End of ADS-L Digest - 10 Oct 1994 to 11 Oct 1994 ************************************************ There are 11 messages totalling 265 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. Antilogies (2) 2. Name that syntagm (2) 3. Phila. dialect 4. -"had" Constructions (4) 5. Source of Kripke Story 6. Fiddling in Appalachia ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 12 Oct 1994 00:13:47 -0400 From: PPATRICK[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]GUVAX.BITNET Subject: Re: Antilogies I'm not sure I buy all of Wab's cases of polarity switches, though that's what I first thought of before Larry Horn suggested "antilogy" (which seems wonderful but maybe best only on the lexical level?) "No love lost" I've always understood to come from "no love there to lose in the first place", and it also seems to me to have that dry sarcastic tone that the others don't. "If not" is something I've been puzzling over for a long time, and would like to know if it's been written up anywhere. But I think it's only a written phenomenon, since there are two very distinct intonation contours that disambiguate meanings in conversation: "X, if not Y" "X," pause, lower pitch, "if not Y," with a trailing low pitch on "Y" Means "but not Y" Ex: "It was bad, if not terrible", when it wasn't terrible. "X, if not Y" "X", no or very brief pause, "if not Y" with as-high or even-higher pitch and contrastive stress on "Y". "X" is often aggravated or intensified, and "Y" is even more so and in the same direction. Means "X, indeed, Y". Ex: "It was (downright) silly, if not absurd" But I've also tried in vain to get non-linguists to hear the ambiguity and the intonation patterns, so maybe mine are idiosyncratic or dialectal. Also, I wonder if there's a polarity-like phenomenon of a change spreading in one direction: polarity changes spread towards the positive, which is semantic bleaching, don't they? So is the 2nd reading winning out? or are they too functionally distinct for that to apply? Whoops! my maiden (substantive, after that individual-reply fiasco) speech was a bit long... --peter patrick georgetown u. lx