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Re: inverse constructions

From:Thomas R. Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 10, 1999, 23:53
Nik Taylor wrote:

> > Don't forget > > English's moribund objective case (it's there -- just not everywhere) > > -- that would still give English two morphological cases. > > Well, I was talking about English NOUNS, objective only exists in > pronouns.
What's the distinction? Just having a different morphology does not class the two semantic fields into two syntactic ones -- otherwise, nouns with irregular plurals (oxen, children, etc.) would have their own category. What's important is whether their use in syntax requires creating a separate category to distinguish them. While there are some interesting characteristics about them (you can say "I ran the bill up", "I ran up the bill", "I ran it up", but not *"I ran up it"), I don't think there's enough to warrant a separate category, really. There are subcategories of verbs which act in just as differing ways, so I'd prefer to call pronouns a subcategory of nouns, rather than a wholly separate class of words on their own.
> > Non cuicumque datum est habere nasum. > > It is not given to just anyone to have a nose. > > -- Martial > > What's that mean?
Well, to be honest, it has more humor for me than for others online. It was mentioned in a history I have recently been reading (and have just finished) of the Byzantine Empire, in which there's some discussion of the reign of Justinian II, whose nose was mutilated on account of some palace intrigue. In Byzantine society, emperors were supposed to be without physical defect, and he changed that once he returned from exile (with a barbaran Azar wife, no less). As for the original in Martial, I haven't read it, so I can't say ;-( ====================================== Tom Wier <artabanos@...> ICQ#: 4315704 AIM: Deuterotom Website: <> "Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero." Non cuicumque datum est habere nasum. It is not given to just anyone to have a nose. -- Martial ======================================