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Re: Topics and foci/focuses... Wow, now I get it!!!

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Monday, May 7, 2001, 2:30
Nik Taylor wrote:

>BP Jonsson wrote: >> One difference between phrasal verbs and verbs followed by a prefosition
>> that in phrasal verbs the particle/prefosition is stressed. Are native >> English speakers not aware of this fact? It works the same in
>> lgs, BTW. > >Hmm ... "He switched on the light", "He fell on the floor". You're >right! "On" does bear a secondary stress in the phrasal verb but not >when it's a true preposition. I'd never noticed that before!
Ahem. Neither had I. But as a Certified Trained Linguist (but not an English specialist), I suppose I would have, after some thought. I suspect the person-in-the-street recognizes only 3 intonation patterns: normal-falling, question-rising and emphatic-heavy stress. The more relevant "native's" test for phrasal-particles is probably whether they (or the "object") can be moved, and what happens when the "object" is a pronoun: turn the light on ~ turn on the light; turn it on (*turn on it) To my view, the V-O-Particle is a transform of underlying [V+part.] O Perhaps V-O-P is preferred in some cases to avoid ambiguity, when VPO could also be interpreted as V + Prep.phrase, as in: (a) He looked the table over (for defects) : He looked over the table which could also be interpreted as (b)"he looked [over the table]" (and saw his little brother) Note that "he looked it over" only = (a); "he looked over it" only = (b) -- and in both cases "over" is stressed..... To repeat: not an English specialist. Thank God things like this don't occur in Kash.