QUINZENAIS DE LINGUÍSTICA SISTÉMICO-FUNCIONAL
13 de Março de 2008, Quinta-feira, às 16:30 h.
FAILING WITHOUT TRYING
Lachlan Mackenzie (VU University Amsterdam & ILTEC)
paper will present my current research into the partial
grammaticalization of fail
in Modern English. It is based on ongoing study of the over 12,000
occurrences of fail
the 100m-word British National Corpus. In its lexical use, fail
a negative-implicative verb of the type identified in the seventies
by Karttunen and Givón (Susan
tried and failed to seduce her teacher).
In its grammaticalized use, however, it functions (as noted by
Halliday and Matthiessen 2004: 507, fn.) as an alternative to not
failed to rain last night =
didn’t rain last night;
fur failed to fly at the meeting
fur didn’t fly at the meeting).
I will first analyse the latter use of fail
a subject-raising verb but ultimately move on to seeing it as a
grammatical operator of negation with periphrastic exponence of the
type proposed by Ackerman & Stump in their version of
Construction Grammar. We will see that various presuppositions
connected with the lexical sense of fail
in its grammaticalized use, but not where fail
followed by to
An application of
Functional Discourse Grammar reveals that the periphrastic negative
narrower scope than not,
and this leads on into an examination of the use of fail
litotes. My presentation will conclude with discussion of the
semantic and pragmatic motivations for the grammaticalization.
Honorário na área da Linguística Funcional na
Universidade Livre de Amesterdão. Trabalha como consultor de
línguas e linguística e como investigador no ILTEC. O
que escreveu juntamente com Kees Hengeveld vai ser publicado em Julho
pela Oxford University Press.