Page 5 of 8 First 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Last
Results 41 to 50 of 74
  1. Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Nov 2018
    • Posts: 423
    #41

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    1) There are cases where a speaker chooses to use a deictic reference where he could have used a non-deictic one. In these cases, you could ask why he decided to do so.
    My question is not only about the speaker's choice motivation but also about the contextual reason(s) allowing or prohibiting certain pronouns. There are three types of context with regard to pronoun usage: 1) when all three pronouns can be used, 2) only 'this/that', 3) only 'it'.

    My main question is, what are the distinctive features of each type?


    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    1b)
    A: To fall asleep is hard for him.
    B: It's true.
    C: What's true?
    B: That to fall asleep is hard for him.


    Here, utterance B does not work as a response to utterance A, because it does not refer to speaker A's comment. It refers only to the propositional content expressed by the comment. Although it's not impossible to do that, it would be an odd thing to say, requiring a special context.

    Suppose I wanted to refer to the propositional content, as I did in (2a). Why is this a problem? What is so special about this example (my main question above)?


    I've found some examples with 'it'. Do they sound odd to you?

    1) "Lotus driver and 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen had been rumoured to be in contention for the seat...but Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson confirmed earlier today that talks regarding a move had broken down earlier in the season. "It's true," said Robertson. "Kimi will not be driving for Red Bull in 2014. We held some talks, but a deal will not be happening."
    (
    https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing/daniel-riccardo-could-be-announced-as-mark-webbers-red-bull-replacement-as-early-as-this-weekends-8775039.html)

    2) "The excerpt below gives an illustration of two interwoven and familiar 'small stories' about type 2 diabetes: one story concerns a destiny out of the individual's control; the other is one of prevention, diet and exercise.

    Woman 1: You can't ever cure it, can you? It's true though, isn't it?
    Woman 2: What's not curable?
    Woman 1: Sugar. Diabetes.
    Woman 2: You can prevent it."
    (
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3306744/)


    3) ... "You love money and power more than you love me"."It's true," I said. "And I'm sorry it's true". ...
    (The New Yorker)


    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    ​Imagine that we're walking along the beach when I look up and point to a UFO in the sky. Which of the following would I say?:
    What's that?!
    What's it?!


    One of the above is not possible. Why do you think that is?
    This is a clear case of pointing a new object out or pointing at it, so the best choice is "that". But suppose UFOs are ordinary things like the Sun or trees; you're a teacher, I'm a first-grader, and you just want to check my knowledge. Could you ask, "What is it?" Don't school teachers ask such a question?
    Last edited by Alexey86; 28-May-2020 at 18:12.
    Not a teacher

  2. Moderator
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 18,711
    #42

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    This is a clear case of pointing a new object out or pointing at it, so the best choice is "that". But suppose UFOs are ordinary things like the Sun or trees; you're a teacher, I'm a first-grader, and you just want to check my knowledge. Could you ask, "What is it?" Don't school teachers ask such a question?
    Only "that" is possible in the scenario jutfrank described.
    Last edited by GoesStation; 29-May-2020 at 15:28. Reason: Remove stray bbcode.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 12,059
    #43

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    My question is ... about the contextual reason(s) allowing or prohibiting certain pronouns. There are three types of context with regard to pronoun usage: 1) when all three pronouns can be used, 2) only 'this/that', 3) only 'it'.


    I'm not sure that's a very productive approach. I don't recommend it. At the end of the day, there are only psychological reasons. Don't think of these reference words as if they are subject to grammatical rules. That's only a part of the story.

    Suppose I wanted to refer to the propositional content, as I did in (2a). Why is this a problem? What is so special about this example (my main question above)?
    I've answered that—it doesn't work as a response to A's remark. It lack coherence. I gave you two ways in which I imagine it could work.

    Like I've been saying, we don't just suddenly pull an it out of the air like that—there has to be a clear antecedent, and there isn't one there.

    The rule is really quite simple: When you want to make reference to what you or your interlocutor has recently said or written, use this/that, not it.

    I've found some examples with 'it'. Do they sound odd to you?
    Not at all.

    1) Robertson is referring to the propositional content only, not to any previous utterance.

    2) I don't really understand what the woman means, so I won't comment on this one.

    3) Okay, this is a good example because it's breaking the 'rule' I've given above about using this/that to refer to previous utterances within the context of the conversation. I guess that means you want me to explain it? Well, okay, the best I've got is this: the speaker decided to focus on the fact, or the information, or the truth condition, or the propositional content, rather than the utterance as an object. The fact that I love money and power more than you is a clear enough antecedent to justify using an it. The speaker could have used a that here instead, if he'd wanted to make reference to the utterance instead.


    This is a clear case of pointing a new object out or pointing at it, so the best choice is "that".
    Yes. I intentionally made the clearest and simplest possible example of use, to show you a case where that is very obviously correct and where it is very obviously wrong. It is by considering these clear cases, not the fuzzy ones, that you will begin to distinguish the differences in meaning and use.

    But suppose UFOs are ordinary things like the Sun or trees; you're a teacher, I'm a first-grader, and you just want to check my knowledge. Could you ask, "What is it?" Don't school teachers ask such a question?


    No, they don't. That's the whole point of the example.

  4. Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Nov 2018
    • Posts: 423
    #44

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Sorry, I can't help but notice a contradiction in your explanation. On the one hand, you argue that "It's true" doesn't work as a response to "To fall asleep is hard for him" due to a lack of coherence. On the other hand, you're okay with "You love money and power more than you love me"."It's true..." For some reason, in the latter case you allow the speaker "to decide to focus on the fact,...or the truth condition, rather than the utterance as an object." Why are you not okay with the former, then? Suppose the responding person decided to focus on the truth condition. Why is this inappropriate?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Robertson is referring to the propositional content only, not to any previous utterance.
    And you don't see any problems with that because the reference 'target' (an utterance as such or its content) is up to the speaker, right? Then again, why do you see problems with the 'sleep' example? Why can't we just leave it up to the speaker what to refer to, given that such an approach works well for the 'Robertson' and the 'you love money more than me' examples?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    No, they don't. That's the whole point of the example.


    How does this differ from my 'teacher-student' context?
    Last edited by Alexey86; 29-May-2020 at 15:59. Reason: fixing a typo
    Not a teacher

  5. Moderator
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 18,711
    #45

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post


    How does this differ from my 'teacher-student' context?
    The video uses very basic English to teach nouns to small children. "This" might be more appropriate, but it would be harder to pronounce with the right rhythm and harder to understand.

    Watching the video, my heart went out to the poor unfortunates who had to record the audio.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Nov 2018
    • Posts: 423
    #46

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    The video uses very basic English to teach nouns to small children.
    'Basic' doesn't mean 'incorrect', does it?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    "This" might be more appropriate
    This is confusing, GS. 'That' is the only appropriate choice in the 'UFO' example. But in this case 'this' is just more appropriate. 'It' is not the best choice, but it still works, right? Why is that?
    Not a teacher

  7. Moderator
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 18,711
    #47

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    'Basic' doesn't mean 'incorrect', does it?
    No, although in this case I might argue that the writer has overdone it. "What's this?" is the correct and natural phrase.
    This is confusing, GS. 'That' is the only appropriate choice in the 'UFO' example. But in this case 'this' is just more appropriate. 'It' is not the best choice, but it still works, right? Why is that?[/COLOR]
    The unidentified thing in the sky is far away, so "this" isn't possible. The bouncing ball image is right under the text, so "this" is natural.

    "It" really doesn't work well. The video will eventually make it just a little harder for the kids who watch it to master the use of this, that and it.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 12,059
    #48

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    Sorry, I can't help but notice a contradiction in your explanation. On the one hand, you argue that "It's true" doesn't work as a response to "To fall asleep is hard for him" due to a lack of coherence. On the other hand, you're okay with "You love money and power more than you love me"."It's true..." For some reason, in the latter case you allow the speaker "to decide to focus on the fact,...or the truth condition, rather than the utterance as an object." Why are you not okay with the former, then?


    Excuse me, but that's not a contradiction. It's just that I'm apparently not explaining clearly enough for you.

    Suppose the responding person decided to focus on the truth condition. Why is this inappropriate?
    It contravenes the rules of conversation. I can't answer that in less than a thousand words. You really want to go into the details of conversation analysis?

    And you don't see any problems with that because the reference 'target' (an utterance as such or its content) is up to the speaker, right?
    Essentially, yes. Speakers can say what they want. That's what I mean by criticising your rule-based approach. The approach to take must be a psychological one.

    Then again, why do you see problems with the 'sleep' example? Why can't we just leave it up to the speaker what to refer to, given that such an approach works well for the 'Robertson' and the 'you love money more than me' examples?
    What's the 'sleep' example?

    How does this differ from my 'teacher-student' context?


    It doesn't differ, but it is not an example of ordinary language. It's designed to help very young children with articulating very basic sentences. You can ignore it for the purposes of this discussion. You would not say What is it? to anyone other than a one-year-old baby. This is not a question asking what something is—it's a teaching tool designed to teach babies something about the target language.

    I'm growing impatient now. You're making me work too hard. Can we please focus on just one point at a time? And if you ask me about something we've discussed several posts ago, please repost the relevant section so I don't have to read the whole thread over and over.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 29-May-2020 at 17:52.

  9. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 12,059
    #49

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    'Basic' doesn't mean 'incorrect', does it?

    Yes!

    Call it incorrect, or wrong, or no good, or inappropriate, or whatever you like.

  10. Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Nov 2018
    • Posts: 423
    #50

    Re: Is it correct? vs Is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    What's the 'sleep' example?
    Sorry, I meant ''To fall asleep is hard for him."

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I'm growing impatient now. You're making me work too hard.​
    You're right. I'm sorry for overloading you with work. Are you still interested in the discussion? If not, I understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Can we please focus on just one point at a time?​
    Okay, let's focus on what I called 'contradiction', if you haven't run out of patience yet.

    We have two pieces of dialogue:

    1) "To fall asleep is hard for him." "It's true."
    2) "You love money and power more than you love me"."It's true," I said. "And I'm sorry it's true."

    If I understood you correctly, all three pronouns are possible in the latter, and it's totally up to the responding person (his/her reference target) what to choose. But 'it' doesn't work in the former. Why is the content/truth condition reference is appropriate in (2) but not in (1)?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    It contravenes the rules of conversation. I can't answer that in less than a thousand words. You really want to go into the details of conversation analysis?
    Is this necessary to explain the difference between (1) and (2) above? Or maybe you can recommend some books or papers providing exhaustive explanation of the difference in usage between the pronouns under consideration.
    Last edited by Alexey86; 29-May-2020 at 18:39.
    Not a teacher

Page 5 of 8 First 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •