Date: Mon, 28 Feb 1994 09:33:14 EST From: Larry Horn Subject: Re: "Fall" as transitive verb The "Don't fall me down" occurring in child speech is part of a much broader pattern in which causative formation is overgeneralized, leading to attested examples like "Sing him the song" (meaning 'Make him sing the song') and my personal favorite "I want to eat the baby" (meaning '...feed...', Freudian in- terpretations to the contrary notwithstanding). I think Melissa Bowerman has a lot to say about these. To the extent that 'fell' doesn't exist as a lexical causative in a given adult or child idiolect, zero causative formation might be expected to proceed, and evidently the form has become lexicalized in some regions. (Since causative formation is not a productive rule in adult language, at least with this semantic class, 'fall the tree' would no longer occur unless there's been some lexicalization.) --Larry Horn