日本人英文法の意外な穴

帝京大学教授で、ルミナス英和辞典(研究社)をはじめとする英語辞書編纂にも多く関わってこられたクリストファ・バーナード先生が月3~4回、語法、語彙を含めた広い意味での英文法の様々なトピックを解説します。

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114. Cognate objects (1)

114. Cognate objects (1)

We can use the term "cognate object" to refer to what in the last Column I called "true cognate objects". This refers to those objects which must have an adjective before them:

1) I slept a deep sleep.
2) He laughed a loud laugh.
3) He died a sudden death.

Or, they can be followed by a that-clause, etc.:
4) He slept a sleep that was deep.

Therefore the following kind of sentence is incorrect:

4) × I slept a sleep.

But in the case of the "a song" type of object I discussed in the previous Column, we can say either of these:

5) I sang a song. / I sang a short song.
6) I danced a dance. / I danced a romantic dance.

So, to summarize, true cognate objects can only occur with an adjective or that-clause, etc.

Many of the expressions of the adjective + cognate object type are very common collocations, and as such are worth learning by heart. In the next Column, I will give many examples of adjective + cognate object.


◆NOTES◆
to summarize:まとめると
collocation:コロケーション(ある語・句同士の習慣的な結び付き)
as such:そういうものとして、それ自体は
be worth -ing:~する価値がある
learn by heart:暗記する

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113. Is "He sang a song" an example of a cognate object?

113. Is "He sang a song" an example of a cognate object?

A cognate object is the object of a sentence which repeats the verb (in noun form of course). Examples of what are sometimes considered cognate objects are:

1) He sang a song.
2) She danced a dance.
3) I drank a drink.

In these sentences the verb and the noun, which is the object of the sentence, are both, as it were, saying the same thing.

The term "cognate object" sometimes also refers to an object which has, more or less, the same meaning as the verb:

4) We ran a race.
5) They fought a battle.
6) He cried tears.

In all the above sentences, we can add an adjective before the nouns, like this:

7) She sang a beautiful song.
8) I drank a cold drink.
9) They fought a fierce battle.
10) He cried bitter tears.

However, there are some nouns which are related to verbs which are different in the grammar from the above. Here are some examples:

sleep > a sleep
laugh > a laugh
live > a life
die > a death

The relationship between "sleep" and "a sleep", "laugh" and "a laugh", etc. is different from the relationship between "sing" and "a song", "fight" and "a battle", etc.

The reason for this is that "a sleep", "a laugh", etc. are examples of true cognate objects. On the other hand, "a song", "a dance", etc. are not examples of true cognate objects.

In the next Column, I will discuss how the grammar of these two groups is different.


◆NOTES◆
cognate:同語源の、同語族の
what are considered A:A(複数)と見なされるもの<consider B A:BをAとみなす
as it were:ところが実際は
refer to ~:~を示す、表す
more or less:多少、ある程度
cry tears:涙を流す

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