Research Engagement For Linguistics Sfu Assignment

2623 words - 11 pages

Tammy Nguyen
Linguistics Postcards Summaries.
1. Podcast: That’s What They Say
Episode: Sometimes we stumble on ambiguous prepositions
Date: November 26, 2018
Rebecca Kruth, hostess of Weekend Edition on Michigan Radio, is discussing with Anne Curzan, English
Professor from University of Michigan, who studies linguistics and the history of the English language
about why the verb “stumble” has so many prepositions that confuses people.
There is a listener who name Allen, having an inquiry about how to use preposition after the verb
“stumble”. He was confused with this verb and its preposition when he read the book review of Barbara
Kingsolver, which is about the lost history of a woman who name Mary Treat. When he saw the
sentence “Barbara Kingsolver, one of America's hardiest novelists, stumbled on the lost history of
Treat”, he thought that the reviewers are not interested in the book, but then he realized that they
should say “stumble on to” instead of “stumble on”. Because Allen understood the sentence “stumble
on the lost history” that mean the author lost her footing and did not do her job, however, the fact that
is Kingsolver accidently discovered the history. Allen gave a question whether the reviewer used the
wrong preposition and which preposition is the correct one. Because there are many prepositions can
follow after the verb “stumble”, for example “stumble in/into something” create the same meaning and
convey physical meaning. However, through the history, people use stumble with “on”, “on to”, “upon”,
“across” to mean the same thing and contain both physical and metaphorical meaning. The verb phrase
“stumble on” in Allen case is unclear because it could mean that someone coincidently comes cross
something and also mean he messes up something.
Overall, professor Ann Curzan concluded that using “stumble on” is wrong in Allen case; it should be
“stumble on to”.
2. Podcast: That’s What They Say
Episode: Why is there no "n" in restaurateur?
Date: November 19, 2018
Rebecca Kruth, hostess of Weekend Edition on Michigan Radio, is discussing with Anne Curzan, English
Professor from University of Michigan, who studies linguistics and the history of the English language
about why the word “restaurateur” means an owner or a manager of the restaurant and this word has
no letter “n” behind the second letter “a”.
In English, the word “restaurateur” is used to title a person who owns or manages the restaurant.
However, there is a listener who wondered why the letter “n” is absent in the word “restaurateur”, why
this word cannot be “restauranteur” and what is the meaning of this rule. The word “restaurateur”
originated from France and traveled to England at the end of the 18th century. In the past, in French,
both words “restaurant” and “restaurateur” come from the v...


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