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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: > [snip] > > 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 _deliberate(ly)_? Andreas