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Summary Details


Query:   Sum: Expressions like 'Put them away yet?'
Author:  Carsten Breul
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Semantics

Summary:   A BIG THANK YOU TO THE PERSONS WHO COMMENTED ON MY QUERY
(LINGUIST, VOL. 8-808) ON EXPRESSIONS LIKE 'PUT THEM AWAY
YET?':

J. ATKINSON, R.M. BREND, B. CLARK, C. DAVENPORT, D. DEE, M.
DONOHUE, M. FARRIS, N. FRISHBERG, D. HARRIS, J. HILFERTY, L.
HORN, D. HOUGHTON, P. LESOURD, R. MC CALLISTER, C.D. NILEP,
J. REIGHARD, P. SVENONIUS, M. SWART, G.H. TOOPS, L. TRASK,
R. WRIGHT

THE RESULT IS QUITE DEFINITE.
A) MY IMPRESSION THAT

(2) SEE THEM YET?
(3) GET THEM YET?
(4) WRITE HIM YET?
(5) HEAR IT YET?

WILL HAVE A PRESENT TENSE READING, AND THAT A SIMPLE PAST
READING IS NOT POSSIBLE, HAS BEEN REJECTED ALMOST
UNANNIMOUSLY BY MY INFORMANTS (ONLY A COUPLE OF BRITISH
ENGLISH SPEAKERS AMONG THEM). FOR MOST OF THEM THE SIMPLE
PAST INTERPRETATION IS IN FACT DOMINANT OVER THE PRESENT
TENSE INTERPRETATION; SOME INFORMANTS EVEN HAVE DIFFICULTIES
IN IMAGINING AN APPROPRIATE SITUATION FOR A PRESENT TENSE
READING; OTHERS, THOUGH, HAVE REPORTED NO PROBLEMS HERE.

B) WHEN EXPRESSIONS SUCH AS (2)-(5) ARE USED WITH A
NON-PRESENT TENSE MEANING, THERE IS NO DISTINCTION MADE AND
PERCEIVED BETWEEN MEANINGS ASSOCIATED WITH SIMPLE PAST IN
CONTRAST TO PRESENT PERFECT IN OTHER CONSTRUCTIONS. (THIS,
THEN, SUPPORTS BOLINGER SAYING WITH RESPECT TO 'PUT THEM
AWAY YET?':

LL Issue: 8.842
Date Posted: 07-Jun-1997
Original Query: Read original query