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English V2

From:Shreyas Sampat <ssampat@...>
Date:Friday, March 28, 2003, 0:43
> > Not only they are, but I've received some of your mails more than > > once. > > I've been trying to think up an example like this for days, > and this just dropped out of the blue. Well, it dropped from > the mouth of Christophe, but that's not the point. As a > native English speaker, "Not only they are..." sounds > terrible, whereas "Not only are they..." sounds just fine. > Either way I'd use a second clause that is more in line with > this, but again, not my point. > > What I'm wondering is this: Am I seeing some remnant of V2 > structure here? It seems like the verb has to be the second > piece, after the "not only" phrase, but it just seems right. > Any thoughts?
Thought: This is perfectly ordinary English; it happens in negation and wh-questions too. Basically, the agreement moves up to follow the operator, whatever it may be; a small set of verbs (those that can be used as auxiliaries) are capable of moving up there as well. Examples: She is sick. Not only is she sick... She fell down. Not only did she fall down... Stop! Don't stop! Who took out the garbage? Who didn't take out the garbage? What did Pitr trip on? --- Shreyas Sampat


Elliott Lash <erelion12@...>