Re: Verbal adjectives: how much verbal force?

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Mar 10 1997 - 06:38:55 EST

At 7:06 AM -0600 3/10/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>At 08:06 PM 3/9/97 -0600, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>>At 7:34 PM -0600 3/9/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>>> seems that you say they lost their verbal sense,
>>>but then go on to allude to verbal senses that they have.
>>>I'm aware that the primary sense is adjectival, but even
>>>you allude to "passive verbal sense", etc.
>>Well, I guess your question really WAS "How MUCH verbal force?" So I fell
>>into your little trap! Suppose I said that QEOPNEUSTOS has 2.7% verbal
>>force. Would that satisfy you? Of course not. If I asked you to tell me how
>>much verbal force does "done" have in the sentence, "It's a done deal,"
>>what would you say? Now, how much of a quibble is this? Is "done" in that
>>sentence a participle or is it an adjective? When we speak of "running
>>water," is "running" a participle or an adjective? In the phrase "love of
>>God," how much verbal force does the noun "love" have?
>No quibble at all; I hadn't intended this as a trap or a trick question,
>and your answer here is very good. It is also helpful for me to realize
>that we have verbal adjectives in English, too.
>>Sure, and when you say, "That music is inspired!" and breathe a deep sigh,
>>what exactly do you mean by "inspired." Maybe it depends on whether it's
>>W.A. Mozart or Peter Schickele. Does "inspired" have verbal force? It has
>>participial form, of course. The question is whether it is more verbal or
>>more adjectival, because it is always to some extent both.
>I knew this was true of participles; I was trying to determine whether it is
>also true of verbal adjectives in -TOS. I think that your answer is at least
>a qualified "yes". It seems that some verbal adjectives have become pretty
>much pure verbal adjectives. Am I understanding you accurately?

Quite clearly, I think. And Micheal's response to your second formulation
of the question is very nicely formulated, I think. I didn't really mean to
suggest you were setting a trap, just that this is by no means an either/or

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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