failures of parallelism

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jul 5 20:23:38 UTC 2004

At 1:12 PM -0700 7/5/04, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>On Jul 5, 2004, at 12:54 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>On the free-choice reading I just alluded to, here's one that doesn't
>>involve a conjunctive blend:
>>Not that defending one's country is the job of a film critic, but I
>>would think any American couldn't help but feel a little defensive
>>after watching this film.
>this one i find hugely better than
>   Any American could not resolve these problems.
>the Dogville critique is better, i think because "couldn't help but" is
>in fact semantically positive, roughly equivalent to "would".
>i have tremendous trouble with free-choice "any" subjects with
>semantically negative VPs.  i realize this is subtle, since things like
>   Any American would be unable to resolve these problems.
>   Any American would fail to resolve these problems.
>are fine free-choice sentences for me.
>but i do understand that there are dialect differences on the truly
>negative sentences.
How about these truly negative ones, just googled up for our viewing pleasure:

consider password protecting that directory so that anyone can't come along
and drop your tables

"A customer will feel safer knowing that anyone
can't just waltz into their place of business."

But anyone can't solve that problem...

The Reality as below: anyone can't do what they want to do/anyone
can't be what they want to be/anyone can't say what they want to
say/anyone can't feel what they want to feel

Just anybody can't baptize anybody.

People are looking for more substance in the music, but just anybody can't give
it to them," Ice Cube told the Los Angeles Times

But I still have to know the password so just anybody can't get on
my desktop and start loading things.

With the fiscal problems we have in Maryland, people are beginning to
realize that
just anybody can't be governor

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