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Thread: verbs

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    #31

    Re: verbs

    Thank you, Svartnik, for your valiant attempts to educate one or two others here in the rudiments of syntactic analysis!

    I will conclude my contribution to this thread by summarizing the main points that will by now - I hope and trust - have begun to become clear:

    1. Depending on the case, a participle, despite its innate capacity to function adjectivally, can, as a derivative of the verb, be legitimately regarded as a constituent of the verb phrase.

    2. Whether a participle in any given case is to be construed verbally or adjectivally, although subject to a range of potentially complex factors, will depend ultimately on whether the sentence/clause containing it is predicated as an action or merely as a description.

    3. Although there may be moot cases where a determination in this regard cannot be made with absolute certainty, the presence of certain adverbs/adverbials will frequently serve to disambiguate the status of the participle as primarily verbal or as primarily adjectival.

    4. One such case would be an adverb of manner such as 'quickly', which, being inherently incapable of functioning as submodifier within the adjective phrase, will unambiguously mark the verb phrase as the predicator of an action, and not of a description.

    5. Since such an adverb can no more meaningfully function as a modifier to a lone copula than it can to a lone adjectival, it can logically be construed only as a modifier to the entire phrase consisting of BOTH the copula and the participle, such cases amounting to clear proof that a copula-participle combination is capable of constituting a syntagmatic verbal unit, i.e. a verb phrase.

    QED

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    #32

    Re: verbs

    Woah:
    A bit back it was 'a kind of temporal adjunct', an adverb of time for us peasants. Now it's an adverb of manner? Changed quickly, this quickly.

    You do have, of course, other examples to clearly prove what you maintain.

    Maybe you would like to explain how this simple four word sentence works, in your esteemed opinion. He was quickly dead. You know, what plays which role, what modifies what where. Adverbs do modify other words in sentences? They are not just there on their own?
    Last edited by Pedroski; 01-Jul-2009 at 09:55.

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    #33

    Re: verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    (Q)uickly is a temporal adverb, an adjunct, as are, among others, yesterday or very soon. It establishes when something happens. It can't modify the adjective dead, in my opinion.
    I'm not sure how your argument plays out here. The adverb quickly modifies dead in the same way that almost does in he was almost dead and soon in he was soon dead and very in he was very dead. That they are adjunctive is suspect as the semantics here prove:

    • He was dead yesterday. <adjunct>
    • He was quickly dead. <non-adjunctive>
    Omit quickly and the primary semantics change, which tells us that quickly modifies the adjective dead. No matter the nomenclature, there are only three possible interpretations. Quickly modifies
    1. the adjective dead.
    2. the semantically empty copula. How's that possible?
    2. the pronoun he. How's that possible?


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    #34

    Re: verbs

    Or the phrase was dead.

    Achilles struck Hector, and his foe was quickly dead.

    (Q)uickly says when and not at what pace. What is when? It is the act of becoming dead (was dead), and not dead.
    Adjectives do not show tense, do not have a temporal aspect to them, to which time adverbs in the sentence could be attached. The verb that shows tense is is in the sentence. Should it somehow not be ivolved in that attachment?


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    #35

    Re: verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    Woah:
    A bit back it was 'a kind of temporal adjunct', an adverb of time for us peasants. Now it's an adverb of manner? Changed quickly, this quickly.
    I do not know why Philo was making reference to participles. (D)ead is not a participle, "quickly" is not an adverb of mode in Raymott's sentence.


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    #36

    Re: verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    [*]He was dead yesterday. <adjunct>[*]He was quickly dead. <non-adjunctive>[/LIST][/INDENT]Omit quickly and the primary semantics change, which tells us that quickly modifies the adjective dead.
    I am not sure why. Expain it to me, please.

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    #37

    Re: verbs

    Hey Svartnik,
    Philo was talking about two things: one: quickly hidden, two: quickly dead.

    He originally said 'quickly hidden' proved that hidden was a participle, because it was an adverb that couldn't modify an adjective. Raymott came up with quickly dead, an adjective modified by quickly. This negates Philo's argument. You however don't want to accept that quickly modifies dead. So please explain what it modifies!

    He was quickly dead.

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    #38

    Re: verbs

    (Message deleted because redundant. Sorry.)

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    #39

    Re: verbs

    [quote=Pedroski;489208]Woah:
    A bit back it was 'a kind of temporal adjunct', an adverb of time for us peasants. Now it's an adverb of manner? Changed quickly, this quickly.

    It can have both functions. Either way, it is a verb phrase-modifier (adjunct, whether of manner or of time) and never an adjective-modifier (submodifier).

    Maybe you would like to explain how this simple four word sentence works, in your esteemed opinion. He was quickly dead.

    HE: pronoun, subject
    WAS: finite verb, copula, linking 'he' to 'dead'
    QUICKLY: adverb (here temporal, ="soon"), modifying 'was'
    DEAD: adjective, complementing 'was'.


    (I think, by the way, you would find the above to be the 'esteemed opinion' of any grammarian worth his salt!)

    That is, I'm afraid, all the time that I intend to devote to this topic. As far as I am concerned, the original point at issue - the intrinsically verbal nature of a participle - has been sufficiently demonstrated. I'll leave the rest of you to slug it out further if you wish. No doubt we shall have other opportunities to discuss this and related matters in future threads!

    EOC
    Last edited by philo2009; 02-Jul-2009 at 08:13.


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    #40

    Re: verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedroski View Post
    Hey Svartnik,
    Philo was talking about two things: one: quickly hidden, two: quickly dead.

    He originally said 'quickly hidden' proved that hidden was a participle, because it was an adverb that couldn't modify an adjective. Raymott came up with quickly dead, an adjective modified by quickly. This negates Philo's argument. You however don't want to accept that quickly modifies dead. So please explain what it modifies!

    He was quickly dead.
    (Q)uickly is a predicate adjunct, in my opinion, and therefore modifies the predicate (was dead).

    And you please puch holes in this:

    Achilles struck Hector, and his foe was quickly dead.

    (Q)uickly says when and not at what pace. What is when? It is the act of becoming dead (was dead), and not dead.


    Adjectives are stative; they do not show tense, do not have a temporal aspect to them, to which time adverbs in the sentence could be attached. The verb that shows tense is is in the sentence. Should it somehow not be ivolved in that attachment?

    A yesterday dead man
    A yesterday happy man
    A yesterday big man
    A yesterday red and today green chameleon
    A yesterday dead and today alive man

    What do you think, Pedro?

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