[Ads-l] The part of speech of it

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Thu Oct 1 23:49:17 UTC 2015


I think "last" fits with "next", but both differ from "fourth" and "cleanup".  (It's not quite "sequence", since "fourth" also expresses sequence.)


I can say "he's up next/fourth/cleanup/last", but none of these with "very" (although someone else might).

I can say "he's the next/fourth/cleanup/last batter", but "very" only with "next" and "last".

Joel

      From: Geoffrey Steven Nathan <geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
 Sent: Thursday, October 1, 2015 1:15 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] The part of speech of it
   
I'll agree that IT has to be in predicate nominal position unless it means 'the one who is IT'. Not sure where that leaves us.

As for 'clean-up' being parallel to 'fourth' I'd agree. Also 'next' and 'last'. But what are they? 'Last' can be modified by 'very', but none of 'next', 'fourth' or 'clean-up' can take an intensifier. Being at heart a Cognitive Linguist I'm not uncomfortable with a scattering of words that don't fit into the traditional syntactic categories, but this is an interesting conundrum.

Geoff

Geoffrey S. Nathan
Faculty Liaison, C&IT
and Professor, Linguistics Program
http://blogs.wayne.edu/proftech/
+1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)

Nobody at Wayne State will EVER ask you for your password. Never send it to anyone in an email, no matter how authentic the email looks.

________________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, October 1, 2015 12:05 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: The part of speech of it

---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:      American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:      Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Subject:      Re: The part of speech of it
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

> On Oct 1, 2015, at 11:48 AM, Geoffrey Steven Nathan =
<geoffnathan at wayne.edu> wrote:
>=20
> I disagree with Larry that this 'it' can't be a subject. For me it =
can, as for example, in explaining the rules of a particular kind of =
'tag'. '
>=20
> Let's say that IT has to touch people with two hands'.=20
>=20
> So that would make IT a proper noun, I guess, since it rejects any =
kind of Determiner.

OK, let's keep the all-caps for our "IT".  For me, "Chris is IT" is much =
more natural than "IT is Chris" (much less "IT's Chris").  I agree about =
the acceptability of "IT has to touch people..." but I take that as =
elliptical for "The one who is IT..." =20
>=20
> On the other hand, to me 'clean-up' feels like an adverb. It's a place =
or time, and semantically it modifies 'bats'.

It does seem to answer the question "Where is Gehrig (in the line-up)", =
if that makes it an adverb.  It doesn't always modify "bats", though.  =
Is "fourth" an adverb in "He's (hitting/batting) fourth"? =20

LH

>=20
> Geoffrey S. Nathan
> Faculty Liaison, C&IT
> and Professor, Linguistics Program
> =
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3Dhttp-3A__blogs.wayne.edu_prof=
tech_&d=3DAwIFAw&c=3D-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3DwFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1T=
sSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=3D1HZyYiPZ_36b00-4bn-KMHSEEJeY4UELWyXeFx6NHRo&s=3DVkiw=
d_qUZBv-s-2Aoj_566yBJrMGqzDLdAg_YGYEsgc&e=3D=20
> +1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)
>=20
> Nobody at Wayne State will EVER ask you for your password. Never send =
it to anyone in an email, no matter how authentic the email looks.
>=20
> ________________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of =
Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Sent: Thursday, October 1, 2015 11:41 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: The part of speech of it
>=20
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header =
-----------------------
> Sender:      American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:      Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: The part of speech of it
> =
--------------------------------------------------------------------------=
-----
>=20
>> On Oct 1, 2015, at 11:09 AM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM> =3D
> wrote:
>> =3D20
>> I can't answer the question, but to me it is the same as 'trumps' in =
=3D
> the
>> sentence "Spades are trumps."
>=20
> But "trumps" can be a subject as in "Trumps win against all other =3D
> suits", while "it" can't (for me, anyway).  "Trump" I think is an =3D
> ordinary noun (although I can think of one who would beg to differ), =3D=

> allowing modification ("small trumps"), while "it" isn't and doesn't.
>> =3D20
>> It is also similar to 'cleanup' in the sentence "Duda is batting =3D
> cleanup."
>=20
> The OED has "clean-up" as a noun "freq. attrib." (clean-up hitter); =3D
> there's a 1909 cite referring to "batters of the 'clean-up' kind", not =
=3D
> apparently referring to the fourth hitter in the lineup, but by 1922 a =
=3D
> cite refers to the "the clean-up position".  But none of these are =3D
> possible for "it", which only occurs predicatively, so I don't think =3D=

> we've cracked the puzzle yet. (You can get "the 'it' role", but that's =
=3D
> metalinguistic or quotational in a way "the cleanup position" isn't.) =
=3D20=3D
>=20
>=20
> It doesn't really pattern with predicate-only adjectives either, since =
=3D
> it doesn't pass the adjective test:
>=20
> She seems (looks, sounds) asleep/agog/awake.
> #She seems (looks, sounds) it. =3D20
>=20
> The OED does get to our "it" eventually (after many other entries, =3D
> including one glossed as 'sexual intercourse'--it is a very versatile =
=3D
> word), taking it to be a noun (and not worrying about its =
distributional =3D
> restrictions).  The first cite is from Scotland:
>=20
> C, n. 1  a. In children's games: (the name of) the player who has the =
=3D
> task of catching or touching any of the others. Also fig. and in =3D
> extended use. Cf. he n.1 3a.
>=20
> 1825  J. Jamieson Etymol. Dict. Sc. Lang. Suppl.  It, a term =
applied, =3D
> in the games of young people, to the person whose lot it is to afford =
=3D
> the sport. Thus, in Blindman's Buff, he who is blindfolded is It, in =3D=

> Loth.
>=20
> C, n. 1b. is a synonym for the game itself, i.e. "tag":
>=20
> 2.  b. A children's game in which one player has the task of catching =
or =3D
> touching any of the others
>=20
> LH
>=20
>> =3D20
>> I think 'maillot jaune' works the same way, n'est-ce pas? Also Punto =
=3D
> and
>> Banco in baccarat.
>> =3D20
>> DanG
>> =3D20
>> On Thu, Oct 1, 2015 at 5:15 AM, Benjamin Barrett =3D
> <gogaku at ix.netcom.com>
>> wrote:
>> =3D20
>>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>> -----------------------
>>> Sender:      American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>> Poster:      Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
>>> Subject:      The part of speech of it
>>> =3D20
>>> =3D
> =
--------------------------------------------------------------------------=
=3D
> -----
>>> =3D20
>>> In various children=3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3D99s games, such as tag, freeze =
tag =3D
> and =3D3D
>>> hide-and-seek, one person is designated as it, which perhaps can be =
=3D3D=3D
>=20
>>> summarized as the person having the role of making someone else it =
=3D3D
>>> according to various rules. Wiktionary and the Oxford Dictionary =
site =3D
> =3D3D
>>> say the role is to catch other players. I don=3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3D99t =
think =3D
> the caller =3D3D
>>> in mother, may I? or Simon says is referred to as it.
>>> =3D20
>>> Wiktionary =3D
> =
(https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3D3Dhttps-3A__en.wiktionary.or=
g_=3D
> =
wiki_it-23Noun&d=3D3DAwIBaQ&c=3D3D-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3D3DwFp3X4Mu39h=
B2bf13=3D
> =
gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=3D3D-4MrIZN-o_h0_cP-NMv7bRZsne8KYPSHkgZwBxI0r=
4I=3D
> &s=3D3Dy4GtY6CbIqHpLPk9YZINpVwBgQB0f-BYnATzPKdDnK0&e=3D3D ) lists this =
as a =3D
> noun =3D3D
>>> and the Oxford Dictionary site =3D3D
>>> =3D
> =
(https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3D3Dhttp-3A__www.oxforddiction=
ar=3D
> =
ies.com_definition_american-5Fenglish_it-23IT&d=3D3DAwIBaQ&c=3D3D-dg2m7zWu=
uDZ0=3D
> =
MUcV7Sdqw&r=3D3DwFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=3D3D-4MrIZN-=
o_h0=3D
> =
_cP-NMv7bRZsne8KYPSHkgZwBxI0r4I&s=3D3D1lbufLBxF5ST9ndo1TKRa86aexotO73IlLAZ=
IS=3D
> xNdy4&e=3D3D ) =3D3D
>>> lists it as a pronoun.
>>> =3D20
>>> 1. Noun?
>>> If if it=3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3D99s a noun, you should be able to =
say,=3D3D20
>>> =3D20
>>> * =3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3D9CRachel=3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3D99s the =
it.=3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3D9D=3D3D20
>>> =3D20
>>> (Wiktionary but not Oxford has a different definition that probably =
=3D3D=3D
>=20
>>> works for this.)
>>> =3D20
>>> 2. Pronoun?
>>> If it=3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3D99s a pronoun, you should be able to =
say,=3D3D20
>>> =3D20
>>> * =3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3D9CRachel is it. It is trying to catch =
me!=3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3D9D=3D
>=20
>>> =3D20
>>> Neither of those work, and the Wiktionary illustrative sentence =3D
> (which =3D3D
>>> appears to not be a citation) is, "In the next game, Adam and Tom =3D
> will =3D3D
>>> be it=3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3DA6=3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3D9D showing that this =3D
> =3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3D9Cit=3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3D9D can be =3D3D
>>> plural.
>>> =3D20
>>> 3. Proper noun?
>>> I don=3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3D99t think it=3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3D99s a proper =
noun, either, =3D
> along the =3D3D
>>> lines of Miss America:=3D3D20
>>> =3D20
>>> Rachel was last year=3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3D99s Miss America/ * =
yesterday's it
>>> =3D20
>>> 4. Predicate adjective?
>>> Could it be a predicate adjective, along the lines of =3D
> =3D3DE2=3D3D80=3D3D9Caglow"?=3D3D20=3D3D
>>> =3D20
>>> =3D20
>>> The ice rink was aglow
>>> Rachel was aglow
>>> =3D20
>>> * The aglow ice rink
>>> * The it Rachel
>>> =3D20
>>> My first guess is predicate adjective and second proper noun.
>>> =3D20
>>> Benjamin Barrett
>>> Formerly of Seattle, WA
>>> =3D20
>>> Learn Ainu! =3D
> =
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3D3Dhttps-3A__sites.google.com_=
si=3D
> =
te_aynuitak1_-3D&d=3D3DAwIBaQ&c=3D3D-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3D3DwFp3X4Mu3=
9hB2bf=3D
> =
13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=3D3D-4MrIZN-o_h0_cP-NMv7bRZsne8KYPSHkgZwBxI=
0r=3D
> 4I&s=3D3DOt_oLMGY2eV7MlWEuaDh6dAfhObzFw5-pyqGlTFAsAY&e=3D3D=3D20
>>> =3D20
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - =3D
> =
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3D3Dhttp-3A__www.americandialec=
t.=3D
> =
org&d=3D3DAwIBaQ&c=3D3D-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3D3DwFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0Z=
pW1TsS=3D
> =
xPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=3D3D-4MrIZN-o_h0_cP-NMv7bRZsne8KYPSHkgZwBxI0r4I&s=3D3DLj=
1pss=3D
> XARrqUdAjgTlyARvgKIJIqRPuulEPhUkb4ID4&e=3D3D=3D20
>>> =3D20
>> =3D20
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - =3D
> =
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3D3Dhttp-3A__www.americandialec=
t.=3D
> =
org&d=3D3DAwIBaQ&c=3D3D-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3D3DwFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0Z=
pW1TsS=3D
> =
xPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=3D3D-4MrIZN-o_h0_cP-NMv7bRZsne8KYPSHkgZwBxI0r4I&s=3D3DLj=
1pss=3D
> XARrqUdAjgTlyARvgKIJIqRPuulEPhUkb4ID4&e=3D3D=3D20
>=20
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - =
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3Dhttp-3A__www.americandialect.=
org&d=3DAwIFAw&c=3D-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3DwFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsS=
xPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=3D1HZyYiPZ_36b00-4bn-KMHSEEJeY4UELWyXeFx6NHRo&s=3D0HaDDX=
Xlx3GjTDm3s8M6OwYAsTZdaZcD04tsRfVBZCE&e=3D=20
>=20
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - =
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=3Dhttp-3A__www.americandialect.=
org&d=3DAwIFAw&c=3D-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=3DwFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsS=
xPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=3D1HZyYiPZ_36b00-4bn-KMHSEEJeY4UELWyXeFx6NHRo&s=3D0HaDDX=
Xlx3GjTDm3s8M6OwYAsTZdaZcD04tsRfVBZCE&e=3D=20

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