[b-hebrew] Uncancelable meaning
farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 2 19:03:32 EDT 2007
And the seeming refusal to accept any methodological consequences of
such living-language data -- esp. when English data form a large part of
the backbone of the methodological discussion of aspect in the
dissertation! -- is worrying, particularly so when the primary aim of
the methodology is to uncover the "uncancellable meaning" of verbal
conjugations in a dead language.
> On 30/03/2007 20:41, David Kummerow wrote:
>> Suppose an English teacher was up the front of class and she was
>> getting the students to think about the word "have". Supposed she
>> asked "what do you have?" The default construal of this would be that
>> the question is one of possession, either as in a) below as a question
>> of owned possessions or physical attributes as in b):
>> a) I have a cat (= I own/possess a cat)
>> b) I have a big nose (= I possess a big nose)
>> Both are stative situations.
>> The answer in a) can refer to possessions currently with them at their
>> desk or not (as in a) above where the cat is most likely at home, but
>> could be at school on a show-and-tell day):
>> c) I have a blue pen
>> Since our present discussion revolves around eating, here's another
>> possible answer to the question:
>> d) I have a plate of dinner
>> This can only be construed that a plate with the student's dinner is
>> on their desk or at least in their immediate vicinity at the moment of
>> speaking. Again, the construal is stative.
>> However, suppose the teacher were to ask "What do you have at
>> Maxim's?" This could be answered in a few ways, for example:
>> e) I have a large plate of chips
>> Notice how the construal by the student is as a question asking about
>> what the student usually orders at Maxim's, ie it is a question as to
>> what they usually eat. ...
> Indeed. And if the student said "I go to Maxim's for dinner every day"
> and the teacher's "What do you have?" was said in that context, then "I
> have a large plate of chips" would be a quite normal response, whereas
> any of (a) to (c) would be odd in that context. So it is clear that in
> the context of "I go to Maxim's for dinner every day" the default sense
> of "have", which is stative, has been cancelled, and an alternative
> dynamic sense is understood. So much for the stative property of "have"
> being uncancellable by context.
> In passing I note that once again Rolf has withdrawn from the
> discussion. Could it be that he realises that he has misunderstood
> English "have" and the uncancellability of the stative property, but
> doesn't want to be forced to admit an error?
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