Shreyas Sampat wrote:

> Mark J. Reed wrote:
> > English is also full of phrasal verbs (verb +
> > preposition[s]), which are transitive when treated
> > as a unit but officially analyze into an intransitive
> > verb modified by a prepositional phrase: "look at",
> >"climb up", "watch out for", etc.
> I'm not sure I agree; look at these two sentences:
> Louise looked up Teresa's phone number.
> Louise looked up Teresa's nose.
> They look similar, right?
> 1) Teresa's phone number is what Louise looked up.
> 2) Up Teresa's nose is where Louise looked.
> 3) *Up Teresa's phone number is where Louise looked.
> 'Look up' can't be a verb with an obligatory pre-
> positional phrase; then 3 would be grammatical and
> 1 wouldn't be.
> That isn't to say that there aren't verbs with such things,
> but the examples you gave aren't that kind of animal.

I've always considered these "phrasal verbs" to be
"verb + adverb" rather than "verb + preposition." To me
these samples are two different verbs:

1. Louise looked up Teresa's nose

This is the verb "look" plus the prepositonal phrase
"up Teresa's nose."

2. Louise looked up Teresa's phone number.

This is the verb "look up" (verb + adverb) and the
direct object "Teresa's phone number."

(Teresa's phone number is what Louise looked up.)

It seems to me that other IE languages (at least in
the past) would have formed this verb by prefixing the
adverb, making somelike "uplook" so we'd have 2

3. Louise uplooked Teresa's phone number.

But somewhere along the line, English stopped doing
this and started simply leaving the adverb after the
verb. Many English prepositions can also serve as
prepositions, hence the confusion. This causes
problems when making a nominal actor out of these
kinds of verbs:

4. George made up the new game.

5. ?George is the maker-upper of the game.

6. ?George is the maker-up of the game.

7. *George is the upmaker of the game.

Many people say sentence 5 in conversation, although
sentence 6 makes more logical sense. In writing, a
circumlocution such as "the one who made up the
game" is used. Sentence 7 would be very natural
if the verb were "upmake" rather than "make up."

--Ph. D.