Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm busy. You discuss it.

I'm in the middle of some experiment design (on forms of negative concord that are not strongly marked) and a literature review (on the topic of sound change and the categorizing of prescriptions) and presentation preparation (on a corpus-based analysis* of ISIS as a syntax-phonology interface mending strategy).

My posting has been sparse lately. But I've been filling up the tank.

Note that experiment design and presentation preparation can be used as mass nouns but literature review has to be a count noun? Is this true for you too good reader?

Do you have any thoughts as to why this is?


*someone else's work -- not my own.


  1. No, for me "literature review" can be a mass noun when used generically. Your use is specific (lit review *on the topic of X*). But "My job entails experiment design, literature review, and paper writing" sounds fine to me.

    Or is that what you mean?

  2. Yes. So we see differently. Your sentence sounds odd to me. I was trying to go with mass nouns for all tasks but 'lit review' wouldn't allow it.

    I first went with 'literature reviewing' and that called my attention to the difference. The others didn't need the altered-gerundive fix.

    "Paper writing" is a stark example. It can't even take the noun form without becoming an -ing gerund.

    So I can do experiment design. And I can do presentation preparation. But I have to do literature reviewing or a literature review. And I can neither do paper write nor a paper write -- but I can do paper writing.


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