Disruption of the English Verbal Group Structure

Roseline Abonego Adejare


Although disruption of the English verbal group (VBG) structure has long been acknowledged, it has not been systematically described as a syntactic occurrence in its own right. This study describes structural disruption and proposes a  framework for its description. The data comprises 3,069 VBGs sourced from spoken instructional texts and analysed using the scale-and-category version of the systemic grammatical model. Ten per cent (308) of the VBGs were structurally disrupted, occasioned more by grammatical necessity (72 per cent) than stylistic motivation (28 per cent). The nominal ( 67 per cent) and adverbial (33 per cent) groups, dominated respectively by personal pronouns and time adverbs, were the disrupting agents. You (76), us (57), and now (30) were the most recurring disruptors, while the MH-Type VBG (71 per cent) was the most disrupted structural variant. Disruption after the first auxiliary modifier was dominant. Dual disruption occurred. The disruptors complemented the VBGs’ meaning, enhanced textual cohesion, and  facilitated the attainment of pedagogic goals.

Keywords: verbal group, structural disruption, grammatically necessitated disruption, stylistically motivated disruption, disrupting agent, disruptor

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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