ERIC Number: ED225408
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Rule and Role in Second Language Teaching.
Lakoff, Robin Tolmach
Transitivity in the English verb is examined from the perspectives of the linguistic theorist and the second language instructor. English verbs can be assigned to one of six categories: pure intransitives, causative-inchoative verbs, psych-movement verbs, cross-classification verbs, direct object deletions, and pure transitives. Both syntacticians and English as a second language teachers face theoretical problems in determing the boundaries between these categories and defining membership in each category. Given the difficulty of categorization, the theorist is unable to state a rule for the teacher to use in the classroom, and the behavior of verbs with respect to transitivity must be viewed as unpredictable. The properties of each of the six categories are described, demonstrating that transitivity/intransitivity is a continuum rather than a dichotomy. However, enough is known about this continuum to permit both theorists and teachers to determine how aspects of verb behavior can be introduced in the classroom. (RW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: California Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
Note: Revised version of a paper presented at the CATESOL State Conference (Sacramento, CA, March 1982); In its: "CATESOL Occasional Papers," Number 8, p.37-50, Fall 1982; For related documents, see FL 013 455-463.