Dan.Everett at MAN.AC.UK
Sun Aug 5 17:42:28 UTC 2001
Matthew's posting seems fine to me. I didn't intend 'privilege' as a final
label for 'got to', just a temporary description.
Interesting footnote, Matthew.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Matthew S Dryer" <dryer at ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU>
To: <FUNKNET at listserv.rice.edu>
Sent: Sunday, August 05, 2001 12:28 PM
Subject: got to
> A footnote regarding the contrast of "gotta (obligation)" with "got to" in
> (8) a. I got PRO to go! (Past tense of get, indicating privilege, meaning,
> for example, my boss let me go.)
> which Dan here describes as indicating privilege and Spike describes as
> involving permission.
> That this can involves a notion of possibility or ability that goes beyond
> either privilege or permission is indicated by examples like
> (a) Because he lived on the ocean when he was growing up, he got to swim
> all the time, but because I lived in the middle of a desert, I never got
> to swim.
> which means roughly the same as
> (b) Because he lived on the ocean when he was growing up, he was able to
> swim all the time, but because I lived in the middle of a desert, I was
> never able to swim.
> It seems to differ from 'can' and 'able' only in lacking a
> generic/habitual sense and always refers to a specific time or situation.
> (c) I can speak German.
> (d) I get to speak German.
> Matthew Dryer
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