Date: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 17:22:03 -0500
From: Gerald Cohen gcohen[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UMR.EDU
Subject: Language and Logic
The recent discussion about language being logical has centered on the
double negatives, but there is much additional material that is relevant
here. Just a few examples:
1. English has the odd construction "many a," e.g. "Many a student will
flunk physics." Is this not
illogical? (plural + "a")
2. Another odd construction: "time and again." If language is always
logical, how does one link "time" (a
noun) with "again" (an adverb)? What about about "time and time again?
3. Why is "He took sick" permissible but not "He took ill"?
4. If it is logical to put the direct object in the accusative case in
German, why does German have about
50 verbs that take a direct object in the dative? E.g. Er sieht mich
(He sees me; accusative case) but
Er hilft mir (He helps me; dative case).
gcohen[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]umr.edu