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Sentence

6. Sentence

General Characteristics of the Sentence

In ancient Greece Dionisins of Thrace put forward one of the first definitions of the sentence:' Sentence is a group of words which expresses a complete thought.' Since that time there have been more than 300 definitions of this unit but none of them is ample enough. A lot of grammarians while analysing the sentence from different angles discover some new features typical of it. Nowadays we know that the sentence may consist of a word or a group of words.What is the weather like today?We realize at once that it is a sentence. It indicates a real fact that takes place in the Present (now) and expresses some thought. This reference to a situation makes any word or a group of words a sentence and is called predicativity (предикативність).

I. Predicativity (reference to a situation) is typical of every sentence in all languages. It is a linguistic universal. Without it there is no sentence. It is the main essential aspect of the sentence. Predicativity makes a syntactic unit express a thought and turns it into a sentence. Predicativity may be expresed through:

1) predication (предикація) It is a grammatical means to realize predicativity through the realtionship of the subject and the predicate: e.g. People are working 2) the predicate only: e.g. Don't chatter.3) the subject only:

e.g. - Who is absent today? v - Jane.4) any member of the subject or the predicate group - Where do you work?

- At school. (I work at school). 5) intonatione.g. - How annoying!- Annoying?

II. Modality is the expression of the speaker's attitude to the facts stated in the sentence. Facts may be real, unreal, desirable, imaginary, commands or requests. Modality may be expressed

1 ) morphologically - by means of Mood category of the verb(Indicative , Imperative, Oblique)

Predicativity and modality were investigated by a lot of linguists, among them such outstanding scholars as Vinogradiv, Shvedova, Smirnitsky. Hyish, Ivanova, Pocheptsov,

III. Intonation contour (a musical tone constituted by stress and pitch). Every sentence is marked by a peculiar intonation contour. we can ex­press indifference, assuarance, hesitation, surprise, indignation, persistence and many other ideas.

IV. Nucleus-headed structure. Each sentence possesses some basic elements. These obligatory sentence parts are termed the nucleus (kernel), all the other parts are extension, depending on the main parts. The nucleus may be constituted by:

1) the subject and the predicate e.g. The news was alarming.2) the predicatee.g. Don't shove in the bus.3) the subjecte.g. -   Who is there?

V. Communicative aspect. The theme always expresses well-known or not so important information.The rheme deals with new or most important information A universal means of distinguishing between the theme and the rheme is word order, the theme - at the beginning, the rheme-follows it (mostly at the end of the sentence).

Ways of expressing the theme and the rheme I. Grammatically(inversion construction, 'there is/are' ,with the help of articles ,the construction 'it is+who/which/that')

2. Lexico-grammatically( with the help of personal pronouns, with particles)

VI Logico-semantic aspect. From the point of view of logics and semantic we may distinguish in the sentence the following propositions

1) qualification e.g. The earth is round 2) relation  The girl is happy. - 3) existence e.g. Once upon a time there lived a smart girl. '4) classification. The dog is a domestic animal. 5) identity e.g. To study is to work hard.

VII. Deep and surface structure. 1) morphological (parts of speech representation)

e.g. The student spoke fluently. .Art-N+V+D

2) functional (functions of the words)

e.g. He demands immediate payment. S+P+Attr+O

VIII. Presupposition Information can be directly deduced from the sentence or it is based on our experience, knowledge, imagination, our creative abilities.

Classification of sentences

All sentences may be classified according to the structures or to communicative valuer We know that the sentence is characterized by a predicative line (complete or incomplete). And accordingly we can distinguish the following struct

1. The simple sentence (only 1 predicative line): e.g. He got through the exam. 2. The composite sentence (2 or more predicative lines):e.g. Tom failed in the exam but his brother got through. 3. The semi-composite sentence (one complete predicative line and one or more incomplete predicative lines): e.g. Then he abandoned the thought of seeing them any more that day and turned to Carrie.

 Simple sentence

 The simple sentence is a sentence in which only one predicative line is expressed, i.e. it is rnonopredicative:

e.g. Then thev all came back.

Monopredication is the main syntactic feature of the simple sentence. The simple sentence is organized as a system of function-expressing positions. Each nomina­tive part of the simple sentence occupies a notional position. They are: subject, predicate, object, adverbial modifier, attribute, parenthetical enclosure, address­ing enclosure, interjectional enclosure.

The subject is a person-modifier of the predicate:

The predicate is a process modifier of the subject person:

The object is a substance-modifier of processual part:

adverbial mod. is a quality modifier (in a broad sense) of a processual part or the whole of the sentence:

 The attribute a quality-modifier of substantive part:

parenthetical enclosure is a detached speaker- bound modifier of any sen­tence-part or the whole of the sentence:

e.g. I just though if we should go outside. On the lawn, you know

The addressing enclosure (address) is a substantive modifier of the destination of the sentence

The interjectional enclosure is a speaker-bound emotional modifier of the sen­tence:

e.g. Oh yes, quite sure. (Spark)

The simple sentence can be divided into two groups:

1. The subject group (the subject is the leading element, the rest are depend­ent upon it).

2. The predicate group (the predicate is the leading element, the rest are de­pendent upon it).

= immediate constituents

The subject provides for syntactic connection (agreement) between these prin­ciple parts of the sentence:

According to the categories of the subject, simple sentences are divided into:

1) personal I'm not going to marry her.2) impersonalThere was a pause. Personal sentences are divided into:

1) human Mr Pyne shook his head.

2) non-human The meal continued.

Impersonal sentences may be:

1) factualIt was his moment

2) perceptional It looks like being colder

According to the categories of the predicate simple sentences are divided into:

1) substance-featuring

2) process featuring (verbal). Process-featuring sentences may be:

a) actional The door is opening.

b) statal The window is glistening in the sun. Substance- featuring sentences may be:

1) factual The sea is rough.

2) perceptional The place seems quiet.

Taking into consideration the subject-object relation we can divide simple sen­tences into:

1) subjective Mary lives in Kyiv.

2) objective Mary reads a book.

3) Neutral or 'potentially' objective Mary reads.

composite sentence

The parts of the composite sentence are clauses. Each clause refers to a situa­tion and is characterized by its own predicative line. Clauses may be combined syndetically (by conjunctions or conjunctive words) or asyndetically (without func­tion words).

Polypredicative (some predicative centres consisting of the subject and the predicate,-its parts constitute the composite sentence by means of syntactic connection

Predication of its parts but not of the composite sentence as a whole; it is made of predicative constructions, elements very much the same as the sentence (clauses).

Some analogy with word-combinations as to the syntactic characteristics of the whole and the part.

A structural and semantic unity of 2 or more syntactic constructions, each with the predicative centre of its own.

(the same)

The functions of subordinate clauses are similar to those of parts of the simple sentence.

Each subordinate or coordinate clause refers to a situation.

Composite sentences can be compound (structures of coordination - syntacti­cally equivalent) and complex (structures of subordination - units of unequal ranks).

Jofik distinguishes four Syntactic modes of connecting clauses into the com­posite sentence:

ll coordination (of the same syntactic rank)

I know that you are annoyed with the noisy children, that they are cheerful under any circumstances.

2. subordination (one clause is leading, the rest are dependent upon it) They contested'against three men who were loudly cheered by their fans.

3. relative annexation (semi dependent clauses)

And they were advanced for their years; both could read and write.

4. insertion (parenthesis)

We, 4th year students, have just finished our school practice.

Semi-composite sentences

The seni-composite sentence is a sentence, with more than one predicative lines which are expressed in fusion. It displays an intermediary syntactic character between the composite sentence and the simple sentence. Nowadays there is the tendency of speech to be economical. The semicomposite sentence expresses a semantic ranking of the events in the situational blend (a dominant event and a by-event). Semi-composite sentences are devided into semi-complex and semi-com­pound. Semi-complex are built up on the principle of subordination and may be subject sharingThe moon rose red.

Semi-complex sentences of object-sharing We saw her approaching us. The adjunct to the shared object may be expressed by the Infinitive, Participle I, Participle II, an adjective, a noun: I never heard the word pronounced like that

Parts of the sentence

The subject and the predicate are the main parts of the sentence. They two may form a complete predicative line in the simple sentence (or the clause), they consti­tute a minimum sentence, they are grammatically independent and all the other parts of the sentence are dependent upon them, in most cases they introduce an action and the doer of the action. The subject is the head of the subject group, the predicate is the head of the predicate group. Such linguists as Jespersen, Smirnitsky, Shakhmatov were of the opinion that the subject is the top element in the sentence Peshkovsky, Martinet, Tesniere, Ruspopov, Yurchenko, Dmitrievsky consid­ered the predicate to be the top element in the sentence/clause.

The predicate – a process modifier of the subject person The predicate is the principle structural element and it can indicate the com­municative type of the sentence(declarative affirmative declarative negative interrogative imperative optative):Thus we can state the fact that the predicate is the principle structural element and is important from the point of view of the information conveyed.

The subject provides for syntactic connection (agreement) between these prin­ciple parts of the sentence:

The subject – a person modifier of the predicate

Types of the subject

From the point of view of semantics the subjects may be classified into:

1. ..Notional The black man placed tea on the tray 2. Impersonal . .They say the protest is of no effect.

3. Formal There was a silence

.....Some grammarians (Verba and others) differentiate structural types

1. Simple subjects (any word or a phrase) 20 is a numeral.

2. 'Compound'' subjects (it-introductory or anticipatory + verbal phrase); It is no use cheating in exam.

3. "Complex' subjects (manifested by the phrase containing secondary predi­cation relationship represented by 'for+infinitival orgerundial phrase'): Your taking the finals is out of the question.

Subjects can be introduced by a word a phrase or –a clause.

Types of predicate

From the point of view of their structure the predicates may be:

1) simple (one verb-form):The boy laughed too.

2) compound (2 or more components: verb+complement) Jimmy could hear nothing

Simple predicates may be: 1) verbal:She saw to it.  2.) phraseological: I'd seen red.

Compound predicates may be:

1) nominal: She.is a student.

2) modal: I could get jobs

3) aspect (their lexical meaning is of great importance The boy was cheerful

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