Reciprocity in the profane domain

At the request of colleagues who are working on reciprocal and symmetric expressions in English, yesterday I scanned in a classic paper on the topic, which is also a classic paper in profane-domain linguistics (aka scatolinguistics ‘the linguistics of dirty talk’): Quang Phuc Dong’s “A note on conjoined Noun Phrases”. Having gone to the trouble, I’m reproducing the scans here so that they will be generally available through this blog.

Earlier on this blog, my 5/7/18 posting “The profane domain”, about (among other things) this volume:

Zwicky et al., Studies Out in Left Field: Defamatory Essays Presented to James D. McCawley on the Occasion of his 33rd or 34th Birthday (Linguistic Research, Inc.,1967, reprinted by John Benjamins 1992)

One section of the volume, entitled “The Wienerkreis Papers” has three of McCawley’s scatolinguistic papers, distributed under two pseudonyms:

  1. Quang Phuc Dong, “English sentences without overt grammatical subject” [canonically, Fuck you!]
  2. Quang Phuc Dong, “A note on conjoined Noun Phrases” [on reciprocity, with special reference to examples like A and B were fucking]
  3. Yuck Foo, “A selectional restriction involving pronoun choice” [on the analysis of clauses of the type shove it up X’s ass]

(In the last of these, one of the pseudonymous authors attacks the other.)

The papers in the voume are all playful, in one sense or another: many are examples of language play of one type or another, others are academic burlesques, and a fair number are conventional (and entirely serious) linguistic analyses, which however use unconventional materials and couch their arguments in a a spiritedly jocular style.

Which brings me to the note on conjoined NPs. Eight pages from 51 years ago:

(p. 11)
(p. 12)
(p. 13)
(p. 14)
(p. 15)
(p. 16)
(p. 17)
(p. 18)

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