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    #21

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Okay, I understand now. Let's see:

    1) So she decided to paint her house pink. It upset the neighbours a bit.
    Swan wrote this example as way to make the point that it doesn't give a 'special emphasis' that using this/that would give. The way I'd explain it is that it makes a 'normal' (non-demonstrative and non-deictic) kind of reference. This kind of reference is called in semantics anaphoric, which means that the reference word (It) refers to what comes before in the text, which here is the mention of painting her house pink. You could also rephrase the sentence using anaphoric which in place of it.

    2) If Swan's example is natural, does it differ from mine regarding the choice of pronoun.
    This is a very good example of anaphor, where it simply substitutes for Swan's example. This is a much better use of it than 1) because it's not necessary or appropriate to use a demonstrative (this/that) here. The reason that it isn't is that there is one discrete utterance (in this case a compound sentence), where the reference word, which is in the main clause, points to an antecedent in the subordinate clause of the same sentence. In 1), there are two utterances, written as two sentences, where the reference crosses an utterance boundary. That presents a case for using a demonstrative, because the reference is not quite so clear. This is what Swan means by 'special emphasis'. Remember what I said about using which in 1)—if you did, it would resolve the utterance boundary problem by creating a single grammatical unit (i.e., a single sentence).

    3) You said, 'This' and 'that' point at something — in this case, text that's nearby or at least a little further away." Doesn't this mean that 'it' is more appropriate when referential text is further away, as it is in my case?
    Be careful here. Although the demonstratives this/that can be well understood in terms of proximity, you should not attempt to understand it as having any relation to proximity. Think of this example in terms of what I've said above about the reference crossing utterance boundaries. For this reason, this is very appropriate in 3) whereas it is not.

    Is that all clear? Or useful?

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    #22

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Think of this example in terms of what I've said above about the reference crossing utterance boundaries. For this reason, this is very appropriate in 3) whereas it is not.
    Sorry, jutfrank, I don't understand. Both 1) and 3) consist of two utterances and have a pronoun with boundary-crossing reference, right? Why does the former allow all three pronouns, while the latter only this/that?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post

    2) If Swan's example is natural, does it differ from mine regarding the choice of pronoun.

    This is a very good example of anaphor, where it simply substitutes for Swan's example. This is a much better use of it than 1) because it's not necessary or appropriate to use a demonstrative (this/that) here. The reason that it isn't is that there is one discrete utterance...
    Let's consider the following example: If he leaves tomorrow, will it/this/that upset you?

    Are all three pronouns possible here? If so, why does this example differ from 2) in terms of pronoun usage?

    Let me share my thoughts. I can distinguish four types of reference in this discussion:
    a) object reference within an utterance (Swan's example) => it
    b) boundary-crossing reference to a fact/idea/thought ('this' and 'that' point at something — in this case, text that's nearby or at least a little further away) => this/that
    c) boundary-crossing
    reference to an event (she decided to paint her house pink) => this/that/it
    d) event reference within an utterance (he leaves tomorrow) => this/that/it

    What do you think?
    One more question: Is there any difference in usage between It makes sense and This/that makes sense?
    Last edited by Alexey86; 20-May-2020 at 20:33.
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    #23

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    Let's consider the following example: If he leaves tomorrow, will it/this/that upset you?

    Are all three pronouns possible here?
    Only "it" is possible. Does it help to clarify this if you reverse the clauses to Will it/this/that upset you if he leaves tomorrow?

    One more question: Is there any difference in usage between It makes sense and This/that makes sense?
    Yes. They are used in different contexts.
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    #24

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Only "it" is possible. Does it help to clarify this if you reverse the clauses to Will it/this/that upset you if he leaves tomorrow?
    But with boundary-crossing reference all three would be possible, right? Suppose he leaves tomorrow. Will it/this/that upset you?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Yes. They are used in different contexts.
    Which one would you use to express your agreement or understanding of something?
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    #25

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    Sorry, jutfrank, I don't understand. Both 1) and 3) consist of two utterances and have a pronoun with boundary-crossing reference, right? Why does the former allow all three pronouns, while the latter only this/that?

    Well, actually I don't think it works extremely well in 1) because it's a rather forced example. The thought would be much better expressed by using a relative pronoun (which) instead.

    I didn't mean to say that anaphoric reference cannot cross utterance boundaries—it can—just that when there is a crossing of a boundary, it is more likely that a speaker will use a demonstrative. The clearer the boundary, the greater the need for a demonstrative. I don't think Swan's example is a good one to use to think about this. I suspect he was deliberately trying hard to find an example where the boundary was not very clear, and which thus allowed all three.

    Let's consider the following example: If he leaves tomorrow, will it/this/that upset you?

    Are all three pronouns possible here? If so, why does this example differ from 2) in terms of pronoun usage?

    As GS said, only it is appropriate here, for reasons I believe I've explained above.

    Let me share my thoughts. I can distinguish four types of reference in this discussion:
    a) object reference within an utterance (Swan's example) => it
    b) boundary-crossing reference to a fact/idea/thought ('this' and 'that' point at something — in this case, text that's nearby or at least a little further away) => this/that
    c) boundary-crossing reference to an event (she decided to paint her house pink) => this/that/it
    d) event reference within an utterance (he leaves tomorrow) => this/that/it

    What do you think?

    Interesting. Instead of commenting about this, let me share with you my thoughts:

    A way in to thinking about the semantic difference between it and the demonstratives this/that is this: a speaker's use of this/that is deictic whereas a use of it is simply endophoric (i.e., either anaphoric or cataphoric). (I think some semanticists might disagree with me there, but never mind for the moment.) The term 'deictic' means that reference is made relative to the situation of the speaker. With the demonstratives, reference is made to an entity in the situation. This is why I'd ask What's this? rather than What is it? when enquiring about an unknown object I've just discovered. That's quite simple to understand. But where it gets hard to see is where the situation is the discourse itself. This is why we so commonly use demonstratives to refer to elements of our own speech and writing. When we want to talk about something that has been said or written during the conversation or discussion we're having, whether by ourselves or by other participants, we use this/that, not it, because the reference is deictic (a kind of discourse deixis). Your example 3) is a superb example of this use of a demonstrative for discourse deixis because it's very clear that you're referring to something that GoesStation previously said. That's not the case with 'normal' anaphor, as in 1).

    One more question: Is there any difference in usage between It makes sense and This/that makes sense?
    Since the reference is to something that the other person just said, it is fully appropriate to use a deictic demonstrative.

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    #26

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    With the demonstratives, reference is made to an entity in the situation. This is why I'd ask What's this? rather than What is it? when enquiring about an unknown object I've just discovered.

    I've found an interesting explanation (https://forum.wordreference.com/thre...is-it.3524948/):

    If someone hands me a book and it is obvious to me it is a book, I would say "What is this?"

    If it is in a package (the book) then I would say "What is it?" (inside)

    Do you agree with this distinction?

    I'd also like to suggest three contexts
    for analysis:

    Context 1:
    A:
    I'm going to withdraw all the money from my account because of the growing crisis.
    B: This/That makes sense.

    Context 2:
    A:
    We are facing a financial crisis.
    B: This is true/That's true.

    Context 3:
    A: We are facing a financial crisis.
    B: I wouldn't be so sure.
    A: But
    it's true!

    Have I used the pronouns above correctly? If so, how should I change context 1 for 'it makes sense' to work?

    I need to analyze different examples to better understand the nuances of pronoun usage. I've already found some through Ludwig. Would you help me with them? I understand if you're tired of this thread.

    P.S. By ''you'' I mean not only jutfrank. I would be glad to get some help from other members.


    Last edited by Alexey86; 21-May-2020 at 13:05.
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    #27

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    If someone hands me a book and it is obvious to me it is a book, I would say "What is this?"

    If it is in a package (the book) then I would say "What is it?" (inside)

    Do you agree with this distinction?
    I'd use only 'this' in in the first. I might use either in the second.

    Incidentally I'd always contract the 'what is'.


    Context 1:
    A:
    I'm going to withdraw all the money from my account because of the growing crisis.
    B: This/That makes sense.

    Context 2:
    A:
    We are facing a financial crisis.
    B: This is true/That's true.

    Context 3:
    A: We are facing a financial crisis.
    B: I wouldn't be so sure.
    A: But
    it's true!
    1. I'd use only 'that'.
    2. I'd be more likely to use 'that'.
    3. Yes, 'it'.

    If you ask me why, I shall plead the fifth amendment.
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    #28

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    If someone hands me a book and it is obvious to me it is a book, I would say "What is this?"

    If it is in a package (the book) then I would say "What is it?" (inside)

    Do you agree with this distinction?

    No. This
    has nothing to do with the speaker's knowledge of the identity of the object. In the first, this is appropriate but not because it's obvious it's a book. A speaker would just as well use this if the identity were unknown. In the second, a speaker could similarly use a deictic expression. In fact, it would be more likely (What's that?).

    Have I used the pronouns above correctly?

    Yes.

    If so, how should I change context 1 for 'it makes sense' to work?
    Make it anaphoric, not deictic, with an obvious antecedent:

    A: What do you think of
    my idea?
    B:
    It makes sense.

    The clearest kind of anaphor is where the antecedent is an easily identifiable, simple noun phrase rather than an entire clause or implicit idea.

    I need to analyze different examples to better understand the nuances of pronoun usage. I've already found some through Ludwig. Would you help me with them? I understand if you're tired of this thread.
    Sure, I'd be happy to. Just as long as you don't ask me about the for a few weeks! And as long as you let me have a say in which examples to analyse (or not to) because I think that's absolutely crucial.

    P.S. By ''you'' I mean not only jutfrank. I would be glad to get some help from other members.
    I too would be very keen for others to join in.

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    #29

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Sure, I'd be happy to. Just as long as you don't ask me about the for a few weeks!
    Fair enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    And as long as you let me have a say in which examples to analyse (or not to) because I think that's absolutely crucial.
    I can't deny you that right, of course.

    Here are the first several examples:

    1) https://www.theguardian.com/football...players-choose
    A captain is primarily an off-the-field middleman between the team and the manager, and at times the media. He’s the players’ representative. It is almost an ambassadorial role. This is undoubtedly the crux of the job. A far more important aspect than anything that occurs on the pitch.
    In other countries, the squad players choose their own captain.
    They have a vote at the start of the season. It makes sense too. Why should the manager/coach get to select the guy he may have to argue or negotiate with about something that may have upset his fellow players?

    The first 'it' is clearly anaphoric and refers to the preceding subject complements (AP and NP) answering the question 'who?', while the second 'it' refers to the whole sentence. 'This' like the first 'it' refers to the preceding NP. This is confusing. What determines the choice of pronoun here?

    2) https://www.forbes.com/2007/02/12/ya...l#70b728ef2da5
    Well it turns out all of the security dialogs were written in Java. Somebody thought it would be a good idea to have the security manager be a Java application so that you didn't have to port to all the different [platforms]. It makes sense, I guess.

    3) ...cooperate in defending against them, by building two separate systems with the same goal. It makes sense practically, militarily andpolitically. It would show once and for all that we can build security with each other, rather than ...(The New York Times)

    4) https://www.economist.com/johnson/20...in-translation
    During the parade of athletes at the Olympics opening ceremony, the announcer presented each country's delegation first in French and then in English. This makes sense, of course. French and English are the official languages of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

    5) https://www.sciencemag.org/news/1998...et-bodys-clock
    The result: Body core temperatures and melatonin outputs of the test subjects--but not controls--shifted consistently in response to the light exposure, in some cases by 3 hours. This makes sense, Campbell says. He points out that many other vertebrates have light-sensitive systems that don't involve their eyes, adding that more ancient ways of setting the body's clock may still exist...


    And again, in contexts (2) and (3) 'it' refers to the whole idea, not just an NP. How do (2-3) differ from (4-5) in this respect? It seems that when the focus is on the main idea of a preceding clause/sentence, authors use 'it' and 'this' interchangeably.
    Last edited by Alexey86; 21-May-2020 at 19:45.
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    #30

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Let's go one at a time.

    A captain is primarily an off-the-field middleman between the team and the manager, and at times the media. He’s the players’ representative. It is almost an ambassadorial role. This is undoubtedly the crux of the job. A far more important aspect than anything that occurs on the pitch.
    In other countries, the squad players choose their own captain.
    They have a vote at the start of the season. It makes sense too. Why should the manager/coach get to select the guy he may have to argue or negotiate with about something that may have upset his fellow players?


    The first 'it' is clearly anaphoric and refers to the preceding subject complements (AP and NP) answering the question 'who?',
    It refers to the subject of the first sentence A captain. I wouldn't say it answers the question 'who'.

    while the second 'it' refers to the whole sentence.
    I'm not sure about this one. It seems like a dummy to me.

    'This' like the first 'it' refers to the preceding NP. This is confusing. What determines the choice of pronoun here?
    The deictic use of a demonstrative here is the speaker's way of pointing out the importance of what he's just said.

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