Mon Apr 28 15:49:10 UTC 1997

John Myhill:

>As much as I value Ellen's opinion, I think that the fact that this `debate'
>has evidently not had any effect upon anyone else leads me to suspect that
>the formal vs. non-formal `debate' on funknet (in its various incarnations)
>has had more or less the same meaning as the 2-minute hate in Orwell's
>1984, where 'Goldstein' . . .

I wouldn't say that the debate hasn't affected anyone.  Just because
people don't ditch their position and go over to the other side doesn't
mean that the debate has had no effect.

I, for one, found it, and continue to find it, very instructive.
I feel that I have a much greater understanding of the autonomy/nonautonomy
issue than I had before.  Moreover, the juxtaposition of different
viewpoints in brief, readable, connected messages has been much more
helpful for me than, say, reading a book by one author and then reading
a book from an opposing viewpoint, neither author having talked to the

I haven't changed my original position at all, but I understand the
basis for it and all the ways it could be challenged much better than
ever before.  If nothing else, this debate has taught me that I have
a lot more reading to do.

If Fritz and Dan are the Goldsteins for FUNKNET, who volunteers to be
the functionalist Goldsteins for GB2MP (a list for discussions of
Chomskyan syntax)?  Sign up today and give us your functional
accounts of subjacency, your semantic version of the binding conditions,
your metrical phonology explanations of heavy-NP shift, etc.

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--Tony Wright <twright at>

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