Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Reported Non-Finite Proposals: The Status Of The Subject In Locutions Vs Ideas

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 526):
However, these typically differ with respect to the status of the Subject of the reported proposal. With reported locutions, the Subject is implicit; it is presumed from the Receiver of the reporting ‘verbal’ clause: he told/promised me || to wash the car. This is shown by the agnate finite variant (he told me || that I should wash the car; he promised me || that he would wash the car) and by the fact that the ‘verbal’ clause has a passive variant with the Receiver as Subject – I was told || to wash the car
In contrast, with reported ideas, the Subject is explicit as part of the projected proposal: he wanted || me to wash the car; he intended/planned/hoped || for me to wash the car. Here there is no passive variant of the reporting clause – we cannot say I was wanted || to wash the car, I was hoped || (for) to wash the car; but there is a passive variant of the reported idea clause – we can say he wanted || the car to be washed (by me). Not surprisingly, there are intermediate cases; more specifically, certain nexuses of reported locutions have properties usually associated with nexuses of reported ideas. Thus with order we can say I was ordered || to wash the car (cf. I was told || to wash the car); but we can also say he ordered || the car to be washed (by me) (cf. he wanted || the car to be washed (by me)).