GOING TO, ETC

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Casiopea

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jwschang said:
I am here (predicate adverb). Except that adverb phrases are supposed to be headed only by a preposition or infinitive (I wonder why? and who laid this down!!) and not a participle!! Otherwise, I'd say its an adverb phrase modifying "am".

Huh? That's news to me too. Where did you find that? Let me know. I'm interested in checking it out further. :D

With regard to "I am (situated) here (by X's doing)", reflexive, here modifies situated, a participle: I am situated (participle) in this location (prepositional phrase). predicate adjective

Casiopea said:
Predicate Adjective
I am typing.
==> Typing I am. (Not OK)

jwschang said:
No, that's not a predicate adjective. My post said this one is the present continuous, to contrast with the usage of "going".

Yes. I agree with you there. I was only testing it out to show you that I agreed with you. :D

jwschang said:
Thanks for the input, Cas.

Oh, I'm not letting you off that easy. :D I took the time to think over your analysis. I'm waiting for you to further prove to me that 'going to' is a predicate adjective. Please. :D
 

Tdol

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Casiopea said:
jwschang said:
I am here (predicate adverb). Except that adverb phrases are supposed to be headed only by a preposition or infinitive (I wonder why? and who laid this down!!) and not a participle!! Otherwise, I'd say its an adverb phrase modifying "am".

Huh? That's news to me too. Where did you find that? Let me know. I'm interested in checking it out further. :D

In twenty years of teaching, I've never come across that rule. ;-)
 

Casiopea

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1a He was hoping to eat.

==> He was hoping [that she would eat]. (SV[O])
==> He was hoping [PRO to eat]. (SV[O])

1b. He was eating.
==> He was eating. (SV)

1c. He was going to eat. (Main verb?)

There are two possibilities: 1d and 1e.

1d. He was going [up the stairs]. (SV[O]) progressive/continuous

1e. He was going to go [up the stiars]. (SV[O]) not prog/contin.

1d is the same as 1a and 1b; They are all progressive/continuous.
1e is different from 1d, 1a, and 1b.

6. He was about to eat.
==> was about to (inceptive, i.e. start(ed) to do something)

jwschang said:
"Going" acts like the modal auxiliaries, and conveys the same genre of meaning: intention, obligation, compulsion, possibility, etc.

I agree. Mind you, modals cannot function as predicate adjectives (e.g. *I am ought.) So where then does that leave 'going to'?

jwschang said:
(B) The meaning of "going" here is definitely not as in "I am going home".

Right. I am going home = I am traveling home, whereas I am going to go home = I am planning on traveling home.

jwschang said:
(C) We can't stop at "He is going......", just as we can't stop at "He ought/should/must/will......."

Right. The reason being, going to is transitive, whereas going (e.g. I am going. See you.) is intransitive. Note, go of I am going to go is also instransitive.

jwschang said:
(D) The usage of "going" as meaning "intending" is so ubiquitous that I believe it is a case of its serving or acting as an auxiliary.

First, we know that going and going to are different. The former expresses a present continuity, whereas the latter expresses a future intention:

1) be going = progressive continuous
2) be going to = future intention, modality

Second, what does being ubiquitous have to do with modality? I'm lost.

Third, within the verb phrase am going the word am is the auxiliary. Similarly, within the verb phrase am going to eat the word am is the auxiliary.

A: I am going. main verb (aux+V-ing) intrans.
B: I am going to eat. main verb (aux+V-ing+object) trans.

In short,

A: be going = progressive continuous
B: be going to = future intention, modality (This is not a new idea)

:D
 

Casiopea

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tdol said:
Casiopea said:
jwschang said:
I am here (predicate adverb). Except that adverb phrases are supposed to be headed only by a preposition or infinitive (I wonder why? and who laid this down!!) and not a participle!! Otherwise, I'd say its an adverb phrase modifying "am".

Huh? That's news to me too. Where did you find that? Let me know. I'm interested in checking it out further. :D

In twenty years of teaching, I've never come across that rule. ;-)

Mygawd. I'm not even 20 yet :shock:
______________
Joking :D
 
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jwschang

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Casiopea said:
jwschang said:
Thanks for the input, Cas.
Oh, I'm not letting you off that easy. :D I took the time to think over your analysis. I'm waiting for you to further prove to me that 'going to' is a predicate adjective. Please. :D

No, I'm not trying to prove that "going to" is a predicate adjective. I'm saying that if, as in the examples I gave, "going" is not in fact expressing the continuous tense (I'm talking only about the present and past continuous, not the future or perfect continuous tenses) but is behaving more like an auxiliary, then in those sentences the phrase headed by going is a predicate adjective phrase (or an adverb predicate phrase, etc).
That's because "going", in its currently deemed usage as a continuous tense, is used with "be" (am/is/are/was/were) as the auxiliary. So, if it's not expressing the continuous, it's got to be part of the predicate that "Be" links to its subject.

I raised this to invite some thinking from "you kind people". I'm not arguing strongly for my case, just IMO the usage of "going" doesn't seem quite as forming the continuous tense (except of course when it actually means going somewhere, and not futurity or intention). So, it's got you thinking and analysing, and disputing this "contention", which is exactly why I'm thanking you!!!!! :) :wink: :lol: :roll: :?: :!:

But I'm not declining the debate either. Only thing is, now and again, I'm off the Net for days on end because of my book! So, I do look forward to more from you (and TDOL, Ron, and whoever else thinks this subject is worthy of thought and debate). If you and everybody else had just ignored this posting, uh.......poor me. :wink:
 
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jwschang

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tdol said:
Casiopea said:
jwschang said:
I am here (predicate adverb). Except that adverb phrases are supposed to be headed only by a preposition or infinitive (I wonder why? and who laid this down!!) and not a participle!! Otherwise, I'd say its an adverb phrase modifying "am".
Huh? That's news to me too. Where did you find that? Let me know. I'm interested in checking it out further. :D
In twenty years of teaching, I've never come across that rule. ;-)

It's not a rule like such as Concord. It's concluded from certain grammar books where the writers classify and deal with the usage of phrases. One is "Basic English Review" by Schacter/Clark/Schneiter, which is used by communication and English teachers in one of the universities here. This particular book classifies phrases into prepositional, infinitive and participial phrases, with the first two (but not the last) as being applicable as adverbs. I was referring to such classifications (I guessed the writers are pretty authoritative grammarians), so I wondered "why so" and "who laid this down". So, it's me putting it wrongly by saying it's some sort of "rule", because students do tend to go by the books they use. Statement is withdrawn with deep regrets and apologies for causing nasty surprises. :oops: :cry: :( :oops: :cry:
 
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jwschang

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Casiopea said:
1a He was hoping to eat.
==> He was hoping [that she would eat]. (SV[O])
==> He was hoping [PRO to eat]. (SV[O])
1b. He was eating.
==> He was eating. (SV)
1c. He was going to eat. (Main verb?)
There are two possibilities: 1d and 1e.

1d. He was going [up the stairs]. (SV[O]) progressive/continuous
1e. He was going to go [up the stiars]. (SV[O]) not prog/contin.

1d is the same as 1a and 1b; They are all progressive/continuous.
1e is different from 1d, 1a, and 1b.

6. He was about to eat.
==> was about to (inceptive, i.e. start(ed) to do something)
:D
Yea, I'm talking about "going" as used in (1e), when it's not expressing movement but intention or futurity.
 
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jwschang

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Casiopea said:
jwschang said:
"Going" acts like the modal auxiliaries, and conveys the same genre of meaning: intention, obligation, compulsion, possibility, etc.
I agree. Mind you, modals cannot function as predicate adjectives (e.g. *I am ought.) So where then does that leave 'going to'?
:D

Agreed, it's not entirely like the modals. Its looks a special case. The modals are not all the same in every way either: MUST has only one form, OUGHT is always followed by TO. Construction-wise (active voice), the modals are: Modal + Infinitive, etc.
If "going" acts as a modal, its constructions are more varied than the true modals: such as, Aux (will) + Be + Going + Infinitive (say, to eat), and so on. The true modals can't be, for example, "Will be can doing".
 
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jwschang

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Casiopea said:
jwschang said:
(D) The usage of "going" as meaning "intending" is so ubiquitous that I believe it is a case of its serving or acting as an auxiliary.

Second, what does being ubiquitous have to do with modality? I'm lost.
:D

The modals are very frequently used, to express the very varieties of meaning that they have. In the same way, the use of (going + infinitive) to express intention or futurity is ubiquitous, probably even more frequent than its meaning of actual movement (going somewhere). :wink:
 

Tdol

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jwschang said:
It's not a rule like such as Concord. It's concluded from certain grammar books where the writers classify and deal with the usage of phrases. One is "Basic English Review" by Schacter/Clark/Schneiter, which is used by communication and English teachers in one of the universities here. This particular book classifies phrases into prepositional, infinitive and participial phrases, with the first two (but not the last) as being applicable as adverbs. I was referring to such classifications (I guessed the writers are pretty authoritative grammarians), so I wondered "why so" and "who laid this down". So, it's me putting it wrongly by saying it's some sort of "rule", because students do tend to go by the books they use. Statement is withdrawn with deep regrets and apologies for causing nasty surprises. :oops: :cry: :( :oops: :cry:

;-) ;-) ;-)
 
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jwschang

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Casiopea said:
jwschang said:
Thanks for the input, Cas.
Oh, I'm not letting you off that easy. :D I took the time to think over your analysis. I'm waiting for you to further prove to me that 'going to' is a predicate adjective. Please. :D

All right, Cas. A bit more food for thought or fuel to fire. Consider this:

Here is my computer right next to me. I'M GOING TO TYPE A LETTER. (OK, clearly not going anywhere, but means intention or futurity)

(A) STUDENT: Teacher, what tense is that sentence?
TEACHER: That's in the Present Continuous.
STUDENT: The Present Continuous shows an action in progress, but I haven't begun typing?
TEACHER: That's OK. Remember, the Present Continuous also expresses a future action about to happen or an action that we have decided or intended to do.

(B) STUDENT: We learned that in (a) "The rain is coming", "coming" is the main verb; (b) "I was typing", "typing" is the main verb". We learned that the Main verb is the action that actually happens or is actually done. In that sentence, is the MAIN verb "GOING" or is it "TYPE"?

What's the answer? I guess we can only say this:

TEACHER: TYPE is the main verb. Using "going" here is different from your other two sentences. It is not the main verb because it is not used to mean that we are "going" somewhere.
TEACHER: Remember that we have many exceptions to general rules of usage in English? Such as the singular "You" takes a plural verb? The usage of "going" in this sentence is also an exception. The sentence IS in the Present Continuous, BUT the main verb is TYPE and not GOING.

Any other explanation for the student? Or, should the student be told that GOING is the main verb, not TYPE? :wink:
 

Casiopea

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jwschang said:
So, if it's not expressing the continuous, it's got to be part of the predicate that "Be" links to its subject.

I am in agreement with you. I'd like to see how you argue it, that's all. That 'be going to' is a verb + predicate adjective is not a new idea in the field of linguistics. There's a linguist, whose name fails me at the moment (it starts with M-), who argues that 'be supposed to', like 'be going to' is a a verb + predicate adjective. I agree with his analysis--I just wanted to see if you were going to argue it the same way as he did. Knowledge is power. If I can dig it up (1987) I'll send it your way. :D

While I've got you here, I wonder if you've the time to review absolute phrases?

A noun phrase can also exist as an absolute phrase:

Your best friends, where are they now, when you need them?

==> My work finished,... [Absolute phrase] :D

http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/phrases.htm#absolute

:D
 
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jwschang

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Casiopea said:
jwschang said:
So, if it's not expressing the continuous, it's got to be part of the predicate that "Be" links to its subject.

I am in agreement with you. I'd like to see how you argue it, that's all. That 'be going to' is a verb + predicate adjective is not a new idea in the field of linguistics. There's a linguist, whose name fails me at the moment (it starts with M-), who argues that 'be supposed to', like 'be going to' is a a verb + predicate adjective. I agree with his analysis--I just wanted to see if you were going to argue it the same way as he did. Knowledge is power. If I can dig it up (1987) I'll send it your way. :D

While I've got you here, I wonder if you've the time to review absolute phrases?
A noun phrase can also exist as an absolute phrase:
Your best friends, where are they now, when you need them?
==> My work finished,... [Absolute phrase] :D
http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/phrases.htm#absolute
:D

I thought what I think about "going" was something quite heretical! So there's a serious linguist in this Mr M who has in fact argued this heresy. I was really just curious about the whole thing, especially since "going" is used so often as intention.

From what I understand, an Absolute phrase is a phrase construction, as distinguished from a Noun phrase which is referring to usage. Absolute phrases, Infinitive phrases, Continuous Participle phrases all can be used as a Noun phrase, as in:
(A true friend) is hard to come by. (Absolute phrase as Noun)
(To do it now) is most advantageous. (Infinitive phrase as Noun)
(Waiting for people) can be quite vexing. (Participle phrase as Noun).

Again, from what I understand, construction classification is based on the word that heads the phrase (except for Absolute phrases). To eat quickly.... is an Infinitive phrase; Taken by surprise..... is a Participle phrase....; In a loud shirt.....is a Preposition phrase; .....With a beautiful singing voice... is a Preposition phrase. I think of an Absolute phrase as consisting of a noun or nouns and its modifiers, such as: A shrewd businessman..., My work finished (noun "work", modifiers "my" and "finished")

Some books don't (or fail to) distinguish between classification by construction on the one hand, and classification by usage on the other.

The usage classification is not a problem, since it is no more than saying what part of speech the phrase is being used as: noun, adjective, adverb. The construction classification can be a problem of proliferation of types of phrases. For example,
1. (Running at full stretch), he caught up with the bus.
2. (Suddenly turning the corner), he ran into me.
(1) is a Participle phrase, but (2)?
If we say (2) is an Adverb phrase (headed by adverb "suddenly") then there is no end to the types of construction. Personally, I would regard (2) as a Participle phrase (but preceded by an adverb). Another example,
3. (Taken by surprise), they......
4. (Secretly produced in backyards), the.....
I would regard both (3) and (4) as a Participle phrase.

The problem with construction classification is that, to be meaningful it must have a consistent basis, and to be practical you should not have a whole proliferation of it. This latter can easily happen because a longer phrase can be broken down into shorter "sub-phrases" and so where do you end up? For example, if we regard "A shrewd and careful businessman" as an Adjective phrase (by construction, not usage) just because it's headed by the article "A", then there's no end to it. So, I regard it as an Absolute phrase.

For very good reasons, the two classifications don't overlap:
(A) Construction:
1. Absolute phrase
2. Preposition phrase
3. Infinitive phrase
4. Participle phrase (Continuous or Perfect Participle)
(B) Usage:
1. Noun phrase
2. Adjective phrase
3. Adverb phrase

Where and how does a "verb phrase" fit? "I want (to learn to fly)". I'd say this is an Infinitive phrase (by construction) used as a Noun phrase (as object of "want").

These comments are IMHO. :wink:
 
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jwschang

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Casiopea said:
jwschang said:
So, if it's not expressing the continuous, it's got to be part of the predicate that "Be" links to its subject.

I am in agreement with you. I'd like to see how you argue it, that's all. That 'be going to' is a verb + predicate adjective is not a new idea in the field of linguistics. There's a linguist, whose name fails me at the moment (it starts with M-), who argues that 'be supposed to', like 'be going to' is a a verb + predicate adjective. I agree with his analysis--I just wanted to see if you were going to argue it the same way as he did. Knowledge is power. If I can dig it up (1987) I'll send it your way. :D

While I've got you here, I wonder if you've the time to review absolute phrases?
A noun phrase can also exist as an absolute phrase:
Your best friends, where are they now, when you need them?
==> My work finished,... [Absolute phrase] :D
http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/phrases.htm#absolute
:D

I thought what I think about "going" was something quite heretical! So there's a serious linguist in this Mr M who has in fact argued this heresy. I was really just curious about the whole thing, especially since "going" is used so often as intention. :roll:

From what I understand, an Absolute phrase is a phrase construction, as distinguished from a Noun phrase which is referring to usage. Absolute phrases, Infinitive phrases, Continuous Participle phrases all can be used as a Noun phrase, as in:
(A true friend) is hard to come by. (Absolute phrase as Noun)
(To do it now) is most advantageous. (Infinitive phrase as Noun)
(Waiting for people) can be quite vexing. (Participle phrase as Noun).

Again, from what I understand, construction classification is based on the word that heads the phrase (except for Absolute phrases). To eat quickly.... is an Infinitive phrase; Taken by surprise..... is a Participle phrase....; In a loud shirt.....is a Preposition phrase; .....With a beautiful singing voice... is a Preposition phrase. I think of an Absolute phrase as consisting of a noun or nouns and its modifiers, such as: A shrewd businessman..., My work finished (noun "work", modifiers "my" and "finished")

Some books don't (or fail to) distinguish between classification by construction on the one hand, and classification by usage on the other.

The usage classification is not a problem, since it is no more than saying what part of speech the phrase is being used as: noun, adjective, adverb. The construction classification can be a problem of proliferation of types of phrases. For example,
1. (Running at full stretch), he caught up with the bus.
2. (Suddenly turning the corner), he ran into me.
(1) is a Participle phrase, but (2)?
If we say (2) is an Adverb phrase (headed by adverb "suddenly") then there is no end to the types of construction. Personally, I would regard (2) as a Participle phrase (but preceded by an adverb). Another example,
3. (Taken by surprise), they......
4. (Secretly produced in backyards), the.....
I would regard both (3) and (4) as a Participle phrase.

The problem with construction classification is that, to be meaningful it must have a consistent basis, and to be practical you should not have a whole proliferation of it. This latter can easily happen because a longer phrase can be broken down into shorter "sub-phrases" and so where do you end up? For example, if we regard "A shrewd and careful businessman" as an Adjective phrase (by construction, not usage) just because it's headed by the article "A", then there's no end to it. So, I regard it as an Absolute phrase.

For very good reasons, the two classifications don't overlap:
(A) Construction:
1. Absolute phrase
2. Preposition phrase
3. Infinitive phrase
4. Participle phrase (Continuous or Perfect Participle)
(B) Usage:
1. Noun phrase
2. Adjective phrase
3. Adverb phrase

Where and how does a "verb phrase" fit? "I want (to learn to fly)". I'd say this is an Infinitive phrase (by construction) used as a Noun phrase (as object of "want").

These comments are IMHO. :wink:
 

Casiopea

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jwschang said:
I thought what I think about "going" was something quite heretical! So there's a serious linguist in this Mr M who has in fact argued this heresy. I was really just curious about the whole thing, especially since "going" is used so often as intention. :roll:

I still can't find the book by M-; but here's something worth noting. 'be going to' has been viewed as a semi-modal since 1962.

Semi modals, for Strang (1962: 147) this group includes: use(d) to, be going to, be (about) to, have to, want to, ought to. For Joos (1968: 22-30) it consists of be to, be going to, be about to, have to, be able to, be supposed to, and used to; for him ought to is a modal proper. Palmer's list, as a final example, comprises be bound to, be able to, have (got) to, be going to, be willing to (1988: 94).

http://wwwhomes.uni-bielefeld.de/sgramley/Folder-Notes1.html

Also, '..futures are indicated by using a modal auxliary, will or shall, or by using a semi-modal construction like be going to.'

http://www.wsu.edu/~gordonl/S2002/326/Verbs.htm#tense

More food: A pair of papers from CLS (Publications from the Nth Regional Meeting, Chicago Linguistic Society <http://humanities.uchicago.edu/humanities/cls/>, explicate the semantic and syntactic distinctions between the (American) English usage of 'will' and 'be going to', written by Robert Binnick. They are called, surprisingly, "Will and Be Going To" and "Will and Be Going To II", and they were published in the 70's.

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jlawler/aue/modals.html

Other Papers worth the read

Tense and Modals Tim Stowell, UCLA
http://www.linguistics.ucla.edu/people/stowell/Stowell-Tense&Modals.pdf

On the Structural Properties of Modals
http://www.bogglesworld.com/glossary/modals.htm

Properties of English Modals (cross-cultural study)
http://www.uqu.edu.sa/majalat/humanities/vol14/f9.htm

Semi-auxiliaries
http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~xtag/tech-report/node182.html
http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~xtag/tech-report/node184.html

jwschang said:
From what I understand, an Absolute phrase is a phrase construction, as distinguished from a Noun phrase which is referring to usage. Absolute phrases, Infinitive phrases, Continuous Participle phrases all can be used as a Noun phrase, as in:
(A true friend) is hard to come by. (Absolute phrase as Noun)
(To do it now) is most advantageous. (Infinitive phrase as Noun)
(Waiting for people) can be quite vexing. (Participle phrase as Noun).

Could we then call 'Waiting for people' a gerund phrase instead of the long 'a participle phrase (functioning) as a noun'?

jwschang said:
Again, from what I understand, construction classification is based on the word that heads the phrase (except for Absolute phrases).

Actually, there is a term for absolute phrases: nominal absolutes. :wink:

jwschang said:
I think of an Absolute phrase as consisting of a noun or nouns and its modifiers, such as: A shrewd businessman..., My work finished (noun "work", modifiers "my" and "finished")

So, is My work finished, I went home an absolute phrase functioning as a adjective or is it a an adjective phrase functioning as an adjective? That is,

My work having been finished = ? phrase

jwschang said:
Some books don't (or fail to) distinguish between classification by construction on the one hand, and classification by usage on the other.

Isn't that the honest truth. 8)

jwschang said:
The usage classification is not a problem, since it is no more than saying what part of speech the phrase is being used as: noun, adjective, adverb. The construction classification can be a problem of proliferation of types of phrases. For example,

1. (Running at full stretch), he caught up with the bus.
2. (Suddenly turning the corner), he ran into me.

(1) is a Participle phrase, but (2)?

(2) takes the form of a participle phrase. As for its function, I feel that in knowing that adverbs like 'suddenly' are sentencial (can occur at the beginning or end of a sentence), I'd switch it around so as to find the true structure: "turning the corner suddenly" = participle phrase functioning as a (help?).

jwschang said:
If we say (2) is an Adverb phrase (headed by adverb "suddenly") then there is no end to the types of construction. Personally, I would regard (2) as a Participle phrase (but preceded by an adverb).

Ok. Its form is that of a participle, but what's its function? It modifies 'ran', so its an adverb in function?

jwschang said:
Another example,
3. (Taken by surprise), they......
4. (Secretly produced in backyards), the.....
I would regard both (3) and (4) as a Participle phrase.

So would I. But, again, though, what is its function? Consider,

Searching diligently, he soon found the lost coin.

"Searching diligently" modifies the verb 'found', so we know it functions as an adverb (not an adverb phrase), an adverb. "Searching diligently" is made up of a participle (Searching) and an adverb (diligently). The head of that phrase is "Searching", we know this because we can move "diligently" around. Since the head of the phrase is a participle, we have two choices of form: Adjective phrase and Noun phrase (gerund). Adjectives are modified by adverbs, whereas noun are never modified by adverbs, yet Searching diligently is something I did last weekend" functions as a Noun phrase, a gerund. The reason being is that it refers to a thing. In contrast, "Searching diligently, he soon found the lost coin" functions as a(n) (help?)

jwschang said:
The problem with construction classification is that, to be meaningful it must have a consistent basis, and to be practical you should not have a whole proliferation of it.

I'm not sure if I read that the way you intended, so bare with my stupidity here. Words and phrases are categorized according to form and then analysed based on their function. A prep phrase can have only one form, yet more than one function. That system is not only 'practical' it's economical.

jwschang said:
For example, if we regard "A shrewd and careful businessman" as an Adjective phrase (by construction, not usage) just because it's headed by the article "A", then there's no end to it. So, I regard it as an Absolute phrase.

I see what you mean. Linear parsing. If, so, then, wouldn't it be Article phrase? :D Seriously, though, since Article phrases do not exist, and "a" pairs with nouns, Noun phrase would be the next best choice, I agree.

jwschang said:
For very good reasons, the two classifications don't overlap:

(A) Construction:
1. Absolute phrase
2. Preposition phrase
3. Infinitive phrase
4. Participle phrase (Continuous or Perfect Participle)

(B) Usage:
1. Noun phrase
2. Adjective phrase
3. Adverb phrase

What's the good reason? :D Moreover, could you offer some examples illustrating the difference between a participle phrase functioning as an adjective, a noun, and an adverb? :D

jwschang said:
Where and how does a "verb phrase" fit? "I want (to learn to fly)". I'd say this is an Infinitive phrase (by construction) used as a Noun phrase (as object of "want").

Interesting. Infinitives are tradionationally classified as verbals, the same category as gerunds. Interesting.

:D

This was very interesting. Thank you :D
 
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Casiopea said:
jwschang said:
Again, from what I understand, construction classification is based on the word that heads the phrase (except for Absolute phrases).

jwschang said:
The usage classification is not a problem, since it is no more than saying what part of speech the phrase is being used as: noun, adjective, adverb. The construction classification can be a problem of proliferation of types of phrases. For example,

1. (Running at full stretch), he caught up with the bus.
2. (Suddenly turning the corner), he ran into me.

(1) is a Participle phrase, but (2)?
If we say (2) is an Adverb phrase (headed by adverb "suddenly") then there is no end to the types of construction. Personally, I would regard (2) as a Participle phrase (but preceded by an adverb).

Ok. Its form is that of a participle, but what's its function? It modifies 'ran', so its an adverb in function? In this particular sentence (2), I would say its a Participle Phrase used as an Adjective phrase to describe the pronoun "he".
:D

The function or usage of a phrase is not tied to its construction although the former may be limited by the latter.
(A) For example, I would be hard put to find an Absolute phrase or a Participle phrase being used as an Adverb (i.e. as an Adverb phrase). Adverb phrases are usually a Preposition phrase or an Infinitive phrase.
(B) Bearing (A) in mind, a certain type of phrase by construction may be used as a Noun phrase, Adjective phrase or Adverb phrase, depending entirely on how it is used in a particular sentence. This is like the noun English being used as an adjective in "English lessons".

In other words, classification by construction is a fixed thing: A phrase is either an (a) Absolute phrase (b) Preposition phrase (c) Infinitive phrase (d) Participle phrase. "Classification" by usage is not fixed: a certain type by construction may be used as a (a) Noun phrase (b) Adjective phrase (c) Adverb phrase. The very word "usage" means it all depends on "as what or how" it is used in the sentence.

For example, the Infinitive phrase is the most versatile:
1. He wants (to start a new business). (Serving as Noun phrase, object of "wants")
2. Did he tell her what (to cook for dinner)? (Serving as Adjective phrase to describe pronoun/object "what")
3. The law (to reduce pollution) has wide support. (Serving as Adjective phrase to describe noun "law")
4. I'm glad (to hear of your success). (Serving as Adverb phrase modifying verb "glad").

The Preposition phrase is also versatile:
5. His commitment (to our cause) is admirable. (Serving as Adjective phrase describing noun "commitment")
6. Birds (of a feather) flock together. (Serving as Adjective phrase describing noun "birds")
7. Casiopea went (to the grocers nearby). (Serving as Adverb phrase modifying verb "went") (Note: Preposition phrases are used as Adverb phrases to modify intransitive verbs.) :wink:
 
J

jwschang

Guest
Casiopea said:
jwschang said:
From what I understand, an Absolute phrase is a phrase construction, as distinguished from a Noun phrase which is referring to usage. Absolute phrases, Infinitive phrases, Continuous Participle phrases all can be used as a Noun phrase, as in:
(A true friend) is hard to come by. (Absolute phrase as Noun)
(To do it now) is most advantageous. (Infinitive phrase as Noun)
(Waiting for people) can be quite vexing. (Participle phrase as Noun).

Could we then call 'Waiting for people' a gerund phrase instead of the long 'a participle phrase (functioning) as a noun'?
:D

I would think it's a Participle phrase serving as a Noun phrase. It's not a gerund because a gerund is the Continuous Participle used as a noun. In that sentence, while the phrase itself serves as a noun, the word "waiting" is used as a participle and not a noun WITHIN the phrase.

Moreover, by just calling it a gerund phrase only tells its construction, not its usage. I think construction and usage should be clearly distinguished.
We need to know construction so we know the types of how phrases are FORMED, or how to form them. We obviously need to know their usage IN A PARTICULAR sentence, so we know how they can be USED. :wink:
 

Casiopea

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jwschang said:
2. (Suddenly turning the corner), he ran into me.

I would say its...used as an Adjective phrase to describe the pronoun "he".

Can you show me how to determine that it's an adjective modifying "he". The reason being is that it's a new one for me and I'd like to understand it better. :D

Thank you for the list of infinitive and preposition phrases functioning as adjectives. I'm more interested in participles, though. That was my original request. :oops:

:D
 
J

jwschang

Guest
Casiopea said:
jwschang said:
I think of an Absolute phrase as consisting of a noun or nouns and its modifiers, such as: A shrewd businessman..., My work finished (noun "work", modifiers "my" and "finished")

So, is My work finished, I went home an absolute phrase functioning as a adjective or is it a an adjective phrase functioning as an adjective? That is,
My work having been finished = ? phrase
:D

I would think it's an Absolute phrase serving as an Adjective phrase. From how I look at the difference between a Construction classification and a Usage classification, the two do not overlap. That is, by construction there is no such thing as an Adjective phrase; by usage, obviously there are many Adjective phrases using Absolute/Preposition/Infinitive/Participle constructions.

I see "My work having been finished" as an Absolute phrase, made up of (centred on) the noun "work" with its modifiers "my" and "having been finished". If you break the phrase into two parts: [My work] + [Having been finished], then the first is an Absolute phrase ("work" and it modifier "my"), and the second is a Participle phrase (headed by "having") which serves as an Adjective phrase describing the first phrase [my work].
This is consistent because in the entire phrase "My work having been finished", [having been finished] is one of the two modifiers (adjectives) of the noun "work".
 
J

jwschang

Guest
Casiopea said:
jwschang said:
2. (Suddenly turning the corner), he ran into me.
I would say its...used as an Adjective phrase to describe the pronoun "he".

Can you show me how to determine that it's an adjective modifying "he". The reason being is that it's a new one for me and I'd like to understand it better. :D
Thank you for the list of infinitive and preposition phrases functioning as adjectives. I'm more interested in participles, though. That was my original request. :oops:
:D

We can see examples of a Participle phrase describing a pronoun (or noun) where the pronoun is either the subject or object of a verb.

1. I saw him (coming up the street). The phrase describes the object pronoun "him". (Note: "him" is the direct object of "saw", and the phrase describes "him")
2. (Coming up the street), he suddenly stopped. The phrase describes the subject pronoun "he".
3. (Putting on his coat), Ron went out. The phrase describes subject "Ron".
4. (Pressed into a corner), they resisted. The phrase describes the subject pronoun "they". This is clearer, in that the phrase is not modifying the verb "resisted".

But:
5. I asked him (what to do). Absolute phrase (headed by/consisting of pronoun "what") serving as Noun phrase/object of "asked".
 
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