Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
A ring can roll, so I can notice a ring rolling across the floor.

A ring can shine, so I can notice a ring shining in the drawer.

A ring cannot miss anything, so I cannot use the verb to miss with the noun ring in any but the most abstract personifications (My ring misses my finger).

Just because the adjective missing is derived from the present participle of the verb to miss does not mean that they are interchangable, or even that their meanings are similar.

If thirty pounds of fat were suddenly missing from my torso, I would not miss it one bit.
I admit that is a problem (and I addressed it above).

But if "missing" is an adjective like, say, "boring", or "interesting", then how do we explain the "notice"-constellation?

I noticed an intersting bug. --> *I noticed a bug interesting.

I noticed a boring book. --> *I noticed a book boring.


?I noticed a missing ring. --> I noticed a ring missing.

Adjectives formed from participles do not normally take the "missing" position with "notice". "Interesting" and "boring" behave like an adjective; "missing" does not. No matter what you call the word, the difference exists. "Missing" is odd no matter what you call it.

Quote Originally Posted by ian2
Is there a connection between adjective and present participle? Since we are talking about adjectives from verbs, I think there must be a connection, because however you define them, they are derived from verb anyway. Where is the line that separates adjective from participle? As I said before, when the quality of a verb is fading away, the quality of an adjective is gaining status. So grammarians may like to put the two in a dichotomic format, the reality could be a continuum. Some ings are more adjectival whereas others are more of participle. I am not attempting to discourage the discussion, but just want to throw in my two cents.
That's an interesting question.

One difference I noticed between "interesting/boring" and "missing" is that both "interesting" and "boring" are derived from transitive verbs, while "missing", if a verb of that meaning exists, is derived from an intransitive verb.

That may also be why, to me, "The ring has been missing for days now," sounds more verby to me than "The ring has been interesting for days now." Interesting, in it's particple form, would require an object.

I wonder if all "adjectives" derived from intransitive participles behave more like verbs (in the "noticed" position) than they do like adjectives. I tried to find other intransitive-participle-derived adjectives that do not have a verb equivalent, but couldn't think of any. ( )

What I find interesting about your question is that it treats participle as a word class of its own. Neither verb nor adjective, but participle. That's an interesting approach.