More PREP-Loss?

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Thu Mar 13 15:40:57 UTC 2008

On Mar 13, 2008, at 7:46 AM, Larry Horn wrote:

> At 2:18 PM +0000 3/13/08, ronbutters at wrote:
>> Cf. the ambiguity of "I don't believe some of the things you people
>> talk about!"
> or cf.:
> --Do you believe in adult baptism?
> --Believe in it?  Hell, I've seen it done!

several more meanings/uses, concerning plain "believe" (transitive) in
one case, "believe in" (intransitive) in another.  i'm not sure
they're parallel.  i hadn't thought about either of them before.  the
OED entry is pretty good on most of this stuff -- except, i think, for
the incredulity/amazement sense of ron's example.

i *think* that the incredulity/amazement sense for transitive
"believe" appears only under negation: don't/can't/won't believe.
things like "I really believe a lot of the things you people talk
about!" are just bizarre in a sense parallel to ron's.

larry: does anyone have this one on their list of NPIs?


The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list