It’s not all black and white

Nov 30, 2011 by

As was discussed in earlier postings, the cross-linguistic range of color terms is quite complex and languages differ as to how the treat the color spectrum (e.g., see how Hanunoo does it). But interestingly, not all uses of color...

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A man and a woman…

Nov 23, 2011 by

[Thanks to Joel M. Hoffman for his inspiring pieces in the Jerusalem Post Glamour of Grammar column on "The birds and the bees" and "Girl people and boy people". The title of this post alludes to the the French film Un homme et une...

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What’s in a (Russian) name?

Nov 23, 2011 by

[All names below are presented in the transliteration, rather than the more traditional English spelling] This post is in response to a question by John Cowan in connection with an earlier post that mentioned the Russian system of...

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On doing things with words

Nov 21, 2011 by

[The title of this post is inspired by the title of Austin's very influential 1962 book How to do things with words?] In our earlier discussions of such topics as telling the truth and concealing the truth, we have so far overlooked...

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Mind your manners!

Nov 21, 2011 by

In a recent series of posts on conversational implicatures (see here and here) we’ve discussed H. Paul Grice’s theory on how we recognize and interpret implicatures, including the four conversational maxims he has...

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More on concealing the truth: intransitives, passives and …anti-...

Nov 16, 2011 by

[Thanks to Dave Howard for bringing up some of the issues discussed in this post] To continue with the earlier theme of telling the truth, telling lies and concealing the truth, I’d like to address the issue of potentially...

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