The dictionary does not list "in elaboration of," but I'd like to know whether it is natural in the following:

Peter delivered a series of lectures in elaboration of the theory.

I'd appreciate your help.

  • 1
    What exactly do you want to know? Whether "elaboration of" is idiomatic, or whether there is a better way to say this? – Andrew Nov 28 '18 at 14:13
  • Is it natural, i.e. idiomatic? – Apollyon Nov 28 '18 at 14:25
  • I would prefer "Peter delivered a series of lectures to elaborate on the theory." Presuming that the purpose of the lectures was to detail the theory, anyway. Your example isn't clear as to the relationship between the lectures and the theory. – user3169 Nov 29 '18 at 2:28

elaborating is encountered far more often than in elaboration of but the latter collocation is grammatical.

The participle is a viable alternative to the prepositional phrase. For example:

defying ... in defiance of
emulating ... in emulation of
honoring ... in honor of
pursuing ... in pursuit of

The prepositional phrase is in a more formal register. Some might consider it a bit ponderous, others as imparting a certain gravitas. A stylistic call. You'd have to consider the ambient tone.

  • "elaborating the theory"? – user3169 Nov 29 '18 at 2:27
  • @user3169: Not sure why you question that phrase. Care to elaborate? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 29 '18 at 9:38
  • When I put it into the example, I get "Peter delivered a series of lectures elaborating the theory." if that is what you meant. To me it seems like the "on" needs to be in there. – user3169 Nov 29 '18 at 17:02
  • @user3169. No, it does not need to be elaborating on|upon the theory. The verb to elaborate can be transitive, taking a direct object. google.com/… – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 29 '18 at 17:26

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