Wondering the different ways you can nest verbs, and what is technically allowed from a mental perspective, not necessarily from a grammatical perspective b/c I imagine it would vary significantly across languages.
I am not quite sure what it means to write nested verbs either, in English at least. I would like to know if it is even possible to nest verbs. These are some of the examples I could think of that seem like they are nested.
I bought farmed food. ("I bought food someone farmed." That seems like an equivalent sentence).
I ate purchased cooked farmed food.
I ate store-bought cooked farmed food.
I had hand-made clothing.
I ran walked paths. (Trying to say "I ran paths that were well walked.")
I slept curled up.
I ate standing. (Not sure if standing is the verb).
I am eating standing. ("am" is also a verb I guess, so 3 here).
So those are just basic sentences where the verbs seem to be nested but the verbs follow directly after each other. Maybe these words like
farmed are not actually verbs but nouns, or perhaps adjectives, I'm not sure. "To farm" is definitely a verb, and
farmed is past tense of that, but maybe I'm confusing something.
Some "verb nesting" that doesn't make any sense (and why it makes me think maybe verb nesting isn't a thing) is illustrated with these sentences:
I walked ran to the store. (Actually maybe that is a thing).
I walked biked to the store. (Can't do these two things at once).
I circled walked chatted observed with my friend. (Walking in a circle, chatting and observing stuff, it seems to need to chain them rather than nest them, but I don't know).
I drank blinked kicked turned. (All at once). Rather you would say, "I drank, blinked, kicked, and turned all at once". But I don't see why you can't nest them and if there are cases where something like this is possible in other languages.
I'm partly wondering too if you can separate the verbs by a few words and still technically have "verb nesting".
I bought delicious farmed food.
I ate at the dinner table standing.
Partly the reason I'm asking is because there is such thing as "action nesting" in the real world. Take for example this story.
Every day I make dinner. While I eat dinner I sit at the table. While sitting at the table I use my hands and utensils. etc.
So you have:
- the day that starts and ends
- eating dinner
- grabbing the utensil
- using your arms
- using your muscles
But you paint this picture in the sentences outlined above, rather than in this nested structure. So the other part I'm wondering about is the difference between "verb nesting" and actual action / information nesting in the content of the sentence. So this question just focuses on the verb nesting part. I'm trying to see if there is any nesting going on at the verb level, or if it occurs elsewhere.
If English is a primitive example, I'd be interested to know what languages have complex examples of verb nesting.
Finally, a different example of nesting is in these sentences.
I ate the food they farmed after they built their farm using their hands and after they invested in some crops that they later planted in the soil that was already there.
It seems like this is the nesting structure:
But I can't tell. Maybe it is really a flat structure of some sort.
The reason I call that last one nesting is because the verb
farmed isn't "complete" until all the rest of the sentence is said. Likewise, the verb
built isn't complete until it gets past
using, etc.. So in some sense they seem nested. But it wouldn't make sense to write the sentence like this sort of VSO form:
ATE (I) (the food FARMED (after they BUILT(their farm USING(...))))
Another example includes:
Adding something is changing its value.
adding -> is -> changing