Date: Fri, 7 Apr 1995 00:26:45 -0700 From: THOMAS CLARK Subject: Re: Harassment I think most of us have been at one or more of Chomsky's talks in which we have offered sentences for him to elucidate. (One of MY opportunities occured in Columbus OH in 1965 when a number of grad students drove up from Athens to the Cow College at Columbus to listen to Hizzoner tell us that "phonology is not a part of SYNTACTIC STRUCTURE - - - ASPECTS was published in 1966... we felt betrayed...) Would Love to hear more Chomsky stories of "how he let us down..." Cheers, tlc On Thu, 6 Apr 1995, Larry Horn wrote: > Dennis P. writes: > _____________________ > The alternatives to harass reflect euphemistic practices. harASS (and > harASSment) sound too much like HER ASS; HARassment (and HARass) have > increased. (-ment follows regular rules depending on stress on the > bisyllabic) Note the similar use of Uranus. urAnus sounded too much like YOUR > ANUS, so (following Sagan's lead in Cosmos) a URanus pronunciation became more > popular than before. I treat Uranus in more detail in a Maledicta article of a > few years back. > ____________________ > Some linguists sitting in on Noam Chomsky's celebrated exposition of the post- > Sound Pattern of English theory of phonology during the 1966 LSA Linguistic > Institute (he taught one phonology seminar and one syntax (post-Aspects) > seminar, both very well attended) still remember the day he chose to illustrate > stress rules by citing (several times in succession) the pair > "CARESS/HARASS" > with the latter (like the former) receiving final stress. It was never clear > whether he anticipated the snickers from the audience; if so, it would con- > stitute one of the few occasions on which Chomsky employed humor in a lecture > on any topic. (As Fritz Newmeyer recalls, students in those days would bring > up examples of the form "Gwendolyn persuaded Murgatroyd to be easy to seduce" > and Chomsky would write on the board "Mary persuaded John to be easy to > please".) > On the euphemistic frontal stressing of the planet, though, the alternative > --replacing "Your Anus" with "Urinous"--doesn't completely solve the problem. > > --Larry >