Non-finite Complementation: A Usage-based Study of Infinitive and -ing Clauses in English

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Rodopi, 2008 - Education - 432 pages
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This book presents a comprehensive guide to the way speakers of British English use infinitive and -ing clauses as verbal complements. It contains details of the non-finite complementation patterns of over 300 matrix verbs, with a particular emphasis on verbs that occur with more than one type of non-finite complement. Drawing upon data from the British National Corpus, the author shows that some of the views which are to be found in the existing literature on these sorts of clauses are in conflict with the evidence of actual usage. He also shows that there is actually much more regularity in this area than has often been taken to be the case. Moreover, this regularity is shown to be motivated by cognitive-functional factors. An appendix contains details of the relative frequency of all of the constructions dealt with in the study, together with an example of each of them. The book is of interest to language teachers as well as linguists, both theoretical and applied.

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Chapter 1 The purpose and scope of the study
Chapter 2 Classification of the constructions
Chapter 3 Earlier Studies
Chapter 4 Complement Types and Complementisers
Sametime constructions
Forwardlooking constructions
Backwardlooking constructions
Chapter 8 Summary and Conclusions
Appendix 1 The Matrix verbs
Appendix 2 Tables
Appendix 3 List of technical terms

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Page 1 - Substantial importance is given to the actual use of the linguistic system and a speaker's knowledge of this use; the grammar is held responsible for a speaker's knowledge of the full range of linguistic conventions, regardless of whether these conventions can be subsumed under more general statements.

About the author (2008)

Thomas Egan is a senior lecturer in English language at Hedmark University College, Norway.

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