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LINGUIST List 17.3302

Mon Nov 13 2006

FYI: Grammaticality Survey in English/Japanese

Editor for this issue: Amy Renaud <renaudlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Yoshiharu Inagaki, Grammaticality Survey in English/Japanese

Message 1: Grammaticality Survey in English/Japanese
Date: 11-Nov-2006
From: Yoshiharu Inagaki <scorpion1120_1982hotmail.com>
Subject: Grammaticality Survey in English/Japanese

I am now working on the so-called 'Unagi-bun', as in (1).

(1)Watashi(-wa) coffee.
I(-Top) coffee
'I'll have coffee.'

In Japanese, we often use the expression in (1), instead of 'I'll have
coffee', when we order something (e.g., coffee). Needless to say, the
equivalent of such sentences is unacceptable in English. Interestingly,
however, some of my friends in the U.S sometimes say 'I'm the coffee' at a
café. Based on this observation, I'd like to search whether 'Unagi-bun'
can be acceptable in English. The questions that I'd like to ask you are
as follows.

1. Do you use "I'm (a/the) coffee" or "I'm (a/the) cheese burger" instead
of "I'll have a coffee" or "I'll have a cheese burger" in your language?

2. Do you think that sentences like "I'm coffee" are acceptable? If YES,
what kind of situation do you use these sentences?

3. Do you think that the articles "the" and/or "a" are necessary before the
(e,g I'm the/a coffee.)

4. Any comments:

5. Please tell me your:
-Gender: F / M
-First language:

Please send your responses to
Yoshiharu Inagaki

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)
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