[Ads-l] "just as good _of_ a(n) NP"

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 23 15:11:44 UTC 2015


Does that make Colon the eldest statesman?

DanG

On Fri, Oct 23, 2015 at 9:59 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
wrote:

> ---------------------- 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: "just as good _of_ a(n) NP"
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Another factor for some speakers: size matters.  And so do parts of =
> speech.  I'm used to "not that good of an X" for decades, and with other =
> short, especially monosyllabic, adjectives it doesn't seem that marked, =
> e.g. "not that strong/great/bad of an X".  But with polysyllabic =
> adjectives it seems much less natural to me.  This morning, on Mike & =
> Mike (ESPN radio) the Mets' elder statesman Michael Cuddyer (almost 37 =
> years old; actually, Bartolo Colon is five years elder a statesman), was =
> asked about the impressive impact of the youthful pitchers--de Grom, =
> Syndegaard, Harvey, Matz--who have led the Mets into the World Series, =
> noted that it was especially gratifying =20
>
> "to be able to do it at that young of an age and that collection of a =
> group"
>
> For me, "that young of an age" wouldn't raise that big of an eyebrow; =
> "that collection of a group" doesn't even feature an adjective (making =
> it a somewhat odd conjunction in the first place), but if we replace it =
> with "that impressive (of) a group" or "that extraordinary (of) a =
> performance", the [+of] versions strike me as much more marked than the =
> one with "young".  By the evidence of Arnold's students, this does make =
> me a fuddy-duddy, but then again someone who blanches at even =
> monosyllabic [+of] EDMs is fuddy-duddier.
>
> LH
>
>
> > On Oct 19, 2015, at 12:48 PM, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at stanford.edu> =
> wrote:
> >=20
> >=20
> >> On Oct 19, 2015, at 7:06 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> =
> wrote:
> >>=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: "just as good _of_ a(n) NP"
> >> =
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> -----
> >>=20
> >> Agreed on the widespread popularity of the + versions for younger =3D
> >> speakers, and on the citation of the recency effect, but I'm not sure =
> =3D
> >> that we really be sure that (quoting Arnold, with contrastive =3D
> >> *highlighting* added) for the relevant speakers (of any age) who =3D
> >> accept/produce the +of version in the relevant contexts that
> >>=20
> >>> it is now simply *the* standard form.  they understand the older -of =
> =3D
> >> EDM, but
> >>> for them it must come from an odd non-standard dialect, or =
> it=3DE2=3D80=3D99s
> >>> terminally old-fashioned, or it=3DE2=3D80=3D99s a typo.
> >>=20
> >> Can we be sure, without direct empirical feedback, that such speakers =
> =3D
> >> don't accept both + and - versions as standard and natural?
> >=20
> > actually, i had a whole class of stanford undergraduates who weighed =
> in on the question when the subject came up in class, and they all =
> though the +of versions were just *mistakes* =E2=80=94 failures to =
> Include All Necessary Words, in fact (they had that concept).  a few of =
> them said they=E2=80=99d been taught not to use of =E2=80=9Cof=E2=80=9D, =
> but they dismissed that advice as dumb stuff that schoolteachers try to =
> impose on kids.
> >=20
> > since then, i=E2=80=99ve unsystematically questioned other =
> undergraduates, and older people.  the youngfolk are unanimous.  but =
> even a few of the older informants (one in his 50s!) treated  +of EDM as =
> weird and foreign to them.
> >=20
> > i stopped collecting examples of +of EDM years ago; there were just =
> too many of them.
> >=20
> > arnold
> >=20
> >=20
> >=20
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