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Re: QUESTION: gerund clauses

From:Padraic Brown <pbrown@...>
Date:Thursday, February 11, 1999, 19:35
On Thu, 11 Feb 1999, Jim Grossmann wrote:

> Hi, Everybody, > > Do all languages have equivalents to verbal gerund clauses?
Easy answer: probably not!
> > e.g. > > CASTING STONES is inadvisable. > > The police disapprove of BREAKING INTO HOUSES. > > > It seems to me that these could be easily paraphrased: > > One casts stones inadvisably. > > When one breaks into houses, the police disapprove. >
These are interesting examples, because to my way of thinking, they say slightly different things. For example: "The police...into houses" says that the police disapprove of a particular action, i.e. the breaking in of houses. "When one...disapprove" says that the police inly disapprove of some unidentified something after you've broken in _and_ are already in the house. I.e., they don't mind you "breaking in" to the house; but they only start minding after you've gotten yourself in the house. (My opinion only!)
> > I'm working on a language that doesn't have gerunds so far. I'm > reluctant to add them, because I'm afraid it might make my language too > typical. >
Well, there's no reason to throw them in if your lang. is getting by without; and can express the ideas of the English gerund in its own peculiar fashion. Padraic.
> On the other hand, I don't want to fall into the trap of trying to make > my language exotic by forbidding this, that, and the other thing, until all > I'm left with too inflexible and limited a grammar. > > signed, > > wringing my hands in Washington State > > (Jim) > > > > Jim >