LINGUIST List 4.840

Fri 15 Oct 1993

Disc: Can/Can't, Come with

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Directory

  1. "Kimberly A. Weiss", RE: 4.828 Can/Can't, Come With
  2. sharon sabsay, come with
  3. Karen S. Chung, Re: 4.828 Can/Can't, Come With

Message 1: RE: 4.828 Can/Can't, Come With

Date: Wed, 13 Oct 93 10:58:40 ESRE: 4.828 Can/Can't, Come With
From: "Kimberly A. Weiss" <KAWEISSucs.indiana.edu>
Subject: RE: 4.828 Can/Can't, Come With

 I'm afraid that I'm less than enthusiastic about the supposed influence
from German on English sentences like "Do you want to come with?" The main
reason for this is that this type of construction occurs regularly in
French, with the preposition "avec" (along with "pour", and a few others)
being one of the few prepositions in French that can be used without an
object. There is no verb akin to "avecvenir" ("mitkommen" in German"), nor
is there much evidence for reanalysis of the preposition as part of the verb
(as in "to come with" in English).
 Granted, English is closely related to German in many ways, and the
relationship between English and German may well serve to explain this
feature in English. However, the fact that the same type of construction
occurs in French, a non-Germanic language, implies that there may well be
something more going on, perhaps having to do with theta-roles associated
with the propositions involved. Unfortunately, I do not know if this
phenomenon is found in other Romance languages as well.

 As an aside, I find the objectless "with" somewhat odd. I have heard
it on occasion (although not often in the South where I grew up), and it
would surprise me greatly to hear myself use it.

Kimberly Weiss
Indiana University
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Message 2: come with

Date: Thu, 14 Oct 93 11:23 PDT
From: sharon sabsay <ILW4SLSMVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU>
Subject: come with

I've refrained from contributing on this topic because I thought that if
my intuitions were correct, others would share them. No one has, so now
I'm curious. I have acquired the use of "come with" without an object.
I've always thought I borrowed it from Jews of Eastern European background
from New York, so I suspected that it came from Yiddish. Still from
"German" then, but through a different vector (I'm a California native and
have few if any acquaintances from Pennsylvania Dutch county). (I don't
think I used the construction as a child; although my mother was a native
speaker of Yiddish, she was also an English teacher--she would never have
used it and I would never have gotten away with it!)

Regards,
Sharon Sabsay
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Message 3: Re: 4.828 Can/Can't, Come With

Date: Wed, 13 Oct 93 07:33:21 CSRe: 4.828 Can/Can't, Come With
From: Karen S. Chung <karchungccms.ntu.edu.tw>
Subject: Re: 4.828 Can/Can't, Come With

 If the discussion on 'can/can't' must go on, can we expand it to other
languages? I'm sure there must be basic, everyday expressions in any language
that are easily confused.
 In Mandarin Chinese, e.g., the forms [jau4] 'want(s) to', 'yes' and
[pu2 jau4] 'don't/doesn't want', 'no!' are often unclear in speech,
particularly since the latter has an allegro form, [piau4], and the initial
isn't always clearly heard. It usually takes some volleying back and forth
of questions to establish what was really meant.

 Karen Steffen Chung
 National Taiwan University
 karchungccms.ntu.edu.tw
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