When you open an English grammar book written in Japanese, you’d be puzzled or even chuckle to find Japanese translation of dangling participle – 懸垂分詞, which literally means ‘chinning exercise’ or ‘chin-up’ particle. It shows ‘Lying in my bed, everything seemed so different’ as an example.
I don’t know who put ‘chin-up participle’ to dangling particle as its Japanese counterpart. At least it was named this way by an English language scholar(s) at the dawn of civilization and enlightment in Meiji era (1868 – 1911).
However, I feel somewhat foreign about the naming of ‘dangling participle’ per se in comparison with present / past participle. Why was it defined as “Dangling participle”?
Yes, it’s a custom, consensus, and it's the rule that you can not argue about. But I feel same awkwardness as I feel with ‘chinning exercise participle.” I thought there would have been easier and more understandable choices of the terminology than Dangling, for instances, independent, disconnected, isolated, bipolar, parallel participle, you can name it.
What was the origin of “Dangling participle,” and why was it named this way?