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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||what is emergence of the unmarked|
|Question:||Hello, I was at a dinner party a few days ago and someone made a joke with the emergence of the unmarked and everyone laughed but as I am not a linguist, I didn't understand. I tried to look it up on-line (on sites like Wikipedia) but it was still over my head. Will you help me please? Thank you, Becca Baker|
|Reply:||I never heard of it, either, but I think context is key. The unmarked case is the usual, the expected, the "easier" alternative. Perhaps the person was trying to say "Hardly a surprise" or "Someone made a big deal about the ordinary" using quasi-linguistic terminology. See if that makes sense if you can remember how the remark came up.|
|Reply From:||Marilyn N Silva click here to access email|