I would like a generative BNF-style complete description for English grammar. Some of the more subtle stuff leads to awkward questions of grammaticality. The interior rules for forming STATEMENTS must include adjectives formed from gerunds, to make sense of clearly grammatical stuff, like:
"The sweating man walked south"
But then, extending the gerund to a gerund-phrase in the BNF, you get a lot of variations on this peculiar americanism, a favorite of Foghorn Leghorn's:
- "Just wait one cotton picking minute!"
EDIT: response to ignorant comments, answers, and downvotes
I got told that "cotton picking minute" is a cussing idiom, and that this grammatical rule does not exist in English:
"french fry frying frier", "leopard skinning machine", "folding chair", "first responding officer", "rain seeding airplane", "snow blowing machine", "county election stealing candidate", "emergency training wheels" "ocean swimming gear" "gullt presuming judge", "load bearing truss", "direction finding equipment", "spoken voice recording technology",
For a demonstration that this is an actual recursive rule, not a way of forming noun expressions from gerunds:
- "The habitually repulsively loudly obnoxiously snoring captain awakened me from my sleep."
- "I bought a DNA, RNA and protein sequencing machine."
- "I found the constant running gag repeating in that movie grating."
- "Those sweater vest, suit and tie sporting Chomsky quoting businessmen are getting on my nerves!"
I could go on all "mother-fucking" day. So please stop pretending that this is not English. I just want to know how far you can go before it stops being comprehensible
END OF EDIT
The cotton-picking minute is a minute picking cotton, where the picking cotton has been made into an adjective by gerundizing. This construction makes an adjective out of a gerund phrase. I put this in the BNF, and it generates some weird sentences. I was wondering which ones were considered grammatical. I will write them all in Foghorn-Leghorn character voice, because that's what they sound like to me.
That's an apple table putting plumber there, son! (that plumber puts apples on tables")
That's a paragraph short story including writer there, boy! (That writer puts paragraphs in short stories)
The second example has two-word object of the word "include", is this still ok?
- That's a long, eye-poppingly detailed, paragraph short story putting writer there, son!
Is this still ok?
I say! Boy. that's one horse bridle neck putting jockey riding there.
That's a falling off the tree apple, wooden table wobbling on its legs, putting plumber there, boy!
I say. I say. That her boy to school in a car driving mom went on the plane.
The fish in his mouth with gusto chewing masseusse was done chewing the fish in his mouth with gusto.
The last two have optional arguments in the construction, and each of these have pretty much independent issues. For example, the second to last construction has a "her" with a binding to "mom", which goes a different direction than usual. The previous has embedding within the arguments. The first two sentences lack the proper forms on the arguments of the gerund, they might be correctly rendered as:
That's an apple on the table putting plumber there, son.
That's a paragraph in a short story including writer there, son.
You can also recurse this construction:
- That's an apple on the vase supporting table putting plumber there, son.
or, with single-words
- That's a ripening apple eating plumber there, son.
It is dead easy to exclude these constructions--- simply require that the arguments of the verb must be one word long. But looking at them for a while, they start to sound ok to me as is. Do others agree? Are these grammatically ok?
These phrases are automatically generated by an English BNF, if you treat these gerund phrases consistently. They can be excluded by modifying the BNF to disallow multiple word arguments on gerund phrases in this position. I want to know the intuition consensus before making a decision.