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.
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
Carthago DELENDA est - Carthage must be destroyed.
Omnia uno tempore erant AGENDA - everything had to be done at one & the
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.
>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,
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.
These were called 'epithet nouns' when I was at school.
In 'laughing gas' we have the English gerund used as an epithet noun.