LINGUIST List 4.933

Tue 09 Nov 1993

Disc: Do Support, One Verb Objects, Negatives

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Richard Wojcik, Re: 4.914 Sum: Do-Support
  2. , One-verb objects?
  3. amy uhrbach, nouns that take 1 verb??
  4. Lindsay Endell, So Don't I

Message 1: Re: 4.914 Sum: Do-Support

Date: Thu, 4 Nov 93 10:13:16 PSTRe: 4.914 Sum: Do-Support
From: Richard Wojcik <>
Subject: Re: 4.914 Sum: Do-Support

In his summary on DO SUPPORT, Steven Schaufele wrote:

>Rick Wojcik <> sent me an updated version of
>a paper i had heard him give at the 1986 LSA Annual Meeting (back when they
>were at the end, rather than the beginning, of the year!), 'Against the SVO
>Hypothesis for VSO Languages', which he felt might be tangentially relevant
>because most of his argument depends on the Breton equivalent of Do-Support
>(which differs in many particulars from the phenomenon in English; for
>instance, in Breton Do-Support does not occur in negatives while in English
>that is one of its normal environments).

I just want to clarify my feelings about Breton. I would say that it is
directly relevant to English DO SUPPORT in the sense that it serves as a
true dummy carrier of tense. DO SUPPORT does crop up in tags, just as in
English, but it has a different syntactic distribution otherwise. I am of
the opinion that Breton *may* be the only other language in the world with
true DO SUPPORT, in the sense that the form serves purely as a carrier of
tense. (This may just reflect my ignorance of the vast majority of languages
out there.) The problem is that people tend to confuse auxiliary 'do' with
activity 'do' (a la Haj Ross). I do not believe, for example, that 'do' in
Welsh can cooccur with stative verbs like 'know', whereas it can in Breton.
I have no doubt that Breton 'do', like English 'do', evolved historically
out of pseudo-clefts containing activity 'do', but the Breton auxiliary no
longer retains the same semantics in those constructions.

BTW, for those who might be interested in the influence of language contact,
the Breton auxiliary is largely a calque of the French auxiliary, complete
with compound tenses. There are some vestiges of what I take to be the native
Celtic structure--i.e. the kind of periphrastic auxiliary structure that you
get in Welsh and Irish. Auxiliary 'do' seems to be an innovation that came
into being independently of French or English influence. At least, that is
my educated guess.
 Rick Wojcik (
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: One-verb objects?

Date: 8 Nov 93 12:09:00 -0500
From: <>
Subject: One-verb objects?


Your list of objects occurring with only one verb seems to omit
many other verbs that are also used with these objects. For instance:

 to commit a crime
 to witness a crime
 to solve a crime
 to report a crime
 to plan/plot a crime
 to prosecute a crime
 to declare war
 to wage war
 to love/hate war
 to propose/instigate/avoid war
 to think/breath war (rather poetic, but not unusual)
 to foresee/predict war
 to propose a toast
 to drink a toast
 to offer a toast
 to word a toast (e.g., "He worded his toast cautiously.")
 to do homework
 to assign homework
 to correct homework
 to collect/pick up/hand in homework
 to avoid homework
 to shed a tear
 to wipe (off/away) a tear
 to see a tear (on his face)
 to analyse a tear (chemically)
 to force a tear
 to hide a tear

You (or your colleagues) might rather start with idiomatic or frozen
forms, such as "troth", in the sentence, "I plight thee my troth"
(from wedding ceremonies).

 --David N. Wigtil, ER Network Support, U. S. Department of Energy 301-903-7327
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 3: nouns that take 1 verb??

Date: Mon, 8 Nov 93 10:37:57 ESTnouns that take 1 verb??
From: amy uhrbach <>
Subject: nouns that take 1 verb??

Re: nouns that take only one verb:

"war" does not fit in this category, as one can also wage war, fight wars, etc.
Whether such
nouns can take only one semantic verb type is another question.
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 4: So Don't I

Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1993 17:55:46 +So Don't I
From: Lindsay Endell <>
Subject: So Don't I

In response to John Lawler's views on 'so don't I' (4.909), Id like to
jump in fairly early (with both feet probably) and say that for me his
example 14 causes no problems:

(14) He can't touch the ceiling and neither can't I

I don't know whether I'd say it (I've been thinking about it for too long
now) but I don't think I'd have a problem if anyone else said it or if I
read it.

I can have a negative in both clauses provided that 'so' is acting in the
same way as 'too' or 'neither'. It doesn't work for me where 'so' acts
like 'therefore'

eg She can't stand spiders and so can't I.

That's probably a really simplistic explanation of how I feel about 'so
don't I' but having spent ages trying the phrases out and trying to mail
to Linguist I've run out of oomph...

Anyone feel the same as me or am I, erm, unique?
Is it because I'm English and have different intuitions about and uses of
'English' from an American?

Lindsay Endell
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue