Re: Arguments of verbal nouns (was Re: How to kick the infinitive habit)
|From:||Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, October 5, 2006, 11:54|
Quoting R A Brown <ray@...>:
> Mark J. Reed wrote:
> > Somewhat OT, I find it interesting that the English gerund can have
> > both subject and object specified using the syntax of possession, e.g.
> > "His selling of my car was done without my consent."
> But is that really the gerund?
> The English have _three_ (not two) distinct uses:
> 1. They listened in astonishment to the young man deliberately telling
> lies to the court.
> Here _deliberately_ is an attribute of 'young man', hence is adjectival;
> but it has a direct object (lies) and is modified by an adverb
> (deliberately), hence it is also verbal. That is, we have a verbal
> adjective or 'participle'.
> 2. Deliberately telling lies to the court is called perjury.
> Here _deliberately_ is verbal for precisely the same reasons as in (1),
> but it also acts as the grammatical subject of 'is' and is, therefore,
> also nominal. That is, we have a verbal noun or 'gerund'.
> 3. The deliberate telling of lies to the court is called perjury.
> Here _deliberate_ is also a noun; but it has *no* verbal functions as
> (a) it must be modified by an adjective (deliberate) and _not_ by an
> adverb, and (b) it cannot take a direct object. the argument 'lies' has
> to be liked by a 'genitive' construction with _of_. In this sentence
> _telling_ is clearly a *deverbal noun*, not a verbal noun. It seems to
> me odd to label a deverbal noun as a 'gerund'.
I suppose these should be discussing the status of _telling_, not