This ques­tion is specif­i­cally for those who are fa­mil­iar with the 2002 edi­tion of The Cam­bridge Gram­mar of the English Lan­guage by Hud­dle­ston and Pul­lum.

The book has this pas­sage at page 272:

Strictly speak­ing, an in­tran­si­tive prepo­si­tion may have a com­ple­ment other than an ob­ject NP – e.g. ow­ing in ow­ing to the rain has a PP com­ple­ment. In this sec­tion, how­ever, we will be con­cerned only with in­tran­si­tive prepo­si­tions that have ei­ther no com­ple­ment at all or else a pred­ica­tive, as in That counts [as sat­is­fac­tory].

The book also says that prepo­si­tions can take fi­nite clauses as com­ple­ments as fol­lows:

They ig­nored the ques­tion [of whether it was eth­i­cal]. (page 641)

Here, does the book con­sider the of a transitive preposition (because it takes a clause as a com­ple­ment) or an in­tran­si­tive prepo­si­tion (be­cause it doesn't take an ob­ject NP)?

Also, how about verbs tak­ing fi­nite clauses as non-ob­ject com­ple­ments?

The book on pages 1017–1018:

In the present sub­sec­tion we turn our at­ten­tion to con­tent clauses func­tion­ing as in­ter­nal com­ple­ment to a verb, as in He feared that he might lose his job ([16i]). Tra­di­tional gram­mar not only anal­y­ses the sub­or­di­nate clause here as a noun clause, but as­signs it the same func­tion as that of the NP in He feared the prospect of un­em­ploy­ment, namely that of ob­ject of the verb. Again, how­ever, we be­lieve that the sub­or­di­nate clause is not suf­ficiently like an NP to jus­tify that anal­y­sis.

The feared both in He feared that he might lose his job and in He feared the prospect of un­em­ploy­ment, traditional grammar considers a transitive verb.

The Cambridge Grammar agrees that the one in the second example (taking an object NP as a complement) is a transitive verb. Does the book considers the one in the first example (taking a that-clause as a complement) a transitive or intransitive verb?

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    Is this question about intransitive prepositions, intransitive verbs, or intransitivity? How does CGEL define intransitivity? (presumably valency zero) – Mitch Jan 19 at 16:49
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    @Mitch This question is specifically about CGEL's definition of transitivity/intransitivity. I think discussing transitivity necessarily involves discussing intransitivity because it's either transitive or intransitive. The question is about both verbs and prepositions because CGEL discusses (in)transitivity for both. – JK2 Jan 19 at 22:02
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    @Mitch Their definition of transitivity is too basic to be useful, because the definition is presented in the section where they don't talk about any complements in the form of finite or non-finite clauses. – JK2 Jan 20 at 0:20
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    @GregLee CGEL defines an NP such that even a single noun can constitute an NP, and says that only NPs--not nouns--can be subjects. In that sense, CGEL is anything but 'traditional grammar'. And CGEL states that clauses do not have nominal/adjectival/adverbial properties, and it ditches the very idea of 'nominal/adjectival/adverbial clauses'. That said, I don't understand why you say that a complement has nominal properties. For example, a prepositional phrase at me can be a complement of a verb look in Look at me, and this PP-complement doesn't have any nominal properties, does it? – JK2 Mar 12 at 2:07
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    @JK2, I meant that a sentential complement has nominal properties. (For instance, it can be converted to a definite pronoun, or that/this.) – Greg Lee Mar 12 at 8:20

For CGEL, transitive means specifically 'taking a object as complement'. Moreover, I recall personal discussions with Pullum and Huddleston in which they confirm that only NPs function as objects. Verbs or prepositions which take other types of complements, such as clausal complements, predicative complements, etc, are not transitive.

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