"wear" and "put on"

Salinas17 at aol.com Salinas17 at aol.com
Wed May 11 18:04:07 UTC 2005

In a message dated 5/11/05 10:15:53 AM, oesten at ling.su.se writes:
<< "The teddy bear wore pink pyjamas" does not imply "The teddy bear put on
pink pyjamas". That is, the relation between "put on" and "wear" is different
from that between "fall asleep" and "sleep", in that there is an intentional
(agentive) component in "put on". >>

But isn't that a matter of the peculiar syntax governing "put on" in English?
 Might not "The teddy bear wore pink pyjamas" imply "Someone put pink pyjamas
on the teddy bear"?  I think the original example is mainly about how the
focus on process versus end results can be used to convey different senses of
time.  Difference in agents don't appear to affect the reference to differences
in time.  E.g., whether I say, "Put this dress on" or "I will put this dress on
you,"  they both mean that "You WILL wear this dress."

Steve Long

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