Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake
jaylake

[language] Parts of speech confusion

O mighty LJ brain, hear my plea. I have confused myself anent matters grammatical.

There’s a construction in English whereby nouns convert to adjectives through being modified with an /-ed/ affix, as if they were verbs being conjugated into the simple past. For example:

one eyed
lop eared
left handed
many splendored
fruited plains
strait jacketed

Most of the examples I can think of are related to body parts or clothing, but not all of them. Some examples can be explained as verb forms (”strait jacketed”), but, for example, I can’t make “lop eared” be a verb in my head.

Why are we conjugating nouns into adjectives? Can someone give me the remedial grammar 101 on this?

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

Tags: language
Subscribe

  • [photos] Your Saturday moment of zen

    Your Saturday moment of zen. Dark side roast, the Star Wars Shop in Aberdeen, WA. Photo © 2012, 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr. This work…

  • [photos] Your Friday moment of zen

    Your Friday moment of zen. Swamp tea, the Star Wars Shop in Aberdeen, WA. Photo © 2012, 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr. This work by…

  • [links] Link salad flies away again

    Being right or being happy: pilot study — Which kind of reminds me of my “justice versus peace” parable I sometimes tell. (Via David Goldman.)…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

  • 16 comments

  • [photos] Your Saturday moment of zen

    Your Saturday moment of zen. Dark side roast, the Star Wars Shop in Aberdeen, WA. Photo © 2012, 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr. This work…

  • [photos] Your Friday moment of zen

    Your Friday moment of zen. Swamp tea, the Star Wars Shop in Aberdeen, WA. Photo © 2012, 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr. This work by…

  • [links] Link salad flies away again

    Being right or being happy: pilot study — Which kind of reminds me of my “justice versus peace” parable I sometimes tell. (Via David Goldman.)…