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Re: Is "do" derived? (was Re: Question about "do")

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 0:08
Quoting Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>:

> Roger Mills wrote: > > "Do" also serves to replace a verb phrase in anaphora: > > He likes toast and jam, and I do too, or > > .........but I don't. > > > > And in the tag questions-- > > He likes toast and jam, doesn't he? > > He doesn't like toast and jam, does he? > > > > There's also the British usage (which may be on its way out, though one > > still hears it in TV imports)-- > > He doesn't go to church as often as he used to do. > > For these reasons, I'm tempted to analyze the do forms as the *basic* > form, with the "simple" present and past as being derived. Thus, "He > likes toast and jam" would be underlyingly "He does like toast and > jam". Thus, it behaves just like any other auxiliary "He will eat toast > and jam, but I won't", "He has eaten the toast and jam, hasn't he?". > The rule then being that when do is unstressed in an affirmative > statement, the do-less forms are used.
The usual way of phrasing this is that tense is an obligatory feature of English syntax, and the tense marker has to surface in the morphology *somewhere*. Whether it surfaces on the auxilliary or the lexical verb, the system doesn't much care. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637