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Forms of word-building

From their outward structure, verbs are characterised by specific forms of word-building.

The verb stems may be simple, sound-replacive, stress-replacive, expanded, composite, and phrasal.

The original simple verb stems are not numerous. Cf. go, take, read, etc.

The conversion (zero-suffixation) as means of derivation, especially conversion of the "noun — verb" type, greatly enlarges the simple stem set of verbs, (one of the most productive ways of forming verb lexemes). Cf.: 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.

The grammatical categories which find formal expression in the outward structure of the verb

· first, the category of finitude dividing the verb into finite and non-finite forms

<The finite verb invariably performs the function of the verb-predicate.

The non-finite verb performs functions of the syntactic subject, object, adverbial modifier, attribute.

In other words, the non-finite forms of the verb in self-dependent use (not as parts of the analytical verb-forms) perform a potentially predicative function, constituting secondary predicative centres in the sentence.>

· 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.

* 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.


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

the set of verbs of full nominativevalue (notional verbs),( derivationally open, it includes the bulk of the verbal lexicon)

the set of verbs of partial nominativevalue (semi-notional and functional verbs)( is derivationally closed, it includes limited subsets of verbs characterised by individual relational properties)

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 extension of meaning, they also express relational probability. on the one hand, the groups be obliged, be permitted, etc.; on the other hand, the groups be likely, be probable, etcThe modal verbs are defective in forms, and are suppletively supplemented by stative groups.<от других корней>(have- will be able)

Semi-notional verbid introducer verbs are 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.). They should be strictly distinguished from their grammatical homonyms in the subclasses of notional verbs., "They began to fight" and "They began the fight". The phasal predicator begin (1) 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 (2) 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. Cf.: They began the fight. → The fight was begun (by them). They began to fight. →(*)* To fight was begun (by them).( The transformation is unacceptable)

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. they have meaningful content. They 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 (pure link-verb)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(seem, appear, look, feel, taste) and "factual" link-verb connection(become, get, grow, remain, keep)

some notional verbs in language have the power to perform the function of link-verbs without losing their lexical nominative value "double predicate". (Fred lay awake all through the night.)

Notional verbs undergo the three main grammatically relevant categorisations.

1. based on the relation of the subject of the verb to the process denoted by the verb. all the notional verbs can be divided into actional and statal, processes". Actional verbs present the subject as an active doer (do, act, perform, make, go, read, learn, discover, etc.) Statal verbs denote the state of their subject: the characteristic or else express the mode of its existence.(be, live, survive, worry, suffer, rejoice, stand, see, know, etc.) The third as representatives of the "purely processual" subclass one might point out the verbs thaw, ripen, deteriorate, consider, neglect, support, display, and the like. BUT, 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:

specific subsets of actional-statal distribution. The verbal sets of mental processes and sensual processes. E.g.: know — think; understand — construe; notice — note; admire — assess; forget — reject; etc. 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 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.

2. The second is based on the aspective characteristics of the process denoted by the verb. It represents the process as durative (continual - continue, prolong), iterative (repeated – redo, reconsider), terminate (concluded- finish, close, solve), interminate (not concluded), instantaneous (momentary- bang, jump, drop), ingressive (starting- begin,get down), supercompleted ( overslept, supersimplify), undercompleted (underestimate), and the like.

Two aspective subclasses of verbs. the relation of the verbal semantics to the idea of a processual limit.

The verbs of the first order, presenting a process as potentially limited, can be called "limitive”(arrive, start, aim, drop, get out, be off, etc.

The verbs of the second order presenting a process as not limited by any border point, "unlimitive"= "non-terminative"="durative"="cursive"( continue, live, sleep, work, behave, hope, stand, etc.)

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.

some authors recognise also a third subclass, verbs of double aspective nature, 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)

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. In those years trains seldom arrived on time.VS The exploratory party arrived at the foot of the mountain

3. The third is based on the combining power of the verb in relation to other notional words in the utterance.

The combining power of words in relation to other words in syntactically subordinate positions is called their syntactic "valency". The syntactic valency falls into two cardinal types: obligatory and optional.

The obligatory valency is such as must necessarily be, the subject and the direct object are obligatory parts of the sentence/ The predicative valency of the link-verbs proper is obligatory

The optional valency, as different from the obligatory valency, is such as is not necessarily realised in grammatically complete constructions

The obligatory adjuncts of the verb may be called its "complements"; the optional adjuncts of the verb, its "supplements". The night came dark and stormy.

Verbaltransitivity, as one of the specific qualities of the general "completivity", is the ability of the verb to take a direct object and Uncomplementy.

the term "transitive" treatises in relation to all the objective verbs, That take a direct object and can be used in the passive voice.

Complementive verbs, as follows from the above, are divided into the predicative, objective and adverbial sets.

Uncomplementive verbs fall into two unequal subclasses of "personal"(work, laugh) and "impersonal"( natural phenomena - rain, snow ) verbs.

subclass migration is when one verb can enter more than one of the outlined classification sets (Who runs faster, John or Nick?-(run — uncomplementive). The man ran after the bus. (run — adverbial complementive, non-objective)

The problem arises, how to interpret these different subclass entries? “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.].


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