Monday, 25 November 2019

The Presumed Subject Of Reported Non-Finite Proposals

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 526, 526n):
Unlike reported propositions, reported proposals take the same form regardless of whether they are giving or demanding in orientation:* (giving) he promised me to wash the car; (demanding) he told me to wash the car. This applies to both locutions and ideas. 
* This is true of the form of non-finites; but they differ with respect to the source of the presumed Subject of the non-finite clause, as is shown by the agnate finite variant of the reported clause: when the orientation is demanding, the source is the Receiver of the verbal clause (he told me || to wash the carthat I should ...); when it is given, the source is the Sayer (he promised me || to wash the car – that he would ...). Finites differ between giving and demanding in the choice of modal: (giving: inclination) he promised that he would wash the car; (demanding: obligation) he demanded that we should wash the car.