General Discussion > General Linguistics

Sam and the Coathangers

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Kilian:
About a year ago, Sam Featherston explained a difference between English and German syntax using coathangers with revolving hooks. Laura present-mindedly took a photo.

johannes:
Kilian, how about posting some of Sam's collected quotations here? Wouldn't that fit nicely?

Kilian:
Now you could ask why they used Greek letters here and wrote alpha = SU, beta = DO and gamma = IO at the bottom instead of just writing SU, DO and IO at the top. The reason for this is that Greek letters look really academic and deeply formal. Isn't it great?

If two people have the same mother, they're sisters - in grammar.

If you say "Sam's destruction of the city", it is quite clear that it is the city that is destroyed. However, if you only say "Sam's destruction", it might well be Sam that is destroyed. Very sad. A very sad thing indeed.

John met a student of art history, and Wolfgang met one of bad character.

How can you show that "student" is a constituent in "John met a student of physics"? Hm, that's tricky... perhaps, if I say: "John met a -krk- of physics", you can say: "John met a what of physics?"

If you don't understand that, you're right.

It is - as linguists put it - "poorly understood", which means basically that we have no idea whatsoever what's going on.

Laura:
Nice... and what about all those funny quotes from Frank, Prof. Sternefeld, Prof. v. Stechow (well, concerning the latter, I'd better ask Anne...)? Eagerly waiting for more!  :wink:

Sometime during the last semester, Aleks drew a picture of the "Skeemer" - do you think that would fit in here?

aleks:
I dunno whether it's on my hard disk still...

Well, whatever. How about making our own ISCL fortune cookie? Just collect the quotations and put the cookie somewhere online (probably Fachschaftswebsite...)

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