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ISSN : 1226-3206(Print)
Studies in Modern Grammar Vol.108 pp.19-37

A Small Class of Multiword Verbs in English: A Prepositional Verb or Transitive Phrasal Verb?

Kyungchul Chang
Pusan National University


Some multiword verbs like run into ‘encounter’ in She ran into a friend have been called by two distinct names in the literature. They are prepositional verbs (with a fixed and specified preposition) or (inseparable or nonseparable) transitive phrasal verbs. This paper argues that this different use of terminology for the same multiword verbs actually reveals the nature of the whole class they belong to. The class is a cline of grammatical elements and properties between prepositional verbs and transitive phrasal verbs, and the set shared by these two subclasses is the locus of that cline. This characteristic mode of the cline is explained in terms of intersective constructional gradience and multiple inheritance.