chapter  II
57 Pages

2 Types of restructuring

This stretched verb structure has an eventive adjective as an elaborator of a thin verb. The thin verb is be or a similar copular verb (such as remain, seem, become) in intransitive patterns, but make in transitive patterns. The eventive adjective phrase thus has the syntactic function of an adjectival descriptor (otherwise known as adjectival complement, predicative, or predicate adjectival) elaborating the copular verb. Sometimes a present participle (= gerund) or a past participle has developed more or less into an adjective and lost its actional meaning; such uses of participles (as in be accommodating, be accustomed to it) can be included under this pattern. Since, however, there are many border-line cases, only unequivocal cases have been included, in particular the requirement is that they should permit either very or (in the case of those with an absolutive meaning) the slightly colloquial downright 30 as a modifying intensifier, and are as normal in attributive position as predicative position; other candidates have been, sometimes perhaps unfairly, excluded. Similar problems arise in the case of transitive patterns: many past participles of transitive verbs can be understood as adjectives describing the state produced by the action or process of the verb, e.g. activate means the same as make active. But how many combinations of the latter type are actually used (outside dictionary definitions, where they are very popular!)?