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§ 1. Grammatically the verb is the most complex part of speech. This is due to the central role it performs in the expression of the predicative functions of the sentence, i.e. the functions establishing the connection between the situation (situational event) named in the utterance and reality. The complexity of the verb is inherent not only in the intricate structure of its grammatical categories, but also in its various subclass divisions, as well as in its falling into two
sets of forms profoundly different from each other: the finite set and the non-finite set. ^'
The complicated character of the grammatical and lexico-grammatical structure of the verb has given rise to much dispute and controversy. However, the application of the principles of systemic linguistic analysis to the study of this interesting sphere of language helps overcome many essential-difficulties in its theoretical description, and also a number of terminological disagreements among the scholars. This refers in particular to the fundamental relations between the categories of tense and aspect, which have aroused of late very heated disputes.
§ 2. The general categorial meaning of the verb is process presented dynamically, i.e. developing in time. This general processual meaning is embedded in the semantics of all the verbs, including those that denote states, forms of existence, types of attitude, evaluations, etc., rather than actions. Cf.:
Edgar's room led out of the wall without a door. She had herself a liking for richness and excess. It was all over the morning papers. That's what I'm afraid of. I do love you, really I do.
And this holds true not only about the finite verb, but also about the non-finite verb. The processual semantic character of the verbal lexeme even in the non-finite form is proved by the fact that in all its forms it is modified by the adverb and, with the transitive verb, it takes a direct object. Cf.:
Mr. Brown received the visitor instantly, which was unusual. — Mr. Brown's receiving the visitor instantly was unusual. — It was unusual for Mr. Brown to receive the visitor instantly. But: An instant reception of the visitor was unusual for Mr. Brown.
The processual categorial meaning of the notional verb determines its characteristic combination with a noun expressing both the doer of the action (its subject) and, in cases of the objective verb, the recipient of the action (its object); it also determines its combination with an adverb as the modifier of the action.
In the sentence the finite verb invariably performs the function of the verb-predicate, expressing the processual
categorial features of predication, i.e. time, aspect, voice, and mood.
The non-finite verb performs different functions according to its intermediary nature (those of the syntactic subject, object, adverbial modifier, attribute), but its non-processual functions are always actualised in close combination with its processual semantic features. This is especially evident in demonstrative correlations of the 'sentence — phrase' type. Cf.:
His rejecting the proposal surprised us.— That he had rejected the proposal surprised us. Taking this into consideration, her attitude can be understood. — If one takes this into consideration, her attitude can be understood.
In other words, the non-finite forms of the verb in self-dependent use (i.e. if they are used not as parts of the analytical verb-forms) perform a potentially predicative function, constituting secondary predicative centres in the sentence. In each case of such use they refer to some subject which is expressed either explicitly or implicitly. Cf.:
Roddy cared enough about his mother to want to make amends for Arabella.→ Roddy wanted to make amends→ Roddy will make amends Changing gear, the taxi turned the sharp corner. → The taxi changed gear and turned the corner. Acting as mate is often more difficult than acting as captain. → One acts as mate; one acts as captain.
§ 3. From the point of view of their outward structure, verbs are characterised by specific forms of word-building, as well as by the formal features expressing the corresponding grammatical categories.
The verb stems may be simple, sound-replacive, stress-replacive, expanded, composite, and phrasal.
The original simple verb stems are not numerous. Cf. such verbs as go, take, read, etc. But conversion (zero-suffixation) as means of derivation, especially conversion of the 'noun — verb' type, greatly enlarges the simple stem set of verbs, since it is one of the most productive ways of forming verb lexemes in modern English. Cf.: a cloud — to cloud, a house — to house; a man — to man; a park — to park, etc.
The sound-replacive type of derivation and the stress-replacive type of derivation are unproductive. Cf.: food —
to feed, blood — to bleed; 'import — to im'port, 'transport — to trans'port.
The typical suffixes expanding the stem of the verb are: -ate (cultivate), -en (broaden), -ifу (clarify), -ise(-ize) (normalise). The verb-deriving prefixes of the inter-class type are: be- (belittle, befriend, bemoan) and en-/em- (engulf, embed). Some other characteristic verbal prefixes are: re- (remake), under- (undergo), over- (overestimate), sub- (submerge), mis-(misunderstand), un- (undo), etc.
The composite (compound) verb stems correspond to the composite non-verb stems from which they are etymologically derived. Here belong the compounds of the conversion type (blackmail n. — blackmail v.) and of the reduction type (proof-reader n.—proof-read v.).
The phrasal verb stems occupy an intermediary position between analytical forms of the verb and syntactic word combinations. Among such stems two specific constructions should be mentioned. The first is a combination of the head-verb have, give, take, and occasionally some others with a noun; the combination has as its equivalent an ordinary verb. Cf.: to have a smoke — to smoke; to give a smile — to smile; to take a stroll — to stroll.
The second is a combination of a head-verb with a verbal postposition that has a specificational value. Cf.: stand up, go on, give in, be off, get along, etc.
§ 4. The grammatical categories which find formal expression in the outward structure of the verb and which will be analysed further are, first, the category of finitude dividing the verb into finite and non-finite forms (the corresponding contracted names are 'finites' and 'verbids'*; this category has a lexico-grammatical force); second, the categories of person, number, tense, aspect, voice, and mood, whose complete set is revealed in every word-form of the notional finite verb.
Each of the identified categories constitutes a whole system of its own presenting its manifold problems to the scholar. However, the comparative analysis of the categorial properties of all the forms of the verb, including the
* The term 'verbids' for the non-finite forms of the verb was introduced by O. Jespersen. Its merit lies in the fact that, unlike the more traditional term 'verbals', it is devoid of dubious connotations as well as homonymic correlations.
properties of verbids, shows the unquestionable unity of the class, in spite of some inter-class features of verbids.
Among the various forms of the verb the infinitive occupies a unique position. Its status is that of the principal representative of the verb-lexeme as a whole. This head-form status of the infinitive is determined by the two factors. The first factor consists in the verbal-nominative nature of the infinitive, i.e. in its function of giving the most general dynamic name to the process which is denoted by all the other forms of the verb-lexeme in a more specific way, conditioned by their respective semantico-grammatical specialisations. The second factor determining the representative status of the infinitive consists in the infinitive serving as the actual derivative base for all the other regular forms of the verb.
§ 5. The class of verbs falls into a number of subclasses distinguished by different semantic and lexico-grammatical features.
On the upper level of division two unequal sets are identified: the set of verbs of full nominative value (notional verbs), and the set of verbs of partial nominative value (semi-notional and functional verbs). The first set is derivationally open, it includes the bulk of the verbal lexicon. The second set is derivationally closed, it includes limited subsets of verbs characterised by individual relational properties.
§ 6. Semi-notional and functional verbs serve as markers of predication in the proper sense, since they show the connection between the nominative content of the sentence and reality in a strictly specialised way. These 'predicators' include auxiliary verbs, modal verbs, semi-notional verbid introducer verbs, and link-verbs.
Auxiliary verbs constitute grammatical elements of the categorial forms of the verb. These are the verbs be, have, do, shall, will, should, would, may, might.
Modal verbs are used with the infinitive as predicative markers expressing relational meanings of the subject attitude type, i.e. ability, obligation, permission, advisability, etc. By way of extension of meaning, they also express relational probability, serving as probability predicators. These two types of functional semantics can be tested by means of correlating pure modal verb collocations with the corresponding two sets of stative collocations of equivalent functions:
on the one hand, the groups be obliged, be permitted, etc.; on the other hand, the groups be likely, be probable, etc. Cf.:
Tom may stay for the teleview if he will. → Tom is permitted to stay. The storm may come any minute, you had better leave the deck. → The storm is likely to come any minute.
The modal verbs can, may, must, shall, will, ought, need, used (to), dare are defective in forms, and are suppletively supplemented by stative groups similar to those shown above (cf. Ch. III, § 4). The supplementation is effected both for the lacking finite forms and the lacking non-finite forms. Cf.:
The boys can prepare the play-ground themselves. — The boys will be able to prepare the play-ground themselves. — The boys' being able to prepare the play-ground themselves.
The verbs be and have in the modal meanings 'be planned', 'be obliged' and the like are considered by many modern grammarians as modal verbs and by right are included in the general modal verb list.
Semi-notional verbid introducer verbs are distributed among the verbal sets of discriminatory relational semantics (seem, happen, turn out, etc.), of subject-action relational semantics (try, fail, manage, etc.), of phasal semantics (begin, continue, stop, etc.). The predicator verbs should be strictly distinguished from their grammatical homonyms in the subclasses of notional verbs. As a matter of fact, there is a fundamental grammatical difference between the verbal constituents in such sentences as, say, 'They began to fight' and 'They began the fight'. Whereas the verb in the first sentence is a semi-notional predicator, the verb in the second sentence is a notional transitive verb normally related to its direct object. The phasal predicator begin (the first sentence) is grammatically inseparable from the infinitive of the notional verb fight, the two lexemes making one verbal-part unit in the sentence. The transitive verb begin (the second sentence), on the contrary, is self-dependent in the lexico-grammatical sense, it forms the predicate of the sentence by itself and as such can be used in the passive voice, the whole construction of the sentence in this case being presented as the regular passive counterpart of its active version. Cf.:
They began the fight. → The fight was begun (by them). They began to fight. →(*)* To fight was begun (by them).
Link-verbs introduce the nominal part of the predicate (the predicative) which is commonly expressed by a noun, an adjective, or a phrase of a similar semantic-grammatical character. It should be noted that link-verbs, although they are named so, are not devoid of meaningful content. Performing their function of connecting ('linking') the subject and the predicative of the sentence, they express the actual semantics of this connection, i.e. expose the relational aspect of the characteristics ascribed by the predicative to the subject.
The linking predicator function in the purest form is effected by the verb be; therefore be as a link-verb can be referred to as the 'pure link-verb'. It is clear from the above that even this pure link-verb has its own relational semantics, which can be identified as 'linking predicative ascription'. All the link-verbs other than the pure link be express some specification of this general predicative-linking semantics, so that they should be referred to as 'specifying' link-verbs. The common specifying link-verbs fall into two main groups: those that express perceptions and those that express nonperceptional, or 'factual' link-verb connection. The main perceptional link-verbs are seem, appear, look, feel, taste; the main factual link-verbs are become, get, grow, remain, keep.
As is to be seen from the comparison of the specifying link-verbs with the verbid introducer predicators described above, the respective functions of these two verbal subsets are cognate, though not altogether identical. The difference lies in the fact that the specifying link-verbs combine the pure linking function with the predicator function. Furthermore, separate functions of the two types of predicators are evident from the fact that specifying link-verbs, the same as the pure link, can be used in the text in combination with verbid introducer predicators. E.g.:
The letter seemed to have remained unnoticed. I began to feel better. You shouldn't try to look cleverer than you are.
* The transformation is unacceptable.
Cf. the use of verbid introducer predicators with the pure link-verb:
The news has proved to be true. The girl's look ceased to be friendly. The address shown to us seemed to be just the one we needed.
Besides the link-verbs proper hitherto presented, there are some notional verbs in language that have the power to perform the function of link-verbs without losing their lexical nominative value. In other words, they perform two functions simultaneously, combining the role of a full notional verb with that of a link-verb. Cf.:
Fred lay awake all through the night. Robbie ran in out of breath. The moon rose red.
Notional link-verb function is mostly performed by intransitive verbs of motion and position. Due to the double syntactic character of the notional link-verb, the whole predicate formed by it is referred to as a 'double predicate' (see Ch. XXIX).
§ 7. Notional verbs undergo the three main grammatically relevant categorisations. The first is based on the relation of the subject of the verb to the process denoted by the verb. The second is based on the aspective characteristics of the process denoted by the verb, i.e. on the inner properties of the process as reflected in the verbal meaning. The third is based on the combining power of the verb in relation to other notional words in the utterance.
§ 8. On the basis of the subject-process relation, all the notional verbs can be divided into actional and statal.
Actional verbs express the action performed by the subject, i.e. they present the subject as an active doer (in the broadest sense of the word). To this subclass belong such verbs as do, act, perform, make, go, read, learn, discover, etc. Statal verbs, unlike their subclass counterparts, denote the state of their subject. That is, they either give the subject the characteristic of the inactive recipient of some outward activity, or else express the mode of its existence. To this subclass belong such verbs as be, live, survive, worry, suffer, rejoice, stand, see, know, etc.
Alongside of the two verbal sets, a third one could be
distinguished which is made up of verbs expressing neither actions, nor states, but 'processes'. As representatives of the 'purely processual' subclass one might point out the verbs thaw, ripen, deteriorate, consider, neglect, support, display, and the like. On closer observation, however, it becomes clear that the units of this medial subclass are subject to the same division into actional and statal sets as were established at the primary stage of classification. For instance, the 'purely processual' verb thaw referring to an inactive substance should be defined, more precisely, as 'processual-statal', whereas the 'processual' verb consider relating to an active doer should be looked upon, more precisely, as 'processual-actional'. This can be shown by transformational tests:
The snow is thawing. → The snow is in the state of thawing. The designer is considering another possibility. → The action of the designer is that he is considering another possibility.
Thus, the primary binary division of the verbs upon the basis of the subject-process relation is sustained.
Similar criteria apply to some more specific subsets of verbs permitting the binary actional-statal distribution. Among these of a special significance are the verbal sets of mental processes and sensual processes. Within the first of them we recognise the correlation between the verbs of mental perception and mental activity. E.g.: know — think; understand — construe; notice — note; admire — assess; forget — reject; etc.
Within the second set we recognise the correlation between the verbs of physical perception as such and physical perceptional activity. E.g.: see — look; hear — listen; feel (inactive) — feel (active), touch; taste (inactive) — taste (active); smell (inactive) —smell (active); etc.
The initial member of each correlation pair given above presents a case of a statal verb, while the succeeding member, respectively, of an actional verb. Cf. the corresponding transformational tests:
The explorers knew only one answer to the dilemma.→ The mental state of the explorers was such that they knew only one answer to the dilemma. I am thinking about the future of the village. → My mental activity consists in thinking about the future of the village. Etc.
The grammatical relevance of the classification in question, apart from its reflecting the syntactically generalised relation of the subject of the verb to the process denoted by it, is disclosed in the difference between the two subclasses in their aspectual behaviour. While the actional verbs take the form of the continuous aspect quite freely, i.e. according to the general rules of its use, the statal verbs, in the same contextual conditions, are mainly used in the indefinite form. -The continuous with the statal verbs, which can be characterised as a more or less occasional occurrence, will normally express some sort of intensity or emphasis (see further).
§ 9. Aspective verbal semantics exposes the inner character of the process denoted by the verb. It represents the process as durative (continual), iterative (repeated), terminate (concluded), interminate (not concluded), instantaneous (momentary), ingressive (starting), supercompleted (developed to the extent of superfluity), undercompleted (not developed to its full extent), and the like.
Some of these aspectual meanings are inherent in the basic semantics of certain subsets of English verbs. Compare, for instance, verbs of ingression (begin, start, resume, set out, get down), verbs of instantaneity (burst, click, knock, bang, jump, drop), verbs of termination (terminate, finish, end, conclude, close, solve, resolve, sum up, stop), verbs of duration (continue, prolong, last, linger, live, exist). The aspectual meanings of supercompletion, undercompletion, repetition, and the like can be rendered by means of lexical derivation, in particular, prefixation (oversimplify, outdo, underestimate, reconsider). Such aspectual meanings as ingression, duration, termination, and iteration are regularly expressed by aspective verbal collocations, in particular, by combinations of aspective predicators with verbids (begin, start, continue, finish, used to, would, etc., plus the corresponding verbid component).
In terms of the most general subclass division related to the grammatical structure of language, two aspective subclasses of verbs should be recognised in English. These will comprise numerous minor aspective groups of the types shown above as their microcomponent sets.
The basis of this division is constituted by the relation of the verbal semantics to the idea of a processual limit, i. e. some border point beyond which the process expressed by the verb or implied in its semantics is discontinued or
simply does not exist. For instance, the verb arrive expresses an action which evidently can only develop up to the point of arriving; on reaching this limit, the action ceases. The verb start denotes a transition from some preliminary state to some kind of subsequent activity, thereby implying a border point between the two. As different from these cases, the verb move expresses a process that in itself is alien to any idea of a limit, either terminal or initial.
The verbs of the first order, presenting a process as potentially limited, can be called 'limitive'. In the published courses of English grammar where they are mentioned, these verbs are called 'terminative',* but the latter term seems inadequate. As a matter of fact, the word suggests the idea of a completed action, i.e. of a limit attained, not only the implication of a potential limit existing as such. To the subclass of limitive belong such verbs as arrive, come, leave, find, start, stop, conclude, aim, drop, catch, etc. Here also belong phrasal verbs with limitive postpositions, e.g. stand up, sit down, get out, be off, etc.
The verbs of the second order presenting a process as not limited by any border point, should be called, correspondingly, 'unlimitive' (in the existing grammar books they are called either 'non-terminative', or else 'durative', or 'cursive'). To this subclass belong such verbs as move, continue, live, sleep, work, behave, hope, stand, etc.
Alongside of the two aspective subclasses of verbs, some authors recognise also a third subclass, namely, verbs of double aspective nature (of 'double', or 'mixed' lexical character). These, according to the said authors, are capable of expressing either a 'terminative' or 'non-terminative' ('durative') meaning depending on the context.
However, applying the principle of oppositions, these cases can be interpreted as natural and easy reductions (mostly neutralisations) of the lexical aspective opposition. Cf.:
Mary and Robert walked through the park pausing at variegated flower-beds. (Unlimitive use, basic function) In the scorching heat, the party walked the whole way to the ravine bareheaded. (Limitive use, neutralisation) He turned
* See the cited books on English grammar by M. A. Ganshina and N. M. Vasilevskaya, B. A. Ilyish, B. S. Khaimovich and B. I. Rogovskaya.
the corner and found himself among a busy crowd of people. (Limitive use, basic function) It took not only endless scientific effort, but also an enormous courage to prove that the earth turns round the sun. (Unlimitive use, neutralisation)
Observing the given examples, we must admit that the demarcation line between the two aspective verbal subclasses is not rigidly fixed, the actual differentiation between them being in fact rather loose. Still, the opposition between limitive and unlimitive verbal sets does exist in English, however indefinitely defined it may be. Moreover, the described subclass division has an unquestionable grammatical relevance, which is expressed, among other things, in its peculiar correlation with the categorial aspective forms of the verbs (indefinite, continuous, perfect); this correlation is to be treated further (see Ch. XV).
§ 10. From the given description of the aspective subclass division of English verbs, it is evident that the English lexical aspect differs radically from the Russian aspect. In terms of semantic properties, the English lexical aspect expresses a potentially limited or unlimited process, whereas the Russian aspect expresses the actual conclusion (the perfective, or terminative aspect) or non-conclusion (the imperfective, or non-terminative aspect) of the process in question. In terms of systemic properties, the two English lexical aspect varieties, unlike their Russian absolutely rigid counterparts, are but loosely distinguished and easily reducible.
In accord with these characteristics, both the English limitive verbs and unlimitive verbs may correspond alternately either to the Russian perfective verbs or imperfective verbs, depending on the contextual uses.
For instance, the limitive verb arrive expressing an instantaneous action that took place in the past will be translated by its perfective Russian equivalent:
The exploratory party arrived at the foot of the mountain. Russ.: Экспедиция прибыла к подножию горы.
But if the same verb expresses a habitual, interminately repeated action, the imperfective Russian equivalent is to be chosen for its translation:
In those years trains seldom arrived on time. Russ.: В те годы поезда редко приходили вовремя.
Cf. the two possible versions of the Russian translation of the following sentence:
The liner takes off tomorrow at ten. Russ.: Самолет вылетит завтра в десять (the flight in question is looked upon as an individual occurrence). Самолет вылетает завтра в десять (the flight is considered as part of the traffic schedule, or some other kind of general plan).
Conversely, the English unlimitive verb gaze when expressing a continual action will be translated into Russian by its imperfective equivalent:
The children gazed at the animals holding their breaths. Russ.: Дети глядели на животных, затаив дыхание.
But when the same verb renders the idea of an aspectually limited, e. g. started action, its perfective Russian equivalent should be used in the translation:
The boy turned his head and gazed at the horseman with wide-open eyes. Russ.: Мальчик повернул голову и уставился на всадника широко открытыми глазами.
Naturally, the unlimitive English verbs in strictly unlimtive contextual use correspond, by definition, only to the imperfective verbs in Russian.
§ 11. The inner qualities of any signemic lingual unit are manifested not only in its immediate informative significance in an utterance, but also in its combinability with other units, in particular with units of the same segmental order. These syntagmatic properties are of especial importance for verbs, which is due to the unique role performed by the verb in the sentence. As a matter of fact, the finite verb, being the centre of predication, organises all the other sentence constituents. Thus, the organisational function of the verb, immediately exposed in its syntagmatic combinability, is inseparable from (and dependent on) its semantic value. The morphological relevance of the combining power of the verb is seen from the fact that directly dependent on this power are the categorial voice distinctions.
The combining power of words in relation to other words in syntactically subordinate positions (the positions of 'adjuncts' — see Ch. XX) is called their syntactic 'valency'. The valency of a word is said to be 'realised' when the word in question is actually combined in an utterance with its corresponding valency partner, i. e. its valency adjunct. If,
on the other hand, the word is used without its valency adjunct, the valency conditioning the position of this adjunct (or 'directed' to it) is said to be 'not realised'.
The syntactic valency falls into two cardinal types: obligatory and optional.
The obligatory valency is such as must necessarily be realised for the sake of the grammatical completion of the syntactic construction. For instance, the subject and the direct object are obligatory parts of the sentence, and, from the point of view of sentence structure, they are obligatory valency partners of the verb. Consequently, we say that the subjective and the direct objective valencies of the verb are obligatory. E.g.: We saw a house in the distance.
This sentence presents a case of a complete English syntactic construction. If we eliminate either its subject or object, the remaining part of the construction will be structurally incomplete, i.e. it will be structurally 'gaping'. Cf.: * We saw in the distance. * Saw a house in the distance.
The optional valency, as different from the obligatory valency, is such as is not necessarily realised in grammatically complete constructions: this type of valency may or may not be realised depending on the concrete information to be conveyed by the utterance. Most of the adverbial modifiers are optional parts of the sentence, so in terms of valency we say that the adverbial valency of the verb is mostly optional. For instance, the adverbial part in the above sentence may be freely eliminated without causing the remainder of the sentence to be structurally incomplete: We saw a house (in the distance).
Link-verbs, although their classical representatives are only half-notional, should also be included into the general valency characterisation of verbs. This is due to their syntactically essential position in the sentence. The predicative valency of the link-verbs proper is obligatory. Cf.:
The reporters seemed pleased with the results of the press conference. That young scapegrace made a good husband, after all.
The obligatory adjuncts of the verb, with the exception of the subject (whose connection with the verb cannot be likened to the other valency partners), may be called its 'complements'; the optional adjuncts of the verb, its 'supplements'. The distinction between the two valency types of adjuncts is highly essential, since not all the objects or
predicatives are obligatory, while, conversely, not all the adverbial modifiers are optional. Thus, we may have both objective complements and objective supplements; both predicative complements and predicative supplements; both adverbial supplements and adverbial complements.
Namely, the object of addressee, i. e. a person or thing for whom or which the action is performed, may sometimes be optional, as in the following example: We did it for you.
The predicative to a notional link-verb is mostly optional, as in the example: The night came dark and stormy.
The adverbials of place, time, and manner (quality) may sometimes be obligatory, as in the examples below:
Mr. Torrence was staying in the Astoria Hotel. The described events took place at the beginning of the century. The patient is doing fine.
Thus, according as they have or have not the power to take complements, the notional verbs should be classed as 'complementive' or 'uncomplementive', with further subcategorisations on the semantico-syntagmatic principles.
In connection with this upper division, the notions of verbal transitivity and objectivity should be considered.
Verbal transitivity, as one of the specific qualities of the general 'completivity', is the ability of the verb to take a direct object, i.e. an object which is immediately affected by the denoted process. The direct object is joined to the verb 'directly', without a preposition. Verbal objectivity is the ability of the verb to take any object, be it direct, or oblique (prepositional), or that of addressee. Transitive verbs are opposed to intransitive verbs; objective verbs are opposed to non-objective verbs (the latter are commonly called 'subjective' verbs, but the term contradicts the underlying syntactic notion, since all the English finite verbs refer to their textual subjects).
As is known, the general division of verbs into transitive and intransitive is morphologically more relevant for Russian than English, because the verbal passive form is confined in Russian to transitive verbs only. The general division of verbs into objective and non-objective, being of relatively minor significance for the morphology of Russian, is highly relevant for English morphology, since in English all the three fundamental types of objects can be made into the subjects of the corresponding passive constructions.
On the other hand, the term 'transitive' is freely used
in English grammatical treatises in relation to all the objective verbs, not only to those of them that take a direct object. This use is due to the close association of the notion of transitivity not only with the type of verbal object as such, but also with the ability of the verb to be used in the passive voice. We do not propose to call for the terminological corrective in this domain; rather, we wish to draw the attention of the reader to the accepted linguistic usage in order to avoid unfortunate misunderstandings based on the differences in terminology.
Uncomplementive verbs fall into two unequal subclasses of 'personal' and 'impersonal' verbs.
The personal uncomplementive verbs, i. e. uncomplementive verbs normally referring to the real subject of the denoted process (which subject may be either an actual human being, or a non-human being, or else an inanimate substance or an abstract notion), form a large set of lexemes of various semantic properties. Here are some of them: work, start, pause, hesitate, act, function, materialise, laugh, cough, grow, scatter, etc.
The subclass of impersonal verbs is small and strictly limited. Here belong verbs mostly expressing natural phenomena of the self-processual type, i. e. natural processes going on without a reference to a real subject. Cf.: rain, snow, freeze, drizzle, thaw, etc.
Complementive verbs, as follows from the above, are divided into the predicative, objective and adverbial sets.
The predicative complementive verbs, i.e. link-verbs, have been discussed as part of the predicator verbs. The main link-verb subsets are, first, the pure link be; second, the specifying links become, grow, seem, appear, look, taste, etc.; third, the notional links.
The objective complementive verbs are divided into several important subclasses, depending on the kinds of complements they combine with. On the upper level of division they fall into monocomplementive verbs (taking one object-complement) and bicomplementive verbs (taking two complements).
The monocomplementive objective verbs fall into five main subclasses. The first subclass is the possession objective verb have forming different semantic varieties of constructions. This verb is normally not passivised. The second subclass includes direct objective verbs, e. g. take, grasp, forget, enjoy, like. The third subclass is formed by the prepositional
objective verbs e.g. look at, point to, send for, approve of, think about. The fourth subclass includes non-passivised direct objective verbs, e.g. cost, weigh, fail, become, suit. The fifth subclass includes non-passivised prepositional objective verbs, e. g. belong to, relate to, merge with, confer with, abound in.
The bicomplementive objective verbs fall into five main subclasses. The first subclass is formed by addressee-direct objective verbs, i.e. verbs taking a direct object and an addressee object, e.g. a) give, bring, pay, hand, show (the addressee object with these verbs may be both non-prepositional and prepositional); b) explain, introduce, mention, say, devote (the addressee object with these verbs is only prepositional). The second subclass includes double direct objective verbs, i.e. verbs taking two direct objects, e.g. teach, ask, excuse, forgive, envy, fine. The third subclass includes double prepositional objective verbs, i.e. verbs taking two prepositional objects, e.g. argue, consult, cooperate, agree. The fourth subclass is formed by addressee prepositional objective verbs, i.e. verbs taking a prepositional object and an addressee object, e.g. remind of, tell about, apologise for, write of, pay for. The fifth subclass includes adverbial objective verbs, i.e. verbs taking an object and an adverbial modifier (of place or of time), e.g. put, place, lay, bring, send, keep.
Adverbial complementive verbs include two main subclasses. The first is formed by verbs taking an adverbial complement of place or of time, e.g. be, live, stay, go, ride, arrive. The second is formed by verbs taking an adverbial complement of manner, e.g. act, do, keep, behave, get on.
§ 12. Observing the syntagmatic subclasses of verbs, we see that the same verb lexeme, or lexic-phonemic unit (phonetical word), can enter more than one of the outlined classification sets. This phenomenon of the 'subclass migration' of verbs is not confined to cognate lexemic subsets of the larger subclasses, but, as is widely known, affects the principal distinctions between the English complementive and uncomplementive verbs, between the English objective and non-objective verbs. Suffice it to give a couple of examples taken at random:
Who runs faster, John or Nick?-(run — uncomplementive). The man ran after the bus. (run — adverbial complementive, non-objective). I ran my eyes over the uneven lines. (run — adverbial objective, transitive). And is the fellow
still running the show? (run — monocomplementive, transitive).
The railings felt cold. (feel — link-verb, predicative complementive). We felt fine after the swim. (feel — adverbial complementive, non-objective). You shouldn't feel your own pulse like that. (feel — monocomplementive, transitive).
The problem arises, how to interpret these different subclass entries — as cases of grammatical or lexico-grammatical homonymy, or some kind of functional variation, or merely variation in usage. The problem is vexed, since each of the interpretations has its strong points.
To reach a convincing decision, one should take into consideration the actual differences between various cases of the 'subclass migration' in question. Namely, one must carefully analyse the comparative characteristics of the corresponding subclasses as such, as well as the regularity factor for an individual lexeme subclass occurrence.
In the domain of notional subclasses proper, with regular inter-class occurrences of the analysed lexemes, probably the most plausible solution will be to interpret the 'migration forms' as cases of specific syntactic variation, i.e. to consider the different subclass entries of migrating units as syntactic variants of the same lexemes [Почепцов, (2), 87 и сл.]. In the light of this interpretation, the very formula of 'lexemic subclass migration' will be vindicated and substantiated.
On the other hand, for more cardinally differing lexemic sets, as, for instance, functional versus notional, the syntactic variation principle is hardly acceptable. This kind of differentiation should be analysed as lexico-grammatical homonymy, since it underlies the expression of categorially different grammatical functions.
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