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1. He is much loved.

2. He is much interesting.

3. Your thoughts were much appreciated.

4. This is a much needed development.

5. His face is much red.

6. It was a very stimulating discussion.

7. It was a much stimulating discussion.

If 1, 3, 4, 6, why not 2, 5, 7?

MrP
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Comments  (Page 3) 
Sorry everyone -- especially rvw --, let me go back for a moment to my comment, before going into rvw's issues.

I didn't understand above the term 'quantity' as a measure of "verbal character," but now I think I'm beginning to understand what MrP implied.
You meant: 'much' can quantify the effectiveness of verbal action (toward its object), right?

It was not a matter of course for me, so I put a word then.
I'm glad that I got something a bit clearer.
...Again, if to your ear the participle is an adjective, very by itself is acceptable. He was very discouraged....
Yes; or 'very pleased'.

Hypothesis: where 'very' is acceptable, the past participle has (at least as one of its meanings) a stative sense.

MrP
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usu. used with adjectival past participles "much interested", "much pleased by the compliment", "much gratified" and in negative constructions "not much good at all".
---Webster's Third New International Dictionary. MrPedantic's argument does not answer its use in negative constructions: She did not study much.

I would take the 'good' in 'not much good' as a noun; cf. 'not much use', 'not much of a last theorem'.

I don't find 'she didn't study much' problematical: i.e. 'she didn't study a great deal', 'she didn't study a lot' – it seems to me like a quantitative assessment.

(But I may have misunderstood the point here, RVW, so if so, please put me right!)

MrP
...You meant: 'much' can quantify the effectiveness of verbal action (toward its object)...
Perhaps not so much effectiveness, as extent.

For instance, it's easy to make a visual, 'quantitative' representation of 'much + past participle':

1. he was loved

The quantity of love = XXX

2. he was much loved

The quantity of love = XXXXXXXX

Conversely, where a past participle doesn't sit comfortably with 'much', or admit of 'quantity', it's difficult to imagine a visual representation. For instance, what could we do with '?much finished', '?much destroyed', '?much born'?

I'm looking forward to the centaur.

MrP
You meant: 'much' can quantify the effectiveness of verbal action (toward its object) ?
{MrP} Perhaps not so much effectiveness, as extent.
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Ah-huh, I got it, from your cases, I can see the word 'extent' is more appropriate.

✒ 'much' can quantify the 'extent' of verbal action.
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(To understand, I'm telling to myself in a whisper...)
✑ 'much' can quantify the 'extent' of affectedness of object by verbal action (when it is used with past participle).
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I'd prefer a unicorn.
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Hypothesis: where 'very' is acceptable, the past participle has (at least as one of its meanings) a stative sense.
Isn't this just another way of saying that the past participle has become an adjective -- that it modifies or characterizes the state of the noun? A blue flower. A hidden flower.
I don't find 'she didn't study much' problematical: i.e. 'she didn't study a great deal', 'she didn't study a lot' – it seems to me like a quantitative assessment.
(But I may have misunderstood the point here, RVW, so if so, please put me right!)

MrP
I wasn't clear in my own thinking what I wanted to say about much.

To you, much has a core sense of 'quantity'. And to you that is its salient feature. First, we are taking about much as an adverb, meaning very, which means to a great extent, in a high degree, extremely. In our context of discussing the applicability of much and very to participles, what strikes me about much is not its semantic difference from very. To me there is very little difference in meaning between He is much loved and He is very loved. Instead, what is interesting to me is that, over time, adverbial much has been given just those applications where the participle is felt to be too "verbal" for the pure intensive very, plus as a plain adverb meaning very in negative constructions.

Since these usages evolved over hundreds of years, we will never know exactly how they came about. The quantitative nature of much probably played a part, as did the desire to keep very a pure intensive.

{quote=rvw&material}
In Webster's Third New International Dictionary I found a usage note for the adverbial much:
 [In the sense of] VERY -- usu. used with adjectival past participles "much interested", "much pleased by the compliment", "much gratified" and in negative constructions "not much good at all".
.........................................................................................
Yes, as rvw has pointed out, something is still wrong or remains unexplained by your hypothesis, MrP. As to negative constructions.

I feel sorry for my interrution (as I said I'm ignorant of these questions), but I got confused again: how should we negate these sentences?
[1] He is much loved. [2] He is very loved.

The answer seems obvious. Then ... the original sentences and negated sentences could be considered as 'stative' sentences; then what is quantified..? (I don't know, maybe my question itself is wrong in the first place..? Hmm... I got confused, but interested.)
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