Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

The Isis files

November 18, 2016

Not the Egyptian goddess, certainly not the Islamic terrorist organization, but instead a phenomenon of English syntax involving an unexpected, extra, form of the lexeme BE, most often resulting in the sequence is is, hence the label Isis. There is now an “Isis: is is, double is” Page on this blog, listing postings on the subject on Language Log and this blog, plus bibliographic resources of several types. The Page is freely available publicly, and (like my other Pages) will be updated and added to as new material comes in.

From a 2007 handout:

{For at least 45 years now (2016)] (Dwight Bolinger’s first example is from 1971), English speakers have been producing sentences with an occurrence of a form of BE that is not licensed in standard English (SE) and is not a disfluency – what I’ll call Extris (“extra is”). There are many subtypes… The Isis (“is is”, “double is’, etc.) subtype has gotten much attention – from Bolinger (1987) [on]…

[Two varieties of Isis:]

[N-type, with a “thingy”-N subject] The thing that’s most interesting about the film is is that it’s…

[PC-type, in a pseudocleft sentence] Basically, what they were trying to tell me was, is that whatever Federal Prison Industries was doing was more important…

Isis is one of those things that people keep rediscovering, and then grope their way through questions that have been pretty well settled for some time. For them, I’d recommend a look at this 2007 handout of mine and at the summary in the Yale Grammatical Diversity Project: English in North America page on “Double IS”. Of course, they’d have to know that such resources exist — and that I don’t know how to fix.

A new Page, on I vs. me etc.

February 27, 2016

Created yesterday, a Page on this blog (under “Linguistics notes”) devoted to pronoun case in English, created originally for the use of Tyler Lemon, who’s working on a Stanford undergraduate honors thesis in linguistics on the topic, but now made availabe to everyone interested.

The page inventories postings (mostly on this blog, but some on Language Log, and a few elsewhere) on the choice between Nom and Acc in English, including who vs. whom, the case of conjoined objects, especially in the NomConjObj (Nom Conjoined Objects, like between you and I) construction, the case of subjects in embedded clauses (Acc case in ISOC — In-situ Subject of Clause — and ESOC — Extracted Subject of Clause), the case of pronouns in combination with preceding items like as, beside(s), but, including, like, than, case in inversion constructions (Along came me), case in predicatives (It is I/he/*they, It’s me/*I, That’s me/*I in the photo), case in fragment constructions (for example, short answers to questions: Who’s there? Me/*I), case in formulas (Woe is me, Till death do us part), Nom he (He ‘God’, generic he) as object of preposition, case in appositives (we/us Americans), case choice and style/register, case choice influenced by the exigencies of rhyme (Oh where oh where has my little dog gone? / Oh where oh where can he be? / They make them [sausages] of dog they make them of horse, / I think they make them of he), case choice in nonstandard dialects, and more. Possessives (Poss my etc.) and reflexives (Refl myself etc.) are clearly related but this imventory touches on them only tangentially.

New Pages

February 22, 2016

Added on the 20th on this site: three Pages, two under “Comics lists” and one under “XBlog essays”.

Under “Comics lists”: Archie comics (Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica) and Batman postings. The latter is about all things Batman, with links to postings about the many incarnations of the Dark Knight (not just the Batman of the DC comic books), to images of Batman, to parodies of Batman, and to incorporations of Batman (and Robin) into other comics and cartoons (Batman and/or Robin are recurrent figures in Bizarro cartoons, for example).

Under “XBlog essays”: b/t roles, with postings (mostly on AZBlogX) about the roles taken by characters in gay porn films, with the b man acting as subordinate to the t man, who runs the show. b and t are not the same thing as bottom and top in anal intercourse, though the two things are related in complex ways. The assignment of characters to the roles b and t is also a complex matter, being connected significantly to f/m gender roles in the straight world and to attributions of femininity and masculinity in both the straight and gay worlds: roughly, the more masculine character (on a number of dimensions) is likely to be assigned the t role, and then the b/t role assignment to characters will correlate with the likely course of their sexual interaction: who does what to who, in what order, etc. (These expectations are sometimes frustrated for dramatic effect, of course.)

I had considerable trouble assembling this Page. AZBlogX is a livejournal blog, and Google doesn’t track livejournal entries, so I couldn’t do a Google search; livejournal does have an internal search engine, Yandex, but it’s pretty much a worthless piece of crap (this might be connected to its being a Russian product), so I’ve had to resort to hand searches, and I’ve surely missed some postings that should be on the Page.

In any case, I’m now preparing an AZBlogX piece with some b/t analysis of (parts of) a gay porn flick I recently viewed. Stay tuned.

Cartoon Pages

November 29, 2015

I have now managed to move all my inventories of postings with cartoons in them from files on my Mac to Pages on this blog — assembled under the “Comics lists” Page. From “A Softer World cartoons” to “Zits cartoons”. Some are under the names of the strips, some are under the names of the cartoonists (“Gary Larson cartoons”. “Mark Stivers cartoons”).

There are two Pages of varied stuff : a “Miscellaneous cartoons” in the main list, for strips and cartoonists that haven’t (yet) been pulled out for their own Pages ; and then, under “New Yorker cartoons”, an “Other New Yorker cartoons”, for cartoonists who haven’t (yet) been pulled out for their own Pages.

And there are two topically named Pages in the main list: “ecards” for ecards and similar cartoons; and “graphic X” for graphic novels, graphic (auto)biographies, graphic expository non-fiction, etc.

[Added the next day: these are inventories of postings (on this blog and Language Log) with cartoons in them, not of the cartoons themselves; items are posted about mostly because there is some point of linguistic interest in them, not just because they’re funny or perceptive. (The world is full of cartoons that I find laugh-out-loud funny or socially or politically trenchant but still don’t post about, because I don’t see any linguistic hook in them.) That said, I also post things about other topics that interest me — penguins, mammoths, art, music, sex and sexuality, food, plants, etc., and especially on the nature of humor and on comics themselves (as a language-like system with conventions, variation, styles and genres, etc.).]

Lists lists lists

May 17, 2015

Among the Pages on this site are three sets of lists that are regularly updated:

One is merely labeled Lists; these are collections of postings that are not at root about language (though almost everything I post about has some connection to language): Animal postings, Diner postings, Mammoth postings, Morning names, etc. New items are regularly added to these lists, and occasionally a new list is added (“Morning names” was a fairly recent addition). (“Food postings” was created a little while ago, but at the moment it’s just an empty place-holder; my inventory of postings on food is huge, and it will take quite some time to convert it to an html file.)

Another set is the entries in the “Comics list” on the “Language of comics” Page: A Softer World cartoons, Alison Bechtel cartoons, Andy Singer cartoons, etc. New items are regularly added within these lists, and occasionally a new list is added. SMBC was added yesterday, for postings of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal cartoons.

Finally, there’s a “Linguistics notes” Page, specifically for collections of postings on linguistic topics. The first of these was “Libfix postings”, and three more were added yesterday: Dangler postings, Illusions postings, and Attachment postings (about modifier attachment). There will be more.

LGBT at the Smithsonian

January 25, 2015

From the December/January issue of the Advocate (LGBT news), “The Smithsonian’s Queer Collection: Our nation’s history is more fully explored in the new acquisition of objects of LGBT significance” by Stephanie Fairyington:

Over the summer, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, in Washington, D.C., announced the expansion of its LGBT collection. “As cultural sensitivities and politics have changed,” curator Katherine Ott says, “now seemed like an opportune time to more aggressively, directly, and openly collect LGBT materials.”

[from Ott:] “Pick any topic in our nation’s past and there’s a gender and sexuality aspect to it, so these materials enable us to create a more accurate and balanced history of the United States.”

Shirt from the all-male, all-gay DC Cowboys Dance Company


Rainbow postings

January 23, 2015

Added this morning, a Page with lists of postings on the rainbow as a gay symbol: on rainbow food, on rainbow underwear, and on other uses of the rainbow flag. I’ll add to these lists as new postings come in.

Collage postings

January 2, 2015

Another set of Pages, with links to more collage postings. To the existing Page with academic collages (Collages: Academic), I have added two others: Collages: Miscellaneous, mostly with lesbian-related (but not X-rated) collages; and Collages: Gay, with gay-male-related (and mostly X-rated) collages.

Penguin postings

January 1, 2015

Continuing to make inventories originally assembled on my computer now publicly available as Pages on this blog. Today’s project: penguin postings (from mid-2011 on), available here. This includes postings on actual penguins, on penguin art, on comics with penguins in them, on representations of penguins (in food, for instance), and so on.

This list joins the following Pages: animal postings, diner postings, parody postings, phallicity postings (special list for wursts, general list for the rest), plant postings, poetry postings.

xkcd cartoons

November 14, 2014

I’ve created a Page on my blog —

on Language Log and AZBlog postings of and about xkcd cartoons. This is a publicly accessible compendium of this material. (I’m gradually turning my private lists of various sorts into such Pages. The initial investment of time and work is quite considerable, but afterwards they’re fairly easy to maintain, really no more difficult than my private lists were.)

The current list of Pages can be viewed on the right side of my blog, and any Page can be viewed from there by clicking on its name.

I welcome comments (by e-mail to me) on omissions in these lists and corrections to them.