Bridget Copley, Heidi Harley
Snippets 19, 5-6
Publication year: 2009

Copley (2008, 2009) proposes a treatment of futurate sentences like that in (1a) according to which an existentially quantified, presupposed-capable ‘director’ entity d is asserted to be committed to the realization of the proposition expressed in the sentence. On this account, (1a) ends up entailing the event’s occurrence because the director (whoever has the ability to tell Clinton where to go, perhaps Clinton herself) is presupposed to be able to bring it about. By contrast, (1b) is unacceptable insofar as no animate director has the ability to make it rain tomorrow. It is acceptable, however, if there is someone who has the ability to make the rain event happen (God, or a screenplay writer, e.g.).

(1) a. Clinton travels to France tomorrow.
b. #It rains tomorrow.

We argue that the English have-causative exemplified in (2) has the same properties as the futurate. In particular, we claim that the subject of have is the director.

(2) Obama had Clinton travel to France last Tuesday.