Re: Singing bird (was: does my lang cover everything?)
|From:||Shreyas Sampat <ssampat@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, April 30, 2006, 20:53|
>In all my 60+ years speaking English as L1 and in all my academic
>experience leading to a B.A. in English, I never came across that
>rule. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, just that I never heard of it.
>I see (feel?) a differnce in the two phrases. Unfortunately, I can't
>put my finger (ear?) on it at the moment.
>BTW, does "I heard the bird singing" mean the same thing as "I heard
>the singing bird"?
>I can imagine a contrast between:
1. I heard the bird sing.
2. I heard the bird singing.
3. I heard the singing bird.
I don't think that you'd actually see any of these in speech, though;
'sing' feels like the default noise-a-generic-bird-makes verb, and I'd
be unlikely to say it. It'd be more plausible as "I heard the duck
sing," or "I heard the bird talk."
In any case the 3-form could only be used to contrast with hearing the
different sounds made by "exploding bird", "dancing bird", "croaking
"It is the sea," someone whispered.