[b-hebrew] Uncancelable meaning

David Kummerow farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Sat Apr 7 05:31:34 EDT 2007

I should also add that I understand what you were trying to do with 
referring to Nordlander -- to demonstrate that other linguists operate 
with the same methodology as you in making a scrupulous distinction 
between semantics and pragmatics and understanding that there is such a 
thing as uncancellable meaning.

However, I find it quite telling that the example you raise -- 
Nordlander's analysis of English "have" -- to demonstrate that you are 
not alone in operating with the linguistic methodology you do is in fact 
an extremely questionable analysis. So another linguist who operates 
with the same methodology produces questionable results. To me this 
points to the possibility that the methodological foundations -- that 
is, the position that there is such a thing as uncancellable meaning -- 
is itself questionable.

David Kummerow.

> Hi Rolf,
> The thing is I do understand the distinction -- I just don't agree with 
> it, that's all! Both you and Nordlander have failed to deal 
> substantively with the arguments against your position. The supposedly 
> "cancellable meaning" of English "have" which you and Nordlander have 
> suggested has been demonstrated to be highly questionable, at least to 
> native speakers. Your presentation fell on "rocky places" because the 
> methodological assumptions of the position are themselves shaky, seen by 
> the lack of substantive arguments against the critique which still 
> stands in the absence of any meaningful refutation.
> Of course "uncancellable meaning can of course never be cancelled", as 
> you suggest. But what if "uncancellable meaning" is actually fallacious? 
> What then? It is for Nordlander analysis of "have"? And what of the BH 
> verbal system...?
> Regards,
> David Kummerow.
>> Dear David,
>> I do not see any purpose in continuing this discussion, since you 
>> appear not
>> to understand Nordlander´s distinction between semantics and 
>> pragmatics. I
>> quoted Nordlander in the first place for two reasons, 1) to show that 
>> other
>> linguists also deal with the concept of "uncancellable meaning", and 
>> 2) to
>> give an example of how other linguists distinguish between semantics and
>> pragmatics. But both fell on "rocky places".
>> BTW, uncancellable meaning can of course never be cancelled; for example,
>> the phrasal verb "break through" can never loose its properties 
>> telicity and
>> dynamicity.
>> Best regards,
>> Rolf Furuli
>> University of Oslo

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