Re: Verbal adjectives: how much verbal force?

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Mon Mar 10 1997 - 08:06:46 EST

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?


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703
Ph: 919.598.5728 Fax: 919.598.6728
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