Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1993 10:29:36 -0500


Subject: Query: "run over"


LDOCE2 (1987) marks the phrasal verb "run over"

with the symbol - , indicating, according to

the front matter, that "the object can come either

before ["over"] or after it. But if the object is

a pronoun . . . , it MUST come directly after the


As a speaker of American English, must I accept

that this accurately describes British English?

My American English, for example, permits both

all of the following:

She ran him over.

She ran over him.

She ran the idiot over.

She ran over the dog.

Can any speaker of British English confirm that

only the second sentence above is impermissible

in that national variety, and that the others are


Do any speakers of _American_ English sense

differences among the sentences? (Some

informants have detected different registers;

others, the presence or lack of intent. Some

find sentence three marginal.)

Four notes:

(1) We have one printed citation that we presume

is from a writer of British English and that

violates the LDOCE2 prescription:

"She falls in love with Michael Edwards, a doctor

who almost runs her over on May Morning, and then

takes her to breakfast to apologize."

(2) We note that LDAE retains the - symbol in the

entry for "run over," implying that the restrictions

apply in American English. We believe this is in error.

(3) We note a semantic and syntactic distinction between

the verb in the above sentences and the verb "run over"

in a sample sentence in Quirk, Greenbaum et al.,

"A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language"


The car ran over the bump.

This is given as an example of a Type I prepositional

verb, marked "by the inability of the particle to be

moved to a position after the following noun phrase"

as well as by the fact that "the order of particle

and pronoun is different." The semantic difference is

tellingly mirrored in LDOCE2's definition of "run over":

"to knock down and pass over the top of"

Bumps, unlike rabbits and other potential roadkill (all

marked as animate), are not knocked down. Also, in

American English the sentence

*We ran the bump over.

is either ungrammatical or a misprint.

(4) We have not been able to check the treatment

of "run over" in Anthony Cowie's second edition of

the "Oxford Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs" (1993).

Many thanks.

Mike Agnes

Internet: by91[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Bitnet:[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]cunyvm

Fax: 216 579 1255


Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1993 10:54:56 -0500


Subject: Dialect Diversity?

When the New York Times article on the loss of the traditional NYC accent

(e.g., toidy-toid street) was printed last year, I had the same reaction that

others on the list have expressed to the comments attributed to Stewart. But

we should bear in mind that the few sentences printed were probably distilled

out of a longer interview, and many qualifications expressed would have been

edited out in the name of pithiness.

Alice Faber

Faber[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]Yalehask.bitnet


Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1993 13:27:50 +22305606

From: "Ellen Johnson Faq. Filosofia y Hdes." ejohnson[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ABELLO.SECI.UCHILE.CL

Subject: diversity of accents

sorry to jump into this discussion late, but I can't get onto the network every

day to check the mail. I have to take exception to Dennis Preston's statement

about my research findings, though I appreciate the citation.;-)

I studied the effects of age, sex, race, region, rurality, and education on

language variation and found that though region was the most important variable

in my analysis of 1930s LAMSAS data, it was the least important one for the

1990 data. Regionally-defined dialect areas are still there, but I think they

are becoming less distinct, at least for the lexicon. I don't have the figures

on hand but I'll try to post them early next week for anyone who is interested.

It is ironic to find my dissertation cited as part of the anti-media-influence

position, since in it I actually took the admittedly unpopular stance of

claiming a certain amount of influence from the media on ling. change. I don't

limit this influence to TV and movies, but include the print media as well.

Lexical acquisition differs from, e.g., acquisition of one's regional

pronunciation, because we are continually learning and using new words

throughout our lifetimes. Thus, the greatly increased amount of information

available to people today, not just through the media, but also through public

education (greatly improved since LAMSAS speakers went to school) has provided

them with lots of opportunities to learn new words.

This is reflected in my findings in two ways. The first is the size of the set

of vocabulary items I collected compared to Guy Lowman (even though we averaged

about the same number of responses per informant). The number of words in the

sample increased almost 50% (again, figures to follow later). The second way I

think TV, etc., makes a difference is in the amount of change linked to a

particular social or regional group. By far the majority of the vocabulary

changes that occurred between 1930 and 1990 were not cases of change led by any

particular group. Lexical change influenced by the media could spread rapidly

across the nation without regard for social class. See, for example, the

Algeos' column on New Words in AmSpeech for words that have been encouraged by

the media. Another example is the way the term 'African-American' suddenly

became well-known once Jesse Jackson's speech was widely reported in the news,

though in this case, the word was already in use by a certain group of


Finally, change from above does occur, at least in the lexicon. You can read

more about all this in a forthcoming article in Language Variation and Change.

I'm really interested in all the responses, since I looked for citations for my

dissertation from linguists refuting the myth that television would lead to

homogeneity in Am. Eng. and it was hard to find this discussion in print


Ellen Johnson



Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1993 09:51:10 -700


Subject: Re: Query: "run over"

On Wed, 24 Nov 1993, Mike Agnes wrote:


She ran him over.

She ran over him.

She ran the idiot over.

She ran over the dog.

Can any speaker of British English confirm that

only the second sentence above is impermissible

in that national variety, and that the others are


Do any speakers of _American_ English sense

differences among the sentences? (Some

informants have detected different registers;

others, the presence or lack of intent. Some

find sentence three marginal.)

I am not a speaker of British English. However, as a native speaker of

Canadian English, and a speaker of "American" English as a second

language, I find all four sentences grammatical. I do feel a difference

between one and three on the one hand, and two and four on the other, but

am having difficulty identifying just what the distinction is. It does

seem to me that two and four are somewhat more standard and less colloquial.

Keith Russell


Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1993 13:49:00 -0600

From: "Timothy C. Frazer" mftcf[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UXA.ECN.BGU.EDU

Subject: testi

practicing entering ads-l


Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1993 16:23:34 -0600

From: Natalie Maynor maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]RA.MSSTATE.EDU

Subject: Forwarding

For some reason this mail bounced back to me. Natalie

Date: Wed, 24 Nov 93 11:36:12 CST

From: Evan.Norris%VPAcad%VH[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Subject: re: Query: "run over"


Mike Agnes asked for judgments on these four sentences:

1. She ran him over.

2. She ran over him.

3. She ran the idiot over.

4. She ran over the dog.

My judgement as a native speaker of American English is that the sentences

are all grammatical, although 1 and 3 are more marked. There is also an

ambiguity in 1 and 3 involving the sense of 'run over' as 'deliver to

someone', as in 'I'll run it right over.' I admit that it does seem a bit

contrived, but there you are...

Evan Norris

UW System Administration

ejn%vpacad%vh[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

(608) 262-3526


Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1993 17:55:38 CST


Subject: Re: diversity of accents

In response to Ellen Johnson's very useful information, does denial of

media-induced homogeneity entail denial of media influence? I thought we

were concerned with the first claim.

Salikoko S. Mufwene

Linguistics, U. of Chicago




Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1993 21:45:57 -0700


Subject: Re: diversity of accents

Is there anybody who doesn't know who Barney is?

--Rudy Troike


End of ADS-L Digest - 23 Nov 1993 to 24 Nov 1993


There are 4 messages totalling 76 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. diversity of accents (4)