out-Xing X

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jan 21 16:18:01 UTC 2010

At 10:29 AM -0500 1/21/10, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:
>On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 10:25:14AM -0500, David Barnhart wrote:
>>  I saw in this morning's NYT (p B13) the use of "out-iPhones the iPhone."
>>  Would somebody please guide me to some linguistically sound discussion of
>>  this.
>Apart from _Hamlet_?

Ah yes, out-Herods Herod.  There's a linguistically detailed account
of out-prefixation in a 1984 paper by Jay Keyser and Tom Roeper (in
tghie"On the middle and ergative constructions in English",
Linguistic Inquiry) but there may a more general and accessible
descriptive account that Arnold can point to.  (Keyser & Roeper do
have a number of examples in their paper and discuss the fact that
intransitive verbs like "think" (as well as nouns like "Herod" and
"iPhone") can be turned transitive by out-, as well as the fact that
only a subset of verbs can undergo it (*outappear).


>The OED has an entry on this s.v. _out-_ prep., with some
>Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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