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Summary Details


Query:   Prenominal Modifiers
Author:  Yosuke Miyata
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Semantics
Syntax

Summary:   I show the result of the survey below:

Question A:

"Yes" "No" "?"
(1) a. departing guests 7 0 0
b. falling leaves 7 0 0
c. boiling water 7 0 0
d. a running boy 7 0 0
e. advancing soldiers 7 0 0
f. a singing lark 7 0 0
g. a dancing girl 7 0 0
h. increasing reluctance 7 0 0
i. a dying soldier 7 0 0
j. a rotting table 7 0 0
k. a barking dog 7 0 0
l. a growing boy 6 1 0
m. the smoking volcano 7 0 0
n. a sleeping baby 7 0 0
o. a burning house 7 0 0
p. playing children 7 0 1
q. returning vacationers 7 0 0
r. the coming train 3 3 1
s. the going train 1 7 0
t. the walking man 4 0 3

(2) a. the lying man 1 4 1
b. the standing man 4 2 1
c. the stopping car 1 3 3
d. the arriving guest 3 1 3
e. the arriving guests 6 0 1

(3) a. the breathing man 4 0 3
b. the quickly breathing man 6 0 1
c. the eating children 1 4 2
d. the greedily eating children 4 0 3
e. the reading man 2 3 2
f. the loudly reading man 4 3 0

(4) a. a drinking man 5 1 1
b. smoking mothers 5 1 1
c. the drinking cattle 4 1 2

(5) a. a looking man 0 7 0
b. a drowsy-looking man 7 0 0
c. a smelling mixture 0 7 0
d. a foul-smelling mixture 6 1 0
e. a producing well 2 4 1
f. an oil-producing well 5 2 0
g. the speaking people 1 4 2
h. the English-speaking people 5 2 0
i. the book-reading man 4 3 0

(6) a. a stealing man 1 5 1
b. a quickly-stealing man 2 5 0
c. a skillfully-stealing man 1 6 0
d. a reaching boy 1 5 1
e. a quickly reaching boy 2 5 0
f. the crushing car 1 5 0
h. the falling boy 6 1 0
i. the quickly-falling boy 6 1 0

(7) a. the writing boy 1 3 3
b. the skillfully writing boy 2 4 1
c. the typewriting boy 2 3 2
d. the devouring children 2 4 1
e. the devouring man 2 4 1
g. the gasping boy 7 0 0


As for Question B, two people's answers were unavailable, but I found that
most of the respondents judged that almost all the examples could not have
generic meaning. I just show some examples that got more than two positive
answers:

(1) g. a a dancing girl
(4) a. a drinking man
b. smoking mothers
(5) f. an oil-producing well

From the result of A, I can say that almost all the purely intransitive
verbs (that do not take an object in default) can premodify the head noun
in "-ing" form as the literature says. As for transitive verbs, it is said
that they cannot take "-ing" form before the head noun without a certain
adverbial, but this is not necessarily the case as those in (6).

My further research is to examine the characteristics of the each component
in "-ing + N" construction to explicate what is imposed on this form.

I thank those who answered the questions.

LL Issue: 16.394
Date Posted: 09-Feb-2005
Original Query: Read original query


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