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By N. F. Blake (auth.)

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Extra info for An Introduction to the Language of Literature

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The new people, on the other hand, use many transitive verbs in a goal-directed way as though they are causing the events which take place. Their greater mental and physical control is expressed through the verb forms in a significant way. We are not so much told that one set of people is superior to the other, we see that they are so through the linguistic forms associated with each one. It is important not only to see what type of verb is employed by an author, but also to consider what tense may be used.

Although it is possible to think of verb groups with up to five auxiliaries, such forms are rare. The extension normally consists either of a single prepositional adverb or of a phrase which together with the head forms an idiomatic expression different in meaning from that of the head. To sit up has a different meaning from to sit, and kick in kick the bucket is rather different from its use by itself. But extensions do not occur frequently and cannot be expanded since they fall into set idiomatic expressions.

The phrase ends with a noun acting as its head. Earlier in this large qualifier there is a series of three noun phrases, which all have a similar structure: a long prorogation of parliament a great dearth of foreign news a tedious fit of rainy weather. Each of these starts with the determiner a, followed by a modifier and a single head. The head is in tum followed by a qualifier which is in each case a prepositional phrase. The only difference among these prepositional phrases is that the last two contain modifiers, but the first does not.

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