semantics and pragmatics of to-contraction (fwd)
amnfn at WELL.COM
Sat Aug 4 03:27:16 UTC 2001
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2001 14:35:01 -0700
From: Spike Gildea <spike at DARKWING.UOREGON.EDU>
To: FUNKNET at listserv.rice.edu
Subject: Re: semantics and pragmatics of to-contraction
>P.S. I believe the permission/privilege reading of may and can is a
>secondary development, in each case arising by implicature from an
>etymologically prior abilitative reading. Are there well-attested
>cases in the literature of permissive auxiliaries/affixes arising
>directly from permissive matrix verbs like get, that have no
>abilitative reading at all?
Hebrew and Chinese have permissive auxiliaries where the subject is the
one granting the permission and the source verb means `give'.
Natati lo lalexet
gave-1st DAT-3rd to-go
"I let him go"
Wo gei ta chu
1st give 3rd go
The metaphor seems to be the same as with English `he gets to go' -- that
permission is a thing which is given or received. The difference is that
the focus is on the giver, not the receiver as in English.
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