[hist-analytic] quâ

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Fri Feb 13 22:06:43 EST 2009

1677 GALE Crt. Gent. II. IV. 516 The negation of it implies a contradiction  
in the Adject or an Opposite in an Apposite.

In a message dated 2/13/2009 8:55:27 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
baynesrb at yahoo.com writes in "'Under a description' and passive  constructions"

>I said that in 
>            “Bob  as the so called stage manager fired Ruddy” 
>the subject is not “Bob” but “Bob as the so-called [stage manager]". 
>But there is a syntactical argument that can be used to support this  claim 
>as well as the semantical ones I gave. If the subject is not 'Bob' but 
>'Bob as the so called stage manager' then we would expect 
>the passive construction to be: 
>         'Ruddy was fired by  Bob as the so-called stage manager'. 
>But even though this is a bit strained it sure is better than 
>        'Ruddy as the so called  stage manager was fired 
>        by Bob'. 
>What makes this bad is that 'as the so called stage manager' 
>must in fact occur under the NP (noun phrase, not the VP) where
>the comparative adjective 'as the so called stage manager'  
>is a modifier of Bob. Technically: 'as the so called stage manager' 
>is right Chomsky-adjoined to the projection of the head, N, i.e.  'Bob'"
Although we should refine 'comparative' here. Are we really comparing. In  
fact, Classical Latin would have 'qua', apparently, not a comparative proper. 
There's also the question, syntactically interesting, of, if not  
quessertions, questions proper.
    Who fired Ruddy?
    -- I don't know. But whoever fired him, that person who  did
       it -- if a person it was -- better be  in the right 'authority' frame
       to do it; otherwise I'm not sure we  can use 'fire' like that!
Things like these Grice referred to as 'strokes of the pen', or the tongue  
as I sometimes prefer. Evans discussed this in "Varieties of Reference" (just a 
A similar reference may be Urmson in "Intensions", his Aristotelian Society  
paper. He discusses 'appositeness' (his version of Grice, 'Be relevant'):
          Your husband just delivered the letter.
                        What  do you mean, 'your husband'. You mean the 
                        Well, he _is_ your husband, isn't he?
I.e. sometimes we use 'qua husband', sometimes 'qua postmaster', and  
sometimes, if we have good memories, proper names proper!
I was told a relevant, I hope, joke. (it's for real -- not really a joke).  
One absent minded person reminds the other, "Recall the good old days when we  
used to talk using 'proper names'??' (Seeing that they can no longer 'drop'  
names like that and must refer to more or less 'indefinite' descriptions, "That 
 actress who plays naked in that film with that actor who does a third-rater  
wrestler" (i.e. Marisa Tomei and Mickey Rourke!).
I'm glad S. Bayne mentions the question of the voice as it may relate to my  
guarded comments, if understood, re: Strawson's qualifications on 'topic' vs.  
Re: apposition, what the OED may be of some use: 
'apposition', 6. Gram. The placing of a word beside, or in syntactic  
parallelism with, another; spec. the addition of one substantive to another, or  to a 
noun clause, as an attribute or complement; the position of the substantive  
so added. 
c1440 Gesta Rom. (1879) 416 
      Young children that gone to the school have  in here 
      Donete this question, how many things  fallen to apposition? 
1591 PERCIVALL Span. Dict., 
A Preposition..either in Composition, as, "Contrahecho"..or in Apposition,  
as, "En la casa." 
1657 J. SMITH Myst. Rhet. 191 
Apposition is a figure..whereby one noun substantive is for 
declaration and distinction sake added unto another 
in the same case. 
1860 JOWETT Ess. & Rev. 398 
In the failure of syntactical power..
in various forms of apposition, 
especially that of the word to the sentence.

1841 LATHAM Eng. Lang. (1850) §559 
The appositional construction is, in reality, 
a matter of concord. 
1865 N. DALGLEISH Gram. Anal. 13 
The appositional complement. 
1879 G. MACLEAR in Camb. Bible, Mark i. 5 
River of Jordan: of is here redundant and  appositional.

1882 ROBERTSON Müller's Heb. Synt. 60 
[The words] could equally well stand appositionally in the absolute state  
after the word qualified.
1693 KNATCHBULL Annot. 42 
The words in the parenthesis being only appositive to the words going  
immediately before. 
    e.g. Bob (qua stage manager) fired Ruddy.
1847 A. CROSBY Grk. Gram. §331 
An appositive agrees in case with its [logical -- JLS] subject. 
1883 H. M. KENNEDY Ten Brink's E.E. Lit. 20 The separation of appositive  

1881 WHITNEY Mixt. in Lang. 23 
Genitives of different kinds..those used more attributively and those used  
more appositively. 
1883 H. M. KENNEDY Ten Brink's E.E. Lit. 19 
Substantive expressions which..are put appositively beside the real  

1677 GALE Crt. Gent. II. IV. 516 The negation of it implies  a contradiction 
in the Adject or an Opposite in an Apposite.

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