Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 14:59:09 -0500
From: Ronald Butters amspeech[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ACPUB.DUKE.EDU
Subject: Re: Don Nelson puts behind
On Sat, 18 Nov 1995, Dennis R. Preston wrote:
Can't buy it. Clause-mates ought to trigger reflexives.
For example, in 'John moved the skunk away from himself,' the skunk is the
target of the moving (not John), and 'him' would not be coreferential.
I still find it odd and still think that the metaphoric sense is related to
John put the skunk behind himself
John put the argument behind him.
I can't reverse the pronouns (and still keep the coreferential).
I'm still working my way throughl y e-mail after two weeks in Mexico
(Cuyernavaca). Maybe smoebody has ready said this about Nelson put it
behind (him), but I have a couple of obvservations.
(1). My intuition is NELSON PUT HIS TROUBLES BEHIND *HIMSELF is worse
than NELSON PUT HIS HANDS BEHIND ?HIMSELF--the differencd seems to have
soething to do with whether weare dealing with 'motion' (however
metaphorical) or 'location'. Compare THEY PUT (TIED) THEIR HANDS EHIND
THEM and THEY PUT (TIED) THEIR HANDS BEHIND THEMSELVES.
(2). RE: "This is called closure in sports, and Nelson seemed as ready as
anyone to put behind this sordid chapter in his otherwise sparkling
career." It seems to me that a kind of analogy is at work here; cf. " . .
. Nelson seemed as ready as anyone to put AWAY this sordid chapter in his
otherwise sparkling career." or ". . . put DOWN . . ."; or ". . . put UP
. . ."; etc.
BEHIND is a very felxible word, even for English, changing parts of
speech at will. (I remember Don Nelson's behind very well, having been in
college with him/it and having perused him at a fairly close social