Syntactic change/

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Apr 22 13:51:56 UTC 2006

Yes, rebuttals are different.


Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Laurence Horn
Subject: Re: Syntactic change/

>I've heard the any-doesn't construction, but only from a
>non-native-English-speaking (too many hyphens?) colleague. I don't have
>his example handy, but when I cite it to my class, the NSs all look
>puzzled, as I do. It's the ambiguity of meaning that's the problem: Any
>old 32-bit CPU doesn't fit your needs, only some certain ones do? No
>32-bit CPU fits your needs, none at all? Might the instruction have been
>written by a NNS, via outsourcing?
Do you find it impossible to get them even in direct denials with a
possibility modal, as in

"No, anybody CAN'T become president"
"Contrary to what is often claimed, any team CAN'T win the championship"
"You're wrong--anything ISn't possible"
"No, any doctor WON'T tell you any such thing"

and so on, as rebuttals?

These seem unexceptionable to me, and clearly have the free choice
interpretation (it is not the case that [for any x, x can VP/x is
possible]). I agree that the "no x" interpretation is harder to get,
but it's not impossible, especially if there's a relative clause on
the "Any" subject: "Anybody I know wouldn't go out with Chris".


The American Dialect Society -

How low will we go? Check out Yahoo! Messenger’s low  PC-to-Phone call rates.

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list