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    #1

    topicalization with "go + V-ing"

    (1a) He went fishing.
    (1b) Fishing he went.

    (2a) She has gone shopping.
    (2b) Shopping she has gone.

    (3a) I will go surfing.
    (3b) Surfing I will go.

    Are both sentences of each pair acceptable?

    Thank you.

  1. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: topicalization with "go + V-ing"

    I don't know if they are acceptable or not, but Yoda might say "Gone shopping she has" or "Go surfing I will".

    Last edited by tzfujimino; 15-Jul-2015 at 07:21. Reason: Link to image deleted

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: topicalization with "go + V-ing"

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    The above hyperlink is broken, perhaps because the poster was using Chrome for Android. I think this one works, but I am not a teacher.
    Last edited by Matthew Wai; 15-Jul-2015 at 06:57.

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    #4

    Re: topicalization with "go + V-ing"

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    (1a) He went fishing.
    (1b) Fishing he went.

    (2a) She has gone shopping.
    (2b) Shopping she has gone.

    (3a) I will go surfing.
    (3b) Surfing I will go.
    As a normal statement of fact, only the (a) sentences are natural in modern English.

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    #5

    Re: topicalization with "go + V-ing"

    As a normal statement of fact, only the
    (a) sentences are natural in modern English.
    Thank you. I agree. What if we added "a- before
    the -ing word (whatever it is -- and I'd be interested
    in talking about that, too, if it's of any interest to you).

    (1c) A-fishing he went.
    (2c) A-shopping she has gone.
    (2d) A-surfing I will go.

    My idea is that the "a-" whatchamacallit, which
    some grammarians say was present historically in
    the "go -ing" construction, shows up (reveals the
    ghost of itself) when the -ing word is topicalized.

    My springs of inspiration here are the title of the
    Three Stooges film "A-Plumbing We Will Go" and the
    old hi-ho-the-dairy-oh song "A-Hunting We Will Go."
    For some reason, the future tense seems best here.

    Also, maybe coordination would make a difference:

    (1d) He said that he would go fishing, and fishing he went.
    (2d) I thought that she had gone shopping, and shopping she has gone.
    (3d) I should like very much to go surfing, and a-surfing I shall go.

  4. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: topicalization with "go + V-ing"

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    What if we added "a- before
    the -ing word (whatever it is -- and I'd be interested
    in talking about that, too, if it's of any interest to you).

    (1c) A-fishing he went.
    (2c) A-shopping she has gone.
    (2d) A-surfing I will go.
    I think that the only one which works here is 2d. 1c and 2c don't seem to work at all, and to me almost sounds like Yoda-speak!

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    My springs of inspiration here are the title of the
    Three Stooges film "A-Plumbing We Will Go" and the
    old hi-ho-the-dairy-oh song "A-Hunting We Will Go."
    For some reason, the future tense seems best here.
    I think it's probably because it's what we all grew up hearing from childhood. You mentioned the old song "A Hunting We Will Go", which has been around since the late 18th century. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-Hunting_We_Will_Go It is, therefore, deeply embedded within the mind of the English-speaking world.

    Interestingly this links to another old song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas", which has the prefixed "a" frozen in the present tense.
    The relevant lines being: Ten lords a-leaping, Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming and Six geese a-laying.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tw...mas_%28song%29

    When I was a boy, in rural west England, some farmers still used this archaic form in phrases like, "I'm a-going to the shops now".

    So you might get away with it in the present and future tenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    Also, maybe coordination would make a difference:

    (1d) He said that he would go fishing, and fishing he went.
    (2d) I thought that she had gone shopping, and shopping she has gone.
    (3d) I should like very much to go surfing, and a-surfing I shall go.
    1d) Seems ok. It's the sort of thing that might be said of a character in a novel. In fact you might find it more emphatically stated as an act of defiance, where someone has told him he shouldn't or mustn't go fishing, so "He said that he would go fishing, and fishing he went!"

    2d) Seems like Yoda-speak again, especially the last four words.

    3d) Works best, because it captures the same spirit of the hunting song. In fact you occasionally hear people jokingly say things like the last clause of your sentence for fun.
    Last edited by Eckaslike; 16-Jul-2015 at 13:36.

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