In This Chapter

Phrase structure

Authored by: Jenny Mathias


Print publication date:  February  2016
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415735681
eBook ISBN: 9781315651194
Adobe ISBN: 9781317309314


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Building on the word structure described in the previous chapter, we proceed to the next large unit, the phrase. Again the three main syntactic categories are maintained, and the description is divided into noun phrases, verb phrases, and adverb phrases. It is important to note here that by ‘verb phrase’ we mean the verbal predicate of a clause, including secondary verbs (auxiliaries) and particles expressing tense, aspect, modality, and others. The verb phrase can contain a number of verbal elements, some more lexical, others more functional. There is, therefore, no uniform paradigm that can be presented for Burmese, but rather a structure that looks like what has been described as serial verbs, with higher or lower degrees of grammaticalization. For each category, the most common possibilities to extend the phrase structure are given and explained.

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