locus classicus for fronted "anymore"

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Sat Aug 22 16:57:55 UTC 2009

I think Larry is right about who will accept what, but I wonder if there 
isn't a simpler explanation than "scope."

For me, "anymore" in all of these examples is synonymous with "these days" 
and "nowadays." Is there anyone who would reject any of the following? My 
instinct is no:

1. These days, the airlines are willing to take risks.
2. These days, the airlines are not willing to take risks.
3. The airlines are willing to take risks these days.
4. The airlines are not willing to take risks these days.

If "scope" issues prevent the use of "Anymore" in (1), why do "scope issues 
not prevent the use of "These days" or "Nowadays" in (1)?

My hypothesis is just that items at the beginning part of the sentence are 
more noticeable, so people who themselves do not use positive "anymore" are 
more aware of it than when it comes at the end. I'm reminded of the fierce 
rejection of attitudinal "Hopefully" among certain mid-20th-century 
pedants--there it is at the beginning where it leaps out at them and is open to 
interpretation as a sentence adverbial:

(5) Hopefully, the airlines are willing to take more risks than they used 
to be.
(6) The airlines are willing to take more risks than they used to be, 

Example (5) seems to me to be more likely to evoke mindless criticism than 

In a message dated 8/19/09 12:00:07 PM, laurence.horn at YALE.EDU writes:

> My hypothesis (not explicitly formulated) is that because the fronted
> "anymore" is not in the scope (or, more technically, the c-command
> domain) of the negation in examples like the Duluth one from the
> Times ("Anymore, the airlines don't want to take the risks"), no
> speakers would find that one possible who wouldn't accept yours as
> well (or cf. "Anymore, the auto makers are willing to accept the
> risks")  Certainly, there are a lot of speakers who would never say
> either one, and there are a lot (although a smaller numer) who could
> say either, but are there speakers who could utter/accept the fronted
> negative (Duluth) example but not the fronted positive ones?  There
> are certainly speakers who get positive "anymore" (e.g. D. H.
> Lawrence's example from _Women in Love_, "Suffering bores me any
> more") but can't do the fronting.  This is why I was saying earlier
> that the fronted _anymore_ speakers are a proper subset of the
> positive _anymore_ speakers.  If there's someone who can get the
> Duluth example but not e.g. "We all pump our own gas anymore", my
> hypothesis is falsified.

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