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Subject:

Re: A question about a locution used by the "girlfriend" of Trayvon Martin

From:

Paul Hopper <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 5 Apr 2012 09:47:31 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (135 lines)

In my article ďHendiadys and auxiliation in EnglishĒ (in Complex Sentences
in Grammar and Discourse, ed. by Joan Bybee and Mickey Noonan, 145-173,
Benjamins 2002), I discuss things like turn (a)round and, go ahead and,
try and, take NP and, and a few others.

Paul Hopper


> Its most usually "turned round and", Damien, of course, "around" being
> less usual outside N America.
>
> Ive heard "turned round and"  a lot in NZ too.
>
> Peter
>
> On 5 Apr 2012, at 09:47, Damien Hall wrote:
>
> Dear all
>
> First, a forward from Gillian Sankoff and Bill Labov, who read this
> question here, but Gillianís having trouble posting to the list (the
> server can be finicky), so Iím forwarding the message:
>
>
> Dear Hal,
>             For this, see
>                 Spears, Arthur. 1982. The Black English semi-auxiliary
> come.  Language 58:850-72.
> The meaning is one of moral indignation.
> It's very likely that Trayvon's girlfriend did NOT pronounce the word
> "and", which is transcribed here.
> We have not been able to locate a sound file to check the transcription.
>                 Best wishes,
>                                 Gillian Sankoff & Bill Labov
>
>
> The Ďmoral indignationí meaning has been discussed in this thread and
> people have said there isnít any reason to think TMís girlfriend was
> indignant, but I think the analysis can be slightly modified so that itís
> clear that she might be using the same construction.  Maybe you donít have
> to be actually indignant to use it, but the situation youíre in has to be
> shocking, scandalous, urgent, etc, or at least you have to want to convey
> that thatís what you feel.  In this case, the situation obviously _was_
> shocking, scandalous and urgent, but in general this quotation reminded me
> strongly of BrE _turn around and say_, which can but doesnít always convey
> that the situation described is objectively shocking.  Hereís what I wrote
> to Hal about my impressions yesterday.
>
> It reminds me very strongly of the (I think) BrE narrative construction
> _turn around and say_.  Googling will show that itís quite common.  The
> people at this thread
>
> http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?p=32491238
>
> include it in a list of locutions they hate, but have a nice definition of
> it, which is Ďsay something unexpectedí.  I donít think itís just that,
> because (as pointed out by the posters in this thread) it can be used
> before every turn in a conversation thatís being described, so that
> sometimes it seems to be more-or-less a simple synonym for _say_.  This is
> the sense in which this _come and say_ reminds me of _turn around and
> say_;  in the made-up account of the use of _turn around and say_ which
> begins this thread:
>
>
> Why do people say this all the time? I had a conversation today with a
> mate and she kept saying she turned round and said, then he turned round
> and said, i was feeling dizzy by the end of it! If these people were
> actually turning round when they turned round and said, nobody would be
> saying anything, they'd be too busy throwing up!
>
>
> the writer makes it clear that you can use _turn around and say_ multiple
> times in describing the same conversation, so that the construction of the
> discourse when written down can look similar to this _come and say_
> narration that you quote.  Maybe I can categorise the similarity by saying
> that it looks as if both locutions can be used to narrate the turns in
> conversations where the narrator wants to convey that the situation was
> shocking, scandalous, urgent etc.  The content in _turn around and say_
> cases isnít always (or maybe even usually) objectively shocking,
> scandalous or urgent, but the narrator is inviting the listener to share
> his/her sense of that. Of course, this is different in that the content of
> TMís Ďgirlfriendísí narration _was_ shocking, as someone ended up dead;
> but you see what reminded me of _turn around and say_.
>
> Damien
>
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-- 
Paul J. Hopper
Paul Mellon Distinguished Professor of Humanities
Department of English
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Adjunct Professor of Linguistics, Department of Linguistics, University of
Pittsburgh

Senior External Fellow
School of Linguistics and Literature
Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)
Freiburg i.Br., Germany

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