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View Full Version : past-participle form of verb vs past-participial adjective



F.E.
11-25-2012, 10:58 AM
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Bufty
11-25-2012, 06:25 PM
Bufty is confused.

But as Tom Jones would say, It's not unusual...

Glad you spotted and corrected those errors in 3c and 3d, F.E. :snoopy:

Jamesaritchie
11-25-2012, 07:04 PM
Uh, what 1b and the other examples all have in comon, is VERY bad writing.

Chase
11-25-2012, 08:31 PM
I dunno. By the time I read to the end, my interest had been broken . . . okay . . . very broken.

Bufty
11-25-2012, 08:34 PM
Surely, nay verily, not as very broken by the reading as I was very confused?


I dunno. By the time I read to the end, my interest had been broken . . . okay . . . very broken.

jaksen
11-25-2012, 09:09 PM
I am not smart enough to understand any of this.

Bufty
11-25-2012, 09:18 PM
If you just sold story no 28! to EQMM...who cares about p-ps and p-pas - :partyguy: And three cheers for the grandson! :banana::banana::banana:

Chase
11-25-2012, 11:19 PM
Just sold Story No. 28! To EQMM! I am so happy. (New grandson, too. Life is good.)

Congratulations all around!

Susan Littlefield
11-25-2012, 11:21 PM
Uh, what 1b and the other examples all have in comon, is VERY bad writing.


I dunno. By the time I read to the end, my interest had been broken . . . okay . . . very broken.


Surely, nay verily, not as very broken by the reading as I was very confused?

I would very VERY much agree with these statements.


I am not smart enough to understand any of this.

I would very VERY much disagree with this statement.

Maryn
11-26-2012, 02:45 AM
(Speaking as an individual member and not as a moderator, since this isn't my area of responsibility: ) I think the information you want to share, F.E., might be better received if you didn't lecture in an academic style as if you were the final authority but used a conversational tone in which you didn't set yourself up as the lone expert on matters grammatical.

Some of the people expressing confusion or gentle mockery teach or taught English in good colleges, some at the post-graduate level. But they're all posting here at AW in a casual and conversational tone as colleagues rather than expounding from above.

Me, I find being lectured somewhat off-putting. If I happened to be shaky on participles, which I'm not, I'd have stopped reading due to the tone.

Your expertise is welcome and needed, it truly is, but how about sharing it as an equal instead of with lesser beings? Then I and others would be glad to see your posts and perhaps come to you with questions, which I imagine you might enjoy, since you like sharing your knowledge.

Maryn, bold

blacbird
11-26-2012, 03:50 AM
Whenever I need clarification on verbal issues like this, I go straight to the Purdue OWL.

caw

Bufty
11-26-2012, 02:56 PM
Agreed.

And it would also be nice and friendly if an introductory post were made together with an attempt at completing a profile.:Hug2:


(Speaking as an individual member and not as a moderator, since this isn't my area of responsibility: ) I think the information you want to share, F.E., might be better received if you didn't lecture in an academic style as if you were the final authority but used a conversational tone in which you didn't set yourself up as the lone expert on matters grammatical.

Some of the people expressing confusion or gentle mockery teach or taught English in good colleges, some at the post-graduate level. But they're all posting here at AW in a casual and conversational tone as colleagues rather than expounding from above.

Me, I find being lectured somewhat off-putting. If I happened to be shaky on participles, which I'm not, I'd have stopped reading due to the tone.

Your expertise is welcome and needed, it truly is, but how about sharing it as an equal instead of with lesser beings? Then I and others would be glad to see your posts and perhaps come to you with questions, which I imagine you might enjoy, since you like sharing your knowledge.

Maryn, bold

Susan Littlefield
11-26-2012, 07:36 PM
I agree with Maryn. We are all equals here.

jaksen
11-26-2012, 11:11 PM
I intended my post in gentle mockery, no different than I've done on a few other threads where the information did sort of go right over my head. I'm always willing to learn, however.

Thanks for the congrats. I have two grandchildren now. I am officially OLD.

Rufus Coppertop
11-27-2012, 10:22 AM
If you just sold story no 28! to EQMM...who cares about p-ps and p-pas - :partyguy: And three cheers for the grandson! :banana::banana::banana:

Well...serious congrats are in order! Well done.

F.E.
11-27-2012, 08:05 PM
One of the major reasons I created this thread was to bring up this excerpt from a recent (published 2002) reference grammar, because it seemed to be faulty: Huddleston and Pullum et al.'s The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 79,

(c) Modification by very or too

The degree adverbs very and too can modify adjectives but not verbs: It was very/too dangerous (adjective), not *It very/too frightened me (verb).
[13]

i. He was [very frightened] / [too frightened to move]. -- [adjective]
ii. *The plants were [very/too watered] by the gardener. -- [verb]

Note, however, that not all adjectives take this modification -- we can hardly have ?It didn't look very/too broken to me, for example. Criterion (c) therefore works in only one direction: if the word in question can be modified by very or too it must be an adjective, not a verb, but if it can't be so modified it could be either.
I see problems with their explanation. The big one is with their statement:


if the word in question can be modified by very or too it must be an adjective, not a verb, but if it can't be so modified it could be either.

To me, that is saying that they consider that the following, which is similar to #13.i,

He was frightened.
cannot have a verbal passive interpretation. I disagree. (In a later chapter of their reference grammar, on page 1438, they actually provide a counterexample to their statement here--and I agree with what they say in their later chapter.)

I looked into possibilities that I was mis-parsing their statement (on page 79), or that their statement might be ambiguously worded. (One possibility I was looking into was that their phrase "can be" was to have the meaning "is", but then the last half of their statement will make that whole statement rather incomplete in meaning or else wrong.) It still seems to me that this statement (on page 79) is faulty.

I'm assuming that what they should've said here on page 79 is something along the lines of: if the word in question can be modified by "very" or "too" then it must be able to support an adjectival interpretation, (though it might be possible for it to support a verbal interpretation too), but if it can't be so modified it could be either.

Of course, the presence of the word "very" or "too" in that type of sentence will make it unambiguously adjectival (see page 1436).

So, it seems to me that if a person only read page 79 (which is a real possibility since this is a reference grammar), then that person could end up arriving at the wrong conclusion. I've also seen this "very/too test" mis-worded in various grammar books. And this "very/too test" has come up in a discussion I've had recently.
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Also, I have a minor disagreement with their statement:

Note, however, that not all adjectives take this modification -- we can hardly have ?It didn't look very/too broken to me, for example.

They label that example with '?', which means "of questionable grammaticality". I can easily see a context where a sentence like that could be used. Also I can see a context that could support a sentence like "It wasn't just broken, it was very broken" or "It was too broken for me to fix in time for the meeting". The grammatical relation between the word very/too with the following adjective in those examples is the same as it is in the acceptable examples in the reference grammar.

(Yes, I had been drilled by teachers in elementary school that "very broken" is wrong. But then there's a whole bunch of stuff out there that's been taught but is incorrect. E.g. You can't split an infinitive; you can't start a sentence with a conjunction, such as "and"; and they've tried to force me to use sentences that start with "Whom", such as "Whom will the voters elect to congress?")

Bufty
11-27-2012, 08:12 PM
Raising these issues here isn't going to change the publication.

F.E.
11-27-2012, 08:14 PM
Raising these issues here isn't going to change the publication.
Where did I say it was going to?

Bufty
11-27-2012, 08:21 PM
This is all pretty academic and I still feel I'm having this thrust down my throat for no apparent reason at all, except your wish to record your disagreement with elements of a ten-year-old publication.

F.E.
11-27-2012, 08:36 PM
This is all pretty academic and I still feel I'm having this thrust down my throat for no apparent reason at all, except your wish to record your disagreement with elements of a ten-year-old publication.
No one is forcing you to read this thread.

As for that book being a "a ten-year-old publication" ... That 2002 CGEL is one of the most recent reference grammars out there. I don't think there is a comparable type of reference grammar that has been published since then; and that CGEL has been reprinted with corrections in 2008. Probably what would be a comparable type of reference grammar that was last published would be Quirk et al.'s which was published in 1985.

It took Huddleston about ten years (or more) to write that book, with contributions from other major contributors, including Pullum. It might be a while before another such reference grammar of this type will be produced. Many think that Huddleston and Pullum et al.'s CGEL will end up replacing Quirk et al's 1985 reference grammar; though I think both are needed as there isn't a complete overlap done by Huddleston's.
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This thread is in a grammar forum, it has to do with grammar, and I was thinking of at least a few people who would be interested in this topic, especially since this topic had come up recently in one of our discussions.

Now if you Bufty think this thread is inappropriate for this forum, then go and take it up with a moderator.

Bufty
11-27-2012, 08:48 PM
As you wish.

Rufus Coppertop
11-27-2012, 09:47 PM
and they've tried to force me to use sentences that start with "Whom", such as "Whom will the voters elect to congress?")

Whilst I wouldn't presume to try to force anyone to start a sentence with "whom", the usage in your example is absolutely correct.

"Whom" is the accusative case of "who". In this example, "voters" is the subject and "whom" is the object of the verb "elect" and hence takes the accusative case.

If "voters" became the agent and the active "elect" were changed to the passive form "elected by", then "whom" would need become "who" because it would then be in the nominative as the subject receiving the action.

"Who will be elected to congress by the voters"?

Actually, "whom" is not just accusative. It's ablative, genitive and dative as well. "To whom, by/from/with whom, to whom, of whom."

evilrooster
11-27-2012, 10:57 PM
Given that F.E. has now deleted the entire OP, I think we're going to close this thread. It has nothing for the ages but some bickering, and there's a whole internet full of that already.