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The composite sentence as polypredicative construction. The sphere of its usage. The classification of composite sentences. The two main types and the means of connection of clauses in a composite sentence

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Иностранные языки, филология и лингвистика

Being a polypredicative construction, it expresses a complicated act of thought, i.e. an act of mental activity which falls into two or more intellectual efforts closely combined with one another. In terms of situations and events this means that the composite sentence reflects two or more elementary situational events viewed as making up a unity; the constitutive connections of the events are expressed by the constitutive connections of the predicative lines of the sentence, i.e. by the sentential polypredication

Русский

2013-11-25

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33 чел.

  1.  The composite sentence as polypredicative construction. The sphere of its usage. The classification of composite sentences. The two main types and the means of connection of clauses in a composite sentence.

e composite sentence, as different from the simple sentence, is formed by two or more predicative lines. Being a polypredicative construction, it expresses a complicated act of thought, i.e. an act of mental activity which falls into two or more intellectual efforts closely combined with one another. In terms of situations and events this means that the composite sentence reflects two or more elementary situational events viewed as making up a unity; the constitutive connections of the events are expressed by the constitutive connections of the predicative lines of the sentence, i.e. by the sentential polypredication.

Each predicative unit in a composite sentence makes up a clause in it, so that a clause as part of a composite sentence corresponds to a separate sentence as part of a contextual sequence. E.g.:

When I sat down to dinner I looked for an opportunity to slip in casually the information that I had by accident run across the Driffields; but news travelled fast in Blackstable (S. Maugham).

Within a composite sentence clauses may be joined by means of coordination or subordination, thus forming a compound or a complex sentence respectively.

Coordination is a way of linking grammatical elements to make them equal in rank.

Subordination is a way of linking grammatical elements that makes one of them dependent upon the other (or they are mutually dependent).

1. The door of Henry's lunch-room opened, and two men came in.

2. I have come to you, because I know from reading your accounts that you are Mr Sherlock Holme's most intimate acquaintance.

As is well known, the use of composite sentences, especially long and logically intricate ones, is characteristic of literary written speech rather than colloquial oral speech. This unquestionable fact is explained by the three reasons: one relating to the actual needs of expression; one relating to the possibilities of production; and one relating to the conditions of perception.

That the composite sentence structure answers the special needs of written mode of lingual expression is quite evident. It is this type of speech that deals with lengthy reasonings, descriptions, narrations, all presenting abundant details of intricate correlations of logical premises and inferences, of situational foreground and background, of sequences of events interrupted by cross-references and parenthetical comments. Only a composite sentence can adequately and within reasonable bounds of textual space fulfil these semantic requirements.

The means of combining clauses into a polypredicative sentence are divided into syndetic, i. e. conjunctional, and asyndetic, i. e. non-conjunctional.

If this interpretation is accepted, then the whole domain of cumulation should be divided into two parts: first, the continuative cumulation, placing the cumulated clause in post-position to the expanded predicative construction; second, the" parenthetical cumulation, placing the cumulated clause in inter-position to the expanded predicative construction. The inter-position may be made even into a pre-position as its minor particular case (here belong mostly constructions introduced by the conjunction as: as we have seen, as I have said, etc.). This paradox is easily explained by the type of relation between the clauses: the parenthetical clause (i. e. parenthetically cumulated) only gives a background to the essential information of the expanded original clause. And, which is very important, it can shift its position in the sentence without causing any change in the information rendered by the utterance as a whole. Cf.:

He was sent for very suddenly this morning, as I have told you already. He was sent for, as I have told you already, very suddenly this morning. As I have told you already, he was sent for very suddenly this morning.

completely" composite sentences,

there exist constructions in which one explicit predicative line is combined with another one, the latter being not explicitly or completely expressed. To such constructions belong, for instance, sentences with homogeneous predicates, as wall as sentences with verbid complexes. Cf.:

Philip ignored the question and remained silent. I have never before heard her sing. She followed him in, bending her head under the low door.

Thus, composite sentences as polypredicative constructions exist in the two type varieties as regards the degree of their predicative explicitness: first, composite sentences of complete composition; second, composite sentences of concise composition. Each of these types is distinguished by its own functional specification, occupies a permanent place in the syntactic system of language and so deserves a separate consideration in a grammatical description.


 

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