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Re: Negation raising (was: introduction)

From:JS Bangs <jaspax@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 30, 2002, 22:52
Christian Thalmann sikyal:

> > I point out this Christophe-ism, not in the spirit of correction, but > > rather in the spirit of letting the imagination run away with it. > > In English, "I think ..." raises negation from the embedded sentence > > to the matrix, so we express this as "I don't think I need ...". > > This can happen even across sentences... > > I have this weird sentence in my head... could one of you native > speakers tell me whether it's actual spoken English or just another > brainfart of mine? ;-) > > "I can't seem to do it" meaning "It seems that I can't do it."
Yep. Perfectly natural, and how I'd say the sentence if I had a need.
> So? If it's valid, it sure is one heck of a grammatical stunt.
Huh. You're right--we raised the negative and the subject. How odd. Jesse S. Bangs "If you look at a thing nine hundred and ninety-nine times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it the thousandth time, you are in frightful danger of seeing it for the first time." --G.K. Chesterton