Terminology (was: Re: iteratives)

Scott DeLancey delancey at DARKWING.UOREGON.EDU
Sun Aug 24 18:07:07 UTC 2003

On Mon, 18 Aug 2003, Martin Haspelmath wrote:

> My conclusion from this state of affairs is that the term "iteratives"
> should not be used at all -- once a term has been widely and prominently
> used in two different senses, it is usually better to give it up and use
> alternatives (e.g. just "pluractional" and "repetitive").

I'm afraid that if we were to adopt this suggestion we'd have absolutely
no linguistic terminology left to use.  Now, it wouldn't be a bad idea
for the field to start over and try to create a generally-accepted
(hah!) terminology, the way chemists do, but failing that I don't see
how we could manage if we simply discard every term that's commonly
used in more than one incompatible sense.

Scott DeLancey
Department of Linguistics
1290 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1290, USA

delancey at darkwing.uoregon.edu

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