Week 5 lecture notes negation of modal auxiliaries

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Week 5 lecture notes negation of modal auxiliaries

  1. 1. Basic sentence processes <ul><li>Negation </li></ul><ul><li>Negation of modal auxiliaries </li></ul>
  2. 2. Auxiliary Negation vs. Main Verb Negation <ul><li>The scope of negation includes the meaning of the auxiliary </li></ul><ul><li>The focus of negation is normally at the auxiliary </li></ul><ul><li>The main verb is normally understood in a positive meaning </li></ul><ul><li>The scope of negation does not include the meaning of the auxiliary </li></ul><ul><li>The auxiliary is understood in its positive meaning </li></ul><ul><li>The main verb is normally understood in its negative meaning </li></ul>
  3. 3. Negation of can/could The road could not be blocked (‘It was not possible that …’) They could not smoke in the theatre (‘They were not allowed …’) He could not/ couldn’t play the banjo (‘He was not able to…’) Auxiliary Negation Auxiliary Negation Auxiliary Negation Could You can’t be serious (‘It is not possible that …’) You can’t go swimming (‘You are not allowed…’) He cannot speak English (‘He is not able to …’) Auxiliary Negation Auxiliary Negation Auxiliary Negation Can Possibility Permission Ability
  4. 4. Negation of may/might Main Verb Negation Note the greater degree of possibility of may than might in this sense Auxiliary Negation Might They might not bother to come if it’s wet (‘It is possible that they will not bother to come…’) They might not smoke in the theatre (‘They were/are not allowed …’) They may not bother to come if it’s wet (‘It is possible that they will not bother to come…’) You may not go swimming (‘You are not allowed…’) Main Verb Negation Auxiliary Negation May Possibility Permission
  5. 5. Negation of shall/should You shouldn’t go there. (‘It is necessary/ advisable that you will not go there) Main Verb Negation NA NA Logical necessity Main Verb Negation NA Should I shan’t know you when you return (‘I predict that I will not know you when you return’) Don’t worry, you shan’t lose your reward (‘I’m willing to see that you don’t lose your reward’) Shall Main Verb Negation Main Verb Negation I shouldn’t be here when you return. (‘I predict that I will not be here when you return’) NA Prediction Willingness/intention on the part of the speaker
  6. 6. Negation of will/would He wouldn’t come (‘I predicted that he would not come’) They wouldn’t stop smoking (‘They insisted on not …’) I wouldn’t interfere (‘I was willing not to interfere’) Main Verb Negation Main Verb Negation Would They won’t have arrived yet (‘I predict that they’ve not arrived yet’) He won’t do what he’s told (‘He insists on not doing …’) Don’t worry, I won’t interfere (‘I’m willing not to interfere’) Main Verb Negation Main Verb Negation Main Verb Negation Will Prediction Insistence Willingness
  7. 7. Negation of must You mustn’t keep us all waiting (‘You’ll oblige me by not keeping us waiting’) Can’t is used in this sense instead ‘ There must be a mistake’, but ‘There can’t be a mistake’ Main Verb Negation Must (Logical) necessity Obligation or compulsion
  8. 8. Oughtn’t and Needn’t It needn’t always be my fault (‘It is not necessary that …’) You needn’t pay that fine (‘You are not obliged to pay that fine’) Auxiliary Negation Auxiliary Negation Need not (needn’t) He oughtn’t to be long (‘It is necessary that he is not long’) You oughtn’t to keep us waiting (‘You are obliged not to keep us waiting’) Main Verb Negation Main Verb Negation Ought not (oughtn’t) Necessity Obligation

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