Re: USAGE: "Laughingly":What part of speech is it?
|From:||Tom Wier <artabanos@...>|
|Date:||Monday, October 5, 1998, 19:11|
Robin Turner wrote:
> Well, it was the -ing morpheme I was referring to, not just gerunds. I actually
> don't think terms such as "gerund" (still less, "gerundive"!) are of much use in
> describing English grammar.
Well, there are different uses though. In English we also have onephonological form for
the plural and genetive morphemes, but we
consider them entirely different because they are clearly different
features of the noun system. But when you look at the -ing suffix,
both of the uses are verbals, and so might lead one to think that
there is only an imposed distinction on them.
> Similarly the term "present participle" is pretty
> inappropriate, given that it has nothing to do with presentness.
Well, yeah, but that was more or less naming it after the Latin form.We could rename it, I
guess, but it has become an established name,
so renaming it would be entirely for the sake of coherence (which is
not always a bad thing, though).
The problem is that participles in English are marked for aspect
but not tense. That's why the terminology is not really fitting.
Calling them progressive and perfective participles would be better.
> -ing forms do
> seem to have some kind of family resemblance, though. Semantically there is not a
> great deal of difference between "This film is boring" (adjective) and "This film is
> boring me" (present progressive).
Ah, but I would say there is. The first is an attributive adjective, while the
second is more or less so closely connected to the aux. verb that is not
thought of usually as a synthetic form. With the first, the meaning for me
is that the movie is, by its very nature, boring, while the second implies that
the film is, at that moment, boring _to_ me. It has a specific reference to
my individual self, and so there is a very subtle distinction being made
there. At least for me there is.
> Lojban is an isolating language, but you could do the same sort of thing with
> affixes if you wanted.
Lojban is one language that I am going to have to learn. :)
Tom Wier <artabanos@...>
ICQ#: 4315704 AIM: Deuterotom
"Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero."
"Ille se profecisse sciat cui Cicero valde placebit."
- poster found on professor's door.