C. Faulkner on the Possessive Antecedent Proscription

Margaret Lee mlee303 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Jun 5 11:43:13 UTC 2003

What about "The writing style of Faulkner makes him difficult to

--- Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
> scott sadowsky:
>  >On Wed, 4 Jun 2003, Lesa Dill wrote:
>   > >His comment was about this type of construction--
>   > >Faulkner's writing style makes him difficult to read.
>  >So what would the prescriptivists have us say?  "Faulkner's
> writing
>  >style makes itself difficult to read"?
> the usual two choices are repetition -
>   Faulkner's writing style makes Faulkner difficult to read.
> and cataphora -
>   His writing style makes Faulkner difficult to read.
> though a non-pronominal definite anaphor is also possible -
>   Faulkner's writing style makes this writer difficult to read.
> (or "the (celebrated) Southern writer" or whatever).
> these are all significantly more marked, in discourse terms,
> than the proscribed sentence.  but you can appreciate that only if
> your interpretation of sentences isn't filtered through The Rules.
> if it is so filtered, then any of the others is infinitely better
> than the - quite simply incoherent - proscribed sentence.
> arnold (zwicky at csli.stanford.edu)

Margaret G. Lee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor - English and Linguistics
 & University Editor
Department of English
Hampton University, Hampton, VA 23668
e-mail: margaret.lee at hamptonu.edu   or   mlee303 at yahoo.com

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