Geoff Pullum, "The world's greatest grammarian", Chronicle of Higher Education 4/3/2017 [emphasis added]:
We mostly did 11-hour days, starting as soon after 7 a.m. as we could and working till 6 p.m., breaking for a short lunch at 1 p.m. to discuss the morning’s work. Virtually every day we would find over our sandwiches that we had discovered something new about English syntax that no one had never known before. Far from being a period of tedious recording of well-documented facts about the world’s best-documented language, it was actually the most exciting research period of my life.
In a comment on a post yesterday ("Blasphemous", 4/4/2017), someone remarked:
At the risk of being blasphemous myself, isn't this a misnegation from Geoff Pullum in his Lingua Franca submission today about Rodney Huddleston?
I suspect that it's a typographical or editing error, unless it's an example of Geoff's often-subtle humor.
But my reaction to that passage was to be surprised that it took them until lunch time to come across something new in English syntax. In examining an arbitrary spoken passage, even in well-studied languages like English, the over/under for observing a new (and interesting) linguistic phenomenon is about 10 seconds. Or so I commonly assert to students.
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