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On English causality: Does the superset of permissive action always incorporate the possibility of direct causative action? That is if I translate a statement as X permitted Y but X actually caused Y did the initial statement include the possibility that it was caused by X?

I have verb phrases in another language, which I'm told relate to "what is x doing" as directly opposed to "x caused y".

This verb grammar is described by those who know its use and teaches it as

"viewed as a whole from the outside, without regard for the internal make-up of the occurrence" which "implies no causation" and "notions of causation are absent".

I think that permissive is better suited than the causative because I assume permissive is a superset of the causative.

Is there another way of representing this rather ambiguous causality besides the causative, while still incorporating the subject and the verb?

For instance :

"noun verb" would have the translation "noun [permitted/let/allowed pronoun to/be] verb"

"noun verb adverb" would have the translation "noun [permitted/let/allow] adverb [to be] modified_verb"

"noun said" would have this translation: "noun [let it be] said"

"He did bad" would be translated "He [permitted] bad [to be] done"

and a more literal example

"not die die" would have the translation "Die? you [will] not [be permitted to] die"

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Even after having looked at your previous question, I don't find it at all clear what you're asking here. –  Peter Shor Mar 29 '13 at 12:54
    
Are you using technical linguistic terms? If so, you may have better luck on Linguistics SE. –  Ben Lee Mar 29 '13 at 21:52
    
@PeterShor I'm sorry but I have to define the question in very narrow terms to avoid people becoming motivated to action by the religious implications rather than logic and the English language. –  caseyr547 Mar 29 '13 at 23:41
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I suggest you come up with a more complete and realistic example that doesn't detract from your "logical and linguistic" point. Otherwise this just looks like gobbledegook (or plain nonsense). –  Jim Mar 30 '13 at 3:22
    
@Jim Thanks for the feedback updated as you requested with parts of speech diagrams for my basic cases –  caseyr547 Mar 30 '13 at 10:34

2 Answers 2

I'd say that, in some sense, permitting is the opposite of causing.

Permitting is allowing someone else (or some other agency) to take a causal action. You can "actively permit" by sanctioning or encouraging the causative agency, or you can "passively permit" by taking no action to stop the causative agency. But if you are the cause, or even a partial cause, then you're not permitting.

As an example, "kill" is not the same as "allow to die".

When translating into English from a language that doesn't make this kind of strong distinction, you'll have to judge from context and introduce the distinction yourself.

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I don't think that "permits" embodies "directly causes" at all. If I leave clothes outside instead of bringing them in when it rains, I have "permitted" them to get wet, but I didn't "directly cause" them to get wet as would have been the case had I turned the sprinklers on them.

Your example:

"He did bad" would be translated "He [permitted] bad [to be] done"

is just wrong as it relates to direct causation. "Did" is not synonymous with "permitted".

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Your making an appeal to your authority by giving your opinion I was looking for something more factual and proveable. –  caseyr547 Apr 3 '13 at 0:19
    
also did is synonymous with done –  caseyr547 Apr 3 '13 at 0:20
2  
"Did" and "done" are versions of the "same" word (they are forms of "do"). Not synonyms. –  horatio Apr 4 '13 at 20:24

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