[Lingtyp] revisiting an ambiguity

Guillaume Segerer guillaume.segerer at cnrs.fr
Sat Apr 6 06:56:50 UTC 2019

Dear Arnold

Since you're giving your search a second chance, my speaker's intuition 
whispers that French could fit in too :

"I broke my leg in three places" can be translated as "je me suis cassé 
la jambe en trois endroits" (1sgSUB 1sgOBJ Aux broke the leg in three 
places). But actually, this translation may only be understood as 
body-location. If I were to mean event-location, I would have to use the 
preposition "dans" (= in) instead of "en" (= in). Hence "je me suis 
cassé la jambe dans trois endroits". This last sentence doesn't sound 
very natural though, and it would be better to specify "dans trois 
endroits différents" (= in three different places). Finally, an 
alternate preposition with also a body-location reading would be "à" (= 
at) : "Je me suis cassé la jambe à trois endroits (différents)" cannot 
have an event-location reading.

I don't know if the above can be generalized and I don't know about any 
published work on that matter, but as a linguist I am not a specialist 
of French.

Hope it helps


Le 06/04/2019 à 05:41, Arnold M. Zwicky a écrit :
> 4/5/19: Science, charity, and adverbial ambiguity
> https://arnoldzwicky.org/2019/04/05/science-charity-and-adverbial-ambiguity/
> "broke my leg in three places": body-location vs. event-location?
>   (discussed a while back on this mailing list)
> arnold
> _______________________________________________
> Lingtyp mailing list
> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp

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