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Traditional grammar analysis of the sentence.

Syntagmatic: positional parts of the sentence.

Sentence is a string of certain parts fulfilling different syntactical functions

SP (subject and predicate) – a predicative line.


Transformational (generative) grammar. Noam Chomsky.

In-built ability to master any grammatical structures and to generate an endless variety of grammatically correct sentences.



Paradigmatic approach: oppositions of sentences – syntactic paradigm.

Syntactic derivation – a process consisting of elementary transformational steps:

- morphological arrangement (predicate – tense, voice, aspect, mood, number, case; subject – number, case)

- functional expansion (I teach English – Do you teach English? – I do teach English – I teach only English – I must be teaching English)

- substitution (I teach English – I teach it; I have a car – I have one)

- deletion (I teach English – Teach what? – English?)

- positional arrangement (I teach English – English I teach)

- intonational arrangement (I teach English! I teach? English?)

Paradigmatical oppositions of sentences:

1. Communicative purpose: question-statement/inducement-statement

2. Existence quality: affirmation-negation

3. Realization: reality-unreality (memory feeds imagination – memory would feed imagination)

4. Probability: fact-probability (supposition) (memory feeds imagination – memory might feed imagination)

5. Modal identity: fact-chance (memory feeds imagination – memory happens to feed imagination)

6. Subjective modality: fact-modal subject relation (memory feeds imagination – memory must feed imagination)

7. Subject-action relations: fact-actual specified subject-action relation (attempt, failure) (memory feeds imagination – memory failed to feed imagination)

8. Phase: fact-phase of the action (memory feeds imagination - memory began to feed imagination)

9. Subject-object relations: active-passive action (memory feeds imagination – imagination is fed by memory)

10. Informative perspective: direct actual division-reverse actual division (memory feeds imagination – it is memory that feeds imagination)

11. Intensity: neutral-emotional (memory feeds imagination – memory does feed imagination!)


Predicative load – the total volume of the strong members of predicative oppositions in the sentence.

A primary sentence – a minimal predicatively unloaded sentence.


Types of derivational relations: constructional and predicative.

Predicative relations: transformation (The bell rang – Did the bell ring? – The bell must have rung).

Constructional relations: kernel sentence – clause (clausalization –the doctor arrived but it was late) or phrase (phrasalization, nominalization – the late doctor’s arrival).

Clausazilation: conjunctive words (The bell rang + the students left: The bell rang and the students left – When the bell rang, the students left.

Phrasalization: kernel sentence – phrase (nominal: the ring of the bell; or semi-predicative: the bell ringing).


Composite sentence: compound and complex.

Syntactic characteristics of a composite sentence:

1. Type of connection: subordination/coordination

2. Rank and depth of subordination perspective

3. Structural-semantic necessity: monolithic (obligatory)/segregational (optional)

4. Connectors: syndetic/asyndetic

5. Subordination arrangement: parallel (homogeneous-heterogeneous)/consecutive

6. Position: prepositional/postpositional


Compound sentence contains at least two main clauses based on parataxis (coordination); units of syntactically equal ranks. Coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, so) and sentence adverbials (thus; however).

Complex sentence – is a polypredicative construction (with two or more predicative lines) built on the principle of subordination (hypotaxis). Derivational relation – constructional (clausalization).

Subordinating connectors (subordinators):

- pronominal words (take a notional position): I don’t know when she comes. Do you remember the book that won the Booker Prize?

- pure conjunctions (don’t take a notional position): When she comes, I’ll tell her about you. He said that he was a doctor.


Classification of subordinate clauses:

- functional principle (functions of words, correlative with parts of sentence): subject, object, predicate, attribute etc).

- categorical principle (semantics, correlative with parts of speech): substantive-nominal (of primary notional position); qualification-nominal (of secondary nominal position); clause of adverbial position.

Substantive-nominal clauses: subject, predicative, object clauses (What I want to say is that I know the answer; What I want to say (theme) is that I know the answer (rheme); I don’t know what I want to say).

Qualification-nominal clauses: attributive (descriptive and limiting); appositive (I have an impression that you don’t trust me).

Subject clause (it-sentences): It is essential (theme) that you should be there (rheme).

Predicative clause: She looks as if she has done smth odd; The problem would have been how to tell him all.

Object clause (sequence of tenses): She says he is here; She said he was here.

Attributive clause: who, whom, whose, which, that – characterizing smth. Descriptive (additional characteristics): This a book which can be useful. Limiting (restrictive - identification): This is a book which I bought yesterday. It-sentence: It is all I can do.

Adverbial clauses: time, place, manner of comparison, cause (reason), condition, concession (even if, although, even though), purpose, parenthesis (if you ask me; as far as I know; you know; if I’m not mistaken).

Parenthetical clauses: introductory (expressing different modal meanings): As far as I remember, the man was….; deviational (expressing commenting insertions of varied semantic character): They used to be, and this is no longer a secret, very close friends.

Cleft-sentences: it (it is he who has done it for us; it is in Rome that we had holidays); what (what we need is love); that (that’s how grammar works).


Subordination arrangement: parallel (homogeneous/heterogeneous) and consecutive.

Parallel homogeneous: he said that it was his problem and I should live.

Parallel heterogeneous: the man whom I saw yesterday told me that I should leave.

Consecutive: he says that he knows the man whom I met yesterday.


Semi-composite sentence - a polypredicative construction consisting of more than one predicative line which are expressed in fusion.

Composite: predicative line (leading, dominant) + predicative line.

Semi-composite: predicative line + semi-predicative line.

Fusion – semi-predication, hidden predication, potential predication.

The syntactic status: structurally – simple sentence (one full predicative line); semantically – composite (two situations). Intermediary status.

The types of the semi-composite sentences:

- semi-complex

- semi-compound

Semi-complex: The bell ringing, the students left the room (When the bell rang, the students left the room).

Position-sharing: subject-sharing (He woke up famous – He woke up. He was famous), object-sharing (I saw her dancing – I saw her. She was dancing), causative relations (I made him do it; She got her watch repaired; She had her bag stolen; I painted the wall white).


Direct linear expansion:

- attributive complication (The sun, setting in the ocean, looks terrific. The typed letter was sent in the morning)

- adverbial complication (Entering the hall, the students took their places. The bell ringing, the students left the hall. When a student, I used to skip my classes)

- nominal complication (I bought a dictionary for you to study. What to do is a problem. The question is where to go next. I appreciate you helping me. Your helping me out makes me happy)

Verbals and their complexes:

- infinitive: complex object; complex subject; infinitive phrase; for-to-infinitive complex

- gerund: gerundial complex

- participle: absolute nominative construction

Date: 2015-12-11; view: 370

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