Date: Fri, 29 Mar 1996 13:08:51 EST


Subject: Re: discussant

Yes, as Sali predicts, the people who write (or in my case, get solicited to

write but never actually get around to writing) the commentaries in the BBS

Peer Review issues are called commentators, or possibly peer reviewers, but

not discussants. "Discussant" or "designated discussant" has been in standard

use at linguistics meetings for quite some time now, though. I remember being

the designated discussant for Jim McCawley's "Unsyntax" presentation at the

Milwaukee Syntax Bakeoff of 1979, and taking down from the shelf my collection

of those discussion papers (the papers themselves were collected in Syntax and

Semantics 12) -- "CURRENT SYNTACTIC THEORIES: Discussion Papers from the 1979

Milwaukee Syntax Conference", ed. by Michael Kac, IULC, 1980)--I read in Mike's

Editor's Foreword that "Each presentation [of the 14 at the conference] was

followed by remarks from an invited discussant".

I think the version "DESIGNATED discussant", which I recall from the same

period, was modelled after the designated hitter (the addition to the

American League baseball rulebook adopted earlier in the 1970's); cf. now

"designated driver".

Larry ("Giving UN to Others") Horn