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Dear livejournal readers, I once again require your judgements on the acceptability of certain sentences/questions, given a specific context. Therefore, if you care to indulge a poor linguistics graduate student, please click through to read the details:


Such, such linguistic love have I for you.



Instructions:
I would like you to rate the sentences/questions below on a scale from 0-5 where…

5 = "Perfectly fine. I would say this. I would hear this. My brain
would be happy."

4 = "Something seems just a bit wrong, but I might say this or hear
this and my brain would still be reasonably happy. If someone else
said this, I might notice but I wouldn't be bothered enough to try to correct it or say it in a 'better' way."

3 = "Well, I understand what it means, but this is weird enough that I would notice and be bothered enough to try to correct it or say it in a 'better' way."

2 = "Well, I mostly understand what it means, but it sounds really weird. If someone else said this, I would have to try to correct it just to make sure I got what the person actually meant."

1 = "Buh? You make my head hurt with your strange linguistic
manipulations. I sort of understand what you mean…but ouch. If someone else said this, I would assume they were from Betelgeuse."

0 = "My brain exploded. The pain. What on earth does this mean? If
someone else said this, I would know they were from Betelgeuse."

Note: Some of the sentences/questions may in fact feel better to you than others. Hence, you get a scale. Also, feel free to add explanations to your judgements if you want.

Plea: Please, please, please do not look at other people's judgements before you make your own. Otherwise, you may be influenced by their judgements and then I'll have to cry. It'd be terrible to make me cry - I'm truly pitiful.




The Context:

Jack has been trained in musical theater and finds the operatic style to be a stilted and often overblown way to sing most of the songs he prefers. If you ask him, he'll tell you that he greatly dislikes this way of singing. Lily, however, really, really likes the soaring, operatic style. If you ask her, she'll tell you that this is the best way to sing any song ever.


The Sentences/Questions
Please rate the sentences/questions in bold. The other part is just a lead-in to make the sentence/question more natural-sounding in conversation.


  1. Speaker: "Well, it's clear to me that Jack and Lily have conflicting opinions on how to sing a song: Lily adores the way that Jack despises."

  2. Speaker: "Wait, I didn't get a chance to talk to Jack about his opinions on how to sing a song. What way does Jack despise?"

  3. Speaker: "Well, it's clear to me that Jack and Lily have conflicting opinions on how to sing a song: Lily adores how Jack despises."


Comments

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
jessekornblum
Feb. 9th, 2006 08:34 pm (UTC)
#1: 3. It makes sense, but I would clarify. Is the statement about what Lily thinks of Jack or what he likes.

#2: 4.

#3: 2. This is confusing and without all of the background I wouldn't get it.
jalenstrix
Feb. 9th, 2006 10:49 pm (UTC)
My linguistic love to you for participating in exactly the way I intended - hurrah! Thanks. ;)
arielstarshadow
Feb. 9th, 2006 08:34 pm (UTC)
Actually none of your options fit me - generally speaking, I don't correct someone else's grammar, unless they have specifically asked me to do so. As long as I can understand them, I don't worry about such things.
jalenstrix
Feb. 9th, 2006 10:43 pm (UTC)
generally speaking, I don't correct someone else's grammar,

Fair enough - but can you use the classifications at the beginning of the ratings (i.e. "perfect", "slightly off", "somewhat weird", "really weird", "crazy weird", "unintelligible") to describe your feelings about the acceptability of these sentences/questions?
arielstarshadow
Feb. 9th, 2006 11:01 pm (UTC)
Sure thing:

Sentence 1: Somewhat Weird aka 3
Sentence 2: Really Weird aka 2
Sentence 3: Really weird aka 2

It's the use of "way" in the first and second sentences that bugs me, and the use of the word "how" in the third.
aelkiss
Feb. 9th, 2006 09:04 pm (UTC)
In order: 3, 4, 1.

I don't know what's wrong with setence 1, really, my brain just doesn't really like it;-) Maybe I've just seen too many Jack and Lily examples to be very reliable at this point.
jalenstrix
Feb. 9th, 2006 10:44 pm (UTC)
[grin] Ah, my poor abused judgement-giver.
nameless_abyss
Feb. 9th, 2006 09:10 pm (UTC)
1. I rate this a 1.
2. I rate this a 4.
3. Again with a 1.

Sentences 1 and 3 make me think that Lily adores Jack's behavior when he's ranting madly about how he despises something (yes, even though I know the context, my brain turns it into something else).
jalenstrix
Feb. 9th, 2006 10:45 pm (UTC)
(yes, even though I know the context, my brain turns it into something else).

Quite alright - this just means that the target interpretation I'm trying to get you to judge isn't accessible for you, no matter what the context is. ;)
corivax
Feb. 9th, 2006 09:48 pm (UTC)
1: 4
2: 0
3: 1

I parse these as Lilly reacting favorably to Jack's dislike. Perhaps he rants entertainingly. If that isn't what you meant, I don't know what you did.
jalenstrix
Feb. 9th, 2006 10:47 pm (UTC)
If that isn't what you meant, I don't know what you did.

Yeah - the intended interpretation would be something like

"Lily adores singing in an operatic style and Jack despises singing that way."

(Hence, the question of "What way does Jack despise?" Target Answer: "The operatic style of singing.")

I was trying to make that interpretation salient with the context, but I didn't succeed as well as I had hoped. ;)
thewronghands
Feb. 10th, 2006 01:16 am (UTC)
1: 3. Gyah.

2: 4. Not so gyah. "Which way" would have made it fine.

3: 3. Gyah again.
jalenstrix
Feb. 10th, 2006 06:16 am (UTC)
3: 3. Gyah again.

*laughter*

Thanks very much. I have to admit, I'm quite surprised to find 1 and 3 equally weird for you, and neither ranked as really weird. [grin]
motive_nuance
Feb. 10th, 2006 01:41 am (UTC)
1) 4
2) 5
3) 2
motive_nuance
Feb. 10th, 2006 01:44 am (UTC)
Oh, also it makes a lot of difference whether these are read or spoken. 1 written might be a 3 in a totally null context. Spoken, with good prosodic boundary marking, it could be an easy 5. And 3 might be a 3 rather than a 2. Also, I might be rating both of the first two higher because I, um, work in a cognitive linguistics lab, and hence read a lot of sentences like this.
jalenstrix
Feb. 10th, 2006 06:18 am (UTC)
Oh, also it makes a lot of difference whether these are read or spoken.

[nodnod] Absolutely. My goal was try to get these in the best possible presentation style and the best possible context I could conjure to see what kind of constraints would still exist even in those idealized circumstances.

Side note: Hee. You work in a cog ling lab. Go, you.
several_bees
Feb. 10th, 2006 08:51 am (UTC)
3,4,2.
ravenblack
Feb. 11th, 2006 04:09 am (UTC)
I also say 3, 4, 2.
fallen_tigress
Feb. 10th, 2006 05:51 pm (UTC)
I believe the first would be a 5, the second a 4, and the third a 3. And I didn't look at any other responses, lol... hope you're coming out dancing tonight...
jalenstrix
Feb. 10th, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks, honey!

Unfortunately, I won't be at the Promenade tonight. :(
There's a masquerade ball at Catholic University that I said I'd go to. But you must cha cha line dance for me!
(Anonymous)
Feb. 10th, 2006 06:40 pm (UTC)
participant judgment
1. No good (1). 'the way to sing' as an NP, no problem.
2. Pefectly fine (5). Not even sure why you ask this.
3. Terrible (0) with the intended reading.
jalenstrix
Feb. 10th, 2006 06:48 pm (UTC)
Re: participant judgment
2. Pefectly fine (5). Not even sure why you ask this.

Base lines, darling, base lines.
regyt
Feb. 12th, 2006 01:10 am (UTC)
1. 2 - it sounds like she adores the method he employs in doing his despising.
2. 5
3. 2 - same issue
kaiasyn
Feb. 12th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
2, 4, 1 for me.
tungol
Feb. 23rd, 2006 06:20 am (UTC)
Sentence 1: A rating of 5
Sentence 2: A rating of 5
Sentence 3: A rating of 2 or 3 ... I think closer to 2.
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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