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Re: More about the chicken

From:Tristan McLeay <conlang@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 8, 2005, 5:16
On 8 Feb 2005, at 4.23 am, Roger Mills wrote:

> Tristan wrote: >>> However, I cannot find *anyone* - not even in Melbourne - who agrees >>> with Tristan that "a chicken" sounds odd. Everyone else is unanimous >>> that an article before "chicken" is perfectly grammatical in >>> Australian English. >> >> I didn't mean to claim that was true by anyone other than me, and for >> me it's only true with an indefinite article, much the same as 'the >> beef' is okay, but 'a beef' is odd. >> > Well, that's because "beef" is not ordinarily(1) a count noun, along > with > pork, veal, mutton, venison...maybe a few others. Otherwise I think > if the > name of the animal = the name of its meat, there can be some variation, > sometimes with subtly different meaning.
Yeah, but for me, 'chicken' is in the same category as 'beef', 'pork' etc. which is where this part of the thread comes from. Chicken is slightly mixed up because you don't normally eat a whole cow (or have a whole cow on the dinner table), but you do with whole chooks. Whether the whole chook on the dinner table is thus a chook (focusing on the wholeness) or a chicken (focussing on the foodness) is subject to individual variation. -- Tristan.