Linguistics

Question1: Intuitions

a)Who did you see in Las Vegas?

Answer:Prescriptive The accusative form is “whom.”

b)You are taller than me.

Answer:Prescriptive because the pronoun should be in the nominative form of,“You are taller than I”

c)My red is refrigerator.

Answer:Descriptive due to syntax-`My red` cannot be a subject. Also,semantically, the sentence is meaningless.

d)Who do you think that saw Bill?

Answer:Descriptive due to syntax. Subject `who` cannot be extracted across`that.`

e)Hopefully, we`ll make it through the winter without needing thesnowblower.

Answer:Prescriptive hopefully means in a `hopeful manner` and not `I hopethat`.

f)My friends wanted to quickly leave the party.

Answer:Prescriptive because the adverb `quickly` cannot appear between `to`and `want`.

g)Bunnies carrots eat.

Answer:Descriptive due to syntax, and, wrong word order.

h)John`s sister is not his sibling.

Answer:Descriptive the sentence is flawed semantically. A sister is asibling.

Question2: Prescriptive Rules: Uses of prescriptive Rules, and, Why wemaintain them in our society

  1. They provide a standard form of a language acceptable by most speakers of the language in question. By adhering to the prescriptive rules, a speaker is understood by a great number of individuals in the society.

  2. The set of standardized rules is necessary for students who are keen on learning English, or any other language, as a second language. There would be chaos in the society if the guidelines for learning English were not available. Therefore, the rules are very useful to the learners as well as the language-teachers.

  3. Social reasons: Existence of prescriptive rules allows any speaker of a non-standard dialect to learn the rules of a standard dialect so that he/she can apply in social circumstances. The rules enhance social mobility.

Question3: Anaphora

Part1: Distribution of anaphors

a)Geordi sang to himself

Theanaphor agrees with the gender, George (noun and antecedent) beingmasculine is followed by its form- `himself.`

b)Himself sang to Geordi.

Theanaphor-antecedent order is flawed, although the anaphor is inagreement with the gender. The assumption is that Geordi ismasculine.

c)Betsy loves herself in blue leather.

Theanaphor has an antecedent and agrees in gender with it.

d)Blue leather shows herself that Betsy is pretty.

Theperson in the sentence is Betsy, not blue leather. The anaphor to`blue leather` should be itself.

Part2

a)Everyone should be able to defend himself/herself/themselves.

Theanaphors-himself and herself- show that any gender is compatible with`everyone.` It also appears that the anaphor agrees in gender andnumber when there is the use of `everyone.`

b)I hope nobody will hurt themselves/himself/herself.

Thefirst person-I- is the speaker, while the anaphors are the listeners.He and she are in agreement with the masculine and feminine genderreferred collectively. `Themselves` includes both genders.

Sentencesin Part 1(a, c,) obey the revised generalization because the anaphorsagree with gender and number. However, 1(b, d) do not due to a flawin the word order.

Sentencesin Part 2 obey the revised generalization because all the anaphorsused agree with the generalisation (nobody and everyone).