Edited by Ursula Lenker, Judith Huber and Robert Mailhammer
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 314] 2010
► pp. 45–62
The article discusses the variation between the two most common sentential complements of the verb prevent, as in prevent me from going and prevent me going, from a semantic point of view. The variant me going became significantly more common in British English in the twentieth century, competing with the variant with from. Mair (2002) has suggested that a similar phenomenon may be incipient with semantically similar verbs like hinder and stop, signalling a more general grammatical change that is restricted to British English. With data from the British National Corpus, the article proposes a semantic distinction, a consequence of the recent competition, in order to partially explain the variation. The distinction links the notion of hypotheticality to the -ing clause in the prepositional variant, whereas the -ing clause without from expresses a realized event, or an existing property of the object NP of prevent.
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