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Costentin Cornomorus wrote:

>--- David Barrow <[log in to unmask]>
>wrote:
>
>
>
>>a-  is a reduced  form of  OE ge  in alike
>>aware
>>
>>
>
>Ah, good.
>
>
>
>>a prefix meaning 'out' in arise abide
>>it's a reduced form of preposition 'on'  in 'a
>>hunting' 'a building' for
>>example but in this case hunting is a gerund
>>(verbal noun) not a present participle
>>
>>
>
>Not that you can tell in Modern English!
>
>
You can if you know how : -)

>
>
>>What examples do you have with a- as a present
>>participle marker?
>>
>>
>
>The ones you called a gerund! :)
>
>
both gerund an present participle end in -ing
but present participle originally ended in -ende

present participle is used in

continuous tenses

I am walking

participle clauses

I saw a woman walking across the road

Gerund is an noun

It can be object of verb

I like walking

object of  preposition

I  look forward  to  walking

A subject
( like the to- infinitive as subject)

Walking  is  exercise

Both present participle and gerund can be adjectives

a crying baby , a walking stick
you need to deconstruct to work out which is which

a crying baby is:
a baby who is crying (present participle)

a walking stick is:
a stick for walking  (gerund)


>
>
>>>When you think about it, "a" in such phrases
>>>really can't be the indefinite article,
>>>
>>>
>>because
>>
>>
>>>the noun that follows is always plural. (Can
>>>anyone think of any exceptions?)
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>lot is singular  so it can take the indefinite
>>article
>>
>>
>
>Except I don't understand it as a noun there,
>exactly: not "a lot". It doesn't make any sense
>to me that way. Hm.
>
>
What do you understand it as?

>
>
>>lots is the plural alternative
>>we also have
>>an  amount  of
>>a number of
>>a quantity of
>>
>>
>
>Allright, there's some. All of which are in fact
>nouns and couldn't be recomposed into *aquantity.
>
>But afew, etc., I think can be taken as survivals
>of a- intensive.
>

>Padraic.
>
>
>

I couldn't find afew in my large Webster's and that has a lot of archaisms
and obsolete words

David Barrow