GO + present participle

Benjamin Torbert btorbert at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 25 01:13:47 UTC 2013


Catenative verbs seem to have a large overlap with linking verbs; this is
the source of my confusion.  Sometimes things that I can't quite identify
act like linking verbs, but aren't classed as linking verbs exactly as I
was taught.

I'm open to the classification of the -ing form as a gerund rather than a
participle, but this seems to change the nature of the catenative verb.



On Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 5:42 PM, Cara Penry Williams
<carapw at unimelb.edu.au>wrote:

>
> It's a *catenative verb*. That's the name for it.
>
>
> All the best,
>
> Cara
> ____________________________________
>
> Dr. Cara PENRY WILLIAMS
> The University of Melbourne/La Trobe University
>
>
>
> On 25 October 2013 06:56, Benjamin Torbert <btorbert at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Hey y'all, is there an name for this?  (IANA real syntactician).
>>
>> 1) We went sledding.
>> 2) They went bowling.
>> 3) Let's go shopping.
>>
>> Someone asked me what this is.  I said I wasn't sure, but my initial
>> instinct was that *go* is being used as an linking verb, and the
>> participle is acting as an adjectival subject complement.  After all, *go
>> * can be used as a linking verb with an adjective phrase as a subject
>> complement.
>>
>> 4) I went crazy in sixth grade.
>> 5) Reagan went senile.
>> 6) I go nuts when I see Reese Witherspoon.
>>
>> I think this construction may be restricted to states of mind.  Thus,
>>
>> 6) *Lebron James went tall in sixth grade.
>> 7) *Reese went pretty during college.
>>
>> There are probably some other selectional restrictions of which I'm not
>> aware.
>>
>> I think the participle usually has to be used intransitively.  So these
>> are good:
>>
>> 8) We went shopping.
>> 9) We went skiing.
>>
>> And these aren't:
>>
>> 10) *I went watching birds. (monotrasitive)
>> 11) *I went shooting deer. (monotransitive)
>> 12) *Let's go tipping cows. (monotransitive)
>> 13) *She went telling us stories again. (ditransitive)
>>
>> (10) through (13) all feel "pretty much mostly not well-formed" to me,
>> although perhaps not 100% ungrammatical.  (12) can be fixed by
>> incorporating the direct object into the participle itself:
>>
>> 14) Let's go cow-tipping.
>> 15) Let's go apple-picking.
>>
>> But, there are apparently intransitive and optionally-transitive verbs
>> that cannot participate in the structure.  I think the semantics of the
>> participle dictate that the action has to be something like [+ activity].
>> So these are no good.
>>
>> 16) *Fafner went sleeping.
>> 17) *Cookie Monster went eating.
>> 18) *Elizabeth K├╝bler-Ross went dying.
>>
>> And sometimes, I'm not sure.
>>
>> 19) ? Ted Bundy went killing again.
>>
>> (19) smells halfway okay to me; it seems to have an understood direct
>> object, *people*.  And (20) is counter-evidence for the participle
>> having to be used intransitively:
>>
>> 20) Hitler went invading countries all over Europe.
>>
>> Anyway, is there any literature on this?
>>
>> Benjamin Torbert
>> UM-Saint Louis
>>
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