Who's diddling and how?

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 17 21:17:25 UTC 2008

I thought that might be how you meant it. I had the same framework in
grad school (yep, mid and late seventies). I guess I was expecting
"-MASC or +FEM subject is marked with transitive FUCK", and I was
confused by, probably, the clause's beginning with "transitive FUCK
is...", which got me expecting a description of the lexical entry
rather than the usage.

BTW, I'd forgotten till just now... Oh, this gets into the main
thread, you'll see it there.


On Thu, Jul 17, 2008 at 12:24 PM,  <RonButters at aol.com> wrote:
> In a message dated 7/17/08 9:50:21 AM, thnidu at gmail.com writes:
>> On Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 9:51 PM, <ronbutters at aol.com> wrote:
>> One way of describing this is that transitive FUCK is marked for -MASC &
>> +FEM subject. So without further info, "Chris loved fucking Lynn" will be
>> assumed to indicate a male subject, at least for older speakers.
> I don't think I said this wrong. What I meant was that the marked case is
> that the subject is -MASC +FEM. The unmarked (= default) case is that the subject
> is +MASC -FEM.
> (I realize that I'm using a theoretical framework here that is sbout 35 years
> out of date--though it is the one that most introductory linguistic textbooks
> still embrace, perhaps because more "sophisticated" semantic and syntactic
> theories change so quickly. Are we being diddled in this respect?)

Mark Mandel

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list