david_tuggy at SIL.ORG
Wed Apr 26 19:49:04 UTC 2000
A number of examples people are sending in are interesting, and no
doubt relevant, cases of something approaching a flip-flop, where
something changes, say, from object to subject, but where the
concomitant change of the erstwhile subject to object doesn't take
I think this is such an example. I don't speak the dialect involved
here with any confidence :-), but I don't think you can say
A PP complement subcategorizes for this verb
with the meaning that used to be/might still be phrased as
This verb subcategorizes for a PP complement
nor can you say
A PP complement is subcategorized for this verb
This verb is subcategorized for a PP complement
The other kinds of progression from one argument slot to another are
indeed interesting, and probably relevant, but they are (1) more
common and in that sense less noteworthy, and more importantly (2)
they don't as blatantly violate the functional pressure to keep clear
who's doing what to whom. Those two factors are what make the full
flip-flops so striking.
Generally linguistic changes are shiftings of place like at the Mad
Hatter's tea party, where everybody moves down one space and only one
gets a clean plate (i.e. where BC(DEF...) becomes AB(CDE...)).
Reciprocal place-swapping (flip-flopping) is less normal. And of
course things sometimes get jammed up at one end: AB(CDE...) becomes
AA'(BCD...), and sometimes the thing at the end of the line gets
thrown out (A becomes A-chomeur, so to speak). E.g. vowel shifts
usually work like that, so it is striking to find a place in Utah
(reported to me by Jeff Burnham, some of whose relatives speak the
dialect) where "ar" and "or" have changed places, so that you would
pork the cor in the born, but also you might eat park-link sausages,
or have been barn during a parring rainstarm. That case is not just a
shift, but what we've been calling a flip-flop.
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: flip-flop predicates
Author: <bender at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU> at Internet
Date: 4/26/2000 11:16 AM
Another example of a flip-flop predicate: 'subcategorize', as in:
This verb is subcategorized for a PP complement.
This verb subcategorizes for a PP complement.
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