Is there anything particular unstylish about the phrase "X lies at the basis of Y"?
In this thread, some users qualify this phrase as "clumsy", without saying why. What would be the reason? (I do not have enough reputation to ask the question in a comment there)
One user offers an alternative as "X is the basis of Y". However, in my opinion there is a difference in nuance between both phrases:
"X is the basis of Y" would mean X causes Y.
On the other hand:
"X lies at the basis of Y" would mean to me that X is one of the, possibly many, main causes of Y.
For example, comparing with the literal origin: In a pyramid, a certain stone in the lowest layer lies at the bottom of the pyramid. The basis of the pyramid, however, would arguably be the whole bottom layer...?