Paul J Hopper ph1u at ANDREW.CMU.EDU
Mon Aug 25 02:53:43 UTC 2003

Jan Terje Faarlund's posting seems to have ignored several postings on
this topic since Dan Slobin's. In case recent postings have not reached
LINGTYP readers, these postings included examples of intransitive re-
verbs and references to the transitivizing function of re-. (Since I
received two copies of Faarlund's note on Zoque at intervals of several
days, perhaps there is a problem in his message system.)

Paul Hopper

On Tue, 19 Aug 2003, Jan Terje Faarlund wrote:

> At 14:36 18.08.2003 -0700, Dan I. Slobin wrote:
>       English re- is exceptionally productive, but I don't know if
>       anyone has figured out the constraints. The example of
>       *rewent suggests that intransitive verbs may be excluded. But
>       there seems to be no end to examples using transitive verbs
>       such as:
>       reheat the coffee, reanalyze the data, replay the song,
>       retrim the hedge, restart the computer, retie the package,
>       resweep the floor, rewash the shirt, repaint the room, reroof
>       the house, repolish the floor, recount the money, rediaper
>       the baby...
>       Note that English re- is neutral with regard to the number of
>       repetitions; it can take a range of adverbial modifications
>       (e.g.,
>       rewash the shirt three times, again and again, dozens of
>       times, until it wears out, etc.).   Note, too, that all of
>       these examples
>       involve repetition of a completed process.  For example,
>       "reread the book" implies that the book was read to
>       completion
>       each time.  Even if you say "I reread part of the book three
>       times" it implies that a specific section was completely
>       three
>       times.
>       Dan Slobin
> From the examples that Dan cites it seems that re- may be productive with
> transitive verbs only. Admittedly, I am a non-native speaker of English,
> but I think native speakers also will have problems with *reslept,
> *refell, *rewept, *recried (except perhaps '?recried wolf'). Note also
> that even if you can say 'reread the book', you can hardly use 'reread'
> in the intranstive sense: I went back to my room to reread *(the book).
> Jan Terje
> Professor Jan Terje Faarlund
> Universitetet i Oslo
> Institutt for nordistikk og litteraturvitskap
> Postboks 1013 Blindern
> N-0315 Oslo (Norway)
> Tel. (+47) 22 85 69 49 (office)
>      (+47) 22 12 39 66 (home)
> Fax  (+47) 22 85 71 00

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