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    TYPES OF PHRASES

    The type "noun + noun" is a most usual type of phrase in Modern English. It must be divided into two subtypes, depending on the form of the first component, which may be in the common or in the genitive case. 1 The type "noun in the common case + noun" may be used to denote one idea as modified by another, in the widest sense. We find here a most varied choice of semantic spheres, such as speech sound, silver watch, army unit, which of course deserve detailed study from the lexicological viewpoint. We may only note that the first component may be a proper name as well, as in the phrases a Beethoven symphony or London Bridge. The type "noun in the genitive case + noun" has a more restricted meaning and use, which we need not go into here, as we have discussed the meaning of the form in -'s at some length in Chapter III. Another very common type is "adjective + noun", which is used to express all possible kinds of things with their properties. The type "verb + noun" may correspond to two different types of relation between an action and a thing. In the vast majority of cases the noun denotes an object of the action expressed by the verb, but in a certain number of phrases it denotes a measure, rather than the object, of the action. This may be seen in such phrases as, walk a mile, sleep an hour, wait a minute, etc. It is only the meaning of the verb and that of the noun which enable the hearer or reader to understand the relation correctly. The meaning of the verb divides, for instance, the phrase wait an hour from the phrase appoint an hour, and shows the relations in the two phrases to be basically different. In a similar way other types of phrases should be set down and analysed. Among them will be the types, "verb + adverb", "adverb + adjective", "adverb + adverb", "noun + preposition + noun", "adjective + preposition + noun", "verb + preposition + noun", etc. An important question arises concerning the pattern "noun + verb". In our linguistic theory different opinions have been put forward on this issue. One view is that the phrase type "noun + verb" (which is sometimes called "predicative phrase") exists and ought to be studied just like any other phrase type such as we have enumerated above. 1 The other view is that no such type as "noun + verb" exists, as the combination "noun + verb" constitutes a sentence rather than a phrase.2 This objection, however, is not convincing. If we take the combination "noun + verb" as a sentence, which is sometimes possible, we are analysing it on a different level, namely, on sentence level, and what we can discover on sentence level cannot affect analysis on phrase level, or indeed take its place. Besides, there is another point to be noted here. If we take, for instance, the group a man writes on the phrase level, this means that each of the components can be changed in accordance with its paradigm in any way so long as the connection with the other component does not prevent this. In the given case, the first component, man, can be changed according to number, that is, it can appear in the plural form, and the second component, writes, can be changed according to the verbal categories of aspect, tense, correlation, and mood (change of person is impossible due to the first component, change of number is predetermined by the number of the first component, and change of voice is made impossible by its meaning). Thus, the groups, a man writes, men write, a man wrote, men are writing, men have written, a man would have been writing, etc., are all variants of the same phrase, just as man and men are forms of the same noun, while writes, wrote, has written, etc. are forms of the same verb. It is also important to note that a phrase as such has no intonation of its own, no more than a word as such has one. On the sentence level things are different. A man writes, even if we could take it as a sentence at all, which is not certain, is not the same sentence as Men have been writing, but a different sentence. This example is sufficient to show the difference between a phrase of the pattern "noun + verb" and a sentence. The existence of phrases of this type is therefore certain. The phrase pattern "noun + verb" has very ample possibilities of expressing actions as performed by any kind of subject, whether living, material, or abstract. Besides phrase patterns consisting of two notional words with or without a preposition between them, there are also phrases consisting of a preposition and another word, mainly a noun. Thus, such groups as in the street, at the station, at noon, after midnight, in time, by heart, etc. are prepositional phrases performing some function or other in a sentence. Some of these phrases are phraseological units (e.g. in time, by heart), but this is a lexicological observation which is irrelevant from the grammatical viewpoint. Phrases consisting of two components may be enlarged by addition of a third component, and so forth, for instance the phrase pattern "adjective + noun" (high houses) may be enlarged by the addition of an adjective in front, so that the type "adjective + adjective + noun" arises (new high houses). This, in its turn, may bo further enlarged by more additions. The limit of the possible growth of a phrase is hard to define, and we will not inquire into this subject any further.

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