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Gerundive (was: "Laughingly":What part of speech is it?)

From:Raymond A. Brown <raybrown@...>
Date:Monday, October 5, 1998, 6:57
At 6:03 pm -0500 4/10/98, Tom Wier wrote:
>Dennis Paul Himes wrote:
> >> gerundive - This is one you left out. A gerundive is the adjectival >> form of a gerund. > >Not quite. A gerundive is a verbal noun that can take an object.
Since when? Oh dear, the 'gerundive' has reared its ugly head. IMHO the use of the term in English grammar is simply misleading or, at best, unnecessary. The term was first used in Latin to denote verbal _adjectives_ and, since they are _passive_ they clearly could not take direct objects. I have seen them occasionally called 'future passive participles' but that is IMO somewhat misleading. The have the idea of necessity rather than simple futurity, cf. Carthago DELENDA est - Carthage must be destroyed. Omnia uno tempore erant AGENDA - everything had to be done at one & the same time. Hostes tum DEBELLANDI fuere - The enemy should've been conquered then. Studiosus est pacis PETENDAE - He is eager for peace to-be-sought/ He is eager that peace be sought/ He is eager to seek peace.
>For >example, in "Your knowing him is a good thing", "knowing" is a syntactically >a noun, but carries with it verbal properties as it is also taking an object, >"him".
Which for the past 45 years is exactly what I've always understood a GERUND to be: syntactically a noun, but carrying verbal properties such as taking a direct object. (The same BTW is true of an infinitive) Like Dennis Paul Himes, I've always understood a gerundive to be some kind of adjective derived from the same form as a gerund. Hence I can understand why he labels 'laughing' in 'laughing gas' as a gerundive in contrast to the present participle in 'laughing hyaena'. But IMHO this is an unnecesary complication in English. We must remember that in English a noun can simple be used adjectivally by putting it before another noun, e.g. city center business news house prices holiday home etc. etc. These were called 'epithet nouns' when I was at school. In 'laughing gas' we have the English gerund used as an epithet noun. Ray.