15.2255, Qs: Print/screen reading; Eng subject-verb concord

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Sun Aug 8 21:21:02 UTC 2004


LINGUIST List:  Vol-15-2255. Sun Aug 8 2004. ISSN: 1068-4875.

Subject: 15.2255, Qs: Print/screen reading; Eng subject-verb concord

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1)
Date:  Sat, 7 Aug 2004 03:57:22 -0400 (EDT)
From:  Billy Clark <b.clark at mdx.ac.uk>
Subject:  print and screen reading

2)
Date:  Sat, 7 Aug 2004 19:58:57 +0900
From:  Hideo HIBINO <hhibino at mbox.kyoto-inet.or.jp>
Subject:  re: 'who' and 'what' in subject-verb concord

-------------------------------- Message 1 -------------------------------

Date:  Sat, 7 Aug 2004 03:57:22 -0400 (EDT)
From:  Billy Clark <b.clark at mdx.ac.uk>
Subject:  print and screen reading

On behalf of a student, could I ask whether anyone can point to
literature and/or experimental data on differences, including
comprehension differences, between reading from a screen and from
printed material. The most recent material she has found (online) is:

Kellog, Guy. 1999. Students' reactions to reading electronic
v. printed documents. roceedings from the Fourth International
Conference on Language and Development.
http://www.languages.ait.ac.th/hanoi_proceedings/kellogg.htm

She is hoping to find more recent material.

Could you please respond direct to me and the student at these email
addresses:

b.clark at mdx.ac.uk
hannastoever at dial.pipex.com

We will post a summary of responses to the list.

Thanks and best wishes,

Billy


-------------------------------- Message 2 -------------------------------

Date:  Sat, 7 Aug 2004 19:58:57 +0900
From:  Hideo HIBINO <hhibino at mbox.kyoto-inet.or.jp>
Subject:  re: 'who' and 'what' in subject-verb concord


The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (2002, Huddleston et
al) states in effect at 18.3 (d) Interrogatives, on pp.505-6:

In general, the interrogative pronouns 'who' and 'what' take the default
value of singular.

Compare:
[19]   i  a. Who wants some more ice-cream?   b. What remains to be done?
       ii     Which (of these ) is/are yours?

      The default singular values for _who_ and _what_  can, however, be
      overridden when there is a presupposition that the answer is plural.

[20]   i What are going going to be the deciding factors?
       ii Who haven't yet handed in their assignmnets?
      iii Who have excelled themselves in this year's coxed pairs?
       iv What have pointed ears and long tails?
           (Detailed explanation follows.)

My question is:
Would the following examples sound all right, or considered to be
standard English, since a plural answer is reasonably expected in
each of them, just as Huddleston argues?

1. Who are gathering in the park?
2. Find out who are coming to our reunion. We need to make a list of the
    participants.
3. They are demanding that the provincial government take action to find
    out who are responsible for the Tuesday disaster.
4. Let us proceed to inquire who have been excluded from testifying as
    witnesses under the term "Indian."
5. Is there an archive site for this mailing list where I might be able
    to find out what have been discussed in the past?

The reason for bringing up the plural concord for 'who' and 'what' is that,
as far as I know, no grammar books, including CGEL(1985, Quirk et al)
support Huddleston.

I would appreciate knowing your thoughts about this problem.

Hideo Hibino

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