Monkey see(s), monkey do(es), 1901, 1893

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 20 00:10:36 UTC 2013

The doublets, at least the ones here, have a clear common structure:

Mark Mandel

On Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 5:26 PM, Geoffrey Steven Nathan <
geoffnathan at> wrote:

> It appears to be an instance of a class of utterances that my colleague
> Ljiljana Progovac has spent the last few years investigating. She calls
> them 'non-sententials', and English has lots of them. From a (technical)
> syntactic point of view they generally seem to be tenseless clauses and
> other defective clauses (that is, they take bare verb forms), and they
> often come in pairs. She cites examples like:
> Nothing ventured, nothing gained,
> No harm, no foul
> Once burned, twice shy
> (they also occur as singletons: Case closed. Problem solved. Family first!
> Me first! John worry? Him happy?)
> Here's a handy reference:
> She has a much larger theory behind her analysis, which I find
> fascinating, but goes beyond ADS topics...
> Geoffrey S. Nathan
> Faculty Liaison, C&IT
> and Professor, Linguistics Program
> +1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)

The American Dialect Society -

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