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PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION OF SENTENCES
I. According to their structure sentences may be classified into
simple (two-member and one-member, complete and elliptical),
One shouldn't confuse elliptical and one-member sentences, elliptical sentences are considered to be colloquial variants of the corresponding two-member sentences, because any missing part of them can be restored (retraced) from the speech situation or from the previous context, while no missing component of a one-member sentence can be retraced from the context. E.g.: 1. Where have you been all this time? - In the garden (a two-member elliptical sentence), but: 1. Dusk, of a summer night (Th.Dreiser). (A one-member nominative sentence). 2. To run! (a one-member infinitival sentence). But: A gentleman to strike a lady?! (A two-member infinitival sentence as it has both the subject and the predicate, though the predicate is expressed by a non-finite form of the verb).
There exist the problem of the status of the only part of one-member sentences: whether it is the subject without any predicate (as in the sentences like "Dusk") or the predicate without the subject (as in the one-word sentence "To run!"). Acad. A.Shakhmatov maintained that the only part of a one-member sentence is correspondingly the subject or the predicate, as the case may be. Acad. V.V.Vinogradov, however, proposed to call the only main part just "the main part" without further specification because this main part performs the function of the subject and predicate simultaneously (For a more detailed treatment of the issue see: Ilyish, 1971:233-250).
It should be borne in mind that one-member sentences may be both unextended and extended. Cf.: 1. To run! (an unextended infinitival one-member sentence); 2. To run away from here! (an extended one-member infinitival sentence); 3. Dusk., (an unextended nominative one-member sentence); 4. Dusk, of a summer night... (an extended one-member nominative sentence); 5. Don't tell her about it! 6. And what if he had seen her? 7. Strange, how different she had become! 8. No people whom I knew. (Sentences 5,6,7,8 are also extended one-member sentences, besides, sentences 6,7,8 are complex sentences with one-member main clauses).
simple complicated sentences - intermediate between simple and composite sentences.
There also exist sentences transitional from simple to composite (complicated sentences). I.V.Korunets calls them "semi-compound sentences" (Korunets, 1995: 200). These are:
1. Sentences with homogeneous parts (especially with homogeneous subjects or predicates - expanded word groups). Sentences with homogeneous subjects or predicates are traditionally called contracted sentences (Blokh, 1983: 268). E.g.: 1. Tom and Peter are bosom friends; 2. He was sitting and smoking in an arm-chair (These are simple contracted sentences);
2. Sentences with the so-called predicative complexes (constructions) which contain secondary predication (non-finite clauses); 1. I saw him run (running); 2. He was seen to enter the room; 3. He stepped aside for me to pass; 4. Weather permitting, we shall go to the river - simple complicated sentences containing predicative constructions (complexes).
3. Sentences with the so-called dependent appendixes.
Sentences with dependent appendixes are sentences with phrases consisting of conjunctions and noun or pronouns, adjectives, adverbs or participles: 1. Jane is more diligent than you (= than you are); 2. Tom is as diligent as you (= as you are); 3. Though wounded, he continued to fight (= though he was wounded he continued to fight), 4. She was speaking slowly and vaguely, as if in a dream; 5. Denis tried to escape but in vain (Huxley).
It should be borne in mind that if we complete the appendixes thus transforming them into clauses, we shall obtain full-fledged composite sentences (see the transformations above).
composite (compound and complex, compound-complex, syndetic and asyndetic).
The composite sentence, as different from a simple sentence, has two or more predicative centers, i.e., it is a polypredicative construction and thus expresses a complex act of thought.
According to the traditional point of view, all composite sentences are classed into compound, sentences and complex sentences with syndetic and asyndetic types of clause connection. Composite sentences are formed by minimum two clauses.
Clauses within a composite sentence may be connected with the help of the following two main types of syntactical connection: coordination and subordination.
There exist controversial points concerning the composite sentence, one of them being the problem of asyndetic composite sentences: whether they render the same meanings as the corresponding syndetic ones or somewhat different shades meaning. (For a more detailed treatment of the problem see: Rayevska, 1976: 283-295; Blokh, 1983: 298-300).
Principles of classification of subordinate clauses
She said something (One Clause)
She said [that I don't know anything]. (Two Clauses)
She said [that I don't know [what I want]]. (Three Clauses)
She said [that I don't know [what I want [Bill to do]]]. (Four Clauses)
She said [that I don't know [what I want [[Bill to do] [when he gets there]]]]. (Five
The main clause is the one which isn't embedded in any other clause. In all of the above sentences, She said X is the main clause. All of the other clauses are subordinate. However, you should realize that not all subordinate clauses are directly subordinate to the main clause— they may instead be subordinate to other subordinate clauses. While a subordinate clause may be either finite or nonfinite, a main clause will always be finite.
There exist different principles of classification of subordinate clauses (sub-clauses):
Introducer: unstressed complementizer that (may be omitted); wh-word in indirect questions
Function of introducer within noun clause: that—none; wh-word—common NP functions
Function of noun clause within higher clause: common NP functions
Introducer(s): wh-word who, whom, which, whose; complementizer that (may be omitted, except when subject); occasionally, when and where
Function of wh-words within higher clause: common NP functions; when and where indicate adverbial functions
Function of relative clause within higher clause: postmodifier of noun head.
Anyone who is hoping to get on the boat should have a ticket.
Introducer: subordinating conjunctions after, as soon as, before, since, while, when, wherever, where, if, un;ess, because, as.
Function of introducer within adverbial clause: none
Function of adverbial clause within higher clause: modifier of verb; occasionally, modifier of adjective/adverb in a result clause [so X that. . .)
While she was living in Africa, Sheila learned Swahili.
Reduced adverbial - have the same properties as full adverbials. In particular, they begin with the subordinating conjunctions common to adverbial clauses, and they typically modify verbs. There are only two qualifications: (1) not all full adverbials may be reduced; (2) reduction occurs typically through the removal of a subject and a form of the verb be:
^ Sheila learned Swahili.
Reduced relative - Most reduced relatives are simple, in that they contain no subject, as in:
Anyone hoping to get on the boat should have a ticket.
Gerund - The verb of these clauses has the morpheme-ing suffixed to it. (NB. This isn't the progressive -ing.) And when it has a subject, which is optional, the subject phrase may be in the genitive case.
^ confirmed his guilt.
I don't like him being out late at night.
Infinitive - We want Bill to leave immediately. To leave now would cause a lot of trouble. For us to leave now would cause a lot of trouble. Leave immediately is what he should do.
II. According to functional properties - most wide-spread and almost generally accepted principle nowadays - classification which is based on the similarity of their functions to the functions of the corresponding parts of a simple sentence, namely: it is the well-known classification of sub-clauses into:
John claims he has earned his first million already.
We believe he exaggerates a great deal.
We prefer (for) everyone to get along well.
We all enjoy his visiting us.
That this may not work out upsets us.
That he Red will convince the jury of his guilt.
(For us) to leave now would upset everyone.
(Our) leaving now would upset everyone.
We gave trie pastry to whoever would eat it.
We left the crumbs for whichever birds came by.
We slept in what we had worn all day.
We counted on (his) getting back in time.
The proposal is that we should teach language, not grammar.
The suggestion is to leave at 3 A.M.
His hobby is making statues out of scrap metal.
He dyes his hair whatever color his car is.
We consider Bill to be our gourmet guru. (Infinitive)
Complement of NP u,
The idea that the Earth is flat has been disproved.
The decision to launch has been postponed again. (Infinitive)
The idea of the Earth being flat is preposterous.
Attributive (relative, adjective clauses) clauses - follow the head nouns they modify and may begin with either that, a wh-word such as who or which, a phrase with a wh-word in it, or no special word at all. Relative clauses must be divided into two types, restrictive and nonrestrictive (or appositive) relatives. In written English, appositive relatives are separated from their head noun by a comma and end with another comma. Restrictive relatives aren't set off by commas. The presence or absence of commas reflects a semantic difference between these two types, although there are formal differences between them too.
Bill, who is well known to all of us, will sing his favorite tune "Home on the Range."
Bill who is well known to all of us will sing his favorite tune "Home on the Range."
^ are typically introduced by what have been traditionally called subordinating conjunctions and generally fulfill the same functions as DPs , indicating time, place, condition, cause, and purpose. They appear in the positions typical of DPs (initial, medial, and final). They're typically finite, but in some cases, they may be nonfinite. We provide examples of each of these types with their typical conjunctions. Note that nonfinite versions of adverbial clauses are elliptical versions of the fuller finite structures.:
Time clauses: After you left the party, things really began to swing.
Place clauses: Double quotes should be used only where they are appropriate.
Conditional clauses: If you understand this, (then) you will be able to do the exercises.
Cause clauses: Because he hoped to elude his pursuers, Fred continued his trek into the mountains.
Purpose clauses: We packed food for six meals so (that) we could stay out in the forest overnight.
Result clauses: She was so stunned that she couldn't speak.
II. Sentences may be classified according to the purpose of the sentence.
A declarative sentence is used to make a statement.
An interrogative sentence is used to pose a question.
An imperative sentence is used to give a command or to implore or entreat.
An exclamatory sentence is used to express astonishment or extreme emotion.
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