Home Random Page




1. The general characteristic of the complex sentence.

2. Different approaches to the classification of subordinate clauses. The classification of subordinate clauses on the functional basis.

3. Semicomplex sentences. Functional synonymy between subordinate clauses and structures of secondary predication.

4. Secondary semantic functions of the complex sentence.

1. The complex sentence is a polypredicative syntactic structure that includes two ore more clauses with subordinate relations between them. The

principle of subordination which underlies the complex sentence reflects the logical relations of dependence between the events of reality established by the speaker. These relations of dependence include characterization and specification, condition, concession, cause, time and they lie at the basis of different types of subordinate clauses. As a rule, the principal clause presents the main event and the subordinate clauses - the depending events, subordinated to the main one. It should be stressed that the choice is always made by the speaker and is conditioned by his/her communicative intention and his/her own vision and interpretation of events. Therefore two identical events of reality may be presented differently by different speakers and even by one and the same speaker depending on what kind of logical relations they establish between them. E.g. I'll pass my exams. I'll go traveling. We can establish several types of relations between the events presented in the sentences and the resultative complex sentences will be the following: When (after, as soon as) I pass my exams I'll go traveling. If I pass my exams I'll go traveling. Even if I go traveling I will pass my exams. I'll go traveling even if I do not pass my exams.

The statement about the main event usually chosen for the position of the principal clause is not absolute. Thus, in the case of complex sentences with subordinate object clauses and performative verbs (say, state, think, suppose, guess, wonder etc.) in the principal clause the main event is presented by the subordinate object clause (it presents the dictum) while the principal clause contains no information about reality, but presents the speaker's evaluation of the truth of the event or the speaker's attitude to the information presented in the subordinate clause (it presents the modus of the sentence). E.g. I think the change is right. You 'd better check it (G. Greene). I am afraid Jim and Fred could hardly be described as beautiful, even by their loving wives (J. Archer).

The relations of subordination are expressed by the conjunctions and conjunctive words (pronouns and adverbs), asyndetically, by the order of clauses: with the exception of some adverbial clauses the principal clause usually precedes the subordinate one. Subordination also finds manifestation on the morphological level (sequence of tenses and the use of special forms of the mood in certain types of subordinate clauses).

In the process of the language functioning several sentences can be joined together and make complicated structures with several stages of subordination, so a clause may function as a subordinate to a preceding clause and as the principal to a clause that follows. E.g. Barbara grabbed the novel and -was about to head back to the table when she saw that her answering machine was blinking (E, George); The best example of such a 'step' subordination is the famous poem "This is the house that Jack built". As we have already stated, the borderline between coordination and subordination is not very rigid and there are marginal cases. Some composite sentences are characterized by an asymmetry between their formal markers (conjunctions) and the semantic relations between the clauses. E.g. Hate beat in her skull and made a vice of her chest and told her how much she loved him. Which made her hate him all the more (E. George).

The relations of subordination between the principal clause and the parcellated subordinate clause are considerably weakened and are closer to coordination which can be verified by replacing the subordinate conjunction 'which' by the coordinate conjunction 'and' without changing the meaning of the sentence. The borderline between subordination and coordination become especially fuzzy in the case of asyndetic connection of clauses revealing causative-consecutive relations. E.g. Water was easy; Rosinante carried a thirty-gallon tank (J. Steinbeck).'The sentence can be interpreted both ways, as a compound and as a complex one: Water was easy, for Rosinante carried a thirty-gallon tank ('for' is a coordinating conjunction); Water was easy as Rosinante carries a thirty-gallon tank (' as' is a subordinating conjunction)

2. There are several approaches to the classification of clauses in a complex sentence: functional, morphological, formal and semantic. The traditional functional approach proceeds from the basic similarity between the functions of parts of the sentence and the subordinate clauses and classifies the clauses from this angle. The types of sentences are compared to parts of the sentence and the clauses are respectively termed as subject, predicative, object, attributive and adverbial. This classification is most widely accepted. The morphological classification is based on the part of speech to which the subordinating word of the principal clause belongs. Correspondingly, the clauses are called in the part-of-speech terms: noun, of substantive clause (N-clauses), verbal clauses (V-clauses), adjective clauses (A-clauses), adverb-clauses(D-clauses).- As it is justly pointed out by Y. A. Levitsky, the morphological classification does not differ in principle from the functional one, the difference being just terminological, and proceeds from the fact that the term 'parts of the sentence' is not widely used in the American structural linguistics [JleBHijKHH 2003, 326 -327]. The formal classification is based on the type of connection between the principal and subordinate clause. Accordingly scholars divide the complex sentences into conjunctive clauses (introduced by the conjunctions), clauses of indirect question which either preserve the interrogative word of the direct question or (in case of general indirect questions) are introduced by the conjunction 'if, and relative clauses which are introduced by relative pronouns. The main drawback of this classification is that one and the same functional type of clause is referred to different groups. The semantic classification is based on the general character of relations between the parts of a complex sentence. A subordinate clause may be connected either with the whole principal clause or with one part of the principal clause. Accordingly the former type of complex sentence is defined as divided or two-member sentence and the latter as undivided or one-member sentence. Relating this classification to the notion of valency we may see that the divided, or two-member complex sentences are not connected with the valency of the verb, they add to the total semantics of the principal clause, extending the information and relating the event, represented in the principal clause to the other events of reality and establishing different types of dependence between the events. The divided complex sentences include sentences with subordinate clauses of cause, condition, purpose, consequence, time, comparison, concession and some types of attributive clause (namely continuative attributive clauses). The undivided, or one member complex sentences are directly related to the valency of the verb (and the combinability of the noun) and their presence in the structure of the complex sentence is obligated by the rules of valency or combinability. They complete the meaning of the verb or the noun and their deletion from the complex sentence is impossible because it makes the principal clause incomplete either structurally or semantically. E.g. She knew what she was doing now (J. C. Oates); I wonder vaguely what these contradictions mean (C. Thurbon). That's another indication that the Altai was racially European (Idem). He said it in a tone of voice which did not allow contradiction.

The undivided type of complex sentences includes subject clauses, predicative clauses, object clauses, some types of attributive clauses and adverbial clauses of manner which are obligated by the valency of the verb in the principal clause. E.g. She behaved as if he did not know anything about the situation.

Each of these classifications has its strong and weak points and represents different aspects of the complex nature of the complex sentence.

We shall follow the functional approach to the classification of subordinate clauses because it enables us to take into consideration both the formal (the syntactic role of the subordinate clause in the structure of the principal clause) and the semantic properties (the semantic relations between the principal and the subordinate clauses). The main argument for treating subordinate clauses as functional synonyms of parts of the sentence is the fact that both can be used side by side as homogeneous parts of the sentence. E.g. In fact he usually raved about his visits and how much fun he had (N. Sparks}. At the same time we shall take into consideration that the subordinate clause, being a syntactic synonym to a part of the sentence, is at the same time a qualitatively new syntactic unit which has its own characteristics.

Subject and predicative clauses. These two types of subordinate clauses are essentially different from the other types: they are indispensable for the structure of the principal clause and the principal clause serves in fact not as a subordinating but as a matrix sentence into which the subordinate clauses are inserted. So they are always obligatory in the structure of the complex sentence and their deletion results in complete destruction of the whole sentence.

A subject clause may contain either a question or a statement. In the former case it is introduced by the conjunction that, in the latter - by the same words as interrogative object clauses. E.g. That I had no business with two women on my hands already, to go falling in love with a third troubled me comparatively little (I. Murdoch); What I want is to be paid for what I do (J. London).

However, the structures with the initial 'that' are less common than the sentences with the introductory 'it' and with the subject 'that' clause in the final position. E.g. It is simple enough to say that books have classes-fiction, biography, poetry (V. Woolf).It suddenly sprang to James's mind that he ought to go and see for himself (J. Galsworthy). The pronoun 'it' functions as a formal, introductory subject, whereas the real subject is the subordinate clause.

Predicative clauses occupy the predicative position in the structure of the nominal predicate after the link verb. They are introduced by the same words as subject clauses. E.g. That was what I came to find out (J. London). The trouble with you, Martin, is that you are always looking for a master (I. Murdoch). Predicative clauses may also be introduced by the conjunctions 'as' and 'as if. E.g. It's as you say. This thing happens to everyone else (G. Greene). He felt as if the ocean had separated him from his past care and welcomed the new era of life which was dawning for him (W. Thackeray). There are complex sentences which consist of a subject and a predicative clause with a link verb in between them. E.g. And what is puzzling me is why they want me now (J. London); What I want to know is when you're going to get married (Idem). In fact the subject and the predicative clauses are interchangeable and their position in the structure of the complex sentence is conditioned by the needs of the actual division: the theme is presented by the subject clause and the rheme - by the predicative clause. When the subject of the principal clause is expressed by an abstract noun with a general semantics the predicative clause has an appositive meaning: it specifies the meaning of the abstract noun. E.g. Her fear was lest they should stay for tea (Ch. Bronte);

Predicative clauses may have a mixed, or overlapping meaning. In some cases there is a clear suggestion of temporal semantics, in others there is an additional comparative meaning. E.g; There had been a time when I thought none of their voices sang like Phuong's (G.Greene}:, ... it was really as if he had emerged from a savage and unaccountable country (G. Greene). These meanings are introduced by the semantics of the conjunctions and also by the semantics of the sentence constituents. Predicative clauses introduced by the conjunctions 'as if, 'as though' look very similar to adverbial clauses of comparison and can be differentiated with the help of syntactic analysis of the type of predicates. E.g. She looked as if she were ready to faint. She looked at me as if she wanted to ask something. In the first sentence the clause is predicative, because it follows the link verb 'look' and occupies the position of the predicative; in the second sentence the clause is adverbial because the verb look in the principal clause functions as a notional verb and its semantics is extended by an adverbial characteristic.

Object clauses. Subordinate clauses of this type occupy the object position in the structure of the principal clause, so they are connected with the verb in the principal clause and their use is related to the valency of the principal clause. In accordance with the valency of this verb object clauses may have an obligatory or an optional character in the structure of the complex sentence. E.g. With half an eye Soapy saw that the policeman was watching him fixedly (O. Henry) - the object clause is obligatory as the verb 'see' requires a direct object; He was excited by what he heard (E. Caldwell) - the object clause is optional. Object clauses are related to all types of objects: direct and indirect, non-prepositional and prepositional. E.g. To optimize his appearance, he spent four hours in the sun, hoping a tan would make his face look a little less like the surface of the moon (E. Segal) - the object clause follows a direct non-prepositional object; He was not listening to what was being said ( J.C. Oates) - the object clause follows a prepositional direct object; Please, send this letter to whoever it may concern - the clause follows a prepositional indirect object. When the object clause is related to a non-prepositional direct object, it is usually introduced by the conjunction 'that' which is often deleted. After the verb 'wonder' and 'doubt' the object clause is introduced by the conjunction 'if. E.g. I was wondering if something had happened to you (E. Segal). An object clause may also follow a 'dummy', or a formal object in the principal clause expressed by the pronoun 'it', E.g. / hate it when I am interrupted.

The object clause generally follows the principal clause, but occasionally it may precede the principal clause, which is necessitated by the needs of the actual division. E.g. About what was to come he reflected not at all (I. Murdoch). What he would do next he did not know (J. London).

Complex sentences with subordinate object clauses are characterized by specific semantic relations between the principal and the subordinate clause. On the one hand in this type of clauses we may observe the manifestation of subordination on the morphological level of the sentence. It concerns the rule of the sequence of tenses which is relevant only for this type of clauses. The choice of the mood form in the subordinate object clauses is also often subordinated to the predicate in the principal clause: Subjunctive II after the verb 'wish' in the principal clause, Suppositional or Subjunctive I after the verbs 'suggest', 'demand', 'propose'.E.g. I wish you got on with your work instead of interrupting me all the time (S. Maugham); I suggest that he should go home for a while (S. Maugham).

But from the aspect of semantics and, respectively, the information about the event presented in the clauses we see that in many cases the main event is presented in the subordinate object clause whereas the principal clause specifies the kind of speech or mental act and renders the speaker's /the subject's modal or emotional evaluation of the information presented in the object clause. The predicate in the principal clause is expressed by performative verbs denoting speech and mental acts, by verbs of sense perception, by verbs of liking and disliking, by verbs and verbal phrases naming emotional states and attitudes (be astonished, surprised etc). All these verbs describe not the events of the outside world, but the perceptual, emotional and cognitive activity of people which takes place in the process of their interaction with the world. In other words, in a complex sentence with an object clause the principal clause forms the modus whereas the object clause forms the dictum. Of course this differentiation is not very strict and very often the modus may become the dictum and vice versa. E.g. "Back from the holidays, I suppose ? " "You suppose quite correctly" (S. Maugham}. Besides in certain communicative situations the modus may become communicatively more important than the dictum, as in the following example: I don't think I am right, I know I am right. In this sentence the dictum is repeated and the rheme is presented in the modus

Attributive clauses. They are the clauses which occupy the position of an attribute in the structure of the complex sentence. Attributive clauses are sometimes called relative [Paic 2000, 746-748] because they are connected with the principal clause with the help of relative pronouns and adverbs. Sometimes the conjunctive elements 'that', 'who' and 'which' may be deleted. E.g. This is the school I went to; He was suddenly reminded of the crumpled money he had snatched from the table and burned in the sink (E. Caldwell). The function of this type of clauses is specification or qualification of the antecedent (headword) in the principal clause. Attributive clauses usually have an optional character in the structure of the complex sentence and may be eliminated without destroying the sentence but just reducing its informative value. But sometimes they become obligatory from the semantic point of view. It occurs in the cases when the principal and the subordinate clause contain words whose semantics duplicates each other wholly or partially. This fact necessitates the presence of the attributive clause otherwise the sentence would be semantically empty, or incomplete. E.g. Greta regarded him with a look on her face that was unrevealing of her thoughts (E. Caldwell). An attributive clause is also obligatory if the antecedent is an indefinite pronoun whose meaning is too wide. E.g. He hadn 't done anything this evening that could be interpreted as being more than casually interested (N. Sparks}. The elimination of the attributive clause from this sentence would change its meaning completely. Compare: He hadn't done anything this evening...

Like attributes, attributive clauses can be of two types: limiting (restricting) and descriptive. The function of a restrictive clause is to single out the referent of the antecedent in the given situation. E.g. She looked to him much the same child that he had met six years ago (I. Murdoch). At last she was hooked and began to feel the high that running brings (E. SegaT). The function of a descriptive (nonrestrictive) clause is to characterize the antecedent, to supply additional information about it. E.g. Such light as there was from the little lamp fell now on his face which looked terrible -for it was all covered with blood (J. Priestley); I shook out my scarf which was damp and soggy (I. Murdoch). Descriptive clauses can therefore be easily deleted from the sentence without distorting the information, restrictive clauses cannot be deleted. E.g. She advanced to be greeted at once by button-faced Miss Pym, whose- hands were always bright red (V. Woolf). — She advanced to be greeted at once by buttonfaced Miss Pym; Often those for whom we feel most affection are the greatest criminals... (V. Woolf) — *Often those are the greatest criminals...

Close to restrictive are appositive clauses whose antecedents are nouns of abstract semantics, such as thing, matter, fact, idea, question etc. The function of such clauses is to specify the meaning of the antecedent, they supply the context which makes the wide and abstract meaning of the such nouns more narrow and specific. E.g. The fact that she was so widely educated was a great relief (E. Segal); As they drew closer, he had the uncanny feeling that she was smiling at him (Idem).

The fact that restrictive and appositive clauses are connected with the principal clause more closely than descriptive clauses is supported by punctuation. Descriptive clauses are often (though not always) are separated from the principal clause by commas whereas restrictive and appositive clauses are never separated.

Among attributive clauses there exists one more type of clauses called continuative attributive clauses. The specificity of this type is conditioned by the fact that the antecedent of such clauses is not a substantive word in the principal clause, but the whole contents of the principal clause. So the clause does not specify or qualify the antecedent but rather continues the chain of events (thus the term 'continuative'). Such clauses are always introduced by the conjunctive pronoun 'which' and it is never deleted. E.g / believe he was waiting for me to lose my temper, which -would have satisfied him (I.Shaw). As the clause does not specify the antecedent, but rather continues the chain of events, the meaning of subordination in complex sentences with continuative clauses is considerably weakened and they are characterized by an asymmetry of their formal and semantic properties. According to the formal marker (the subordinating conjunctive pronoun 'which') they should be referred to complex sentences, but semantically they are closer to compound sentences because the semantic relations between the clauses are not subordination, but coordination and the conjunctive pronoun 'which' is easily replaceable by the coordinative 'and' without changing the meaning of the sentence. E.g. The outside was finished, which is why Chris was able to get the mooring in the first place (E. George) ••— The outside was finished and that is why Chris was able to get the mooring in the first place.

Because of a very loose connection between the clauses the continuative clause is often parcellated. E.g. "/'// be fine, " she says. Which is not what she believes (M. Atwood); Hate beat in her skull and made a vice of her chest and told her how much she still loved him. Which made her hate him all the more. Which made her wish he could only die again and again right into eternity (E. George).

Overlapping semantic relations between attributive and other types of clauses are observed in the cases when the antecedents are presented by nouns of mixed categorial semantics (nouns of time, place, manner, reason, purpose etc.) .The nm

conjunctive adverbs when, where, how, why are often deleted and the nouns take upon themselves the conjunctive function. As a result such attributive clauses become semantically very close to corresponding adverbial clauses. E.g. The moment Sandy gave his name, the head waiter replied with unctuous deference. The meaning of this attributive clause is very close to an adverbial clause of time. E.g. When (as soon as) Sandy gave his name. In clauses introduced by the conjunctive adverb ''where'' the attributive meaning overlaps with adverbial. E.g. Then she came to New York where she remained two years (Th. Dreiser).

Adverbial clauses. These are the clauses which occupy positions of different types of adverbial modifiers in the structure of the complex sentence. In accordance with the valency of the verb in the principal clause they may have an obligatory or an optional character. E.g. Why do you treat me as if I were a baby? -the clause is obligatory; I shall do it no matter what you may think of me - the clause is optional. Adverbial clauses cover a wide range of relations of dependence between the events of reality and are classified according to the type of relations they express. The type of relations is exemplified by the conjunctions and conjunctive adverbs, subordinate clauses may also be introduced asyndetically, e.g. Should you see him, tell him to wait for me. In spite of the great variety of meanings covered by adverbial clauses we may point out four main groups of clauses: 1) clauses which give the outer characteristic of the action. Here belong clauses of time and place; 2) clauses which express the inner characteristic of the action. This group has only one type -clauses of manner of action. 3) clauses which express a correlation of actions: comparison, attending circumstances, exception; 4) clauses which express the interdependence of actions: clauses of condition, purpose, cause, consequence (result) and concession.

The position of the adverbial clause in the structure of a complex sentence, like that of the adverbial modifier is less fixed as compared to the other types of clauses. Yet the degree of mobility is different for different types of clauses which is related to their semantics. The clauses which express circumstances necessary for the realization of the action, i.e. clauses of condition, cause and concession generally precede the principal clause (unless they present the rheme of the utterance), whereas clauses of purpose, consequence and manner of action usually follow the principal clause. It must be admitted that due to a wide range of meanings and different degree of frequency of use there is yet no unified classification of adverbial clauses and the number of types of clauses differs in different theoretical grammar books. Let's analyze the most widely recognized types.

Clauses expressing the outer characteristics of the action. There are two types of clauses in this group: clauses of time and place. They are close semantically because they locate the event in either time or space and the two concepts - time and space constitute an integral whole, called chronotope by M.M. Bakhtin. Clauses of time cover a wide range of meanings. Temporal relations between the action of the principal clause and that of the subordinate clause are various: the subordinate clause may indicate a point of time at which the action in the principal clause took place , or a period of time during which the action of the principal clause lasted, the two actions may be simultaneous, one may precede or follow the other, one may last until the other begins. The variety of temporal relations is exemplified by conjunctions (when, while, as soon as, since, after, before, till, until, no sooner...than, hardly(scarcely) ..when, once) and also by the tense-aspect forms of the predicates in the clauses. E.g. When he'd heard that, Michael's faith in things working out all right had died another small death (R. J. Waller); As they were leaving the lecture hall, one of Isabel's classmates called out (E. Segal); Once they got to Provincetown, they spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon in a variety of shops. Theresa bought three new outfits and a new swimsuit before Deanna dragged her into a place called Nightingales, lingerie shop (N. Sparks). I think I was lucky to have known them when I did, before darkness began to fall from the air (L. Lee)

A clause of time may either precede or follow the principal clause depending on which of the two actions the speaker puts into his/her communicative focus. E.g. Calvin was five when his mother left (F. Forsyth) In this sentence the communicative focus is placed on the fact that the mother leaves the family and therefore the subordinate clause follows the principal one.

In different contextual. conditions temporal clauses may acquire additional meanings of condition, cause and contrast. E.g. When the pinch comes you remember the old shoe. She was silent while her friend was very talkative. As he was preoccupied with his thoughts he did not hear his name called

Clauses of place are introduced by the conjunctive adverb 'where' which often combines with prepositions to specify the location and the direction of action: 'from where', 'to where'). E.g. Let's begin from where we left off. She came back from wherever she 'd been and turned to set her glass on the kitchen table (R. J. Waller). The lights in the Mouse's skin were bronze where the sun had caught it (J. Fowles).

In the cases when a clause introduced by 'where' follows not the verb directly, but the adverbial modifier expressed by a noun the clause that follows combines both an attributive and an adverbial meaning. E.g. He spent half the week in Cambridge, where he lodged with his sister and lent his ear to neurotic undergraduates, and the other half in London, where he seemed to have a formidable number of well-known patients

Adverbial clauses of manner express the inner characteristic of the action. They are used rather rarely as this meaning is most regularly expressed by adverbs of manner and their functional synonyms, and also inherently, by an adverbial semantic component in the verbal lexeme. E.g. Barbara looked at him shrewdly (E. George); He peered into the window (Idem). Adverbial clauses of manner are introduced by the conjunction 'as'. E.g. Mr Tupman did as he was requested (Ch. Dickens).

Clauses of manner of action are very close in their meanings to clauses of comparison and some authors treat them together [Blokh 1983, 323-324], which is quite reasonable because both manner and comparison give a qualitative characteristic of the action presented in the principal clause. The difference lies in the fact that in the case of comparison one action is necessarily correlated with another, real or unreal. In the former case the clause is introduced by the conjunctions 'as', 'than' E.g. Life dominates Tolstoy as the soul dominates Dostoevsky (V. Wool/); He moved almost briskly, smaller and trimmer than David had visualized him from the photograph (J. Fowles)), in the latter case the clause is introduced by the conjunctions 'as if, 'as though' which require the use of Subjunctive II in it. She hesitated a moment, as if she knew she was being too cool and sibylline (J. Fowles}.

The meaning of comparison may combine with that of juxtaposition and in this case two conjunctions are used: 'but' and 'as if. E.g. The Mouse sat in white elegance and listened, but as if her mind were somewhere else (J. Fowles). In the American English the clauses of comparison are more often introduced by the conjunction 'like'. E.g. "You're acting like this was the Caine Mutiny court-martial" (E. Segal)

Clauses of attending circumstances are introduced by the conjunctions 'as', 'while' and 'whereas'. The use of the same conjunctions brings them very closely to the clauses of time which are introduced by the same conjunctions. As it is pointed out by M.Y. Blokh, the difference lies in the fact that in a temporal clause the accent is made on the temporal characteristic of relations, i.e. simultaneity of events, whereas in the case of attendant circumstances the adverbial clause is presented as a kind of background event accompanying, parallel to the event presented by the principal clause [Blokh 1983, 326]. E.g. Women with perambulators were parading in the green walks, and down long wistas of trees children bowled hoops while dogs ran barking between them (I. Murdoch). For this reason some linguists do not differentiate this type of adverbial clauses at all but consider attendant circumstances as the secondary meaning of temporal clauses. As we have already pointed out, the relations of subordination in such clauses are considerably weakened and complex sentences with these clauses are very close in meaning to compound sentences.

Adverbial clauses of exception, like this type of adverbial modifier in general, are also rather rare. They are always introduced by the conjunction 'except (that) '. E.g. She seemed to pay no heed to his words except that her lips quivered slightly (V. Woolf). She would have cared except she didn't know what to care about (M. Atwood). As it can be seen from the semantic interpretation of these sentences they are semantically rather close in meaning to compound sentences with adversative relations between the clauses'. Compare: She would have cared but she didn 't know what to care about.

The adverbial clauses which express the interdependence of actions include clauses of condition, concession,. purpose, cause and consequence. Clauses of condition are introduced by the conjunctions and conjunctive phrases if, unless, once, in case, provided, supposing (to express problematic condition). The action serving as a condition for another action may be presented as real, problematic and unreal, which determines the mood form of the predicate in the clause: the Indicative Mood for the real condition, the Suppositional and Subjunctive I for the problematic condition and Subjunctive II for the unreal condition. E.g. If there's anything incorrigible about the faculty, it's Michael. Jelly held out her hand, and he took it. " What makes you incorrigible, Dr Tillman?" "Just Michael, if it's okay with you. I don't like titles " (R.J. Waller); If he should return here, send him to us at once (J. Priestly). If I had bought the pictures I would be a rich woman now (S. Maugham).

In certain contexts clauses of real condition may express additional meanings, such as doubt and contrast. As a result we have clauses of mixed semantics. E.g. If he was here, why didn 't he. call me? (I doubt if he really was here); If the Mouse was odd, this creature was preposterous (J. Fowles).

Clauses of purpose are introduced by the conjunctions '(so) that', 'in order that' . They usually follow the principal clause which reflects the natural order of events. Since the action of the adverbial clause presents not a real fact but rather a potential one, clauses of purpose often contain a modal verb in their structure to render this meaning of potentiality. E.g. "I sit alone that I may eat more " (K. Mansfield); Gladys leaned forward and then turned her head so that she could look Penderel almost squarely in the face (J. Priestley).

Clauses of cause are introduced by the conjunctions 'because', 'as' and 'since'. 'Because' is used only in causal clauses whereas 'as' and 'since' are originally temporal conjunctions but they are regularly used in clauses of cause. Usually the context is a sufficient clue to differentiate the kind of clause introduced by 'as' and 'since' E.g. Deanna reached across the table and picked up the letter again. As she perused it her eyebrows raised, but she said nothing (N. Sparks) -time; Since she ran daily, she was fit and didn't look as old as she was (N. Sparks) -cause. There are also cases when the clauses introduces by 'as' and 'since' express both temporal and causal meanings which shows the proximity of the concepts of time and cause and the possibility of their integration which finds its manifestation in the mixed adverbial semantics of the clauses. E.g. As I didn't reply she sighed and turned away to pull the curtains across the darkened windows (I. Murdoch).

An adverbial clause of cause can occupy the position before and after the principal clause which is largely dictated by the needs of actual division of the whole sentence. As we know causal relations are also expressed by clauses introduced by the conjunction 'for'. Composite sentences with this conjunction are on the borderline between subordination and coordination. However, there seems to be a considerable difference in the semantic relations between the clauses introduced by these conjunctions. 'Because' signalizes a closer interdependence between the events. The clause introduced by ^because' presents the action as the cause of the event expressed in the principal clause whereas 'for' presents the event as an additional thought added on-to the previous statement [ Ilyishl971, 292-293]. E.g. Some color returned to Penrose 's face, perhaps because he finally felt there was something he could do (E. Segal). We gave him a hearty welcome; for there was nearly half as much of the entertaining as of the contemptible about the man, and we had not seen him for several years (E.A. Poe). Only 'because' clauses are used in an answer to a '"why' question. E.g. "Your brother is a dreamer. It could never •work'. Melina looked at him in surprise. "Why not?" "Because it' a hair-brained scheme. " (S. Sheldon). Just because of a more loose connection between the events clauses with 'for' are more frequently separated from the other clause and form separate sentences.

Clauses of consequence (result) are characterized by a high degree of interdependence with the principal clause: the principal clause presents an event and the subordinate clause presents another event which is the direct consequence, or the result of the first event and therefore the subordinate and the principal clause are hardly ever separated. The subordinate clause is usually placed after the principal clause which reflects the natural order of events. There are, however, occasional cases when the subordinate clause of result precedes the principal clause which is done for the sake of emphasis. E.g. She could hardly hear his voice, so deafening and continuous was the clatter of the waves upon the stones (I. Murdoch). A subordinate clause of consequence is usually connected to the principal clause with the help of the conjunction 'that' which is correlated with the functional words 'such' and 'so' in the principal clause. E.g. And the idea that came into his head was so diabolically simple that he almost laughed aloud (S. Sheldon) His voice was so small and his Russian so forgotten that he was hard to understand (C. Thurbon). The conjunction 'that' is sometimes omitted. E.g. Dozens of eyes scanned the audience and discovered the famous prodigy. So enthusiastic were they to see her in the flesh, they did not even wait for the ceremony to conclude (E. Segal).

The clauses of concession name an event which is presented as an obstacle for fulfilling an action but in spite of which the action was fulfilled. This type of subordinate clause is represented by several structural patterns. The first type of clause is introduced by the conjunctions 'though' and 'although' and the conjunctive phrase no matter how (who, where). E.g. Though the beach wasn 't crowded, more than a dozen people went past the house in the short time he was gone (N. Sparks). These sentences express the meaning of concession most clearly.

Another type of concessive clause contains an inverted word order: Busy as he was he usually found time to talk to me. Or: Try as we did we could not talk him out of his decision. The meaning of concession in such sentences appears on the basis of contrasting the information presented in the clauses: was busy -found time; tried to talk him out of the decision - could not talk him out of it.

Concessive meaning is also expressed in clauses introduced by the connectors with the final element -ever: whatever, whoever, whenever etc. In such cases the meaning of concession overlaps with the meaning of condition, very often hypothetical condition. The hypothetical meaning is supported by modal verbs which are frequently used in such sentences. E.g. Whoever may call, I am not available today(J. Archer).

As we can see from a brief analysis, in the sphere of subordinate clauses there are many cases of mixed categorial semantics, in which we can observe the interaction of different meanings. So it seems possible to apply to the sphere of syntactic semantics what A.V. Bondarko says about grammatical categories: grammatical meanings free from categorial interaction are nonexistent [EoHflapKO 1996,3].

3. A semicomplex sentence is a sentence with two predicative lines, primary and secondary with the subordinate relations between them.Like a complex sentence a semicomplex sentence is composed of two or more simple sentences, but whereas in a complex sentence its components are presented by primary predicative lines, in the process of composing a semicomplex sentence one of the clauses (designed for the role of a subordinate clause) undergoes the process of partial nominalization, i.e. it is transformed into an infinitival, participial or a gerundial construction (according to the role assigned to it in the structure of the principal clause) which is then embedded into the assigned syntactic position in the principal clause. E.g. We saw him. He was crossing the street. — We saw him crossing the street. One is wise after the event. It's easy. — It's easy to be wise after the event. The composition of the infinitival, gerundial and participial constructions is conditioned by the fact whether the subjects of the two base sentences are identical or different. If the subjects are identical (or if the subjects denote general persons: people, one, no one etc.), they are not represented in the non-finite verb constructions, if they are not identical, they are represented by the for +Noun construction with the Infinitive, by the possessive or personal pronoun in the Objective case before the Gerund and are placed before the Participle forming the Absolute Participial construction. E.g. We waited. The film was to begin — We waited for the film to begin. He was late. It mixed up our plans. - His being late mixed up our plans. It was warm. We slept outside — It being warm, we slept outside.

The semicomplex sentences can be classified into several subtypes in accordance with their derivational history. The main transformational operations underlying them, as pointed out by M.Y. Blokh are position-sharing and linear expansion (For more detailed analysis see: [Blokh 1983, 342-351]). E.g. They were heard. They were singing — They were heard singing - position sharing; He was writing a book. He was reading a lot about the country. While writing a book, he read a lot about the country - linear expansion.

Semicomplex sentences are widely used in all functional styles and their frequent use is one of the essential features of the grammatical structure of the English language. Some of such structures seem to be rather unique and do not have parallels in other languages. For example, Complex object and Absolute Participial constructions are translated into Russian only with the help of a clause. Their existence and their study are important because they manifest two very important principles of the language system. The first is the principle of economy. As compared to the corresponding complex sentences, semicomplex sentences appear to be more economical than complex sentences. Due to their frequent use the English language, according to the observations made by R. Lees, is 25% more economical than German. The second principle, formulated by the representatives of functional grammar, is the principle of iconism which claims that a formal distance between language units manifests a conceptual distance [Haiman 1983]. In view of this principle we may conclude that a closer syntactic fusion between the components of a semicomplex sentence manifests a closer connection between the events of reality that the speaker establishes in the process of speech production. As the structures with the non-finite forms of the verb and the corresponding subordinate clauses name the same situations of reality, have a common signification, a common syntactic function in the structure of the complex sentence and differ in vthe form of its representation they form-the relations of syntactic, or functional synonymy (for more detail about the criteria of syntactic synonymy see: [Bjiacosa 1982, 115-116; CopoKHHa 1995, 10-23]). For each type of a subordinate clause there is a functional synonym expressed by an infinitival, participial, or a gerundial construction, and in the case of a complete nominalization, by a noun phrase. E.g. She spoke as if she were dreaming — She spoke as if dreaming — She spoke as if in a dream.

As a result speakers of English always have at their disposal several syntactic means of presenting the events, and depending on their communicative intentions, on the functional style and other factors the speakers/writers choose one or another functional synonym. Though the subordinate clauses and their functional synonyms (infinitival, gerundial and participial constructions) are theoretically mutually transformable, in real discourse such transformations are hardly ever possible because of various structural, semantic and communicative factors. Let's consider a few factors. Thus, if the subjects or objects are identical a semicomplex sentence is often preferable to a complex sentence. E.g. He stood in front of the jury box, scratching his head as though trying to figure out what he was going to say (S. Sheldon). After causative verbs only a complex object with a not-finite form of the verb is used. E.g. It set me thinking; I'll have him apologize. The for-to-Inf. structures and Absolute Participial constructions are more characteristic of the scientific style, probably because of their complexity, while in colloquial speech clauses are fnore frequent. E.g.The typical pattern is for the singular to be unmarked, with plural explicitly indicated through affixation or some other morphological device (R. Langacker); I shouted so that they could hear me.

We have mentioned just a few facts but even they are sufficient to conclude that, like everywhere in synonymy, in the sphere of functional synonymy there are no absolute synonyms and the choice of the synonym is conditioned by various structural, semantic and pragmatic factors.

4. The complex sentence displays its secondary semantic functions in the cases when the relations between the principal and the subordinate clauses are not based on subordination. It occurs in several cases:

1) in the case of the so-called reverse subordination, when the main event is presented in the subordinate clause, and the subordinated event - in the principal, the principal and the subordinate clauses exchange their roles. E.g. / was thinking about the loss in cash when Cris crossed the road in my direction (E. George). Here the narrator, who is now an invalid and whose life depends on Chris, deliberately places the main event - the young man's first appearance in her life into th< position of the subordinate clause as if trying to prove to herself the unimportance o their meeting. Jimmy was the troublemaker the police had told her (E. George), li this sentence the clauses are positionally reversed and the subordinate object claus< is fronted which makes it topically prominent. The mother is trying to analyze he son's behaviour, to analyze the past and see what mistake she might have made it her son's upbringing that led him to becoming a trouble maker. It's her son': reputation that she is worried about and not the source of this information;

2) in the cases when, the meaning of subordination is weakened and come: close to coordination. We have discussed such cases already, so let's just havt another example. E.g. He was always the winner which soon made him a favourite of the mobsters (S. Sheldon);

3) in the case of the so-called pseudo-complex sentences with the emphatic 'it', when the necessity to make the rhematic component of the utterance results ir the use of an emphatic structure, e.g. It was the look on her face that startled me (L Lee). Often it is the pleasure that is uppermost (V. Woolf. Such sentences are comple> in structure but simple in their semantics as they denote one event of reality and foi this reason they are considered to be pseudo-complex;

4) in -the case of the principal (or subordinate) clause losing its full semantic value and functioning as a parenthetical element or a 'hesitation filler'. It concerns such clauses as 'if I may say so', 'if we may put it this way1 and especially the overused 'you know' which is often used just to fill in a pause e.g. "Y'know then are some people I have to be verbally aggressive with. "Y'know they might get to gc to Europe? "(D. Tannen).

In real, especially written discourse the compound and complex, the semicompound and semicomplex sentences combine in various ways often making long periods which form a transitional zone between a sentence and largest the syntactic unit — the text. E.g. The simple story of a bank clerk who could not pay for a bottle of wine spreads, before we know what is happening, into the lives of his father-in-law and the five mistresses whom his father-in-law treated abominably, and the postman's life, and the chairwoman's, and the Princesses' who lodged in the same block, of flats; for nothing is outside Dostoevsky 's province; and when he is tired, he does not stop, he goes on (V. Woolf).


Date: 2015-01-12; view: 3880

<== previous page | next page ==>
doclecture.net - lectures - 2014-2024 year. Copyright infringement or personal data (0.014 sec.)