ㆍ발행기관 : 한국중앙영어영문학회ㆍ수록지정보 : 영어영문학연구 / 51권 / 1호 / 233 ~ 246 페이지 ㆍ저자명 : Shin Sung Kyun
Bolinger (1977:preface x) mentions the old principle that the natural condition of a language is to preserve one form for one meaning, and one meaning for one form. This means, if two expressions have the same form, they have the same meaning (function), and if different forms, different meanings (functions). There is an apparent counterexample to this: the coalescence of the present participle functioning as verbal (adjectival), and the gerund functioning as nominal in -ing form as in the sentence, Flying kites can be dangerous in a public building. Through the diachronic study of Old English and Middle English, it is found that the Old English present participle form -end(e) has double functions, nominal and verbal. The gerund -ung has a nominal function. So, it is proposed that Modern English form ending -ing is a counterexample to Bolinger’s old principle and also an example of economy of using one form. In Old English, -end(e), which represents the present participle, functions as nominal and verbal (adjectival), and -ung, which represents the gerund, functions as nominal. They share the same function of nominal, both resulting in -ing for economy characteristic of language acquisition or growth as pointed out by Chomsky (1995).