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Re: Negation raising (was: introduction)

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 31, 2002, 0:02
Christian Thalmann wrote:
> "I can't seem to do it" meaning "It seems that I can't do it." > > So? If it's valid, it sure is one heck of a grammatical stunt.
Perfectly legal. What's so odd about it? "Seem" can be used that way quite often. "I seem to have fallen" = "It seems that I have fallen" or "I don't seem to be hurt" = "It doesn't seem that I'm hurt". Hmm ... okay, on further contemplation, it is odd, being "can't seem" instead of "don't seem to be able". That is a bit unusual, but then again, "can" has no infinitive, unless you count the suppletive "to be able". Furthermore, I'd never say "I can seem to do it" (unless I intended to mean "I can make it look like I can do it"), but rather "I seem to be able to do it" or "It seems I can do it" -- "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