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SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC FEATURES OF BEGINNING VERB GROUP IN ENGLISH AND THEIR VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS

HANOI OPEN UNVERSITY

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M.A. THESIS

SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC FEATURES OF BEGINNING
VERB GROUP IN ENGLISH AND THEIR VIETNAMESE
EQUIVALENTS

(ĐẶC ĐIỂM CÚ PHÁP VÀ NGỮ NGHĨA CỦA NHÓM ĐỘNG
TỪ BEGINNING TRONG TIẾNG ANH VÀ TƯƠNG ĐƯƠNG
TRONG TIẾNG VIỆT)

PHẠM THỊ NHUNG
Field: English Language
Code: 60220201
Supervisor: Assoc. Pro. Dr. LE VAN THANH

Hanoi,2017



Contents
CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY .................................................................... 4
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .................................................................................. 5
ABSTRACT .......................................................................................................... 6
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ............................................................................... 7
Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION ........................................................................... 8
1.1

Rationale ..................................................................................................... 8

1.2 Aims and objectives of the study .................................................................... 9
1.3 Research questions ........................................................................................ 9
1.4 Methods of the study ....................................................................................... 9
1.5 Scope of the study ......................................................................................... 10
1.6 Significance of the study ............................................................................... 11
1.7 Design of the study ........................................................................................ 11
Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW .................................................................. 13
2.1 Previous studies ............................................................................................. 13
2.2. Overview of syntax and semantics ............................................................... 14
2.2.1. Theory of syntax........................................................................................ 14
2.2.2. Theory of semantic .................................................................................... 15
2.3. Overview of English verb ........................................................................... 17
2.3.1 Definition of English verb .......................................................................... 17
2.3.2. Classification of English verb ................................................................... 18
2.4. Classification of sentences ........................................................................... 20
2.5 Overview of BEGINNING verb group ......................................................... 23
2. 6 Summary ...................................................................................................... 24
CHAPTER 3: SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC FEATURES OF BEGINNING
VERB GROUP IN ENGLISH AND THEIR VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS
............................................................................................................................. 26
3.1. Syntactic features of the BEGINNING verb group ..................................... 26
3.2 Semantic features of the BEGINNING verb group in .................................. 30


3.3.1 In term of their sybtactic features............................................................... 45
3.3.2 In terms of their semantic features ............................................................. 46
CHAPTER IV: APPLICATIONS FOR VIETNAMESE LEARNERS OF
ENGLISH WHEN USINGBEGINNING VERB GROUP ................................. 50
4.1. Survey........................................................................................................... 50


4.2. Common errors made by students at Tong Duy Tan High School when
using BEGINNING verb group in English ......................................................... 53
4.3. Suggestions for teaching and learning BEGINNING verb group in English
............................................................................................................................. 57
4.4 Summary ....................................................................................................... 61
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION ............................................................................ 62
5.1 Concluding remark ........................................................................................ 62
5.2 Limitations .................................................................................................... 63
5.3. Suggestions for further researches ............................................................... 63
REFERENCES .................................................................................................... 64
APPENDIX ......................................................................................................... 66


CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY

I, the undersigned, hereby certify my authority of the study project report
entitled “Syntactic and semantic features of BEGINNING verb group
and their Vietnamese equivalents” submitted in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree of Master in English Language. Except where the
reference is indicated, no other person’s work has been used without due
acknowledgement in the text of the thesis.

Hanoi, 2017

Pham Thi Nhung

Approved by
SUPERVISOR

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Van Thanh
Date ……/12/2017


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my
supervisor Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Van Thanh who has patiently and constantly
supported me through the stages of the study, and whose stimulating ideas,
expertise, and suggestions have inspired me greatly through my growth as an
academic researcher.
A special word of thanks goes to all the lecturers in the Faculty of Postgraduate studies Hanoi Open University and many others, without whose
support and encouragement it would have never been possible for me to have
this thesis accomplished.
Last but not least, I am greatly indebted to my family, my husband and
my two loving sons for the sacrifice they have devoted to the fulfillment of this
academic work.


ABSTRACT

BEGINNING verb group is used regularly and flexible in daily
communication, but the significant meaning of the concept of BEGINNING
verb group is still misunderstood by Vietnamese people. Therefore, the author
thinks the study on the subject of BEGINNING verb group in Vietnamese and
English is helpful for improving the knowledge of learners as well as the
students learning English in general. This paper is to study the BEGINNING
verb group in terms of syntactic and semantic features in English and their
Vietnamese equivalents. We have used the combination of descriptive and
contrastive methods in this study. The findings show that the similarities and
differences between two languages and remarkable syntactic and semantic
features. We also present the implications for teaching and learning the
BEGINNING verb group as well as for further study and understanding the
meaning of the BEGINNING verb group in general and the usages of them in
particular is the first difficulty of learners and the second one is the way of using
the BEGINNING verb group in each specific context. The BEGINNING verb
group includes 7 verbs: begin, start, continue, keep (on), stop, finish and
complete. The thesis is expected to help Vietnamese learners of English learn,
translate and use the BEGINNING verb group in English effectively.


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

A

Adverbial

C

Complement

E

English

NP

Noun phrase

O

Object

S

Subject

sb

somebody

sth

Something

V

Verb

Vi

Vietnamese


Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Rationale
It cannot be denied that the verb is one of the most important parts in any kinds
of sentences. According to De Capua (2017), the verb is considered the “heart” of a
sentence as it is the verb that provides the central meaning to a sentence. Through the
verb, information about actions or states of being is expressed, making it the crucial
element of the predicate of a sentence.
There have been a lot of researchers conducting investigations into BEGINNING
verb group in both English and Vietnamese. In English, there are different researchers
with books such as: Anna Wierzbicka (1972) studied about the semantic features of
verbs such as: start, continue, finish; R. M. W. Dixon (1991), A new approach to
English grammar on semantic principles; Gilbert Ryle (2009); Susanna Karlsson
(2008). In Vietnam with studies: Hoàng Tuệ (1962), Giáo trình Việt Ngữ; Nguyễn
Kim Thản( 1997), Động từ trong tiếng Việt; Hoàng Phê (1998), Vietnamese
dictionary. These studies thoroughly describe about the semantic features of the
BEGINNING verb group but they have not been exploited in terms of their syntactic
features yet. Moreover, the equivalents between two languages English and
Vietnamese have not been implemented yet.
In the process of teaching English verbs in general, there is a fact that my
learners have faced many problems when they use this group of verbs. They are often
confused to choose the right verb and make errors in using them. Therefore, a study
has been carried out to find out how to use these verbs accurately and correctly from
the analysis of their syntactic and semantic features with reference to their equivalents
in Vietnamese. As there are a lot of BEGINNING verb group, learners can use
numerous words to express their ideas. However, a great number of people make
mistakes when they use the BEGINNING verb group in different situations to
communicate. To compare the syntactic and semantic features of the BEGINNING
verb group are important to learners, so that they can have good knowledge to use the
BEGINNING verb group effectively.
A great numbers of studies on verbs with certain linguistic units has been
researched; however, there is no study of BEGINNING verb group. For the above


reasons, the topic “Syntactic and semantic features of BEGINNING verb group in
English and their Vietnamese equivalents” is chosen with the purpose of finding out
the equivalents of English and Vietnamese BEGINNING verb group. The study only
focuses on seven English BEGINNING verbs begin, start, continue, keep (on), finish,
stop, complete with the hope that thesis will be a useful reference, to the extent
possible, for teaching and learning English as foreign language in Vietnam.
1.2 Aims and objectives of the study
The study aims at describing the features of BEGINNING verb group in English
and making a comparison between this verb group in English and their Vietnamese
equivalents.
In order to gain the above aims, the study carries out the following objectives:
(i)

Identifying syntactic and semantic features of BEGINNING verb group in
English.

(ii)

Comparing the syntactic and features of these BEGINNING verb group in
English and their Vietnamese equivalents in terms of syntactic and semantic
features

(iii)

Offering some implications for teaching and learning BEGINNING verb
group in English.

1.3 Research questions
On the basis of the above mentioned aims, the study is conducted to answer the
following questions:
1. What are the syntactic and semantic features of BEGINNING verb group in
English?
2. What are the similarities and differences of BEGINNING verb group in English
and their Vietnamese equivalents?
3. What are the suggestions for teaching and learning English BEGINNING verb
group?
1.4 Methods of the study
This study is designed and investigated the syntactic and semantic features of the
BEGINNING verb group in English with reference to the Vietnamese equivalents, so
the qualitative, descriptive and contrastive methods are chosen. This study analyzes


and synthesis to some syntactic, semantic features of the BEGINNING verb group in
English and their Vietnamese equivalents. Therefore, in the process of this study, the
BEGINNING verb group is main resources for the research making English the source
language and Vietnamese the target one.
First of all, the qualitative method is referred the meaning as well as the
definitions or the concepts of the BEGINNING verb group in English and in
Vietnamese. Then, the descriptive method is used to describe the characteristics and
equivalents of semantic and syntactic structures of the English BEGINNING verb
group in English and Vietnamese. Additionally, the contrastive method is used to
compare the syntactic and semantic features of the BEGINNING verb group in
English and Vietnamese to make clear the similarities and differences between them.
Moreover, analysis and synthesize are also utilized as supporting methods.
Though analysis method, the similarities and differences of the BEGINNING verb
group are analyzed and with synthesize method, some verbs belong to the
BEGINNING verb group are synthesized to illustrate from different sources such as
books, dictionaries, literary works, newspapers, magazines and websites. As a matter
of fact, to investigate the structures of the BEGINNING verb group with their different
components and semantic features. Analytical method and synthetic method is also
used for grouping them on the basic of certain criteria according to structural and
semantic features. Finally, in the conducting of the investigation, setting up a regular
consultancy with supervisor for a guidance and academic exchange is critical techique
to find out a right direction for doing the research successfully.
1.5 Scope of the study
Within the frame work of the study, seven BEGINNING verb group are analyzed
in terms of syntactic and semantic features. Data were collected from books,
dictionaries and internet.
Some implications will be suggested basing on the survey on 90 students at Tong Duy
Tan high school in order to help Vietnamese learners of English have a better
understanding of the BEGINNING verb group and then use them in daily
communication effectively.


1.6 Significance of the study
Theoretically, the study will provide a full description of syntactic and semantic
features of the English verbs, so other researchers and linguistics could take it as a
reliable reference to make further studies in this field. Moreover, the similarities and
differences between these verb in English and Vietnamese are very helpful in
contrasting two languages.
Practically, the study will help the Vietnamese learners of English as a foreign
language

use the

English

BEGINNING verb

group

effectively in daily

communication. The findings of the study is hopefully to be beneficial to those whose
are engaged in teaching English as well as those who want to learn English as a
foreign language.
1.7 Design of the study
This thesis is organized into five chapters named as follows: Introduction, Literature
Review, Syntactic and semantic features of BEGINNING verb group in English and
their Vietnamese equivalents, Common errors made by students at Tong Duy Tan
High school when using BEGINNING verb group in English and Conclusion.
Chapter1, Introduction, gives the reason why this topic has been chosen for the
research as well as its aims and objectives, methods, scope, significance and structure
of the thesis.
Chapter 2, Literature review, presents the previous studies on different kinds of verb
in English and Vietnamese along with the theoretical background employed for
conducting the thesis
Chapter 3, Syntactic and semantic features of BEGINNING verb group in
English and their Vietnamese equivalents, presents the syntactic and semantic
features of the BEGINNING verb group in English and Vietnamese, and then finds out
the similarities and differences between them.
Chapter 4, Common errors made by students at Tong Duy Tan High school when
using BEGINNING verb group in English, shows the research implications for


teaching and learning English and common errors made by students as a foreign
language.
Chapter 5, Conclusion, makes a brief summary of the whole thesis, points out some
limitations and give recommendation as well as suggestions for a further study.
References are presented at the end of the study.


Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter provides an overview of the theoretical background as well as relevant
knowledge and summaries of previous research’s findings and conclusion associated
with the theme of the research. In other words, the review is to explain several related
terms and definitions as to semantics, syntax, collocation, lexical unit and approach,
verb and structures with the BEGINNING verb group. These later would further
highlight the features conducted of the study as well as suggest an array of possible
implications for teaching the English BEGINNING verb group in general and teaching
them to Vietnamese students at Tong Duy Tan high school.
2.1 Previous studies
There have been numerous researchers conducting investigations into
BEGINNING verb group in both English and Vietnamese. The descriptions and
analyses are based on the starting from Chomsky. The other description of syntactic
and semantic views is through different ages in the history of linguistic as William
Bullokar in “Brief Grammar for English” (1785).
For BEGINNING verb group in English, Anna Wierzbicka (1972) studies
about the semantic features of verbs such as: start, continue, finish, etc. In another
study of R. M. W. Dixon (1991),A new approach to English on semantic principles, he
pointed that the BEGINNING verb group include eleven English verbs: begin, start,
commence, continue (with), keep (on (with)), go on (with), finish, cease, stop,
complete, discontinue. Two these authors studies about the semantic of these verbs in
terms of semantic features.
In Vietnamese, it should be noticed the works of Diep Quang Ban (2005),
Nguyen Huu Quang, Nguyen Minh Thu (2016). In these books, the authors analyzed
Vietnamese verbs as well as show their syntactic and semantic features.
Hoàng Phê (1998)analyzed and improved to the meaning and the structures of
the BEGINNING verb group. In addition, some authors of Journal of Science and
technology in Da nang and Journal of Science of Hue University such as Lê Minh
Giang and Ngũ Thiện Hùng(2011)named Sự khác nhaugiữa động từ thực hữu và
không thực hữu trên cứ liệu tiếng Anh và đối dịch tiếng Việt, studied about the


distinction between factive verbs and non- factive verbs in English and Vietnamese
translational equivalents.
Although all the studies above thoroughly describe about the semantic or the
meaning features of the BEGINNING verb group, they have not been exploited in
terms of their syntactic features yet. Especially, the equivalents between two languages
English and Vietnamese have not been implemented. Moreover, the implications for
teaching and learning the BEGINNING verb group from English into Vietnamese
have not carried out yet.
As a result, that is why this research studies about the BEGINNING verb group.
The BEGINNING verb group of this study consists of seven verbs as begin, start,
continue, keep (on), finish, stop and complete. In this paper, the features of syntactic
along with semantic of the BEGINNING verb group will be analyzed clearly from
many different resources.
2.2. Overview of syntax and semantics
2.2.1. Theory of syntax
Within traditional grammar, the syntax of a language is described in term of
taxonomy of the range of different types of syntactic structures found in the language.
The central assumption underpinning syntactic analysis in traditional grammar is that
phrases and sentences are built up a series of constituents, each of which belongs to a
specific grammatical category and serves a specific grammatical function.
Syntax is a set of rules in language. It dictates how words from different parts
of speech are put together in order to convey a complete thought According to R.M.W.
Dixon (1991), syntax deals with the way in which words are combined together. Verbs
have different grammatical properties from language to language but there is always a
major class verb, which includes word referring to motion, rest, BEGINNING, giving
and speaking Syntax is understood to be the theory of the structure of sentences in a
language. This view has its direct antecedents in the theory of immediate constituents,
in which the function of syntax is to mediate between the observed forms of a sentence
and its meaning.


Bloomfield (1993), he states “we could not understand the form of a language if
we merely reduced all the complex forms to their ultimate constituents”. He argued
that in order to account for the meaning of a sentence, it is necessary to recognize how
individual constituents such words and morphemes constitute more complex forms.
Syntax is now the study of the principles and rules that govern the ways in
which words are combined to form phrases, clauses and sentences in a language.
Syntax, which is a subfield of grammar, focuses on the word order of a language and
the relationships between words. In other words, morphology deals with word
formation out of morphemes whereas syntax deals with phrase and sentence formation
out of words.
Syntactic structures are analyzable into sequences of syntactic categories or
syntactic classes, these being established on the basic of the syntactic relationships and
linguistic items have with other items in a construction.
Every language has a limited number of syntactic relations. Subject and object
are probably universal of syntactic relations, which apply to every language. However,
just as the criteria for the major words class noun and verb differ from language to
language, so do the ways in which syntactic relations are marked.
2.2.2. Theory of semantic
If not most, at least, many introductions to semantics begin by asking the
following question: what is semantics? What does semantics actually study? This
seems like a sensible way to start a course on semantics, so we can begin by looking at
some of the answers that different authors provide.
Semantics is the study of meaning

Lyons(1977)

Semantics is the study of meaning in Language

Hurford & Heasley 1983

Semantics is the study of meaning in

Lobner (2002)

Communicated through language


Linguistic semantics is the study of literal,

Frawley(1992)

decontextuallized, grammatical meaning
Linguistic semantics is the study of how languages

Kreidler (1998)

organize and express meanings
Table 2.1: Some definitions of semantics
Table 2.1provides a selection of definitions. Something that can be noticed is
that there is no complete agreement. For some, semantics concerns the study of
meaning as communicated through language, while for some others, semantics studies
all aspects of meaning and they have to add the label ‘linguistic’’ to arrive at a more
precise definition. This distinction, however, is not generally given much importance
and leaving aside special formulation, probably all authors would agree with
Kreidler’s definition (to choose just one of them):
Linguistic semantics is the study of how languages organize and express
meanings.
Nowadays, there are two ways of approaching semantics. The formal semantics
approach connects with classical philosophical semantics, that is, logic. It should not
be forgotten that semantics was a part of philosophy for many centuries. Formal
semantics tries to describe the meaning of language using the descriptive apparatus of
formal logic. The goal is to describe natural language in a formal, precise,
unambiguous way. Related (though not identical) denominations for this type of
semantics are truth- conditional semantics, modal- theoretic semantics, logical
semantics, etc. In truth- conditional semantics, the goal is to describe the conditions
that would have to be met for a sentence to be true. Formal semantics follows Frege’s
principle of compositionality: the meaning of the whole is a function of the meaning of
the parts. This type of semantics has proposed very precise and detailed analyses of
sentences and propositions, though at the price of abandoning many of the factors
affecting meaning, such as etymological, cultural or psychological considerations, and
neglecting a detailed analysis of the meaning of words(lexical semantics). The other
approach to semantics we could call psychologically- oriented semantics or cognitive
semantics. This approach does not consider the logical structure of language as


important for the description of the meaning of language, and tends to disregard
notions such as truth- values or strict compositionality. Cognitive semantics tries to
explain semantic phenomena by appealing to biological, psychological and even
cultural issues. They are less concerned with notions of reference and try to propose
explanations that will fit with everything that we know about cognition, including
perception and the role of body in the structuring of meaning structures. Throughout
the years, only two plausible functions of language have been considered: a
communicative function and a representation function; in both of them, semantics has
to be placed at the very heart of the process.
Theory of syntactic and semantic is carried out first main purpose to decide the
theoretical framework of the study in the chapter four.

2.3. Overview of English verb
2.3.1 Definition of English verb
According to R.M.W.Dixon (1991) defines that “a verb is the center of a
clause”. A verb refers to some activity and there must be a number of participants who
have roles in that activity as: Sinbad carried the old man; or it may refer to a state, and
there must be a participant to experience the state as: My leg aches.
A set of verbs is grouped together as one semantic type partly because they
require the same set of participant roles. All giving verbs require a Donor, a Gift and a
Recipient, as in:
John gave a bouquet to Mary, Jane lent the Saab to Bill.
Or:
The women’s Institutes supplied the soldiers with socks.
(R.M.W.Dixon,1991: 9)
All BEGINNING verbs take a Perceiver and an Impression (that which is seen
or heard), as in:
I heard the crash, I witnessed the accident, I recognized the driver’s face.
(R.M.W.Dixon,1991: 9)
Affect verbs are likely to involve an Agent, a Target, and something which is
manipulated by the Agent to come into contact with the target which I call manip. A
manip can always be stated, although it often does not have to be. For examples:
John rubbed the glass (with a soft cloth).
Mary sliced the tomato (with her new knife).
Tom punched Bill (with his left fist).
(R.M.W.Dixon,1991: 9)


We are here working at the semantic level, and it should be stressed that each
type has a quite distinct set of roles. There is nothing in common between Gift (that
which is transferred from one owner to another) and Impression (an object or activity
that is seen or heard) or Perceiver (a person who receives visual or auditory sense
impressions) or Agent (a person who wields a Manip to come into contact with a
Target), and so on.
According to Merrian-webster, verb is a word that characteristically is the
grammatical center of a predicate and expresses an act, occurrence, or mode of
being, that in various languages is inflected for agreement with the subject, for
tense, for voice, for mood, or for aspect, and that typically has rather full
descriptive meaning and characterizing quality but is sometimes nearly devoid
of these especially when used as an auxiliary or linking verb. In most
languages, verbs are parts of speech expressing existence, action, or
occurrence. Verbs are used to indicate the actions, processes, conditions, or states of
beings of people or things.
2.3.2. Classification of English verb
According to R. Quirk et al (1985), verbs are divided into two types. They are
intensives verbs and extensive verbs.
Extensive verbs are most other verbs, they do not have subject compliment.
Extensive verbs are used to say what the subject is doing. It covers a wider area; it
takes the information away from the subject. Words or phrases, which are followed by
an extensive verb work as the verb’s object. They apply the verb, not the subject as in:
He stayed very quiet.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985:55)
Extensive verbs include three small types: monotransive, complex transitive
and ditransitive.
Ditransitive verbs are verbs which take a subject and two objects or have the
structures ‘SVOO’. According to certain linguistic consideration, these objectives may
be called direct, indirect objectives, or primary and secondary objectives as in the
following examples:
I must send my parents an anniversary card. (SVOO)
In contrast, monotransitive verbs take only one object and appear in the structure SVO
as in the following examples
That lectures bored me. (SVO)
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 721)


Verbs require both a direct object and another object complement is complex transitive
verbs. Complex transitive verbs appear in the structure “SVOC’’ or ‘SVOA’’. In a
complex- transitive construction, the object complement identifies a quality or
attributes pertaining to the direct object. Let’s consider the following examples:
Most students have found her reasonably helpful. (SVOC)
You can put the dish on the table. (SVOA)
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 721)
The verb is perhaps the most important part of the sentence. A verb states what
is happening in the sentence. Finite verbs locate the condition or action of the verb in a
specific time frame: past, present or future and have a specific tense and a subject with
which they grammatically agree. A complete sentence must contain a finite verb.
Verbs create the relationship between the subject and the object of the verb.
In a command, there is still this relationship with the subject and object
understood. “Go!” (Subject –you- understood, verb “go!” object away– understood.)
The form of the verb must agree with the number of its subject, which will be a
noun or noun group, for example 'They were not home' (as opposed to 'They was not
home'). Confusion can arise when deciding whether the subject is singular or plural,
for example 'This group of students is very clever', or when there are two subjects, for
example 'Ice cream and strawberries are delicious' (not 'is delicious').
Intensive verbs are also called copular verbs, and they are usually followed by a
noun, or noun phrase, and adjective or prepositional phrase. Intensive verbs are used to
describe the subject. It means that the focus is on one thing- the subject only. Intensive
verbs appear in the structure SVC or SVA words or phrases, which are followed by an
intensive verb work as the subject compliment and they apply to the subject, not the
verb. Let’s consider the following examples:
Your dinner seem ready. (SVC)
My office is in the next building. (SVA)
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 721)
Intensive verbs do not take any object. It presents the relationship between the
subject and the subject complementation. The verb in sentences with subject
complement is a ‘’copular’’ or (linking verb), which of itself has little meaning but
functions as a link between the complement subject.
There are two subgroups:
Current intensive: be,appear, look, feel, remain, keep….
(E. Warrriner, J. & Graham, L.S.1980: 108)
Resulting intensive: become, come, get, go, grow, turn…


She grew tired o his complaints. (SVC)
(E. Warrriner, J. & Graham, L.S 1080: 108)
This part is a source to analyze in the chapter three.
2.4. Classification of sentences
2.4.1 In terms of sentence pattern
Sentence classification is carried out in order to get the foundation of studying the
sentence types in the BEGINNING verb group in English and Vietnamese in chapter
III.
By eliminating optional adverbials from the clause structures, we have seven clause
types in the classification of the essential core of each clause structure.
S(subject) V(verb)
Type
SV
Type
SVO

Someone

Type
SVC
Type
SVA
Type

The
country
I

My
mother

Mary

was
laughing
enjoys

Most

SVOC people
Type
You
SVOA

[1a]
parties

became

[2a]
totally
independent

[3a]

have
been
gave

the visitor

[5a]

consider

A glass of
milk
these books rather expensive

[6a]

must put

all the toys

SVOO
Type

O(object(s)) C(complement) A(dverbial)

in
garden

the [4a]

upstairs

[7a]

Table 2.1: Sentence patterns (Quirk, Randolph, 1985)
Each clause type is associated with a set of verbs. The seven fall naturally into
three main types. There are:
1. A two-element pattern: SV
They are talking.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 721)
2. Three three-element patterns: SV + {O}
That lecture bored me. (SVO)
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 721)
3. Three four-element patterns: SVO + {O, C}


I must send my parents an anniversary card. (SVOO)
Most students have found her reasonably helpful. (SVOC)
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 721)
This set of patterns is the most general classification that can be usefully
applied to the classification of sentence patterns of the BEGINNING verb group in
English.
2.4.2. In terms of sentence elements
2.4.2.1 Syntactic features of sentence elements
Subject is the most important element of the clause elements other than the verb
according to Quirk, Randolph (1985). It is the element that is most often present. It is
also the element for which we can find the greatest number of characteristic features.
The subject is normally a noun phrase or a nominal clause, a pronoun, That-clause, To
infinitive or V-ing. A subject is obligatory in finite clauses except in imperative
clauses, where it is normally absent but implied.
Verb is also taken an extremely important role in sentences. It is convenient to
make a further classification of the verbs in these patterns:
Monotransitive verbs occurs in type SVO
Transitive verbs

Ditransitive verbs occur in type SVOO
Complex transitive verbs occur in types SVOC and
SVOA

Object is an indispensable element in a sentence with a transitive verb.
In
fact, there are two types of object: direct object (Od) and indirect object (Oi). An
object such as parties in [2a] (My mother enjoys parties) clearly has a different role in
the clause from an object such as the visitor in [5a] (Mary gave the visitor a glass of
milk), and this has been traditionally recognized by applying the term direct object to
the former, and indirect object to the latter. We give priority here to the distributional
fact that whenever there are two objects (in type SVOO), the former is normally the
indirect object, and the latter is direct object. But although it is more central with
regard to position, in other respects the indirect object is more peripheral than the
direct object: it is more likely to be optional, and may generally be paraphrased by a
prepositional phrase functioning as adverbial.
Complement is used in sentence patterns SVC and SVOC. There are also two
types of complements: subject complement (Cs) and object complement (Co). We can
distinguish between the types of complement found in the SVC pattern; ie: totally
independent in:
The country became totally independent.
[3a]


And the type of complement found in the SVOC pattern; ie: rather expensive in:
Most people consider these books rather expensive.

[6a]

The distinction is effectively made by noting that in [3a] the country is
understood to have become a totally independent country, while in [6a] the books are
understood to be considered rather expensive books. In other words, in SVC clauses
the complement applies some attribute or definition to the subject, whereas in SVOC
clauses it applies an attribute or definition to the object. This distinction is usually
denoted by the terms subject complement and object complement respectively. In these
cases, the complement is an adjective phrase, but elsewhere, where the complement is
a noun phrase, the same kind of distinction holds:
Type SVC: The country became a separate nation.
Type SVOC: Most people considered Picasso a genius.
2.4.2.2. Semantic features of sentence elements
Quirk, Randolph (1985)shows that the most typical semantic role of a subject in
a clause that has a direct object is that of the agentive participant: that is, the animate
being instigating or causing the happening denoted by the verb:
Margaret is mowing the grass.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 741)
The subject sometimes has the role of external causer; that is it expresses the
unwitting (generally inanimate) cause of an event:
The electric shock killed him.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 743)
It may also have the role of instrument; that is, the entity (generally inanimate)
which an agent uses to perform an action or instigate a process:
A car knocked them down.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 743)
With intransitive verbs, the subject also frequently has the affected role
elsewhere typical of the direct object:
The pencil was lying on the table.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 743)
Besides, the subject may have a recipient role with verbs such as have, own,
possess, benefit (from); the role of position with intransitive stance verbs such as sit,
stand, lie, live, stay, remain, and with transitive verbs related to stance verbs such as
carry, hold, keep, wear; the locative, temporal and eventide role.
Direct object has several roles in sentences.
The most typical role of the
direct object is that of the affected participant: a participant (animate or inanimate)


which does not cause the happening denoted by the verb, but is directly involved in
some other way:
Many MPs criticized the Prime Minister.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 741)
The direct object may have a locative role with such verbs as walk, swim, pass, jump,
turn, leave, reach, surround, cross, climb.
Besides, the direct object has a resultant, cognate, and instrumental object.
Besides, the most typical role of the indirect object is that of the recipient
participant: i.e., of the animate being that is passively implicated by the happening or
state:
I’ve found you a place.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 741)
It occasionally takes an affected role with a few of the verbs that combine with an
eventide object. The most common verb in the latter construction is give:
She gave me a push.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 742)
Complement is also a very important element in sentences. The typical semantic
role of a subject complement and an object complement is that of attribute. We can
distinguish two Subgroups of role for the attribute: identification and characterization.
We can further subdivide attributes into current or existing attributes (normally with
verbs used stativity) and resulting attributes, resulting from the event described by the
verb (with verbs used dynamically).
Branda became their accountant.
(Identification)
Dwight is an honest man.
(Characterization)
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 728)
2.5Overview of BEGINNING verb group
BEGINNING verb group are founded in English as R.M.W DIXON who studied about
the semantic features of verbs such as begin, start, continue, keep (on), finish, stop and
complete in A new approach to English on semantic principles(1991). In other words,
A new approach to English grammar on semantic principles is one of the study to
discuss the definition and semantic features of BEGINNING verb group. The book
show three group: (i) begin, start(ii)continue (with), keep ((on) with),(iii) finish, stop,
complete.


In Vietnam, the BEGINNING verb group was founded by some authors such as Hoang
Tue(1992), Giáo trình việt ngữ Động từ trong Tiếng Việt was written by Nguyen Kim
Than (1997), these authors studied about of words in Vietnamese including
BEGINNING verb group. Moreover, some authors of Journal of Science of Hue
University: (2011), sự khác nhau giữa động từ thực hữu trên cứ liệu Tiếng Anh và đối
dịch tiếng. These authors studies about the distinction between factive verbs non
factive verbs in English and Vietnamese translation. Nguyen Thi Thu Ha (2012), ngữ
nghĩa của động từ trong tiếng Việt. The author has only mentioned the meanings of
BEGINNING verb group in Vietnamese, not discuss or compare the equivalents of the
BEGINNING verb group in English. There have been a lot of researchers conducting
investigations into verb goups in both English and Vietnamese. For verbs in English
R.M.W DIXON (1991) studies about the semantic features of English verb groups
such as: the BEGINNING group, BEGINNING group, DECIDING group,
THINKING group.etc. This book has two purposes: one purpose is practical: it is
meant to be of service to the general public, both to native speakers of English and to
people learning or teaching English as a second language. The other purpose is
scholarly: it is meant to be a study of an important section of the English vocabulary, a
study of a kind which has never been undertaken before. The present dictionary can be
regarded as a justification of the semantic theory on which it is based. This does not
mean, however, that the practical lexicographic purpose is subordinated to a
theoretical linguistic goal. On the contrary, the semantic theory is viewed here as a
lexicographic enterprise, which will be also useful as a reference book. According to
R.M.W DIXON (1991), the BEGINNING verb group includes seven English verbs:
begin, start , continue, keep (on with), finish, stop, complete, discontinue. These verbs
are analysed thoroughly in terms of their meanings and using in daily life. Given the
necessary limitations of scope, the clues offered by the syntactic properties of the
individual verbs have not been exploited as fully and as systematically as it was hoped.
2. 6 Summary
In this chapter, the Literature Review includes previous studies, review of
theoretical background. In the previous studies, the studies of authors in oversea and in
Vietnam are given. In the theory of syntax and semantics are analyzed thoroughly in
order to use for background of analyzing the syntactic and semantic features of the
BEGINNING verb group in English. Moreover, the definition of the verb and
classification of verb are pointed out in details. Finally, theoretical background is


given briefly reviewing what has been found and discussed the related studies by
describing their approaches and key findings.


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