The subject rule
Multi-word verbs compared to verb + PP combinations
Intransitive vs. causative verbs
Different phrase types used as complement
Verb complementation types
A clause consists basically of the predicate verb and its complements (additional expressions needed to ‘complete’ the sense of the main verb). The relationship between the main verb and its complements reflects the relationship between an action, the participants in the action and various accompanying circumstances: The dog was chasing the cat across the lawn. We can recognise a number of different complementation patterns related to different verb types. Common to these complementation patterns is that they all conform to the subject rule. The subject rule:
Each finite declarative clause must have a subject, which precedes the predicate verb.
On the basis of the number of complements of a verb (including the subject), we can recognize one-place, two-place etc. verbs. On the basis of the type of complementation, we recognize different types oftransitivity of the verb:
The tree fell.
S V A
The car is in the garage.
S V sC
The sky was dark.
S V dO
She washed the car.
S V dO A
She keeps the car in the garage.
S V iO dO
He sent her a fax.
S V dO oP
She made him unhappy.
Multi-word verbs :
In addition to the clause-level complements mentioned above, EUG also takes up certain forms which can be added to verb stems to form multi-word verbs. We can recognize the following types:
A phrasal verb is made up of a lexical verb plus a particle (in EUG called an adverb). The particle is always stressed. In many cases it is possible to find a one-word verb (typically of Latin or French origin) which is a synonym of the phrasal verb. In many cases the meaning of the phrasal verb cannot be predicted from the meaning of verb stem and particle in isolation.
Phrasal verbs can be intransitive or transitive. If they are transitive, a noun phrase subject can precede or follow the particle; a pronoun object must precede the particle. a. Intransitive
The attempt did not come off. = The attempt did not succeed. b. Transitive: can usually be passivized They called off the meeting. = They cancelled the meeting. They called it off. The meeting was called off. What did they call off?
The ‘similar combinations of verb + adjective (or participle)’ described in §392B come close to verb + subject / object complement: The door burst open. (it became open) He tore the letter open. (it became open) Passive: The letter was torn open.
The adjective/participle specifies the result of the action.
A prepositional verb is made up of a lexical verb plus a preposition. The preposition is typically unstressed. In many cases it is possible to find a one-word verb (typically of Latin or French origin) which is a synonym of the prepositional verb. In many cases the meaning of the prepositional verb cannot be predicted from the meaning of verb stem and particle in isolation.
A prepositional verb is always transitive. Some clauses with prepositional verbs can be passivized. He called on his friends. = He visited his friends. He called on them. They didn’t like being called on so late.
Who(m) did he call on?
They called on both...
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