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Re: Negation raising (was: introduction)

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 31, 2002, 0:02
Christophe Grandsire wrote:
> > En réponse à John Cowan <jcowan@...>: > > > Christophe Grandsire scripsit: > > > > > I think I don't need to give a translation :))) > Is it true in all cases? I find that both sentences convey quite a different > meaning to me. But maybe it's the influence of my L1. Other Anglophones who > find my sentence strange?
Only after being pointed out. :-) I might say "I think I don't need to give a translation", but only if "think" was stressed, and it would connote that there's a degree of doubt. But, even there I'd be much more likely to say "I don't *think* I need to give a translation"
> > A: Is he coming to the office today? > > B: I don't think so. > Well, that's not how I would understand it. To me it means that there is still > doubt on whether he is gonna come or not, and B's statement shows simply B's > opinion. But since i'm French I may simply be influenced by my L1.
For me, the most natural interpretation is that there may be some doubt (that comes from the verb "think" itself), but very little (unless the verb was stressed). "I don't think so" would mean "I'm pretty sure he's not"
> > B: I think not.
For me that would sound contradictory. Like, if A had said "I'm pretty sure he's coming", B might say "I think not!" It would sound very odd spoken in a plain tone of voice.
> > > > which leaves the negation in the (elided) embedded clause, and is a > > little more definite. Nevertheless, there is no clear way to simply > > negate "I think that ..." consistent with either "I think ... is > > false" > > or "I have no opinion on the truth value of ..."
I don't think there's any way of connoting that second with the verb "think". To indicate that, I would say "I don't know, he might be" -- "There's no such thing as 'cool'. Everyone's just a big dork or nerd, you just have to find people who are dorky the same way you are." - overheard ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42