david_tuggy at sil.org
Wed Jun 18 18:33:55 UTC 2008
Edith Moravcsik wrote:
> <snip>If we did not know that these expressions might be analyzed by
> linguists as multi-part phrases, there would be nothing suprising
> about how people treat them; and we would lose the interesting
> question of why linguists' analyses and people's ways of processing
> these expressions parted ways.
> The same holds for formulaic expressions in general. The reason it is
> interesting that people treat them as atomic wholes is that we
> linguists can analyze them as having parts.
Well, it is also interesting that people can also analyze them as having
parts. Linguists are people too, of course, but non-linguist people are
often quite aware of parts of formulaic structures. The fact that both
modes are available (though perhaps differentially attractive) to both
linguists and language speakers is, I would maintain, highly important
(as well as interesting).
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