LINGUIST List 6.1035

Tue Aug 1 1995

Sum: Not...until

Editor for this issue: Ann Dizdar <>


  1. hiro-t, Sum: not...until

Message 1: Sum: not...until

Date: Tue, 01 Aug 1995 14:50:39 Sum: not...until
From: hiro-t <>
Subject: Sum: not...until

Dear Lingustis,
 I am very sorry that I have been convinced that I have already posted
 my summary of the query on _Not...Until_ I asked you in March(!). I
cheked my FD several days ago and found that I compiled several respon-
ses dated in March, but I could not found my summary in any of my FDs or
 HD. If I have already posted a summary, please don't bother to read it
again. I will defineitely repeat an error again. Here are my query and
My query in March:
Dear Linguists,
 I read Renaat Declerck's (1995) paper titled "The problem of _not_...
_until_," in _Lingsuitics_ 33, 55-98. He considers that (1) below
implies not only that John didn't wake up before nine but also that
he did wake up at nine(as late as nine, he could have woken up earlier).
He seems to claim that all types of _not_..._until_ does have such an
implication. He calls it the sense of acualization. He also claims that
the sense of actualization is not "implicature" but "assertion". (What
do you think?)

 (1) John didn't wake up until nine.

My first query is: do all types of _not_..._until_ have the sense of
actualization? What about the sentences below? The second query is:
is the sense of actualization able to be cancelled or suspended, by
adding such phrases as _if not later_, _or possibly later_, _at least_?
Please judge whether the sense of actualization arises in each sentence arises
or not.

 (2) _Until_ nine, John _didn't_ wake up.

 (3) Bill _didn't_ say another word _until_ he died.

 (4) a. Nancy remained a spinster _until_ she died.
 b. Nancy _didn't_ get married _until_ she died.

 (5) $B!H (JCool, $B!I (JI told him. $B!H (JWhat do you
 feel? $B!I!H (JNothing. Well, uh,
 maybe I'm exaggerating. It was a kick, but not a big enough one
 for me to want to take the chance again, except for stakes.
 But le's _not_ talk about it abstractly _until_ we're out of here.
 Now, first question: the bottles. Shall we take them all with
 us, or leave one? $B!I!H (JTake them, $B!I (JI said. (BROWN CORPUS: L24)

 (6) She gave a little pout and said, $B!H (JI _don't_ get off work _until_
 eleven o'clock. That's when my evening commences. $B!I (J(BROWN: L02)

 (7) The fact that the queen is expecting a baby will _not_ be official
 _until_ an official announcement has been made. (LOB: A10)

 (8) Nor have we remembered that in the melting pot of America the
 hundreds of isolated and semi-isolated ethnic, regional and
 occupational groups did _not_ fuse into a homogeneous national
 _until_ long after education and industrialization had caused them
 to cast oral tradition aside as a means of carrying culturally
 significant material. (BROWN: F19)

 (9) His own inner voice, which should tell him what not to do, has
 not developed. It _won't_ develop _until_ he has words with which
 to clothe it. (BROWN: B13)

 $B!! (J(10) John _didn't_ stay awake _until_ 6.

 $B!! (J(11) Ensign Vesole decided that he would _not_ tarry _until_ he heard
 the whispering of the bombs, and when night began to fall, he
 put Seaman 2/c Donald L. Norton and Seaman 1/c William A. Roch-
 ford on the guns and told them to start shooting the moment they
 saw an enemy silhouette. (BROWN: F02)

 (12) John left _until_ midnight. (Is this really acceptable?)

 Third query: are the following sentences acceptable?
 (13) _Until_ nine, John _didn't_ wake up. I don't know about later,
 for I left at nine. / In fact, I heard later that he did not wake
 up after nine either.

 (14) John _didn't_ wake up _until_ nine. In fact, I heard later that
 he didn't wake up at all.

 If you have any comment on this problem, I would be very grateful.
Thanks a lot in advance.

Best wishes,
Hiroaki Tanaka
Associate Professor, Tokushima University, Japan.
To this query, those who reponded are the following people. I am very
grateful to them.
 James Kirchner (
 Micheal ? (
 Gerald B. Mathias (mathiasuhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu)
 Larry Horn (
 Jack Wiedrick (

 Almost all my sentences seem to imply actualization, with the
following exceptions:
 (3) is aceptable to many but not all speakers (Dr. Horn).
 (4) implies actualization in the sense that Mary got married on her
deathbed, or means at her deathbed she was still a spinster. The first
reading is less possible than the second. About (3) and (4), the below
is the part of my paper titled "Implicature of _Not...Until_" for
_English Linguistics_ (1995) vol. 12 (forthcoming) (Journal of English
Linguistics Society of Japan) which I wrote a month ago.

3.1. NIA
 Examples (5a) and (5b) illustrate typical cases with no implicature
of actualization (NIA).
 (5) a. John was a loyal member of his party until he died.
 b. Bill didn't say another word until he died. (Heinamaki 1978:
 (6) a. Nancy remained silent until she died.
 b. #Nancy didn't get married until she died. (Declerck 1995: 69)
In both examples of (5), death blocks actualization of the head clause.
John cannot be a disloyal member after his death, and Bill cannot say
anything after his death. NIA comes from pragmatic (real world)
knowledge. Declerck assumes that examples like (6b) (and also (5b))
are semantically anomalous, although he accepts an affirmative sentence
like (6a). It would be impossible for Declerck to accept (6b), because
he considers that all examples of not ... until must be associated with
the sense of actualization, i.e., not ... until presupposes the truth of
 actualization, so that Declerck forcibly matches his analysis with data.
 But not ... until X died does exist as in an acceptable sentence like
(5b), in which case say another word means $B!H (Jexpress in words $B!I (J,
 (5b) is also semantically anomalous in the sense of
 $B!H (Jutter/pronounce $B!I (J.
 Besides, some of my informants accept (6b). Those who find (6b)
unacceptable must account for the difference between (5b) and (6b). One
solution is that we will let NIP work on the one hand as in (5b) and
will not let it work on the other as in (6b). But this solution is ad
hoc. The other is that the difference lies in our pragmatic knowledge.
Even though one cannot say anything after his/her death, s/he can leave
something other than his/her words, i.e., negation of saying something
does not always imply saying nothing. One can leave his/her message,
will or anything else. Hence, a rare reading of IA: People found his
will after his death. In (6b), however, one cannot get married after
s/he dies, i.e., death blocks marriage. We cannot imagine the negation
of marriage other than not getting married. This pragmatic reasoning
would be more appropriate.

 (10) have also two meanings: (i) John kept dozing off, but at 6:00
he finally succeeded in keeping himself awake, (ii)John went to sleep
before 6:00. (Prof. James Kirchner)

 (12) is only possible in the sense that John was gone for a while and
then he came back at midnight. (Prof. Jack Wierdrick)

 I wanted to know that (13) and (14) are the sentences which can cancel
the sense of actualization. The result is that (13) is acceptable and
(14) is unacceptable. Prof. Jack Wierdrick says that (13) is awkward,
although the right interpretation could be gotten from it. He gave me
an example like _Up until nine (at least), John didn't wake up._
 Concerning the problem of cancelability, Dr. Larry Horn cites his
examples from his famous dissertaion _On the Semantic Properties of
Logical Operators in English_ as follows:
 Santa Claus won't get here until midnight, if not {*earlier / later}.
 , if then.
 , and he may not even get
 here then.
He says that in general 'not...until S', as opposed to 'not...until NP',
constructions 'strongly implicate a "late" bound which can be suspended.

 Thank you very much for all the responces. I wrote a very short paper
about _Not...Until_, which will be publised this fall. If you want a
copy of it, I would be pleased to send it to you by the form of
text-file via e-mail.

Best Wishes,
Hiroaki Tanaka,
Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Tokushima University, Japan.
E-mail: (office) (home)
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