Re: THEORY: Re : THEORY: Connolly: Interpreting ergative sentences
|From:||Tom Wier <artabanos@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, July 20, 1999, 5:25|
Nik Taylor wrote:
> Irina Rempt-Drijfhout wrote:
> > I have no trouble with "the fabric tears". How is it ungrammatical?
> > "I caught my sleeve on a nail, and it tore".
> I have no problem with that either. But, I think it's
> prescriptivistically incorrect. I remember having a debate with my
> English teacher about a similar situation, "my pencil broke" - I said it
> made perfect sense, no problem, she said it made no sense, and that it
> should be "I broke my pencil". I'd consider "my pencil broke" to be
> acceptable if it were accident, like "I sat on my pencil, and it
> broke". "I broke my pencil" sounds deliberate, or at least snapping it
> in anger.
Boy, am I happy that my highschool teachers were all either
linguisticly trained or linguisticly minded! That sounds like someone
trying to impose restrictions on the language that simply have never
existed, a la split infinitives.
Tom Wier <artabanos@...>
AIM: Deuterotom ICQ: 4315704
"Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero."
"Things just ain't the way they used to was."
- a man on the subway