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Thread: Question!

  1. #41
    Taroimo Guest

    Default In reply to Casiopea

    Casiopea,

    Am I correct if I summarize your explanation as in (1) through (3)?

    (1) The string of words "find myself a rock" (ignoring intonation and punctuation) is ambiguous between (a) and (b):
    (a) find+IO+DO;
    (b) find+myself(emphatic)+O

    (2) In spoken English, the interpretation (a) arises in a regular unmarked intonation pattern, and the interpretation (b) arises in a special intonation pattern where "myself" is set off by pauses/intonation breaks around it.

    (3) In written English, the interpretation (a) arises without any special punctuation, and the interpretation (b) arises when there are commas around "myself".

    Is this a correct characterization of your explanation?

    Now, I imagine that the following holds:
    (4) Given that the punctuation in (3) may not always be strictly observed, it is not surprising that there are people who drop the commas in cases with the interpretation in (1b). In which case ambiguity arises in written English. I.e., the written form "find myself a rock" could be understood as in (1b) as well as (1a). But in spoken English, everyone distinguishes (1a) and (1b), as described in (2).

    Is (4) correct?

    Assuming that (1)-(4) are correct, we predict that in cases with an unambiguously monotransitive verb like "see", the interpretation like (1b) is the only possibility and that sentences like (5) always require pauses/intonation breaks around "myself" even if it's written as in (6).

    (5) I saw, myself, the 30-car pileup.
    (6) I saw myself the 30-car pileup.

    Regarding "I'm going to have myself some fun", I have a couple of questions.
    (7) Is it possible to interpret the "have" to mean "get", rather than "give"?
    (8 ) On the internet, I found examples like, "I'm gonna have me some fun". Is it common to say "me" instead of "myself" in this structure?

    Finally, how does (9) sound to you? (9a) without intonation breaks; (9b) with intonation breaks.
    (9) a. I found myself a perfect present for Mary.
    b. I found, myself, a perfect present for Mary.

    Thank you for reading this long message. :D

    Taroimo

  2. #42
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    Default Re: In reply to Casiopea

    First, having read through your review, I'd say you've got it right. I've not checked my notes, though, so if a problem arises later on, sorry.

    Second, "I'm gonna have me some fun" is fine. It's either ditrans or trans (for me, by me, with me). :D

    Third, I add the symbols (...) to show you how a would sound without a pause or intonantion. Notice that the verb+object unit expresses a transitive meaning. That is, 1) I found myself, and then, 2) a perfectly good rock. What does 2) mean?

    With out intonantion
    a. I found myself...a perfect present for Mary. :(

    With intonantion
    b. I found, myself, a perfect present for Mary. :D

    All the best,

  3. #43
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: A response to Taka

    [quote=Taroimo]

  4. #44
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    If you put the word next to the subject and it makes sense, it's emphatic:

    I myself found a rock. (emphasising my amazing personal qualities)

    I myself gave a manicure. (to whom?)

  5. #45
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    If you put the word next to the subject and it makes sense, it's emphatic:

    I myself found a rock. (emphasising my amazing personal qualities)

    I myself gave a manicure. (to whom?)
    ;-)
    That's right! And that has to do with Casiopea's smart analysis: since 'myself' can be moved around the sentence, it couldn't be an object; it is adverbial.

    Anyway, it's the same idea as mine that "myself" in "I found myself a rock" has not much semantic significance, so it's adverbial.

    Thanks, tdol!

  6. #46
    Taroimo Guest

    Default Re: A response to Taka

    I agree that "myself" in "I found myself a smooth rock" can be an adverbial, used to emphasize the subject, but I don't agree that it's always the case.

    For me, it is significant that you have two quite different intonation patterns for a reflexive sitting between a verb and its object (whether they are marked by commas, dashes, arrows, or smilies in written forms doesn't matter) and that one of them (with intonation breaks) is more widely accepted than the other (without such breaks), as far as the examples under discussion are concerned. This, for me, indicates two different statuses of a reflexive.

    To be more specific, cases where the verb is unambiguously monotransitive (e.g., see) allow only the former (with intonation breaks), and cases where the verb is a potentially ditransitive verb (e.g., find) allow both the former (with intonation breaks) and the latter (without intonation breaks). Furthermore, the latter pattern is the same as the ordinary intonation contour for unambiguously ditransitive verbs (e.g., give). It then seems quite natural to me to assume that in the case of potentially ditransitive verbs, there are two subcases: an emphatic reflexive and a reflexive indirect object.

    How would you account for the fact that a reflexive under a regular intonation pattern (i.e., the one without intonation breaks) is not allowed for unambiguously monotransitive verbs? If the status of "myself" were the same throughout the examples under discussion (except in give-type verb cases, I guess), as you seem to be suggesting, wouldn't you expect that there was no difference in intonation pattern between unambiguously monotransitive verb cases and potentially ditransitive verb cases? Cases with have don't work here because it's turned out that a non-reflexive pronoun can appear between have and its object.

    Taroimo

  7. #47
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    In 'I found myself a smooth rock', I wouldn't take that as emphasis, but meaning 'for myself' rtaher than 'by myself'.

  8. #48
    Taroimo Guest

    Default Re: In reply to Casiopea

    Casiopea,

    I'm sorry, but my examples were not particularly good.
    Can I ask you some follow-up questions?

    First, I assume you accept (1) and (2). Am I correct?

    (1) I found myself a smooth stone.
    (intended to mean, "I found a smooth stone for myself.")

    (2) I found a smooth stone for Mary.

    If so, please take a look at (3) and (4).

    (3) I found, myself, a smooth stone for Mary.
    (with intonation breaks around "myself")

    (4) I found myself a smooth stone for Mary.
    (without any special intonation breaks)

    How do (3) and (4) sound to you?

    From what you wrote, I imagine you accept (3) with the reading that "I, not others, found a smooth stone for Mary."

    How about (4)? I want you to try to keep on processing the sentence as far to the right as you can. In other words, I want you not to consider the sentence complete at "myself". It's hard to do this by writing....

    What I'm trying to do is to let you process up to "stone" and see how you feel when you encounter "for Mary" after that. To use your notation, I'm trying to let you process as in (5):

    (5) I found myself a smooth stone...for Mary.

    Hope I make sense.

    Taroimo

  9. #49
    Taroimo Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    In 'I found myself a smooth rock', I wouldn't take that as emphasis, but meaning 'for myself' rtaher than 'by myself'.
    You are not the only one on this. Some speakers seem not to allow emphatic "myself" (marked by intonation breaks) to intervene between the verb and its object like "I found--myself--a smooth rock" (dashes mean intonation breaks). You don't accept "I saw--myself--the accident" either, so your judgments are quite consistent. :wink:

    Taroimo

  10. #50
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    I'd either place it before the verb or in end position.

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