English Phrasal Verbs Essay

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English phrasal verbs consist of a verb paired with a particle that is homophonous with an English preposition (Jackendoff, 2010, p. 228). The verb and its particle are written as separate words in the orthography, and the phrasal verb shares similarities, such as transitivity and irregularity, with the single-word verb which the ‘verb’ part of the phrasal verb resembles and from which it presumably originates. The particle used in the phrasal verb is not a preposition, although it resembles one in appearance. Instead, it is semantically fused to the verb, and the meaning of the verb with its particle may be significantly different from the verb when it does not have a particle attached to it. The particle may be considered adverbial by some…show more content…
773). There are similar constructions in other Germanic languages, such as Dutch (Neeleman & Weerman, 1993), but such constructions are less common in other language families and can therefore be considered typologically unusual. Like the phenomenon of preposition-stranding, phrasal verbs appear to occur only in the Germanic languages (Newmeyer, 2005, p. 113).
Van Dongen (1919) traces the elements of the English phrasal verb back as far as Old English, in which adverbs (i.e., the particles) occurred by default as post-positions, but could also occur in other positions in the sentence (p. 325). He then follows the verbs to Middle English, where “the adverb is more and more attracted by the verb and takes its place before the noun-object” (p. 325), establishing the existence of phrasal verbs in works such as Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur and in the Wycliffe Bible. Another author, Elenbass (2003), argues that, in Old English, the particles which would later become part of the phrasal verbs functioned as result predicates, and did so to an extent in Middle English as
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