Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1993 09:49:03 CST From: salikoko mufwene Subject: Re: some U.S. "Midland" regionalisms In Message Sat, 11 Dec 1993 15:50:01 CST, "Donald M. Lance" writes: >I'm thinking that, rather than Sali's suggestion of 'transient duration', >the feature that gives us seemingly unexpected progressives of stative >verbs is a feature that might -- and I'm hoping you'll agree, as I'm trusting >my intuitions and judgments and believing, at least for now, that what I'm >liking about my decision and feeling about it is perhaps sorta on a right >track -- be called 'tentativity'. I'm always hating myself after I breach >my coccoon of personal tentativity and propose an idea that others seem to >be loving to shoot down. >Many of the progressive statives are of 'transient duration' as Sali >suggests, such as 'Carla is feeling wonderful'. >The tentativity feature suggested here may play a part in what I suggested >earlier as a politness feature in 'Are you wanting to make an appointment?' >Any reactions? > DMLance Don: What is tentative: the state of wanting itself or the object of wanting? May we interpret what you suggest as "implicated meaning/interpretation" following from not selecting the umarked option without the progressive? What you suggest seem to follow from what I think is still basically 'short/transient duration', assuming that the unmarked condition for WANT is of unspecified duration. Your interesting uses of "believe, trust, like, hate," and even "hope" are still in line with my analysis, although one must remember that membership in the class of stative verbs is scalar... some verbs are more stative than others. Some verbs, such as "want," which are high on the scale of stativity, implicate more when used in the progressive. Verbs such as "try," brought to bear by Thomas Clark are rather low on this scale and have unmarked use in the progressive for reference to the present. So I can see the reversal of implicature in his observation. On the other hand, I see in his "I try to get a grant" some kinship with dramatic uses of the simple present tense with activity verbs (not quite a synonym of "nonstative"), which are very low on the putative scale of stativity. I'm also inclined to interpret Dennis Preston's "negative expectation" pragmatically, though this time as a presupposition. Indeed, selecting some marked options often conveys more messages than may be suspected, as I see your interventions enriching each other. Thanks, Sali. Salikoko S. Mufwene Linguistics, U. of Chicago s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] 312-702-8531