Complex sentence, its definition and composition. The two approaches to the principles of classification of subordinate clauses. Connection of the clauses in a complex sentence


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Subordination is usually defined as a non-symmetrical relation, that is, in a complex sentence with a minima composition of two clauses, one is the basic element, whereas the other is a constituent or part of the first. The first one is called the main (or principal) clause, the second the subordinate clause



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37.Complex sentence, its definition and composition. The two approaches to the principles of classification of subordinate clauses. Connection of the clauses in a complex sentence.

Subordination is usually defined as a non-symmetrical relation, that is, in a complex sentence with a minima composition of two clauses, one is the basic element, whereas the other is a constituent or part of the first. The first one is called the main (or principal) clause, the second the subordinate clause.

Subordination is marked by some formal signals contained either in the subordinate clause (This is the news which he didn't know; You should pardon John, as he didn't know the rules; He was turning round the corner when we saw him), or in both - the main and the subordinate clause (He was as ignorant as any uneducated person is; The more he looked at the picture, the more he liked it).

These formal signals may be conjunctions or connectives.

Conjunctions are specialized formal devices (connectors) the only function of which is to link clauses and express the relation between them. They usually stand at the beginning of a subordinate clause. The only exception to this rule is the complex sentence with a concessive clause, where owing to partial inversion the conjunction may come second, after the word which is the focus of concessive meaning (tired though he was..., hard as we fried...).

Conjunctions may be one word-form (that, because, though, etc.), phrasal (in order that, providing that, for all that, so far as, etc.), or paired (or correlative, that is, correlated with some element(s) in the principal clause: as...as, such...as, etc.). Some conjunctions may be used in combination with particles (even if, even though, even when, just as, if only).

Connectives are subdivided into conjunctive words (conjunctive subordinating pronouns and adverbs), which are used to join nominal clauses and relative words (pronouns and adverbs), used to join attributive clauses.

The main clause may have several subordinate clauses of equal rank, that is coordinated with one another. This kind of relationship is called parallel subordination or co-subordination, and the subordinate clauses are homogeneous.

I know that you are afraid of me and that you suspect me of something.

The two different bases of classification are considered as competitive in this domain: the first is functional, the second is categorial.

In accord with the functional principle, subordinate clauses are to be classed on the analogy of the positional parts of the simple sentence, since it is the structure of the simple sentence that underlies the essential structure of the complex sentence

Subordinate clauses function as different parts of the sentence (subject, predicative, object, apposition, attribute, adverbial modifier). Traditionally these numerous types of clauses are arranged in three groups: nominal clauses (that is, clauses functioning as nouns in various syntactical positions), attributive clauses, and adverbial clauses.

In accord with the categorial principle, subordinate clauses аre to be classed by their inherent nominative properties irrespective of their immediate positional relations in the sentence. The nominative properties of notional words are reflected in their part-of-speech classification.

Subordinate clauses are introduced by functional connective words which effect their derivation from base sentences. Categorially these sentence subordinators (or subordinating clausalisers) fall into the two basic types: those that occupy a notional position in the derived clause, and those that do not occupy such a position.

Connection of the clauses into a complex snt. notions of "monolythic" and "segregative" sentence structures. Obligatory subordinative connections underlie monolythic complexes, while optional subordinative connections underlie segregative complexes

Monolithic complex sentences fall into four basic types.

The first of them is formed by merger complex sentences, i.e. sentences with subject and predicative subordinate clauses. The subordinate clausal part of the merger monolythic complex, as has been shown above (see § 2), is fused with its principal clause. The corresponding construction of syntactic anticipation should also be considered under this heading. Cf.: It was at this point that Bill had come bustling into the room. → (*) It was at this point

The second subtype of complex sentences in question is formed by constructions whose subordinate clauses are dependent on the obligatory right-hand valency of the verb in the principal clause. We can tentatively call these constructions "valency" monolith complexes. Here belong complexes with object clauses and valency-determined adverbial clauses: from the point of view of subordinative cohesion they are alike. Cf.:

I don't know when I'm beaten. —» (*) I don't know Put the book where you've taken it from. → (*) Put the book Her first shock was when she came down. → (*) Her first shock was

The third subtype of monolythic complex sentences is formed by constructions based on subordinative correlations "correlation" monolith complexes. E.g.:

His nose was as unkindly short as his upper lip was long. You will enjoy such a sight as you are not likely to see again. The more I think of it, the more I'm convinced of his innocence.

Restrictive attributive clauses should be included into this subtype of correlation monoliths irrespective of whether or not their correlation scheme is explicitly expressed. Cf.:

This is the same report as was submitted last week. This is the report that was submitted last week.

Finally, the fourth subtype of monolithic complex sentences is formed by constructions whose obligatory connection between the principal and subordinate clauses is determined only by the linear order of clausal positions. Cf.: If he comes, tell him to wait. (*) If he comes

As is easily seen, such "arrangement" monolith complexes are not "organically" monolithic, as different from the first three monolith subtypes; positional re-arrangement deprives

them of this quality, changing the clausal connection from obligatory into optional: Tell him to wait if he comes. Tell him to wait.

The rest of the complex sentences are characterised by segregative structure, the maximum degree of syntactic option being characteristic of subordinative parenthetical connection.

Complex sentences which have two or more subordinate clauses discriminate two basic types of subordination arrangement: parallel and consecutive.

Subordinate clauses immediately referring to one and the same principal clause are said to be subordinated "in parallel" or "co-subordinated". Parallel subordination may be both homogeneous and heterogeneous. For instance, the two clauses of time in the following complex sentence, being embedded on the principle of parallel subordination, are homogeneous they depend on the same element

As different from parallel subordination, consecutive subordination presents a hierarchy of clausal levels. In this hierarchy one subordinate clause is commonly subordinated to another, making up an uninterrupted gradation. This kind of clausal arrangement may be called "direct" consecutive subordination. E.g.: I've no idea why she said she couldn't call on us at the time I had suggested.


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