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  1. #1
    GoldfishLord is offline Member
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    Get silenced, swallow the generative pill

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    But if that can be either a relative pronoun or a relative adverb in relative clauses, why is there never any ambiguity as to its pronominal or adverbial status? It might be simpler to swallow the generative pill and say that the relative pronoun or relative adverb gets silenced in relative clauses introduced by that.
    1. I'd like to know if the red part literally means 'to take a small flat round piece of medicine of "generative grammar" into your stomach through your mouth and throat'.

    2. I'd like to know what the blue part literally means.

  2. #2
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Get silenced, swallow the generative pill

    1. Of course not.
    2. What do you think?
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  3. #3
    GoldfishLord is offline Member
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    Re: Get silenced, swallow the generative pill

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    1. Of course not.
    2. What do you think?
    1. What does the red part literally mean? I think that it has a figurative meaning.
    2. I think that the blue part means "get suppressed".

  4. #4
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Get silenced, swallow the generative pill

    Two things. (At least.)

    Say:

    What does "swallow the generative pill" mean?

    They are not my words. It's not an everyday expression. He may have made them up for the occasion.

    It doesn't mean anything to me. Furthermore, it's not worth worrying about. However, if you want to understand it look carefully at the context. And look up generative.
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  5. #5
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Get silenced, swallow the generative pill

    Say:

    What does "gets silenced" mean here?

    Here it is used, I think, in the sense of "gets drowned out". The other things demand so much attention that you don't notice it.
    Last edited by Tarheel; 11-May-2021 at 13:10. Reason: Insert missing word
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  6. #6
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Get silenced, swallow the generative pill

    When used metaphorically, swallow the X pill means "accept X, even if it's distasteful."
    I am not a teacher.

  7. #7
    Phaedrus's Avatar
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    Re: Get silenced, swallow the generative pill

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    But if that can be either a relative pronoun or a relative adverb in relative clauses, why is there never any ambiguity as to its pronominal or adverbial status? It might be simpler to swallow the generative pill and say that the relative pronoun or relative adverb gets silenced in relative clauses introduced by that.
    Quote Originally Posted by GoldfishLord View Post
    1. I'd like to know if the red part literally means 'to take a small flat round piece of medicine of "generative grammar" into your stomach through your mouth and throat'.

    2. I'd like to know what the blue part literally means.
    Lord of Goldfish, hear my prayer.

    I did not mean "swallow the generative pill" literally. I didn't realize you were still following that thread of yours, and understood myself to be communicating primarily with Piscean/5jj and with other members or readers interested in the tricky question, controversial in some circles, of whether that has the lexico-syntactic status of a relative pronoun in relative clauses beginning with that (or that-relatives for short).

    I was implicitly utilizing the idiom "a bitter pill to swallow" in saying "swallow the generative pill." Mainstream generative grammar maintains something that is unpleasant and difficult to accept for many grammar people, namely, that when that appears to be functioning as a relative pronoun (as it appears to function in noun phrases like the dog that ate the bone), it is actually not a relative pronoun at all but, rather, a complementizer/subordinator.

    In other words, when that appears to be functioning as which or who(m) would function in a relative clause, generative grammar maintains that it is really functioning no differently than it does in the sentence Sally said that she was happy. It should be no surprise that that "pill" (idea) is "hard to swallow" (not easy to accept, or outright repugnant-seeming) to anyone accustomed to viewing that in that-relatives as a relative pronoun.

    Although I have gone to some lengths in that thread to provide the generative-grammar view of that in that-relatives with plausibility, I am partly arguing against the part of me who resists that very view, which, however, is one that is maintained by linguists outside cyber-grammaria (PaulMatthews excepted) whom I respect very highly. I do not know PaulMatthews's precise take on that-relatives, but I will reiterate in brief what my own understanding is.

    In that-relatives, as I understand them, where there would be a relative pronoun like which or who(m) were it not for the presence of that, there is in fact such a relative pronoun in "deep structure." The relative pronoun moves from its position within the relative clause (be it as the subject of the verb, the direct object of a verb, or the object of a preposition) to a position (Specifier position) located one step above the complementizer head of the relative clause.

    When the complementizer (that) is expressed, the relative pronoun "gets silenced." That is one way of putting it. We could say, alternatively, that it is "unpronounced." Some might say that it is "elided"; however, I do not think that ellipsis can be argued to be involved, strictly speaking. The idea is that the relative pronoun is there, in underlying structure, even if you don't hear it or see it. That does not become a relative pronoun; rather, it enables the relative pronoun not to be voiced.
    Unabashed Champion of the Elegantly Old-Fashioned

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: Get silenced, swallow the generative pill

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    . That does not become a relative pronoun; rather, it enables the relative pronoun not to be voiced.
    I am all in favour of unvoiced relative pronouns so long as they are not aspirated or lenis.


  9. #9
    Phaedrus's Avatar
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    Re: Get silenced, swallow the generative pill

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldfishLord View Post
    1. What does the red part literally mean? I think that it has a figurative meaning.
    Coincidentally (and amusingly), as I was browsing through a book tonight on Amazon, I encountered the following sentence, concerning my Platonic namesake:

    "Second, it is a matter of curious interest that a warning against literal reading occurs at an early stage of the Phaedrus."

    - Weaver, Richard M.
    The Ethics of Rhetoric. Muriwai Books, 1953.
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  10. #10
    GoldfishLord is offline Member
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    Re: Get silenced, swallow the generative pill

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    I did not mean "swallow the generative pill" literally. I didn't realize you were still following that thread of yours, and understood myself to be communicating primarily with Piscean/5jj and with other members or readers interested in the tricky question, controversial in some circles, of whether that has the lexico-syntactic status of a relative pronoun in relative clauses beginning with that (or that-relatives for short).
    I'd like to know if the red part means "understood why I was communicating" or "know the meaning of the words I was saying."
    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    Although I have gone to some lengths in that thread to provide the generative-grammar view of that in that-relatives with plausibility, I am partly arguing against the part of me who resists that very view, which, however, is one that is maintained by linguists outside cyber-grammaria (PaulMatthews excepted) whom I respect very highly. I do not know PaulMatthews's precise take on that-relatives, but I will reiterate in brief what my own understanding is.
    I'd like to know if the blue part means "not belonging to" or "beyond cyber-grammarians's knowledge."
    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    When the complementizer (that) is expressed, the relative pronoun "gets silenced." That is one way of putting it. We could say, alternatively, that it is "unpronounced." Some might say that it is "elided"; however, I do not think that ellipsis can be argued to be involved, strictly speaking. The idea is that the relative pronoun is there, in underlying structure, even if you don't hear it or see it. That does not become a relative pronoun; rather, it enables the relative pronoun not to be voiced.
    I'd like to known if the orange word means "at the location."
    Last edited by GoldfishLord; 11-May-2021 at 18:01.

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