Date: Tue, 11 Oct 1994 13:40:31 CDT
From: "Donald M. Lance" ENGDL[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MIZZOU1.BITNET
Subject: Re: -"had" Constructions
There is more to the "'had' Constructions" than has been discussed so far.
Bruce Southard started the discussion by citing these examples:
(1) She had her purse stolen last night
(2) I had my house painted last year
(3) The secret police had the politician jailed until last week
(1) and (3) are ambiguous sequences:
(1a) She had her purse stolen last night, and she misses it
(1b) She had her purse stolen last night, so that she could see if there
is a pattern in residential burglaries in River City
(1b) is hard to set up in the second reading because of the time adverb. Cf:
(1c) I had a purse stolen, and I sure do miss the money
(1d) I had a purse stolen, and thankfully the thief didn't finger me
(1e) I had a purse stolen, but I got cold feet and put it back on the shelf
The painted house sequence can also be structurally ambiguous:
(2a) We had our house painted blue for several years, and then
we had the house and garage painted gray and like it a lot better
Likewise the jailed politicians:
(3a) The police had the politicians jailed until last week, so that
the military could pull off a coup
(3b) The police had the politicians jailed until last week, but somehow
they got out and spoiled the coup attempt
So it appears that we need more than the two labels that Bill Kretzschmar
discussed (if you buy his 'factitive' argument, which I really haven't
thought through to accept or reject).
While you're pondering 'have + dir obj + past participle qua complement',
you might add 'have + dir obj + infinitive':
(4) I was real busy and then I HAD THREE CALLS COME IN and
then I was really behind
(The first example that occurred to me was "I had my pants fall down on me"
but looked for other examples, even though this one has a very interesting
"dative of interest" in it.)
This sequence is also structurally ambiguous:
(4a) I had three calls come in and couldn't finish what I was doing
(4b) I had three calls come in so that the boss would be impressed
Some might quibble over whether 'dir obj' is the right term for these NPs,
but that quibble is part of bigger questions.
And 'present participle qua complement':
(5a) We had three copters circling overhead to make the scene more graphic
(5b) We had three copters circling overhead and couldn't hear well
I have a faint echo in my mind that says Nelson Francis or Charles Hockett
or some other linguist from that era discussed this ambiguity. Maybe Fries.
Or Sledd. Or A. A. Hill.