Are Funktionsverben Pro-Verben?

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"Das Gehen" is a noun. It does not matter that it is derived from a verb.

"Zu gehen" is an infinitive.
Maybe German-grammar should copy or import the English-grammar concepts of the "bare/plain infinitives = 'to"-less infinitives" and " 'to'-ed/accompanied infinitives".
Examples of the former: I cannot swim/tell. Go tell him.
(German had these too, didn't it? The "um ... zu ~" constructions or something lacked the "zu". Or was it that they lacked the "um"?)
 
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  • Maybe the fame is not deserved then. For me this looks like the author lost ground contact.
    But now most researchers consider those authors as the most-advanced mainstream semantics experts. Those theories are now the present currents/trends of the major linguistic schools of the cognitive functional linguistics, you know? I just hoped that you saw the reason why they are so popular and still hope that you will see it. Would it be possible? Would you mind trying to know the cognitive functional linguistics?
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Hilfe leisten
    Schaden tun
    gute Dienste tun
    Freude/Sorge/Spaß machen
    sich an die Arbeit machen

    just like :
    to do ( = to wash) the dishes/laundry
    to do some reading/letter-writing/shopping
    to make haste (Middle-Age English: = to hurry up)
    to make waste (Haste makes waste.) = to waste
    to make a mistake = to mistake
    to make a (photo-)copy of = to (photo-)copy
    to dream a big dream
    to die a heroic death
    None of those examples have much to do with pro-verbs. They are function verbs but not pro verbs. An example of a pro verb is something like that:
    Will Tim go to the cinema tonight? Yes, he might do that.
    A pro verb is a verb that stands as a place holder for another verb (do stands for go to the cinema, much like the pronoun he stands for Tim) and what it stands for is defined by the context. This isn't the case in any of your examples. In do the dishes, this do always means wash. It is not a place holder for a variable kind of activity. It is a completely different concept than a pro-form.

    This thread is rather long now and I might have missed something. My apologies should this already have been clarified.
     
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    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    Maybe German-grammar should copy or import the English-grammar concepts of the "bare/plain infinitives = 'to"-less infinitives"
    In German, an infinitive does not require a "zu". It can be an infinitive even without "zu".

    However, a nominalized form like "das Gehen" is a noun. This is undisputable.
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    I just hoped that you saw the reason why they are so popular and still hope that you will see it. Would it be possible? Would you mind trying to know the cognitive functional linguistics?
    I honestly do not see that. A lot of that appears to be pseudo-science and more theories than reality, or trivia on the other hand.

    Please try to sum up the central core of cognitive functional linguistics in just a few very clear statements. Would you mind to do that?
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    In German, an infinitive does not require a "zu". It can be an infinitive even without "zu".

    However, a nominalized form like "das Gehen" is a noun. This is undisputable.
    Strictly speaking, infinitives are always nouns. It just isn't always obvious. Systematically, lower case infinitives are maybe better called verbal nouns and upper case infinitives deverbal nouns.
     
    None of those examples have much to do with pro-verbs. They are function verbs but not pro verbs. An example of a pro verb is something like that:
    Will Tim go to the cinema tonight? Yes, he might do that.
    A pro verb is a verb that stands as a place holder for another verb (do stands for go to the cinema, much like the pronoun he stands for Tim) and what it stands for is defined by the context. This isn't the case in any of your examples. In do the dishes, this do always means wash. It is not a place holder for a variable kind of activity. It is a completely different concept than a pro-form.

    This thread is rather long now and I might have missed something. My apologies should this already have been clarified.
    I corrected my original pre-conception some days ago: maybe Funktionsverben are to be regarded as "semi-proVPs" because they replace/substitute and represent only part(s) of the congruent/non-Funktionsverb-Gefüge form VPs with the action-names/nomina-actionum.
    I honestly do not see that. A lot of that appears to be pseudo-science and more theories than reality, or trivia on the other hand.

    Please try to sum up the central core of cognitive functional linguistics in just a few very clear statements. Would you mind to do that?
    I am afraid that, as far as those theories are related to my points, I already did the summing-up in #39. Please google the other sources for the introductory summaries of the theories.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I corrected my original pre-conception some days ago: maybe Funktionsverben are to be regarded as "semi-proVPs" because they replace/substitute and represent only part(s) of the congruent/non-Funktionsverb-Gefüge form VPs with the action-names/nomina-actionum.
    Still disagree. The core property of a pro-form is that it serves as a variable. This isn't the case here. Might sound similar but it is a fundamentally different concept. In doing the dishes, doing cannot suddenly mean, say, smoking a cigarette if placed in a different context.
     
    Still disagree. The core property of a pro-form is that it serves as a variable. This isn't the case here. Might sound similar but it is a fundamentally different concept. In doing the dishes, doing cannot suddenly mean, say, smoking a cigarette if placed in a different context.
    Maybe you should call the "do" in "do the dishes" a specific or individual/einziges/solitary/singular pro-verb and the ordinarily-so-called "do" a universal/allgemeines/all-purpose/versatile pro-verb or proVP?
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    Are the empty-verbs ( = Funktionsverben) a kind of pro-verbs?
    Pro-form - Wikipedia
    (The German Wikipedia fails to show any pro-verbs.)

    ex.:
    Hilfe leisten
    Schaden tun
    gute Dienste tun
    Freude/Sorge/Spaß machen
    sich an die Arbeit machen
    Let's return to the German verbs.

    All these examples are Funktionsverbgefüge. They consist of a nominal phrase and a functional verb. The verb is more or less only there to bring in the verb function (tenses, person, mode).

    But the verbs to not replace another verb. In "Hilfe leisten" the "leisten" does not replace a "better" verb. The two words just work together.

    Pro-verbs replace a verb or verbal phrase.
     
    Let's return to the German verbs.

    All these examples are Funktionsverbgefüge. They consist of a nominal phrase and a functional verb. The verb is more or less only there to bring in the verb function (tenses, person, mode).

    But the verbs to not replace another verb. In "Hilfe leisten" the "leisten" does not replace a "better" verb. The two words just work together.

    Pro-verbs replace a verb or verbal phrase.
    Excuse me: doesn't "leisten" in "Hilfe leisten" act as (namely, equal to) "do," the pro-verb + some elevated/gehobenen or official/legal connotations, together_with/coupled_with the similarly stylistically-specific "Hilfe"?
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Maybe you should call the "do" in "do the dishes" a specific or individual/einziges/solitary/singular pro-verb and the ordinarily-so-called "do" a universal/allgemeines/all-purpose/versatile pro-verb or proVP?
    No, you should stay completely clear of the pro-concept. It is just something completely different and any attempt to mingle the concepts can't cause anything but confusion.


    A pro-form is a variable in maths and a function verb is like a function in maths, the value depends on a predicative, like a function value depends on an argument.
     
    No, you should stay completely clear of the pro-concept. It is just something completely different and any attempt to mingle the concepts can't cause anything but confusion.


    A pro-form is a variable in maths and a function verb is like a function in maths, the value depends on a predicative, like a function value depends on an argument.
    I should say a pro-form has contents, not only variable-like form, of the original word after/from which the pro-form takes(-over) the contents, like, in the case of a pro-verb, as already acknowledged above, tense and verb-ness = Bewegung(swort-heit) and so on. It's no almost-totally non-descript/faceless word or "term" like x or y.
     
    Excuse me: I was just pressed for time and stopped writing the previous post halfway.
    As I have shown you in #66, the functional verb does take over some meaning(s) of the nomina actionum, just like the pro-verb does.
    And do you intend to say functions themselves have no contents/meaning?
    Does the primitive successor function of +1, or traditionally writing, y=fx=x+1 have no contents/meaning until the value of x has been determined? Of course not!
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    In a well formed object language expression a function has to be bound to its arguments. A function transforms its arguments. A variable can remain unbound in the expression itself but bound through wider context outside of the expression itself. In meta language a function can be unbound but then it still is a constant and not a variable representing the totality of its argument-value tuples. Then there are also function variables, i.e. a variable the possible values of which are functions. Again, those are completely different concepts.
     
    In a well formed object language expression a function has to be bound to its arguments. A function transforms its arguments. A variable can remain unbound in the expression itself but bound through wider context outside of the expression itself. In meta language a function can be unbound but then it still is a constant and not a variable representing the totality of its argument-value tuples. Then there are also function variables, i.e. a variable the possible values of which are functions. Again, those are completely different concepts.
    And? Would you mind answering my question in #69 squarely/directly, with or without the use of your above argument? Do or don't functions have contents/meanings? Even Mr. Kajjo HAS proved the non-"empty-verbs"-ness of functional verbs all right. Aren't you being self-contradictory?
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    The point, and that is really the only point, is that function verbs and pro-forms are separate concepts that serve different purposes. Between any two concepts in any field of analysis you will find some commonalities if you search long and deep enough. But I see no insight to be gained from such endeavour in this case.
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    I should say a pro-form has contents, not only variable-like form
    No, not really.

    Kannst du bitte auf das Geschenk noch eine Schleife binden? -- Ja, mach ich.
    Kannst du bitte noch dein Zimmer aufräumen? -- Ja, mach ich.
    Fährst du nachher noch einkaufen? -- Ja, mach ich.

    The pro-verb "machen" does not contain content here. We do not know what you are supposed to do without the context. It is a variable, which value can be "Schleife binden", "das Zimmer aufräumen" or "einkaufen fahren".

    Of course, things are not black-and-white and the "name" of the variable can give away certain properties of the content it represents. So in language "machen" might restrict the scope to actions to which it fits. Just like special symbols in mathematics can give a clue whether the variable represents a number, a set, an element, a constant, a physical quantity, a vector or similar. But again, not the content itself, just a property.

    Function verbs on the other hand have content and work together with the nominal or prepositional phrase they go along with. Both parts add to the content, but usually not 50:50 but more like 80:20 (just as example). The function verb mostly contributes the "function of a verb" and often only adds trivial or limited content of its own. I do not understand why people would call German function verbs "empty". They are not empty, both parts need each other to work.

    I do not see a significant overlap between function verbs and pro-verbs. Both are separate animals.
     
    I'd have liked you to understand "contents/Inhalt/Wesen" in the broadest Hegelian sense (including property as some information[-contents] ) in contrast to mere "form/Form/Erscheinungsform". But since you MUST dismiss/do_without Hegelian Inhaltlogik/contents_logic, we are supposed to end up failing to reach any agreement.

    But, in the end, from my viewpoint for readers other than you opposers, I'd like to add the applicational "merits" of such classifications of FVen ( = Funktionsverben) as/into semi-pro-VPs ( = verb phrases), against #72 opinion:

    1. The classifications should facilitate the learnings of the ideational GMs ( = grammatical metaphors) = abstract-verb constructions = constructions using verbs with abstract noun complements/Ergänzungen including abstract nomina actionum subjects/objects, abstract noun attribute complements, and abstract de-nominal adverbial/circumstantial complements.

    It's for this reason A.: The classications should enable us to list the collocatabilities of FVen ( = functional verbs) and the nomina actionum through the analyses of what sememes are or are not shared by those two constituents of collocations.

    2. The classifications should help clarify the CS ( = cognitive structure)/DS ( = deep semantics) = allgemeine/all-humankind LS ( = linguistic structures)/SS ( = surface semantics) = allgemeine BFen ( = Bedeutungsformen) = all-humankind Denkweisen = Denklehre = contents logic.
    Because it should clarify the einzelne/individual/language-specific to besondere/language-family-specific LS/SS/BFen/Denkweisen.
    The reason is the above A. again.
     
    I'd have liked you to understand "contents/Inhalt/Wesen" in the broadest Hegelian sense (including property as some information[-contents] ) in contrast to mere "form/Form/Erscheinungsform". But since you MUST dismiss/do_without Hegelian Inhaltlogik/contents_logic, we are supposed to end up failing to reach any agreement.

    But, in the end, from my viewpoint for readers other than you opposers, I'd like to add the applicational "merits" of such classifications of FVen ( = Funktionsverben) as/into semi-pro-VPs ( = verb phrases), against #72 opinion:

    1. The classifications should facilitate the learnings of the ideational GMs ( = grammatical metaphors) = abstract-verb constructions = constructions using verbs with abstract noun complements/Ergänzungen including abstract nomina actionum subjects/objects, abstract noun attribute complements, and abstract de-nominal adverbial/circumstantial complements.

    It's for this reason A.: The classications should enable us to list the collocatabilities of FVen ( = functional verbs) and the nomina actionum through the analyses of what sememes are or are not shared by those two constituents of collocations.

    2. The classifications should help clarify the CS ( = cognitive structure)/DS ( = deep semantics) = allgemeine/all-humankind LS ( = linguistic structures)/SS ( = surface semantics) = allgemeine BFen ( = Bedeutungsformen) = all-humankind Denkweisen = Denklehre = contents logic.
    Because it should clarify the einzelne/individual/language-specific to besondere/language-family-specific LS/SS/BFen/Denkweisen.
    The reason is the above A. again.
    Correction:
    In the last paragraph: read "the einzelne/... ... ." as "some einzelne/... ... ."
     
    Noch etwas/ein_Wort:
    Contrary to my opposers' opinion, the present information theory and formal semantics handle forms, rather than "contents"/meanings, as information included in the set of all the contents (namely, what Marx called "Forminhalt" = forms seen as a kind of contents of the researches on those forms):
    I mean Shannon's theory on "information quantity" = a kind of quantitative contents of information.
    The contents/meaning of "one-ness" is the same in every spoken and written language, but the cipher "1" has far less information quantity ( = quantitative contents) than the letters-row "t'ááłá'í" ("one" in Navajo).
    (That kind of merely-formal info theory was criticized by Prof. Dr. Werner Gitt, though:
    Information – Der Schlüssel zum Leben: Amazon.de: Gitt, Werner, Compton, Robert W., Fernandez, Jorge A.: Bücher )
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi, I want to summarize:

    In German we do not have a special word category (Wortart) "Pro-Verb".

    But the function exists.

    mainly two verbs can be used as pro-verbs.

    Additionally "es", and similar pronouns can be used to replace verb phrases.

    Ich gehe ins Bad um zu schwimmen. Es macht mir Spaß.

    ---
    A very common pro-form it omission (ellipsis, Auslassung).

    Ich gehe Schwimmen. Anton auch.
    = Ich gehe Schwimmen. Anton geht auch Schwimmen.
    I renne, Anton auch. = ..., Anton rennt auch.


    I think such forms are the most common in German without having a special name depending on kind of words.

    Here I found an English source:
    " Pro-forms and ellipsis"


    https://www.tu-chemnitz.de/phil/eng...alien/exploringEnglish/pro-forms&ellipsis.pdf
    This is in English - but the most is very similar to German.

    ---
    A main property of Pro-forms is that you can "expand" them to the long form.
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Additionally "es", and similar pronouns can be used to replace verb phrases.

    Ich gehe ins Bad um zu schwimmen. Es macht mir Spaß.
    Yes, but even non-captalized infinitives have a dual nature: They are verb forms and functionality also nouns. Es refers to the infinitive in its function as a noun (Was macht mir Spaß? Das Schwimmen macht mir Spaß.). I don't think, this use is relevant when discussing pro-verbs.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Thanks, Bernd.

    I replace it:

    Ich schwimme. Es macht mir Spaß.

    You could say:

    The second is: "es macht mir Spaß, zu schwimmen." -- But "es" refers to "schwimmen" in a strange "translation/assigning/forming" way, I do not know the exact name for this.

    The noun is (like a ghost) between the sentences.

    I do not know if such constructions exist in English, in German they are common.
     
    Plus-alpha trivia:

    Wasn't the bare-infinitive the origin of the zu/to-infinitive?
    "Ich ging spazieren/einkaufen. = Ich ging, um zu spazieren/um einzukaufen."
    ("aller faire des courses")

    And wasn't the bare infinitive construction the origin of the um-zu construction?
    "O du selige, o du fröhliche, Gnaden-bringende Weihnachtszeit!
    Christ ist erschienen, uns zu versöhnen;
    Freue, freue dich, o Christenheit!"
     
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    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    I do not know this.
    I onlyknow that in some cases both with and without "zu" is possible and in other cases not.

    Christ ist erschienen, uns versöhnen. (Seldom used. I'm not sure whether it is standard language in this case.)
    Christ ist erschienen, uns zu versöhnen. (In the song)
    Christ ist erschienen, um uns zu versöhnen. (Standard language but not poetically)

    I will look for sources about the history of the infinitive in German language.

    Note also that usage may be different in dialects.

    PS: Ich habe ein Buch über den Infinitiv im Mittelhochdeutschen gefunden: https://www.uni-due.de/imperia/md/content/mediae/einführung_in_die_mediävistik_ii_reader_2017.pdf
    Hierin habe ich keine Infinitivgruppe mit "zu" gefunden. Das deutet darauf hin, dass sie später kam.


    Wasn't the bare-infinitive the origin of the zu/to-infinitive?
    Das scheint demnach zu stimmen.


    Im Forum gibt es sicher einige, die sich besser damit auskennen.
     
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