The ultimate go-ahead-and

Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Wed Aug 23 12:50:11 UTC 2000

> From:         Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU>

> I agree with Don and Natalie.  I've used the phrase many times and never
> thought of it as acknowledging permission, unless it's
> self-permission.

If linguistic analysis comes down to what we're thinking that we're doing when
we say something, then we might as well all go home!  I'm sure most people who
pepper their sentences with "you know" or "like" don't think they're doing much
there either.  Perhaps the word "permission" was troublesome to some of you,
but I do think "go ahead and" a face-management tactic (in the politeness
theory sense of "face").

But I think analyzing it is also a bit tricky because I think there's more than
one use for "go ahead and".  For the most part, it seems to involve stating the
intention to do something that's already been introduced into the realm of
possibilities.  This would be a fun thing to do a corpus study of.  I'm also
wondering if there's a particular prosodic signature for the ones that Peter
thinks are particularly empty.  The problem with this list is that I keep
adding more things to my "to be researched" list instead of finishing my "to be
researching" list.


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