Main types of syntactic relations.

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Main types of syntactic relations.

The syntactic units can go into three types of syntactic relations:

1. Coordination (согласование) – syntagmatic relations of independence. SR1 can be observed on the phrase, sentence and text levels. Coordination may be symmetric and asymmetric. Symmetric coordination is characterized by complete interchangeability (взаимозаменяемость) of its elements – pens and pencils. Asymmetric coordination occurs when the position of elements is fixed: ladies and gentlemen. Forms of connection within SR1 may be copulative (связующий) (you and me), disjunctive (разделительный союз) (you or me), adversative (противительный союз) (strict but just) and causative-consecutive (причинно-следственные) (sentence and text level only).

2. Subordination (подчинение) (SR2) – syntagmatic relations of dependence. SR2 are established between the constituents (составляющие) of different linguistic rank. They are observed on the phrase and sentence level. Subordination may be of three different kinds – adverbial (to speak slowly), objective (to see a house) and attributive (a beautiful flower). Forms of subordination may also be different – agreement (this book – these books), government (help us), adjournment (the use of modifying particles just, only, even, etc.) and enclosure (the use of modal words and their equivalents really, after all, etc.).


Basic notions of pragmatic linguistics.

Predication (SR3) – syntagmatic relations of interdependence. Predication may be of two kinds – primary (sentence level) and secondary (phrase level). Primary predication is observed between the subject and the predicate of the sentence while secondary predication is observed between non-finite forms of the verb and nominal elements within the sentence. Secondary predication serves the basis for gerundial, infinitive and participial word-groups (predicative complexes).

3. The action performed by producing an utterance will consist of three related acts (a three-fold distinction):

1. locutionary act – producing a meaningful linguistic expression, uttering a sentence. If you have difficulty with actually forming the sounds and words to create a meaningful utterance (because you are a foreigner or tongue-tied) then you might fail to produce a locutionary act: it often happens when we learn a foreign language.

2. illocutionary act – we form an utterance with some kind of function on mind, with a definite communicative intention or illocutionary force. The notion of illocutionary force is basic for pragmatics.

3. perlocutionary act – the effect the utterance has on the hearer. Perlocutionary effect may be verbal or non-verbal. E.g. I’ve bought a car – Great! It’s cold here – and you close the window.


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Transposition and neutralization of morphological forms.

A stylistically indifferent oppositional reduction is called neutralization. Use of the unmarked member does not transgress the expressive conventions of ordinary speech.

Another type of oppositional reduction is calledtransposition. It is defined as contrastive use of the counter-member of the opposition (the strong one, as a rule).


Nominative classification of phrases.

There are several classifications of phrases by different linguists. The traditional classification is based on the part of speech status of the phrase constituents. So, there are “noun+noun”, “adjective+noun”, “verb+noun”, “verb+adverb”, “adverb+adjective”, “adverb+adverb” types of phrases. Phrases are made up not only by notional words but also by functional words, e.g.: “in accordance with”, “due to”, “apart form”, “as soon as” – such phrases function in the sentence like prepositions and conjunctions.

Phrases can also be classified according to the nominative value of their constituents. As a result three major types of phrases are identified: notional (consisting of grammatically connected notional words),formative (made up by notional and functional words – natural for us to expect) and functional, consisting of functional words alone. Notional phrases are subdivided into two groups on the principle of the constituent rank: equipotent phrases (the constituents are of equal rank – young and charming- co-ordinating) and dominational phrases (the syntactic ranks of the constituents are not equal as they refer to one another as the modifier and the modified - subordinating). Dominational phrases can be semi-predicative (a cat walking by himself), objective – bought a house (direct),think of a reason (indirect), qualifying: attributive – famous people, and adverbial – seriously ill, surprisingly intelligent.

Phrases can also be divided according to their function in the sentence into (1) those which perform the function of one or more parts of the sentence, for example, predicate, or predicate and object, or predicate and adverbial modifier, etc., and (2) those which do not perform any such function but whose function is equivalent to that of a preposition, or conjunction (in accordance with, in favour of, in spite of the fact that) and which are, in fact, to all intents and purposes equivalents of those parts of speech. The former of these two classes comprises the overwhelming majority of English phrases, but the latter is no less important from a general point of view.

Glossary of linguistic terms:

1. equipotent - равносильный

2. dominational – с преобладанием одной из частей

3. semi-predicative – полу-предикативный


Classifications of speech acts. Indirect speech acts.

People use language to accomplish certain kinds of acts, broadly known as speech acts, and distinct from physical acts like drinking a glass of water, or mental acts like thinking about drinking a glass of water. Speech acts include asking for a glass of water, promising to drink a glass of water, threatening to drink a glass of water, ordering someone to drink a glass of water, and so on.

Most of these ought really to be called "communicative acts", since speech and even language are not strictly required. Thus someone can ask for a glass of water by pointing to a pitcher and miming the act of drinking.

It's common to divide speech acts into two categories: direct and indirect.

Indirect Speech Acts

Returning to the speech act of questioning, we can easily come up with a number of alternate ways to ask the same question by using sentence types other than interrogative. Let's look again at the interrogative sentence:

(d1) Did Jenny get an A on the test?

A positive answer ("yes") to that question would give the questioner the actual answer she wanted, but now consider (d2)

(d2) Do you know if Jenny got an A on the test?

This is still in the form of a question, but it probably is not an inquiry about what you know. Most of the time, the answer "yes, I do" would be ostentatiously uncooperative. The normal answer we would expect in real life would be "Yes, she did", or "No, she only got a B", or something of the sort. Here the reply is directed to the speech act meaning, not the literal meaning. A simple "yes" answer that responds to the literal meaning would usually be taken for an uncooperative answer in actual social life (for example "Yes, I do") would be heard as "Yes, I do, but I'm not necessarily going to tell you".

Other indirect ways of asking the same question, using the declarative form, are listed in (d3) and (d4).

(d3) I'd like to know if Jenny got an A on the test.

(d4) I wonder whether Jenny got an A on the test.

In the case of the speech act of requesting or ordering, speakers can be even more indirect. As in the case of questions, conventional indirect requests may, taken literally, be questions about the addressee's knowledge or ability. Here is a direct request:

(e1)( Please) close the window.

Conventional indirect requests may be expressed as questions as in (e2) and (e3), or as assertions (e4). In context, (e5) and (e6) may also be immediately understood as a complaints, meant as an indirect request for action.

(e2) Could you close the window?

(e3) Would you mind closing the window?

(e4) I would like you to close the window.


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