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Hi,
Please take a look at (1):

(1) I don't think that all the time bombs will explode until 6:00. (Jackendoff 1971)

I'd like you to focus on "not." My questions is,

What role does the negative particle have in this case?

(2) disbelief:
I think that not all the time bombs will explode until 6:00.
(3) not-belief (I DON'T think that...):
It is not the case that I think that all the time bombs will explode until 6:00.

The more I think about it, the more uncertain I am, because both seem to have this in common:
(4) It is not the case that all the time bombs will explode until 6:00.

But I think if forced, I'd choose (2).
What do you think?
Thank you in advance
Seiichi MYOGA
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Location: Santa Cruz, California, US
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Myoga-san,

First, can you provide an Internet link to the Jackendoff quote? I'm having trouble finding it online, and am wondering in what context he said it.

I find (1) to be imprecisely worded at best. We can say:
    (5) I don't think that any of the time bombs will explode until 6:00.
This means that I think that none of the bombs will explode before 6:00. Or, we can say this:
    (6) I don't think that all the time bombs will explode by 6:00.
This means that I think that at 6:00, at least some of the bombs will remain unexploded. A third possibility is:
    (7) I think that all of the time bombs will explode at 6:00.
The only way to interpret your example (4) is:
    All of the time bombs will not be in a continuous state of exploding from some point in time until 6:00.
This is a very safe statement, because time bombs don't do continuous states of exploding. They explode, and they're done. Since (2) and (3) both derive from (4), they don't work either.

I hope this helps.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: DocV, Guest Contributor,
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Myoga-san, it struck me after I posted my previous response that I may have sidestepped the main focus of your question, which is the precise role of "not". This was difficult to address because or the other problems in the sentence.

It is easier if there is only one bomb. But first, let me talk about a somewhat more ambiguous example:
    (8) I don't think that Harry will arrive before 6:00.
From the word order, it is apparent that the precise meaning should be
    (9) It is not the case that I think that Harry will arrive before 6:00.
rather than
    (10) I think that Harry will not arrive before 6:00.
But so what? Don't (9) and (10) ultimately mean the same thing? For this reason, most people don't spend a lot of time dwelling on which is the most precisely correct parsing of (8).

However, my single-bomb variation of (1) introduces a separate matter. Using (8), (9), and (10) as examples, we get these parallels:
  • (8') I don't think that the bomb will explode until 6:00.
  • (9') It is not the case that I think that the bomb will explode until 6:00.
  • (10') I think that the bomb will not explode until 6:00.
Now, (9') and (10') do not mean the same thing at all.

If what I said about the parsing of (8) is true, then (9') should reflect the precise meaning of (8'). But because of the nature of time bombs not to explode continuously over extended periods of time, it is more natural to understand (8') to mean (10').
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Dear DocV,

I appreciate your help and comments.
And I apologize for the lateness of my reply.
quote:
I'm ... wondering in what context he said it.

Unfortunately, no mention is made of the context.

According to Declerck (1995), (5) is acceptable on the reading of (6).
(5) Not all the time bombs will explode until tomorrow.
(6) The last time bomb will not explode until tomorrow.

I have this hunch:
(5) does not necessarily sound good to every native speaker.
But there is no problem with this inverted version:
(7) Not until tomorrow will all the time bombs explode.

Seiichi MYOGA
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quote:
(9') It is not the case that I think that the bomb will explode until 6:00.

Why don't we put aside the "I think that" part for the time being?
And turn to the simplified [but ungrammatical] version of "It is not the case that the bomb will explode until 6:00."

There are at least two types of "It is not the case that p": the denial of the positive proposition as in (8a) and the assertion of the negative proposition as in (8b).

(8) a. It is NOT the case that many arrows hit the target. [with the stress on the word "not"]
=I deny that many arrows hit the target.
b. It is not the case that many arrows hit the target. [with no stress on the word "not"]
=(It is the case that) Not many arrows hit the target.

Imagine that someone said "Many arrows hit the target." when actually there were no arrows that hit the target. In this senario, you can use (8a). In contrast, you use (8b) to report what you witnessed: At least one arrow hit the target.

As for the single time bomb senario, you just can't rewrite the assertion of the negative proposition by using "It is not the case that p ."

(9) a. (It is the case that) the time bomb will not explode until {tomorrow / 6:00}.
b.* It is not the case that the time bomb will explode until {tomorrow / 6:00}.

But how about the "all-the-time-bombs" case?

(10) a. It is the case that not all the time bombs will explode until {tomorrow / 6:00}.
b. It is not the case that all the time bombs will explode until {tomorrow / 6:00}.

Looking back, this may be what I should have asked in the first place.
Seiichi MYOGA

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Seiichi Myoga,
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Myoga-san, welcome back! You’ve been missed.

I did finally find what seems to be a reference to your original example sentence (1) in Meaning and Negation by Steven Bradley Smith (Mouton, 1974).
https://books.google.com/books...l%20tomorrow&f=false.

However, Smith appears to be saying that:
  • The original sentence was from Carden, not Jackendoff;
  • Your example (1) is a loose paraphrase of Carden’s original:
    quote:
    *Not all of the time bombs will explode until tomorrow.
  • This was one of a list of deliberately ungrammatical statements proposed by Carden to show how “until” cannot be used in certain contexts;
  • Jackendoff’s reference to Carden’s example (can we call it (1’)?) was indeed made in context; he was supporting Carden’s assertion that the example sentence cannot be considered grammatical.
Unfortunately, I don’t have ready access to Carden’s and Jackendoff’s original writings, so when I say “Smith appears to be saying” this about Carden and Jackendoff and their opinions, I’m dealing with second-hand information.

Myoga-san, I need to continue this dialog later. In the meantime, I respectfully ask a favor of you.

In your new posts, you have created example sentences which you index as (5), (6), and (7). Unfortunately, there are already example sentences in this thread that been assigned the same index numbers. This makes it difficult for the index numbers to be useful, especially if David or someone else joins the discussion. In fact, it pretty much defeats the purposes of having such index numbers in the first place.

So, what I am asking is just that you edit your post give new index numbers to these three sentences.

I also see that you have introduced (8a) and (8b), (9a) and (9b), and (10a) and (10b), while (8), (8’), (9), (9’), (10), and (10’) already exist. If you believe, for example, that your (10a) and (10b) derive directly from my (10), more so than any other established examples on the thread, then this numbering makes sense. Otherwise, I find it confusing.

Thank you, and with respect,

DocV
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Dear Doc V,
quote:
So, what I am asking is just that you edit your post give new index numbers to these three sentences.

I apologize for the confusion. To you as well as to potential readers.

quote:
Jackendoff’s reference to Carden’s example (can we call it (1’)?) was indeed made in context; he was supporting Carden’s assertion that the example sentence cannot be considered grammatical.


Well, actually, "not" is a typo in:

quote:
Another objection, raised by Jackendoff, concerns the alleged ungrammaticality of (3.62). Jackendoff argues, and I think correctly, that (3.62) [=*Not all of the time bombs will explode until tomorrow.] is not grammatical, and can be paraphrased by (3.72):
(3.72) The last time bomb won't explode until tomorrow.(my emphasis and insertion)


Jackendoff is questioning Carden's judgment and analysis. (For example, Carden analyzes "nobody" as "all...not.")
And in the next page, Smith says:

quote:
Heny's proposal explains a number of facts, including the grammaticality of (3.62) for which Carden's analysis provides no account. (my emphasis)


If you look at page 67, you can see Smith's example:
quote:
(3.92) Not all the girls arrived until midnight.

To which Smith gives this explanation in the next page:
quote:
..., (3.92) claims that, prior to midnight, it was false to claim that all the girls had arrived.
Probably, Smith meant that at midnight the last girl arrived and all the girls arrived.
Seiichi MYOGA

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Seiichi Myoga,
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Seiichi MYOGA,

quote:
So, what I am asking is just that you edit your post give new index numbers to these three sentences.
quote:
I apologize for the confusion. To you as well as to potential readers.
I want to accept your apology, but I'm very confused. Why do you take the time to acknowledge the problem and apologize for it, but do not see fit to take a minute and a half to edit your post in order to correct the problem?
quote:
"not" is a typo
What an unfortunate place to make a typo. Still, further reading seems to support what you say, that Jackendoff and Smith are challenging Carden, not supporting him.

But while I may have suggested that some of the example sentences presented so far are nonsensical, and that other experts consider them ungrammatical, I don't think that I, personally, have called any of them ungrammatical. I find the following sentence (which I shall call (7) in accordance with your numbering scheme) to be perfectly grammatical:
    (7) I didn't eat all of my dreams last night.
This makes about as much sense as:
    (7) I think that the bomb will explode until 6:00.
Smith's example is equally silly:
    (7) Not all the girls arrived until midnight.
This means that some of the girls arrived until midnight.

Compare it to (7).
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Hi Doc V,
quote:
quote:
So, what I am asking is just that you edit your post give new index numbers to these three sentences.
quote:
I apologize for the confusion. To you as well as to potential readers.

I want to accept your apology, but I'm very confused. Why do you take the time to acknowledge the problem and apologize for it, but do not see fit to take a minute and a half to edit your post in order to correct the problem?


Confused? So am I. Why "these three," leaving aside the rest? Partial correction could produce still more confusion to readers. So I decided to adopt a "wait and see" policy here. That's it.

quote:
Not all the girls arrived until midnight.
This means that some of the girls arrived until midnight.

This sounds curious. "Not all the girls arrived" may mean "some of the girls arrived," but this is just a conversational implicature. Logically, it is synonymous with "some of the girls did not arrive." If you take Smith's example to mean that some of the girls did not arrive until midnight, there will be nothing silly about it.
Seiichi MYOGA
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Location: Santa Cruz, California, US
Posts: 608
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Myoga-san,
quote:
Why "these three," leaving aside the rest? Partial correction could produce still more confusion to readers. So I decided to adopt a "wait and see" policy here.
True, my preference would be that you change all nine of the index numbers that I mentioned. I emphasized the first three because the others are technically unique, albeit confusing. My hope that you would eventually change at least the first three, if not all nine, has kept me from commenting on any of those sentences or creating any further index numbers.
quote:
So, what I am asking is just that you edit your post give new index numbers to these three sentences.
Now I must apologize for a typo of my own. This makes the fourth time this sentence has been quoted on this thread since I originally wrote it. It should be:
    So, what I am asking is just that you edit your post to give new index numbers to these three sentences.
To quote what I said about Smith, what a place to make a typo!

I do not mean to come off as so arrogant that think I can declare that you, Jackendoff, Smith, and Declerck are all outright wrong. Rather, I will say that my opinion is more in keeping with Carden's, except that I stop short of calling (3.62), to use Smith's indexing, ungrammatical. Instead, I'll say that I find it and (3.92) poorly written and imprecise, and that both have absurd implications when subjected to scrutiny. In both sentences, all of the problems go away if "until" is replaced with "by" or "before".

This is not a statement of fact, but an opinion, albeit a very strongly held one.

Regards,
DocV

PS: I think you are already aware of this, but I don't actually have a copy of Smith's book, as you seem to have. I only have access to the pages excerpted on the Google Books website that I provided a link to earlier.
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