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Thread: verb groups

  1. #1
    fiddlesticks is offline Newbie
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    Default verb groups

    i'm having trouble with an assignment for my linguistics course. here's a sample from the exercise and the instructions:

    -analyse in depth the underlined verb groups
    include: a precise description of the immediate constituents, analysis of each marker of operation, show manipulations

    “Another of your letters arrived at my house yesterday,” the doctor announces. “That makes four now”. He says this in a colourless, insipid voice, in the way he says most things.
    It is only the significant pause which follows that alerts me I am expected to respond, and distracts my attention from the scene outside his office window. For several minutes I have been watching two children as they tramp stiffly off into the distance. They lead me to think of my daughter, and to wonder if she misses my visits."

    I'm not looking for someone to do it for me. I need help with the step by step process.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Default Re: verb groups

    Describe the process



  3. #3
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: verb groups

    Are you only to describe the verb phrase or the other elements in the sentence, showing the modification, etc?

  4. #4
    fiddlesticks is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: verb groups

    I only have to describe the verb phrase. Here's the little bit I've worked out so far:

    "have been watching"
    aux + verb

    immediate constituents:
    have been (can be further reduced to 'have' and 'been')
    watching

    markers:
    'ing'

    I'm lost because I'm in the independent study program at this university and I don't have access to the lecture notes. I have a book, the assignment but no models to follow, no one to explain the process to me. The profs don't post their lectures.

    Any help is appreciated.

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    Default Re: verb groups

    You're doing fine so far. Post more, and we'll tell you how you are doing.



  6. #6
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: verb groups

    To be honest, I would query the question- are they sure it's right? For one thing, they use the plural verb groups, so I am wondering if there should be more; after all, an indepth analysis of 'have been watching' is not that easy.

    Btw
    "have been watching"
    aux + verb

    There are two auxiliaries here, and shouldn;t you go into whaqt the auxiliaries are doing here?

  7. #7
    fiddlesticks is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: verb groups

    there are a few more examples of verbs I have to analyze in the exercise. that's why it's 'groups.'

    I got more info from the professor and she was able to help me a bit. I'm still a trying to make sense of it all. I'm in their independent study program so I do all the work at home. The program is fairly new and they haven't figured out how to organize getting class notes to us.

    for the auxilliaries:
    have+en
    be+ing


    the marker "ing" tells us that this is something in progress and "en" fixes that activity in the past

    Is that right?

    I'm going to demonstrate a manipulation with the past continuous:
    "was watching"

  8. #8
    fiddlesticks is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: verb groups

    This is an update of my work. I'm going to email this to the professor tonight, so if anyone can give me some feedback in the next hour or so it will let me know whether or not I'm heading in the right direction.
    Thank you.
    (utterance in my first post)

    Context:

    A man or a woman is in a doctor’s office. While the doctor is speaking, he/she turns her attention away from him to watch children playing outside.

    Indentification:

    Present Perfect Continuous

    Have in present simple, Be in the past participle and Watch in the continuous.

    Have-S+ Be-EN+V-ING

    Analysis:

    The narrator of this passage is also the subject in this utterance. His/her relationship to the situation is intimate, allowing us witness the events directly through his/her perspective.

    The first verb is have, in the present simple. Alone, it signifies possession (“I have a car”), something obtained or achieved (“I have a university degree” --years of hard work finally culminated in something, or “I have the paper in my hand”--the speaker picked up or went, looked for and found the paper). In “Linguistic et Grammaire de l’Anglais,” Lapaire and Rotgé hypothesize that “have” can function abstractly as well by integrating the predicate into the realm of the subject.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: verb groups

    Note:
    We are able to witness the event throught the eyes of the narrator.

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