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  1. #41
    barryashton is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    On reflection the phrase 'straight back to his collar' may perform the function of a complement as it is an attribute of 'My father's hair'.

  2. #42
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    Quote Originally Posted by barryashton View Post
    Frank

    I think what you, and the Diagramming Sentences website you referred to, fail to do is to adequately distinguish those words with the form of a participle that function as an adjective from those words with the form of a participle that do not function as an adjective. For example (modifying examples in Quirk et al that deal with this distinction):

    1. She is (very) calculating.
    2. She is calculating my salary.

    'Calculating' has the form of a participle. In example 1 it functions as an adjective. In 2 it does not. Identifying a word as having the form of a participle is straightforward, deciding what function that word performs is not. Many participle form words will function as an adjective and many will not - but it is surely the function not the form that interests us.

    One can also give examples of -ing, -ed words that function as adjectives but are not participles because there is no related verb. For example:

    She is (very) talented.

    'Talented' functions as an adjective but is not a participle - there being no verb 'talent' ('to talent' as you would have it).

    Barry
    Barry,

    I have not read the rest of what you have to say yet, but several things already come to mind. One, is that I am not trying to "dis" Quirk et. al. All along I have found from the references to that team that they have done EXTREMELY complete and detailed work.
    As a matter of fact, on this forum, I have several times referred to what I call the British approach to grammar as a Victorian mansion as opposed to the log cabin of the American approach. (But both buildings keep the rain and wind out.) (And Reed-Kellogg is FUN!)

    About "talented" I agree. As an educator, I was very annoyed when the term "gifted" began to appear since there was no verb "to gift". But language development does not always follow clear rules. In a sentence like "He has just talented me." (which makes no sense), "talented" is, by its use, the past participle of a transitive verb. Syntax does not necessarily have to do with making sense.


    I suppose that behind this whole discussion is my objection to mixing morphological terms with syntactic ones --the question of the role of "shut" in that sentence -- verb or adjective. What does it matter? It is an objective complement modifying the direct object (as I remember the sentence). If by "verb" one means, simple predicate, then that is easy. The word is "swung".

    Let me read on.

    Frank

  3. #43
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    5jj,

    Sorry that I missed that long post of yours.

    First, perhaps "well hit ball" might sound a little more natural.

    "Shut" in that sentence is a modifier. Call it an adjective if you must, but, as far as I am concerned, you are mixing the lexica of morphology and syntax.

    You use the word "usage". For me, usage is a matter of what is acceptable. Part of prescriptive grammar. If you mean by "usage" how a word is used in a sentence, then I would call that syntax.

    "But words on their own are not any part of speech. The word 'up' is, in itself, not any part of speech. It can be used as a preposition, verb, noun, adjective, etc. Similarly, the word 'shut' is not, in itself, a verb."

    That puzzles me. Why do dictionaries identify them as such then? A dictionary is not going to identify "shut" as a preposition, a pronoun, or a conjunction. Dictionaries try to give the possible uses for the words.

    What you say about "to" with the infinitive simply saddens me. Those books seem to depend upon the written (printed) word for their message.

    French, "chanter"; Spanish, "cantar"; German, "singen". These are infinitives. In those languages the "to" is not needed because the infinitive is only one word.

    When a student learns the French word, "chanter", he learns that it means "to sing".

    In my teaching of morphology and syntax, I try to prepare my students for the study of foreign languages. My students were typically 14 years old.

    I am truly sorry if this thread is getting tedious. It seems that there is such a variance in the terms we use.

    One other thing to say, though, is that a book named "Sister Bernadettes's Barking Dog" by Kitty Burns Foley, does an amazing job of showing how much FUN Reed-Kellogg is. I would like to know if there is an experience with British grammar learning comparable to what she describes.

    Frank

  4. #44
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    "Shut" in that sentence is a modifier. Call it an adjective if you must, well, I called it an adjective because I wasn't happy with your calling it the past participle (of a verb) but, as far as I am concerned, you are mixing the lexica of morphology and syntax.
    Only if we use your definition of 'morphology', which is rather different from the one in my (British) Oxford dictionaries or my (American) Webster's Third.

    You use the word "usage". For me, usage is a matter of what is acceptable. Part of prescriptive grammar. If you mean by "usage" how a word is used in a sentence, then I would call that syntax.

    "But words on their own are not any part of speech. The word 'up' is, in itself, not any part of speech. It can be used as a preposition, verb, noun, adjective, etc. Similarly, the word 'shut' is not, in itself, a verb."

    That puzzles me. Why do dictionaries identify them as such then? A dictionary is not going to identify "shut" as a preposition, a pronoun, or a conjunction. Dictionaries try to give the possible uses for the words.
    They do not identify 'shut' as a preposition, pronoun or conjunction, because it has not been used as such in recorded English. Barry pointed out that dictionaries do identify 'shut' as both a verb and an adjective, because it has been recorded being used as such.

    What you say about "to" with the infinitive simply saddens me. Those books seem to depend upon the written (printed) word for their message.

    French, "chanter"; Spanish, "cantar"; German, "singen". These are infinitives. In those languages the "to" is not needed because the infinitive is only one word.
    And the infinitive is frequently rendered in English as one word, as in, "I can sing", "Let's go". We should not claim that something must be true in one language just because it is in another, but. if you are going to, note that, just as English requires 'to' in front of the infinitive sometimes, so French sometimes requires '' and 'de', and German sometimes requires 'zu'.

    When a student learns the French word, "chanter", he learns that it means "to sing".
    That does not mean that the student is being taught correctly. It does not mean 'to sing' in 'je peux/dois chanter'.

    In my teaching of morphology and syntax, I try to prepare my students for the study of foreign languages.
    In my teaching of English as a foreign language, I try to teach my students how to understand and produce English correctly. I do my best not to teach morphology, syntax or phonology, but to use my knowledge of these to help them to master English.
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  5. #45
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    5jj,

    Most of what you have written is fine with me. There are, though, some seemingly insurmountable differences in our terms.

    In the American version of morphology, as I know it, the infinitive always is preceded with "to" -- even the past infinitive "to have sung". The word "can" in "can sing" is considered a "helping verb" (quite different from other verbs, in that it does not have an infinitive form. One does not say "to can", but rather "to be able to") helping a the "main verb" "sing", which we would not call the infinitive. We would probably say something similar about "Let's go", calling it the imperative mood -- somewhat similar to "allow us to go".

    I am aware of the "a", "de", and "zu" that you spoke of, but translating "parler" as "speak" would not distinguish it from "parle, parles, parlent" etc. In constructing a conjugation, then, we give, as a title, the infinitive form of the verb, e.g. the conjugation of the verb "parler". je parle, tu parles, il parle, nous parlons, etc.

    The experience of teaching English as a foreign language must be so different from teaching, say, German to native English speakers. In some ways English is SOOO simple. There is almost no need for a conjugation (or a declension). But in going toward a non-English language, I find the verbs "to be" and "to go" quite useful to prepare students for what they will encounter.

    So often I have heard people say that they only understood English grammar when they studied Latin. The use of "traditional grammar" here, is currently very much out of fashion. I think Chomski is partly to blame. I buck that trend.

    I would not want to tackle German without prior knowledge of gender, case, number, tense, mood, relative pronouns, antecedents, irregular verbs, etc.

    I hope this discussion can be continued in good spirit.

    Frank

  6. #46
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    In the American version of morphology, (you still haven't addressed the question of why your understanding of 'morphology' is rather different from that given in British and American dictionaries.) as I know it, the infinitive always is preceded with "to" -- even the past infinitive "to have sung". The word "can" in "can sing" is considered a "helping verb" (quite different from other verbs, in that it does not have an infinitive form. One does not say "to can", but rather "to be able to") helping a the "main verb" "sing", which we would not call the infinitive.

    Well, we have a fundamental difference of opinion here. Most grammarians, British and American, that I have read do consider 'sing' in "I can sing" to be an infinitive. If you think it's not an infinitive (or 'bare infinitive' as it's sometimes called), then what do you think it is?

    We would probably say something similar about "Let's go", calling it the imperative mood -- somewhat similar to "allow us to go".
    Is it of any value to consider that English has an 'imperative mood'?
    It just happens that 'let' is followed by the bare infinitive, and that 'allow' requires 'to' before the infinitive, just as some French verbs require '' and 'de'.

    I am aware of the "a", "de", and "zu" that you spoke of, but translating "parler" as "speak" would not distinguish it from "parle, parles, parlent" etc. In constructing a conjugation, then, we give, as a title, the infinitive form of the verb, e.g. the conjugation of the verb "parler". je parle, tu parles, il parle, nous parlons, etc.
    Frank, we cannot analyse English grammar by talking about what happens in French. One of the problems with the English grammar that was taught until the 1960s (indeed, until today in some places) is that writers tried to apply the rules of Greek and Latin grammar to English. People used to speak of nominative, vocative, accusative, genitive, dative etc cases in English nouns. This is rubbish. Apart from a possible 'possessive' case (with the 's/s' suffix), English nouns do not show case. With some pronouns, it is possible to speak of an 'objective form' but the word 'case' is irrelevant. The English word 'him' can be used to translate an accusative, dative or ablative Latin equivalent; that does not mean that English has these cases..

    The experience of teaching English as a foreign language must be so different from teaching, say, German to native English speakers. In some ways English is SOOO simple.
    Tell that to people trying to learn English!
    I did, for many years, teach German to English speakers, so I do have experience of both sides.
    [...]
    So often I have heard people say that they only understood English grammar when they studied Latin. The use of "traditional grammar" here, is currently very much out of fashion. I think Chomskiy is partly to blame. I buck that trend.
    Fine - if you want to teach 'grammar'. I have never actually seen much point in that. I doubt whether Shakespeare could have told a predicate from a preposition, but that didn't stop him writng a couple of good lines of verse from time to time.

    I would not want to tackle German without prior knowledge of gender, case, number, tense, mood, relative pronouns, antecedents, irregular verbs, etc.
    Well, most Germans manage it pretty well until they go to school, and until about a couple of centuries ago, most of them didn't go to school. Until fairly recent times, most non-German merchants, servants, shippers, hoteliers, etc managed to converse with their German colleagues, masters, clients, etc without the faintest idea of what a 'mood' might be. In some parts of the developing world today, there are illiterate people who can communicate happily in four or more languages.

    I hope this discussion can be continued in good spirit.
    Well, I am in very good spirits.
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  7. #47
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    Bjj,

    Good. We will continue the thread. But I will wait unit a little later in the day to give you a better response.

    I am glad to hear of the term "bare infinitive". I had never heard it before. I could find it useful. Though, within the the young community that I have taught "main verb" (in a verb phrase) works well.

    As long as we remain civil, this discussion could be very useful.

    Frank

  8. #48
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    Bjj,

    I imagine that you have seen this quote from Mark Twain before. I want to be sure to include it in our discussion.

    My philological studies have satisfied me that a gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing) in thirty hours, French in thirty days, and German in thirty years. It seems manifest, then, that the latter tongue ought to be trimmed down and repaired. If it is to remain as it is, it ought to be gently and reverently set aside among the dead languages, for only the dead have time to learn it.
    - Appendix D of A Tramp Abroad, "That Awful German Language"

    Frank

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    As Twain was making a humorous comment, I don't really see that it's relevant.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  10. #50
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    Yes, humorous.

    But if there were no truth behind it, where would the humor be?

    In any case, I will later reply to your other comments.

    Frnak

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