Philip A. Bralich, Ph.D. bralich at HAWAII.EDU
Fri Apr 18 04:48:13 UTC 1997

At 10:02 AM 4/17/97 -1000, Ellen F. Prince wrote:
>>At 05:15 AM 4/17/97 -1000, Geoffrey S. Nathan wrote:
>>>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.
>>C'mon now, this is a very ordinary structure. This is just an imperative
>>correctly using the simple form of a main verb. Since the verb is a main
>>verb, not a helping verb, 'do' is the correct choice here. That is, the
>>correct helping verb for main verb 'be' (i.e. not the helping verb) is
>>'do' as it is for any main verb, e.g. ...
>>you eat everything for grandma and if you do, I'll...
>>you work hard for grandma and if you do, I'll...
>>This, of course, would be true for any of the main verb synonyms of the
>>helping verbs.
>>you have a good time, and if you do
>>you do a good job, and if you do
>>I mean this is pretty basic grammar.  There's nothing mysterious about the
>>choice of 'do.'
>>Phil Bralich
>>Philip A. Bralich, Ph.D.
>>President and CEO
>>Ergo Linguistic Technologies
>>2800 Woodlawn Drive, Suite 175
>>Honolulu, HI 96822
>so i take it, philip bralich phd, that you find the following equally fine?:

First off, I think linguists and academics in general would get a lot
farther if they could manage to leave the snide comments behind and focus
on the discussions.  A little professionalism would go a long way.

Secondly, the structures below are as ordinary as the one's above.  The
correctness of 'do' in the above sentences is as unsurprising as the need
for 'be' in your sentences.

I just meant to say it is as obvious that 'do' is as required in the
original imperative examples as it is with emphatic imperatives as
the following

do be good for grandma
do have a good time
do do your homework (though the double 'do' is a little stilted)

It seems simple enough to assume that if the main verb be will allow a
helping verb (which it usually doesn't) it will be the same helping
verb as other main verbs as illustrated by these examples.  The other two
auxiliaries ('have' and 'do') also have main verb equivalents which take
naturally take 'do' as a helping verb.

Basically you use the main verb 'be' with helping verb 'do' when it is
volitional but otherwise, it uses itself in a manner not unlike modals.
What's the big deal?

>i am a linguist.  if you do too...
>harry is sick and i do too.
>mary is at home but we don't.
>there's room in the margin, doesn't there?
>i'm more fond of liver than most people do.
>this isn't how your parser works, does it?

>extraordinary, how language varies...

I really don't see it that way. It seems to me patterns are more common
than variation.  But I suspect saying this is like begging a forest and
trees debate between a ranger in a tower and a woodsman chopping.

Phil Bralich

Philip A. Bralich, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Ergo Linguistic Technologies
2800 Woodlawn Drive, Suite 175
Honolulu, HI 96822

Tel: (808)539-3920
Fax: (808)5393924

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