Friday, May 23, 2008

Denominal Verbs

Lots of denominal verbs here, i.e. verbs derived from nouns — for instance, trantruming from tantrum and meltdowning from meltdown (interestingly, melting down doesn’t have the same force).

This is the same process that gave us access as a verb (e.g. to access a file) and, more recently, to dialogue with someone.


Michirure said...

Oops, I'm guilty of adding loads of '-ing's to my nouns. When I'm speaking Singlish to my friends only, of course. Haha. It enhances the present tense. ^^

The Grammar Terrorist said...

That's interesting.

I know it's not totally relevant, but in Singlish there's a tendency to use -ing verb forms where Standard English wouldn't, with verbs that describe states, e.g. 'live', 'have', 'know', 'understand'. These are called 'stative verbs'.

This tendency has been attributed to the Indian languages that influenced Singlish in its earliest stages, because, to use the appropriate terminology, these languages use the progressive aspect for stative verbs (hence, sentences such as 'I am knowing you' are regarded as characteristic of Indian speakers of English).