how we categorize things

Steven Schaufele fcosw5 at MAIL.SCU.EDU.TW
Sat May 15 16:36:38 UTC 1999

David Gil wrote:

> Is *English* pro-drop?

Of course English is pro-drop.  Anybody considering strings like the
following would have to concede that:

	Gotta run! Gotta plane to catch!
	Gonna eat that pickle or aren't ya?
	Oughta have had the tires checked, he had!

(I'm including the tag in the last one *only* to disambiguate the
3rd-person subject in the main clause.)

Of course, pointing out things like this to my students, native speakers
of a registered, card-carrying pro-drop language, makes their eyes
cross. And pointing it out to other Anglophone theoretical grammarians
tends to promote aneurysms.

pro-droppingly yours,
Steven Schaufele, Ph.D., Asst. Prof. of Linguistics, English Department

Soochow University, Waishuanghsi Campus, Taipei 11102, Taiwan, ROC

(886)(02)2881-9471 ext. 6504     fcosw5 at
Fax: (886)(02)2881-7609

        ***O syntagmata linguarum liberemini humanarum!***

        ***Nihil vestris privari nisi obicibus potestis!***

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