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Composite Sentence. Sentence in the Text

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1. General characteristics of the composite sentence.

2. Compound sentence.

3. Complex sentence. Principles of classification.

4. Units larger than a sentence. Means of sentence connection.

I. A simple sentence contains one predication. It is monopredicative. A composite sentence is polypredicative. It contains two or more predications, or clauses. Structiu-ally a clause may not differ from a sentence, and in many cases clauses can be turned into sentences. Functionally they differ essentially: a sentence is an independent utterance, a clause is part of the smallest utterance.

Clauses in a composite sentence are joined by coordination or subordination. Coordinate clauses are equal in rank. A subordinate clause usually serves as an adjunct to some head-word in the principle clause. There are also structures with coordination and subordination.

Besides simple and composite sentences there are structures which are called semi-composite (осложненные). Here belong sentences with homogeneous subjects or predicates (semi-compound) and sentences with secondary predications (semi-complex).

Thus, syntactic positions in a sentence may be filled in:

1) by words or phrases (simple sentence)

It is necessary to do it.

2) be secondary predications (semi-composite sentence)

It is necessary for him to do it.

3) by clauses (complex sentence)

It is necessary that he should do it.

Clauses may be connected by special connective words (syndetically) or without them (asyndetically). Connectives may be subdivided into two main groups: -conjunctions and conjunctive pronouns and adverbs (sometimes particles). Conjunctions perform the connective function only. Conjunctive words, belonging to other parts of speech, are notional constituents of clauses: I wonder who told you about it. (Who connects clauses and it is the subject of the subordinate clause).

The distinction between coordination and subordination may be very vague, especially in asyndetic sentences:

You are an architect, you ought to know all about it. There is a view that coordination and subordination are clearly distinguished only in syndetic sentences and asyndetic sentences cannot be divided into compound and complex. Compare the two approaches: 1. Composite Sentence

Complex Compound Complex

The second point of view can hardly be accepted. Compare: (1) I know that he is here. (2) I know he is here..

But there are structures, both syndetic and asyndetic, admitting of different interpretations.

A coordinating conjunction may express relations typical of subordination:

You must interfere, for they are getting angry.

Compound sentences-

Synd. Asynd. Synd. Asynd.

II. Composite Sentence

Syndetic Asyndetic

A subordinating conjunction may express relations of coordination:

His sense of responsibility is extreme, while you have practically none.

2. Coordinate clauses are units of equivalent syntactic status. Each of them has the force of an independent statement (proposition).

Main types of semantic relations between coordinate clauses (copulative, adversative, disjunctive, causative, consecutive) can be also found between simple sentences. This has given cause to some scholars to deny the existence of a compound sentence as a special structural type and treat it as a sequence of simple sentences. This idea is usually rejected, as a compound sentence is a semantic, grammatical and intonational unity. Each coordinate clause functions as part of this unity.

As coordination reflects the logical sequence of thought, the order of coordinate clauses is usually fixed:

He came at 5 and we had dinner together.

The opening clause is most independent structurally, the following clauses may be to a certain extent dependent on the first clause — they may be elliptical, may contain anaphoric pronouns, etc.

Coordinating conjunctions and meanings rendered by them are described in Practical Grammar.

3. The classification of complex sentences is usually based on the classification of subordinate clauses. Subordinate clauses are classified either on analogy with classes of words (categorial classification) or on analogy with parts of the sentence (functional classification).

According to the categorial classification clauses are subdivided into noun clauses (sunbstantive clauses), adjective clauses, adverb clauses, etc. But as words of the same class may perform different syntactic functions, the functional classification seems preferable. A subordinate clause can occupy any position but that of the predicate (though it may fill in the position of the predicative). It should be also noted that there is no complete similaritybetween parts of the sentence and subordinate clauses. Especially this is the case with adverbial clauses.

There is a correlation between categorial and functional classifications.

The classification of complex sentences may be also based on the type of clausal connection, which may be close or loose, obligatory or optional.

Sentences with obligatory clausal connection fall into several types:

1) Sentences with Subject and Predicative clauses. The subordinate clause occupies a syntactic position in the predication. It is fused, or merged with the principal clause, which is incomplete semanticaily and structurally: What you say is true.

2) Sentences with Object clauses. The subordinate clause is obligatory due to the obligatory valency of the predicate verb in the main clause.

3) Sentences in which there are correlative elements in both main and subordinate clauses (hardly... when; as... as; the more... the more): He was 30 tired, that...

Some attributive and adverbial clauses are loosely connected with the main clause and may be optional.

Composite sentences may include a number of coordinate and subordinate clauses.

4. We do not usually encounter sentences in isolation, out of context. The analysis of units larger than a sentence is an area of growing interest and importance, which attracts the attention of many disciplines. The structure of texts is studied by text linguistics, or discourse grammars. The term discourse refers to a continuous stretch of (especially spoken) utterance larger than a sentence. Within this broad notion several different applications may be found. Some linguists do not distinguish between the notions text and discourse, but usage varies greatly. Thus discourse may be understood as a dynamic process and text as the physical product, a similar distinction sees text as a notion applied to suface structure, and discourse — to deep structure. From the opposite viewpoint text is an abstract notion, discourse being its realization.

Apart from this there is a tendency for texts to be thought of as monologues, usually written, whereas discourses are often thought of as dialogues, usually spoken.

In general, the terms text and discourse may be used to identify a piece of spoken or written language. Text as the largest speech unit may be divided into smaller units, consisting of two or more connected sentences. These units, characterized by the topical unity and semantico-syntactic cohesion, are called supraphrasal unities, or supfasentential constructions.

Semanticaily a supraphrasal unity is characterized by one topic, which may include a number of events. Relations of events in a monologue are of two types: description (simultaneous events) and narration (events following one another).

A supraphrasal unity is also characterized by communicative dynamism: new information in a sequence sentence, which advances the communicative process, is based on the information, which has already been communicated in the previous sentence.

In narration, when events follow one another, the rheme of the opening sentence becomes the theme of the sequence sentence.

I entered the room. It was empty.

A (Th)+ В (Rh)—B (Th) + С (Rh)

In description the theme may remain the same for several sentences. Tlie. room was empty. It was large, and square. A (Th) + В (Rh)—A (Th) + С (Rh)

A supraphrasal unity is a structured sequence of sentences. There are various means of sentence connection and transition from one unity to another. These means may be grammatical, lexical, prosodic.

Lexico-grammatical means of sentence connection are word order; conjunctions and other connective words; time and place relators (tense forms and words showing time and place); incomplete (elliptical) structures, depending on the context.

There are different means of expressing co-referential relations, or referential identity. Co-reference in noun phrases is expressed by substitution (pronominalization), use of determiners; in other structures — by adverbs here, there, then, particles so, not, the auxiliary verb to do: I know it better than you do.

1 think so too. Why not?

A process similar to substitution is representation, or use of part of a whole: I couldn't help him though I tried to.

Means of expressing intersentential connections either point back (anaphoric connection) or forward (epiphoric, cataphoric connection) -------

as follows, thus — —here, it, this—•

So there are certain linguistic principles governing the structure of texts which, in its turn, influences the structure of sentences.



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