Fronter and Backer

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sat Jun 22 11:53:40 UTC 2002

>         I'd certainly say this in class, right along with higher and
>lower, but some intuition tells me I probably wouldn't write it, resorting
>instead to the awkward locution "further front" and "further back". I
>certainly could not bring myself to use "more front" or "more back". Larry
>will probably tell us that "front" and "back" are not gradable per se. It
>is interesting that one dimension would be gradadable and another not.
>Thanks for bringing this to our attention (it's always interesting how
>out-of-awareness so much of language is, even for linguists).

I think "fronter" and "backer" in their usual general senses are analogous
not to "higher" and "lower" but rather to "topper" and "bottomer".

I think the phonetics use is a special one, and the comparatives here don't
seem so wrong to me.

-- Doug Wilson

More information about the Ads-l mailing list