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Hello, everyone,

Much has been written and said about positive self-talk_for example, repeating to ourselves "I am wonderful" when we feel down, "I am strong" when going through a difficult time, or "I am getting better every day in every way" each morning in front of the mirror. The evidence that this sort of pep talk works is weak, and there are psychologists who suggest that it can actually hurt more than it can help. Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point. When feeling down, saying "I am really sad" or "I feel so torn"-to ourselves or to someone we trust-is much more helpful than declaring "I am tough" or "I am happy.
* source; https://publicism.info/psychology/perfect/18.html

About the expression - acknowledging in above paragraph, I think there are three possible analyses for its function as follows;

1. the "acknowledging" is the abbreviated form of “which acknowledges” as “reduced relative clause”, which modifies the preceding noun – ‘real self-talk’.
2. “acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point” is an adverbial(=participle) clause, which modifies the preceding clause.
3. “acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point” is an apposition clause to the preceding noun – ‘real self-talk’.

While I‘m inclined to the first one, I would like to invite your various opinions.

RGDS,

Last edited by deepcosmos
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Hi, deepcosmos,

I'm inclined to parse it as an adverbial clause modifying the noun phrase "real self-talk," which is a deverbal noun, i.e. a noun of verbal origin:

- Real self-talk, acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point, can be useful.

- Talking to ourselves on real terms, acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point, can be useful.

Hi, deepcosmos,

I'm inclined to parse it as an adverbial clause modifying the noun phrase "real self-talk," which is a deverbal noun, i.e. a noun of verbal origin:

- Real self-talk, acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point, can be useful.

- Talking to ourselves on real terms, acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point, can be useful.

Hi, Gustavo,

Appreciate your prompt reply, which is really a unique(beyond my imagination)  and sharp analysis, I think.

What do you think about above no.1 anaysis?

Thanks much,

Last edited by deepcosmos
@deepcosmos posted:

What do you think about above no.1 anaysis?

@deepcosmos posted:

Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point.

1. the "acknowledging" is the abbreviated form of “which acknowledges” as “reduced relative clause”, which modifies the preceding noun – ‘real self-talk’.

I don't think it's a relative, because we don't say that real self-talk acknowledges what we are feeling, but consists of acknowledging what we are feeling. The relative word I'd use (which does not allow for reduction) is whereby:

- Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, whereby we honestly acknowledge what we are feeling at a given point.

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor

I don't think it's a relative, because we don't say that real self-talk acknowledges what we are feeling, but consists of acknowledging what we are feeling. The relative word I'd use (which does not allow for reduction) is whereby:

- Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, whereby we honestly acknowledge what we are feeling at a given point.

Really appreciate your 2nd explanation, which is, I feel, unexpectedly sharp.

Sincerely enjoyed today's correspondence with you.

RGDS,

@deepcosmos posted:

[. . .] Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point. [. . .]

3. “acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point” is an apposition clause to the preceding noun – ‘real self-talk’.

Hi, Deepcosmos and Gustavo—I like Gustavo's interpretation and think that it is valid. Still, I would like to give the third parsing a chance, since that is how I naturally understand the sentence. I read the "acknowledging"-clause as a substantive, which could be preceded either by the "or" of equivalence or by a second "about." It could also be converted to a true gerund:

  • Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, or acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point.
  • Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, about acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point.
  • Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, the honest acknowledging of what we are feeling at a given point.

Hi, Deepcosmos and Gustavo—I like Gustavo's interpretation and think that it is valid. Still, I would like to give the third parsing a chance, since that is how I naturally understand the sentence. I read the "acknowledging"-clause as a substantive, which could be preceded either by the "or" of equivalence or by a second "about." It could also be converted to a true gerund:

  • Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, or acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point.
  • Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, about acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point.
  • Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, the honest acknowledging of what we are feeling at a given point.

Hello, David and Gustavo!

I feel the parsing English sentence is still too far for me, EFL person, to go.

But you gave me a new prospect to understand the sentence.

Meantime, in relation to Gustavo's good opinion to my 1st possible analysis(reduced relative clause),  while I sometimes see the case with non-person subject for the verb - acknowledge - as follows, that one is still out of your choice?;

1.  Saying we love doing something acknowledges a greater truth.

https://www.prdaily.com/how-to...g-and-start-writing/

2. Their hope is that students will grow beyond it, though their “Manifesto or something’’ acknowledges that it’s “a standard some will cling to through high school and even through college.’'

https://www.edweek.org/educati...to-the-point/1995/05

Would hope to hear again,

Best RGDS

Last edited by deepcosmos

I read the "acknowledging"-clause as a substantive, which could be preceded either by the "or" of equivalence or by a second "about." It could also be converted to a true gerund:

  • Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, or acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point.
  • Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, about acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point.
  • Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, the honest acknowledging of what we are feeling at a given point.

David, that is a very good interpretation, perhaps in line with my "which consists of acknowledging ..."

I've also been thinking about the possibility of replacing the V-ing with a sui generis absolute construction:

- Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, with us acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point.

@deepcosmos posted:

I sometimes see the case with non-person subject for the verb - acknowledge - as follows, that one is still out of your choice?;

1.  Saying we love doing something acknowledges a greater truth.

https://www.prdaily.com/how-to...g-and-start-writing/

2. Their hope is that students will grow beyond it, though their “Manifesto or something’’ acknowledges that it’s “a standard some will cling to through high school and even through college.’'

https://www.edweek.org/educati...to-the-point/1995/05

Deepcosmos, I did not say that the verb "acknowledge" cannot have an inanimate subject. However, I prefer sentence (2) above, where the subject of "acknowledge" is a document. I think "saying we love doing something" is closer to "self-talk," and I would tend to say:

- By saying we love doing something, we acknowledge a greater truth.

- By talking to ourselves, we acknowledge what we are feeling.

What do you think, David?

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor

David, that is a very good interpretation, perhaps in line with my "which consists of acknowledging ..."

I've also been thinking about the possibility of replacing the V-ing with a sui generis absolute construction:

- Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, with us acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point.

Deepcosmos, I did not say that the verb "acknowledge" cannot have an inanimate subject. However, I prefer sentence (2) above, where the subject of "acknowledge" is a document. I think "saying we love doing something" is closer to "self-talk," and I would tend to say:

- By saying we love doing something, we acknowledge a greater truth.

- By talking to ourselves, we acknowledge what we are feeling.

What do you think, David?

Thanks your comments, Gustavo.

I'm also curious about how David will answer to your above post.

RGDS,

David, that is a very good interpretation, perhaps in line with my "which consists of acknowledging ..."

Absolutely, Gustavo. That was what I had in mind. Real self-talk is acknowledging thus-and-such. Acknowledging thus-and-such is real self-talk.



. . . I prefer sentence (2) above, where the subject of "acknowledge" is a document. I think "saying we love doing something" is closer to "self-talk," and I would tend to say:

- By saying we love doing something, we acknowledge a greater truth.

- By talking to ourselves, we acknowledge what we are feeling.

What do you think, David?

I agree with you that those revisions are better, Gustavo. Another way to revise would be to use infinitival clauses, both as subject and subject complement:

  • To say we love doing something is to acknowledge a greater truth.
  • To talk to ourselves is to acknowledge what we are feeling.

David, that is a very good interpretation, perhaps in line with my "which consists of acknowledging ..."

I've also been thinking about the possibility of replacing the V-ing with a sui generis absolute construction:

- Little, unfortunately, has been written about real self-talk, with us acknowledging honestly what we are feeling at a given point.

Deepcosmos, I did not say that the verb "acknowledge" cannot have an inanimate subject. However, I prefer sentence (2) above, where the subject of "acknowledge" is a document. I think "saying we love doing something" is closer to "self-talk," and I would tend to say:

- By saying we love doing something, we acknowledge a greater truth.

- By talking to ourselves, we acknowledge what we are feeling.

What do you think, David?

Absolutely, Gustavo. That was what I had in mind. Real self-talk is acknowledging thus-and-such. Acknowledging thus-and-such is real self-talk.

I agree with you that those revisions are better, Gustavo. Another way to revise would be to use infinitival clauses, both as subject and subject complement:

  • To say we love doing something is to acknowledge a greater truth.
  • To talk to ourselves is to acknowledge what we are feeling.

Hello, David and Gustavo,

Sincerely appreciate that you have shared me your time for this issue for two days. Now I have got your explanations with great thanks.

Best RGDS,

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