Kjell Johan Sæbø

You don't know what you have until you lose it: what /lu:z/ can tell us about /hæv/​

The folk theory of "lose" has it that it means to stop having. Thus a sentence "Jeg mista laksen" (Norwegian) presupposes that I had the salmon up to the time of the event and asserts that I did not have it from then on. Now if there were a consensus on the right theory of "have", one could stop there. But there isn't, and in fact, facts about "lose" can throw new light on the debate about "have". In particular, relations coming from relational nouns can feed the relation that stops holding between the subject and the object, just as it can feed the relation that holds according to "have". I discuss a succession of recent proposals on "have" in this light and conclude that some are more amenable to accommodating "lose" than others.


Elena Callegari
Tags: lose, have, relational nouns, semantics
Published Feb. 1, 2018 4:38 PM - Last modified Nov. 2, 2018 1:43 PM