Particle movement in phrasal verbs


Term Paper, 2004

10 Pages, Grade: Good


Excerpt

Index:

1.1 Introduction
1.2 Review of literature
a) Type of NP:
b) Length of object:
c) Idiomaticity
d) Directional adverbials
e) Animacy
1.3 Questions to be answered

2. The data
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)

3. Results
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)

4.) Discussion
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)

5. Conclusion

References

1.1 Introduction

Phrasal verbs are defined by Biber et al. as “multi-word units of a verb followed by an adverbial particle”. (Biber et al. 1999, page 403). One factor mentioned by Biber et al.(1999) and Quirk et al. (1885) to distinguish phrasal verbs from prepositional verbs is particle movement. Phrasal verbs can place the particle before or after the direct object, whereas the preposition in prepositional verbs must precede the noun, even if it is a personal pronoun which causes the particle to follow the object in phrasal verbs. The purpose of this paper is to look into some factors that influence the placement of the particle in phrasal verbs and to answer some questions that remain open after reviewing the literature.

1.2 Review of literature

The sources reviewed for this paper mention a range of variables for particle placement. Some aspects remained unclear, and will be the subject of this paper. Other factors are mentioned by few sources, and the goal is to confirm their significance.

a) Type of NP:

Most sources mention the type of NP that constitutes the object of the phrasal verb as important factor for the position of the particle. The most common statement is that the particle is placed after the direct object if the DO is a personal pronoun. Quirk et al. (1985), for example, state that the verb DO particle construction is the only possible construction if the object is a pronoun.

b) Length of object:

Another factor mentioned as much as type of NP is length of DO. Most sources , however, are vague on what “length” actually means. Browman(1986) for example says: The length and complexity of the direct object has the clearest influence: In presence of a lengthy (or ”heavy”) direct object the verb and particle are usually contiguous. (page 311). Van Dongen (1919) is even less specific, on page 329 it says: when the direct object is rather or very long. Biber mentions that verb DO particle is more frequent with NPs two to four words long, while long objects are placed after the particle (page 932f).

c) Idiomaticity:

Idiomaticity is not mentioned as often as type of NP or length of object, but seems to be agreed upon on having an effect. Chen (1986) states that the bondage between verb and particle increases with the level of idiomaticity (page 82). Quirk et al. also mention the fixing of the verb particle DO construction, if a strong idiomatic bond is present (page 1155). The question remains what idiomaticity means. Usually only two levels of idiomaticity are given, either both parts retain their literal meaning, or the whole phrase takes on an idiomatic meaning which cannot be predicted from the individual parts. Nunberg et al. (1994), however, show that idioms can be divided into two groups, idiomatic phrases which cannot be divided into parts, and idiomatically combining expressions which, although the parts do not have their literal meaning, can be divided into parts. In these idiomatically combining expressions parts of the idiomatic meaning can be identified in the different parts of the phrase.

d) Directional adverbial:

While the variables mentioned before appear quite often in the literature, only three papers mention the influence of a directional adverbial following the particle. Biber et al. (page 933), Chen (page 82) and Fraser (page 571) say that the verb DO particle construction is preferred, if a directional adverbial follows.

e) Animacy:

Animacy is mentioned even less than directional adverbials. Only Browman (1986) mentions animacy of the object as a variable for particle movement. On pages 313/314 animacy is mentioned in the list of factors favouring separation of verb and particle.

1.3 Questions to be answered

That direct objects which are personal pronouns have a great influence on particle movement seems to be unquestioned. The question remains what happens with semi-pronominal objects like: something, things etc. in short everything that is no personal pronoun, but that is no proper noun or lexeme either? What happens with proper nouns? Are personal pronouns always placed between verb and particle as some sources state? Since length seems to be an important factor, it seems necessary to have a look at what length actually means. How long has an object to be, to be placed behind the particle? Is it measured in words or syllables? Do different definitions of idiomaticity make a difference where particle movement is concerned? Does a directional adverbial have an effect? Does animacy have an effect?

[...]

Excerpt out of 10 pages

Details

Title
Particle movement in phrasal verbs
College
University of Hamburg  (Anglistics/ American Studies)
Grade
Good
Author
Year
2004
Pages
10
Catalog Number
V29364
ISBN (eBook)
9783638308878
ISBN (Book)
9783638789387
File size
524 KB
Language
English
Tags
Particle
Quote paper
Iris Heuse (Author), 2004, Particle movement in phrasal verbs, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/29364

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