The theme of my course paper sounds as following: «Classification of Sentences». Before beginning of investigation in our theme, I would like to say some words dealt with the theme of my course paper.
The problem of classification of sentences is a highly complicated one, and this classification we must begin by comparing a few sentences differing from each other in some respect. Take, for example, the following two sentences:
(1) But why did you leave England? (GALSWORTHY)
(2) There is to-day more people writing extremely well, in all departments of life, than ever before; what we have to do is to sharpen our judgement and pick these out from the still larger number who write extremely badly. (CRUMP)
Everyone will see that the two sentences are basically different. This is true, but very general and not grammatically exact. In order to arrive at a strictly grammatical statement of the difference (or differences) between them we must apply more exact methods of observation and analysis.
Standing on such ground, I would like to point out tasks and aims of my work
1. The first task of my work is to give definition to term «sentence».
2. The second task is to give the classification of sentences in English.
In my opinion the practical significance of our work is hard to be overvalued. This work reflects modern trends in linguistics and we hope it would serve as a good manual for those who want to master modern English language. Also this work can be used by teachers of English language for teaching English grammar.
The present work might find a good way of implying in the following spheres:
1. In High Schools and scientific circles of linguistic kind it can be successfully used by teachers and philologists as modern material for writing research works dealing with English verbs.
2. It can be used by teachers of schools, lyceums and colleges by teachers of English as a practical manual for teaching English grammar.
3. It can be useful for everyone who wants to enlarge his/her knowledge in English.
After having proved the actuality of our work, I would like to describe the composition of it:
My work consists of four parts: introduction, the main part, conclusion and bibliography. Within the introduction part I gave the brief description of my course paper. The main part of the work includes several items. There we discussed classification of sentences in English, and etc. In the conclusion to my work I tried to draw some results from the scientific investigations made within the present course paper. In bibliography part I mentioned some sources which were used while compiling the present work. It includes linguistic books and articles dealing with the theme, a number of used dictionaries and encyclopedias and also some internet sources.
Classification of Sentences Prof. B.A.Illish
There are two principles of classification. Applying one of them, we obtain a classification into declarative, interrogative, and imperative sentences. We can call this principle that of "types of communication".
The other classification is according to structure. Here we state two main types: simple sentences and composite sentences. We will not now go into the question of a further subdivision of composite sentences, or into the question of possible intermediate types between simple and composite ones. These questions will be treated later on. Meanwhile, then, we get the following results:
Types of Sentences According to Types of Communication
In interrogative sentences very few modal words are used, as the meanings of some modal words are incompatible with the meaning of an interrogative sentence. It is clear that modal words expressing full certainty, such as certainly, surely, naturally, etc., cannot appear in a sentence expressing a question. On the other hand, the modal word indeed, with its peculiar shades of meaning, is quite possible in interrogative sentences, for instance, Isn't so indeed? (SHAKESPEARE)
There are also sentences which might be termed semi-interrogative. The third sentence in the following passage belongs to this type:
"Well, I daresay that's more revealing about poor George than you. At any rate, he seems to have survived it." "Oh, you've seen him?" She did not particularly mark her question for an answer, but it was, after all, the pivot-point, and Bone found himself replying — that indeed he had. (BUECHNER) The sentence Oh, you've seen him? is half-way between the affirmative declarative sentence, You have seen him, and the interrogative sentence, Have you seen him? Let us proceed to find out the precise characteristics of the sentence in the text as against the two sentences just given for the sake of comparison. From the syntactical viewpoint, the sentence is declarative, as the mutual position of subject and predicate is, you have seen, not have you seen, which would be the interrogative order. In what way or ways does it, then, differ from a Usual declarative sentence? That is where the question of the intonation comes in. Whether the question mark at the end of the sentence does or does not mean that the intonation is not that typical of a declarative sentence, is hard to tell, though it would rather seem that it does. To be certain about this a phonetic experiment should be undertaken, but in this particular case the author gives a context which itself goes some way toward settling the question. The author's words, She did not particularly mark her question for an answer, seem to refer to the intonation with which it was pronounced: the intonation must not have been clearly interrogative, that is not clearly rising, though it must have differed from the regular falling intonation to some extent: if it had not been at all different, the sentence could not have been termed a "question", and the author does call it a question. Reacting to this semi-interrogative intonation, Bone (the man to whom the question was addressed) answered in the affirmative. It seems the best way, on the whole, to term such sentences semi-interrogative. Their purpose of course is to utter a somewhat hesitating statement and to expect the other person to confirm it.
Imperative sentences also show marked peculiarities in the use of modal words. It is quite evident, for example, that modal words expressing possibility, such as perhaps, maybe, possibly, are incompatible with the notion of order or request. Indeed, modal words are hardly used at all in imperative sentences.
The notion of exclamatory sentences and their relation to the three established types of declarative, interrogative, and imperative sentences presents some difficulty. It would seem that the best way to deal with it is this. On the one hand, every sentence, whether narrative, interrogative, or imperative, may be exclamatory at the same time, that is, it may convey the speaker's feelings and be characterised by emphatic intonation and by an exclamation mark in writing. This may be seen in the following examples: Bat he can't do anything to you! (R. WEST) What can he possibly do to you! (Idem) Scarlett, spare me! (M. MITCHELL)
On the other hand, a sentence may be purely exclamatory, that is. it may not belong to any of the three types classed above. This would be the case in the following examples: "Well, fiddle-dee-dee!" said Scarlett. (M. MITCHELL) Oh, for God's sake, Henry! (Idem).
However, it would perhaps be better to use different terms for sentences which are purely exclamatory, and thus constitute a special type, and those which add an emotional element to their basic quality, which is either declarative, or interrogative, or imperative. If this view is endorsed, we should have our classification of sentences according to type of communication thus modified:
(1) Declarative (including emotional ones)
(2) Interrogative (including emotional ones)
(3) Imperative (including emotional ones)
This view would avoid the awkward contradiction of exclamatory sentences constituting a special type and belonging to the first three types at the same time.
Types of Sentences According to Structure
The relations between the two classifications should now be considered.
It is plain that a simple sentence can be either declarative, or interrogative, or imperative. But things are somewhat more complicated with reference to composite sentences. If both (or all) clauses making up a composite sentence are declarative, the composite sentence as a whole is of course declarative too. And so it is bound to be in every case when both (or all) clauses making a composite sentence belong to the same type of communication (that is the case in an overwhelming majority of examples). Sometimes, however, composite sentences are found which consist of clauses belonging to different types of communication. Here it will sometimes he impossible to say to what type of communication the composite sentence as a whole belongs. We will take up this question when we come to the composite sentence.
Some other questions connected with the mutual relation of the two classifications will be considered as we proceed.