LINGUIST List 3.637

Tue 18 Aug 1992

Sum: Presumed Innocent

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. akman varol, summary (Vol 3.625, Message 1)

Message 1: summary (Vol 3.625, Message 1)

Date: Mon, 17 Aug 92 13:00:11 +0summary (Vol 3.625, Message 1)
From: akman varol <akmantrbilun.BitNet>
Subject: summary (Vol 3.625, Message 1)

Here's a quick summary of replies re: Scott Turow's PRESUMED INNOCENT
(Linguist List: Vol. 3-625, Message 1).

-Varol Akman

I think what you have is an inexperienced writer trying to inject variety
into his dialog structure. Russian novelists (not inexperienced) tend to
throw Americans because each character has at least three common names:
a first name/patronimic; a nickname; and a last name. The first names might
yield more than one nickname. I thought you were going to comment about
the split infinitive!
 -Judith H. Snoke <eslsnokevtvm1.bitnet>
Frankly I find most of the senteces you quote marginal at best, even without
the surprising piece of information that these people are the same. The first
sentence took four attempts to get a parse, and I am not noted for my poor
grasp of the language...
 -Stephen P Spackman <>
Your LINGUIST query sounds like it may be an example of the phenomenon
of subjectivity in narrative. For a couple of computational linguistics
references, see:
 Wiebe, Janyce M., & Rapaport, William J. (1988),
``A Computational Theory of Perspective and Reference in Narrative''
Proceedings of the 26th Annual Meeting of the Association for
Computational Linguistics (SUNY Buffalo)
(Morristown, NJ: Association for Computational Linguistics): 131-138.
 Wiebe, Janyce M. (1990), ``Recognizing Subjective Sentences: A Computational
Investigation of Narrative Text,'' Technical Report 90-03 (Buffalo:
SUNY Buffalo Department of Computer Science).
 Wiebe, Janyce M. (1991), "References in Narrative Text", NOUS, Special
Issue on Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 25: 457-486.
 -William J. Rapaport <>
1) I would consider writing a letter to the author c/o his publisher.
2) I notice that where "Sandy" is used, a judgment of the narrator is
expressed; where "Stern" is used, an objective fact is reported.
With only four examples (and the first perhaps a bit shaky) this hypothesis
is scarcely conclusive but may be suggestive.
 -John Cowan <>
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