Knock! Knock! Who's there?

James D. McCawley jmccawle at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Tue Nov 17 22:02:24 UTC 1998

Seth Jerchower writes:
>> I'm not aware, in my limited knowledge, of any language that in one way or
>> another (sub_pro, COP, V, marker) doesn't specify a syntagmatic referent
>> with respect to the nom_pred; that is, is there any known language in which
>> the nom_pred suffices for its subject referent as well (*"Student", meaning
>> "I am a student")?
Lots of languages do something such in non-finite complements, where a
predicate AP or NP is interpreted as "being AP/NP". For example:
Japanese:	Gakusei wa omosiroi. 'Being a student is fun'
Spanish:	Estoy aquí por ladrón, no por tonto. 'I'm here (in prison)
for being a thief, not for being stupid' (adapted from a line in a
telenovela broadcast a few years ago)

Jim McCawley

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