This study offers an analysis of the historical development of the English
verb-particle combination. The synchronic part of the book presents a
detailed description of the Present-Day English verb-particle combination
and proposes a lexical decomposition analysis of the data. In this analysis,
which explains the syntactic, semantic and morphological characteristics of
Present-Day English verb-particle combinations, particles are ambiguous
between phrase and head.
The diachronic part of the book focuses on the transitional period from Old
to Middle English. It provides a detailed account of the properties of the Old
English separable complex verb and its successor, the Middle English verb-
particle combination. Old English particles are shown to be phrases acting
as secondary predicates, and it is argued that the evidence for head status
increases from Middle English onwards. The shift to postverbal particles is
explained by the lexical decomposition analysis in combination with an
existing word order account. The diachronic part of the book also contains a
case study on verb movement in Middle English and a case study on the
role of language contact with Old Norse in the shift to postverbal particles.
The descriptive and theoretical components of the synchronic and
diachronic analysis are presented in separate chapters throughout the book.
The Synchronic and Diachronic Syntax of the English Verb-Particle
Combination is of interest to linguists working on the English verb-particle
combination, the transitional period from Old to Middle English, verb-
movement in Middle English, OV/VO, the syntax-morphology interface and