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12:46 AM
@tchrist Yes, you can't make wine out of donuts.
1 hour later…
1:57 AM
Hmmmm, I just realized that the word "that" has at least two distinct usages which I hadn't noticed before.
There's a deictic usage and a non-deictic usage.
They're (usually) different words in Spanish, but the same word in English.
Deictic usage: Look at that! (¡Mira eso!)
Non-deictic usage: I have that which you seek. (Tengo lo que buscas.)
@TerranSwett I can think of a third
I forgot to ask my question. :D
What's this distinction called?
a fourth?
what does deictic mean?
also, just because they are different things grammatically in one language doesn't mean they're different semantically in English.
More literally I translate your second sentence as "Tengo lo que buscas" -> I have - the thing - that - you seek
I'm not actually quite sure what "deictic" means.
que = that is a third ( much more distinct) meaning
But in Spanish grammar I'm sure there are very special words to call 'eso' and very different ones for 'lo'
2:07 AM
The reason I'm asking is I'm trying to figure out how to explain why we say "I have that which you seek, right here in my pocket." instead of "I have this which you seek, right here in my pocket."
After all, if it's right here in my pocket, doesn't that make it "this" rather than "that"?
'that which' is a relative clause introducer.
And "this which" is not?
(which sometimes are made of relalive pronouns like 'that')
@TerranSwett correct.
but that doesn't really help explain your dilemma (which I think is reasonable for a NNS to have)
Let's see, it's clear to me that the usage of "that" instead of "this" is caused by the fact that there's a restrictive clause on it.
2:26 AM
- demonstrative adjective = 'that man' (which does have the proximal/distal counterpart 'this man'
- demonstrative pronoun = 'I like that' (vs 'I like this' too)
- relative pronoun (introduces a relative clause) ''I said that he was afraid' (no 'this' version)
Yeah, and in "that which you seek," "that" is a demonstrative pronoun and "which" is the relative pronoun.
Also deictic which did not illuminate things any more for me.
'that which' sounds old fashioned to me. I'd use nowadays: 'I have what you seek'
which still doesn't help explain 'that' in 'that which', but I think you figured that out already.
Compare also:
"The buses in London are a lot more efficient than those here in Grand Rapids." (Why "those" and not "these"?)
maybe the distal proximal thing doesn't work in that spot.
Evidently not.
2:49 AM
So what the heck is this usage called?
A non-demonstrative demonstrative?
Some sort of ellipsis or fusing or whatever
3:02 AM
@TerranSwett Deictic is from deiknumi "to show, point out". Demonstrative pronouns can be deictic or anaphoric/cataphoric.
Deictic means you are referring to something that is located at a certain (relative) physical distance.
> Take that cup and replace it with this one, Ganymede.
Zeus is indicating cups placed at certain physical distances from him, "far" and "near", or "closer to the speaker" versus "closer to something else / to the addressee". This is deictic.
> Some people praise the famous Greek cup owned by the Louvre. But that cup is less interesting than the one owned by the Vatican.
Here, the speaker or writer is not referring to the physical location of the cup, but rather to its position in the text.
A word mentioned shortly before.
This is not deictic but anaphoric (referring back to something earlier in the text). Anaphora is more similar to what definite articles do.
> Give me that cup of which you spoke.
The speaker is not looking at a cup placed at a certain distance, but at whatever cup the other person spoke of.
That is not deictic, but cataphoric (cata- refers to something which follows, i.e. the relative clause).
The only thing that does here is refer to the relative clause: not just any cup, but that cup of which you spoke.
This and that can each be deictic or anaphoric.
But, for some reason, referring to a relative clause is always done with that.
@Mitch This that is generally considered a conjunction, because it does not refer back or forward to an antecedent (or procedent). It's just a word that introduces a subordinate clause.
Even though it did originate in a relative clause, just as in other Indo-European languages.
4:01 AM
@Cerberus 👌
4:17 AM
@Mitch Those are never adjectives, only determiners where you called them adjectives.
@tchrist determiners, adjectives, whatever. determiners are in the 'adjective' space.
Not really.
Down that road lies rebranding nouns as adjectives.
And verbs too, while you're there.
Determiners never pass any of the syntactic tests for adjectives, nor vice versa.
Sure, they both occur in NPs, but what doesn't? :)
> determinatives: A member of a class of words functioning in a noun phrase to identify or distinguish a referent without describing or modifying it. Examples of determinatives include articles (a, the), demonstratives (this, those), cardinal numbers (three, fifty), and indefinite numerals (most, any, each).
Determinatives have their own special slot(s) in an NP, way out in front. And they block each other: you can't mix articles and demonstratives because they take up the same slot.
Demonstratives inflect for number in English. No adjectives do so. And while you can nominalize them, this makes them a funny kind of pronoun that you can't make possessive.
You cannot modify them with nearly anything at all, certainly not with intensifiers like very.
You cannot inflect them into comparatives or superlatives as you can with gradable adjectives.
Adjectives describe things; determinatives do not.
Or modify, your choice.
@Mitch Mercy.
You give up easily.
@tchrist That depends on your definition.
4:31 AM
@Cerberus English, not Latin.
Mitch's usage is i.m.o. not absurd.
> To capitalize on this epidemic, the Rexall drug company introduced a medication called 'Americanitis Elixir' which claimed to be a soother for any bouts related to Neurasthenia.
It's what we teach seven-year-olds here. It's not very useful for grown-up discussions.
So many forbids.
@tchrist I don't agree and I don't think you should post these definitions or your disagreement with definitions as facts. Definitions are a different category.
4:34 AM
@Cerberus Everything is just a model. When a model fails to serve one's needs, better models are devised.
10 hours later…
2:55 PM
@Cerberus Yes, many dictionaries label it so, but also is considered by others as a relative pronoun (though admittedly to me it doesn't act anaphorically at all and is simply a marker of a modifying clause (sort of halfway between a conjunction and relative pronoun like 'which').
@Cerberus That image is not coming through but its label 'blown-amber-rexall-u-drug-boston-americanitis....jpg' seems very evocative of something I don't know what.
@tchrist Sure, but I wouldn't start my model from scratch for this category. I would start from 'adjective' and add on the restrictions. To put them in an entirely separate seems extreme.
@Cerberus Oh. I'd be worried too if a doctor told me I had an inflamed american.
Also, is Rasthenia one of those weird German principalities?
3 hours later…
5:56 PM
@Mitch Yeah, it is synonymous with which.
6:29 PM
@Mitch It is the strangest thing.
Apparently, this company called the syndrome Americanitis in order to make the medicine more popular.
> If I knew her name, I should tell you.
Instead of would. How's that sound to you?
It's supposed to be BrE, but I never noticed it.
@Færd sounds really british to me.
Ah okay
Come to think of it, I did notice shall often used instead of will.
It's the same thing.
or in other words, it sounds really strange to me, but knowing that it came from somewhere, would guess UK (RP/fancy Harry Potter talk)
@Færd yeah, no one in the US uses 'shall' voluntarily except maybe when saying on of the Ten Commandments.
@Mitch Haha why not Australia?
6:40 PM
@Cerberus patriotism sells? patriotic infections sell?
@Mitch That might be an overstatement.
Oct 18 at 14:47, by Mitch
This too shall pass
@Færd because informally anything non-American sounding is British sounding. And Australian accents aren't as common as British ones.
Or an understatement, rather.
@Færd maybe include lawyers? No, I can't think of anyone who would use 'shall' naturally in conversation or writing.
@Mitch Okay so every English speaking part of not-America is broadbrushed as British.
6:45 PM
British sounding
That's a really broad brush.
Canada is part of the US for this.
@Mitch I think so, in America?
@Færd Good.
Well, I don't know if it is successful but it's a marketing choice sometimes.
@Mitch Uhh that is not quite true.
6:47 PM
like for selling cars around Memorial Day or Veterans Day
@Mitch An odd classification.
Everybody understands your dialect. Why bother learn theirs? :)
@Cerberus I'm sure there are exceptions. But for the most part 'shall' isn't used by people in speech. and I'm having a hard time of thinking people using it in writing.
@Cerberus I've heard some Americans consider Cockney to be fancy because it is 'British' sounding.
@Cerberus Do you know of any good exceptions?
@Færd It is true that everybody understands RP. But I'm not sure whether people from all corners of the Earth can reproduce it faithfully.
@Cerberus I meant the American dialect. That was the excuse for an American not to learn other dialects.
6:52 PM
Apr 15 '17 at 15:44, by Cerberus
"Shall we" is in fact used in America too.
Look, we're repeating ourselves.
Again again
Yohoo that's a good one
@Mitch Oh, noice.
@Færd Oh. Well, I'm not sure whether American English is perceived as 'clear' by everybody.
Most parts of the world are taught versions of English closer to RP.
Or, indeed, RP.
I think comparatively more NNSs of English are more comfortable with AmE.
I should hope not!
May 3 '17 at 14:11, by MetaEd
@M.A.R. Well then let's just close SE, shall we :-)
6:55 PM
@Cerberus Maybe. But most of them end up listening to or watching American media.
Perhaps. But they are unlikely to speak to actual Americans on a regular basis.
And there are many best-selling American English coursebooks. We could compare figures... if piracy didn't muddle our results.
and the US just has more stuff out there.
I don't know. Just a guess.
India tends to favor RP though. or at least moreso.
@Cerberus OK, I'll give you that one exception.
6:58 PM
@Mitch Oh that's an important factor
Very much a one-off
@Mitch As does Europe.
And probably any traditional courses and textbooks.
And I think in terms of overall dialect shifts, the American effect on BrE is much greater than the reverse.
@Cerberus Hm.. that's quite a lot.
@Mitch Ohhh.
@Færd Probably. But the effect is still fairly small in either direction.
And RP itself is not really affected.
7:00 PM
Not any of the French people I know. ~half the Germans?
Well, maybe it is affected...
But not affected.
@Færd You should check out 'The Prodigal Tongue' by Lynne Murphy
Lots of UK/US differences.
Lots of vocab differences that are blamed on the others were in fact invented locally and adopted by the others, then they start hearing it back again.
RP is really affected. Just like 'shall'
That's the story of the whole language, actually.
But I do wonder which dialects most learners are learning, or most NNSs speak or are more familiar with.
7:17 PM
@Cerberus I've heard Dutch TV (national TV?) broadcasts foreign series and films in the original language (predominantly English) with Dutch subtitles. How many children do you think get their first English lessons from those programs?
Hello. I'd like to ask a question about two sentences from a novel, but I'm not sure if I should create one thread or two separate threads. I'm not sure if both sentences have the same problem or not.
What are the sentences and the problems?
*Calpurnia seemed to know all about it. She was a less than satisfactory source of palliation, but she did give Jem a hot biscuit-and-butter **which** he tore in half and shared with me.*

*Although his back was to us, we knew he had a slight cast in one of his eyes **which** he used to his advantage: he seemed to be looking at a person when he was actually doing nothing of the kind.*

Why is there no comma in front of "which" in both sentences?
I think there should be commas before both whiches. Both of them introduce non-identifying clauses.
Q: Convention or grammatical reason for commas around non-identifying relative clauses

user342638Is there any grammatical reason why non-identifying relative clauses are separated by commas or is it simply a convention?

7:37 PM
I wonder why the author omitted them. Could it be because of the (relatively) informal style of the novel (To Kill a Mockingbird)?
@athlonusm They're conventions, not rules, so they're loosely upheld. I think that is very likely, yes.
Hullo @Færd! Remember why I was surprised when you said the basis of grammar education is Khanlari's and thus descriptive?
Hola! Did I really said that?
Well, turns out the high school books are so poorly written. They gloat in the preface that the grammar is descriptive, but, thinking back, only one or two units out of the 27 were descriptive grammar
@Færd It was something along those lines, I dunno
It also seems that, academically, things are just vaguer in Persian than they are in English, making a distinction between traditional and modern methods of analyzing grammar harder
7:42 PM
@M.A.R. I don't remember any attempts in my high school grammars to elicit rules from the students' knowledge of their own language, which is what a descriptive grammar would have done.
@M.A.R. How so?
@M.A.R. what is a descriptive grammar?
One that derives rules from people's actual usage of the language?
@Færd Descriptivists sometimes write semi-style guides, and prescriptivists sometimes analyze language
I mean, in the sense that they do ponder about the building structures of morphology . . . Not exactly that, I dunno how to put it in short sentences.
@Mitch Tropical fruit, boil before ingestion
I don't understand "things are vaguer in Persian than they are in English". I'd appreciate an explanation or a link.
Are you in college yet?
7:48 PM
Yay! In Tabriz?
We have Literature in 1st semester, and next week on Sunday I have my mini-presentation to give
@Færd Yes, they do, but not animated series for children.
@Cerberus Aha
@M.A.R. Congrats!
@M.A.R. Yes: there is ultimately no distinction, in all practicality.
7:50 PM
@Færd There are other ones?
@Færd Thanks! Apparently, the universe was telling me to stop. Just . . . stop, and look at what you're doing with your life, and that Konkur is not everything. You'd think I'm being overdramatic but if you spend a week with newborns 1st term students you'd realize how much they need this internal conversation. Everything has been going on so smoothly after the transplant
@Cerberus nod it's impossible to just present the data and not form the slightest opinion about things.
That, and I guess they're two ends of a spectrum, as all things are.
@M.A.R. I'm very glad to hear it!
@M.A.R. Yes. Just as it is impossible to write a style book ignoring all realistic usage entirely.
@M.A.R. That, too, yes.
@M.A.R. Is that a little organ?
No it's a . . . nonopus?
7:55 PM
@M.A.R. That's great. You know I told the universe to tell you that.
With three maces for tentacles
Happy for your recovery and getting things rolling again!
@Færd And you expect 10 easy payments of 3000$?
@Mitch I've heard some people deriving language rules out of their butt holes.
Or is that just a Russian German resident thing
7:56 PM
I'm not that expensive.
I expect life-long free service at your drugstore.
How about free virtual hugs?
Not that cheap either. But hugs are good.
hug hug
@Færd In fact, if you come to our pharmacy right now, all is on the house
That's very kind of you.
@Færd THere's colloquial and formal or spoken and written. Either way it's -all- rules. I've rarely seen a grammar that says 'You can say either of these two versions, they're both fine', or 'You're supposed to say/write X but everybody says/writes Y instead'.
8:00 PM
Mar 11 '18 at 16:54, by Færd
Not everything depends on Konkur, despite what they have you think.
@Færd This was interesting. Did you know that the oldest Persian grammar we can find is written in the 7th century (lunar hijri), 500 years after the first Arabic grammar?
One can be 'prescriptivist' and have a handful of stylistic conventions that you state as grammatical rules.
@Mitch Oh I've encountered such statements in my grammars all the time!
@Mitch All the animosity comes from when the two 'methods' produce different results.
but as far as I can tell there's no such thing as a prescriptive grammar or a descriptive grammar. They always do both.
8:01 PM
@M.A.R. I might have heard something about it.
@Mitch Nowadays maybe most of them do both
@M.A.R. congratulations on both mind and body
@Færd Well, yes, those individual rules I'd classify as prescriptive.
Of course, both grammarians can suggest writing advice (Don't write "ain't" in your resume if you don't wanna sound like a jackass) but one would admit it exists in certain dialects, and that informal English is not wrong, it just adheres to slightly different rules.
The other would yell "screw you" and throw a copy of Hamlet in your general direction
Wait, gimme something heftier
I'd say LOTR but that's not Shakespearean
@M.A.R. Huh. I always had heard that anything the Arabs did well, they either borrowed from the Persians or the Persians were the ones who had done it many years prior and better.
For example, baklava.
Although if it's Hamlet himself
@Mitch A-ha. The Persians wrote that Arabic grammar.
Sibawayh or however his name is Romanized
@M.A.R. haha
@Færd grammars for native speakers or those for foreign speakers?
8:07 PM
A guy from nowhere other than Shiraz, which is just a giant poet-maker
@Mitch For everybody, I suppose. Practical English Usage, for example.
I can't name an example right now. Just that the lax tone ("whichever way you like") sounded familiar.
@Mitch AFAIK when a distinction is being made between descriptive and prescriptive grammars that is also a factor, which was at the tip of my tongue and I couldn't find the words earlier.
For example, purely descriptive grammars would point out "*man the" is wrong but a prescriptive grammar wouldn't find the need
Off to watching Les Misérables in Arabic. See y'all.
In . . . Arabic?
8:13 PM
Although to be fair, Russell Crowe was Noah
I like the series.
8:34 PM
@M.A.R. man the air is hot in here
I couldn't resist
OK I think I understand now. For Americans, the idea of a descriptive dictionary (just vocabulary) was Merriam-Webster's 3rd edition, which included a lot of vulgarities (which were fun for kids to look for in the 50's and 60's when it came out). MW3 was a change from others because it had entries that were used but not in the expected formal register.
So a lot of these overlap: should vs is, prescriptive vs descriptive, formal vs informal, writing vs speech, polite society vs vernacular (these distinctions overlap a lot but are not equivalent).
But prescriptive rules are rules that are taught but aren't actually followed, or were followed only after some time and they became what people try to do (in English: split infinitives, sentence final prepositions).
@Mitch Hmm I don't quite understand what you are saying.
A prescriptive rule is one that tells or suggests how people should write.
A descriptive one tells people how others write.
@Færd CGEL has some, what I would call, descriptive descriptions, where it talks about 'between you and I' (it says something like 'nowadays people sometimes avoid "me" even when it was more usual') (BTW it's 'between you and me')
@Cerberus OK. That's a better way to say it.
should vs is
@Mitch I recognise this tone. It sounds so very weasely and euphemistic.
8:49 PM
and presumably those trying to write rules for others (where a rule tells you what should be done) think they are being descriptive... well maybe not. maybe they don't like how kids these days talk.
I mean, I understand it to some degree, but I think the result is just bad.
@Mitch Who does!
@Cerberus Yeah, I sensed that same thing when reading that. But it also seemed to be attempting to be rational, recording exactly what people do.
@Cerberus with their hippin and a hoppin and their bippin and a boppin
@Mitch Yes. Perhaps it seems disingenuous because they don't spend a single word describing the elephant in the room, which is that educated people find between you and I terribly ugly.
@Mitch I'm sure that description is accurate.
@Cerberus you mean the tone of "sth used to be common before, prescriptivists tried to stop it, now everyone thinks it's wrong but people still keep using it", or?
@M.A.R. Well, your tone here is quite different, not musteline.
8:59 PM
Yay! I mean, I'm not entirely sure what @Mitch was referring to
Yay, indeed.
Could you expand on it?
@Cerberus which is not disconcordant with my opinion that descriptivism is just prescriptivism that recognizes more varieties of a language.
What is disingenuous?
@Cerberus that's more of a scent than a tone.
9:01 PM
@Mitch You could say that.
@M.A.R. the opposite of naive.
@Cerberus I did!
@Mitch I'm having dinner, thankyouverymuch
@Mitch Wouldn't you say the adjective can be used in the general sense of "weasely"? I don't like the word "weasely".
@M.A.R. or rather, seeming on the surface to look naive, but in reality you understand the nuances full well.
@Cerberus You could weasel your way out of it.
Are you genuinely trying to OH I see what you did there.
9:02 PM
@Mitch I tried.
@Cerberus It's probably 'weaselly'?
but not 'weaselley'
Hmm I suppose so.
that's almost as bad as 'chocolatey'
9:04 PM
Is Russia a stout ally?
haha because a stoat is like related to weasel's and shit
@M.A.R. on to it's ermine
Now do 'pole cat'!
Let me ferret one out.
I prefer staring blankly at the wall if I'm a cat
If it's able.
There are so many of those animals.
I can never tell apart weasels, ermines, stoats, ferrets, martens...
9:06 PM
Somebody said the secret word and again the Mitch puns are upon us
I have to see one first
I think they' re like twins, they move so fast if they would just stand still for a sexond then maybe we could tell them apart
Did I mention mink?
The mink stole my coat
@M.A.R. I have to make one that actually works first.
And I had no idea polecats were similar!
9:10 PM
That one is a spot on Dad Pun because it is definitely a pun, but is awful.
Even 5 year olds roll their eyes.
Rarely have puns ever made me laugh and punch something simultaneously so much
God I don't wanna be a dad :S
You don't have to!
@Mitch Did you confirm this in a case study?
> I just bought a vintage Rolls Royce, but the budget didn't cover a driver. So I spent all that money, and I've got nothing to chauffeur it.
@M.A.R. There was an article in JAMA. p < .01
9:13 PM
That's good enough for me
Vaccines cause cauldron
So I was browsing around
> Did you know ‘emas eht yltcaxe’ is exactly the same backwards?
i.stack.imgur.com/bagGs.png (potentially NSFW)
@Mitch -1 not provocative enough
A: Origin of movie trope where impaled character pulls/pushes blade/spear further into body?

Wad Cheber stands with MonicaTL;DR: The trope came from the facts that: - If you were impaled on a spear, the smart way to remove it would be to keep pushing it through your body and out the other side.1 So people who actually fought in the era of swords and spears would have seen it done, albeit in less badass circumstan...

> I can't remember how to write 1, 1000, 51, 6 and 500 in Roman numerals. I M LIVID
Last one:
> I asked the toy store assistant where the Arnold Schwarzenegger action figures were. She replied: “Aisle B, back.”
@Mitch Too nerdy
@Mitch Haha OK
@M.A.R. Yes that's provocative.
9:21 PM
Spears poke.
The more modern trope is to shoot yourself so that the bullet goes through you and kills the villain who is holding you from behind.
But you shoot yourself in a non-fatal place.
I'm having a hard time thinking of one.
Also any gunshot near your ear (like in the shoulder) is really going to hurt your hearing.
@Mitch Die Hard
Four or whatever. I had lost count by then.
@M.A.R. Not DH II? Probably DH III and IV also.
Live Free or Die in New Hampshire
Or be Bruce Willis
Die Hard XVII Sears Car Batteries
9:25 PM
Why are Bruces so badass? Willis, Campbell, Wayne . . .
(Sears had a brand of car battery called the 'Die Hard' well before those movies came out.)
I want a skittles movie
Springsteen, Jenner, Lee
@M.A.R. Like a Lego movie but instead with Skittles?
Where Skittles are the main characters?
and they all get eaten by the end?
That took a turn.
I was actually going for that, yes
Sausage party but done right
Why are so many recent movies good ideas thrown into trash?
It could also be a zombie movie where the virus spreads by skittles
I need to get ready to hit the snooze button in the morning. Night \o

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