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methods of resolving mismatches between place structures and number of overt sumti


posts: 2388

 
> --- John Cowan
> wrote:
> > John E Clifford scripsit:

> > > At various times and places {zo'e} is said
> > > to stand for the obvious
> > > value (in the context, I suppose), to stand
> > > for anything other than {no da} (and its
> > >equivalents) and {zi'o}, to indicate that
it
> > > doesn't matter what you put in there (?so
> > > long as it makes the sentence true?)
> >
> > These are different ways of formulating the
> > same thing.

I pass3ed over this remark before, taking it to
be too ludicrous to justify a comment, but I see
now that it might be taken seriously. If,
perhaps, it means that were we to take all of
these formulations and add them together we would
get a formulation of th use of blank or {zo'e}
that fit the case, I would agree. However, it
seems to be the claim that each of these taken
alone amounts to the same thing as any other of
these taken alone, and that is clearly false. To
be sure, if, for example, the speaker intends to
say that it doesn't matter what you choose for
the slot and the hearer takes this to indicate
the obvious choice, the hearer will not err in
extension, though he will in intension. On the
other hand, if the positions are reversed, the
hearer is in real danger of erring in extension
as well, choosing a non-obvious candidate. And,
of course, taking the gap for anything other
than {no da} and {zi'o} is clearly talking about
terms, not things, and so would allow in any sort
of referential sumti expression — with any sort
of referents — or any non-referential sumti,
{da, roda, cida...}, which clearly goes beyond
the intention of the last alternative (which does
seem to have a relevance restriction at least).
these are various things that omitting a place
may mean, but they are both semantically and
pragmatically very different — and there are
probably a few more that also need to be dealt
with — but which no one takes to be a
possibility for {zo'e}, even though they are
often the force of blank.

 



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