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  1. 1. i University of Niš FACULTY OF PHILOSOPHY MASTER THESIS Vladimir Nikolić
  2. 2. ii University of Niš FACULTY OF PHILOSOPHY English department MA studies Systemic Functional Grammar PSEUDO-INTRANSITIVES IN TEFL (TEACHING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE) Mentor Student Tatjana Paunović, PhD Vladimir Nikolić, 69 Niš, 2014
  3. 3. iii Unfortunately, I never had a significant opportunity to express my gratitude to my beloved grandmother for everything she had done for me. In Memoriam - Dragoslava Nikolić (1929-2014)
  4. 4. iv CONTENT ABSTRACT……………………………………………………………………………………1 1. INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………….…....3 2. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND.....................................................................................6 2.1. DEFINING TERMS.................................................................................................6 2.1.1. TRANSITIVE AND INTRANSITIVE VERBS………………….…….6 2.1.2. SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL GRAMMAR……………………………..6 2.1.3. PSEUDO-INTRANSITIVES....................................................................8 2.2. PREVIOUS RESEARCH......................................................................................12 2.3. TRANSITIVE AND INTRANSITIVE VERBS IN THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM……………………………………………………………….…..18 3. PRESENT STUDY.............................................................................................................22 3.1. THE RESULTS......................................................................................................23 3.1.1. WORK......................................................................................................26 3.1.2. DRIVE......................................................................................................30 3.1.3. GO...........................................................................................................33 3.1.4. EAT..........................................................................................................38 3.1.5. RUN.........................................................................................................41 3.1.6. BREAK.....................................................................................................46 3.1.7. FIND........................................................................................................50 3.1.8. DISAGREE..............................................................................................54 3.1.9. READ.......................................................................................................56 3.1.10. NOMINATE...........................................................................................60 3.1.11 WAKE UP...............................................................................................63 3.1.12. TURN DOWN........................................................................................66 3.1.13. ARRIVE..................................................................................................69
  5. 5. v 3.2. THE SUMMARY OF THE RESULTS OF SAMPLE ANALYSIS......................72 3.3. THE RESULTS OF SENTENCES WITH PSEUDO-INTRANSITIVES.............76 4. CONCLUSION....................................................................................................................77 4.1. LIMITATIONS AND FURTHER RESEARCH...............................................................79 4.2. PEDAGOGICAL IMPLICATIONS..................................................................................79 REFERENCES..........................................................................................................................81 APPENDIX...............................................................................................................................84
  6. 6. 1 Abstract The research aims to explore several questions related to pseudo-intransitive verbs in English. First, it examines whether, and to what extent, students that learn English as L2 can recognize and use pseudo-intransitives in sentences in the English language. It investigates whether students are familiar with the grammar properties of transitive and intransitive verbs, as well as, if they make a clear difference between transitive and intransitive verbs. Also, it explores if students know which verbs can be used transitively and which intransitively. Finally, the research focuses on those verbs that can be used as both – in which case students are tested on whether they are capable of recognizing pseudo-intransitives. The theoretical background for conveying this research was provided by Systemic Functional Grammar, which, unlike traditional grammar, recognizes pseudo-intransitive verbs. Pseudo-intransitives are often present in everyday written and spoken form of the English language, however, despite this fact, these verbs are neither being lectured nor learned in elementary and high schools in Serbia. In this respect, it could be said that traditional grammar approach is still mostly and widely applied one in elementary and high schools in Serbia. There are no data of any research which included pseudo-intransitives in English in Serbia. On the other hand, there are researches which included these verbs as the topic of an investigation, as well as, the comparisons of pseudo-intransitives in English to similar grammatical structures in other languages. These studies are presented in the theoretical part of the paper. The goal of this paper is, first of all, to present these verbs, and then, to emphasize that knowing pseudo-intransitives and properties of their usage reflects on the level of grammar knowledge and composing a sentence that is grammatically correct. The initial assumption of this research is that students who attend third grade of high school are capable of determining pseudo-intransitive verbs regarding that they learnt transitive and intransitive verbs in elementary school. For this purpose, it was necessarily to briefly examine teaching methods that are used in introducing and presenting transitive and intransitive verbs according to the curriculum of elementary schools in Serbia. This brief analysis includes the way transitive and intransitive verbs are introduced, taught, learnt and exercised in elementary schools in Serbia. In compliance with our objective, we conducted a survey, by means of a test distributed to third year students of “Bora Stanković“ high school in Niš. The test results were quantitatively and qualitatively analysed. The aim of these analyses was testing their overall knowledge of transitive and intransitive verbs with the emphasis on whether the students are capable of determining and using pseudo-intransitive verbs in a sentence in the English language. The test results showed that most respondents successfully recognized pseudo-intransitives but that they had much more difficulties in using these verbs while composing their own sentences. Key words: Systemic Functional Grammar, pseudo-intransitives, transitive and intransitive verbs, EFL teaching
  7. 7. 2 Apstrakt Ovo istraživanje ima za cilj da utvrdi da li, i u kojoj meri, učenici koji pohađaju engleski kao strani jezik mogu da prepoznaju i upotrebe pseudo-neprelazne glagole u rečenicama na engleskom jeziku. Istraživanje ispituje da li su učenici dovoljno dobro upoznati sa gramatičkim svojstvima prelaznih i neprelaznih glagola, i da li prave jasnu razliku između prelaznih i neprelaznih glagola, zatim, da li znaju koji se glagoli mogu korsiti kao neprelazni, a koji kao prelazni glagoli, a koji kao jedno i drugo – čime se ispituje da li mogu da prepoznaju pseudo-neprelazne glagole. Teorijski okvir za ovo istraživanje pružila je sistematsko-funkcionalna gramatika. SFG se za razliku od tradicionalne gramatike, koja se još uvek najšire uči i predaje u osnovnim i srednjim školama u Srbiji, bavi pseudo-neprelaznim glagolima. Ovi glagoli su često prisutni u svakodnevnom pisanom i govornom obliku engleskog jezika, međutim i pored te činjenice oni se ne predaju i ne uče u osnovnim i srednjim školama u Srbiji. Nema podataka o sličnim istraživanjima koja su uključivala pseudo-neprelazne glagole u engleskom jeziku u Srbiji. Postoje istraživanja koja su se bavila temom pseudo-neprelaznih glagola i poređenjem ovih glagola u engleskom sa sličnim gramatičkim strukturama u drugim jezicima. Ove studije predstavljane su u teorijskom delu rada. Ovaj rad ima za cilj da najpre prezentuje ove glagole, zatim da istakne da se poznavanje pseudo-neprelaznih glagola i dobro vladanje ovim glagolima odražava na nivo gramatičkog znanja i građenja rečenice koja je gramatički ispravna. Osnovna pretpostavka ovog istraživanja je da učenici koji pohađaju treću godinu srednje škole u Srbiji mogu da prepoznaju pseudo-neprelazne glagole obzirom na to da su prelazne i neprelazne glagole učili još u osnovnoj školi. Uzimajući to u obzir, bilo je neophodno ukratko ispitati nastavne metode pri uvođenju i učenju prelaznih i neprelaznih glagola prema nastavnom planu osnovnih škola u Srbiji. Ova kratka analiza obuhvata način na koji se prelazni i neprelazni glagoli prezentuju, uče i vežbaju tokom pohađanja osnovne škole u Srbiji. U skladu sa ovim ciljevima, izvršeno je istraživanje uz pomoć testa koji je podeljen đacima koji pohađaju treću godinu srednje škole - gimanzije ,,Bora Stanković“ u Nišu. Rezultati testa su obrađeni putem kvantitativne i kvalitativne analize. Cilj ovih analiza je bio da se ispita njihovo vladanje prelaznim i neprelaznim glagolima sa naglaskom na to da li mogu da prepoznaju i upotrebe pseudo-neprelazne glagole u rečenici na engleskom jeziku. Rezultati istraživanja pokazali su da su ispitanici uglavnom uspešno prepoznali pseudo- neprelane glagole, a mnogo više problema imali sa upotrebom ovih glagola u samostalnim rečenicama. Ključne reči: sistematsko funkcionalna gramatika, pseudo-neprelazni glagoli, prelazni i neprelazni glagoli, nastava na engleskom jeziku koji se uči kao strani jezik
  8. 8. 3 I INTRODUCTION “The grammarian’s dream is (and must be, such is the nature of grammar) of constant territorial expansion. He would like to turn the whole of linguistic form into grammar, hoping to show that lexis can be defined as most delicate grammar”.1 Pseudo-intransitives are relatively new scientific field that belongs to Systemic Functional Grammar. The term is precisely defined but there is little data relevant to the subject that can be found in literature and the World Wide Web. The paper aims to explore existing data about pseudo-intransitive and raise the level of knowledge about these verbs among EFL students. Eminent linguists who included pseudo-intransitives in their researches, beside M.A.K. Halliday, are: Angela Downing, Philip Locke, Cliff Goddard, Gordon H. Tucker, Diane D. Bornstein, Christian M. I. M. Matthiessen, Clare Painter, John Newman, Peter H. Matthews, etc. Comparison of pseudo-intransitives in English as a foreign language to grammatical properties in their mother tongue was conveyed by Iraqi linguist Murtadha J. Bakir and Japanese linguist Fusa Katada. This paper indicates that pseudo-intransitives are very important in the process of grammar learning and better understanding of grammatical rules of a language. Learning pseudo-intransitives implies prior knowledge of transitive and intransitive verbs. These verbs are introduced on mother tongue form in the sixth grade of elementary schools in Serbia, but only a year later these verbs are introduced in English form. Regarding that pseudo-intransitives are similar to transitive and intransitive verbs, learning pseudo-intransitives is not hard if one knows transitive and intransitive verbs very well. A segment that is very important for the research is to determine if students that attend third grade of high schools in Serbia are capable of determining and using transitive and intransitive verbs. The argument that supports the decision to examine the inclusion and progress of transitive and intransitive verbs in the curriculum is that the level of knowledge and usage of pseudo-intransitive verbs much depends from the quality of presenting teaching, learning and exercising methods of transitive and intransitive verbs. Therefore, a part of the research includes methods of presenting, learning and exercising transitive and intransitive verbs primarily in mother tongue, i.e. in Serbian, in the sixth grade and afterwards in English in the seventh grade of elementary schools in Serbia. The analysis includes curriculum for the sixth and the seventh grade of elementary schools in Serbia. Lexicon is very important in the process of learning a language because it shows if a student have mastered previous teaching material, as well as student’s mastery of the language in general. Primary motive for conveying the research is to examine whether the students that learn English as a foreign language, to whom transitive and intransitive verbs were introduced 1 Michael Halliday: Categories of the theory of grammar, Oxford University Press, 1961.
  9. 9. 4 years ago, are capable of recognizing pseudo-intransitives in given sentences. Pseudo- intransitives are not a part of traditional grammar, but a part of Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG). The basis of SFG was set by eminent linguist, a British-born Australian, Michael Alexander Kirkwood Halliday (M.A.K. Halliday). These verbs were labeled in literature also as ambitransitive and labile. In fact, ambitransitive verbs are defined as verbs that can be intransitive or transitive without requiring a morphological change, i.e. the same verb may or may not be followed by a direct object. The prefix pseudo is of Greek origin. As the meaning of the prefix tells itself, it’s about false intransitive verbs, i.e. it’s about verbs that are transitive but they behave in a sentence as if they are intransitive. For example: the verb to read is intrinsically transitive, but can also be pseudo-intransitive. The difference between usage of this verb as transitive and pseudo-intransitive is clearly perceptible in the following sentences: Susan reads; Susan reads a book. There are not a lot of pseudo-intransitive verbs. The following verbs are well-known pseudo-intransitives: break, eat, cook, read, steal, translate, wash, tan, close/shut, fasten, kick and lock. The research aims to conclude if students in high schools are capable of determining which verbs are pseudo-intransitives.2 If the results would be positive, the conclusion would be that students that attend third grade of high schools in Serbia are qualified to learn and exercise pseudo-intransitives and that would indicate that these verbs should be included in the curriculum of learning English as a foreign language in elementary and high schools in Serbia. Literature about pseudo-intransitives that was studied in detail for the purpose of this research supports this idea. Educationally speaking, the inclusion of pseudo-intransitives in the curriculum of elementary and high schools would result in increasing comprehension about grammar properties and it would contribute to the overall knowledge in the area of grammar. The conclusion would be that those who learnt and mastered transitive and intransitive verbs could easily identify pseudo-intransitives if they are informed that pseudo-intransitives are actually intrinsically transitive verbs that are not followed by an object in a sentence. Taking this into account, we conducted a survey that examines capability of students that attend the third grade of high schools in Serbia to identify pseudo-intransitives in given sentences. The survey was designed especially for this research under the supervision of the mentor. The test aims to examine students’ ability to recognize and use transitive and intransitive verbs in a sentence, and finally, their capability of determining pseudo-intransitive verbs. The results of the test would indicate on defects in some of these segments that occur during teaching if incorrect answers prevail on the test, or on the contrary, if the correct answers predominate on the test it would indicate that these verbs can easily be introduced into curriculum of high schools in Serbia. Knowing transitive and intransitive verbs reflects mastery of grammatical properties and methods of constructing a sentence which is grammatically correct, the exploration could indicate on omissions and mistakes in the process of teaching transitive and intransitive verbs if incorrect answers on the test overcome correct ones, i.e. if students didn’t master transitive 2 Considering that these students haven't learnt pseudo-intransitives, they were asked to determine if a verb that is intransitive in a sentence can be transitive as well, and vice versa.
  10. 10. 5 and intransitive verbs, or on the other hand, it would enhance the former methods of teaching these verbs if students in general would solve the test successfully. Regarding that third year high school students in Serbia have been learning and exercising transitive and intransitive verbs for years, students are expected to give correct answers and to solve the test successfully. This paper emphasis the importance of pseudo-intransitives because although these verbs are present in everyday speech and when dealing with grammar, they are not present in the curriculum for learning English as a foreign language in elementary and high schools in Serbia. The research is based on the material taken from literature that is relevant to pseudo- intransitives in the English language with a review on methods of introducing, teaching and exercising transitive and intransitive verbs in the Serbian language in elementary schools in Serbia. “If a substance seems complex, this is because the grammar is complex - it has to be, to do all the things we make it to do for us. It does no service to anyone in the long run if we pretend that semiosis – the making and understanding of meaning – is a simpler matter than it really is.”3 3 Halliday, M. A. K. and Matthiessen, Christian: An Introduction to Functional Grammar: third edition, Hodder Arnold, 2004, p. 5
  11. 11. 6 II THEORETICAL BACKGROUND 2.1. DEFINING TERMS 2.1.1. TRANSITIVE AND INTRANSITIVE VERBS According to the traditional grammar, verbs are classified into two groups – transitive and intransitive. Whether a verb is transitive or intransitive depends on if the verb is followed by a direct object in a sentence. In other words, transitive verbs are the verbs that are accompanied by a direct object in a sentence while intransitive verbs are the verbs that are not followed by an object in a sentence. For example: The class starts. intransitive construction The teacher starts the class. transitive construction Intransitive verbs express an action that happens by itself and the passive form is impossible. Compare: “The earthquake happened on July 26, 1963 in Skopje” with “The earthquake was happened* on July 26, 1963 in Skopje”. Transitive and intransitive verbs are introduced in mother tongue, i.e. in Serbian, in the sixth grade curriculum of elementary schools in Serbia. They are introduced in the English language, which is learned as L2, in the seventh grade.4 These verbs are clearly defined in traditional grammar and the difference between these two classes of verbs is highly visible and noticeable. But the researches that are done within SFG concluded that there are verbs that do not strictly belong to one of these two classes of verbs, but that there are verbs that can be used both transitively and intransitively, or more precisely, verbs that are intrinsically transitive but can function intransitively as well, i.e. pseudo-intransitives. Pseudo-intransitives will be discussed further in the research. 2.1.2. SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL GRAMMAR Pseudo-intransitives are not introduced in traditional grammar, but in Systemic Functional Grammar. Before discussing about pseudo-intransitives, we need to briefly clarify the definition of Systemic Functional Grammar. The theory of Systemic Functional Grammar was originally formulated by M.A.K. Halliday in the early 1960s. Before it was labeled as “systemic grammar”, the theory was known as “scale and grammar category”. The fuller title is “Systemic Functional Grammar”, but the abbreviation “SFG” is used for working purposes.5 4 Lompur Vesna: Srpski jezik 6, gramatika, Klett, 2010. 5 Morley, G. David: Syntax in Functional Grammar: An introduction to lexicogrammar in systemic linguistic, Continuum, London and New York, 2000, p. 2 - 20
  12. 12. 7 M.A.K. Halliday based Systemic Functional Grammar by elaborating the works created by his teacher J. R. Firth and the Prague school (a group of eminent linguists of the early 20th century). By exploring the purpose of a language, Halliday came to a conclusion that text which is a product of written or oral communication refers to a language by means that a person that speaks that language understands its message.6 The prior focus of Systemic Functional Grammar is functional description and interpretation of a language, i.e. the usage of a language. SFG provides useful interpretations of grammatical structures in terms of different kinds of meaning, and has a well worked out model of language and context.7 Being inspired by Louis Hjelmslev, Halliday sees text as a process that is defined as a part of system of transitivity where: subject (noun) is described as participant – actor, agent and patient; verb as process – action or state; prepositional phrase as circumstance – location; object (noun) as participant - goal and patient; adjective as attribute – feature; etc.8 Therefore, according to the SFG terms, clauses that possess two participants - actor and goal - are transitive clauses; and on the other hand, clauses that possess just one participant - actor - are intransitive ones.9 Those clauses in which “someone does something“ and that are probed by asking “what did x do?“ are considered to be intransitive or middle. On the contrary, clauses in which “someone does something and the doing involves another entity“ are transitive. These clauses are probed by asking “what did x do to y?“10 In transitive clauses, action is performed by an agent that acts deliberately being followed by a patient who undergoes a change of state, or is affected in a precisely manner. The verbs that are listed in dictionaries as transitive, such as: “decipher, depress, stimulate”, are normally followed by direct object Complements (Cdo). Furthermore, verbs labeled in the dictionary as intransitive tend to occur without an object Complement. There is a problem if one tries to give a neat account of all this. The problem is that majority of verbs in English (but not all) appear to be able to function both transitively and intransitively, or in other words, with or without a Complement. For instance: in the following extract Cdo is presented in italics in both a and b sentences: a. […] some nerves stimulate an organ and others depress it; b. […] some drugs stimulate while others depress. (as we can see there is no Cdo in the sentence b.)11 6 Halliday M.A.K., Hasan, R.: Cohesion in English, Longman, London, 1976, Chapter 1; Halliday M.A.K: Spoken and Written Language. Geelong, Vic: Deakin University Press, 1985. 7 Jones, H. Rodney and Lock, Graham: Functional grammar in the EFL classroom, PALGRAVE MACMILLAN, 2011, P. 7 8 Matthiessen, M. I. M. Christian, Painter, Clare: Working with Functional Grammar: A Workbook, Arnold, 1997 9 Lock, Graham: Functional English Grammar: An introduction for second language teachers, Cambridge University Press, 1996, p. 74 10 Eggins, Suzanne: An Introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics: 2nd edition, Continuum, New York – London, 2004, p. 216 11 Bloor, Thomas and Bloor, Meriel: The Functional Analysis of English: A Hallidayan Approach: second edition, London: Distributed in United States of America by Oxford University Press Inc., New York, Arnold: A member of the Hodder Headline Group, 2004, p. 50
  13. 13. 8 Transitive and intransitive verbs according to SFG terms in clauses are presented in the table below12 : Actor and Process [intransitive] Action optionally extended to a Goal [transitive] the troops attacked the troops attacked the capital the guerillas hunted the guerillas hunted the militia Glen kicked Glen kicked the ball Advantages of Systemic Functional Grammar over traditional grammar: - it includes the better part of the scope of linguistic; - processing of a content includes context of a content as well; - reliably interpret connection between grammar and experience of reality; - it simultaneously deals with different linguistic functions; etc.13 Systemic Functional Grammar expands the horizons in terms of grammar of the English language that was not included in traditional grammar. This scientific field critically explores and reviews previous data about grammar. Besides determining pseudo-intransitives, that is the topic of this research, SFG has determined and expanded notions of many other grammar properties in all fields within traditional grammar. The following subchapter describes characteristics of pseudo-intransitives. 2.1.3. PSEUDO-INTRANSITIVES Regarding that these verbs are not the part of traditional grammar and that the majority of educated people do not know of existence of such verbs, this research explored all existing definitions and properties about this class of verbs. The aim is to develop a crystal clear picture about these verbs. We will start from the term pseudo-intransitives itself. The prefix “pseudo“ in pseudo- intransitives derives from the Greek language. The actual translation of the Greek word (ψευδής) is “false, lying, untrue“. It is used to label something that is false, fraudulent, or pretending to be what is not. 12 J. R. Martin, Cristian M.I.M Matthiessen, Painter Clare, Working with Functional Grammar, Arnold, London, 1997, p. 122 13 Halliday M.A.K., Hasan Ruqaiya: Language, context and text: a social semiotic perspective, Oxford University Press, USA, 1989; Halliday M.A.K., Matthiessen Christian M.I.M.: Construing Experience through Meaning: A Language-based Approach to Cognition, Cassell, London, 1999.
  14. 14. 9 The term pseudo-intransitive verb implies to a verb that is regarded as transitive but is actually intransitive because of a lack of a direct object in a sentence, or there is a presence of a direct object in a sentence as the subject of the sentence. For example: Mariah cooks; These apples cook well.14 Pseudo-Intransitive verbs allow for the omission of the object. For instance: From the grammatical point of view, an indefinite object has been elided or deleted in pseudo- intransitive construction such as “He was eating.“15 Pseudo-Intransitives can be involved in patterns generated by the rule: V Vt + Np. Such a rule applies to verbs that can or must take an object. The following sentence illustrates pseudo-intransitive verb to drive with an object: Edward drove the car. As any other pseudo- intransitive verb, drive can be used either transitively or intransitively. The following sentence pattern illustrates this verb used as pseudo-intranisitve in a sentence: Edward drives fast.16 Pseudo-Intransitive verbs are described as certain processes (drive, read, translate, lock, break, wash, tan, fasten) which are intrinsically transitive. Actually these processes are linked with affected subject. In such a construction they are construed as intransitive with an affected subject. A pseudo-intransitive verb expresses the facility of a participant to undergo a process. Let’s consider the following sentences given as examples (pseudo-intransitive verbs are italicized). Glass breaks easily. This box doesn't shut; close; fasten; lock properly. Colloquial language doesn't translate correctly. Some synthetic fibres won't wash. Usually they dry-clean. Fair skin doesn't tan quickly, it turns red.17 Pseudo-intransitives differ from other intransitives in the following ways: These verbs express general property or propensity of the entity to undergo (or not undergo) the process in question. Compare: “Glass breaks easily.” with “The glass broke.” (pseudo-intransitive construction) (this sentence pattern refers to a distinct event) Pseudo-intransitives are usually in the present tense form. There is the presence of a cause, but an agent can't be added in a by-phrase. 14 <http://www.thefreedictionary.com> 15 Goddard, Cliff: Semantic Analysis: A Practical Introduction: Second Edition, Oxford University Press, New York, 2011, p. 439 16 Bornstein, D. Diane: An introduction to transformational grammar, University Press of America, 1984. P. 80 17 Downing, Angela and Locke, Philip: English Grammar: A University Course second edition, Routledge, London and New York, 2006, p. 136
  15. 15. 10 Pseudo-intransitive verb is followed by negation, a modal (usually will/ won't) or an adverb such as easily, well - any of which specify the tendency of the thing to undergo the process or otherwise (not to undergo the process). There is the absence of active or passive corresponding transitive construction, which precisely expresses the same significance as these intransitives. For example, “Colloquial language is translated badly.” implies to translators' lack of skill, rather than about characteristic of colloquial language. The problem of just paraphrasing the pattern indicates how truly distinct and valuable it is. Note the differences in a variety of sentences describing an event: Ben broke the glass. active The glass was broken by Ed. be-passive The glass got broken. get-passive The glass was already broken. copular (state) The glass broke. (anti-causative) Glass breaks easily. (pseudo-intransitive)18 The verb to be functioning as intransitive with comparative that is pseudo: The rain tub is much fuller after all the rain.19 In this sentence pattern fuller signifies “more content“ since the tub cannot be “fuller than full“. Pseudo-intransitive verbs are: break, eat, cook, drive, read, steal, translate, lock, sew, wash, hammer, tan, write, fasten, breathe, smoke, etc. Furthermore, let's compare, for instance, verbs to eat and to nibble. Although these verbs describe similar actions, there are many differences between eating and nibbling. We could say that eating is in some sense usual, daily and routine activity, whereas nibbling isn't. For eating we can depict a prototypical inspiring scenario with the component “at many times someone does something like this to something when it is like this...“, but this would not be the case with nibbling because such a component wouldn't add up. The first phrase is adaptable to change, for instance: “at some times“. Opposite from eating, nibbling implies to refusing to get food inside their body by using the mouth, or requiring just “little bits“ of food into the bodies, and probably not just as much into the body as into the mouth. At this point as description is concerned, it is understood that nibbling includes “smaller“, shorter 18 Downing, Angela and Locke, Philip: English Grammar: A University Course second edition, Routledge, London and New York, 2006, p. 136 19 Tucker, H. Gordon: The Lexicogrammar of Adjectives: A Systemic Functional Approach to Lexis, Cassell, London and New York, 1998, p. 147
  16. 16. 11 movements; as well as that the teeth are actually salient. “Teeth“ are not mentioned so far in the description part for eating, but teeth are a component when we refer to “parts of the mouth“. On the other hand, nibbling can contain in the description “someone doing something to this something for a short time with the teeth“ or “for some time, this someone's teeth are touching this something, the teeth are moving at this time“; or similar. Actually, the image of “mice“ is very much linked with nibbling. The verb is often interpreted with involvement of mice or even “small animals of one kind“. For instance: “at many times mice (or small animals of one kind) eat something in this way.“ Such constructions are called pseudo- intransitive and there's a truly corresponding motive for this nomenclature. While explicit object is missing, the property of eating alludes some affected “stuff“. We comprehend by hearing a sentence “He was eating.“ that he was eating something. However, the depiction of the “understood“ indefinite object is actually limited because it is something that has to be eaten (i.e. food). If there is still some inconsistencies imagine that typical transitive eat can be extended to include eating of non-canonical materials. For instance, a sentence such as this: “Oh my God, the baby's eating grass.” is totally admissible, but the same situation could not be depicted just as: The baby was eating. The generalization appears to be that the pseudo- intransitive usage of eat is adaptable only for prototypical situations of eating. In such cases, we can conclude that eat in the pseudo-intransitive construction has a little different content from its significance in the typical transitive form when it clearly refers to its meaning and its relation to an actual object. In addition, eat can occur in a sentence without being followed by an object regardless it is intrinsically transitive verb.20 Pseudo-intransitive verbs are prone to be more flexible than transitive verbs. Let's compare different sentence constructions that involve transitive verb to use with alike that involve pseudo-intransitive verb to steal in the table below. The verb steal is pseudo- intransitive in the second pattern. transitive verb use: pseudo-intransitive steal: Pattern 1 The boy uses scissors. The boy steals scissors. Pattern 2 The boy uses* The boy steals. Pattern 3 The using boy*... The stealing boy... As we can see from the table, the usage of essentially transitive verb use in the given examples is possible only in the first sentence pattern. Although Pseudo-Intransitives belong to Systemic Functional Grammar, these verbs have not been addressed much by the majority of authors whose works are based within SFG (their works mostly include the system of transitivity of transitive and intransitive verbs). James R. Black compares pseudo-intransitives with weakly transitive in his book “Critics, Pronouns and Movement“. Murthada J. Bakir compares the construction of pseudo- 20 Newman, John: The Linguistics of Eating and Drinking, University of Alberta, 2009, Chapter 9
  17. 17. 12 intransitives in English and Arabic in “Notes on passive and pseudo-intransitive construction in English and Arabic“. We’ll analyse these comparisons in the next subchapter. Traditional grammar divided verbs in transitive and intransitive. The foundation of Systemic Functional Grammar argues there are more than two classes of verbs by defining verbs that are essentially transitive but that can be intransitive as well, i.e. pseudo- intransitives. Pseudo-Intransitives possess specific characteristic of deleting or omitting the object. After discussing about properties of pseudo-intransitives, we hope that we brought forward the importance of these verbs in the mastery of overall English language proficiency, as well as in terms of expanding the horizons of English grammar. The further discussion will focus on the researches that were previously done on the topic of this research. 2.2. PREVIOUS RESEARCHES Considering the available literature about pseudo-intransitives that was studied in detail, we managed to find works on the matter published across the globe. We will explain some of them we found most relevant to the subject. These researches were done by linguists: Peter Hugoe Matthews, Cliff Goddard, Diane D. Bornstein, John Newman, Fusa Katada and Murtadha Jawad Bakir. British linguist Peter Hugoe Matthews (P. H. Matthews) defines pseudo-intransitives in the second edition of “The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics” as verbs that are usually followed by an object but are shown without an object in a sentence. Matthews describes the verb to read as one that can take an object but it can occur without one as well in a construction such as: Jason is reading.21 The verb to read is one of a few in the English language that has pseudo-intransitive properties besides being a regular transitive verb. Cliff Goddard, a professor of linguistics at Griffith University in Australia, discusses about pseudo-intransitives by analyzing and comparing the verbs to eat and to nibble in the second edition of Semantic Analysis: A Practical Introduction. Mr. Goddard describes the mode how eat can be used as pseudo-intransitive verb regarding that eat can appear without an object in a sentence. Goddard explains that regardless a pseudo-intransitive construction doesn't have explicit object, the meaning of a sentence is usually clear because a pseudo- intransitive verb depicts the notion of the object that is missing and which is associated in our minds with the pseudo-intransitive verb in a sentence, such as: “Ben was eating.” In this sentence structure eat indicates that something, or some stuff, is affected, i.e. we understand that Ben was eating something (or some things). Regarding that this verb possesses limited connotations, we presume that Ben was eating something that is regularly eaten, i.e. food. But on the other hand, Goddard emphasized that the usage of eat is absolutely acceptable in the sentence such as: “Oh my god, the baby is eating grass.“. This kind of connotation is not linked with the connotations that are present when pseudo-intransitive verb is used in a sentence such as: “The baby is eating.” By explaining this, Goddard came to a conclusion that 21 Matthews P. H.: The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistic, Oxford University Press, Oxford, first edition: 1997; second edition: 2007.
  18. 18. 13 eat as a regular transitive verb can possess different connotation comparing to the usual connotation when it is used as a pseudo-intransitive verb.22 Many pseudo-intransitive verbs implicate on a single object. For instance: The verb to lock is usually associated to a door as object. But, of course, there are other objects that can be linked with this verb, such as: a house, a car, a folder, a padlock, a safe, etc. Also, the verb to read is usually associated to a book as object, but other objects that can be linked with the verb could be: a novel, newspapers, a magazine, a poem, an article, a cheque, a file, etc. Such various connotations can be found with the rest of pseudo-intransitive verbs. Goddard's research clarifies the connotations that pseudo-intransitives essentially have, particularly the connotations that the verb to eat possesses. It would be wise and useful if some research in the future would be analysing the connotations of the rest of pseudo-intransitives in order to make this phenomenon of SFG clearer. Diane D. Bornstein, the author of “An Introduction to Transformational Grammar”, includes the analysis of pseudo-intransitives in the content of the book. The research precisely describes verbal terms such as pseudo-intransitives and verbs that are related to pseudo- intransitives. First of all, Bornstein construes verbs that cannot be followed by an object such as to walk and to arrive. These are the most common verbs and they are labelled as intransitive verbs in traditional grammar. For instance: S NP VP aux. Vi N tense George past arrive George arrived. Afterwards, Bornstein argues about verbs that can be followed by a cognate object which appertains to the action of a verb and possesses a similar name such as: dream a dream; sing a song, etc; and finally, she describes verbs that are considered to be transitive but still can be used without an object, such as: drive, steal, eat, etc; and emphasises that such verbs are often named pseudo-intransitives. Mrs. Diane concludes that these verbs can appear in the following pattern that is applied for transitive verbs: V Vt + Np Diane Bornstein also notes that pseudo-intransitives are defined in traditional grammar as verbs that can be either transitive or intransitive.23 For instance, compare: Frank is cooking a breakfast; with: Frank cooks well. (pseudo-intransitive construction) The study of the verbs 22 Goddard, Cliff: Semantic Analysis: A Practical Introduction: Second Edition, Oxford University Press, New York, 2011. 23 Bornstein, D. Diane: An introduction to transformational grammar, University Press of America, 1984.
  19. 19. 14 emphasized the difference between pseudo-intransitives and the verbs that are closely related to this class of verbs. This research contributed to defining the characteristics of pseudo- intransitives and differentiating them from the verbs that are similar to them. John Newman, PhD in Linguistics from university of California, polemicizes about pseudo-intransitives such as: to drink, to eat and to break. Newman argues about the way these verbs are presented in traditional grammar. He contradicts that these verbs are prototypical transitive as it is seen in traditional grammar and emphasizes that the property of such verbs must include absolute semantic distinction of its participants by means of the function they possess in the process. He adds that this is not the case with the usage of the verbs drink, eat and break, not just in English, but in variety of other languages. Newman presented his theory of the same lexeme being used both in transitive and intransitive form: Henry is eating the orange/ an orange/ oranges. Henry is eating. Sara ate food. Sara ate. Newman emphasized that such constructions are regular in Indo-European and Germanic as well. He concluded that the verbs drink, eat and break can be both transitive and intransitive but he emphasizes that there are only a few other that possess this property in the English language. He distinguishes drink and eat from break by explaining that the property of the verb break would not be formal in such a construction. For instance: Richard is breaking a plate/ the plate/ plates; *Richards is breaking. Newman stated that beside the name pseudo-intransitives these verbs are also called labile and ambitransitive.24 The study showed that the verbs drink and eat can be involved in both transitive and intransitive structures which is not common for the majority of verbs in the English language, and that even the rest of pseudo-intransitives are not as flexible as these pseudo-intransitive verbs drink and eat are. Fusa Katada, a professor at Faculty of Science and Engineering Center for English Language Education (CELESE), compares pseudo-intransitives in the English language to weak transitive in the Japanese language in her article “Experience versus Non-experience Asymmetries in the Causative System.” She concludes that pseudo-intransitives in English have approximately the same characteristics as weak transitive verbs in the Japanese language. The concept of pseudo-intransitives in English and the weak transitives in the Japanese language is actually the same but the properties of these notions differ. She explained the difference by comparing summarized idea of pseudo-intransitives in English done in 1960 by the American linguist Robert Lees (who was a PhD in linguistics during his period of life) with the similar properties in Japanese done in 1965 by the professor of linguistics at the University of California Shinge-Yuki Kuroda who focused on the Japanese language. Pseudo-intransitives in English are described as transitive verbs whose object can be omitted. The possibility to delete an object was named intransitivization of the verbs that are transitive. An example of intransitivization is provided with the verb to eat. (Peter eats an apple. Peter eats.) Katada recounts that these types of verbs form a clear idea without referring to the object of a sentence. She concludes that these verbs possess same properties as 24 Newman John: The Linguistics of Eating and Drinking, University of Alberta, 2009.
  20. 20. 15 pure intransitives do, such as the verb to walk. She adds that pure transitive verbs do not have that kind of characteristic by analyzing the verb to kick which is comprehensible only in case if an object determines what is to be kicked. Mrs. Katada explained that Kuroda used the idea of pseudo-intransitives in the Japanese language and reconceptualised it as weakly intransitive in 1965. Actually, Kuroda pointed out on a mismatch between pseudo-intransitives in the English language and weak transitive in the Japanese language. The mismatch is concerning the syntactic characteristic of intransitivation. In other words, in English, intransitivation is implied if an object is omitted, while in Japanese, null prominals can occur which means that the deletion of an object doesn’t mean that the action would still be that much precise. Consider the following sentences: Yao eats an apple. Yao eats. intransitivation Yao eats. (something) null-prominalization Although it was difficult to determine whether such verbs as the pseudo-intransitives in English are present in the Japanese language, Mrs. Katada concluded that pseudo- intransitives in English possess approximately the same grammar properties as weakly transitives in Japanese.25 The research brought closer the definition of pseudo-intransitive verbs in English with the similar properties in the Japanese language, i.e. weakly transitive verbs in Japanese. The research can be useful to those who study the grammar of these languages, particularly to Japanese people who learn English as L2, or vice versa. Iraqi linguist Murtadha Jawad Bakir in his research “Notes on Passive and Pseudo- Intransitive Constructions in English and Arabic” attempted to define the difference between passive and pseudo-intransitives by comparing the English language to modern Arabian language by using the examples from both languages. He came to the conclusion that same meaningful content used separately in passive and by the presence of pseudo-intransitives is often different by its structure of words in a sentence in modern Arabian language comparing to the structure of words in a sentence in the English language, but Bakir argues that there are some similarities as well. Mr. Bakir begins with explaining that a message that language depicts is construed throughout limited number of processes which are represented in a limited number of structural modes. The fundamental ones are transitive and intransitive. The rest of structural modes can be depicted by the way we understand the process, the participants and the properties these participants play in the activity we want to construe. The selection is usually made between passive voice structure and the structure that is based on voice difference from the passive in which the logical object assumes the essence of the grammatical subject. For instance: 25 Katada Fusa: Experience versus Non-experience Asymmetries in the Causative System: Senshu University; Clitics, Pronouns and movements, edited by Black R. James and Motapanyane Virginia, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1997.
  21. 21. 16 1. a. The soup is being cooked; b. The soup is cooked. 2. a. That book was sold out within two months; b. That book is selling fast. 3. a. The cotton shirt was washed by the maid; b. Cotton shirts wash easier than others. Bakir defined the sentences on b. as pseudo-intransitive structures following Lyons’s research “Introduction to theoretical linguistics“ from 1968. He basically explained that expressions of processes that any sentence has are divided to lexicon of the process itself, i.e. the verb, and the other processes that denote the participants, which can be further divided into the roles of an agent or an actor which are defined as subject in traditional grammar; and a patient, a goal, a receiver or a beneficier which are defined as object in traditional grammar. (All of these terms that are not the part of traditional grammar are components of Systemic Functional Grammar.) Mr. Bakir precisely explained the characteristics of passive by defining it and providing several sentences in passive. He concluded that passive involves the deletion of object and depiction of a sentence construction composed without an agent. The conclusion Bakir came to was that passive has similar properties as pseudo-intransitives. A patient or the logical object, i.e. the affected participant has a role of a subject in both passive and pseudo- intransitives constructions, but the difference is that a verb in pseudo-intransitive constructions is in active voice. For example, compare the following sentences: The book was sold. passive Science fiction sells fast. pseudo-intransitive construction In passive there is a feeling that the action is carried out by someone and regardless it is not realised there is a presence of the notion of agent/ actor or initiator, while pseudo- intransitive constructions depict process or action, i.e. depicts it by emphasizing only the affected participants (without an agent or an actor). Briefly, the passive constructions are agent-oriented, while pseudo-intransitives are process-oriented. The reason why pseudo- intransitive constructions are felt to be passive ones is because in such constructions it appears as if we predicate a specific property of an entity that appears to have some characteristics that facilitates or magnifies what we predicate out if it. Bakir tried to explain this theory further by providing the following examples of structures both in passive and pseudo- intransitive: Those shirts were washed easily. passive Those shirts wash fast. pseudo-intransitive construction
  22. 22. 17 The difference of usage of the given sentences is that the verb to wash in passive is used to describe an event, while wash in pseudo-intransitive construction depicts a specific characteristic that a provided thing inherently possesses, i.e. if the thing is “washable“. Same would be with the verb to lock as in: The door is locked. passive The door looks securely. pseudo-intransitive construction Here, the sentence in passive explains that the door is locked by an agent, while, on the other hand, second sentence pattern depicts “lockability“ of the door. Bakir emphasizes that pseudo-intransitives tend to occur in present simple tense and particularizes the following verbs as pseudo-intransitives: cook, bake, wash, fry, convert, built, add, do, cut, lock and kill. In the Arabic language there is a possibility to express and preserve the same meaning without an agent/ actor in the Present Simple Tense as pseudo-intransitives in English do. Furthermore, there is the equality in meaning and properties of passive structure in English and Arabic. By comparing and analysing sentence patterns in both languages, Bakir came to the conclusion that the subject in pseudo-intransitive constructions in Arabic is not affected, i.e. the thing is not affected by a process. Most of pseudo-intransitives in English do not have exactly the same properties in Arabic. Specifically, the verb to wash in Arabic does not have pseudo-intransitive properties as it does in English. Similarities in both languages are found in verbs to agree and to bath, as well as with the verbs in terms when the subject is not human being. The difference between the reflexive usage and pseudo-intransitive usage of verbs in Arabic matches to the difference between normal intransitive and pseudo-intransitive usage of some of verbs in English, for example: move, change, burn, break, etc. It depends on a subject regarding if it is human or not. The verb is intransitive if the subject is human while the verb is pseudo-intransitive if the subject is not human. There is the presence of an agent in an event or process in passive constructions in both languages. Although there are similarities, the process issue is depicted differently in these two languages. Transitive verb used in a passive in English is called the pseudo-intransitive construction in the Bakir's research and it does not match the equivalent form in Arabic, but there are uncommon exceptions. In Arabic, more than one verb form is used and these verb forms are called reflexive. Pseudo-intransitives tend to match in both languages if the subject of the comparing structure is human being.26 The research conducted by the linguist Murtadha Jawad Bakir contributed in making connection between pseudo-intransitives in English and similar grammatical property in Arabic, i.e. reflexive form in Arabic. There are no data of any research that compares pseudo-intransitive constructions in English with similar grammatical properties in the Serbian language. Pseudo-intransitives, sometimes called labile and ambitransitive, are defined similarly by linguists. Although there are cases around the world where linguists who learn English as 26 Bakir J. Murtadha: Notes on Passive and Pseudo-Intransitive constructions in English and Arabic, Poland, 1996.
  23. 23. 18 L2 compared pseudo-intransitive verbs with similar grammar properties in their own language, there are no data that pseudo-intransitives have been compared with analogous grammar properties in the Serbian language. This research indicated that these verbs exist in Serbian as well but they are not precisely determined. In addition, there is a lack of nomenclature for the property of these verbs in Serbian. 2.3. TRANSITIVE AND INTRANSITIVE VERBS IN THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM We need to contemplate the methods used by introducing transitive and intransitive verbs in grammar teaching according to the curriculum in Serbia in order to comprehend the level of knowledge of these high school students that were put through the test. Educational system in Serbia introduces transitive and intransitive verbs to students in the sixth grade of elementary schools. The inclusion of these verbs in the curriculum of elementary schools in Serbia is being done in mother tongue i.e. in Serbian. The students start practicing these verbs in English a year later, i.e. in the seventh grade of the elementary schools. Let’s briefly analyze the procedure how transitive and intransitive verbs are being introduced to students in their mother tongue language, i.e. in Serbian, in the sixth grade of elementary schools in Serbia. The following sentences in the table below that are written in Serbian represent the original way how transitive and intransitive verbs are introduced to students in the sixth grade of the elementary schools. It is an insertion. It’s italicized and translated from the Serbian language. We analyzed it and explained the procedure how these verbs are lectured and taught in elementary schools in Serbia: THE ORIGINAL (SERBIAN) Glagoli prema predmetu radnje mogu biti: Prelazni glagoli - uz njih stoji pravi objekat. Npr. čitati (knjigu), gledati, stajati, itd. Uz sebe mogu imati imenicu u akuzativu bez predloga. TRANSLATION (ENGLISH) Verbs are divided according to object action into: Transitive verbs - the verbs that are accompanied by a direct object E.g. to read (a book), to see, to stand, etc. These verbs can be accompanied by an accusative noun without a preposition. As we can see there are no discrepancies between English and Serbian in terms of teaching transitive verbs and presenting their properties. Let's proceed with the division of
  24. 24. 19 verbs according to the curriculum and consider the way intransitive verbs are taught in elementary schools in Serbia: THE ORIGINAL (SERBIAN) Neprelazni glagoli: - uz njih ne može da stoji objekat. Npr. ići, hodati, maštati, itd. Uz sebe ne mogu imati imenicu u akuzativu bez predolga. TRANSLATION (ENGLISH) Intransitive verbs - the verbs that cannot be accompanied by an object E.g. to go, to walk, to daydream, etc. These verbs cannot be accompanied by an accusative noun without a preposition. There are neither mismatches in terms of representing and teaching intransitive verbs in both languages, nor in terms of properties of listed verbs except for the verb to go if we consider saying a sentence such as: “Peter would like to go fishing.“, in which fishing has a function as a receiver. By analyzing the pattern of the mode how transitive and intransitive verbs are taught in Serbia, as well as the properties of these verbs, we concluded that there are no significant dissimilarities between English and Serbian regarding these verbs. We also reassured that these methods are proper in teaching these verbs. Now let’s contemplate the way how transitive and intransitive verbs are introduced in English in the seventh grade of elementary schools in Serbia which is presented in the table below. The following scheme was taken from elementary school curriculum. It represents the way these verbs are taught and practiced in English. The original part that is in Serbian is italicized and translated. THE ORIGINAL (SERBIAN) Prelazni glagoli su oni glagoli uz koje može stajati direktni objekat u akuzativu. (subject+ verb+ object) Na primier: They built the bridge last year; I saw a monkey; Before leaving they sold the car; He speaks English. TRANSLATION (ENGLISH) Transitive verbs are those verbs that are accompanied by a direct object in accusative case. (subject+ verb+ object) For example: (examples were already written and lectured in the English language)
  25. 25. 20 We can see that the instructions are written and put forward in Serbian, but examples are given and practised in English. The definition about transitive verbs in English is similarly described as the definition that is provided in Serbian in the sixth grade. An addition is the part in the bracket that describes the rule of allocation of words in a sentence. Let's consider the way how intransitive verbs are introduced in English class in the seventh grade: THE ORIGINAL (SERBIAN) Neprelazni glagoli su glagoli uz koje ne može stajati direktni objekat. (subject + indirect object) Na primer: He returned home last night; We were lying in the sun; He has arrived; She speaks fast.27 TRANSLATION (ENGLISH) Intransitive verbs are those verbs that cannot be accompanied by a direct object. (subject+ indirect object) For example: (examples were already written and lectured in the English language) As expected, there are no discrepancies between the method how transitive and intransitive verbs are taught in Serbian in the sixth grade and in English in the seventh grade of elementary schools in Serbia. According to the curriculum for seventh grade English lesson plans, we concluded on the basis of these definitions and examples that the approach of presenting transitive and intransitive verbs in Serbian is similar, or even identical, to the method of presenting these verbs in English. Taking into account that students were previously been introduced with these verbs, transitive and intransitive verbs in English are explained very similarly or even in a more simplified way in English in the seventh grade than in Serbian in the sixth grade. The way students study these verbs again in English in the seventh grade is not different than the method they learn them a year before. One should take into account that we focused shortly on introduction of transitive and intransitive verbs and that these verbs are constantly being practiced onwards to the following grades of elementary and high schools in Serbia after being introduced in the sixth grade. By briefly recapitulating lesson plans and the methods of teaching transitive and intransitive verbs according to the curriculum of grammar teaching in elementary schools in Serbia, we reassured that the methods are proper and that the definitions about transitive and intransitive verbs in Serbian match the definitions about these verbs in English. The conclusion is that the students who graduated from elementary school in Serbia are expected to show high knowledge in terms of these verbs by taking into account the educational system of teaching and practicing these verbs. The third grade high school students should 27 The patterns were taken from the curriculum of “Radoje Domanović“ elementary school in Niš.
  26. 26. 21 successfully recognize pseudo-intransitives regarding their prior knowledge of transitive and intransitive verbs and four years of practicing them in elementary and high schools in Serbia. To summarize, in traditional grammar there are only two types of verbs: transitive and intransitive. Transitive verbs are those that are accompanied by a direct object while intransitive verbs are not accompanied by a direct object. Systemic Functional Grammar proved there is a third class of verbs that are intrinsically transitive but can act as intransitive as well and named this class of verbs pseudo-intransitives. Although this class of verbs is clearly defined and its characteristics proved to be important part of grammar itself, pseudo- intransitives are not taught in schools in Serbia. There are many researches that were focused on defining this group of verbs more precisely as well as many comparison researches that compared pseudo-intransitives in English with similar grammar-verbal properties in other languages, but still there is no evidence of comparing these verbs with the Serbian grammar. Regarding that learning pseudo-intransitives implies prior knowledge of transitive and intransitive verbs, we analyzed the methods that are used in teaching these verbs in schools in Serbia and then compared the definitions and applied teaching methods with the definitions and teaching methods in English class. The analysis reassured us that the methods are proper, as well as that English and Serbian are very or completely similar in this segment. According to the conclusion we had come to, our expectation was that the third year high school students who were put to the test are capable of recognizing pseudo-intransitive verbs, as well as, that they would be able to solve the test successfully although they haven’t learnt pseudo- intransitives before at the time they were tested.
  27. 27. 22 III PRESENT STUDY The research aim in this study was to examine if third year high schools students are capable of determining pseudo-intransitive verbs. The hypothesis was that they do. The reason for such supposition was the proper way of teaching and practicing transitive and intransitive verbs throughout years of elementary and high school. The subject matter of the investigation presented in the thesis focused on pseudo- intransitives. Specifically, this research is primarily focused on determining if high schools students in Serbia are capable of determining these verbs. Consequently, if the test proves they are capable, we would raise the question why these verbs are not a part of the curriculum of schools in Serbia. Besides the primary goal of the research, it also strives to define the terms, definitions and characteristics of pseudo-intransitives, as well as to analyze and scrutinize existing comparisons that have been done to similar properties in other languages. The participants in the test were two classes composed of 54 third year high schools students of the grammar school “Bora Stanković” in Niš. These students had learnt transitive and intransitive verbs in the sixth grade of elementary school and they have been practicing them ever since, but they have never learnt about pseudo-intransitives before. The study was conceived as a quantitative and a qualitative investigation throughout a test as the main data gathering instrument. The test was composed of 16 sentences (including the first three that were done as examples) that the students were asked to solve. The students were supposed to circle the right answer and determine whether a verb in a sentence can be either (a) exclusively intransitive, (b) exclusively transitive or (c) both – the case when a verb can be used both transitively and intransitively, in which case if a given verb is intrinsically transitive it’s actually pseudo-intransitive. If a verb can be both used both transitively and intransitively, the students were supposed to rewrite a sentence of their own using the opposite verb from the one given in a sentence (if a verb in a sentence was transitive they were asked to compose a sentence with an intransitive one, and vice versa). The testing took place in the grammar school “Bora Stanković” in Niš on the 27th of May 2013. It included two classes consisted of third-year high school students. Total number of respondents was 54. The test was created by the help and supervision of Professor Violeta Stojičić. The director and the psychologist of the school where the testing took place had been informed about the testing before it was conducted. The testing occurred during English class. Before the testing started the students had confirmed that they had learnt transitive and intransitive verbs in school. Officially, there were 57 respondents - 54 who done the test and 3 who left the test blank. The results of the test were quantitatively analyzed in terms of correct and incorrect answers, problematic structures and verbs, while the sentences which the participants produced themselves were all qualitatively analyzed in terms of the correct usage of the transitive and intransitive verbs.
  28. 28. 23 3.1. THE RESULTS The students were given 13 sentences to solve by recognizing the class of a verb in terms of transitivity and intransitivity in each sentence. The verbs that were the part of the test were: to work, to drive, to go, to eat, to run, to break, to find, to disagree, to read, to nominate, to wake up, to turn down and to arrive. First of all, we will consider all the verbs that have been put to the test including pseudo-intransitive ones, and after that we will especially, but briefly, focus on the verbs that were exclusively pseudo-intransitives. Let’s consider the number and the percentage of correct and incorrect answers provided by the respondents on the test. The exact number and the percentage of correct and incorrect answers in each sentence, i.e. for each verb are presented in the table below. The detailed discussion about the results is done further within this subchapter. No. VERB TOTAL CORRECT INCORRECT PERCENTAGE OF CORRECTNESS PERCENTAGE OF WRONG ANSWERS 4. WORK 54 7 47 12.96 % (*70.37 %) 87.04 % (*29.63 %) 5. DRIVE 54 27 27 50.00 % 50.00 % 6. GO 54 4 50 7.41 % (*55.56 %) 92.59 % (*44.44 %) 7. EAT 54 29 25 53.70 % 46.30 % 8. RUN 54 15 39 27.78 % 72.22 % 9. BREAK 54 27 27 50.00 % 50.00 % 10. FIND 54 4 50 7.41 % (*83.33 %) 92.59 % (*16.67 %) 11. DISAGREE 54 36 18 66.67 % 33.33 % 12. READ 54 31 23 57.41 % 42.59 % 13. NOMINATE 54 3 51 5.56 % (*88.88 %) 94.44 % (*11.12 %) 14. WAKE UP 54 17 37 31.48 % 68.52 % 15. TURN DOWN 54 7 47 12.96 % (*74.08 %) 87.04 % (*25.92 %) 16. ARRIVE 54 12 42 22.22 % (*51.85 %) 77.77 % (*48.15 %) The fundamental analysis, which was conducted during this research in terms of transitivity and intransitivity of these English verbs that were on the test, showed that there were no exclusively transitive verbs among the sixteen verbs that took place on this survey. Moreover, this research concludes that there are just a few, or even none, exclusively transitive verbs in the English language such as the verb to use. But even this verb can be used intransitively as in: “This is the fuel we will use from now on.” On the other hand, there
  29. 29. 24 are many verbs that are typically used transitively and very rarely used intransitively. These verbs are often called almost exclusively transitive verbs. There are discussions about this topic among academicians. The British linguist, Martin J. Endley, in his book “Linguistic perspectives on English grammar: a guide for EFL teachers” argues about verbs that are exclusively or almost exclusively transitive verbs. Though mentioning that those verbs that are widely regarded as exclusively transitive verbs are actually almost exclusively transitive ones, Endley quotes that the verb to find appear to be exclusively transitive regarding the sentence pattern such as “ *He found”, declaring that such a sentence, without an object following the verb, is not grammatically acceptable. Furthermore, Mr. Endley quotes the following sentences which he emphasized as the ones that have exclusively transitive verbs in their constructions. The original examples from this book are presented below: “The old lady angrily smashed the plate. (*The old lady angrily smashed _____ ); Belle chopped the onions (*Belle chopped _____ )”28 These sentences cited Martin Endley’s statement that claimed verbs find, smash and chop to be exclusively transitive. In fact, we found that these verbs can be used intransitively as in the following examples: - The verb to find used intransitively in a sentence: The jury found in Blake’s favour; - The verb to smash used intransitively in the following sentences: The truck smashed into a concrete lamppost; A couple of glasses have been smashed; The kitchen plate smashed into a thousand pieces. - The verb to chop used intransitively in the following sentences: The country was chopped up into several provinces; The share price was chopped from 30 to 10 pounds. We came across an assertion that the verb to hit is exclusively transitive, which, actually, is not. This statement was quoted by the American developmental psychologist Michael Tomasello in his research book “Constructing a language: A usage-based theory of language acquisition”. We would paraphrase Mr. Tomasello’s statement from this book which asserts hit is exclusively transitive. Focusing on cognitivity abilities of children from 3.5 to 8 years, Michael Tomasello mentioned that there are exclusively intransitive and exclusively transitive verbs in English. Tomasello quoted only the verb to hit as the representative of those that are exclusively transitive.29 But, hit can be used intransitively as well. For example: Poor countries have been worst hit by the world crisis; A tornado hit on Monday morning. 28 Endley J. Martin, Linguistic perspectives on English grammar: a guide for EFL teachers, Information Age Publishing Inc., USA, 2010, p. 192 29 Tomasello, Michael: Constructing a language: A usage-based theory of language acquisition, First Harvard University Press paperback edition, 2005, USA, p. 179
  30. 30. 25 This thesis suggests that there are no verbs that can be used exclusively transitively in English, i.e. not having properties and affinities to act intransitively. However, there are many verbs that are typically used transitively and extremely rarely used intransitively. The detailed analysis of all the verbs that the students who were put to the test were asked to solve is below. These verbs were: work, drive, go, eat, run, break, find, disagree, read, nominate and arrive, as well as two phrasal verbs: turn down and wake up. The thesis will analyse these verbs and discuss about the ways how they can be used transitively and intransitively. This research was based on many dictionaries and grammar books that can be found in references. This part of the research includes quantitative and qualitative analysis of the verbs that the students were asked to recognize and use in the test. In other words, the following analysis examined all possible forms of the verbs that were in the test in terms of transitive and intransitive usage. In addition, the analysis indicates whether verbs from the test were transitive or intransitive and it shows and examines the sentences which the students composed and wrote by themselves using the verb from the sentence transitively or intransitively depending on the case. All data were statistically calculated, displayed and analysed. The results for each verb that was on the test were presented within six tables. Table number 1 shows exactly how many students answered A, B and C to be the right answers for each sentence on the test.30 The top field in the left corner of each table represents numerical number of each sentence in the test while the third column (that is located in the middle) indicates total number of respondents that were put to the test. Second column of each table displays a sentence from the test that is analysed which is accompanied by the answers that were offered. The verb that was analyzed is underlined just as it was underlined on the test which had been done in order to help the students to concentrate easily on the task they had to fulfil. On the left side of each table are alphabetical indications of each of three optional answers marked as A, B and C (and n/a which represents no answer at all) that are followed by optional verb that these alphabetical marks represent. The answer C indicates that the answer may involve pseudo-intransitives. The optional answer that is regarded as accurate is marked with a check mark symbol31 . The percentage of the students’ responses for each optional answer is shown in the fourth column. Additionally, the last (the fifth) column portrays if an answer was right or wrong which was depicted by a check mark symbol* if the answer was correct or, on the contrary, by X if the answer was inaccurate. At the bottom of each table is emphasized how many students didn’t provide any answer at all. Table 2 shows all possible functional patterns in terms of transitive and intransitive usage in the English language of the verb that is being discussed. The review in this table is the result of the thorough analysis of the verb that is discussed in terms of its transitive and intransitive usage in the English language. 30 The first three sentences are skipped because they were already solved as examples in the test. 31 Square root symbol in Verdana’s font (√ ) is used instead of check mark symbol (✓) because of its better visibility in Microsoft Word. In other words, check mark symbol is appreciably smaller than square root symbol. Nevertheless, it requires more space when it is inserted. Taking all this into account, as well as the resemblence of these two symblos, we decided to use square root symbol (√ ) as the impersonation of the answers that were correct in the test.
  31. 31. 26 Table 3 displays total correct and incorrect answers in the test obtained by circling. Table 4 indicates whether the verb that is being discussed was used either transitively or intransitively in the sentence in the test. Table 5 shows sentence that were composed by the students which include the verb that is being discussed.32 Table 6 demonstrates total number of the students who circled the right answer; then, how many students composed a sentence using the verb; and finally, how many of them composed the sentence appropriately. All data is accompanied by the calculated percentage of each result. The examples discussed are marked as numbered on the test the participants took. (Taking into account that sentences number 1, 2 and 3 had already been solved as examples, the students were supposed to solve the sentences starting from 4 to 16 as numbered on the test.) Our discussion will start from the first sentence the respondents were asked to solve which was the sentence that was numbered as 4th on the test, and which was: “Jessica worked all day long.” 3.1.1. WORK The results of statistical analysis are presented in Table 1. MARK THE SENTENCE FROM THE TEST AND ANSWER PATTERNS TOTAL PERCENTAGE √ OR X (RIGHT/ WRONG)4. Jessica worked all day long. 54 100 % A. exclusively intransitive 38 70.37 % X / *√ B. exclusively transitive 6 11.11 % X C. both transitive and intransitive √ 7 12.96 % √ n/a students that didn’t provide an answer 3 5.56 % X Table 1, work More than two-thirds of the students (38 of 54 = 70.37 %) thought that the correct answer was A, which signified that the verb to work can be used exclusively intransitive, which actually is not the truth. In fact, the usage of this verb is generally regarded as exclusively intransitive - same as the majority of the students claimed by providing their answers. However, this research points out that intransitive usage of this verb is also possible although it’s very rare. Nevertheless, regardless of the fact it is so rare, the intransitive usage is there. Therefore, we disregarded the common impression of work being exclusively 32 If no sentence is composed by the students regarding the verb that is being discussed, Table 5 is not needed. Therefore, in such a case, this table is not presented.
  32. 32. 27 intransitive verb and acknowledged the answers which claimed this verb can be used both transitively and intransitively as correct answers. There were just 7 of 54 students (12.96 %) whose answers claimed this. Table 2 considers and shows when we use work intransitively and when we use it transitively in the English language. to WORK INTRANSITIVE USAGE TRANSITIVE USAGE 1 when the action involves physical or mental exertion (which generally refers to a job); e.g. Arthur has been working on his assignment all night; Lewis is working on a new book; Medical staff members frequently work very long hours. a subject that is affected by very hard working; e.g. Peter works himself too hard. 2 when the action depicts possession of a job; e.g. Both Kevin and Ralph work; <work + for + someone/ something> Lester is working for an international business company; <work + with + someone/ something> Scarlett is enjoying working with children; <work + as + something> Cressida is working as a lawyer. managing or operating something to profit from it; e.g. Kerwin works the land (= he grows crops on it); Sophia works a large area (i.e. selling a company's goods, etc.); Lombard is a good motivational speaker who knows how to work a crowd (to animate them or make them sympathize with him). 3 when the action refers to striving to achieve something; e.g. Government and other public institutions need to work together to combat poverty. making a machine, a device, etc. to operate; e.g. John knows how to work the coffee machine. 4 with the action that involves functioning or operating; e.g. The air conditioner is not working; The device works by solar energy. causing or producing something as an outcome of exertion; e.g. Jessica can work miracles with very little money if she follows our home decoration tips. 5 when the action has the outcome or impact that you want; e.g. The medicine the physician gave me is not working; Her charm doesn't work on Clementine. making a material into a certain shape by pressing, stretching, hitting it, etc. e.g. Anybody can try to work the mixture into a paste. 6 when the action has a particular impact; e.g. That kind of attitude can work against you; Speaking Japanese should work in her favour. moving or passing to an exclusive place or state, usually progressively; e.g. Carl was tied up, but he managed to work himself free; (figurative) Lester worked his way to the top of his
  33. 33. 28 profession. 7 when the action involves usage of a particular material in order to create a picture or other item; e.g. The artist that works in oils is over there. 8 if the action depicts moving violently; e.g. Beatrice started at me in horror, her mouth working. 9 when the action includes moving or passing to a explicit place or state, usually progressively; e.g. It will take several hours for the medicament to work out of your system. Table 2, work Based on data we presented in Table 2, we can agree that despite transitive usage of work is rare, it is still possible. The reason why this verb is wrongly regarded as exclusively intransitive is because it is most commonly used intransitively. Table 3 shows total number of correct and incorrect answers. To recapitulate, this thesis came to the conclusion that work can be used both transitively and intransitively. Taking into account that this verb is generally regarded as exclusively intransitive, we presented the students’ answers which supported this idea in the brackets along with an asterisk symbol in Table 3. THE SENTENCE FROM THE TEST TOTAL PERCENTAGE 4. Jessica worked all day long. 54 100 % CORRECT ANSWERS 7 (*37) 12.96 % (*70.37 %) INCORRECT ANSWERS 47 (*16) 87.04 % (*29.63 %) Table 3, work Table 4 shows whether the verb in the sentence numbered as 4th on the test was used transitively or intransitively. to WORK THE SENTENCE FROM THE TEST USAGE 4. Jessica worked all day long. INTRANSITIVE Table 4, work As we can see from Table 4, the verb in this sentence is used intransitively which indicates the adverbial phrase of time “all day long“.
  34. 34. 29 Table 5 displays the sentences composed by the students who accurately claimed work can be used either transitively or intransitively by circling the answer C on the test. There were only 2 of 7 respondents (28.57 %), i.e. 2 of 54 in total (3.70 %), who composed a sentence on their own. Regarding that the verb in the sentence on the test was used intransitively, the students were supposed to compose a sentence using the verb transitively. to WORK STUDENTS' SENTENCES FROM THE TEST USAGE 1 “I worked on a project last week.“ intransitively X transitively 2 “I worked on building my muscles.“ intransitively X transitively Table 5, work As shown in Table 5, these 2 students failed to provide a sentence using work transitively. These two students either mistakenly thought that the verb in the sentence on the test was transitive or they recognized that this verb in the sentence on the test was intransitive, but they didn't manage to give an appropriate example. Taking all the results into account, we came to the conclusion that neither of the students (0 %) completed the task thoroughly in the sentence numbered as 4th in the test. Table 6 displays how many students circled the right answer; then, how many of them composed a sentence using the verb; and finally, how many of them composed the sentence appropriately. All data is accompanied by the calculated percentage of each result. VERB CORRECTLY CIRCLED ANSWERS COMPOSED SENTENCES CORRECTLY COMPOSED SENTENCES TO WORK NUMBER PERCENTAGE NUMBER PERCENTAGE NUMBER PERCENTAGE 7 12.96 % 2 3.70 % 0 0 % Table 6, work In Serbian, this verb is usually used intransitively. Transitive usage is possible as well although it's not so formal. e.g. *Tamara radi domaći zadatak. But this sentence would be more appropriate by using the verb pisati (to write): Tamara piše domaći zadatak. Comparing these examples with the English ones, we conclude that transitive and intransitive usage of the verb work in Serbian is similar to the usage of this verb in English. However, there are more cases and examples of transitive usage of work in English comparing to the number of case patterns of this verb in the Serbian language. Although work can be used either transitively or intransitively, this verb is not a pseudo-intransitive verb regarding it is intrinsically intransitive. To summarize, 7 of 54 students (12.96 %) circled the correct answer, but neither of them (0 %) done the task completely successfully by composing an adequate sentence on their own using the verb to work.
  35. 35. 30 The analysis continues to the second sentence that the students were asked to solve, which was the sentence numbered as 5th on the test, and which was: “Ben drives his car to work everyday.” 3.1.2. DRIVE The results of statistical analysis are presented in Table 1. MARK THE SENTENCE FROM THE TEST AND ANSWER PATTERNS TOTAL PERCENTAGE √ OR X (RIGHT/ WRONG)5. Ben drives his car to work everyday. 54 100 % A. exclusively intransitive 2 3.70 % X B. exclusively transitive 25 46.30 % X C. both transitive and intransitive √ 27 50.00 % √ n/a students that didn’t provide an answer 0 0 % X Table 1, drive The verb to drive is intrinsically transitive, but it can be used both transitively and intransitively. This verb is a pseudo-intransitive. We concluded this by reassessing properties of drive in terms of its transitive and intransitive function and usage in a sentence in the English language. As a result, all possible functions and usages of drive in a sentence in English are presented in Table 2. Half of the students, 27 of 54 (50 %), managed to give the right answer (which was C). In other words, the number of total correct and incorrect answers coincided. There were 25 students (46.30 %) who considered drive to be exclusively transitive and 2 (3.70 %) who thought this verb can be used exclusively intransitively. to DRIVE INTRANSITIVE USAGE TRANSITIVE USAGE 1 driving a vehicle in order to go in a certain direction; e.g. Cooper drove to work at dawn; Eleanor drives too slowly. driving a vehicle in order to go in a certain direction; e.g. Jasper drives a van (= that's his job); Can you drive a truck? 2 falling or moving rapidly and with huge amount of energy; e.g. The waves were driving against the shore. providing transportation for someone by car, taxi, etc. e.g. Would you like to drive Jessica to school tomorrow? 3 owning or using a certain type of vehicle; e.g. Leah drives red convertible. 4 forcing someone to act in a certain way; e.g. The urge to survive drove Christopher and his friends on; Rhys is driving himself too hard.
  36. 36. 31 5 making someone to be very agitated or making them doing something extreme; e.g. Victoria drives me crazy; Hunger drove him to mug; Rebecca’s co-workers are driving her to despair. 6 forcing someone or something to move in a certain direction; e.g. A shepherd drove sheep into a field. 7 forcing something to go in a certain direction or into a certain place by pushing or hitting it; e.g. Jack knows how to drive a nail into a piece of wood. 8 making an opening in or through something by using force; e.g. Dylan and Jake drove a tunnel through a solid rock. 9 hitting a ball with force/ sending it forward; e.g. (in golf) Tiger Woods drove the ball into the rough. 10 carrying something along; e.g. Massive waves drove the ship onto the rocks. Table 2, drive Table 3 presents the number of total right and wrong answers which are coincided. THE SENTENCE FROM THE TEST TOTAL PERCENTAGE 5. Ben drives his car to work everyday. 54 100 % CORRECT ANSWERS 27 50.00 % INCORRECT ANSWERS 27 50.00 % Table 3, drive Table 4 shows whether the verb in the sentence numbered as 5th on the test was used transitively or intransitively. to DRIVE THE SENTENCE FROM THE TEST USAGE 5. Ben drives his car to work everyday. TRANSITIVE Table 4, drive
  37. 37. 32 As we can see from Table 4, the verb in the sentence was used transitively which indicates the noun phrase „his car“. Although there were 27 respondents who circled the accurate answer, 15 of them composed a sentence on their own. Regarding that the verb in the sentence on the test was used transitively, the students were supposed to compose a sentence using the verb intransitively. Table 5 shows sentences composed by the students who correctly claimed by circling the answer C on the test to be the right answer which signified that drive can be used either transitively or intransitively. to DRIVE STUDENTS' SENTENCES FROM THE TEST USAGE 1 “Ben usually drives well.” intransitively √ transitively 2 -II- (identical sentence as the one above) intransitively √ transitively 3 -II- (identical sentence as the one above) intransitively √ transitively 4 “Ben drives fast.” intransitively √ transitively 5 -II- (identical sentence as the one above) intransitively √ transitively 6 “Ben drives everyday.” intransitively √ transitively 7 “Ben drives carefully.” intransitively √ transitively 8 “Ben drives to work everyday.” intransitively √ transitively 9 “Ben drives well.” intransitively √ transitively 10 “Ben drives carelessly.” intransitively √ transitively 11 “Ben drives often.” intransitively √ transitively 12 “Ben drives.” intransitively √ transitively 13 -II- (identical sentence as the one above) intransitively √ transitively 14 “Ben drives aeroplane every Sunday.” intransitively transitively X 15 “Ben drives his moto-bike.” intransitively transitively X Table 5, drive 13 of these 15 students successfully determined that the verb to drive in the sentence on the test was transitive by composing a sentence on their own using this verb intransitively. There is a supposition that two students who composed a sentence using this verb transitively either erroneously considered that the verb in the sentence on the test was intransitive or they did recognize that the verb in the sentence on the test was transitive but they couldn’t compose a sentence using this verb intransitively.
  38. 38. 33 Table 6 indicates how many students circled the right answer; then, how many composed a sentence using the verb; and finally, how many of them composed the sentence appropriately. All data is accompanied by the calculated percentage of each result. VERB CORRECTLY CIRCLED ANSWERS COMPOSED SENTENCES CORRECTLY COMPOSED SENTENCES TO DRIVE NUMBER PERCENTAGE NUMBER PERCENTAGE NUMBER PERCENTAGE 27 50 % 15 27.78 % 13 24.07 % Table 6, drive To sum up, 27 of 54 students (50 %) had accurately circled C on the test to be the right answer which signified that drive can be used either transitively or intransitively. 15 of these 27 (55.56 %), i.e. 15 of 54 in total (27.78 %), composed a sentence on their own in which case 13 of these 15 students (86.67 %) did that well. In other words, 13 of 54 students (24.07 %) completed the task thoroughly by composing an appropriate sentence on their own. As all pseudo-intransitive verbs, the verb to drive is intrinsically transitive but it can be used intransitively as well. In addition, as it is the case with every pseudo-intransitive verb, the intransitive usage of drive is slightly rarer comparing to the transitive one. The analysis proceeds to the third sentence that the students were asked to solve which was numbered as 6th on the test, and which was: “She went to the store yesterday.” 3.1.3. GO The results of statistical analysis are presented in Table 1. MARK THE SENTENCE FROM THE TEST AND ANSWER PATTERNS TOTAL PERCENTAGE √ OR X (RIGHT/ WRONG)6. She went to the store yesterday. 54 100 % A. exclusively intransitive 30 55.56 % X / *√ B. exclusively transitive 20 37.04 % X C. both transitive and intransitive √ 4 7.41 % √ n/a students that didn’t provide an answer 0 0 % X Table 1, go The verb to go is intrinsically intransitive. Moreover, this verb is generally regarded as exclusively intransitive verb, but there are ways this verb can function transitively which we presented in Table 2. In addition, we came across transitively usages of go which are informal that occur orally in a speech when someone is telling a story. Considering the fact that such sentences are a part of informal speech, this paper does not formally recognize these kinds of transitive usages of go, but, on the other hand, it does recognize transitive usage of go as in: Amber went outside; Go home! There were only 4 of 54 respondents (7.41 %) who answered
  39. 39. 34 correctly that go possesses the ability to function both intransitively and transitively. On the other hand, the majority of the students (30 of 54 = 55.56 %) supported the general misconception of go functioning as exclusively intransitive verb. Additionally, there were 20 students (37.04 %) who considered this verb is exclusively transitive. There is an assumption that these students who claimed this verb was exclusively transitive didn’t know that the verb in the sentence on the test was intransitive considering it was followed by a prepositional phrase (to the store yesterday), i.e. a preposition (to), which must have perplexed them. Table 2 demonstrates when we use go intransitively and transitively in the English language. to GO INTRANSITIVE USAGE TRANSITIVE USAGE 1 moving or traveling from one spot/ destination to another; e.g. Lesley went into his apartment and shut the door behind him; Rodney goes to work by bus; Helen has gone to Paris. moving or traveling, individually or accompanied by someone, to a certain place or in order to be present at an event; e.g. Charlie goes everywhere with her; Marcus went home; Let’s go outside. 2 moving or traveling in a certain way or over a certain distance; e.g. Gillian is going too fast; I’m afraid that her husband is driving in the opposite direction. moving or traveling in a certain way or over a certain distance; e.g. They had gone hundred kilometres when the jeep broke down. 3 moving in a certain way or while doing something else; e.g. The truck went skidding off into a ditch; Cameron crushed into a waitress and her plates went flying. (informal; colloquial) telling a story; e.g. Chad asked: “How much?”, and Ralph goes: “Eighty”, and Chad goes: “Eighty? You must be joking!”. 4 leaving a place in order to get to another one; e.g. I must be going now; Rupert and Prunella came at eight and went at half past ten. (informal; colloquial) to make an offer; e.g. His uncle will go eighty dollars for the merchandise, but no more. 5 leaving a place and going on a journey/ a tour/ a trip/ a cruise; e.g. Cordelia has gone on leave for two weeks. 6 visiting or attending a place for a certain purpose; e.g. (British) She has to go to hospital for an operation; (American) She has to go to the hospital. 7 leaving or traveling to a destination in order to be involved in an activity or a sport (going for a walk/ drive/ swim/ run); e.g.
  40. 40. 35 Anne has to go shopping next morning; Kyle and Adam are going sailing on Sunday. 8 being sent or passed somewhere; e.g. Owen wants this memo to go to all employees. 9 leading or extending from one place to another; e.g. Joe demanded a rope that would go from the top of the building to the first floor. 10 having an usual place or correcting present position; e.g. The grammar book goes on the bottom shelf. 11 saying that something does not adjust into a certain position or location; e.g. Laura’s stuff will not all go into this pink traveling bag. 12 starting an activity; e.g. The coach will exclaim: “one, two, three, go!”, as a signal for you to start; As soon as Nathan gets home Scarlett and I are ready to go. 13 talking about the quality of progress or success of something; e.g. “How did the promotion go?” “It went very successfully.”; The way the situation is going the enterprise will be bankrupt at this time next year. 14 expressions that indicate that someone/ something has come to a certain state/ is not in a certain state anymore; e.g. Eleanor went to sleep; Green colour has gone out of fashion. 15 becoming different in a certain manner (often possessing a bad connotation – to go bald/ mad/ blind/ bankrupt/ bad, etc.); e.g. Matilda’s hair is going grey; The milk in the pitcher has gone sour; The kids went wild with excitement. 16 living or moving around in a certain state (going naked/ barefooted); e.g. Emma can’t bear the thought of kids going hungry.
  41. 41. 36 17 not being noticed/ reported/ etc. e.g. Citizens are concerned that many felonies go unreported. 18 talking about what tune or words a song/ poem has or about plot of a story; e.g. Chloe often forgets how the next line goes. 19 making a certain sound or movement; e.g. The rifle went “bang”; Caitlin went like this with her hand. 20 a sound as a signal or warning; e.g. The whistle went for the end of the match. 21 working of a machine/ device; e.g. The wall clock in the living room doesn’t go. 22 stop of existence or being lost or stolen; e.g. Sienna’s headache hasn’t gone yet; Leo left his motorcycle outside the cafeteria and when he came out afterwards it had gone. 23 talking about a desire to get rid of someone/ something; e.g. The old wardrobe will have to go; Dylan is useless, he’ll have to go. 24 getting worse by becoming damaged or stop working correctly; e.g. Lillian’s sight is beginning to go; Nash was driving home when his brakes went. 25 dying (to go is used as avoidance of saying the verb to die); e.g. Becket can’t take his lifetime savings with him when he is gone. 26 spending or using money for something; e.g. Alton doesn’t know where his money goes; Most of Carter’s salary goes on his debts. 27 selling a product/ property/ etc. e.g. Her family won’t let the apartment go for less than ₤100000; Bread usually goes cheap (being sold cheaply) in the evenings. 28 willingness to pay a certain amount of money for something; e.g. The potential
  42. 42. 37 buyer has offered ₤4000 for the car and Claire doesn’t expect he would go any higher; I will go to ₤350 but that is my limit. 29 helping by playing a part in doing something; e.g. This all goes to justify his version of the story. 30 talking about how slowly or quickly time appears to pass; e.g. An hour and a half went past while we were standing at the station. 31 (informal) using a toilet; e.g. Brad, do you need to go? Table 2, go As we have seen in Table 2, there are thirty-one different ways of using go intransitively in a sentence in English, as well as four ways of using this verb transitively including two non-formal ways of usage. Although the intransitive usage of go is much widely applied and used, the transitive usage is there. Therefore, this thesis recognizes the answer C in the test as accurate. Table 3 reviews total number of correct and incorrect answers which the respondents provided in the test. The numbers in the brackets accompanied by an asterisk symbols would be regarded as accurate only if we consider go to be exclusively intransitive verb which we assured in this analysis not to be plausible by taking into account there are ways this verb can be used transitively. THE SENTENCE FROM THE TEST TOTAL PERCENTAGE 6. She went to the store yesterday. 54 100 % CORRECT ANSWERS 4 (*30) 7.41 % (*55.56 %) INCORRECT ANSWERS 50 (*24) 92. 59 % (*44.44 %) Table 3, go Table 4 shows whether the verb in the sentence was used transitively or intransitively. to GO THE SENTENCE FROM THE TEST USAGE 6. She went to the store yesterday. INTRANSITIVE Table 4, go As we can see in Table 4, the verb in the sentence in the test was used intransitively which indicates the prepositional phrase “to the store yesterday“, i.e. the preposition “to“.
  43. 43. 38 Only 4 students (7.41 %) correctly answered that go can be used both intransitively and transitively. However, nobody did compose a sentence on their own in order to fulfil the task thoroughly according to the instructions about the answer they opted to. Our presumption is that either they didn’t know that the verb in the sentence in the test was intransitive (it was followed by a prepositional phrase, i.e. a preposition “to”), hence they didn’t know to use it intransitively, or they recognized it as intransitive but they didn’t know how to use it transitively. Consequently, we didn’t need table 5 in this case. Considering that no one composed a sentence, Table 6 displays only how many students circled the right answer and the percentage of it while the rest of the results were negative. VERB CORRECTLY CIRCLED ANSWERS COMPOSED SENTENCES CORRECTLY COMPOSED SENTENCES TO GO NUMBER PERCENTAGE NUMBER PERCENTAGE NUMBER PERCENTAGE 4 7.41 % 0 0 % 0 0 % Table 6, go To sum up, only 4 of 54 students (7.41 %) accurately answered by circling the right answer that go can be used both intransitively and transitively. Nevertheless, no one of these four students did even try to compose a sentence as they were instructed in the test. Hence, nobody did the task thoroughly. Although go can function both intransitively and transitively, it is not a pseudo-intransitive verb considering it is intrinsically intransitive. The paper will analyse fourth sentence that the students were asked to solve which was numbered as 7th on the test, and which was: “An omnivore eats either other animals or plants.” 3.1.4. EAT The results of statistical analysis are presented in Table 1. MARK THE SENTENCE FROM THE TEST AND ANSWER PATTERNS TOTAL PERCENTAGE √ OR X (RIGHT/ WRONG)7. An omnivore eats either other animals or plants. 54 100 % A. exclusively intransitive 3 5.56 % X B. exclusively transitive 22 40.74 % X C. both transitive and intransitive √ 29 53.70 % √ n/a students that didn’t provide an answer 0 0 % X Table 1, eat The verb to eat is a pseudo-intransitive verb. As any other pseudo-intransitive verb, eat is intrinsically transitive but it can be used intransitively as well. Most of the students (29

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