"package store"

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Mon Sep 4 11:55:26 UTC 2000

And there are "allcoholects" like mine which have no LIQUOR1.


>At 9:49 PM +0100 9/1/00, Lynne Murphy wrote:
>>>I'm going down to the {wine/liquor} store to pick up a merlot.
>>>I'm going down to the {liquor/#wine} store to pick up a single malt.
>>>What's your favorite liquor?  {Single-malt scotch/#Merlot}.
>>BUT the last one is bad because it jumps a stage in the taxonymy.  I
>>wish I could draw a tree diagram in e-mail.  I'll settle for this:
>>Sentences 1 and 2 use LIQUOR1.  If sentence 3 has LIQUOR1 as its
>>sense, then the answer 'wine' would be ok. The answer 'merlot' is
>>strange because the LIQUOR2 reading was expected, and merlot isn't a
>>kind of LIQUOR2.  On the LIQUOR1 reading 'merlot' is strange in the
>>same way that "What's your favorite performance genre?  Seinfeld" is
>>odd. In giving the 'single malt' answer, the LIQUOR2 reading has been
>I take your point but I'm not convinced, except of the fact that my
>example may have been poorly chosen, although I did deliberately make
>it "single malt scotch" rather than "scotch" just to make sure the
>two were on the same hierarchical level, but then I wasn't assuming a
>distinction between two senses of liquor (in my usual attempt to hew
>to Grice's Modified Occam's Razor and foreswear the multiplication of
>senses).  In any case, I get a similar contrast in
>   What's your favorite liquor?  {Scotch/#Wine}
>where these would be at the same level of my hierarchy, but again
>perhaps not of yours.   ("Wine" is of course a perfectly good
>response to being asked what my favorite drink is, or beverage.)
>More important, re
>>Actually, I can give you an example of 'liquor' meaning 'wine and
>>spirits (not beer)'.  A certain member of my family gave up 'liquor'
>>because he couldn't handle it (won't even eat something in a wine
>>sauce), but he still drinks beer (he finds it easier to slow down
>>when drinking too much beer, I take it).
>--if someone swears to me "Lips that touch liquor shall never touch
>mine", is it OK for me to go on guzzling beer, even if I better pass
>on the vino to be on the safe side?  (Or can I just explain I thought
>it was LIQUOR2 they had in mind?)

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at pilot.msu.edu
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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