still baffled about fun with pronouns

Ronald Butters ronbutters at AOL.COM
Tue Dec 7 19:22:34 UTC 2010

I'm not "ranting," let alone saying anything that attempts to fill out VS's imaginings about  "Ron's notion of what should and should not be

I'm just asking an honest linguistic question in response to VS's posted syntactic example and asking, "What is the point that I am missing here?": what is there about this example that people such as myself ("people who research and teach syntax ") should find remarkable?

There is nothing in what VS says below that explains what it is that he finds syntactically remarkable about the sentence. He says it is "obvious," but I obviously do not see this with his sophisticated eye. What does it mean to say, "it is Assange who is hiding between the pronouns and the extended complement"? Could VS give me a simple, straightforward answer so that I can understand what the point of his posting was?

AGAIN, so far as I can see, there are only two pronouns, both of which seem clearly to refer to Assange (named earlier in context that VS does not mention). There is one additional, clearly deictic, reference, apparently to Assagne. What is "remarkable" about that? What is "remarkable" about intersentential deixis?

I consider myself one who t fall into the general category of "people who research and teach syntax," 

On Dec 7, 2010, at 1:53 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:

> The context, if you wish to explore it further, was provided in the link
> and in the brief description I gave when I posted the sentence. The
> article is a discussion of Assange's surrender and arrest (I believe, I
> misspelled his name initially). And it is Assange who is hiding between
> the pronouns and the extended complement. For the record, I don't think
> there is anything syntactically wrong with the sentence, but I disagree
> with Ron's assessment that "there is nothing remarkable or noteworthy
> whatever" going on in it--in fact, the very notion that there is
> /nothing/ wrong with this sentence is what I already find remarkable. I
> posted it ostensibly for the files of people who research and teach
> syntax and ferreting them out by name was not a task I was willing to
> undertake to comply with Ron's notion of what should and should not be
> posted. I found it to be of general interest as well and not the kind of
> one-off example of misuse that Ron usually rants against. Nor is this a
> stylistic complaint. I thought the issue was rather obvious, which is
> why I left rather terse commentary.
>    VS-)
> On 12/7/2010 1:19 PM, Ronald Butters wrote:
>> Where is the "pronominal confusion"? There are only two pronouns, both =
>> of which refer to some person who was mentioned in context that Victor =
>> does not give. Even "the man who has angered Washington" is clearly a =
>> deictic reference to the same person. There is nothing remarkable or =
>> noteworthy whatever about the sentence (except that we are not given the =
>> immediately preceding context). f
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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