How would you describe the bolded words here? They don't intuitively seem like present participles to me, but I might be wrong.
List X can be created by appending the contents of List B to List A.
List Y is the result of sorting List X.
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These are verbs heading clauses, which in turn are functioning as the Complements of prepositions. In traditional grammar (where we don't distinguish carefully between what something is and what it is doing), these are called gerunds. This is just because we normally see phrases headed by nouns doing the job of being the Complement of a preposition. So-called gerunds are the Heads of clauses which are doing jobs often done by phrases headed by nouns.
Of course calling something a gerund doesn't tell you about what it's made of or which specific job it is doing. It's just a fudge that has been being used for many years.
Now when these forms of these verbs do a different job, like being a Modifier in a clause or noun phrase, or being the Complement of a verb, we call them participles in traditional grammar. Of course, calling something a participle doesn't tell you about what it's made of or which specific job it is doing. This is also a fudge.
In many modern grammars they decided to try and distinguish between what a thing is and the job it is doing. In these grammars these verb forms are called gerund-participles. It is recognised that these verbs can head clauses which do different types of jobs. We can describe the jobs that they are doing by calling them Subjects or Complements of prepositions or Modifiers in a noun phrase and so forth.
The Original Poster notes in the comments that these words do not seem like adjectives or nouns. The Original Poster is completely correct, they are verbs. In these sentences these phrases are doing a job often done by noun phrases; they are being Complements of prepositions. In traditional grammar, we would therefore say they are gerunds. Note that this does not mean that these words are nouns, they are still verbs. Note that they have Direct Objects. Verbs have Direct Objects, nouns never do.
In modern grammars they would be recognised as verbs Heading a clause. These clauses are the Complements of prepositions.
Xcan be created by appending the contents of List
Yis the result of sorting List
Both of the constructions are gerund complement clauses;
that is, the clauses have verbs with an -ing form, and they are functioning as noun phrases.
For example, (1) is a Passive transform of
A] can create list
where the bracketed clause is the subject of can create. Although it's only a verb phrase, it's still considered a clause, because it has an indefinite subject NP. Which is not present in this clause.
This is normal for indefinite gerund subjects; the identity of the subject NP is not important if anybody can append the contents of
(2), on the other hand, isn't a passive, but rather a nominalization. The main verb phrase is an auxiliary be plus the predicate noun phrase be the result of sorting List
X. This is a nominalization of the verb result, which takes a gerund clause subject and a transitivizing preposition in.
X] results in List
In both cases, arguing about a particular word is the wrong strategy. Look for the verb phrases, because every verb phrase represents a clause, and clauses are the main constituents of sentences.