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Subordinate and coordinate phrases.

Coordination and subordination are the 2 main structural types of phrases.These terms indicate syntactic relations between phrase components.

Coordinate phrases consist of 2 or more constituents which are syntactically equial.

Subordinate phrases include 2 components which are syntactically unequial.they fall into different subtypes:

  • according to the structure they’re simple phrases – include 2 main components; - and complex – the components of which are expanded or extended
  • morphologically they’re divided into: verb,adj.,adv.,prep., and noun phrases.
  • the phrases are divided into continuous and discontinuous.
  • grammatically they’re agreement,government,adjoinment,enclosure.

Government (not widely used) – the use of a certain form of an agent is required by the head.In modern English we speak about: prep,verbal,nominal government.

Adjoinment – widely used,can be defined negatively as absence of any formal sign of dependence.the head and adjunct are joined by their lexical meaning and syntactic position (ex. Come quickly)

Enclosure (term was introduced by Ильиш) – placing of a phrase-element between 2 parts of another element.

Agreement – when head and adjunct agree in certain grammatical categories.

Phrases in Russian Linguistics.


  • Kernell phrases - one element dominating all the other constituents. The kernel – is the element within the group whose syntactic function can’t be identified at the level of analysis in terms of sentence-parts Kernel phrases are divided into regressive and progressive. In regressive kernel structures an agent stands in preposition to the kernel (ex. So quickly. So – a kernel,quickly – a head).I progressive kernel structures – the agent stands in postposition to the kernel(ex. A girl of 16. A girl – a kernel)
  • Non-kernell phrases- are traditionally coordinate phrases,when there isn’t any component of the phrase, whose syntactic phrases we can’t define. Are devided into: Dependent (can’t be identified as grammatical units without any context. (ex. soft sweet sensible)) and Independent (when syntactic functions of grammatical units can be defined without any additional context (ex. Ladies and gentlemen!).
  1. Unipicked -phrases only 1 component can establish syntactic relations with the elements of a higher level (noun, adjectival, verb)

Multipicked - 2 or more elements can do so. Multipicred phrases are predicative phrases with primary and secondary predications.

Barkhudarov: classification is based on the structure of phrases:

  • Elementary –if there is only 1 type of syntactic relation between its constituents
  • Compound- if there’s more than 1 type of syntactic connection between its constituents


  • equipollent phrases – they’re made up of words related to one another to an equial rank
  • dominational– when syntactically 1 components dominates. The can be: Bilateral (the subject dominates the predicate,determining the person; and the predicate dominates the subject,determining the event of predication)and monolateral (one way domination)

Phrases in foreign linguistics.


  • Junction -indicates attributive relations between words (ex. A silly man)
  • Nexus -indicates predicative relations (ex. The dog barks).Nexus divided into independent and dependent. Nexus is independent when he gives a complete bit of information


  • Endocentric (belong to the same form-class as 1 or more of their constituents (ex. Poor John)) Are divided into-ordinate (serial) and subordinate (attributive)
  • Exocentric (are don’t (ex. Beside John).)


  • Headed
  • Non-headed

Types of Syntactic Relation between subordinate phrase components.

3 types of syntactic relations within word-groups: subordination, coordination, interdependence. Accordingly, phrases are usually classified into subordinate, coordinate and predicative. Sometimes a fourth type, appositive phrases, is mentioned.

H.Sweet: the most general type of relation is thatof the modifier and modified (headword and adjunct), or the relation of subordination. He also distinguished the relation of coordination

O.Jespersen. The theory of three ranks is based on the principle of determination. In the word-group a furiously3 barking2 dog1 1 is independent and is called a primary, 2 modifies 1 and is called a secondary, 3 modifies 2 and is called a tertiary. A secondary may be joined to a primary in two ways: junction and nexus. These terms are used to differentiate between attributive and predicative relations (relations between the subject and the predicate),

Subordinated phrases are divided according to:

a) their structure (simple or complex);

b) types of subordinate relations (predicative, attributive, objective, adverbial phrases);

c) the position of the adjunct in the phrases (before the kernel (prepositional phrases) or after the kernel (postpositional phrases, e.g.: a woman of character);

d) manner of subordination (phrases with agreement, government or adjoining, enclosure);

e) morphological nature of the kernel – noun, verbal, adjectival and adverbial phrases.

Blokh’s types of syntactical relation:

  1. Equipotent type(равнопотенциальный )- syntactically equal connection of words type of syntactical relation
  2. Dominational (or subordinational) type (см. выше)

Monolateral - realized in the attributive, objective and adverbial connections.

Objective connection reflects the relation of the object to the process, and subdivided into non-prepositional (actualized by word-order) and prepositional, e.g.:

1) He regretted the event;

2) I forget about the event.

From the semantico-syntactic point of view objective connections are classed as directand indirect (or oblique). Direct object constructions reflect immediate transition of the action to the object. Indirect (oblique) object constructions reflect the indirect relation of the object to the process, e.g.:

1) Will you give me the book (direct object)?

2) He ran up to the house.

Attributive connection unites a substance with its attribute expressed by an adjective or a noun, e.g.: a nice picture, a woman of means, a man of his word.

Adverbial connection can be of two types:

Primary- V+ adverbial modifiers, e.g.: to come late; to do (smth.) with enthusiasm

Secondary- non-verbal head word (quality) + its adverbial modifiers, e.g.: no longer attractive (head word),appallingly alike (head word).

The sentence.

There are more than 300 different definitions of the sentence, but not a universal one.

5 approaches to the definition of the sentence:

Logical, psychological, phonetic, graphical, grammatical.

Logical: “a sentence is an expression of a complete thought, it’s a judgment or a proposition”.

Blokh: “the sentence is a unit of speech, built up of words according to a definite syntactic pattern and distinguished by a contextually relevant communicative purpose.”

Foreign scholars against this definition, as the meaning isn’t an integral part of a sentence.

Psychological Шахматов: a sent.is a psychological phenomenon which is expressed grammatically.

Phonetic approach: Paul Roberts :a sent. is a succession of sounds divided into brief groups by pauses required for taking breath”.

Cons of this approach: 1) the sent. can be considered only in oral communication; 2)the impossibility to single out a composite sentence because there is a pause in the inner structure of a composite sentence as well.

Graphical approach: sent. – a succession of words between 2 full-stops”.

Cons of this approach: the sentence may be defined only in writing.

Grammatical. In modern grammar: “ a sent. – is a grammatical unit”.

C.Freeze: “ a sent. – a minimal free-utterance”.

L.Bloomfield: “a sent. – a free linguistic form,which isn’t a part of any other linguistic form”.

Problem is: should a sentence be regarded as a unit of language or speech?

The Simple Sentence.

the simple sentence is a sentence in which only one predicative line is expressed.

Thus, we may state, that a proper simple sentence, or a single-clause sentence, to put it more exactly, is a monopredicative unit, as distinguished from composite and semi-composite sentences.

Predication makes the sentence the sentence. Predication – is a special category, which establishes the relations of the named phenomena to actual life.

Predicative relations – are those between the subject and the predicate, when the predicate says smth about the subject and the subject determines the form of the predicate.

Modality (peculiar to sentences only) – shows the attitude of the speaker to reality.


· Objective – reflects the con-n between the name and obj. reality, it represents the action as real (unreal, possible, necessary)

· Subjective – shows the personal attitude of the speaker to the situation.

Means to express modality (Biber):

· Moduses

· Stence markers – express personal feelings, attitude, personal judgement (modal words, mod. Verbs, adverbials)

Stence divices – paralinguistic means (body position, gestures)

In the sentence we speak about syntactic modality ( relation between the subject and the predicate) the basis of predicative relations

The sentence – nominal function + express predication ( deals with modality)

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