Gower Bibliography

Some Characteristics of the Verbal Substantive in Gower's Confessio Amantis

Kanno, Masahiko. "Some Characteristics of the Verbal Substantive in Gower's Confessio Amantis." Hiroshima Studies in English Language and Literature 9 (1963), pp. 90-98. ISSN 0288-2876

Review

The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which the verbal substantives used in the CA exhibit the syntactic characteristics of the verb. Having noted that in Gower's English the verbal substantive is morphologically distinct from the present participle, the former ending in –ing(e) or –yng(e) and the latter almost regularly ending in –ende, Kanno classifies the verbal substantives in the CA into the following three categories: (1) those functioning as subjects or subject complements; (2) those used as the object of a verb; (3) those used as the object of a preposition. Although in the majority of these cases the verbal substantive performs a noun function within a sentence, preceded by an adjective or determiner and/or linked prepositionally to a following object, Kanno cites three exceptional cases in which the –ing form is modified adverbially. Kanno also demonstrates that when the verbal substantive is placed after a verb phrase (as in the case of "awaiteth upon his comynge" in CA 8.1312), it combines with a preceding noun or possessive pronoun to form a subject-predicate unit called a "nexus." These isolated instances of the -ing form assuming verbal characteristics, however, do little to justify identifying them as a distinctive feature of Gower's syntax, leading Kanno to conclude that the verbal substantives in the CA have more nominal than verbal properties. [Yoshiko Kobayashi]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Language and Word Studies
Confessio Amantis

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