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Дом Functions of word order in English and types of inversion.
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Communicative structure of the sentence.

Communicative structure of the sentence refers to the way the speaker structures the information, the way he identifies the relative importance of utterance parts. Usually the utterance consists of 2 parts:

- the topic of discussion: something about which a statement is made (theme = topic)

- the new information, which adds most to the process of communication (rheme = comment).

Some sentences contain only the rheme, they are monorhematic: It is getting dark. In the majority of sentences the constituents are either rhematic or thematic. There are also transitional elements. Sentences containing the theme and the rheme are called dirhematic.

Thematic elements are indicated by the definite article, loose parenthesis, detached parts of the sentence; rhematic elements - by the indefinite article, particles, negations, emphatic constructions. But in the majority of sentences the rheme is also placed at the end, which is achieved by changing the syntactic structure of the sentence.

Means of preserving the progressive information structure:

1) passive transformations,

2) the use of conversives,

3) the use of the personal subject and the nominal predicate.

Means of making the subject rhematic:

1) the constructions there is/there are, it is necessary,

2) inversion.

Thematic elements contribute little to the meaning of the utterance as they reflect what has already been communicated: they have the lowest degree of communicative dynamism (CD). Rhematic elements, containing new information which advances the communicative process have the highest degree of CD.

Words in an English sentence are arranged in a certain order, which is fixed for every type of the sentence, and is therefore meaningful. Modern English is characterized by a rigid word-order in accordance with which the subject of declarative sentences, as a rule, precedes the predicate. This is the so-called direct order of words.

The most common pattern for the arrangement of the main parts in a declarative sentence is Subject - Predicate - (Object), which is called direct word order.

An unusual position of any part of the sentence may be treated as inversion in the broad sense of the word. There is 2 structural types of inversion: full (predicate + subject) and partial (auxiliary verb (operator) + subject + notional part).

The main functions of word order.

1. Grammatical function expresses grammatical relations. PetersawJohn.

Cases of inversion:

Full inversionmarks the second part of a sentence of proportional agreement (not obligatory) The more he thought of it, the less clear was the matter.

Partial inversion is used

- to distinguish types of sentences: questions, exclamations or imperative sentences having the form of a negative question. Is it really true? Don't you do it!

- to indicate subordination in conditional and concessive clauses introduced asyndetically. Were she asked, she would say.

2. Communicative function indicates information focus (end-focus)

Cases of inversion:

Full inversion is used

- after introductory there. There was a girt whom he loved, there goes our bus.

- after fronted adverbial expressions of place (direction). Here comes Edward.

Partial inversion is used

- after so , neither, nor in a “second clause”, or “short response”. He's hungry. - So am I.

- after as, than, so. She was well-read as were most of her friends.

3. Emphatic function makes part of the sentence prominent by placing the rheme before the theme.

Cases of inversion:

Full inversion is used

- after fronted postpositions (adverbs or prepositions). I stopped the car and up walked a policeman.

- after fronted predicatives. Tall and graceful was Ann.

Partial inversion is used

- after fronted negative and/or restrictive adverbs or expressions: hardly, seldom, rarefy, little, never, expression with only. Only after we met her, did we realize how clever she was.

- after adverbs, adverbial phrases or clauses (often of manner). Well do I remember the day.

- after as, than, so: So shocked was he that he hardly said a word.

- after fronted objects, especially Not /No + Object. Not a single word did she say.


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  • - Functions of word order in English and types of inversion.

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