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Thread: need explaining

  1. M56
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    #31

    Re: need explaining

    Quote Originally Posted by Temico

    You know as well as I do that "Shop closed" is just a sign and an incomplete sentence just like "Crazy Bush". Was Bush born crazy or was he made crazy by his arrogance, may I ask??
    And - I hope - you know as well as I do that the decontextualised sentence is no way to challenge someone.

    My son needs a Playstation.

    Now, is the father speaking on behalf of the son, or on his own behalf? Is it the son who has said that he needs the Playstation, or is it the father's opinion that his son needs one?


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    #32

    Re: need explaining

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    And - I hope - you know as well as I do that the decontextualised sentence is no way to challenge someone.

    My son needs a Playstation.

    Now, is the father speaking on behalf of the son, or on his own behalf? Is it the son who has said that he needs the Playstation, or is it the father's opinion that his son needs one?
    That would depend on the father, whether his son actually needs the playstation or it's he, himself, who wants the playstation and is only using his son as an excuse!

    In the sentence below, however, please tell me, is it the father speaking on behalf of his son or is it his own opinion?

    "My son needs to have his head checked!"

  2. M56
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    #33

    Re: need explaining

    Quote Originally Posted by Temico
    That would depend on the father, whether his son actually needs the playstation or it's he, himself, who wants the playstation and is only using his son as an excuse!

    In the sentence below, however, please tell me, is it the father speaking on behalf of his son or is it his own opinion?

    "My son needs to have his head checked!"
    Very clearly it is the father's opinion or the doctor's opinion there, IMO. What has that got to do with "My son needs spanking"?


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    #34

    Re: need explaining

    What has that got to do with "My son needs spanking"?
    Well, it's certainly the father's opinion too, don't you agree??

  3. M56
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    #35

    Re: need explaining

    Quote Originally Posted by Temico
    Well, it's certainly the father's opinion too, don't you agree??
    It is ambiguous. I've already shown that.


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    #36

    Re: need explaining

    It is ambiguous. I've already shown that.
    Well, if you really believe that any son would want/desire/long for/crave for/look forward to/etc. "spanking", then the sentence certainly is "ambiguous"

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #37

    Re: need explaining

    Then, 'my dog' and 'you' are the agents, right? They do the process:

    [1] I need my dog walking.
    My dog is to be out and walking.
    => The dog will be doing the walking.

    [2] I need you walking.
    You are to be up and walking.
    => You will be doing the walking.

    If so, then how do we interpret [3]?

    [3] ?I need my shirts ironing.
    ?My shirts are to be ironing.
    => ?My shirts will be doing the ironing.

  5. M56
    Guest
    #38

    Re: need explaining

    Quote Originally Posted by Temico
    Well, if you really believe that any son would want/desire/long for/crave for/look forward to/etc. "spanking", then the sentence certainly is "ambiguous"
    The whole world over, there are sons who crave spanking and women who are paid to provide that service. Pragmatics, my dear. Pragmatics.

  6. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #39

    Re: need explaining

    Quote Originally Posted by Temico
    How about this, "I need my son spanking"?

    How should that be taken to mean? Does it mean that "my son" needs spanking or does it mean that "my son" needs to go about spanking others??
    Good point, Temico, and it's just what we were about to discuss.

    Given what we know so far, if the object isn't the actor, the meaning expressed is somewhat awkward. For example,

    I need my dog walking. (The dog is to be walking; doing the process)
    I need you walking. (You are to be walking; doing the process)
    I need Max walking. (Max is to be walking; doing the process)

    Whether someone helps (i.e., causes) the dog, you, or Max do the walking is neither here nor there. It's the object that's in focus, not the causative inference.

    I need my son spanking. (My son is to be spanking; doing the process)

    Temico has a valid point. Having said that, why is it then that our example below does not express the meaning, 'my shirts are to be doing the ironing?

    I need my shirts ironing.

    The question we should be asking is, why aren't inanimate objects; i.e., my shirts, privy to the same semantic freedoms as animate objects; i.e., my dog, you, Max?

  7. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #40

    Re: need explaining

    We seem to have wandered from our topic. If you'd like, I can close the thread . . .

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