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|Title: ||Analysing English particle verbs: synchrony and diachrony|
|Author(s): ||Elenbaas, M.B. (298583275)|
|Publication year: ||2004|
|Document type: ||Conference lecture|
|Annotation: ||[Universiteit van Amsterdam] Generative Reading Group bijeenkomst, 20 december 2004|
Universiteit van Amsterdam : [s.n.]
|Abstract: ||English has a very productive construction in which a verb is combined with a particle.
(1) a. The cleaner knocked (down) the vase (down).
b. The police locked (up) the criminal (up).
c. The Formula 1 race-driver wrote (off) his car (off).
(write off = damage beyond repair)
The challenge of analysing English particle verbs lies in their semantic, syntactic and morphological properties. The meaning of particle verbs varies from literal, (1a), to highly idiomatic, (1c). Structurally, they are hybrid between syntactically independent elements and morphological units with the verb. This has led linguists to analyse particle verbs either as a complex head (e.g. Johnson 1991) or as two separate syntactic heads (often as a small clause, e.g. Den Dikken 1995). More recently, analyses have been suggested in which the particle is hybrid between head and phrase (Zeller 2001). In this talk, I present an analysis of English particle verbs in which their complex event semantics is reflected in their syntactic structure. Building on work by Dehé (2002), I propose that the word order alternation involves a difference in information structure. In my analysis, then, the two word orders are not entirely optional, as is often assumed.
I will also briefly touch on the diachronic development of the verb-particle combination. The paradoxical situation of present-day English contrasts with that in the Old English period (ca.850-1150) in which particles are clearly syntactically independent elements. The present-day English word order alternation becomes firmly established in the Middle English period (ca.1150-1420) after the changeover to postverbal particles (described at length by Hiltunen 1983). Of special importance is the sudden rise of the verb-particle-object order in early Middle English. I will present an analysis that is able to interpret/explain this changeover.
Dehé, N. (2002) Particle Verbs in English: Syntax, Information Structure, and Intonation.
Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 59, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Den Dikken, M. (1995) Particles: On the Syntax of Verb-particle, Triadic, and Causative
Constructions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hiltunen, R. (1983) The decline of the prefixes and the beginnings of the English phrasal
verb: The evidence from some Old and Middle English texts (Annales Universitatis Turkuensis, Series B, 160). Turun Yliopisto (University of Turku, Finland), Turku.
Johnson, K. (1991) 'Object Positions'. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, 9, 577-636.
Zeller, J. (2001) Particle verbs and local domains. Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today,
Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.|
|Subject: ||The diachrony of complex predicates in the West-Germanic languages. SCV's in the history of English|
|Subject: ||The diachrony of complex predicates in the West-Germanic languages, SCV's in the history of English|
|Organization: ||Engelse taal en cultuur|
|Appears in Collections:||Academic bibliography|
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