The Present-day English Gerund System: A Cognitive-Constructionist Account
Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG, Sep 21, 2020 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 285 pages
This study offers a first comprehensive synchronic account of the Present-day English gerundial system. Most synchronic studies of gerunds have hitherto focused on the verbal gerund, scrutinizing its categorial status or comparing it with other non-finite clausal structures. A systematic comparison with its nominal counterpart, however, is lacking. Based on a detailed empirical analysis of lexico-grammar and semantics, this study develops an innovative cognitive-constructionist model of the English gerund system which depicts the usage profiles of nominal and verbal gerunds in terms of probabilistic trends rather than by means of categorical labels. It is shown that a better understanding of the functioning of the English gerund system requires a description that operates on multiple levels, accounting for both the abstract construal gerunds can impose on an event as well as the token-level constraints on variation between the two gerund types. This multifaceted approach, it is argued, not only offers a new perspective on the configuration of ing-forms in Present-day English, it can also be of relevance to the description of other complex grammatical structures.
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abstract action activities actual allow alternative ambiguous analysis approaches argued aspectual attracted attributes base bounded Chapter claims clausal clause COCA combine complement complex conceptual considered constructions context dataset definite derived described determination discussed distinction distribution durative effect elements English entities establish event example expressed fact Figure Fonteyn formal forms frequent functional gerund constructions gerund types grammatical hand illustrated indefinite article indefinite nominal gerunds instances interpretation involve iterative Langacker less lexical linguistic linked matrix clause meaning mental spaces nominal and verbal non-specific Note notion noun phrases object observed occur overlap particular predicates prepositional present prototypical reference referential relation repetitive represent semantic single situation Smet space specific status structure Table temporal tend tion typically unds variation verbal gerunds verbs viewpoint virtual