Labels Are Not Definitions

Labels Are Not Definitions: postings on Language Log and this blog

AZ, 2/22/07: Labels Are Not Definitions: Labels Are Not Definitions

“double is“, “is is“, “double be“, or “be be” as labels for Isis

RS, 3/27/07: Labels for linguists: Labels for linguists

descriptive vs. prescriptive linguist, sociolinguist, linguist

EB, 10/2/08: On language and politics: On language and politics

comment by Sili

AZ, 10/20/08: The Derivational Fallacy: The Derivational Fallacy:

the adjective derivative

BZ, 11/7/08: There will be passives: There will be passives

AZ comment: Beware: labels are not definitions. “Progressive aspect” is a label for a grammatical phenomenon; clauses in the progressive aspect do not necessarily denote events in progress (although they often do, so that “progressive aspect” isn’t a bad label), and events in progress aren’t necessarily described by clauses in the progressive aspect. For instance, the (futurate) progressive “I am speaking in San Francisco tomorrow” doesn’t denote an event in progress.

AZ, 11/3/09: Pronouns ‘n’ stuff: Pronouns ‘n’ stuff

[on the idea that] a pronoun “stands for”, or more precisely, “takes the place of”, a noun (that is, the function of pronouns is to avoid repeating nouns); people … sometimes say that this claim follows directly from the etymology of the word pronoun (though I have cautioned many times that Labels Are Not Definitions

2/25/10: NomConjObjs: NomConjObjs

Clearly, “nominative conjoined object” is an imperfect name, but it’s hard to imagine how to pack all the relevant information into a reasonably short name. And anyway, labels are not definitions.

8/26/10: nth birthday, (n+1)th year; visiting professor: visiting professor

the title visiting professor

11/29/10: VPE mismatches: VPE mismatches

VP Ellipsis(VPE) or VP Deletionas a name for a construction

3/25/11: The persistence of proper names: proper names

CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing held other than at CUNY

5/19/11: ?Portmanteau: ?Portmanteau

cumshot as a portmanteau

8/10/12: Brief mention: Technical terminology: Technical terminology

the name drone

11/16/14: Name aversion: Name aversion

names for Isis again

7/27/15: Misleadingly named animals: Misleadingly named animals

mayflies, Eastern kingbirds

5/2/16: Raining subjunctives: Raining subjunctives

Present Subjunctive and Past Subjunctive as names for clause constructions

3/27/17: An early “is is”? Probably not.: An early “is is”

“double be” as a name for Isis

3/30/17: More on early “is is”: More on early “is is”

“is is” as a name for Isis

12/19/17: From the archives of avoidance: archives of avoidance

Afro-American, African-American, and African American as … terms for Americans descended from enslaved people of sub-Saharan Africa

4/12/18: chicken fried chicken: chicken fried chicken

Chicken fried steak doesn’t mean ‘steak fried in the manner of fried chicken’; it’s the name of a dish, a fried steak preparation that resembles in some ways Southern fried chicken.

4/30/18: Books and their covers: Books and their covers

book titles are not plot summaries


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