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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2020

Advise against -ing: An emerging class of exceptions to Bach’s Generalization

From the book Corpus Linguistics, Context and Culture

  • Mark Kaunisto and Juhani Rudanko


This chapter discusses the occurrences of covert noun phrase objects with the verb advise. Contrary to the condition known as Bach’s Generalization, according to which noun phrase objects cannot be omitted in object control structures, linguists have also noted that covert objects in structures of this type are indeed possible. With the aid of large electronic corpora, instances of the covert object pattern with advise are examined from the 19th century to the present day. In addition to quantitative observations on the use of the covert object pattern, attention is given to the semantic characteristics that the pattern manifests compared to instances with explicit objects. Pragmatic considerations may also be relevant in that the indeterminate specificity of the understood object could make the covert object pattern particularly suitable or desirable in situations where considerations of tact could play a role.

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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