The "Have Got" Construction

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This is the construction which is designed to account for the acceptable and unacceptable paraphrase relations seen in the following list.

The phenomenon of GOT-extension concerns several uses of the verb HAVE, hence it needs to leave its semantics and valence as a variables. The basic observations are these.

  1. GOT-extension allows HAVE to be used as an auxiliary. One of the properties of the auxiliary HAVE is the possibility of contraction; that's the reason all the examples above have pronoun subjects. It's not quite so common to contract to 'VE or 'S after a phrasal subject. Other auxiliary properties are the ability to occur with negation (HAVEN'T) or in Inversion constructions ("Have you got it?").
  2. GOT-extension is limited to present tense. Compare (1) above with (7).
  3. GOT-extension is limited to stative meaning. Compare (2) with (3), and (5) with (6).
  4. GOT-extension is not possible with the perfect auxiliary. Notice (8).
  5. The word GOT has no meaning on its own. American English (which distinguishes this GOT from the past participle GOTTEN) makes it clear that it is not, synchronically, a form of, or a use of, the past participle of GET.

The ss|syn|head path in the upper left corner of the diagram tells us that the lexical verb identified in this construction is HAVE and that it is an auxiliary.

The ss|syn|head path in the smaller box at the bottom tells us that the input lexical item is a non-auxiliary (that is, is marked "aux -") verb HAVE.

The two ss|sem paths in the upper left corner and in the small box both lead to feature structures linked by the unification index #1. This tells us that the semantics of the GOT-extended HAVE is the same as that of the input HAVE, but also that it is limited to stative uses and to the present tense.

Now look at the valence description in the middle of the large box. This tells you that there is a theta-null subject (hence GOT-extended HAVE is a "raising" verb, as with other auxiliaries). The other argument is a "VP" headed by the word GOT. The path ss|syn|head tells us that this lexical head is the form GOT, classified as a verb, with null inflection. That means only that there's no particular reason to assign it any of the standard inflections. The path ss|syn|level leads to the information that this constituent is a VP ("srs -" = "subject requirement not satisfied").

Now notice that the valence of the input HAVE and the valence of the GOT are identical.


The WXDY Construction

See the relevant text surrounding Figure 8 in The March 18, 20 lecture notes [="What's X doing Y?"] for explanation.