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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

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The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

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The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Query Details


Query Subject:   Sarcastic imperatives
Author:   Kevin R Gregg
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  General Linguistics
Pragmatics
Semantics
Sociolinguistics

Query:   Japanese has a couple of fixed phrases, non-polite imperatives whose
illocutionary force is the reverse of the literal meaning: *baka ie!*
(lit., 'say something stupid!', i.e. don't talk nonsense), *uso o
tuke!/ie!* (lit., 'tell a lie!', i.e. nonsense! etc.). These seem to
be restricted to the non-polite imperative form (you don't say 'baka
iinasai!') and non-productive (you don't say, e.g. 'Make up an
excuse!') A colleague has asked me if English has similar sorts of
expressions; the best I can come up with is, 'Tell me about it,' and
'Pull the other one (it's got bells on)'. My native-speaker
intuitions have decayed over the years; am I missing any obvious
examples? Yiddish has *frayg mir* ('ask me' i.e., don't ask me; how
should I know?). Are there similar expressions (fixed or productive)
in other languages?

Kevin R. Gregg
Momoyama Gakuin University
(St. Andrew's University)
1-1 Manabino, Izumi
Osaka 594-1198 Japan
tel.no. 0725-54-3131 (ext. 3622)
fax. 0725-54-3202
LL Issue: 10.727
Date posted: 12-May-1999



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