Alan B. Thomas a_b_thomas at
Mon Oct 8 15:10:16 EDT 2001

Concerning this from Iver...

> And I would still be interested in any
> example where the second
> item appears to be more prominent than the first. In
> that case, I'll revise
> my hypothesis.

By way of English examples, we have conventional
ways of expressing multiple nominals. 

1. I now pronounce you HUSBAND/MAN and WIFE
2. Would you like a PEANUT BUTTER and JELLY sandwich
3. May I introduce MR. and MRS. Smith
4. Colors of the Am. flag are RED, WHITE, and BLUE
5. The directions are NORTH...(SOUTH or EAST...)

I think that apart from conventional ways of 
expressing multiple nominals, emphasis or prominence
is not in view.

It would be rather unusual for me to introduce
a couple as MRS. and MR. Smith (unless I were
at a NOW convention, perhaps).

For me to say that the colors of the Am. flag
are WHITE, BLUE, and RED would be equally awkward.

To teach children the directions as WEST, NORTH ...
seems a bit awkward. (I think we tend to put
NORTH first.)

Perhaps my hypothesis is that unless there is an
established, conventional way of expressing multiple
nominals, no emphasis or prominence can be stressed.

The same would be true of conventional syntax.
To vary the conventional order of words would surely
be emphatic. But if many  sentences in a
language have the order: SVO, (Subj. Verb Object)
I would think that no prominence can be attributed
to the S by virtue of the fact that it 
is "on the left."


Alan B. Thomas

"Unless God provides indisputable, divine evidence of His revelation to mankind,
 it must be rejected at all costs...."

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