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In a message dated 8/10/2007 5:50:21 AM Central Daylight Time, 
[log in to unmask] writes:


> You know, if you just completely eliminate syntax--just pretend
> it doesn't exist--language (both nat and con) starts to make a lot
> more sense.  For example, imagine you have a toaster.  You plug
> the toaster in, put bread in the slots, press down, wait a bit, and
> you have toast.  Then let's say someone comes along and says,
> "No, you have to sacrifice a goat after you plug in the toaster,
> but before you put in the bread.  Otherwise nothing happens."
> That goat sacrifice is syntax, and that someone is a syntactician.
> 

No, the order of events is the syntax.  
"You plug the toaster in, put bread in the slots, press down, wait a bit, and
you have toast."

If any of these first four elements is out of order (or there is no 
electricity, a hidden assumption) you won't get toast.  

Pressing down before putting the bread in the slots can be regarded as 
questionable grammatically.  It gets the toast done, but maybe not as well if you 
wait too long.

stevo
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