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Classification of sentences based on their communicative function

Aspects of the sentence:

- the structural aspect – the form of the sentence, the way words are organized into it

- the semantic aspect – the meaning of the sent.

- the actual aspect – determines which part of the sent conveys the most imp.info

- the pragmatic aspect – the use of the sent.as a unit of communication: a statement, a question, an order, a request, a promise

Types of communication:

declarative, interrogative, imperative (incl.emotional) and exclamatory

Declarative – the subj precedes the verb

Interrogative – aux.v in front of the subj.special w-order, very few modal words – modal w-s expressing full certainty (certainly, surely…) can’t appear in a sent, expressing a question

Semi-interrogative sent-s – “oh, you’ve seen him?”

Imperative – no gram.subj, the v – in the imperative mood; modal words, expressing possibility (perhaps,maybe) are incompatible with orders and requests

The notion of exclamatory sent-s and their relation to the other 3 types presents some difficulty: every sent, whether narrative, interrogative or imperative, may be exclamatory, i.e. it may convey the speaker’s feelings and be characterized by emphatic intonation and by an exclamation mark

Eq. But he can’t do anything to you! What can he possibly do to you! Scarlett, spare me!

Purely exclamatory sentence: “Oh, for God’s sake, Henry!”

The structure of a certain sent.may be used for other communicative purposes than those that are characteristics of the sent-s of this class

eq. Yes/No questions – You will speak to him? – declarative

Rhetorical questions – Is that the reason for despair? (of course not)

Classification of sentences based of their structure.

The structural aspect of the sentence deals with the structural organization of the sentence, it reveals the mechanisms of deriving sentences and structural types of sentences.

According to their structure sentences are classified into simple (monopredicative structures) and composite (polypredicative structures) which are further subdivided into complex (based on subordination) and compound (based on coordination). Clauses within the structure of a composite sentence may be connected with the help of formal markers (conjunctions and connectives: relative pronouns and relative adverbs - syndetically) and without any formal markers -asyndetically. Thus we should differentiate between two structural varieties of composite sentences: syndetic and asyndetic types.

Though the difference between the complex and compound sentences is based on the two different types of semantic relations: subordination and coordination, the borderline between complex and compound sentences is not always hard and fast. Sentences may have formal markers of subordination but the semantic relations between the clauses appear to be more coordinate than subordinate. Thus, the meaning of subordination is largely weakened in attributive continuative clauses introduced by the relative pronoun 'which', e.g. She said 'no' which was exactly what I had expected to hear. The relations between the two clauses are closer to coordinate, as we can replace the subordinate connective ''which' by the coordinate conjunction 'and' without changing essentially the meaning of the sentence. Another example of weakened subordination is observed in sentences introduced by the conjunction 'whereas'. E.g. She was very tall whereas her husband hardly reached her shoulder. The meaning of this formally complex sentence can be rendered by a compound sentence: She was very tall and her husband hardly reached her shoulder.

Besides there are also peripheral types: semicomplex and semicompound sentences which contain structures of secondary predication: infinitival, participial and gerundial constructions, absolute constructions with or without a participle and structures with the so-called double predicate. E.g. There is so much work to be done — There is so much work that has to be done.


Date: 2016-03-03; view: 1151

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