0

As I understand it, verbals are nouns,adjectives and adverbs which are derived from verbs.

I don't understand if a verbal is indeed one of the three parts of speeches mentioned or a part of speech of itself.

However, the main confusion is whether verbal is a specific term for a practical English grammar or a linguistic term denoting universal characteristics across different languages.

If there are indeed other verbals in other languages how do they differ with the aid of a few examples from different languages?

  • 1
    French also has them in abundance, e.g. in pairs like "Je veux parler" ("I want to talk" — parler is a verb) and "Parler est difficile" ("Talking is difficult" — parler is a verbal noun), as well as "Il est tombé" ("He fell" — tomber is a verb) and "Il est mort" ("He died / He is dead" — mort could be analyzed as verb or verbal adjective). – Luke Sawczak Mar 13 '17 at 19:02
  • verbal is a term of classical grammar not a scientific term within linguistics – Abdul Al Hazred Mar 14 '17 at 14:53
  • Like many of these words, it has technical and non-technical meanings. I'd agree that it's too vague for applications in linguistics, but it's a handy way to talk about words of other parts of speech that are derived from verbs, as you mentioned. What I meant to get across by the above was that other languages also have such forms and traditional grammars call them "verbals" (compare French: "adjectif verbal"). At the end of the day, "verbal" is not itself a part of speech. A verbal __ is whatever part of speech the __ is. – Luke Sawczak Mar 14 '17 at 14:58
4

At least, other Indogermanic languages have the ability to derive nouns from verbs, too. In Latin, there is a suffix -tio, -tionis that forms abstract nouns (like derivatio "derivation" from derivare), there is a suffix -or (applied to the supine stem) that derives agents (like actor "actor" from agere, ago, egi, actum).

The process of derivation is part of the morphology of a language; but it is usually kept separate from the inflection part. Drawing the line between derivation and inflection is to some degree arbitrary and may by controversial for some boundary cases.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.