Biology trumps linguistics?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Aug 24 17:39:25 UTC 2012

At 8/24/2012 01:20 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>On Aug 24, 2012, at 1:07 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> > "Family Tree of [Indo-European] Languages Has Roots in Anatolia,
> > Biologists Say", by Nicholas Wade.
> > NYTimes, today (Aug. 24), A8 (N.E. Edition).
> >
> >
> > (The illustration's legend begins with an unfortunate sentence: "A
> > new study suggests that the sprawling Indo-European family of
> > languages originated in Anatolia, or modern-day Turkey."  Surely the
> > I-E family did not originate in modern-day Turkey.)
> >
>Well, it did, if the study is right and if "modern-day" here is like
>"former", "late",

I can't make "modern-day" mean "former" or "late".  (I assume Larry
can't either, and is being satiric here.)

>or "legitimate" (as in the unfortunate congressman's reference to
>"legitimate rape" in the earlier thread):  an adverb in
>(non-intersective) adjective's clothing.  It would have been clearer
>if the caption writer had said "or what would become modern-day Turkey",

Yes, although more accurate would be to describe Anatolia as a
*region* of Turkey (although it is by far the largest region).

>but the sense is something like "in modern-day-ishly Turkey".  The
>"or" doesn't help.

It hurts (me).

The American Dialect Society -

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