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A dangling participle (also known as an unattached or unrelated participle)


"Dearest being on earth, pardon me if you do not see me till eleven o'clock, having met a schoolfellow from India" (Steele)
Although Rowland justifies introductory adverbial gerund and infinitive phrases because they are idiomatic and clearly adverbial, he does not extend this argument to participles. He condemns dangling participles as "slovenly English" and "weak constructions that should be replaced by more robust phrasing."
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Although no writing authorities now claim that adverbial participles and nonidiomatic absolute participles are becoming acceptable in technical writing, such participles are widely used and well understood. Forbidding their use is perhaps like forbidding the tide to rise. These participial constructions are certainly not grammatical, but they are rarely misunderstood.
• So long as an adverbial or absolute participle does not appear to modify the wrong noun, it is acceptable, but not encouraged.
(Grammar, Punctuation, and Capitalization: A Handbook for Technical Writers and Editors. http://www.sti.nasa.gov/sp7084/ch1.html )
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Nominative Absolute -- When a noun or pronoun, instead of being subject or object to a finite verb, is subject to a participle, the words forming a phrase which hangs loose to the rest of the sentence, the phrase is called a nominative absolute: e.g. these things being so, why should we deceive ourselves? she failing in her promise, I will withdraw mine; this done, he retired. Sometimes the participle is omitted: e.g. Fair play [given], he car’d na deils a boddle (Burns, Tam O’Shanter, 110). In old English the absolute case was the dative; in Latin it is the ablative, but it is strange to read in a history of English literature that Tusser is full of ablative absolutes. Milton, probably influenced by the Latin, has "him destroyed . . . all this will soon follow " but the nominative is quite common in Shakespeare, and is now regularly used. "Absolute" is opposed to "relative"; the absolute noun has not the usual definite relation to the rest of the sentence. If an absolute participle has no noun for its subject, it illustrates the ugly error known as"unrelated participle": e.g. touching a secret lock, the door opened. George Meredith writes: "Meeting General Pierson, the latter rallied him "where the relation of "meeting" to "him" is unusual, and the form of the sentence is objectionable. The second couplet of Tennyson's Locksley Hall has a nominative absolute which puzzled those readers who tried to find a relation between "gleams" and "curlews."
'Tis the place, and all around it, as of old, the curlews call,
Dreary gleams about the moorland flying over Locksley Hall.
The most obvious example in current English is "weather permitting."

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Acceptability of Participle Clauses
The treatment of the participle clause in English grammars forms an interesting side note. While participle clauses are demonstrably common and accepted in most grammars, a few grammarians have considered them to be unnatural English. Visser lists his three hundred examples largely to refute the dissenters such as C. H. Ross, who opined in 1893 that in early Modern English the construction "limited itself to certain favorite authors where the classical element largely predominated, and was used but sparingly by authors whose style was essentially English,"8 and Sweet, who said in 1903: "The absolute participle construction is not only uncolloquial, but is by many felt to be un-English, and to be avoided in writing as well."9 Visser also refers to the work of a more recent grammarian:
Vallins . . . says that, with the exception of a number of standard idiomatic collocations such as "weather permitting," "other things being equal," the construction does not belong to colloquial Pres. D. English, and that it would be more natural, and therefore more idiomatic, to say "As the match was over early, we decided to go to the theatre."10

This disagreement among grammarians may simply be prescriptivism running counter to actual usage. The dissenting grammarians were perhaps unaware of how widely used the participle clause really is, or perhaps they simply had their own opinions about what constitutes good and bad English. In any event, it is clear that participle clauses are very much a part of English and are acceptable to most grammarians.
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A dangling participle (also known as an unattached or unrelated participle) occurs when the –ing or –ed phrase is placed next to the subject but is not related to it. It may in fact be related to another noun in the sentence: Being in charge, the accusation was particularly annoying to me (the accusation was not in charge; I was in charge); If paid generously, we can expect good work from them (if they are paid, not if we are paid). Possible corrections of these two sentences are Being in charge, I was particularly annoyed by the accusation; If they are paid generously, we can expect good work from them. The error requires more radical correction if the participle phrase is not related to any noun in the sentence: By applying the techniques of these massage therapies, the body will be restored to its natural balance (presumably the masseur or masseuse applies the technique).
… Generally, sentences with dangling participles can be easily understood. Nevertheless, they are considered to be incorrect and should be rephrased to avoid criticism.
Certain –ing and –ed phrases are allowed to dangle. In the first place, there are several –ing and –ed words that are no longer participles but have become prepositions: according to, barring, concerning, considering, failing, following, including, owing (to), pending, regarding. Others have become conjunctions: assuming, granted, provided, providing, seeing, supposing.
(Sidney Greenbaum and Janet Whitcut, Guide to English usage. London, 1988).
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В словаре Lingvo dangling participle переводится как «деепричастный оборот». В английском языке деепричастия отсутствуют, поэтому такой перевод вызывает недоумение.
В словаре Merriam-Webster глагол dangle имеет такое толкование: 3. to occur in a sentence without having a normally expected syntactic relation to the rest of the sentence (as climbing in “Climbing the mountain the cabin came into view”) < a dangling participle > < a dangling modifier >
Правильный перевод слова dangling: «висячий», когда имеются в виду причастия, не относящиеся к грамматическому подлежащему в предложении.
Tags: английский язык, грамматика
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