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Theme: Syntax. Types of sentences in English.


1. Sentence: General.

2. Actual division of the sentence.

3. Communicative types of sentences.

4. Simple sentence: constituent structure.

5. Simple sentence: paradigmatic structure.

6. Composite sentence as a polypredicative construction.

7. Complex sentence.

8. Compound sentence.

9. Semi-complex and semi-compound sentences.

10. Sentence in the text.

Recommended Literature:

1. M.Y.Blokh. A Course in the Theoretical English Grammar. - M., 1983,

2. B.Ilyish. The Structure of Modern English. - L., 1971.

3. N.M.Rayevska. Modern English Grammar. - K., 1976.

4. И.П.Иванова, В.В.Бурлакова, Г.Г.Почепцов. Теоретическая граматика.

1. Sentence: General

The sentence is the immediate integral unit of speech built up of words according to a definite syntactic pattern and distinguished by a contextually relevant communicative purpose. The sentence is the main object of syntax as part of the grammatical theory.

The sentence, being composed of words, may in certain cases include only one word of various lexico-grammatical standings. Cf: Night. Congratulations. Away! Why? Certainly.

While the word is a component element of the word-stock and as such is a nominative unit of language, the sentence, linguistically, is a predicative utterance-unit. It means that the sentence not only names some referents with the help of its word-constituents, but also, first, presents these referents as making up a certain situation, or, more specifically, a situational event, and second, reflects the connection between the nominal denotation of the event, on the one hand, and objective reality, on the other, showing the time of the event, its being real or unreal, desirable or undesirable, necessary or unnecessary, etc.

There is another difference between the sentence and the word. Namely, unlike the word, the sentence does not exist in the system of language as a ready-made unit; with the exception of a limited number of utterances of phraseological citation, it is created by the speaker in the course of communication. So sentence is a unit of speech.

Being a unit of speech, the sentence is intonationally delimited. Intonation separates one sentence from another in the continual flow of uttered segments and, together with various segmental means of expression, participates in rendering essential communicative-predicative meaning (such as, for instance, the syntactic meaning of interrogation in distinction to the meaning of declaration).

The sentence is characterized by its specific category of predication, which establishes the relation of the named phenomena to actual life. The general semantic category of modality is also defined by linguists as exposing the connection between the named objects and surrounding reality.

The centre of predication in a sentence of verbal type (which is the predominant type of sentence-structure in English) is a finite verb. The finite verb expresses essential predicative meanings by its categorial forms, first of all, the categories of tense and mood.

The sentence as a lingual unit performs two essential sigmemic (meaningful) functions: first, substance-naming, or nominative function; second, reality-evaluating, or predicative function.

2. Actual division of the sentence.

The notional parts of the sentence referring to the basic elements of the reflected situation form, taken together, the nominative meaning of the sentence. The main components of the actual division of the sentence are the theme and the

rheme. The theme expresses the starting point of the communication, i.e. it denotes an object or a phenomenon about which something is reported. The rheme expresses the basic informative part of the communication, its contextually relevant centre.

The Theme of the actual division of the sentence may or may not coincide with the subject of the sentence. The rheme of the actual division, in its turn, may or may not coincide with the predicate of the sentence - either with the whole predicate group or its part, such as the predicative, the object, the adverbial.

The actual division of the sentence finds its full expression only in a concrete context of speech, therefore it is sometimes referred to as the "contextual" division of the sentence.

3. Communicative types of sentences.

The sentence is a communicative unit, therefore the primary classification of sentences must be based on the communicative principle. This principle is formulated in traditional grammar as the "purpose of communication".

In accord with the purpose of communication three cardinal sentence-types are recognized in linguistic tradition: first, the declarative sentence; second, the imperative (inducive) sentence; third, the interrogative sentence. The declarative sentence expresses a statement, either affirmative or negative. The imperative sentence expresses inducement, either affirmative or negative. That is, it urges the listener, in the form of request or command to perform or not to perform a certain action. The interrogative sentence expresses a question, i.e. a request for information wanted by the speaker from the listener.

Alongside the three cardinal communicative sentence-types, another type of sentences is recognized in the theory of syntax, namely, the so-called exclamatory sentence. Each of the cardinal communicative sentence-types can be represented in the two variants: non-exclamatory and exclamatory.

4. Simple sentence: constituent structure.

The basic predicative meanings of the typical English sentence are expressed by the finite verb, which is immediately connected with the subject of the sentence. This predicative connection is commonly referred to as the "predicative line" of the sentence. Depending on their predicative complexity, sentences can feature one predicative line or several (more than one) predicative lines; in other words, sentences may be, respectively, "monopredicative" and "polypredicative". Using this distinction, we must say that the simple sentence is a sentence in which only one predicative line is expressed. E.g.: Bob has never left the stadium. Opinions differ. This may happen any time.

According to this definition, sentences with several predicates referring to one and the same subject cannot be considered as simple. E.g.: I took the child in my arms and held him.

Sentences having one verb-predicate and more than one subject to it, if the subjects form actually separate (though) interdependent) predicative connections, cannot be considered as simple, either. E.g.: The door was open, and also the front window.

The nominative parts of the simple sentence, each occupying a notional position in it, are subject, predicate, object, adverbial, attribute, parenthetical enclosure, addressing enclosure. The parts are arranged in a hierarchy, wherein all of them perform some modifying role.

Thus, the subject is a person-modifier of the predicate. The predicate is a process-modifier of the subject-person. The object is a substance-modifier of a processual part (actional or statal). The adverbial is a quality-modifies (in a broad sense) of a processual part or the whole of the sentence). The attribute is a quality-modifier of a substantive part. The parenthetical enclosure is a detached speaker-bound modifier of any sentence-part or the whole of the sentence. The addressing enclosure (address) is a substantive modifier of the destination of the sentence and hence, from its angle, a modifier of the sentence as a whole.

The subject-group and the predicative-group of the sentence are its two constitutive "members" (составы предложения). According as both members are present in the composition of the sentence or only one of them, sentences are classed into 'two-member" and "one-member" ones.

Elliptical sentences in which the subject or the predicate is contextually omitted, are analysed as "two-member" sentences.

The semantic classification of simple sentences should be effected at least on the three bases: first, on the basis of the subject categorial meanings; second, on the basis of the predicate categorial meanings; third, on the basis of the subject-object relation.

Reflecting the categories of the subject, simple sentences are divided into personal and impersonal.

Reflecting the categories of the predicate, simple sentences are divided into process featuring ("verbal") and, in the broad sense, substance featuring (including substance as such and substantive quality - "nominal").

Reflecting the subject-object relation, simple sentences should be divided into subjective (John lives in London), objective (John reads a book) and neutral or "potentially " objective (John reads).

5. Composite sentence as a polypredicative construction.

The composite sentence, as different from the simple sentence, is formed by two or more predicative lines. Being a polypredicative construction, it expresses a complicated act of thought, i.e. an act of mental activity which falls into two or more intellectual efforts closely combined with one another. In terms of situations and events this means that the composite sentence reflects two or more elementary situational events viewed as making up a unity.

Each predicative unit in a composite sentence makes up a clause in it.

As is well known, the use of the composite sentences, especially long and logically intricate ones, is characteristic of literary written speech rather than colloquial oral speech.

Composite sentences display two principal types of construction: subordination and coordination. By coordination the clauses are arranged as units of syntactically equal rank; by subordination, as units of unequal rank, one being categorically dominated by the other.

The means of combining clauses into a polypredicative sentence are divided into syndetic, i.e. conjunctional, and asyndetic, i.e. non-conjunctional.

All composite sentences are to be classed into compound sentences (coordination their clauses) (складно сурядні) and complex sentences (subordinating their clauses) (складно підрядні).

6. Complex sentence.

The complex sentence is a polypredicative construction built up on the principle of subordination. It is derived from two or more base sentences one of which performs the role of a matrix in relation to the others, the insert sentences. When joined into one complex sentence, the matrix base sentence becomes the principal clause of it and the insert sentences, its subordinate clauses.

The complex sentence of minimal composition includes two clauses - a principal one and a subordinate one. The subordinate clause is joint to the principal clause either by a subordinating connector (subordinator), or, with some types of clauses, asyndetically.

The structural features of the principal clause differ with different types of subordinate clauses. In particular, various types of subordinate clauses specifically affect the principal clause from the point of view of the degree of its completeness. The principal clause is markedly incomplete in complex sentences with the subject and predicative subordinate clauses. E.g.: Your statement was just what you were expected to say. (The gaping principal part is outside the predicative clause).

Of the problems discussed in linguistic literature in connection with the complex sentence, the central one concerns the principles of classification of subordinate clauses. Namely, the two different bases of classification are considered as competitive in this domain: the first is functional, the second is categorial.

According to the functional principle, subordinate clauses are to be classed on the analogy of the positional parts of the simple sentence, since it is the structure of the simple sentence that underlies the essential structure of the complex sentence (located at a higher level).

According to the categorial principle, subordinate clauses are to be classed by their inherent nominative properties irrespective of their immediate positional relations in the sentence. The nominative properties of notional words are reflected in their part-of speech classification.

From the point of view of their general nominative features all the subordinate clauses can be divided into three categorial-semantic groups. The first group includes clauses that name an event as a certain fact. These pure fact-clauses may be terminologically defined as "substantive-nominal". Their substantive-nominal nature is easily checked by a substitute test: That his letters remained unanswered annoyed him very much. -> That fact annoyed him very much.

The second group of clauses also name an event-fact, but, as different from the first group, this event-fact is referred to as giving a characteristic to some substantive entity. Such clauses can be called "qualification-nominal"* The man who came in the morning left a message. —» That man left a message.

The third group of clauses make their event-nomination into a dynamic relation characteristic of another event or a process or a quality of various descriptions. It would be quite natural to call these clauses "adverbial". Adverbial clauses are best tested not by a replacement, but by a definite transformation. Describe the picture as you see it. —> Describe the picture in the manner you see it.

Subordinate clauses are introduced by functional connective words which effect their derivation from base sentences. Categorially these sentence subordinators fall into the two basic types: those that occupy a notional position in the derived clause, and those that do not occupy such a position. The non-positional subordinators are referred to as pure conjunctions. Here belong such words as since, before, until, if, in case, because, so that, in order that, though, however, than, as if, etc. The positional subordinators are in fact conjunctive substitutes. The main positional subordinators are the pronominal words who, what, whose, which, that, where, when, why, as. Some of these words are double-functional, entering also the first set of subordinators.

Complex sentences which have two or more subordinate clauses discriminate two basic types of subordination arrangement: parallel and consecutive.

Subordinate clauses immediately referring to one and the same principal clause are said to be subordinated "in parallel" or "co-subordinated".

As different from parallel subordination, consecutive subordination presents a hierarchy of clausal levels. In this hierarchy one subordinate clause is commonly subordinated to another, making up an uninterrupted gradation. E.g.: I've no idea why she said she couldn 't call on us at the time I had suggested.

7. Compound sentence.

The compound sentence is a composite sentence built on the principle of coordination and is derived from two or more base sentences. Coordination, the same as subordination, can be expressed either syndetically (by means of coordinative connectors) or asyndetically.

The main semantic relations between the clauses connected coordinatively are copulative, adversative, disjunctive, causal, consequential, resultative.

The base sentences joined into one compound sentence lose their independent status and become coordinate clauses - parts of a composite unity. The first clause is "leading" (the "leader" clause), the successive clauses are "sequential".

The coordinating connectors, or coordinators, are divided into conjunctions proper and semi-functional clausal connectors of adverbial character. The main coordinating conjunctions, both simple and discontinuous, are: and, but, or, nor, neither, for, either ... or, neither ... nor, etc. The main adverbial coordinators are: then, yet, so, thus, consequently, nevertheless, however, etc.

8. Semi-complex and semi-compound sentences.

The semi-composite sentence is to be defined as a sentence with more than one predicative lines which are expressed in fusion. One of these lines can be identified as the leading or dominant, the others making the semi-predicative expansion of the sentence. The expanding semi-predicative line in the minimal semi-composite sentence is either wholly fused with the dominant (complete) predicative line of the construction, or partially fused with it, being weakened as a result of the fusing derivational transformation.

The semi-composite sentence displays an intermediary syntactic character between the composite sentence and the simple sentence.

The semi-complex sentence is a semi-composite sentence built up on the principle of subordination. It is derived from minimum two base sentences, one matrix and one insert. In the process of semi-complexing, the insert sentence is transformed into a partially depredicated construction which is embedded in one of the syntactic positions of the matrix sentence. In the resulting construction, the matrix sentence becomes its dominant part and the insert sentence, its subordinate semi-clause.

The man stood. + The man was silent. -> The man stood silent.

We saw him. + He approached us. -> We saw him approach us.

The semi-compound sentence is a semi-composite sentences built up on the principle of coordination. It consists of minimum two base sentences having an identical element belonging to one or both of their principal syntactic positions, i.e. either the subject, or the predicate, or both. E.g.:

There was nothing else, only her face in front of me. -» There was nothing else in front of me. + There was only her face in front of me.

The semi-compound sentence of predicate coordination is derived from minimum two base sentences having identical subjects. E.g.:

The soldier was badly wounded. + The soldier stayed in the ranks. -> The soldier was badly wounded, but stayed in the ranks.

9. Sentence in the text

Sentences in continual speech are not used in isolation; they are interconnected both semantically-topically and syntactically.

The primary division of sentence sequences in speech should be based on the communicative direction of their component sentences. From this point of view monologue sequences and dialogue sequences are to be discriminated.

In monologue, sentences connected in a continual sequence are directed from one speaker to his one or several listeners. Thus, the sequence of this type can be characterized as a one-direction sequence.

As different from this, sentences in a dialogue sequence are uttered by the speakers-interlocutors in turn, so that they are directed, as it were, to meet one another; the sequence of this type, then, should be characterized as a two-direction sequence.

Seminar 3.

Theme: Grammar in the system of language. Morphology. Parts of speech.


3. Language and Speech.

4. Linguistic levels.


11. Practical and theoretical grammar.

12. The main features of an analytical language.

13. Morphology and Syntax.

14. Word.

15. Morpheme.

16. Different approaches to the classification of words.

17. Scerba's classification of words.

18. Notional and functional parts of speech.

Recommended Literature:

1. M.Y.Blokh. A Course in the Theoretical English Grammar. - M., 1983,
pp.6-17, 17-28,32-35,37-45.

2. B.Ilyish. The Structure of Modern English. - L., 1971, pp. 5-Ю, 12-13, 22-

26, 27-35.

3. N.M.Rayevska. Modern English Grammar. - K., 1976, pp. 11-36, 60-66, 67-

4.И.П.Иванова, В.В.Бурлакова, Г.Г.Почепцов. Теоретическая граматика английского языка. М., 1981, с. 4-6, 11-14, 14-20.

Exercise 1. State whether it is possible to define the reference of the words to a particular class of words. What properties appear to be helpful in this: \ олил tJJJ*


^ revolt, revolution, revolve, step, stop, order, orderly, ablaze, amaze, amazing, amazement,

amazingly, run, ride, round; мороз, морозний, морозити, заморожений, морозиво.

Exercise 2. State the part-of-speech reference of the underlined words. Define properties which show the belonging of the word to the particular class of words:

- The guest seldom order anything extraordinary. But in case they do, the order is swiftly

transmitted to the chief. - Mike usually appears at seven and calls me for a run. We run almost a mile round the lake.

Exercise 3. Translate the following sentences into Ukrainian. Point out if all parts-of-speech of the original are preserved in the translation:

6. We had a walk round the town.

7. It was late night and Jack was terribly sleepy.

8. The train was an hour late.

9. He sat there silent, afraid to move, hardly alive.

10.The garden was surrounded by a high stonewall.

Exercise 4. Point to the factors facilitating (or otherwise) the identification of the parts-of-speech in the following English and Ukrainian words/ word-forms: ^^' (/^^

clean, cleaner, cleaning; back; bad, badly; worse; force; good, goody, better; home; man; manned; psychology; before; round; save; start, waste.

добре, краще, мати, матір, молода/ молодий, варене/печене, перед, передове, відживаючи, батьків, вчений, край, береги, собі, моя / твоя.

Exercise 5. Synthetical and analytical forms of a word, (Synthetical - affixation, Sound interchange, suppletivety)

Analyse all the synthetical forms you find in the texts given below (define these forms, state in what way they are built up).

They were simple poems, of light and colour, and romance and adventure. "Sea Lyrics^, he called them, and he judged them to be the best work he had yet done.

There were thirty, and he completed them in a month, doing one a day having done his regular day's work of fiction, which day's work was the equivalent to a week's work of the average successful writer. The toil meant nothing to him. (J.London, "Martin Eden")

Date: 2015-01-02; view: 3259

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