August 08, 2006

linguistic puzzle #2: relational nouns and "have"


(1) i have a brother (2) *the brother that i have (3) the only/tallest brother that i have

also, compare the clearly ungrammatical (2) with the not so bad (2').

(2') (?)the book that i have

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linguistic puzzle #1: "very" and psych-verbs

this is a puzzle concerning two different classes of psych verbs and the modification of their corresponding adjectives by the adverbial very. i point out that very naturally modifies the adjectival correspondents of psych verbs in the frighten class, but not in the fear class.

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a wholesome plan, or: why linguistic puzzles?

"it is a wholesome plan, in thinking about logic, to stock the mind with as many puzzles as possible, since these serve much the same purpose as is served by experiments in physical science." - bertrand russell