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Re: Imperatives in split-S languages (was Anomaly of the (apparent) Cebuano uvulars and Guarani info request)

From:Muke Tever <hotblack@...>
Date:Wednesday, September 22, 2004, 13:29
On Wed, 22 Sep 2004 10:10:30 +0200, Andreas Johansson <andjo@...> wrote:
> Quoting Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>: > >> The problem is, lots of "quality" verbs, in English and many languages, >> can't have imperatives either, and it may be a near-universal. There are >> questions of logic, real-world possibility, applicability to humans, >> volition. Thus, "don't be ill/sick" is not an acceptable sentence, just >> like "don't be green", "don't be intelligent". Similarly, "don't know >> that!", "don't understand that!"-- some in this last class are acceptable as >> positives, though rather formal. > > I think these are more weird than wrong - in sufficiently weird circumstances, > they could be acceptable. A case of colorless green ideas sleeping furiously, I > guess.
I dunno. For me "Don't know that!" looks like it's got an elided subject pronoun (I'd expect "I"). It feels tangibly different from "Don't be intelligent"; it sounds as ungrammatical as "He's going to can do it" or "He will can do it" -- the words are all there but it seems it shouldn't be that way (in the latter cases, because for no reason at all "can" has no infinitive). Some other verbs feel the same way ("like", "understand", "see", "hear") but there are some exceptional constructions, e.g. "please don't like me". *Muke! -- website: LiveJournal: deviantArt: FrathWiki, a conlang and conculture wiki: