Tuesday, November 21, 2006

More local language ...

A Madison cafe, Mother Fool's, has a great tradition -- since 2001 -- of really cool murals on its outside wall. On the weekend, I was in the neighborhood and saw this ....

But, to the question: "Where tense at?" I guess the current answer in formal syntax is "under IP". But tense has moved around a lot in syntactic trees over time, so it's always a question worth thinking about. In the clause at hand, without an explicit verb, it sure ain't on the verb.

Right now, I'm wondering if the local syntactians are using murals to post mid-term questions or something. Wouldn't that be great? Get the kids out of the classroom, present test materials in an engaging and aesthetically pleasing way, etc. Think what this very artist (who doesn't seem to be identified anywhere -- and I think it's a set of people who do these) could do with some Upper Midwestern isoglosses! The Great Vowel Shift! fMRI scans of the brain during production of an irregular verb! My head is spinning ....

2 comments:

Janelle Renee said...

Hey! I'm was at that cafe in May. (That's where my avatar photo was taken by another fellow blogger.) I didn't see the tense either. It might be on an extended vacation.

Mr. Verb said...

Yes, it's a favorite cafe for local bloggers -- and an obvious place to take a visiting blogging star from the big city! This mural is new, though, since then. If you go to their website, there's a 'mural project' link with lots of pictures of earlier ones, probably including what was up then!