Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 73

Thread: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    London
    Native language
    English - British
    Posts
    9,464

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    Quote Originally Posted by lucas-sp View Post
    Other examples of deverbal prepositions include "concerning," "following," etc. Perhaps you can notice how these words take up new, not-quite-verbal-anymore, uses when you look at a sentence like "Following the movie, we had coffee." It's very hard to "unpack" "following" into a relative clause with the verb "to follow." The point is that it takes on a new use that's not entirely reducible to its use as a verbal word like a participle or gerund.
    In a sentence such as 'Following the movie, we had coffee', I would prefer to see the participial phrase as being in apposition to the sentence and equivalent to a 'what is more' clause.

    For comparison, 'What is more, the new tablet will brush your teeth and comb your hair.' Here 'what is more' means 'additionally to what has already been said'. It does not say that the tablet is more, but that these further functions of it represent an addition to those mentioned already.

    Similarly 'Following the movie, we had coffee' does not say that we or the coffee followed the movie. It is equivalent to 'What followed the movie, we had coffee' meaning that the action of having coffee followed the movie.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Native language
    English - Californian
    Posts
    9,108

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    Quote Originally Posted by wandle View Post
    'Verbal' means 'coming from a verb'. For example, a gerund is a verbal noun.
    'Deverbal' does not make any sense that I can see. 'De-' is used as a prefix with the sense of 'remove', as in 'decorticated', 'deracinated' etc.

    A 'deverbed' preposition would be one with the verb removed, but that still makes no sense, unless you started from a preposition which contained a verb.
    Sorry, you've got some terminology confused here. Gerunds and participles (and infinitives etc.) are verbals - they are still forms of the verb from which they are formed. Other words, like "dedicatee" and "walk" (as in "his walk") are deverbals - they come from the verb but have moved away from it semantically and in terms of use. The "de-" in "deverbal" shouldn't suggest that something has been "un-verbed"; instead, it suggests this motion away from the original locus of the verb's use and meaning (like the "de-" in "derived").

    Actually, "siding" and "following" (in the sense given above) are no longer verbals, but are deverbals. Their use and meaning have wandered a bit away from those of the gerund-participles "siding" and "following" (which obviously look the same). Remember, just because two words look the same and sound the same doesn't mean they are the same. So "Siding with his wife in the argument, the customer demanded to see a manager" contains a participle, but "Buy our new aluminum siding!" contains a deverbal noun.

    In a way, "failing" is a very good example of this. We can use "Failing an admission of guilt, the case will go to trial." But nobody today would use "If an admission of guilt fail..." I don't even think most English-speakers would understand the latter sentence. This is, to me, evidence that the word "failing" has moved away from the verb "to fail," which really doesn't mean "to be lacking/absent" any more.

    I'm sure that this explanation won't satisfy everyone. But honestly, when every dictionary lists "failing" as a preposition and when deverbals are a recognized phenomenon in linguistics, fighting against these classifications seems kind-of pointless.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Native language
    English - Californian
    Posts
    9,108

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    Quote Originally Posted by Sutemi View Post
    I'd like to change all "gerund" into "-ing-form".

    But I still think that you can say "failing admitting speeding", even though it's not the first option a native speaker would choose. But we can have alternative, but still correct, ways to say things. At least it seems that the opinions are somewhat divided.
    The sentence we began with was: "Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court." The problem is that "failing admitting speeding" is very unclear. It leaves us with questions particular to this specific phrase (who's doing the "admitting"?), and with questions that will accrue in all cases where there is more than one -ing form (are these adjectives or nouns or verbs or what?). Articles and prepositions can help clear this up, as can changing to other forms of the verb: "Failing an admission of speeding," "Failing his admitting speeding," etc.

    Is "failing admitting speeding" possible? I'd say yes. It's even understandable. But it's very inelegant. I don't think it would be the 18th option a native speaker would choose. It's awkward enough to be completely inadvisable.

    And as to the new question: Can you stack -ing words?

    Yes. Obviously. I will repeat my earlier caveats: A) it will sound jangly and B) the relationship between the words will be hard to discern. But there are examples where stacked -ing words can be used to great effect: I'm thinking, for instance, of the title of Eve Sedgwick's Touching Feeling. Note that in this title it's precisely because the relationship of the words is hard to discern (is "touching" a participle, a deverbal adjective meaning "moving," or a gerund?) that the overall combination is effective.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    London
    Native language
    English - British
    Posts
    9,464

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    Turning to my faithful Chambers, I find:
    failing
    prep. in default of.
    I still disagree.

    I am not inclined to use 'verbal', 'adverbial' etc. as nouns.
    Let us say 'adverb' when we mean 'adverb', 'adverbial phrase' when we mean 'adverbial phrase' etc.
    Using 'deverbal' to mean 'derived from a verb' when 'verbal' means 'derived from a verb' seems (a) unnecessary and (b) a recipe for confusion.

    'Siding' as in 'railway siding' is, as mentioned above, still a verbal noun. It is the gerund of the verb 'to side'.
    It is an example of the derivative use which refers to something which results from the action of the verb rather than the action itself. This is very common. Many gerunds have these two senses: the action of the verb (an abstract notion) and something produced by it (often a concrete thing).
    Last edited by wandle; 27th January 2013 at 8:36 PM.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Native language
    Finnish
    Posts
    90

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    Thank you for the comprehensive and well-demonstrated reply Lucas. Now things are much clearer to me. I'm ok with the fact that the sentence is correct even though it's something we should avoid saying/writing at all cost. This makes perfect sense.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Native language
    English - Californian
    Posts
    9,108

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    Quote Originally Posted by wandle View Post
    'Siding' as in railway siding is, as mentioned above, still a verbal noun. It is the gerund of the verb 'to side'.
    It is an example of the derviative use which refers to something which results from the action of the verb rather than the action itself. This is very common.
    That's exactly right, wandle. The meaning has de-rived - it moved a little bit beyond where it used to be. Similarly the word has become de-verbal - it moved a little ways away from the verb it used to be wholly a part of.

    While you're in your Chambers you might want to check what it says about "verbal" and "deverbal." They are commonly used as nouns in linguistics. Although it's easier to see that a noun like "runner" is a deverbal because it's changed its form more explicitly, sometimes deverbals can have the same form as verbals ("siding" looks like a gerund-participle, "walk" looks like a bare infinitive). It all has to do with the vicissitudes of use.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Southwest France
    Native language
    English - England
    Posts
    24,643

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    Quote Originally Posted by Sutemi View Post
    [...]But I still think that you can say "failing admitting speeding", even though it's not the first option a native speaker would choose.
    If you were to say it, Sutemi, I think you'd immediately reveal yourself not to be a native speaker. That's the criterion I often apply when deciding whether or not something can be said.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Native language
    English UK
    Posts
    36,406

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    Quote Originally Posted by Sutemi View Post
    [...]
    Too bad I'm not able to edit OP. I'd like to change all "gerund" into "-ing-form".
    But I still think that you can say "failing admitting speeding", even though it's not the first option a native speaker would choose. But we can have alternative, but still correct, ways to say things. At least it seems that the opinions are somewhat divided.
    I think you've raised a very interesting question, Sutemi.

    For me, "failing + ING-form" is not possible: so I couldn't say "failing admitting guilt".

    Others have said that, for them, "failing an admission of guilt" is possible. It isn't for me - so I suspect my use of "failing" as a preposition is much more restricted than that of others...

    EDIT: cross-posted with TT, with whom I agree.
    In these shoes?

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    London
    Native language
    English - British
    Posts
    9,464

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    'Deverbal' is not in my Chambers and is not going to enter my vocabulary either, except when necessary to argue against it.
    It reminds me of - whose signature is it?
    Inflammable means flammable? What a country!
    Last edited by wandle; 27th January 2013 at 9:12 PM.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Native language
    English - Californian
    Posts
    9,108

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    Quote Originally Posted by wandle View Post
    'Deverbal' is not in my Chambers and is not going to enter my vocabulary either, except when necessary to argue against it.
    Wasn't there a thread recently on "pissing into the wind"? You can find "deverbal" on Wikipedia here. Here's an OED example:
    1934 R. C. Priebsch & W. E. Collinson German Lang. ii. iii. 225 The suffix -ēn had two specific functions: (a) to form durative deverbals, e.g. hangēn ‘to be hanging’.
    You could consider "deverbal" to be jargon, but apparently linguists consider it to be helpful and useful.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    North Kingstown, Rhode Island
    Native language
    American English
    Age
    58
    Posts
    1,790

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    I'm committing a cardinal forum sin here by posting without having read the entire thread , but I wanted to throw out (up?) an idea based on lucas-sp's earlier suggestion about placing a gerund in front of increasing spending. Couldn't you combine that sequence with words like avoiding, barring, denying, offering, providing, etc? As lucas noted, inelegant, but …
    Rick Davis reminded him that he actually supported increased spending while denying increasing spending. — Debate Liveblogging, Round 2 on firedoglake.com. (Yes, my friends — as some politicians like to say — it's not only blogging, it's live blogging.)
    I suppose one is tempted to say that increased should be used in all these. My reason for bringing this up is that these, I would think, lack the special status of failing described by others. Again, forgive me if I missed something relevant in the first twenty posts. Those familiar with my posting will know that I could have read every word in the thread twice and still remain virtually clueless.
    Last edited by gramman; 27th January 2013 at 8:58 PM.
    "When you are speaking for truth, and when you are speaking for justice, no one can defeat you." — Malala Yousafzai

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Native language
    English - Californian
    Posts
    9,108

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    Quote Originally Posted by Loob View Post
    For me, "failing + ING-form" is not possible: so I couldn't say "failing admitting guilt".
    Interesting. Do you have an a priori objection to "failing X-ing," or can you just not think of any example where it would be the best or only way (or even a good way) to phrase an idea?

    I think TT's point is the most well-taken: since there are almost always going to be better ways to express an idea, a native speaker would use those much more naturally. (It doesn't help that "failing X" is difficult to pull off in contemporary English anyway!)

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Native language
    English UK
    Posts
    36,406

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    Quote Originally Posted by lucas-sp View Post
    Interesting. Do you have an a priori objection to "failing X-ing," or can you just not think of any example where it would be the best or only way (or even a good way) to phrase an idea?

    I think TT's point is the most well-taken: since there are almost always going to be better ways to express an idea, a native speaker would use those much more naturally. (It doesn't help that "failing X" is difficult to pull off in contemporary English anyway!)
    No, no a priori objection, lucas: just a feeling that I can't imagine a situation in which I'd say it.

    I think that you, TT and I are singing from the same hymn-sheet - except that, as I said before, I suspect my usage of prepositional "failing" may be narrower than that of others.
    Last edited by Loob; 27th January 2013 at 9:26 PM. Reason: arguing from the same hymn-sheet?!?
    In these shoes?

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Native language
    English - Californian
    Posts
    9,108

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    Quote Originally Posted by gramman View Post
    I suppose one is tempted to say that increased should be used in all these.
    Excellent find! Now we have an honest-to-goodness example of a three-gerund stack found "in the wild," as it were. It has to be "increasing," by the way, because he's not denying that spending has increased, he's denying that he himself has been increasing spending.

    (To show more clearly that "denying increasing spending" is a three-gerund stack, we could write it as "while denying his increasing of spending.")

    I confess, though, that looking at this phrase makes my eyes water somewhat. Using a "that"-clause here would be much easier to read.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Native language
    English UK
    Posts
    36,406

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    Quote Originally Posted by Sutemi View Post
    Thank you for the comprehensive and well-demonstrated reply Lucas. Now things are much clearer to me. [...]
    Yes, lucas's post 43 was excellent!
    In these shoes?

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    London
    Native language
    English - British
    Posts
    9,464

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    You could consider "deverbal" to be jargon, but apparently linguists consider it to be helpful and useful.
    It would be nice to think that all specialist terms served a useful purpose. However, Wikipedia has this:
    Verbal nouns (VNs) and deverbal nouns (DVNs) are both nouns formed from verbs (formally, lexicalized nouns derived from or cognate to verbs), but are distinguished syntactic word classes. DVNs differ functionally from VNs in that DVNs operate as autonomous common nouns,[1] while VNs retain verbal characteristics.
    Putting the above jargon into English, a deverbal noun is defined as a verbal noun without the verbal element.
    This seems about as sensible as speaking of 'a zero article' when no article is present.

    The risk of using such terminology, apart from obfuscation, is that it takes on a life of its own and is used to justify positions which become divorced from reality. In particular, by creating artificial categories it leads to the denial of real connections within language.

    That is just what has happened with 'failing'. It has become separately categorised and now people deny that it is a participle, even though the most natural explanation of 'failing new evidence' is that it is a participial absolute construction. This keeps the word connected to its root instead of cutting it off.

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Southwest France
    Native language
    English - England
    Posts
    24,643

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    Quote Originally Posted by Loob View Post
    I think you've raised a very interesting question, Sutemi.

    For me, "failing + ING-form" is not possible: so I couldn't say "failing admitting guilt".

    Others have said that, for them, "failing an admission of guilt" is possible. It isn't for me - so I suspect my use of "failing" as a preposition is much more restricted than that of others...

    EDIT: cross-posted with TT, with whom I agree.
    Would you object to the sentence below, Loob? It's from the BNC (the British Corpus).

    Failing a settlement, a dispute would be passed on to a binational panel, on which non-NAFTA members could serve to enhance their impartiality. Keesings Contemporary Archives 1992

    There are plenty of similar prepositional uses of failing in the BNC.

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    North Kingstown, Rhode Island
    Native language
    American English
    Age
    58
    Posts
    1,790

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    >>an honest-to-goodness example of a three-gerund stack found "in the wild"

    It's not difficult to find more from seemingly reputable authors. As I understand it, we are excluding phrases like "is/are/to be xxxxxing increasing spending" because the first of those three is not a gerund. I'm not much of a grammarian, so some or all of these may not fit that criterion.

    • … a strong attempt at avoiding increasing spending in the MLS could lead to the league’s demise — The International Journal of Sport Finance
    • Avoiding increasing spending on Internet marketing (beyond budgeted amounts in a financial year) — United States Sports Academy (a bulleted point, if that matters)
    • Only the unemployment rate and percent of elderly in the population mattered, suggesting increasing spending was simply a response to need. — European Sociological Review, published on oxfordjournals.org. (You need to pay to get the whole article, but here's a Google link.)

    Yeah, I realize that you increasing and increased aren't interchangeable and there are times when the gerund is required, but I figure I'd look to use increased when possible in these sentences to avoid the awkwardness you've noted.
    "When you are speaking for truth, and when you are speaking for justice, no one can defeat you." — Malala Yousafzai

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Native language
    English - Californian
    Posts
    9,108

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    Quote Originally Posted by wandle View Post
    Putting the above jargon into English, a deverbal noun is defined as a verbal noun without the verbal element.

    [...] In particular, by creating artificial categories it leads to the denial of real connections within language.
    That doesn't follow. One word "derives" from another; nobody uses this fact (or the de- prefix) to suggest that the two words no longer have any relationship to each other. The deverbal (noun, adjective, preposition, etc.) just goes a little bit farther away from the verb from which it stems.

    Nobody is using the term "deverbal" to suggest that "failing" has nothing to do with "to fail," or that the "runners" of a sled has nothing to do with "to run," or that "informative" has nothing to do with "to inform." The point is quite simply that they are used in ways that are not entirely reducible to the use/meaning of the verb from which they derive. Nothing "cuts" these words off from the verbs around which they're centered. For example, that's why they're called deverbal nouns and not just "nouns."

    If anything is "obfuscatory," it's an insistence on obliterating the distinction between different uses of words. For instance, the word "failing" clearly does two different things in these sentences:

    Failing any test will result in your expulsion from the course. ("failing" = gerund, verbal noun, still very much keeps its feeling of connoting an action)
    Failing any test, how can we ever hope to tell humans from Cylons? ("failing" = deverbal preposition - why not? - rather than bringing the action of "failing" to mind, it suggests "in the absence of" or "without")

    Sometimes multiplying the terms we use to characterize language can help bring these differences and particularities to light. Nobody is occluding the link between "failing" and "to fail"; instead, I think the various ways in which "failing" comes from "to fail" are more evident and more richly characterized when we notice the differences between words that look the same, but that are not the same.

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Native language
    English UK
    Posts
    36,406

    Re: Failing admitting speeding, the case will go to court

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Tompion View Post
    Would you object to the sentence below, Loob? It's from the BNC (the British Corpus).

    Failing a settlement, a dispute would be passed on to a binational panel, on which non-NAFTA members could serve to enhance their impartiality. Keesings Contemporary Archives 1992

    There are plenty of similar prepositional uses of failing in the BNC.
    I honestly don't think I would say it myself, TT.

    But I've already accepted that others' use of "failing" as a preposition is broader than mine...
    In these shoes?

Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •