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Structural Classification

Structurally, adverbials fall into three types: simple, complex, and clausal. A simple adverbial is expressed by a single word or a non-clausal combination of words. Cf:

I never believed him (J. Parsons).

They talked until three o'clock in the morning (S, Sheldon).

A complex adverbial consists of two components linked by secondary predication, e.g.:

He left the man with his mouth open... (A. Christie).

A clausal adverbial is a finite clause possessing primary predication, e.g.:

If he died, she would die with him (S. Sheldon).

It is only simple adverbials that can be regarded as secondary parts of non-complicated monopredicative syntactic units.

 

THE ATTRIBUTE

Definition of the Attribute

The attribute is a secondary part of the sentence modifying the nominal component of predication or some substantival element in the verbal component of predication. Cf:

The front door bell rang ... (D. Robins).

She bought her new clothes (J. Parsons).

So, it is rather the part of speech nature of the word that makes its attributive modification possible [A.I. Smirnitsky). No wonder that English grammarians study attributive expansion at the word

combination level, not on the sentence level. Having defined secondary parts as those sentence elements that modify part of the predication forming a word combination with it, we think it possible to study attributes at the sentence level, too.

 

Prepositive Attributes

Attributes occur either in preposition or in postposition to the substantival component they modify. According to Ch. Fries and A.I. Smirnitsky, prepositive attributes in Modern English are used more often than postpositive attributes. A close study of four registers has led the authors of the Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English to the conclusion that prepositive and postpositive attributes are about equally common in Modern English.

English resorts to the following language means to express a prepositive attribute.

1. Adjectives, e.g.:

1 visited his delightful cottage (R. Quirk et al.).

2. Participles, e.g.:

Ellen Scott looked at the burning plane (S. Sheldon). / visited his completed cottage (R. Quirk et al.).

3. Gerunds, e.g.:

Hey, Sally, how do you like these running shoes? (J. Richards et al.).

4. Nouns in the genitive case, e.g.:

/ visited his fisherman's cottage (R. Quirk et al.).

5. Nouns in the common case, e.g.:

I visited his country cottage (R. Quirk et al.).

This is a peculiarity of the English language alien to Russian.

6. Adverbs, e.g.:

/ visited his faraway cottage (R. Quirk et al.).

7. Sentences, e.g.:

/ visited his pop-down-for-the-weekend cottage (R. Quirk et al.).

 

Adjectives are by far the most common type of prepositive attributes in all registers. This undoubtedly relates to the fact that they come from many different semantic classes, including colour, size, extent, time, age, frequency, and affective evaluation.



 

Postpositive Attributes

Postpositive attributes are used with one of two main functions - restrictive or non-restrictive modification. Restrictive postpositive attributes serve to identify the intended reference of the head-noun, e.g-:

Richard hit the ball on the car that was going past (D. Biber et al.).

The relative clause that was going past has a restrictive function. It pinpoints the particular car being referred to.

In contrast, the reference of head-nouns with non-restrictive postpositive attributes has either been previously identified or is assumed to be already known. In these cases, the postpositive attribute adds descriptive information, which is not required to identify the head, e.g.:

He looked into her mailbox, which she never locked (D. Biber et al.).

In this example, the particular mailbox is identified by the possessive determiner her; and the non-restrictive relative clause which she never locked is used to provide additional descriptive information.

 

English resorts to the following language means to express a postpositive attribute.

1. Relative finite clauses, e.g.:

He was playing a tune that Rachel recognized (J. Parsons).

2. Prepositional phrases, e.g.:

The man at my side suddenly turned to me (D. Robins).

3. Infinitives, infinitival phrases, and infinitival predicative constructions, e.g.:

/ have no place to go (S. Sheldon).

 

They have orders to shoot me (S. Sheldon).

Leave a message for him to call me, please (S. Sheldon).

4. Participial phrases, e.g.:

/ like the girl sitting on the right (M. Swan). Most of the people invited to the party didn't turn up (M. Swan).

5. Gerundial phrases and gerundial predicative constructions,

e.g.:

I have no intention of arguing (S. Ellin). They tell me there's no chance of their getting married for years (J. Galsworthy).

6. Adverbs, e.g.:

The light outside faded (J. Parsons).

7. Adjectives. Single attributive adjectives are always placed in postposition in combinations of French or Latin origin, when they have the prefix a-, and when the substantival head is expressed by a pronoun. Cf.:

From time immemorial (Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English).

The third person plural, present tense, of the verb 'have' is 'they have' (Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English).

 

Structural Classification of Attributes

Structurally, attributes fall into three types: simple, complex, and clausal. A simple attribute is expressed by a single word or a non-clausal combination of words. Cf:

It was a lovely house (J. Parsons).

What is your address in the country? (O. Wilde).

A complex attribute consists of two components linked by secondary predication, e.g.:

... we must not exclude the possibility of a woman being concerned (A. Christie).

A clausal attribute is a finite clause possessing primary predication, e.g.:

Kathleen described the scene that followed (D. Robins).

It is only simple attributes that can be regarded as secondary parts of non-complicated monopredicative syntactic units.

 


Date: 2015-01-11; view: 1150


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