She likes doing what he likes to do - A corpus study of like and its complementation

by Eriksson, Louise

Abstract (Summary)
The following paper has been dedicated to the verb like, which is one of the verbs in the English language that can take either a to-infinitive or an -ing participle as a complement. The purpose of the paper is to examine if there are any differences in distribution and meaning between the two complements. The focus also lies on the different verbs occurring as complements, and the contrast between the verbs occurring as to-infinitives and as -ing participles. There are many theories which have been proposed on the subject that lie as a basis for the investigation.The analysis was carried out by means of an investigation of sentences taken from the COBUILDDIRECT corpus, and includes both spoken and written British and American English. The outcome of the analysis has demonstrated that there is usually agreement between the theories and the results; however, there is not always a difference of meaning between the two complements. Moreover, the analysis suggests that there is a difference of verbs occurring as to-infinitives and -ing participles; the would like to construction represents a fixed expression and often occurs together with performative verbs. Finally, the conclusion has been drawn that there is a small but visible difference between the occurrences of the spoken and the written subcorpora when discussing both meaning and verbs occurring as complements. Since the to-infinitive complement is more common than the -ing participle in newspapers, books, and spoken English, the difference includes both detached and involved style as well as a regional difference between British and American English.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Växjö universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:corpus verbal complement meaning verbs expressing emotions


Date of Publication:06/19/2007

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