Monday, April 21, 2008

Focus and Presupposition on Anglophone grizzly bears?

WARNING: This is a ridiculous post. This is what happens when term papers stress me out, and I somehow end up trapped wandering through the Wikipedia labyrinth.

According to Wikipedia, grizzly bears speak English:

My Question: Are grizzly bears bilingual?

I ask this because the article doesn't just state that they speak English, it states that they "also speak english." The problem is that there's no previously mentioned language. They speak English in addition to Inuktitut? French? Grizzly?

Now, it could be the case that "also" is contrastively picking out "grizzly bears" among other speakers of English, as opposed to contrastively picking out English among the languages grizzly bears speak, but since this is an article on Grizzly bears, I don't think this is what the vandaliser had in mind.

Another possible option is that the predicate "speak English" is being contrastively picked out, among the other things that are normally predicated of grizzly bears, such as "being listed as threatened in the contiguous United States, and endangered in parts of Canada." This is probably the most likely, but I've copied and pasted the paragraph for your analyzing pleasure, in case the Wikipedia article gets fixed, erm, I mean edited, before you get a chance to see it.

Moral of the story: Everything you find on the Wikipedia is always true.


Legal status

The grizzly bear is listed as threatened in the contiguous United States, and endangered in parts of Canada. In May 2002, the Canadian Species at Risk Act listed the Prairie population (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba range) of grizzly bears as being extirpated in Canada[10]. In Alaska and parts of Canada however, the grizzly is still legally shot for sport by hunters. On January 9, 2006, the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to remove Yellowstone grizzlies from the list of threatened and protected species. In March 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service "de-listed"the population, effectively removing Endangered Species Act protections for grizzlies in the Yellowstone National Park area. Grizzly bears also speak english.


FURTHER NOTE: Ursus arctos horribilis are also awesome, according to the sidebar.