABFO3, "Pranksta Rap", which just re-aired last night ("Come along, tighty-whitey," he says, or words to that effect; Kirk is fully clothed at the time.) Since Kirk has descended to a degree of loserdom rivalled only by Gil the car salesman's, it's a highly apposite usage, exemplifying the deployment of that term's derogatory sense, semantically speaking. In the hypothetical Simpsons intro linguistics course, tighty-whitey/ies could illustrate lexical innovation, raising, flapping, metonymy ('clothing for person'), pejoration driven by youth-culture-specific connotations, and pluralia tantum, all at once.

I really don't watch that much TV, honestly!

Update: Can't remember where right now but in the past week I have run across some more examples of the arse/ass variety, due to the same source: horse/hoss, curse/cuss. Something funny about how for the vulgar word the r-less variant is the one that took hold and spread in American English, but for the neutral horse and curse the r-ful variant remained the general one and hoss/cuss have a dialectal/rural/low-prestige flavor to them (to my ear).

Friday, March 25, 2005

Beyond embiggens and cromulent

Everyone knows (4th para) the Simpsons is really all about linguisticsand these links are just what I could come up with in a few quick searches here and there.

In a post to the Linguist List several years ago, I noted some theoretically-interesting examples of Simpsons language humor, and said that someone should collect more. Well, if I want something done well, I usually try not to do it myself, but I’ve been keeping a list off and on, and thought this might be a good place to share it.

It doesn’t include the timeless classics embiggens and cromulent — see this Linguist List post for discussion of them — and it doesn’t include Bart’s prank calls to Moe, although they are relevant for their phonological and phonotactic properties, because they’re already well-documented. This list begins with the examples from my original post (also on Beatrice Santorini’s excellent linguistic humor web page), and then goes on to the ones I’ve collected since. The episode numbers are mostly those provided on the The Simpsons official home page, though I don’t know if I've been 100 per cent consistent.

Episode: I'm With Cupid, Episode #1014 AABF11

Productive derivational morphology

Kent Brockman is narrating a story about how Apu is giving his wife many extravagant presents for Valentine's day, and the rest of the town's wives are annoyed at their husbands for their comparative romantic lameness. He says something like:

"One Springfield man is treating his wife to an extra-special valentine's day this year, (sotto voce) and introubulating the rest of us."

Episode: Miracle on Evergreen Terrace, Episode # 910 5F07

Island violation:

The Simpsons' house has been broken into on Christmas eve, and all their christmas presents and decorations stolen. Homer is telling his woes to Moe. Moe says, "You know what I blame this on the breakdown of? Society!"

Episode: Miracle on Evergreen Terrace, Episode # 910 5F07

Constituency in verb-particle constructions

Kent Brockman is narrating a news story about the Simpsons' misfortune. The story starts something like:

"Something WAS stirring in one Springfield house this Christmas eve, and what it was stirring was up trouble!"

Episode: Mountain of Madness, Episode # 812 4F10

Deixis in personal pronouns:
Homer has brought his family along on a business team-building exercise in the woods, and Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie are stuck in the National Park Service building while all the employees are off team-building. Bart is standing in front of a Smokey the Bear statue, who has an electronic voice and a little 'quiz' to administer. Bart and Smokey have the following exchange:

Smokey: (electronic intonation) "Who is the only one who can stop forest fires?

Bart: (examines response panel, which has two buttons, marked "you" and "me". He presses "you").

Smokey: (electronic intonation) "You pressed YOU, meaning me. This is incorrect. You should have pressed ME, meaning you.

Episode: “Bart’s Inner Child,” Episode # 1F04

Loss of adjectival -ed in Adj-Noun compounds
"I feel like such a free spirit, and I'm really enjoying this so-called ... iced cream."

(From Sophia Malamud’s sumer 2004 Ling 101 lecture 1 at UPenn.)

Episode: Pray Anything, Episode # 1410 EABF06

“Bad grammar”
Lisa & Bart have exchange with basketball player Lisa Leslie. Lisa says, “You got game!” LL corrects her, “I think you mean ‘you have game’.” and lectures her on speaking correctly. Bart says “You go girl!” and LL says, “I will depart, lest your bad grammar rub off on me.”

Episode: Treehouse of Horror VII Episode # 801, 4F02

Productive derivational morphology (with ‘big’ again)
Prof. Van Frink builds a debigulator. Lisa proposes he also look into making a rebigulator.

Episode: On a Clear Day I Can’t See My Sister, Episode # 1611 GABF05 SI-1605

Resyllabification (also possibly loss of adjectival -ed)
Bart is in jail for violating his restraining order against Lisa. In the cell next to him is Lou. Chief Wiggum says, ‘See what happens when you bring my coffee back cold?’ Lou says, “But you asked for an iced coffee!” Chief Wiggum says, “No, I asked for a NICE coffee, Lou.”

Episode: Marge in Chains. Episode # 421 9F28

English spelling, borrowed consonant cluster reduction
Troy McClure is introducing an infomercial, says “I’m Troy McClure, star of such films as ‘P is for Psycho’”.

Episode: Co-Dependent’s Day. Episode #: 1515 EABF10 SI-1510

Back-formation, morphology, bound cran-morphs:
Marge is in an al-anon meeting and Otto says, “You know how some people are chocoholics? Well, I’m an ALcoholic!”
(approx 20 mins into episode)

Same episode 3 minutes later:
Marge says to the group, “My name is Marge S, and I’m a Homerholic!’ Otto says, “You’re drinking homerhol? I’ll take a swig!”

Episode: All’s Fair in Oven War. 1602 EABF23 SI-1520

Gendered nouns, second language.
Luigi the Italian chef taunts Marge, saying, “Yo, Marge! Your recipe, she is pathetic!” Marge says, “She is not!”

Episode: “Today, I am a clown” Episode # 1506 EABF01 SI-1501

Non-English phonology:
Crusty on the Jewish Walk of Fame, says, “I’m a bigger name than Chaim Potok! What is he, some kind of Klingon?” (sthing like [xajəm potɑk] — thanks to Andrew Carnie for this link to quick-and-dirty (or slow-and-dirty anyway) IPA in web pages.)

Episode: My mother the carjacker. Episode # 1502 EABF18

Accusative ‘whom’
Kent Brockman is announcing the winner of the ‘Oops’ award this week, and says, ‘It goes to...’
Homer, in an agony of anticipation, goes, ‘Whom? Whom?’

Episode: Treehouse of Horror I. Episode # 203 7F04

Language coincidence
The Simpsons are abducted and Kang is addressing them for the first time. Marge says, “You speak English!” Kang says, (something like) “Actually, I’m speaking Rigelian, but by an amazing coincidence, the two languages are exactly the same.”
Later in the episode, Marge is trying to thank Kang (or some alien) and says, “Thank you, Mr. ...??” Kang says something like, “In order for you to pronounce it properly, I would have to rip out your tongue”

Episode: Simpsons Halloween Episode IX. Episode # 1004 AABF01

Comparative/superlative morphophonological rules
Kent Brockman: “Another of Springfield’s belovedest citizens has been murdered.”

Episode: Treehouse of Horror XIV, Episode # 1501 EABF21

Spelling pronunciation
Death shows up at the door for Bart. Marge says, “Run like the [wajnd]!” Then when everybody looks at her, she says, “I only ever saw it written!”

Episode: ‘Weekend at Burnsie’s.’ Episode # 1316, DABF11

Spelling pronunciation
Phish: reading an announcement, says ‘potheads’ as ‘po-theeds’

Otto says ‘They call them fingers but I never see them fing.’

Episode: ‘She of little faith.’ Episode #1306, DABF02

Productive derivational morphology, verb-particle
Homer says, ‘The word unblowupable is thrown around a lot these days.’ while assembling a rocket.
before end of initial credits

Episode: “Bart the Fink” Episode #715, 3F12

Productive derivational morphology, roots:
Kent Brockman says Krusty is busted for ‘tax avoision’, then, “I don’t say ‘evasion’, I say ‘avoision’” (10 mins in)

Episode: “Home sweet home diddly-dum-doodly” Episode #704 3F01

Productive derivational morphology
‘Scalpal hygiene’

Speech production
Tooth falls out, Lisa whistles something

Morphologically induced extra syllables.
Saxomaphone’ Homer at 16 mins
‘Flanderseseses’ Homer at 23 mins.

Episode: “Diatribe of a mad housewife” Episode # 1510 EABF05

-er (over)application to particle verbs
Marge says ‘Long-time reader, first time stander-upper.’
(Aside: this frame, long-time Xer, first-time Yer is surely a snowclone, no?)

back-formation with negative prefixes
Homer notices ‘distracted’ wonders if anyone ever gets ‘tracted’

Episode: “Mother Simpson.” Episode # 708 3F06

lexicon change
Burns getting service at the post office. Worker looks at manual and says, “I don’t see Siam, Prussia OR autogyro.”

derivational morphology, lexicon change
Burns discussing phrenology says ‘bumpage’ and ‘brainpan’.

Episode: “I am furious yellow” Episode#: 287. Production#: DABF13

back-formation and productive derivational morphology with -ahol(ic) again
Homer’s got anger control problems, and says ‘I’m a rageaholic! I am addicted to rageahol!”

Episode: "The Sweetest Apu" 1319 DABF14 Original Airdate: 5/05/02

Count-mass distinction, ‘Universal Packager’ conventions.
Homer goes into the Quik-E-Mart and demands “A beer”. Apu brings out a keg. Homer: "And a six-pack to tide me over until I can open the keg.”

Episode: “Brother, can you spare 2 dimes?” 8F23

Roots and affixes, compositionality of derivational morphology
Joltin’ Joe Frazier says “the blah blah dictionary defines excellence as the quality or blah of being excellent.”

Episode: “C. E. D'oh” (#EABF10 / SI-1410) Homer runs the plant.

Synthetic & headless conjunctive compounds:
Mr. Burns calls Homer a ‘corn-fed man-cow’

Homer says, “And now begins my reign of terr......ific management!”
Lenny says, “I thought he was going to say ‘terror’!
Carl: I didn’t think he was going that way.

Language change:
Mr. Burns says, “I worked here for three score and twain — 62 years in the ‘new English’”.

Episode: Skinner's Sense of Snow, Episode # 1208 CABF06

gonna-contraction ≠ coulda contraction
Bart: But I was gonna add buttresses!
Skinner: Gonna, shonna, wonna.

Also, don't miss this list on a Simpsons page; there's some overlap with the above, but others I haven't gotten.

Finally, of course, who could forget the episode in which Lisa builds a grammar bot for a science project? Linguo's every utterance is a language joke.
(Also in that episode, Lisa accidentally ends up at West Springfield Elementary and finds herself in a French class. As the students laugh at her, the teacher admonishes, “En français!” and they all nasalize their laughs.)

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. Now that I have a good venue for them, I’ll post updates from time to time, maybe every time I collect five more. Do send your favorites!

(Really, it would be so easy to base an entire intro linguistics class entirely around the Simpsons... hmm. We are always trying to improve our FTE ratios... Might be worth trying. Update: Heck, these guys use 'em for math. Linguistics would be a cakewalk!)

Question Update: As I looked at a few Simpsons sites for this post, I noticed that the accepted orthography for Marge's trademark annoyed noise is mmm. This didn't seem adequate to me, and got me thinking about the difference between a regular prolonged bilabial nasal, [mmm] (the noise you make for yummy things, as in mmm... forbidden donut), and Marge's annoyed noise. It seemed to me it might be an ATR minimal pair, with [mmm] being [+ATR] and Marge's noise being (aggressively) [-ATR]. Does that make sense to any phonologists [shoulda mentioned phoneticians! d'oh. -hh] out there?

Update on question: Mark Liberman over at Language Log, who worries about phonetic issues on a professional basis, discusses the question and suggests Marge's noise might involve pharyngeal constriction. Now that the problem safely is in the hands of qualified experts, I can rest easy. (I will just add that, trying to approximate Marge's noise with my fingers on my larynx, it seems to lower.) I look forward to the results of the technical analysis!

Update update: Check out these spectrograms produced by the industrious q_pheevr!

Another update: And, check out the Simpsons characters' names in other languages, courtesy of Language Hat.

Update update update: ...and this follow up from Mark at Language Log. Now that he's got his database in hand, no doubt a full analysis is moments away. At one point he mentions a fiberoptic laryngoscope...I'd also been wondering about the possible utility in this matter of my colleague Diana Archangeli's ultrasound machine. Maybe when I get back to AZ in the fall I'll check it out.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Longer-than-your-average-compound compounds

I've been collecting language-related comics for undergraduate edification for a while, and have quite a substantial batch of them. I'd like to post them here occasionally, but I fear that copyright law forbids it. Today, however, one turned up that reminded me of another collection I've been making, of phrasal compounds in (edited) print. Since this cartoon is new, the link to it on will be good for 29 more days, so here it is for that amount of time:

Phrasal compound in Speed Bump comic

One main source of phrasal compounds in my collection is my best-of-all-time movie reviewer, James DiGiovanna of the Tucson Weekly. The reviews in which he's given to using phrasal compounds are not often his best ones, so do visit his archive and browse around, but I've linked to the source reviews for the few I've listed below so you can see their full context.

...the kind of first-thought-that-pops-into-my-head thing that's typical of Hollywood screenwriting

...his usual heartwarming-story-with-multiple-urination-scenes projects.

...this was such a punch-the-clock affair...

...the seamlessness of his Yoda's-mind-in-the-body-of-Adonis performance.

I recently ran across an interesting article by irregular-morphology supremo Harald Clahsen and collaborator Mayella Almazan, contrasting the phrasal and root compounding abilities of Williams Syndrome subjects with those of SLI and control subjects. The result seems to be that the WS subjects have intact phrasal compounding, consistent with other robust properties of their syntactic system, but impaired root compounding. I think Clahsen wants this to correlate with the words-and-rules scenario, given that he and his collaborators have also found that WS subjects have impaired abilities with irregulars and intact abilities with regulars. However, it's not clear to me how this is supposed to work on the irregulars-stored, regulars-computed idea; I don't think Clahsen is claiming that the root compounds that they tested, like rat eater, are stored. Interesting topic for us syntax-all-the-way-down theorists.

Finally, here's a picture of a phrasal compound on a sign that my aunt took on a trip. The equine in question is so clearly ready to live up to his warning; don't mess with him.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Grand theft bovine animal?

We were just watching the movie Boys Don't Cry, since we missed it the first time around. In the movie Hilary Swank's character Brandon is charged with "grand theft auto", and I suddenly wondered about the syntactic status of that phrase. Why is 'auto' last? Is it just another kind of symptom of the French-derived modifier order in legalese, as exhibited in terms like 'attorney general' and 'surgeon general'? But that would be a bit weird, since I'm (reasonably) confident that 'grand theft auto' is (a) a relatively recent coinage and (b) is probably US legalese, owing nothing to idiomatic holdovers from the British system. Is the head-modifier order itself a holdover within US legalese, I mused? (<-- And where in that sentence does the question mark go? Anyplace I put it looks wrong.) Googling didn't help, because the game "Grand Theft Auto" seemed to trump most combinations of searches including that string. Eventually I stumbled on the Wikipedia entry for it, which helped a bit -- the 'grand' part designates 'felony' status in the several state penal codes which list this specific crime. But, I thought, it doesn't explain why it's 'theft auto' rather than 'auto theft'.

Poking around a bit more, I found the California legal code online, the relevant section of which makes the constituent structure clearer:
487.  Grand theft is theft committed in any of the following cases:
(d) When the property taken is any of the following:
(1) An automobile, horse, mare, gelding, any bovine animal, any
caprine animal, mule, jack, jenny, sheep, lamb, hog, sow, boar, gilt,
barrow, or pig.
(2) A firearm.

So it really is [[grand theft] auto], not [grand [theft auto]]. I can sympathize with the coiner's being forced to exocentricity; 'auto grand theft', which is what English would really have you do, sounds pretty odd, doubtless because of the 'grand' in the middle there; noun compounds don't like adjectives in them, even though in this case I assume the adjective itself is part of an adj-noun compound. (...though this doesn't stop anyone from producing 'the Bush White House', etc.; maybe the adj-noun compound has to be really well established before it can be the head of a nominal compound?)

Hmm! Maybe it IS really connected to French-derived legalese after all. Although in French you normally have to have postnominal adjectives, a very few adjectives are allowed to occur prenominally, and grand(e) is one of them. So one can say things like un grand homme brun, 'a big man brown' (dark-haired). Could it be that 'grand theft auto' sounds ok because of its connection to grand in combination with other postnominal modifiers in French?

But it's still a bit odd, in that (in the movies, on TV, etc.) one hears about 'grand theft auto' all the time, but I'm 100% sure I've never heard of 'grand theft horse', 'grand theft goat', 'grand theft jenny', 'grand theft boar', etc. More relevantly in this modern world, one never hears about 'grand theft firearm'. Does anyone know if, within the law-enforcement or legal world, this is indeed the technical way to refer to any subcategory of grand theft? Or is it reserved especially for autos?

Update: Literal Minded discusses a similar but way more bizarre example to do with poultry here.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Evocative example sentences

Over on Tenser, said the Tensor, the Tensor posted a list of canonical example languages, which reminded me of a list of canonical example sentences I've been collecting. (Well, they're not all sentences, exactly.) The idea is that the mere mention of any of these sentences will call a whole series of arguments and citations to the mind any linguist educated in the generative tradition. They're in no particular order. Like the Tensor, I've identified the phenomenon they're supposed to be illustrating in the background color, just beside the sentence in question. Select the line to see it.

Send additions, emendations, corrections!

Who do you wanna leave? Wanna-contraction
Every farmer who owns a donkey beats it. Donkey sentences
Which report did you file without reading? Parasitic gap:
wug/wugs productive morphology
John is easy to please. tough-movement
John is eager to please. control
The cat seems to be out of the bag. raising
*The cat wants to be out of the bag. raising vs. control
Tabs were kept on Jane Fonda. passive NP movement
John persuaded Mary to leave. object control
John promised Mary to leave. subject control across object
Who does his mother love? Weak crossover
His mother loves every boy. Weak crossover via covert quantifier raising
There seems to be a man in the room. Expletives and the EPP
The horse raced past the barn fell Garden path
Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. Syntax/semantics mismatch
More people have been to Russia than I have. ? Something about syntax w/o semantics
The rat the cat the dog chased bit hid. Center embedding
Don’t giggle me! Overgeneralization
Hesperus is Phosphorus. Reference
‘water’ = H2O vs XYZ Reference:
Snow is white. Truth
Someone loves everyone. Scope
Two languages are spoken by everyone in this room. Scope
Who did you say bought what? Subjacency
*What did you say who bought? Subjacency
Fanfuckintastic! Infixation aand stress
Navratifuckinlova Infixation
writer, rider Flapping, lengthening
pit/spit Allophony
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo ?? something to puzzle undergrads with, absence of morphology in English
Mary saw the man with the telescope. Structural ambiguity
It’s cold in here!Indirect speech act
John kicked the bucket. Idiom
Into the room whistled a bullet. Locative inversion

John is a bachelor lexical decomposition, lexical entailment

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