Syntax

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kapvijay
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Coimbatore, India

Syntax

Post by kapvijay » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:07 am

Hello,

Is the sentence grammatically correct?
'Thanking you for having sent me the brochure'.

Thanking - present participle
you - object
for - preposition
having sent - ?
me - object
the brochure - noun phrase

Here 'having' is verbal participle, isn't it?. So How does the preposition 'for' take verbal participle instead of noun?

fluffyhamster
Posts: 3031
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 6:57 pm
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

Post by fluffyhamster » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:10 pm

Hi Kapvijay, and welcome to the AL forum! :wink:
Here 'having' is verbal participle, isn't it?. So How does the preposition 'for' take verbal participle instead of noun?
The most important thing is that at least it isn't ...for *have sent me the brochure LOL. That is, '-ing forms' (nice fuzzy indeterminate term, that even long-winded grammarians like Huddleston & Pullum favour, though they call it 'gerund-participle') are the norm when you need a "verb" after prepositions, and a decent grammar ought to tell you in no uncertain terms that prepositional phrases aren't composed only of preposition + strictly noun. For example, the following is from the 'prepositional phrase' entry in Leech's An A-Z of English Grammar & Usage:
Forms of prepositional phrases

most common: PREPOSITION + i) NOUN PHRASE or ii) PROUNOUN

less common: PREPOSITION + iii) -ING CLAUSE iv) WH- CLAUSE v) ADVERB
In his A Glossary of English Grammar, Leech calls such -ing clauses following prepositions 'prepositional complements', which is basically the same thing as an 'object of a preposition'.

Then, here is Swan in his Practical English Usage (Second edition, entry 406.6):
Note that -ing forms after prepositions can often be considered as either participles or gerunds - the dividing line is not clear (see 290).
"Bonus": 1) From the perspective of a British English speaker (moi), the perfect aspect in the -ing clause seems unnecessary (cf. ...for sending me the brochure) and might be one reason for your interpreting the clause as more verby. 2) Although 'thank' can be a verb, the ellipted Present progressive form in your original sentence ((I'm) Thanking you...) sounds too literal and thus strangely direct to my ear. (My instinct would be to soften things with "distancing" past tense, and perhaps an adverb: I just wanted to thank you for...). Or one could just use the interjectional (LongmanDoCE, Macmillan ED)/exclamatory (OxfordALD, CambridgeALD) and thus truly subjectless phrases 'Thank you for' or 'Thanks for' rather than a tensed verb.

kapvijay
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Coimbatore, India

Post by kapvijay » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:34 am

Hello Fluffyhamster,
I am very delighted for the reply. Thank you for explaining (having explained) the doubt linguistically with references.

We have enough structures for PREPOSITION + iii) -ING CLAUSE
e.g.
1. They talked about moving to New Zealand.
2. I don't feel like going there tonight.

could you give me some examples for PREPOSITION + iii) -ING CLAUSE + PAST/ PAST PARTICIPLE VERB?

fluffyhamster
Posts: 3031
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 6:57 pm
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

Post by fluffyhamster » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:22 pm

You're very welcome, Kapvijay!

To search for strings like prep + -ing + -en, use corpora that are tagged (~ with a tagset, for parts of speech), like the one here:
http://corpus.byu.edu/bnc/

I've selected the search string you'll need, from the POS list. Just copy and paste the following string into the SEARCH STRING WORD(S) box:

[i*] [v?g*] [v?n*]


I wrote some instructions before on how to use the above (note especially the final sentence in bold):
A tagged corpus like the [email protected] is really useful when you're wondering which verbs are actually used in, and thus might best exemplify, a particular construction e.g. tense-aspects; that is, it allows one to search the corpus by means of part-of-speech (POS) tagset tags, which you can enter in a string. Beats racking one's brains/intuition for compelling stuff!

At first it's a bit tricky to operate/enter the POS tag selections, so for now as an example you might like to just copy and paste the following into the 'SEARCH STRING' box and then click the 'SEARCH' button:

will [vb*] [v?g*]

You need to give the search a little while to present the results.

You will then be presented with a list that begins like this:

WILL BE LOOKING 223 (number of examples)
WILL BE GOING 146
etc (in descending order of phrase frequency)

(This is an example that I gave somebody who was wondering how to contextualize "Future Progressive" ("obviously" LOL)).

You can click on the phrase or number to get a listing of the actual examples in which they appear.

If you like, I can help you work out how to operate at least this function of that site, but you can probably do so for yourself by e.g. clicking on the ? help mark to the right of the POS LIST, which provides the following tip: 'Probably the easiest way to use part of speech tags is by selecting them from the drop-down list (click on [POS LIST] to show it). By default, the tag will be inserted at the end of the string in the WORD(S) field.' (NB: One selects more than one POS by left-clicking on the light blue area outside the POS LIST box after the first selection has been made and then clicking back in the POS LIST for the second and so on).
( http://forums.eslcafe.com/teacher/viewt ... 1753#41753 )
Last edited by fluffyhamster on Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

kapvijay
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Coimbatore, India

Post by kapvijay » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:09 am

Thank you very much......Mr. Fluffyhamster. Now my doubt is clear......

fluffyhamster
Posts: 3031
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 6:57 pm
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

Post by fluffyhamster » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:39 pm

Again, welcome. :wink: Bear in mind that the BNC describes British norms, which may not always be relevant in modern India!

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