Date: Mon, 15 Apr 1996 14:44:23 -0400 From: "M. Lynne Murphy" <104LYN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MUSE.ARTS.WITS.AC.ZA> Subject: Re: the athlete/politician's third-person > Note too that some of these examples violate "Principle C" of Chomsky's > Binding Theory (names and other referring expressions can't be bound) and > others don't, but all seem to involve a condition Ellen Prince discusses in > "Assumed Familiarity" scale ("Towards a Taxonomy of Given-New Information", in > _Radical Pragmatics_, ed. by P. Cole, 1981) predicting that speakers will use > an "evoked" expression, in particular a 1st or 2d person pronoun, rather than a > name, if s/he is in a position to do so, and that the use of a name in these > circumstances will implicate (by the usual Gricean mechanism) that the speaker > was NOT in a position to use the deictic pronoun. ANyway, I'd be interested in > further references, discussion, history, etc. > so, is the gricean implication that the athlete/politician is having an out-of-body experience or that they have a multiple personality disorder? i guess what it's supposed to implicate is that the person is a public person (responsible to the public, i guess), who therefore doesn't possess him(her?)self solely enough to use the first person. or does it implicate that, with regard to the action/event described, the person named by name is a different persona than the person doing the talking? in this case, is it used to claim objectivity in describing one's own actions? the interesting thing is how most of the examples include both 1st and 3rd person self-reference: "Six of us grew up living in a basement apartment. That was Bob Dole's early life, and I'm proud of it..." but is bob dole proud of it? or can't bob dole have feelings? bob dole had an early life, which can be observed--but "i" has the intrapsychic relation to the event. am i on to something here? it does seem a rather macho style, though. maybe i'm missing some background assumptions about these men's relationships to themselves. well, now i won't sleep. lynne --------------------------------------------------------------------- M. Lynne Murphy 104lyn[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Department of Linguistics phone: 27(11)716-2340 University of the Witwatersrand fax: 27(11)716-8030 Johannesburg 2050 SOUTH AFRICA