26 October 2012 Clause structure, complements and adjunctsBased on“A student’s Introduction to English Grammar”,R. Huddleston, G. Pullum
Clause structureCanonical clauses, stand alone and follow standard conventions, comparethem to related constructions Clause: Subject + Predicate Predicate = VP = Predicator/V + Complements + AdjunctsDiagram of a clause structure/constituents/triangles show internal structure
How to recognize a subject? 1,2,3,4/syntax1. Basic position before the verb John loved Mary. Mary loved John.2. Case- inflectional form; It distinguishes subject from non-subjects.Subjects/pronouns must be in the nominative case forms. He loved her. She loved him. Accusative case Girls /They looked at boys /them. The dogs barked at the visitors.3. Verb agreement, all verbs other than modal auxiliaries show agreement with the subject in thepresent tense, be shows agreement in the preterite/past. Inflectional forms. John loves children. The children love John. John was fond of children. The children were fond of John.4. Subject-auxiliary inversion; In interrogatives subject is after the auxiliary verb Does John love the children? Do the children love John? Was John fond of children? Were the children fond of John?
Problems/ 1,2,3,4; semantic definitions• Subject/actor as a performer of the actionOswald assassinated Kennedy. We wandered down the street.Mary knows him well. Knowing isn’t an action but 1, 2, 3,4Mary was attacked by a hooligan. Is she the performer of the action? Passive/active• Subject and topicRzeszow is lovely in spring. No action; subject identifies a topic1,2,3,4
Predicator - VThe verb determines what the clause is like.The verb – the head word of the clauseVerb can belong to a certain subclass of verbs and itdecides on dependents.
Dependents• Dependents: complements & adjuncts Lucy gave the key to the landlord in the morning.• Complements are licensed by the verb.• Object is one kind of complement, located within VPSue used the cheese *Sue used. Object obligatorySue ate the cheese. Sue ate. Object optional*Sue disappeared the cheese. Sue disappeared. Object excluded• Adjuncts are usually compatible with any verbs.The seminar is difficult because it has complicated vocabulary.
How to recognize the object? 1,2,3,4,5,1. a special case of complement, licensed by the verb2. obligatory with some verbs3. It corresponds to the subject in passive4. object can take the form of a pronoun and must be in the accusative form5. the basic object position is immediately after the verb. Ed told the manager. Ed told the manager. Ed arrived last week.Direct & Indirect Objects
Direct & indirect objects Od O iO always precedes O i dMary gave John the photo. I bought them some books. Oi Od Oi OdA different syntactic structure:Mary gave the photo to John. I bought some books for them. Preposition Phrase Complement to John , for them are licensed by verbs but do not have properties ofobjects. They are complements.
How to distinguish two kinds of the object?• The indirect object precedes the direct object.• Od undergoes fronting, Oi is resistant to it.1. She gave him everything else. 1. She gave him everything else.Everything else, she gave him. *Him, she gave everything else.2. He gave them a lot of work. 2. He gave them a lot of work.What a lot of work he gave them. *What a lot of them he gave work.
Predicative complement = PC• The next kind of dependent of the verb.• Usually a NP• From semantic point of view objects denote participants, Predicative Complements show properties.• Ex.: the same complement/object PC (1 single person involved) Object (2 people)Mary was a good student. Mary found a good student.Mary became a friend of mine. Mary insulted a friend of mine. Mary was a good student. > Mary studied well. PredicateEx.: the same verb PC (property) O (2 participants) This proved a great asset. This proved my point. He sounded a decent guy. He sounded the gong.
Syntactic differences between PC and Objects - a, b, c,da. PC can have the form of Adjective Phrase (AdjP) PC O John seemed a very nice guy. He met a very nice guy. John seemed very nice. *He met very nice.b. PC can have the form of a bare role NP PC O She became the treasurer. She knew the treasurer. She became treasurer. *She knew treasurer.c. PC does not correspond to the subject of a passive clause Active Passive John insulted a friend of mine. O A friend of mine was insulted by John. John became a friend of mine. PC *A friend of mine was become by John.d. PC can have a form of a nominative pronoun PC O It was he who said it. (formal style) They accused him of lying. *They accused he of lying.It was him who said it. (in Standard English)
Subjective and objective PC S + Subjective PC O + objective PCJohn seems highly untrustworthy. I consider Mary highly untrustworthy. 1 person, subject , property of the subject I & Mary, property of the Od
5 canonical clause structuresAll canonical clauses contain S and Predicate + different complements.The presence of complements depends on V.Ordinary Intransitive S-P We hesitated.Complex Intransitive S-P-PC We felt happy.Ordinary monotransitive S-P-Od We sold our house.Complex- transitive S-P-Od-PC We made them happy.Ditransitive S-P-Oi-Od We gave them some food.
Adjunct Classification on the basis of meaningtype exampleManner He drove quite recklessly.Place They have breakfast in bed.Time I saw her last week.Duration We lived in Rzeszow for five years.Frequency I telephone my mother every Sunday.Degree I very much enjoyed your last novel.Purpose I checked all the windows to make sure they were shut.Result It rained all day, with the result that they couldn’t work.Condition If it rains the match will be postponed.Concession Although he’s rich, he lives very simply.
The form of adjunctscategory examplesAdverb, AdvP He thanked us profusely. We quite often have tea together.PP I cut it with a knife. I’ll help you after the seminar.NP We saw him several times. She arrived this evening.Finite clause I couldn’t do it however hard I tried.Non-finite clause I kept my mouth shut to avoid giving any more offence.