Intended for advanced students and researchers in linguistics, Descriptive Syntax and the English Verb, first published in 1984, focuses on the syntax of the English verb and notions of tense/aspect, transivity, passive, phrasal verb constructions, nominalisations and complement sentence types are explored. These constructions are shown to pose serious problems for past descriptive accounts either because of their patterning or because of their inherent variability within English.
David Kilby works towards more satisfactory solutions to the problem of describing these constructions, either by exposing the basis of their variability or by pursuing in more detail the consequences which might follow from various different hypotheses as to the nature of the problem. He shows that the structure of English is richer and more variable than can be accommodated in a brief grammatical outline of each area, aiming to sharpen awareness of the complexity of English structure, and at the same time showing the ways in which linguistic techniques can be used to gain insight into language structure.
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