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PHRASES EQUIVALENT TO PREPOSITIONS AND CONJUNCTIONS
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Under this heading wo will treat such formations as apart from, with reference to, as soon as, so long as, etc., which quite obviously are phrases rather than words, and which quite definitely perform the same function in a sentence as prepositions and conjunctions respectively. The treatment of these units in grammatical theory has been vague and often contradictory. Most usually they are treated as prepositions or conjunctions of a special type, variously described as compound, analytical, etc. This view ignores the basic difference between a word and a phrase and is therefore unacceptable. We will stick to the principle that a phrase (as different from a word) cannot be a part of speech and that phrases should be studied in Syntax. An obstacle to this treatment was the view that a phrase must include at least two notional words (see above, p. 170). As we have rejected this limitation, we can include under phrases any groups, whether consisting of a form word and a notional word, or of two form words, etc. Among phrases equivalent to prepositions we note the pattern "adverb + preposition", represented, for instance, by out of, apart from, down to, as in the sentences, "I love you so," she answered, "but apart from that, you were right." (R. WEST) As the cool of the evening now came on, Lester proposed to Aram to enjoy it without, previous to returning to the parlour. (LYTTON) All within was the same, down to the sea-weed in the blue mug in my bedroom. (DICKENS) The phrases equivalent to prepositions (we may accept the term "prepositional phrases") perform the very functions that are typical of prepositions, and some of them have synonyms among prepositions. Thus, the phrase apart from is a synonym of the preposition besides, the phrase previous to a synonym of the preposition before, etc. Another pattern of prepositional phrases is "preposition + + noun + preposition", e. g. in front of, on behalf of, with reference to, in accordance with, as in the sentences, His friend was seated in front of the fire. (BLACK) Caesar crossed in spite of this. (JEROME K. JEROME) It must be admitted that there may be doubts whether a group of this type has or has not become a prepositional phrase. Special methods can then be used to find this out. For instance, it may prove important whether the noun within such a phrase can or cannot be modified by an adjective, whether it can or cannot be changed into the plural, and so forth. Opinions may differ on whether a given phrase should or should not be included in this group. On the whole, however, the existence of such prepositional phrases is beyond doubt. Other types of phrases ought to be carefully studied in a similar way, for example the phrase of course, which is the equivalent of a modal word, etc. The number of phrases equivalent to conjunctions is rather considerable. Some of the more specialised time relations are expressed by phrases, e. g. as soon as, as long as. Phrases with other meanings also belong here, e. g. in order that, notwithstanding that. These phrases may be conveniently termed "conjunctional phrases", though this term is not so usual as the term "prepositional phrases". There are several patterns of conjunctional phrases. One of them is "adverb + adverb + conjunction" (as soon as, as long as, so long as). The first component of the two former phrases is probably an adverb, though it might also be argued that it is a conjunction. We may say that the distinction between the two is here neutralised. There is also the pattern "preposition + noun + conjunction", as in the phrase in order that, which is used to introduce adverbial clauses of purpose, or in the phrase for fear that, which tends to become a kind of conjunctional phrase introducing a special kind of clause of cause: For fear that his voice might betray more of his feelings, which would embarrass the old lady so involved still with her voyage and getting away to where it would be quiet again, so without such sudden, sick floods of sentiment herself, he simply repeated again how good, good it was to see her... (BUECHNER)1 It would appear that the treatment of such phrases attempted here does better justice both to their structure and function than a treatment which includes them under prepositions and conjunctions proper and thus obliterates the essential difference between words (parts of speech) and phrases (groups of words). In passing now from a study of phrases to that of the sentence we are, it should be remembered, proceeding to a different level of language structure. Notions referring to the phrase level should be carefully kept apart from those referring to the sentence and its members. An indiscriminate use of terms belonging to the two levels (as, for instance, in the familiar expression "subject, verb and object") leads to a hopeless muddle and makes all serious syntactic investigation impossible. It must, however, be pointed out that in some cases distinction between the two levels proves to be a very difficult task indeed. 2 We will try in such cases to point out whatever can be urged in favour of each of the diverging views and to suggest a solution of the problem.
The category of aspect.
Aspect is a grammatically category that expresses the speaker's interpretation of the internal character of theaction in its relation to such features as internal limit, result, duration, iterationetc. These features may find both a grammatical and a lexical expression in languages. The grammatical category of aspect also displays an idioethnic character as different languages may choose different features of action for the basis of the grammatical category of aspect.
The grammatical category of aspect in English has at its basis a different feature of action, that of duration and is constituted on the basis of the opposition of Indefinite and Continuous forms of the verb. This opposition embraces the whole class of English verbs both the finite forms and the forms of the Infinitive.
The formal marker of the Continuous form is the discontinuous morpheme be ----- ing (one of the few morphemes which has no allomorphs). The semantic marker, i.e. the meaning of the Continuous form is limited duration, or process. ,e.g.
1)What are you doing here?
-1 work here (M. Dickens).
The analysis of the difference between the semantics of the opposed forms of the aspect shows that the forms of the Continuous aspect often denote actions which are directly perceived by the speaker (they are perceived in the process of their happening, this is why this meaning is called 'limited duration') whereas the Indefinite forms are used to denote actions /events/states which may not be directly perceived but rather known to the speaker.
The meaning of duration, under the influence of various contextual and pragmatic factors may be modified and presented by a number of syntagmatic meanings, or variants. The most common syntagmatic meanings are:
1) Simultaneity to another action. This meaning is actualized in the structure of a composite sentence or a sequence of sentences, e.g. Ivory was still straining to get behind the cyst, still calm, incisive, unruffled...
2) A temporary character of a state or a quality, e.g. Rennie decided that she -was being silly and possibly neurotic as well (M.Atwood);
3) Intensity. This meaning is usually found with verbs of sense perception, desirability and liking/disliking.
4) Recurrence of action. This meaning is realized with terminative verbs, e.g. All through supper I was lifting up the white tablecloth to look at my feet under the. table (E. O'Brien).
5) Tentativeness, lack of assertiveness. This use of the Continuous form is conditioned by pragmatic factors. The difference between the two phrases / hope that and / am hoping that lies in the degree of assertiveness. In this pragmatic function the Continuous form is often combined with the attitudinal past - both are used to make a statement less assertive and a request more tentative. E.g.
The Continuous forms carry out a specific function in the text. This function is best seen when we compare the use of the Past Indefinite as the main form of the narration with the Past Continuous used in the narration. The forms of the Past Indefinite express a succession of past actions thus carrying out the function of the text progression in the narration and the forms of the Past Continuous, suspend the narration as the writer focuses on details, particulars, descriptions.
This function of the Continuous form can be defined as descriptive. The picture created by the use of the Past Continuous is not static, however, but dynamic, like a picture in a movie
The forms of the Common aspect as the weak member of the opposition have a wide and abstract meaning which is best defined negatively as non-continuous, they may denote repeated actions and single occurrences. Due to the abstract and wide character of their grammatical meaning the Indefinite forms have a greater frequency of use as compared to the Continuous forms .The opposition 'Common Aspect :: Continuous Aspect' is often neutralized and the Common aspect is used in the sphere of the Continuous aspect. It becomes possible when the meaning of duration is expressed by such elements of context as: the durative character of the verb, adverbial phrases, prepositions and conjunctions with durative semantics.
Neutralization does not take place when the verb is used not in its primary, but in its secondary meaning.
Complex Sentences Linguists explain the complex sentences as units of unequal rank, one being categorically dominated by the other. In terms of the positional structure of the sentence it means that by subordination one of the clauses (subordinate) is placed in a dependent position of the other (principal). This latter characteristic has an essential semantic implication clarifying the difference between the two types, of polypredication in question. As a matter of fact, a subordinate clause, however important the information rendered by it might be for the whole communication, presents it as naturally supplementing the information of the principal clause, i.e. as something completely premeditated and prepared even before its explicit expression in the utterance (5), (6), (7).
The Types of Complex Sentences The subordinate clauses are classified according to the two criteria: meaning and combinability. The clauses of a complex sentence form the unity, a simple sentence in which some part is replaced by a clause. The subject clauses are used in the function of a primary part of the sentence. The peculiarity of the subject clause is its inseparability from the principal clause. It is synsemantic; it can't be cut off from the rest of the sentence. What he says is true. The predicative clause fulfills the function of the notional predicate (the function of the predicative). e.g. The thing is what we should do the next. The Adverbial clauses serve to express a variety of adverbial relations: action quality. Mike acted as though nothing had happened. =manner. Everybody should love her as he did. Some more complex sentences: What the newspapers say may be false (subject clause). I don't remember what his name is. (object) He thought that it might well be. (object) The lot that is on the corner needs moving. (attributive) He is a man whom I have always admired. (attributive) When Bill decided to leave, everyone expressed regret. (adverbial clause of time
The compound sentence
The compound sentence is a composite sentence built on the principle of coordination . It can be derived from 2 or more sentences which are connected on the principle of coordination either syndetically or asyndetically.
The main semantic relations between the clauses connected syndetically (coordinatively) are copulative (присоединительный) with the help of the conjunction and, both... and, neither ... nor, not only ... but also, as well as, etc. denoting addition, combination,
adversative (противительный) with the help of coordinators but, yet, still, however, nevertheless, etc.) denoting contradiction,
disjunctive (разделительный) - or, either ... or - denoting separation, choice;
causal (причинный) – as, for, since,
consequental (логически вытекающий) – so, therefore, consequently.
Though for and so are considered coordinating conjunctions, they are in fact intermediate between coordinating and subordinating conjunctions. Like subordinating conjunctions they introduce clauses of cause and result. They are not used in simple sentences. Like coordinating conjunctions they are always placed between the units they connect. The clauses they introduce are more independent than the corresponding clauses introduced by subordinating conjunctions. This is expressed by the intonation and punctuation marks: the for and so clauses are often separated by a semicolon.
Similar semantic types of relations are to be found between independent, separate sentences forming a continual text. E.g. The identity of the attacker is known to the police. However, no name has been released. The government doesn’t intend to cause any further provocation. Thus, all troops have been withdrawn.
This fact has given cause to some scholars, such as Iofik, to deny the existence of the compound sentence as a special kind of the composite sentence. They say it to be a regular form of a composite sentence. They claim that the so called “compound sentence” is a fictitious notion developed under the school influence of written presentation of speech. Some scholars consider that the compound sentence occupies a specific intermediary position in syntax – its place is between a composite sentence and a sequence of independent sentences. But according to M. Blokh, the idea of non-existence of the compound sentence in English should be rejected unconditionally.
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 successive clauses are “sequental”. It’s the sequential clause that includes the connector in its composition. But still the clauses of compound sentences are of equal rank.
The coordinating connectors, or coordinators, are divided into conjunctions proper and semi-functional clausal connectors of adverbial character. The main coordinating conjunctions are: and, but, or, nor, neither, for, either…or etc. The main adverbial coordinators are: then, yet, so, thus, consequently, nevertheless, however etc. The adverbial coordinators can shift their position in the sentence (the exceptions are the connectors “yet, so”). i.e. Mrs. Myers stepped into the room, however the host took no notice of it. - Mrs. Myers stepped into the room, the host, however, took no notice of it
The intensity of cohesion (связь) between the coordinate clause can become loose, and in this case the construction is changed into a cumulative one. i.e. Nobody ever disturbed him while he was at work; it was one of the unwritten laws.
In order to give a specification to the semantics of clausal relations, the coordinative conjunction can be used together with an accompanying functional particle-like or adverb-like word. In particular, the conjunction “but” forms the conjunctive specifying combinations ”but merely, but instead, but also” etc.; the conjunction “or” forms the characteristic coordinative combinations “or else, or rather, or even” (i.e. The workers were not prepared to accept the conditions of the administration, but instead they were considering a mass demonstration). The coordinative specifies combine also with the conjunction ”and”. Among the specifies used here are included the adverbial coordinators “so, yet, consequently” etc. (i.e. The two friends didn’t dispute over the issue afterwards, and yet there seemed a hidden discord growing between them).
It is easily seen that some coordinative connections are correlated semantically with subordinative connections so that a compound sentence can be transformed into a complex one. E.g. There was nothing else to do, so Alice soon began talking again -------------- Alice soon began talking again because there was nothing else to do.
The length of the compound sentence in terms of the number of its clausal parts is in principle unlimited; it’s determined by the informative purpose of the speaker. The most common type of the compound sentence in this respect is a two-clause construction.
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