Icebox lives on

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Dec 7 02:27:46 UTC 2002

P.S.  Now that I've reread Jim's message next to mine, I see that I'm
not saying something all THAT different, but I do think the notion of
"inertia" he points to is more complicated, and that the reanalysis
factor (when a word is understood to refer to different properties,
and thus potentially to different objects, from what it originally
did) is more significant that it's usually given credit for.  I think
that example with "bead" moving from 'prayer (often kept track of
with little wooden stringable balls)' to 'little balls made of wood,
plastic, or whatever' made a big impression on me, as did the history
of my own last name.  As far as glasses, rubbers, etc. go, one nice
indication of referential change is the retronymic clone:  "GLASS
glasses", "RUBBER rubbers", "WOOD wood" (in golf), etc.


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