another "bare PST/PSP"

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Tue Jan 13 18:41:20 UTC 2009

On Jan 13, 2009, at 10:18 AM, Victor Steinbok wrote:

> The rest all fall along an identical schema (All X[V] do was copy and
> paste).
> <
> >
> -All I had to do was clip and paste some of the lyrics in to a search
> and it came right up...

these are unremarkable.  the construction is a kind of pseudocleft
(with "all" instead of "what"), and pseudoclefts can have VPs in their
predicative slot; the predicative VP is normally in the BSE form
("What/All I did was eat the cookie").  so "copy/clip and paste" is
exactly what you'd expect: both verbs are in their BSE form.


The American Dialect Society -

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