49 The Verbal Part of the Clause—Verbal Nominals
The participle and the infinitive are verbal nominals. They cannot accept the person morphemes of the preformative conjugation or afformative conjugation and are called for that reason “non-finite” forms. They are called verbal-nominals, because they can adopt the functions of nominal parts of clauses and can accept the suffixes typical with nominals.
Verbal nominals occur in texts of all Gattungen fairly regularly and give no indication of the (narrative or discourse) linguistic stance of the text.
Participles indicate that which the action performs or that which—with passives—is affected by it.
As Parts of Clauses
Participles can take on the functions of any nominal part of a clause. Participles appear frequently as predicates in a nominal clause (a, b). In narratives, such participial clauses play the role of adverbial clauses (b). In nominal clauses, as well as verbal clauses, participles can also appear as subjects (c).
Participles that are used appositionally or attributively (d) can be rendered in German with relative clauses (attributive clauses). Participles in clauses with the verb היה “to be” (e) stand as predicate nominatives.
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