Compound Verb

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An Compound Verb is a Lexical Compound that acts as a Verb.



    • In linguistics, a compound verb or complex predicate is a multi-word compound that functions as a single verb. One component of the compound is a light verb or vector, which carries any inflections, indicating tense, mood, or aspect, but provides only fine shades of meaning. The other, "primary", component is a verb or noun which carries most of the semantics of the compound, and determines its arguments. It is usually in either base or [in V+V compounds] conjunctive participial form.

      A compound verb is also called a "complex predicate” because the semantics, as formally modeled by a predicate, is determined by the primary verb, though both verbs appear in the surface form. Whether Noun+Verb (N+V) compounds are considered to be "compound verbs" is a matter of naming convention. Generally, the term complex predicate usually includes N+V compounds, whereas the term compound verb is usually reserved for V+V compounds. However, several authors [especially Iranists] refer to N+V compounds as compound verbs.[1]

      Compound verbs are to be distinguished from serial verbs which typically signify a sequence of actions, and in which the verbs are relatively equal in semantic and grammatical weight. They are also to be distinguished from sequences of main plus auxiliary verbs.

  1. "Types of Verbs". blogspot. Milagros Fernandini. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 


  • (Wikipedia, 2009) ⇒
    • A phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and a preposition, a verb and an adverb, or a verb with both an adverb and a preposition, any of which are part of the syntax of the sentence, and so are a complete semantic unit. Sentences, however, may contain direct and indirect objects in addition to the phrasal verb. [1] Phrasal verbs are particularly frequent in the English language. A phrasal verb often has a meaning which is different from the original verb.
    • According to Tom McArthur: ...the term ‘phrasal verb’ was first used by Logan Pearsall Smith, in “Words and Idioms” (1925), in which he states that the OED Editor Henry Bradley suggested the term to him.
    • Alternative terms for phrasal verb are ‘compound verb’, ‘verb-adverb combination’, ‘verb-particle construction (VPC)’, AmE “two-part word/verb’ and ‘three-part word/verb’ (depending on the number of particles), and multi-word verb (MWV). [2]
    • 'Preposition' and 'adverb' as used in a phrasal verb are also called 'particle' in that they do not alter their form through inflections (are therefore uninflected, they do not accept affixes, etc.).


  • (Crystal, 2008) ⇒ David Crystal. (2008). “A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics, 6th edition." Blackwell Publishing.
    • compound (n.) A term used widely in DESCRIPTIVE LINGUISTIC studies to refer to a linguistic UNIT which is composed of ELEMENTS that function independently in other circumstances. Of particular currency are the notions of compound found in 'compound WORDS' (consisting of two or more free MORPHEMES, as in such 'compound NOUNS' as bedroom, rainfall, and washing machine) and 'compound SENTENCES' (consisting of two or more main CLAUSES); but other application of the term exist, as in 'compound VERBS' (e.g. come in), 'compound TENSES' (those consisting of an AUXILIARY + LEXICAL verb), 'compound SUBJECTS/OBJECTS', etc. (where the clause elements consist of more than one noun PHRASE or PRONOUN, as in the boys and the girls shouted) and 'compound PREPOSITIONS' (e.g. in accordance with). See also BAHAVRUIHI, DVANDVA.


  • Diana McCarthy, Bill Keller, and John Carroll. (2003). “Detecting a continuum of compositionality in phrasal verbs.” In: Proceedings of the ACL 2003 workshop on Multiword Expressions: analysis, acquisition and treatment. doi:10.3115/1119282.1119292
    • We investigate the use of an automatically acquired thesaurus for measures designed to indicate the compositionality of candidate multiword verbs, specifically English phrasal verbs identified automatically using a robust parser. We examine various measures using the nearest neighbours of the phrasal verb, and in some cases the neighbours of the simplex counterpart and show that some of these correlate significantly with human rankings of compositionality on the test set. We also show that whilst the compositionality judgements correlate with some statistics commonly used for extracting multiwords, the relationship is not as strong as that using the automatically constructed thesaurus.
  • Colin Bannard, Timothy Baldwin and Alex Lascarides (2003). “A Statistical Approach to the Semantics of Verb-Particles.” In: Proceedings of the ACL-2003 Workshop on Multiword Expressions: Analysis, Acquisition and Treatment. doi:10.3115/1119282.1119291
    • ABSTRACT: This paper describes a distributional approach to the semantics of verb-particle constructions (e.g. put up, make off). We report first on a framework for implementing and evaluating such models. We then go on to report on the implementation of some techniques for using statistical models acquired from corpus data to infer the meaning of verb-particle constructions.


  • Aline Villavicencio, and Ann Copestake. (2002). “Phrasal Verbs and the LinGO-ERG. LinGO Working Paper No. 2002-01.
  • Ivan A. Sag, T Baldwin, F Bond, Ann Copestake, and D Flickinger. (2002). “Multiword Expressions: A pain in the neck for NLP.” In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Intelligent Text Processing and Computational Linguistics (CICLing-2002).
  • N Calzolari, C Fillmore, Ralph Grishman, N Ide, A Lenci, C Macleod, and A Zampolli. (2002). “Towards Best Practice for Multiword Expressions in Computational Lexicons.” In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation.


  • S G Pulman. (1993). “The Recognition and Interpretation of Idioms.” In: C Cacciari, and P Tabossi, editors, Idioms: Processing, Structure and Interpretation, chapter 11. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ.