Discussion:
Imagine that?
Add Reply
tonbei
2019-11-02 08:05:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.

" ... and you know what I say? It won't matter. We'll get blamed. The media will go after us
like nothing you've ever seen and will say everything should move back to Boston. Imagine that?"
Before the CFC (Cambridge Forensic Center) began doing its first cases this past summer, the
state medical examiner's office was located in Boston and was besieged by political and economic
problems and scandals that were constantly in the news.
(Port Mortuary by P. Cornwell)

context: The narrator works for CFC, which might have made a serious mistake with handling a body
transferred from a scene. He is talking with the chief of the office, who has just returned with no idea
what's happened to her office.
question: about "Imagine that? "
When an imperative sentence takes a form of question, how should it be interpreted?
Or, is it an elliptical sentence of "Can you imagine that?" ?
Eric Walker
2019-11-02 08:10:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
" ... and you know what I say? It won't matter. We'll get blamed. The
media will go after us like nothing you've ever seen and will say
everything should move back to Boston. Imagine that?"
Before the CFC (Cambridge Forensic Center) began doing its first cases
this past summer, the state medical examiner's office was located in
Boston and was besieged by political and economic problems and scandals
that were constantly in the news.
(Port Mortuary by P. Cornwell)
context: The narrator works for CFC, which might have made a serious
mistake with handling a body transferred from a scene. He is talking
with the chief of the office, who has just returned with no idea what's
happened to her office.
question: about "Imagine that? "
When an imperative sentence takes a form of question, how should it be interpreted?
Or, is it an elliptical sentence of "Can you imagine that?" ?
Yes, it is that elliptical sentence.

It is a commonplace way of expressing disgust with something: to imply
that it is so stupid or wrong as to scarcely be imaginable.
--
Cordially,
Eric Walker
tonbei
2019-11-02 10:54:45 UTC
Reply
Permalink
1) Imagine that. (imperative)
2) Can you imagine that? (interrogative)
3) Imagine that?

1) and 2) are understandable, but not so many times one sees an questioned
imperative.
Peter T. Daniels
2019-11-02 12:20:58 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
" ... and you know what I say? It won't matter. We'll get blamed. The media will go after us
like nothing you've ever seen and will say everything should move back to Boston. Imagine that?"
Before the CFC (Cambridge Forensic Center) began doing its first cases this past summer, the
state medical examiner's office was located in Boston and was besieged by political and economic
problems and scandals that were constantly in the news.
(Port Mortuary by P. Cornwell)
context: The narrator works for CFC, which might have made a serious mistake with handling a body
transferred from a scene. He is talking with the chief of the office, who has just returned with no idea
what's happened to her office.
question: about "Imagine that? "
When an imperative sentence takes a form of question, how should it be interpreted?
Or, is it an elliptical sentence of "Can you imagine that?" ?
The question mark makes no sense.

(How many Cornwell novels are there, anyway?)
charles
2019-11-02 13:43:35 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
" ... and you know what I say? It won't matter. We'll get blamed. The
media will go after us like nothing you've ever seen and will say
everything should move back to Boston. Imagine that?" Before the CFC
(Cambridge Forensic Center) began doing its first cases this past
summer, the state medical examiner's office was located in Boston and
was besieged by political and economic problems and scandals that were
constantly in the news. (Port Mortuary by P. Cornwell)
context: The narrator works for CFC, which might have made a serious
mistake with handling a body transferred from a scene. He is talking
with the chief of the office, who has just returned with no idea what's
happened to her office. question: about "Imagine that? " When an
imperative sentence takes a form of question, how should it be
interpreted? Or, is it an elliptical sentence of "Can you imagine
that?" ?
The question mark makes no sense.
(How many Cornwell novels are there, anyway?)
32 accordingb to Wikipedia
--
from KT24 in Surrey, England
"I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of boredom" Thomas Carlyle
Peter T. Daniels
2019-11-02 22:54:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by charles
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
" ... and you know what I say? It won't matter. We'll get blamed. The
media will go after us like nothing you've ever seen and will say
everything should move back to Boston. Imagine that?" Before the CFC
(Cambridge Forensic Center) began doing its first cases this past
summer, the state medical examiner's office was located in Boston and
was besieged by political and economic problems and scandals that were
constantly in the news. (Port Mortuary by P. Cornwell)
context: The narrator works for CFC, which might have made a serious
mistake with handling a body transferred from a scene. He is talking
with the chief of the office, who has just returned with no idea what's
happened to her office. question: about "Imagine that? " When an
imperative sentence takes a form of question, how should it be
interpreted? Or, is it an elliptical sentence of "Can you imagine
that?" ?
The question mark makes no sense.
(How many Cornwell novels are there, anyway?)
32 accordingb to Wikipedia
and counting, presumably? How many of them has tb been through so far?
occam
2019-11-05 10:23:02 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by charles
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
" ... and you know what I say? It won't matter. We'll get blamed. The
media will go after us like nothing you've ever seen and will say
everything should move back to Boston. Imagine that?" Before the CFC
(Cambridge Forensic Center) began doing its first cases this past
summer, the state medical examiner's office was located in Boston and
was besieged by political and economic problems and scandals that were
constantly in the news. (Port Mortuary by P. Cornwell)
context: The narrator works for CFC, which might have made a serious
mistake with handling a body transferred from a scene. He is talking
with the chief of the office, who has just returned with no idea what's
happened to her office. question: about "Imagine that? " When an
imperative sentence takes a form of question, how should it be
interpreted? Or, is it an elliptical sentence of "Can you imagine
that?" ?
The question mark makes no sense.
(How many Cornwell novels are there, anyway?)
32 accordingb to Wikipedia
...which he could have looked up himself, had he followed his own free
advice to others. </rest my case>
Peter T. Daniels
2019-11-05 16:20:44 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by occam
Post by charles
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
" ... and you know what I say? It won't matter. We'll get blamed. The
media will go after us like nothing you've ever seen and will say
everything should move back to Boston. Imagine that?" Before the CFC
(Cambridge Forensic Center) began doing its first cases this past
summer, the state medical examiner's office was located in Boston and
was besieged by political and economic problems and scandals that were
constantly in the news. (Port Mortuary by P. Cornwell)
context: The narrator works for CFC, which might have made a serious
mistake with handling a body transferred from a scene. He is talking
with the chief of the office, who has just returned with no idea what's
happened to her office. question: about "Imagine that? " When an
imperative sentence takes a form of question, how should it be
interpreted? Or, is it an elliptical sentence of "Can you imagine
that?" ?
The question mark makes no sense.
(How many Cornwell novels are there, anyway?)
32 accordingb to Wikipedia
...which he could have looked up himself, had he followed his own free
advice to others. </rest my case>
Sorry neither of you is able to recognize a "rhetorical question."

You have both been here long enough to be familiar with tonbei's practice.
Peter T. Daniels
2019-11-02 22:56:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
" ... and you know what I say? It won't matter. We'll get blamed.
The media will go after us like nothing you've ever seen and will
say everything should move back to Boston. Imagine that?" Before
the CFC (Cambridge Forensic Center) began doing its first cases
this past summer, the state medical examiner's office was located
in Boston and was besieged by political and economic problems and
scandals that were constantly in the news. (Port Mortuary by P.
Cornwell)
context: The narrator works for CFC, which might have made a
serious mistake with handling a body transferred from a scene. He
is talking with the chief of the office, who has just returned with
no idea what's happened to her office. question: about "Imagine
that? " When an imperative sentence takes a form of question, how
should it be interpreted? Or, is it an elliptical sentence of "Can
you imagine that?" ?
The question mark makes no sense.
When I read what Eric said, that it could imply "Can you imagine that?",
it occurred to me that it might also imply "Would you like to imagine
that?", as in "Coffee, tea, or milk?"
Post by Peter T. Daniels
(How many Cornwell novels are there, anyway?)
But Shirley you do not wish you had fewer occasions for comment?
I frequently don't comment on Cornwell questions. Time zones being what
they are, the RightPondians generally get there first.
Tak To
2019-11-02 16:26:27 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
" ... and you know what I say? It won't matter. We'll get blamed. The media will go after us
like nothing you've ever seen and will say everything should move back to Boston. Imagine that?"
Before the CFC (Cambridge Forensic Center) began doing its first cases this past summer, the
state medical examiner's office was located in Boston and was besieged by political and economic
problems and scandals that were constantly in the news.
(Port Mortuary by P. Cornwell)
context: The narrator works for CFC, which might have made a serious mistake with handling a body
transferred from a scene. He is talking with the chief of the office, who has just returned with no idea
what's happened to her office.
question: about "Imagine that? "
When an imperative sentence takes a form of question, how should it be interpreted?
Or, is it an elliptical sentence of "Can you imagine that?" ?
Or, it is a mis-transcribed "Imagine that!".
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
Jack
2019-11-03 20:18:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Tak To
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
" ... and you know what I say? It won't matter. We'll get blamed. The media will go after us
like nothing you've ever seen and will say everything should move back to Boston. Imagine that?"
Before the CFC (Cambridge Forensic Center) began doing its first cases this past summer, the
state medical examiner's office was located in Boston and was besieged by political and economic
problems and scandals that were constantly in the news.
(Port Mortuary by P. Cornwell)
context: The narrator works for CFC, which might have made a serious mistake with handling a body
transferred from a scene. He is talking with the chief of the office, who has just returned with no idea
what's happened to her office.
question: about "Imagine that? "
When an imperative sentence takes a form of question, how should it be interpreted?
Or, is it an elliptical sentence of "Can you imagine that?" ?
Or, it is a mis-transcribed "Imagine that!".
It would make less sense as 'Imagine that!', which might be said about
something stated as true, rather than about a prediction or warning.
"Imagine that?" fits the context, if pronounced as
David Kleinecke
2019-11-03 22:45:52 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Jack
Post by Tak To
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
" ... and you know what I say? It won't matter. We'll get blamed. The media will go after us
like nothing you've ever seen and will say everything should move back to Boston. Imagine that?"
Before the CFC (Cambridge Forensic Center) began doing its first cases this past summer, the
state medical examiner's office was located in Boston and was besieged by political and economic
problems and scandals that were constantly in the news.
(Port Mortuary by P. Cornwell)
context: The narrator works for CFC, which might have made a serious mistake with handling a body
transferred from a scene. He is talking with the chief of the office, who has just returned with no idea
what's happened to her office.
question: about "Imagine that? "
When an imperative sentence takes a form of question, how should it be interpreted?
Or, is it an elliptical sentence of "Can you imagine that?" ?
Or, it is a mis-transcribed "Imagine that!".
It would make less sense as 'Imagine that!', which might be said about
something stated as true, rather than about a prediction or warning.
"Imagine that?" fits the context, if pronounced as a question.
English has two intonation patterns - declarative and interrogative -
two in the generalized (emic) sense. Any English utterance can be
said with interrogative intonation and is then a question. There
are some utterance which are never said with declarative intonation.
At least no one has called my attention to a scenario where they be.

So which is intended in the posted case? The context does not give
any hint. Both seem possible. If I felt that Cornwell gave any care
to these matters I would say - she means interrogative intonation.
Without other evidence that's what we should read.
CDB
2019-11-04 14:31:49 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Jack
Post by Tak To
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
" ... and you know what I say? It won't matter. We'll get
blamed. The media will go after us like nothing you've ever
seen and will say everything should move back to Boston.
Imagine that?" Before the CFC (Cambridge Forensic Center) began
doing its first cases this past summer, the state medical
examiner's office was located in Boston and was besieged by
political and economic problems and scandals that were
constantly in the news. (Port Mortuary by P. Cornwell)
context: The narrator works for CFC, which might have made a
serious mistake with handling a body transferred from a scene.
He is talking with the chief of the office, who has just
about "Imagine that? " When an imperative sentence takes a form
of question, how should it be interpreted? Or, is it an
elliptical sentence of "Can you imagine that?" ?
Or, it is a mis-transcribed "Imagine that!".
It would make less sense as 'Imagine that!', which might be said
about something stated as true, rather than about a prediction or
warning. "Imagine that?" fits the context, if pronounced as a
question.
English has two intonation patterns - declarative and interrogative
- two in the generalized (emic) sense. Any English utterance can be
said with interrogative intonation and is then a question. There are
some utterance which are never said with declarative intonation. At
least no one has called my attention to a scenario where they be.
So which is intended in the posted case? The context does not give
any hint. Both seem possible. If I felt that Cornwell gave any care
to these matters I would say - she means interrogative intonation.
Without other evidence that's what we should read.
There's also uptalk, a "syntagmemically" interrogative intonation (is
that the kind of distinction you called 'emic'?) which I think is a way
of implying that the speaker's pause doesn't mean the end of the
utterance, and thus of holding on to the floor. (I don't suggest that
that is the case in the Cornwell example.)
David Kleinecke
2019-11-04 19:43:25 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by CDB
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Jack
Post by Tak To
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
" ... and you know what I say? It won't matter. We'll get
blamed. The media will go after us like nothing you've ever
seen and will say everything should move back to Boston.
Imagine that?" Before the CFC (Cambridge Forensic Center) began
doing its first cases this past summer, the state medical
examiner's office was located in Boston and was besieged by
political and economic problems and scandals that were
constantly in the news. (Port Mortuary by P. Cornwell)
context: The narrator works for CFC, which might have made a
serious mistake with handling a body transferred from a scene.
He is talking with the chief of the office, who has just
about "Imagine that? " When an imperative sentence takes a form
of question, how should it be interpreted? Or, is it an
elliptical sentence of "Can you imagine that?" ?
Or, it is a mis-transcribed "Imagine that!".
It would make less sense as 'Imagine that!', which might be said
about something stated as true, rather than about a prediction or
warning. "Imagine that?" fits the context, if pronounced as a
question.
English has two intonation patterns - declarative and interrogative
- two in the generalized (emic) sense. Any English utterance can be
said with interrogative intonation and is then a question. There are
some utterance which are never said with declarative intonation. At
least no one has called my attention to a scenario where they be.
So which is intended in the posted case? The context does not give
any hint. Both seem possible. If I felt that Cornwell gave any care
to these matters I would say - she means interrogative intonation.
Without other evidence that's what we should read.
There's also uptalk, a "syntagmemically" interrogative intonation (is
that the kind of distinction you called 'emic'?) which I think is a way
of implying that the speaker's pause doesn't mean the end of the
utterance, and thus of holding on to the floor. (I don't suggest that
that is the case in the Cornwell example.)
I am not aware of any differences in meaning associated with such
an intonation. So I have never seen any examples. Holding the
utterance platform is IMO a matter of pragmatics.

Whether any particular case of this intonation is declarative or
interrogative depends IMO on the purpose for its use. If it is
used to forestall an answer I think it must be considered
declarative. Anything English can be made interrogative and we
know that in some people's (valley girls?) it does not imply a
question. Very much pragmatic.
CDB
2019-11-06 11:56:19 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by CDB
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Jack
Post by Tak To
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a
novel.
" ... and you know what I say? It won't matter. We'll get
blamed. The media will go after us like nothing you've
ever seen and will say everything should move back to
Boston. Imagine that?" Before the CFC (Cambridge Forensic
Center) began doing its first cases this past summer, the
state medical examiner's office was located in Boston and
was besieged by political and economic problems and
scandals that were constantly in the news. (Port Mortuary
by P. Cornwell)
context: The narrator works for CFC, which might have made
a serious mistake with handling a body transferred from a
scene. He is talking with the chief of the office, who has
just returned with no idea what's happened to her office.
question: about "Imagine that? " When an imperative
sentence takes a form of question, how should it be
interpreted? Or, is it an elliptical sentence of "Can you
imagine that?" ?
Or, it is a mis-transcribed "Imagine that!".
It would make less sense as 'Imagine that!', which might be
said about something stated as true, rather than about a
prediction or warning. "Imagine that?" fits the context, if
pronounced as a question.
English has two intonation patterns - declarative and
interrogative - two in the generalized (emic) sense. Any English
utterance can be said with interrogative intonation and is then
a question. There are some utterance which are never said with
declarative intonation. At least no one has called my attention
to a scenario where they be.
So which is intended in the posted case? The context does not
give any hint. Both seem possible. If I felt that Cornwell gave
any care to these matters I would say - she means interrogative
intonation. Without other evidence that's what we should read.
There's also uptalk, a "syntagmemically" interrogative intonation
(is that the kind of distinction you called 'emic'?) which I think
is a way of implying that the speaker's pause doesn't mean the end
of the utterance, and thus of holding on to the floor. (I don't
suggest that that is the case in the Cornwell example.)
I am not aware of any differences in meaning associated with such an
intonation. So I have never seen any examples. Holding the utterance
platform is IMO a matter of pragmatics.
Whether any particular case of this intonation is declarative or
interrogative depends IMO on the purpose for its use. If it is used
to forestall an answer I think it must be considered declarative.
Anything English can be made interrogative and we know that in some
people's (valley girls?) it does not imply a question. Very much
pragmatic.
Something related to syntactic patterns in the same way that "phonemic"
is related to "phonetic" was my best guess at the kind of thing you were
suggesting with your use of "emic", although I was prepared to learn
that I hadn't gotten the word right. Can you say a little more about
that use?

I have been watching for imperatives with what sounds like a questioning
intonation, and I heard one last night on TV that was pretty clearly an
attempt to deliver what could have been a peremptory order into the form
of a suggestion, as had been proposed earlier in the context of "pick up
your room?" (can you X? would you like to X?).

Thinking about my own use of "?" at the end of the snooty Southern
Belle's line in a joke ("I come from a paht of the country, wheah we do
not end ouah sentences, with prepositions?"), I have concluded that the
implied meaning of her delivery was an insulting doubt that her hearer
would understand what she heard. So, in a way, they may all be related
to some sort of question.
David Kleinecke
2019-11-07 03:20:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by CDB
Post by CDB
Post by David Kleinecke
English has two intonation patterns - declarative and
interrogative - two in the generalized (emic) sense. Any English
utterance can be said with interrogative intonation and is then
a question. There are some utterance which are never said with
declarative intonation. At least no one has called my attention
to a scenario where they be.
So which is intended in the posted case? The context does not
give any hint. Both seem possible. If I felt that Cornwell gave
any care to these matters I would say - she means interrogative
intonation. Without other evidence that's what we should read.
There's also uptalk, a "syntagmemically" interrogative intonation
(is that the kind of distinction you called 'emic'?) which I think
is a way of implying that the speaker's pause doesn't mean the end
of the utterance, and thus of holding on to the floor. (I don't
suggest that that is the case in the Cornwell example.)
I am not aware of any differences in meaning associated with such an
intonation. So I have never seen any examples. Holding the utterance
platform is IMO a matter of pragmatics.
Whether any particular case of this intonation is declarative or
interrogative depends IMO on the purpose for its use. If it is used
to forestall an answer I think it must be considered declarative.
Anything English can be made interrogative and we know that in some
people's (valley girls?) it does not imply a question. Very much
pragmatic.
Something related to syntactic patterns in the same way that "phonemic"
is related to "phonetic" was my best guess at the kind of thing you were
suggesting with your use of "emic", although I was prepared to learn
that I hadn't gotten the word right. Can you say a little more about
that use?
I was making use of tagmemics as expounded by Kenneth Pike and his
co-workers. My model on English intonation involves many actual
phonetic intonations that have equivalent meanings as one or the
other of declarative or interrogative. The actual utterance has
context and nuance - the subject matter of pragmatics - carried
along with its syntactic meaning. Pike is mostly forgotten these
days except by people like me.
Peter T. Daniels
2019-11-07 14:53:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Kleinecke
I was making use of tagmemics as expounded by Kenneth Pike and his
co-workers. My model on English intonation involves many actual
phonetic intonations that have equivalent meanings as one or the
other of declarative or interrogative. The actual utterance has
context and nuance - the subject matter of pragmatics - carried
along with its syntactic meaning. Pike is mostly forgotten these
days except by people like me.
The SIL is going strong and continues to use tagmemic analysis.
David Kleinecke
2019-11-07 20:40:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by David Kleinecke
I was making use of tagmemics as expounded by Kenneth Pike and his
co-workers. My model on English intonation involves many actual
phonetic intonations that have equivalent meanings as one or the
other of declarative or interrogative. The actual utterance has
context and nuance - the subject matter of pragmatics - carried
along with its syntactic meaning. Pike is mostly forgotten these
days except by people like me.
The SIL is going strong and continues to use tagmemic analysis.
I stopped following the SIL around 1990. I had a subscription
to their Publications in Linguistics and the last publication
I have now in #80 dated 1987. My perception back then was that
the SIL had abandoned Pike and had gone all Chomsky. It seems
clear to me that most of the Publications were doctorate theses
and, at least in the late 1900's, that meant Chomsky. I could
have swallowed Chomsky but it also seemed to me that the SIL
presence in South America was dying out.

The US missionaries (not all of them associated with the SIL)
have become quite unpopular in South America but I think they
are still hanging on (haven't looked recently).

PS: For example one online notice about the Huachpairi says
they "escaped" from the missionaries. The son of the missionary
they escaped from bemoans the fact that "all his father work
has been destroyed". When I was down in Huachipairi country,
before the escape, the greatest part of the H were indeed
controlled by the missionary who was not well thought by the
other local people (a mixed bag of races).
Tak To
2019-11-05 20:37:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Jack
Post by Tak To
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
" ... and you know what I say? It won't matter. We'll get blamed. The media will go after us
like nothing you've ever seen and will say everything should move back to Boston. Imagine that?"
Before the CFC (Cambridge Forensic Center) began doing its first cases this past summer, the
state medical examiner's office was located in Boston and was besieged by political and economic
problems and scandals that were constantly in the news.
(Port Mortuary by P. Cornwell)
context: The narrator works for CFC, which might have made a serious mistake with handling a body
transferred from a scene. He is talking with the chief of the office, who has just returned with no idea
what's happened to her office.
question: about "Imagine that? "
When an imperative sentence takes a form of question, how should it be interpreted?
Or, is it an elliptical sentence of "Can you imagine that?" ?
Or, it is a mis-transcribed "Imagine that!".
It would make less sense as 'Imagine that!', which might be said about
something stated as true, rather than about a prediction or warning.
"Imagine that?" fits the context, if pronounced as a question.
English has two intonation patterns - declarative and interrogative -
two in the generalized (emic) sense.
Only two? How do you classify utterances like "Yipee!"
Post by David Kleinecke
Any English utterance can be
said with interrogative intonation and is then a question. There
are some utterance which are never said with declarative intonation.
At least no one has called my attention to a scenario where they be.
So which is intended in the posted case? The context does not give
any hint. Both seem possible. If I felt that Cornwell gave any care
to these matters I would say - she means interrogative intonation.
Without other evidence that's what we should read.
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
David Kleinecke
2019-11-05 22:46:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Tak To
Post by David Kleinecke
English has two intonation patterns - declarative and interrogative -
two in the generalized (emic) sense.
Only two? How do you classify utterances like "Yipee!"
Declarative. The emphasis is not a matter of syntax -
it is IMO a matter of pragmatics.

"Yipee?" is possible and clearly interrogative.
Tak To
2019-11-08 01:55:43 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Tak To
Post by David Kleinecke
English has two intonation patterns - declarative and interrogative -
two in the generalized (emic) sense.
Only two? How do you classify utterances like "Yipee!"
Declarative. The emphasis is not a matter of syntax -
it is IMO a matter of pragmatics.
"Yipee?" is possible and clearly interrogative.
Syntax or not, "Yipee!" has a raised tone that is different
from both "Yipee." (a deliberately flat tone being used for
sarcasm is not uncommon) and "Yipee?".
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
tonbei
2019-11-03 23:17:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Let me say differently, in order to simplify a context.

1) Father said to his little son," Pick up your room."
2) Father said to his little son, "Pick up your room?"

1) is understandable, but 2) wouldn't make sense without creating a situation to go with this
imperative sentence with a question mark, if it's imperative, not a elliptical form of "Why don't you pick up your room?"
Peter Moylan
2019-11-03 23:37:51 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by tonbei
Let me say differently, in order to simplify a context.
1) Father said to his little son," Pick up your room."
2) Father said to his little son, "Pick up your room?"
1) is understandable, but 2) wouldn't make sense without creating a situation to go with this
imperative sentence with a question mark, if it's imperative, not a elliptical form of "Why don't you pick up your room?"
Sentence 2 is not a plausible example. But we can change it to this:

1. The father said to his son "Tidy your room".
2. The son replied "Tidy my room?"

I'm using "tidy" here because "pick up" doesn't sound natural in my
brand of English.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Ken Blake
2019-11-04 19:07:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by tonbei
Let me say differently, in order to simplify a context.
1) Father said to his little son," Pick up your room."
2) Father said to his little son, "Pick up your room?"
1) is understandable, but 2) wouldn't make sense without creating a situation to go with this
imperative sentence with a question mark, if it's imperative, not a elliptical form of "Why don't you pick up your room?"
1. The father said to his son "Tidy your room".
2. The son replied "Tidy my room?"
I'm using "tidy" here because "pick up" doesn't sound natural in my
brand of English.
Or "clean up your room." Or "pick up the the things in your room."

I understand "tidy" of course, but its use is rare in AmE these days.
--
Ken
Ken Blake
2019-11-04 19:04:59 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by tonbei
Let me say differently, in order to simplify a context.
1) Father said to his little son," Pick up your room."
2) Father said to his little son, "Pick up your room?"
1) is understandable,
Not to me.
Post by tonbei
but 2) wouldn't make sense without creating a situation to go with this
imperative sentence with a question mark, if it's imperative, not a elliptical form of "Why don't you pick up your room?"
--
Ken
Peter Moylan
2019-11-05 15:08:04 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by tonbei
Let me say differently, in order to simplify a context.
1) Father said to his little son," Pick up your room." 2) Father
said to his little son, "Pick up your room?"
1) is understandable,
Not to me.
I often find these sentences from non-native speakers good exercise
for the imagination. In this one, the father is helping his son
construct a doll's house.
As a matter of interest, is there any dialect of English where "pick up
your room" makes sense for an ordinary-sized room?
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Peter T. Daniels
2019-11-05 16:23:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ken Blake
Post by tonbei
Let me say differently, in order to simplify a context.
1) Father said to his little son," Pick up your room." 2) Father
said to his little son, "Pick up your room?"
1) is understandable,
Not to me.
I often find these sentences from non-native speakers good exercise
for the imagination. In this one, the father is helping his son
construct a doll's house.
As a matter of interest, is there any dialect of English where "pick up
your room" makes sense for an ordinary-sized room?
Of course. It's an old-fashioned way of saying, as many have noted, "tidy
your room" (which is not common in AmE). Do you have "Why can't you pick
up after yourself?" meaning 'don't drop your coat and shoes and food
wrappers just anywhere in your wake!'?
CDB
2019-11-06 11:55:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ken Blake
Post by tonbei
Let me say differently, in order to simplify a context.
1) Father said to his little son," Pick up your room." 2)
Father said to his little son, "Pick up your room?"
1) is understandable,
Not to me.
I often find these sentences from non-native speakers good
exercise for the imagination. In this one, the father is helping
his son construct a doll's house.
As a matter of interest, is there any dialect of English where "pick
up your room" makes sense for an ordinary-sized room?
Yes, mine, mostly in the context of a child's bedroom. It means to pick
up your scattered belongings and other detritus and put them away, and
maybe to straighten out your bedclothes, but doesn't imply cleaning or
dusting.
Loading...