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A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (further referred

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A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (further referred

    Masarykova univerzita

    Filozofická fakulta

    Katedra anglistiky a amerikanistiky

    Magisterská diplomová práce

2010 Andrea Velecká

    Masaryk University

    Faculty of Arts

    Department of English

    and American Studies

English Language and Literature

    Andrea Velecká

    Gerund in Translation:

    A Corpus-Based Study

    Masters Diploma Thesis

    Supervisor: PhDr. Jarmila Fictumová

    2010

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    I declare that I have worked on this thesis independently,

     using only the primary and secondary sources listed in the bibliography.

    ……………………………………………..

    Author‟s signature

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    Acknowledgement

    I wish to express many thanks to my supervisor PhDr. Jarmila Fictumová

    for her kind and valuable advice, help and support.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Introduction ...............................................................................................................7

    2. The Gerund and its Function ......................................................................................9 2.1 The Description of the Gerund in Grammar Books ..............................................9 2.1.1 A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (CGEL)......................9

    2.1.2 The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (CamGEL) ................... 11

    2.1.3 Oxford English Grammar (OEG) ................................................................ 14 2.1.4 Functional Analysis of Present Day English on a General Linguistic Basis.. 15

    2.1.5 Functional Syntax of Modern English ......................................................... 16 2.1.6 Anglická mluvnice ...................................................................................... 17 2.1.7 Mluvnice současné angličtiny na pozadí češtiny .......................................... 19

    2.1.8 Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English (LGSWE).................... 21

    2.1.9 Cambridge Grammar of English (CGE) ...................................................... 24 2.2 The Gerundial Construction ............................................................................... 27 2.2.1 The Subject of the Gerundial Construction .................................................. 27 2.3 The Approach Applied in the Present Paper ....................................................... 31 2.3.1 Distinction of the Gerund and the Present Participle .................................... 31

    2.3.1.1 Rules of Distinction .......................................................................... 33 2.3.2 Distinction of the Gerund and the Verbal Noun ........................................... 37 3. Research Sample and Methodology ......................................................................... 39 3.1 Research Sample ............................................................................................... 39 3.2 Methodology ..................................................................................................... 40 4. Practical Analysis .................................................................................................... 42 4.1 Translation of Gerundial Constructions with respect to their Syntactic Functions

     ................................................................................................................................ 43

    4.1.1 The Gerund in the Function of Subject and its Translation .......................... 43 4.1.2 The Gerund in the Function of Subject Complement and its Translation...... 44

    4.1.3 The Gerund in the Function of Noun Premodification and its Translation .... 45

    4.1.4 The Gerund in the Function of Noun Postmodification and its Translation .. 47

    4.1.5 The Gerund in the Function of Adjective Complement and its Translation .. 49

    4.1.6 The Gerund in the Function of Direct Object and its Translation ................. 49 4.1.7 The Gerund in the Function of Prepositional Object and its Translation ...... 50

    4.1.8 The Gerund in the Function of Adverbial and its Translation....................... 52 4.2 Czech Translation Equivalents ........................................................................... 54 4.2.1 Nouns as Translation Equivalents................................................................ 54 4.2.2 Finite Verbs as Translation Equivalents ...................................................... 57

    4.2.2.1 The Finite Verb as a Translation Equivalent ..................................... 58

    4.2.2.2 The Finite Verb as a Translation Equivalent Realized by a Main

    Clause .......................................................................................................... 60

    4.2.2.3 The Finite Verb as a Translation Equivalent Realized by a Dependent

    Clause .......................................................................................................... 62 4.2.3 Infinitives as Translation Equivalents .......................................................... 66

    4.2.3.1 The Infinitive as a Translation Equivalent ......................................... 67

    4.2.3.2 The Infinitive as a Translation Equivalent Realized by a Main Clause

     .................................................................................................................... 69

    4.2.3.3 The Infinitive as a Translation Equivalent Realized by a Dependent

    Clause .......................................................................................................... 70 4.2.4 Gerunds and their Implicit Translations ....................................................... 71 4.2.5 Passive Gerunds and their Translations ....................................................... 74

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    4.2.6 Perfective Gerunds and their Translations ................................................... 76 5. Results of Research ................................................................................................. 77 5.1 The Discrepancy ................................................................................................ 77 5.2 Clausal Shifts ..................................................................................................... 78 6. Conclusion .............................................................................................................. 79

    Abstract ....................................................................................................................... 83

    Anotace ....................................................................................................................... 84

    List of Abbreviations ................................................................................................... 86 Works cited and consulted ........................................................................................... 87 Appendices.................................................................................................................. 90

    Appendix 1: Tables and Graphs ............................................................................... 90 Appendix 2: Research Sample (in a separate file) .................................................... 98 Appendix 3: In-Depth Notes .................................................................................... 98

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    “The verbal gerund is an imperfect nominal in which the verb is alive.”

    (Vendler in Wik 56)

    1. Introduction

    The present thesis deals with the English gerund and its translation into the Czech language. The survey is based on an examination of parallel texts excerpted from the parallel corpus K2 created at the Department of English and American Studies, the Faculty of Arts at the Masaryk University in Brno.

     The gerund is a frequent phenomenon in the English language, however, it is neither present in the grammatical system of the Czech language nor has it any single direct counterpart. As a non-finite verb form, it functions as a complex sentence condenser, especially in written registers.

     In the second chapter, the study attempts to map out the status of the gerund in the grammatical system of modern English by providing views of contemporary academic grammars and by confronting their standpoints in order to gain an objective picture of the delimitation of this phenomenon. Based on the theoretical background, the gerund is further defined and distinguished from its homonymous forms, the present participle and the verbal noun.

     The third chapter describes the methodology and the research sample which is a collection of haphazardly extracted sentences of four works of narrative prose and their translations: John le Carré‟s Smiley's People (Smileyho lidé translated by Ivan Němeček,

    Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich (Čarování s láskou translated by Alena Jindrová-

    Špilarová), Ernest Hemingway‟s For Whom the Bell Tolls (Komu zvoní hrana translated

    by Jiří Valja) and Leslie Marmon Silko?s Ceremony (Obřad translated by Alexandra

    Hubáčková).

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    In the fourth chapter, the first part of the practical analysis is focused on the individual syntactic functions of the gerunds, on their translation solutions typical of each function and on their description in a data-driven way.

    The second part of the analysis is devoted to the translation equivalents themselves and represents the gist of the present thesis. Each type of the translation solution is thoroughly described.

    The paper aims to propose the tendencies concerning the gerund translation with respect to its nominal functions. The paper also mentions the use of gerunds in passives and in past forms and comments on their renditions. All tables and graphs are provided in the appendix, as well as the complete list of extracted pairs of sentences and in-depth notes on each of the gerundial syntactic functions.

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2. The Gerund and its Function

    2.1 The Description of the Gerund in Grammar Books

    2.1.1 A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (CGEL) In A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (further referred to as CGEL), the gerund as a term is replaced by a more convenient, broader term “–ing participle”. It

    is defined as a nonfinite ing inflectional morphological form occurring either in the progressive aspect, or in ing participle clauses.

    The position of the traditional gerund is indicated and developed more in terms of “a complex gradience”, a display of the ing forms whose opposing ends are

    represented by deverbal nouns which are purely nominal and participles which are

    ely verbal. Deverbal nouns ending in ing are typically regular concrete count nouns pur

    representing a completed activity, as in “some paintings of Brown‟s” or “Brown‟s

    paintings of his daughter” (Quirk et al 1290) where they can be replaced freely by other concrete nouns like “pictures”. On the other hand, verbal nouns are abstract noncount

    “gerund-like” nouns that denote an activity in progress. Like other nouns, they allow determination by articles, premodification by adjectives and postmodification by an of-construction: “The painting of Brown” and “Brown‟s deft painting of his daughter

    (Quirk et al 1291).

     The following cases in gradience display some of the nominal features, as modification of the ing form by a possessive noun or pronoun or its function as a subject or object in a sentence: “Brown‟s deftly painting his daughter is a delight to watch” and “I dislike Brown‟s painting his daughters” (Quirk et al 1291). However,

    these examples visibly display also some verbal characteristics, like the modification by

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    an adverb or the transitive nature of the form which allows a direct complementation by an object, comparing to verbal nouns which require the abovementioned of-construction. Such a combination of both nominal and verbal features is then traditionally referred to as “the gerund” and will be focused on in the present work.

     The gerund is to be further distinguished from the present participle ing form

    where no premodifier or other clue appears and potential ambiguity may therefore arise: generally, a structure functioning nominally (“Painting a child is difficult”) is labelled

    as a gerund, whereas a structure functioning adverbially is to be classified as a participle: Painting a child that morning, I quite forgot the time” (Quirk et al 1292).

     In spite of this traditional distinction provided above, the authors of this grammar book prefer to reject the term “gerund” and cover both –ing forms under an

    umbrella term “participle”, listing several ground reasons for doing so: lack of

    correspondence between the traditional Latin use of this term and its English counterpart in terms of modality, common use in nonfinite clauses, potential unclarity in the gerund deverbal noun (Quirk et al 1292) verbal noun distinctions (Quirk et al

    1065) in some cases. By doing so, the excess complication in the binary distinction in terminology is avoided and it is focused rather on expressing the complexity of all participial items.

     The participial ing clauses corresponding to the term “gerund” as it is used in

    this work are further mentioned in the CGEL in chapter dealing with nominal clauses. The nominal ing clauses may function as a:

    - subject “Watching television keeps them out of mischief.”

    - direct object “He enjoys playing practical jokes.”

    - subject complement “Her first job had been selling computers.”

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