chapter  IV
23 Pages

1 The individual thin verbs, their meanings and collocations

Apart from the deverbal (eventive) noun phrase (including any qualifiers and modifiers it may have) the other essential constituent of a stretched verb construction is the thin verb that helps stretch the construction to verb phrase status. It is clear that such semantically lightweight elements have a syntactic role to play, and indeed they have to be selected so as to be of a suitable valency for the following noun phrase or preposition phrase: a copular verb is needed for Structures 1, 2, 3 and 4, an intransitive verb for Structure 5, and a transitive verb for Structure 6. But precisely how are the individual thin verbs selected – on a purely syntactic basis, on an arbitrary lexical basis, or on a semantic basis?