Enrique Figueroa E. efiguero at CAPOMO.USON.MX
Wed Apr 9 02:42:34 UTC 1997

Guess you're right, pal!

On Tue, 8 Apr 1997, Noel Rude wrote:

> Hi again,
>         Ah yes, didn't think when making the post that "my airplane needs
> fixing" would also be good English.  All that I can say is that I
> collected (wrote down) many examples of my son's -en versus -ed:  his
> -en was restricted to passive constructions ("It is fixen" = "It is
> fixed", etc.) and his -ed to the past tense. Also I suspect that Ellen
> Prince ("never heard that children's regularizations of irregular verbs
> were accompanied by precise semantic differentiations") meant semantic
> differentiation that was not already there in the child's input, and in
> this sense then mine was no counterexample.  As to where structure
> leaves off and semantics begins, who am I to know?  One would think
> though that since semantic distinctions are continually being leveled by
> language change (e.g. OE beon and waesan merging in the single "be"
> paradigm of modern English) then surely new semantic distinctions must
> be arising or else our languages would become semantically
> impoverished.  And one imagines not all enrichment comes by borrowing.
> Surely the kids are responsible for some.
>         Noel

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