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Re: Negation raising (was: introduction)

From:Tim May <butsuri@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 30, 2002, 22:18
Christian Thalmann writes:
 > --- In conlang@y..., John Cowan <jcowan@R...> wrote:
 > > Christophe Grandsire scripsit:
 > >
 > > > I think I don't need to give a translation :)))
 > >
 > > 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."
 > So?  If it's valid, it sure is one heck of a grammatical stunt.
Sounds perfectly natural to me.  And, on close analysis, I agree that
it's pretty strange.