Jason (jcreed) wrote,
Jason
jcreed

This language log post confuses me, because I'm not confused by it. I mean, because I'm not confused by the example in it. The phrase "get to know" sounds like an unbreakable unit to my ear already, and it's no surprise (although I don't have any particularly theoretical-sounding reason I can articulate to explain it, which maybe is what Pullum is looking for) that you can't strand the "get to" at the end of the sentence.

The thing that would make it strandable, I think, is if "get to V" were generally applicable as a construction meaning "come into the state of Ving" (is this "inchoative"? It seems a little too gradual to deserve that name, but maybe it is) but in point of fact it's not --- at least not the way I talk. In isolation I would expect "to get to" means "to have permission to"/"to be able to", and such a thing makes no sense in the imperative.
Tags: linguistics
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