LINGUIST List 16.80
Thu Jan 13 2005
Qs: Use of 'what it is is'; Latin Pronunciation
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Use of 'what it is is'
Latin used in the movie
Message 1: Use of 'what it is is'
From: Emma Pavey <elpavey1hotmail.com>
Subject: Use of 'what it is is'
I'm interested in the use of 'what it is is? (and variations) as a fixed
expression used as a discourse marker/floor-holding device, as in the
(1) Q: Tell me about the women's group that you've started.
A: I just started a group on campus when I got back from Italy. Right
now it's called the Women's Group. Basically what it is, is I was tired of
the things that happen to women being shushed.
(2) S: ... isn't the Bush policy a continuation of the Clinton
administration's policy vis- a-vis Iraq?
B: No, what it is is it's jacking it up on steroids and taking us into
a war that I think we can win without putting our troops in harm's way.
I?m also hearing single ?is? versions (in the south-east of England) such
(3) What it is, I changed my migraine medication.
It seems to me there must be some type of mutual influence/sanctioning
between these (1-3) and ?double copula? constructions (and possibly their
single ?is? counterparts) ?The thing/problem is (is)? etc. which have been
discussed before on this list.
I?m particularly interested to know if the use in examples such as in (1-3)
occur in other varieties of English, particular new Englishes, and to know
of any studies on this particular use.
Thanks; I will post a summary
Dr Emma Pavey
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Subject Language(s): English (ENG)
Message 2: Latin used in the movie
From: Clayton Graham <claygrahamcomcast.net>
Subject: Latin used in the movie
Just saw the 'Passion of Christ' movie and it seems like the latin used in
the movie was of the ecclesiatical variety. I don't know much about the
latin spoken during the time of Christ but I am dying to know whether in
those times romans were really pronouncing the 'v' in words like 'veritas'
as a labiodental fricitive, and the 'c's before a frontal vowel as a
If anyone could provide any insight/resources it would be greatly appreciated!
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Latin (LTN)
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