Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 277–287 | Cite as

Argument or no argument?

Research Article

Abstract

We examine an argument for the non-context-freeness of English that has received virtually no discussion in the literature. It is based on adjuncts of the form ‘X or no X’, where X is a nominal. The construction has been held to exemplify unbounded syntactic reduplication. We argue that although the argument can be made in a mathematically valid form, its empirical basis is not claimed unbounded syntactic identity between nominals does not always hold in attested cases, and second, an understanding of the semantics of the construction removes the necessity of making reference to any syntactic reduplication.

Keywords

Formal language theory Context-freeness Syntax Reduplication English Computational linguistics Linguistic engineering Semantics Corpus linguistics Conventional implicature Expressive epithets 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA

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