Geoffrey S. Nathan geoffn at SIU.EDU
Thu Apr 17 15:15:31 UTC 1997

At 03:24 AM 4/15/97 -0500, you wrote:
>     Re _bees, beed_: the following judgment holds for me:
>     You be good for Grandma, now, and if you do / ??*are I'll buy you an
>     ice-cream cone.
>     "Are" sounds pedantic if not just plain wrong.
>     Anybody concur?
I concur with Dave's judgment.
        Furthermore, I seem to remember a paper back in the glory days of
generative semantics about DO as an abstract underlying verb encoding
volition, or agenthood (of the subject) or some such.  I think it was
written by Haj.  It seems to me that uses such as 'be good' are non-stative
(which is why they can occur with the imperative and/or
progressive--another Generative Semantics argument), and hence heading
towards more prototypical verb-hood.  Prototypical verbs, of course, encode
actions rather than states.
        I think this ties in, somehow, with the regularization of the inflection
(bee-s), and relates also to the issue that Kiparsky and others have
written about on the relation between derived meanings and regular
morphology (the Toronto Maple Leafs debate).


Geoffrey S. Nathan
Department of Linguistics
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale,
Carbondale, IL, 62901 USA
Phone:  +618 453-3421 (Office)   FAX +618 453-6527
+618 549-0106 (Home)

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