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  1. #21
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: participial phrases -- adverbs or adjectives?

    Quote Originally Posted by dihen View Post
    So is "in the state of grunting and straining" a rewrite that's closer to the original meaning? It sounds strange, of course. Is there a better way to rewrite it as an adverbial?
    `
    Besides that, for me, a question for "Grunting and straining, Jean Valijean lifted the..." can be "He lifted it like that?"; that is, the adverb "like that" can refer to the participial phrase "grunting and straining". Is that possible for you?
    I can't rewrite it as an adverbial, because it is adjectival. One can't lift something in a grunting (straining) manner or gruntingly (strainingly). That is a quality of the subject.

  2. #22
    dihen is offline Member
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    Default Re: participial phrases -- adverbs or adjectives?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I can't rewrite it as an adverbial, because it is adjectival. One can't lift something in a grunting (straining) manner or gruntingly (strainingly). That is a quality of the subject.
    So you don't accept this below? I certainly do!
    `
    statement: "Grunting and straining, Jean Valijean lifted the..."
    question: "He had to lift it like that?"

  3. #23
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: participial phrases -- adverbs or adjectives?

    Quote Originally Posted by dihen View Post
    So you don't accept this below? I certainly do!
    `
    statement: "Grunting and straining, Jean Valijean lifted the..."
    question: "He had to lift it like that?"

    No, I don't. But you are free to believe it.

  4. #24
    dihen is offline Member
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    Default Re: participial phrases -- adverbs or adjectives?

    Do you accept this one?
    `
    statement: "He came into the room whistling."
    question: "Why did he come in like that?"

  5. #25
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: participial phrases -- adverbs or adjectives?

    Quote Originally Posted by dihen View Post
    Do you accept this one?
    `
    statement: "He came into the room whistling."
    question: "Why did he come in like that?"

    Again, "whistling" does not describe the action of "coming". How does someone walk "whistlingly"? Just think about who is whistling.

  6. #26
    dihen is offline Member
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    Default Re: participial phrases -- adverbs or adjectives?

    Do these mean the same to you?
    `
    Code:
    "Running down the street, Alicia tripped and fell."
    and
    "While running down the street, Alicia tripped and fell."
    Are they both adjectives or adverbs? (For me they are both adverbs.)
    `
    Code:
    Being an only child, she felt lonely.
    `
    Because of being an only child, she felt lonely.
    `
    Because she was an only child, she felt lonely.
    I still don't understand why isn't "Being an only child" a gerund with its preposition "because of" omitted? Doesn't it express the "because" meaning?
    Last edited by dihen; 06-Oct-2006 at 06:31.

  7. #27
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: participial phrases -- adverbs or adjectives?

    Quote Originally Posted by dihen View Post
    Do these mean the same to you?
    `
    Code:
    "Running down the street, Alicia tripped and fell."
    and
    "While running down the street, Alicia tripped and fell."
    Are they both adjectives or adverbs? (For me they are both adverbs.)
    `
    Code:
    Being an only child, she felt lonely.
    `
    Because of being an only child, she felt lonely.
    `
    Because she was an only child, she felt lonely.
    I still don't understand why isn't "Being an only child" a gerund with its preposition "because of" omitted? Doesn't it express the "because" meaning?
    When one is analyzing grammar, one must deal with the structure one has. Almost any sentence can be rearranged or rewritten. Such changes also change the grammar analysis. In your first example, the participial phrase is adjectival; the while clause is adverbial.

    In the second case, one can change the participle into a gerund (as you have done), but that doesn't make the first example a gerund.

    John loves sue. (love is a verb)
    John is in love with Sue. (love is no longer a verb)

    Sue hates John's drinking on weekends. (drinking is a gerund - noun)
    Sue hates John drinking on weekends. (drinking is a participle - adjective)

  8. #28
    dihen is offline Member
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    Default Re: participial phrases -- adverbs or adjectives?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    In the second case, one can change the participle into a gerund (as you have done), but that doesn't make the first example a gerund.
    Why not? I consider it a gerund with an empty (or 'null') preposition before it.
    `
    hence:
    "Running down the street, ..."
    `
    -> [AdvP [PP [NP Running down the street] ] ]
    `
    = empty (or 'null') preposition
    Last edited by dihen; 06-Oct-2006 at 17:10.

  9. #29
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: participial phrases -- adverbs or adjectives?

    Quote Originally Posted by dihen View Post
    Why not? I consider it a gerund with an empty (or 'null') preposition before it.
    `
    hence:
    "Running down the street, ..."
    `
    -> [AdvP [PP [NP Running down the street] ] ]
    `
    = empty (or 'null') preposition
    I think we have reached the point of flagellating a deceased equine.

  10. #30
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: participial phrases -- adverbs or adjectives?

    Quote Originally Posted by dihen View Post
    Are participial phrases adverbs or adjectives? Textbooks say that they are adjectives, but I think that restrictive participial phrases are adjectives and that non-restrictive participial phrases are usually adverbials.
    `
    This debate rather puts one in mind of the long-running dispute between pre-quantum era physicists as to whether light was a wave or a particle. (It turned out, of course, to be both - or either, depending on your point of view!)

    Yes, it is certainly true that nonrestrictive participials (i.e. participles/participle phrases) such as e.g. 'being rich' in

    Being rich, he had little empathy with the poor.

    do possess a distinctly adverbial sense, the above instance being functionally parallel (as well as semantically equivalent) to 'because he was rich...' or 'by reason of his wealth...'.

    The analytical difficulty here derives essentially from the syntactically vague status of participles: as their very name (< Latin participium, 'participant') suggests, they are able to 'participate' simultaneously in a number of grammatical functions, being both forms of the verb and yet, at the same time, (typically, at least) adjectival in nature. The problem is then further compounded by the apparent adverbiality that they frequently display when used nonrestrictively as above.

    My own preferred solution to this conundrum is simply to accept that they are both adjectival and adverbial: adjectival, in that (unlike 'pure' adverbials) they do indeed have a nominal referent, yet also adverbial insofar as they provide modificatory information about the verb phrase rather than specifically about that nominal referent, which - unlike restrictive participials - they cannot really be said to 'describe' or 'distinguish' in any way. (And as if this were not enough, they have also, of course, not lost their verbal aspect, since that nominal referent still stands as the agent of the condition or action that they denote! )

    As late as they come, I hope these few thoughts may be of some use.

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