From: Mike Sangrey (msangrey@BlueFeltHat.org)
Date: Sat May 19 2001 - 22:02:39 EDT
I think Clayton's point can be seen more simply by trying to answer the
What type of genitive is this?
The fact that it is genitive presents a certain amount of potential,
but the case ending really doesn't help you determine what genitive it
is. The case suffix, the lexical nuances and the context all work
Clayton used the phrase "immediate context." I would argue that in
some cases the IMMEDIATE context is insufficient. At least if I'm
right in assuming by that phrase he meant a surrounding clause or two.
I think there are some cases where one must have a good grasp of the
flow of thought through an entire discourse before one can determine
the type of some genitives. Certain objective/subjective genitives
can only be deduced when one has a keen and very natural, fluent grasp
of the author's argument. It's not looking it up in the grammar that
helps. I think that's Clayton's point. Ironically, one can
frequently better deduce what type of genitive it is by understanding
the English better.
Clayton helps us sometimes by blowing holes in our cozy little walls,
though I wish he would be better at the carpentry needed to put the
window in place. That would help us see out of our own little world
sometimes. I refer to myself here as well as anyone else willing to
try the shoes for fit.
The hole in the wall is the false sense of comfort we sometimes get
when we think we got the grammar down pat. That's unfortunate since
one really doesn't have the language down pat until one reaches
fluency (or near fluency) in the language.
"The first one last wins."
"A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."
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