Transformation is transition from one pattern of certain notional parts to another pattern of the same notional parts. Some sentence patterns are base patterns, others are their transforms. A question can be described as transformationally produced from a statement, a negation – from an affirmation.
You are fond of sport. - Are you fond of sport?
You are fond of sport. – You are not fond of sport.
Why are the directions of transition given in this way and not vice versa? Because the ordinary affirmative statement presents a positive expression of the fact, free of the speaker’s appraisals. It carries the propositional content, the cognitive content of the utterance. Proposition is the reflection of a state-of-affairs and consists of reference and predication. Reference is the denotation of a thing, person or idea. Predication assigns o property or relation to the denotated thing, person, idea.
Similarly, a composite sentence can be presented as dirived from two or more simple sentences:
He turned to the waiter. + The waiter stood in the doorway. – He turned to the waiter who stood in the doorway.
These transformational relations can be interpreted as regular derivation stages comparable to categorial form-making processes in morphology and word-building.
The initial basic elements of syntactic derivation are called kernel sentences. Structurally in coincides with elementary sentences, described in IC-model. But the pattern of the kernel sentence is the base of a paradigmatic derivation in the corresponding sentence pattern series. Syntactic derivation is paradigmatic production of more complex pattern construction out of kernel pattern constructions as structural bases.
I saw him come. It is produced from the two kernel sentences: I saw him + He came.
S + S S
N-subj VP N-subj V N-subj VP
V N-obj V NP-obj
The derivation of genuine sentences lying on the surface of speech out of kernel sentences lying in the “deep base” of speech can be analysed as a set of elementary transformational steps or procedures:
1. Morphological arrangement of the sentence, morphological changes expressing syntactically relevant categories, above all, the predicative categories of the finite verb: tense, aspect, voice, mood.
In paradigmatic syntax, such units as He has arrived, He has not arrived, Has he arrived, He will arrive, He will not arrive, Will he arrive, etc., are treated as different forms of the same sentence, just as arrives, has arrived, will arrive etc., are different forms of the same verb. We may call this view of the sentence the paradigmatic view.
Now from the point of view of communication, He has arrived and He has not arrived are different sentences since they convey different information (indeed, the meaning of the one flatly contradicts that of the other).
2. functional expansion – procedures including various uses of functional words. From the syntactic point of view these words are transformers of syntactic construction in the same sense as the categorial morphemes (wordchanging) are transformers of morphological constructions:
He understood my request. – He seemed to understand my request.
Now they consider the suggestion. – Now they do consider the suggestion.
3. substitution by personal pronouns, demonstrative, indefinite pronouns, substitute combinations of half-notional words.
The pupils ran out of the classroom. – They ran out of the classroom.
I want another pen, please. – I want another one, please.
4. Deletion, elimination of some elements of the sentence in various contextual conditions. As a result of deletion the corresponding reduced (elliptical) constructions are produced.
Would you like a cup of tea? – A cup of tea?
It’s a pleasure! – Pleasure!
5. Positional arrangement – changes of the word order into reverse patterns, questions and inversion: In ran Jim with an excited cry.
6. Intonational arrangement, application of various functional tones and accents. This arrangement is represented in written and typed speech by punctuation marks, the use of italics and underlining.
We must go. – We must go? We? Must go??
You care nothing about what I feel. – You care nothing about what Ifeel!
The transformational model is different form other models, as it not just an analytical pattern, but a generative one.