LINGUIST List 10.648

Sat May 1 1999

Sum: Raising Predicates in English

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <karenlinguistlist.org>


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  1. Yamaguchi Atsuko, Raising predicates in English

Message 1: Raising predicates in English

Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 17:19:32 +0900 (JST)
From: Yamaguchi Atsuko <a981704mmbox.media.nagoya-u.ac.jp>
Subject: Raising predicates in English

Dear linguists,

I asked the members of LINGUIST about the grammatical 
judgments of the following sentences:

(1) How likely to be intelligent is John?
(2) How likely to win the prize is John?
(3) John seems likely to be intelligent.
(4) John seems likely to win the prize.
(5) John seems to be intelligent.
(6) John seems to win the prize.

Then 35 native English speakers replied to me.
I would like to thank them and 
I am sorry that I had not report on it for about half year.

Their judglinguistlinguistlist.orgments are as follows.
(P01-35 stand for each of the people 
 who judge the above sentences.
 S1-6 stand for each of the above sentences 
 in (1-6), respectively.)
(OK ? ?? *? *
 acceptable----------unacceptable)

(P01) S1 ??, S2 ??, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 *
(P02) S1 ?, S2 ?, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 *(context-sensitive)
(P03) S1 ??, S2 ??, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 OK(context-sensitive)
(P04) S1 *, S2 *?, S3 ??, S4 ?, S5 OK, S6 OK(context-sensitive)
(P05) S1 ?, S2 ?, S3 ?, S4 ?, S5 OK, S6 *
(P06) S1 ?, S2 ?, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 OK(context-sensitive)
(P07) S1 ?, S2 ?, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 OK(context-sensitive)
(P08) S1 *?, S2 ?, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 *
(P09) S1 ?, S2 ??, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 OK(context-sensitive)
(P10) S1 ?, S2 ??, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 OK(context-sensitive)
(P11) S1 OK, S2 OK, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 OK
(P12) S1 OK, S2 OK, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 OK
(P13) S1 ?, S2 ?, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 OK(context-sensitive)
(P14) S1 *, S2 *?, S3 *, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 *
(P15) S1 ?, S2 ?, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 OK
(P16) S1 OK, S2 OK, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 ?(context-sensitive)
(P17) S1 ??, S2 ??, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 *
(P18) S1 ?, S2 ?, S3 ?, S4 ?, S5 OK, S6 ?
(P19) S1 *, S2 OK, S3 *, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 *(context-sensitive)
(P20) S1 OK, S2 OK, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 ?(context-sensitive)
(P21) S1 ??, S2 OK, S3 ??, S4 ??, S5 OK, S6 *
(P22) S1 ??, S2 ??, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 ?
(P23) S1 OK, S2 OK, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 OK
(P24) S1 *, S2 *, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 OK
(P25) S1 ?, S2 ?, S3 ?, S4 ?, S5 OK, S6 ?(context-sensitive)
(P26) S1 OK, S2 OK, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 OK
(P27) S1 *, S2 *, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 OK
(P28) S1 ??, S2 ?, S3 ??, S4 ?, S5 OK, S6 OK(context-sensitive)
(P29) S1 ??, S2 OK, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 ??(context-sensitive)
(P30) S1 ?, S2 ?, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 OK(context-sensitive)
(P31) S1 ??, S2 ??, S3 ??, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 OK
(P33) S1 ?, S2 ?, S3 ?, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 ??(context-sensitive)
(P34) S1 ?*, S2 ?, S3 ?*, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 *
(P35) S1 OK, S2 OK, S3 OK, S4 OK, S5 OK, S6 OK

The judgments of (1-4, 6) vary according to the speakers.

Several people say that (1-2) is marginal or awkward.
Some of them judge (2) to be better than (1).
Many people point out that they prefer 
"How likely to ... is John" to "How likely is John to ... ".

One informant says that "It seems likely that ... " is better in (3-4).
Another informant says that "seems" and "likely" 
mean the same, so the sentence in (3) is overloaded. 

All of the people judge (5) to be gramatical.
However, (6) varies according to the speakers.
Many people point out that the judgment depends on the context and 
that "John seems to win all the prize" is OK. 

Thanks again.

Atsuko Yamaguchi
A graduate student in Nagoya university in Japan
a981704mmbox.media.nagoya-u.ac.jp


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