10

Note, you have mentioned two strategies, not one: An action verb with an optional negative particle; A supplemental verb (as in do-support in English) with an optional negative particle. This one is wide spread in analytical languages, e.g. Thai: เขา เป็น คน ไทย [ใช่] ไหม he is person Thai is interrogative particle ไม่ ใช่ not is Note ...


7

First off, let's take a broader look at multiple negation. Van der Wouden (1994a) describes four different classes of how multiple negation can be interpreted: double negation (DN), e.g. Standard English constructions with negation on the verb alongside negation of the pronoun [He did not see no-one.]; weakening negation, e.g. Standard English constructions ...


6

I am slightly puzzled by the fact that you seem to know Rizzi's work but not the answer to this question, but anyway. This answer entirely presupposes the framework in which L.Rizzi is working. Rizzi's aim is to describe the articulation of what he calls the complementizer layer CP of a sentence. He remarks that this part of the sentence (typically found at ...


5

Copular clauses in English generally have a "Topic BE Focus" structure, rather than a "Focus BE Topic" structure. That is, the phrase that you're predicating something about precedes the copula; what you're predicating of that phrase follows the copula. In your example, you were predicating something about "the guy behind you", namely that you were ...


5

An entailment is a necessary implication: an inference from an utterance which must be true if the utterance is true. An implicature is a cancellable implication: an inference from an utterance which we take the utterance to imply on its face, by 'default', but which may in the context of other information nonetheless not be true even if the utterance is ...


5

There's lots of work on the semantics of the English perfect constructions. A recentish (2002) paper by Kiparsky which could get you started is here.


4

Other terms for assertive and non-assertive in this context are realis and irrealis as well as positive and negative polarity. When using some, somebody etc. the existence of the entity in question is asserted. There is somebody hiding behind the box means that the speaker assumes that there is a person hiding there, although they are not aware who it is. ...


4

Most sentences contain presuppositions. For instance: (1) a. Tom's sister left. Depending on the situation, this sentence can be true or false. But regardless of whether it is true or false, it presupposes that Tom has a sister. Presupposition is identified using negation. If a sentence is negated, the presupposition nevertheless remains intact, e.g. (...


4

Short answer: There are probably no languages "which because of their structure do not allow for the use of sarcasm or irony" since much sarcasm doesn't depend on certain features/structures. But it is interesting to look at the relation between linguistic features and sarcasm. Longer musings: There are certainly kinds of sarcasm which are facilitated by ...


4

In Swedish you use "Ja" to positively answer a positive question and "Jo" to positively answer a negative question. Nej is used otherwise. http://www.thelocal.se/blogs/theswedishteacher/2011/01/21/ja-eller-jo/


4

These are the creation of Charles Sanders Peirce. From an encyclopedia entry on Peirce's Theory of Signs: By 1903, for reasons related to his work on phenomenology, Peirce thought the central features of sign-vehicles could be divided into three broad areas, and consequently, that signs could be classified accordingly. This division depends upon whether ...


4

The classic statement of the meanings of the perfect construction is McCawley, “Tense and time reference in English”, in Langendoen & Fillmore, Studies in linguistic semantics, 1971. (McCawley subsequently retracted one of the four meanings he described there, the "Hot News" perfect.) After that linguists struggled with the perfect—is it ...


4

I find it more accurate to see the world as follows: IMO it's not very accuate to depict semantics as an extension of syntax. There is a crucial difference in what phonology, morphology and syntax do and what semantics and pragmatics are concerned with: The former are about form, the latter about meaning. This is a distinction that is sometimes disputed, ...


4

I got some money from one of my teachers (Cathy Callahan) to drive out to California to do some field work on Yawelmani (a well-documented American Indian language). But the only Yawelmani speaker I could locate refused to speak to me -- he seemed to be angry about something. So with help from a guy at a museum in Bakersfield, I got the name and address of ...


4

Grice claims that implicature is separate from what is said, since it can only come from a surrounding context: sarcasm, for example, can't be understood in a vacuum. Others say that the dichotomy between "what is said" and "what is not said" in this case is a false one, since nothing can be understood in a vacuum: there is no "true meaning" of the words ...


4

"Pragmatics wastebasket" may refer to the view that there is no legitimate field of pragmatics, but rather calling a phenomenon "pragmatic" is just used by some grammarians as an excuse for not giving any real explanation for it.


4

A gender-neutral pronoun, hen, has recently found its way into the official dictionary of Swedish. It is a loanword from Finnish, proposed in 1966 and popularised in the 2000s. Transfeminism seems to be one of the reasons for its adoption. The use hen spread, to some degree, to other Scandinavian languages, such as Norwegian. Norwegian Wikipedia lists hen, ...


4

The study of meaning is usually divided into two sub-areas, semantics and pragmatics, where semantics is about literal, denotative meaning (looking only at the linguistic form) and pragmatics is about how non-semantic context and semantics interact to generate the broader meaning / communicative function of an utterance. Connotation is considered to be part ...


3

If we raise issues concerning the people who are communicating, that's doing pragmatics. If we don't need to raise such issues, we can stick to discussing semantics. In your example, if I were to ask if the "you" in what A says actually referred to person B, I would be raising a pragmatic concern. Reference concerns individuals, while sense goes beyond ...


3

The problem with using Grice to interpret actual discourse as if we could easily map each item exactly onto one of those maxims is that it's going beyond the original intention. Grice did not base it on extensive analysis of a corpus of conversation but rather in response to very specific problems with the traditional truth-conditional or more generally ...


3

Unfortunately, you have been misled. (BTW, misled is the past form of mislead) The "English grammar" site that you have been looking at is, in a word, junk. It's full of incorrect and misleading information; it seems to be just one person's ideas, most of which are, alas, not very useful or helpful, since the person is not a professional. At least in ...


3

While the definite article is assumed to exhibit both an existence and a uniqueness presupposition, combining to an "exactly one" presupposition: I saw the bear yesterday → There is a bear → There is not more than one bear → = There is exactly one bear (in this situation, e.g. in a town) this is generally not assumed for the indefinite article: ...


3

It represents something similar to “made up of”, though more accurately, it means “logically depends on, when analyzing”. It is the logical onion of classical taxonomic analysis – you would be analyzing a particular utterance – and the procedural requirement was that you had to first capture the utterance in terms of “phones”, then group phones together into ...


3

It is possible to record rare features of a language because it is possible to encounter such a feature, and it is possible to record. It is up to the linguist to take appropriate note of the feature, which does depend on the background and interest of the linguist. Even a native speaker of a language may be completely unaware that his language has such-and-...


3

Stress in English often marks Focus, often some kind of contrastive focus. Your paraphrase is what would be meant by a neutral version of that sentence with no emphasised words. John is easy to recognise = It is easy to recognise John When John is emphasised we listeners are to understand that John has focus and that what is being said may be counter to ...


3

Grice was writing in the 1950s and '60s and he was a philosopher, not a linguist. Thus his views of "what is said" are not linguistic ones, and indeed they're not all that clear to his readers. There is, in fact, a problem with talking about "what is said" that emerges as soon as the description goes beyond the sounds uttered, because anything beyond the ...


2

Of the two interpretations suggested in the question, I prefer the first. That is, upon my first reading of the example and the context in which it appears, I immediately concluded that the it is a standard anaphoric pronoun, referring back to the community. Only after reading the context and the alternative interpretation carefully was I able to get that ...


2

Well, in the first joke the -let suffix in "piglet" is not fully productive, meaning that it cannot be reliably applied to all relevant nouns to give the meaning of "a baby-aged or small version of X". Here, the joke assumes that -let is a fully productive suffix, and the result when applied to "toy" is the word for the thing we shit into, so... However ...


2

To make it explicit, Consider the following sentence: "Hey, How you doin'?" In Semantics the sentence just asks about how the other person is doing, Or how he/she feels etc. But pragmatics says that if a guy (joey!) tells this sentence to a female, it means that he might be hitting on her. In another view Semantics is affected by the meaning of the ...


2

1: it's a lexical property of "stop" (contrast "start", "try", "deny"); it follows from what "stop" means. Notice that "start" describes a change of state, too. 2: Yes, see Kiparsky & Kiparsky "Fact".


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