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Re: DECAL: Examples #4: Interesting Sentences

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 19, 2005, 17:08
On Tue, Jan 18, 2005 at 07:36:17AM +0100, Philip Newton wrote:
> On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 10:41:20 -0800, H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...> wrote: > > Some notes of interest (this makes the post really long; does anyone > > actually read this stuff??): > > Most of it, yes.
Hmm OK. I guess it's not in vain then. :-)
> > Let's assume, for the sake of ease of interpretation, that this > > sentence was uttered during a conversation between four people: the > > speaker woman A who is the speaker's close friend, woman B who is the > > speaker's acquiantance, and a fourth person C. > > > > In scenario (1), the speaker is addressing person C, telling him that > > A (who is close to him and therefore referred to using an intimate > > pronoun) goes to person B's (who is referred to using a distant > > pronoun because she is only an acquiantance) house. > > Could it not also mean that A goes to C's house? After all, I imagine > C would also be addressed with the distant pronoun set, since they're > not a close acquaintance. Or are there more than two classes of > pronouns in Eb.?
There are only two classes of pronouns besides the 1st person singular pronouns. (There are no 1st person plural pronouns. That role is filled by the plural intimate pronouns.) C would be addressed either with an intimate pronoun or a distant pronoun, depending on his relationship with the speaker. In this particular case, I'm assuming C is male, so there will be no ambiguities, because if the speaker had meant C's house, he would have used the masculine form of the distant pronoun. [...]
> > In fact, it doesn't matter who the speaker is addressing; he might as > > well address all three people at the same time with exactly the same > > words, and each of them would "hear" the appropriate version, (1), > > (2), or (3), of what he says to them. > > Is that so. I would have thought that B and C would understand the > sentence the same way, since the distant pronouns could refer to > either of them -- with the result that the owner of the house is > ambiguous between B and C, as understood by either of them.
[...] In this particular case, it is not ambiguous because C is male and so only a masculine pronoun could refer to him. If C were female, however, you're right that there would be an ambiguity. In that case, the noun association markers would be brought into play (but that's a whole 'nother story). T -- Let's eat some disquits while we format the biskettes.