Unpacked in the UK
Greetings again, blogosphere, from Cambridge, England. I had promised myself I wouldn't blog anymore until I got through two outstanding overdue reviews. They were done a week ago, and I still didn't blog, and now I should probably swear off blogging again until I get through another review, due soon. But I've been saving up a pile of rants and notes on my bedtime reading material while here, G.M. Treveylan's 1926 "History of England", which I'm dying to get off my chest, so look for a series of posts on that soon.
But in the meantime, I've been catching up on my blogroll reading, and am fascinated by the unpacked problem. I don't have anything too new to add, but thought I'd remark on one aspect of the situation that hasn't received much airplay yet: the fact that it's not really restricted to this one lexical item. Browsing through the comments at LanguageHat's post on the topic, I see that many commenters have provided parallel examples with other roots, all of which sound perfectly sensible to me (and take me to corners of the web I had not previously thought to explore):
unrolled ("still unrolled condom")
unwrapped ("still unwrapped mummy")
unloaded ("still unloaded faecal matter")
unfurled ("still unfurled [fiddlehead fern fork]")
Seems clear to me that what we have here is a happenin' haplology, as Geoff Nunberg has asserted -- and that it's not restricted to "unpacked", but is really pretty robustly productive when adjectival and verbal uns stack up.
"Apparently Weigall assumed that the objects he saw were retaining straps or mummy "braces," used to hold the shroud and wrappings covering the mummy in place. (A good example of such "mummy bands" appears on the still-unwrapped mummy of Isiemkheb-D.)"
unfolded ("still unfolded leaves")