"I was sitting in my mother's lap and she was cutting _me_ some cake."

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri May 6 13:32:39 UTC 2011

At 10:23 PM -0400 5/5/11, Wilson Gray wrote:
>Spoken by "Dr. Temperance Brennan" of the TV drama, Bones, in the
>course of recalling a childhood memory.
>The actor/actress could have been merely following a script. But, IMO,
>that someone would write that is as interesting as someone's saying it
>in the wild. FWIW, she may have said "on." That's what my wife heard
>and I agree that that could have been the actual case. Naturally, I
>wasn't really listening before I heard the second clause and I know
>that there's a dialect split between _in NP's lap_ and _on NP's lap_.
oops, sorry.  Should have read one this first, rather than the
trimmed version.  I see now that it has to do with lap-sitting, not
datives.  Either preposition sounds natural to me.


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list