On Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 2:57:02 PM UTC-7, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> On Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 2:11:38 PM UTC-4, ***@gmail.com wrote:
> > 1) I don't think he can do anything.
> > Normally that sentence would mean:
> > 1a) I think he can't do anything.
> > Could it ever mean:
> > 2) I don't think he can do just anything. I don't think he can do anything
> > he wants.
> > Consider this dialogue:
> > -He is very smart. He can solve any problem.
> > -I know he is smart, but I don't think he can solve any problem.
> > In this case, someone is echoing something that has already been said. Maybe
> > one use 'any' in that way in other situations as well if the intonation is
> > right?
> If (2) stresses "any," they think he's not quite that smart.
> If (2) doesn't put stress on "any," they are saying that problem-solving
> isn't connected to smartness, and he can solve no problems.
> I don't know what your questions ask.
Thank you very much, Peter,
Well, you've answered my question. Here's another one, if I may:
Can the change of stress change the meaning of:
3) He can't do anything.
4) He can't solve any problem.
Could 'anything' mean 'just anything in '3'?
Could 'any problem' mean 'just any problem' (every problem) in '4'?