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Seeking advice

You have words - now what do you do with them?

Seeking advice

Postby raymond » Sat Sep 30, 2006 3:32 pm

Just wish to pick your brain again, if I may.

A hypotaxis like (1) “There is a gentleman at the door who wants to speak to you” in which the two ideas (i.e., “there is a gentleman at the door” and “a gentleman wants to speak to you”) are linked together with a formal sign of subordination (i.e., “who”) could be shortened into a parataxis like 2) “There is a gentleman at the door wants to speak to you.” A similar expression like (3) “This is the way how we do it” is shortened into (4) “This is how we do it,” for there is something redundant here - the way we do it is how we do it - that should be avoided. However, following this reasoning, one wonders why in (5) “This is one of the ways how we do it” both “ways” and “how” are kept? In fact, a strict adherence to the structure of (5) makes one wonder that (3) is perhaps grammatically acceptable, even though it is redundant in its meaning.

There are two issues involved in my question: both are germane to grammar and syntax. While one is related to the historical development of parataxis and hypotaxis, the other concerns with the effect, if any, of such development on the change of usage from (3) to (4).

I intend to choose this question as a potential topic for a term paper, exploring the possible relationship between these two issues. Your comments on the propriety of the topic and suggestions for useful source material in print format (preferably journal articles) will be appreciated.

P.S. I am aware that (5) could be shortened into “This is one of the ways we do it,” though a discussion of such a structure is not what I have in mind for the projected paper.

Many thanks.
Ray
Language is the archives of history. - Ralph W. Emerson
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Postby Perry » Sat Sep 30, 2006 9:33 pm

Are you quoting from something?

Number 2 (There is a gentleman at the door wants to speak to you.) will not do. You could say, however, "A gentleman at the door wants to speak to (or better - with) you".

Number 3 cannot be used either. And 5 should be, "This is one of the ways we do it."

BTW, what is the it in question. Tell us all!
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Postby sluggo » Sun Oct 01, 2006 12:32 am

Perry wrote:Number 2 (There is a gentleman at the door wants to speak to you.) will not do. You could say, however, "A gentleman at the door wants to speak to (or better - with) you".


Maybe it depends on what he wants; if he's got a summons, with may not be necessary.

But I agree with Perry about the inoperative redundancies (3) and (5). It would be like saying "the name of this is called...".

Other than that, I'm not here reading this, you never saw me, I was never here, you can't prove it. Who?

(Parataxis? do they pick up fares in the astral plane?)
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Postby gailr » Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:47 am

sluggo wrote:(Parataxis? do they pick up fares in the astral plane?)

These are to pick up the paradox from the medical convention whose hotels are in opposite directions.

-gailr
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Postby sluggo » Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:54 am

gailr wrote:
sluggo wrote:(Parataxis? do they pick up fares in the astral plane?)

These are to pick up the paradox from the medical convention whose hotels are in opposite directions.

-gailr


<slapping forehead> of coarse! Well I'm not even going to ask about the hypotaxis. Them low riders...
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Postby Bailey » Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:59 am

These are to pick up the paradox from the medical convention whose hotels are in opposite directions.

-gailr

Gailr, I am so sorry heads are opaque, your brain would be a marvel to behold.

mark still-shaking-head-in-opposite-directions Bailey

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Postby gailr » Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:02 pm

Thanks, Bailey, but all the brains on this board seem to work the same.
-gailr
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Postby sluggo » Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:48 pm

gailr wrote:keeping the earflaps down on the vulture headdress


Hate to break this, G, but neither headress nor head (nor hide nor hair) has been showing up in your iconoclasp.
Last edited by sluggo on Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby skinem » Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:52 pm

gailr wrote:Thanks, Bailey, but all the brains on this board seem to work the same.
-gailr


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Postby Bailey » Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:45 pm

gailr wrote:Thanks, Bailey, but all the brains on this board seem to work the same.
no, some are just not that, er quick.

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Postby raymond » Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:01 pm

Perry wrote:BTW, what is the it in question. Tell us all!


Just wish to find a topic for a paper, that’s all.
I thought I could rely on the concept of hypotaxis and of parataxis to explain the usage of (3), in lieu of the concept of “inoperative redundancy” (to use Sluggo's terminology). Judging from your reply, I got the impression that this is not a good topic. Do I read you right?
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Postby Perry » Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:12 pm

The topic for which you could find the most raw data is: Free Assocaiton Among the Frequenters of The Alpha Agora.

At least IMHO.
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Postby gailr » Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:31 pm

raymond wrote:
Perry wrote:BTW, what is the it in question. Tell us all!


Just wish to find a topic for a paper, that’s all.
I thought I could rely on the concept of hypotaxis and of parataxis to explain the usage of (3), in lieu of the concept of “inoperative redundancy” (to use Sluggo's terminology). Judging from your reply, I got the impression that this is not a good topic. Do I read you right?
Ray

None of us can tell you whether your topic idea is "good" or not unless we are its intended audience. And even then, really, it boils down to whether your topic is of interest to you. If it is, then write with panache. Aarrrrrgh!

[My field of interest also touches the lives of the general population far more than they know. But even the most rabid of us cannot maintain a fever pitch of excitement in discussing the nuances of our purist rules and jargon indefinitely.]

We are probably the ideal beta-test site for your ideas. You have my sympathies, as we are apt to start throwing erasers, shooting spitwads, and passing notes with funny drawings with little or no provocation at any moment.

That doesn't mean that
the concept of hypotaxis and of parataxis to explain the usage of (3), in lieu of the concept of “inoperative redundancy”
is without merit. I hope you've gotten some worthwhile feedback from this lot. Try an edit incorporating the suggestions you find helpful and toss it back in here. You'll get another round of responses which, I hope, will be useful.

-gailr
who will help when I have something to offer besides taxis jokes.
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Postby raymond » Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:13 pm

Gailr wrote:
You have my sympathies, as we are apt to start throwing erasers, shooting spitwads, and passing notes with funny drawings with little or no provocation at any moment.


I do enjoy reading witty comment with unexpected twist to lines and I don’t mind humor overflowing into excited merriment. In fact, I like jests as long as they “bite like lambs, not dogs,” as King Charles the Second once said. (Quoted from Stephen Leacock’s How to Write (New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead, 1943), at 214).

Gailr wrote
Try an edit incorporating the suggestions you find helpful and toss it back in here. You'll get another round of responses which, I hope, will be useful.

-gailr


Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll try other sites to see whether I can gather more information sufficient for a 15-page paper.

-Ray
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Postby Bailey » Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:03 pm

Perry wrote:The topic for which you could find the most raw data is: Free Assocaiton Among the Frequenters of The Alpha Agora.

At least IMHO.


Perry, you are our own little Rorschach test in the flesh.

mark freebooting-in-the-Agora Bailey
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