Disappeared as transitive

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Mar 19 00:48:59 UTC 2013

On Mar 18, 2013, at 8:22 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> At 3/18/2013 02:28 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>> It's an odd jump to go from a foreign noun (derived in Spanish from
>> a past participle adjective) to a verb.
> Why?  Some would assume that if there is a past participle-looking
> noun (seen in an English translation from Spanish as, e.g., "the
> disappeared"), then there must be a verb.  (Some is at least me.)
But not necessarily a *transitive* verb.  Compare such obscure movies (with or without subtitles) as "The Fallen", "The Well-Read", "The Escaped", "The Suddenly Collapsed", "The Drifted" (starring Mae West--"I was once pure as snow, but then I drifted"), or "The Undescended" (R-rated). All nominal participials, most ultimately derived from verbs, but none from transitive verbs.  So in principle "The Disappeared" could refer to those who have disappeared, rather than those who have *been* disappeared.

LH, borrowing from Joan Bresnan's old (early 1970s) work on intransitive-derived adjectival passives

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list