As is well known since the publication of the seminal Wienerkreis Papers (cf. Zwicky et al. 1971), there are a number of English rootsii which behave in what might at first seem unexpected ways. In this paper we will propose a new unifying analysis of two important and hitherto unsolved problems in the much neglected field of satirical pseudo-
However, as Quang points out, sentences such as those in (1) cannot be accepted as examples of real imperatives, which can be assumed to have a tacit subject you (2SG or 2PL), as is readily apparent from sentences such as (3) below.
Crucially however, true imperative argument structure forbids reflexivisation, as in (4).
What then, asks Quang, are we to make of sentences such as (5)?
Clearly, the subject of clauses such as (1) and (5) cannot be an unrealised second person pronoun. From these facts together with the inherent ambiguity in sentences such as (1b), which “can be interpreted either as an admonition to copulate with [Nigel Farage] or as an epithet indicating disapproval of that individual” (Quang 1971, p. 4), he deduces that there must be two homophonous verbs fu–ck. Following this dichotomy, Quang introduced the now commonly accepted nomenclature of referring to the two verbs as the transitive copulatory fu–ck1 and the bellicose fu–ck2, respectively.
Quang goes on to show that fu–ck1 and fu–ck2 differ not only in their semantics and acceptance of the second person as a tacit agentive argument, but that both also exhibit disparate selectional properties. Consider the examples in (6), taken from Quang (1971, ex. 26-29):
(See Quang’s paper for several other restrictions, e.g. that the subject of fu–ck2 be definite and that fu–ck2-
Quang goes on to note that fu–ck is not the only morpheme to exhibit this disparate behaviour, and he proceeds to give examples showing that, among others, terms such as shi–t on and da–mn behave in parallel to what was discussed for fu–ck above. To us this is clearly suggestive of a deeper underlying pattern, in which certain roots can be selected to behave either like fu–ck1 or fu–ck2. Following the insights of Distributed Morphology (Halle & Marantz 1993), we thus propose that both fu–ck1 and fu–ck2 (and da–mn1/
As we shall see presently, the answer to the puzzle lies in the featural make-up of the tacit subject in the imperative structures under discussion. This necessitates that we return to the fundamental question of what exactly the subject of fu–ck2-
Further, Quang suggests that if God were the tacit subject of the clause, we would expect sentences such as (8) to be grammatical, but they are not:
We want to propose that the proposition of God as the subject in clauses such as (5a) is in fact nearly correct, but that the subject is actually a DP with the root √, and the features [+sd (=supreme divinity), -animate] (pace Fillmore 1968). In comparison, the encyclopaedic concept and exponent God (while ultimately also derived from the root √ ) is [+sd, +animate]. It is well known that reflexivity requires the subject to be [+animate], which explains why sentences such as those in (8) are ungrammatical.
Let us turn then to the problem posed by sentences such as (7). It is straight-
An anonymous revieweriv pointed out that the problem for our proposal lies not in explaining clauses with the subject God as those in (7), but in explaining why clauses such as (10) below should apparently be grammatical, given our proposition that their subject is Tea.
We submit that in clauses such as (10) the tacit subject Tea and the object tea are featurally distinct, in that while the object of these clauses is also a DP derived from the root √with the features [+sd, -animate], the object in these cases is clearly different in that it is also [+cheap]. This is easily proven by the fact that tea in clauses such as (10) can be qualified with adjectives which are also [+cheap] but not with those which are [-cheap]. Consider the disparity between the examples in (11) and their analogous structures in (12):
The true subject of fu–ck2-
In light of these new insights, we dismiss Quang’s conclusion that imperatives such as (5b) are not to be analysed as full English clauses, but rather as a special type of ‘epithet clause’ consisting of only a V NP sequence. Our analysis fully integrates these clauses with the existing morphosyntax of real imperative clauses.
As should be quite obvious from our detailed description of these mechanisms, the same analysis can be extended to the problem presented by French fou––tre1-10 (Gouet 1971) and Latvian pi–st (Lurba 1971), an exercise we leave to the reader, so that he may convince himself of the cross-
Following the widely known and well-
As is apparent from sentences such as (17), Fornicatory Insertion, Expletive Infixation and -
We propose that the reason Fornicatory Insertion, Expletive Infixation and -
As has been pointed out previously, Fornicatory Insertion, Expletive Infixation and -
Having established that all three of these epiphenomena of Teaification share a highly restricted environment, we now have the task of demonstrating that all of these are mere variations in exponency of the root √. If we assume that in all three of these cases there is an underlying root √ which adds an additional phrasal layer around its target constituent, we might expect that these instances should also be realisable by either the null exponent argued to be at work in sentences like (1), or the exponent tea from the examples in (11). The former prediction holds vacuously and ex sententia dei, the latter we see borne out in the examples given under (18).
The attentive reader will also realise how the utterances in (18) are inherently a tad more forceful than those in (14-16). This is due to the exponent tea requiring strong linking to the encyclopaedic entry of divine tea, and thereby what has been termed theodecrative. (Nota bene: The initial the in the words theos ‘god’, theology, and so forth is by far no coincidence. This is actually a meta-
Now that it has been conclusively shown that Fornicatory Insertion, Expletive Insertion and -
First, we can see Teaification apply in a wide environment, always operand on material already otherwise requiring an over exponent. However, Teaification cannot apply to an object which selects a null exponent. This is due to the restriction that exponency of Teaification is the very last operation operand in derivation, following even the assigning of verbiage to prosodic structure, and can thus not attract stress. This lateness is however what makes it such a utiliteaous device, since it allows the speaker to augment a phrase and inject strong opinionation after-
Note that (19e) is not a counterexample to our proposal that Teaification cannot attract stress. The utterance is only possible with tonic stress on so, i.e. “fu–cking Gwendolyn always gets soooooooo teadeos”, involving what classical metrical theory would term de-stressing of the syllable [ti:], but what in reality is simply the inability of this exponent to attract stress in the first place due to not being present during the assignment of prosodic structure.
In this paper we have shown how positing the existence of a universal root √
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Lurba, Andrzey (1971) The Prefixed Forms of Latvian Pist ‘Futuere’. In Zwicky et. al. (eds.), Studies Out in Left Field. Edmonton, Alb.: Linguistic Research.
McCarthy, John J. (1982) Prosodic Structure and Expletive Infixation. Language, 3 (58), pp. 574-590.
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Shad, Pani U. (1971) Some Unnatural Habits. In Zwicky et. al. (eds.), Studies Out in Left Field. Edmonton, Alb.: Linguistic Research.
Siddiqi, Daniel (2011) The English Intensifier a–ss. Snippets, Issue 23, pp. 16-17.
Zwicky, Arnold M., Peter H. Salus, Robert I. Binnick, and Anthony L. Vanek (eds.) (1971) Studies out in Left Field: Defamatory essays presented to James D. McCawley on his 33rd or 34th birthday. Edmonton, Alb.: Linguistic Research. Reprinted in 1992 by John Benjamins.
i Or: The Syntactic and Semantic Curiosities of the Universal Root √
ii Or rudes as the case may be.
iii Or: Tea can tell you to fu–ck you (cf. Quang 1971, fn. 1).
iv Who could easily be the object of most of our examples, mind.
v The Brothers Grimm (personal communication) suggest that the lateness of terminological adoption may be due to the Anglo-
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