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Лингвистика The Definition of a Sentence
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THE THEORY OF THE SIMPLE SENTENCE

Sentential syntax is to be understood as a language component of our internal grammar, which allows us to generate, process and recognize grammatically correct sentences out of a limited storage of words without a moment’s hesitation. It’s a study of our computer-like ability in transformational-generative terms to generate, process and recognize acceptable or non-acceptable structures of the type The field is frozen. The leaves are dry. Life consists of propositions about life. Colourless green ideas sleep furiously. There’s no sense in the last sentence, but we still recognize it as an English sentence, though lexico-semantical valency laws are destroyed. It’s recognizable as a poetic metaphor , the product of the XX century experimental verse. Sentential syntax is a study of syntactical modelling, communicative dynamism (the functional sentence perspective) of all kinds of sentences – simple and composite(compound and complex).

Though new revolutionary methods of parsing (грамматический разбор) have swept into prominence in the second half of the XX th century and shaken the foundations of Traditional grammar, traditional parsing into the main and secondary parts has not gone into oblivion; the subject and the predicate come back into view.

The present day sentential syntax takes advantage of basic achievements of traditionalists, structuralists, transformationalists, generativists, that is all sophistication of the modern syntactic research, innovatory techniques and procedures of analysis.

We are to distinguish among sentences, clauses and utterances. A sentence is a grammatical unit of written language. An utterance is a speech act, a pragmatic unit. A clause is a constituent of a sentence, a higher-ranked unit- a sentence- contains lower- ranked units – clauses.

All attempts at presenting a definition that would satisfy all scholars have proved to be fruitless. Scholars have failed to achieve a generally acceptable definition. There exist hundreds of definitions, but none of them is found adequate. A sentence is a polyfunctional unit. It possesses many aspects (facets): grammatical structure, a certain distribution of communicative dynamism, modality, predicativity, intonation, etc. There are absolutely differing types of sentences. There are one-word sentences (Help! Fire! Women! Magnificent! Eighty-five!). There are 50 page-long sentences. Such is Molly Bloom’s unpunctuated monologue from J. Joyce’s “Ulysses”. It is impossible to arrive at one uniform definition which could cover multiple types of sentences and embrace all facets of a sentence.

There exist logical, psychological, structural, phonetical, graphical definitions of a sentence. A sentence is an expression of a complete thought or judgement (logical). A sentence is an utterance which makes as long a communication as the speaker has intended to make before giving himself a rest (phonetical).

According to S. Porter, a sentence is a minimum complete utterance, a structure, it’s analysed into morphemes, words, phrases, clauses. It is a segment of speech flowing between pause and pause; it is a binary unit. According to prof. Khaimovich, a sentence is a communicative unit made up of words and word-morphemes in accordance with their combinability and structurally united by intonation and predicativity. M.Y. Bloch in his definition attempts to cover all aspects of a sentence ( structure, nominative quality, intonation, predicativity, modality, pragmaticity, communicative dynamism): a sentence is a unit of speech, built of words; unlike a word, a sentence doesn’t exist in the system of a language as a ready-made unit, it’s created by the speaker in the course of communication; it’s intonationally coloured, characterized by predicativity, possesses a nominative aspect, has a contextually relevant communicative purpose.

Before classifying sentences we shall dwell upon syntactic modelling, semantic modelling and a syntactic paradigm of the sentence.


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  • - The Definition of a Sentence

    THE THEORY OF THE SIMPLE SENTENCE Sentential syntax is to be understood as a language component of our internal grammar, which allows us to generate, process and recognize grammatically correct sentences out of a limited storage of words without a moment’s hesitation. It’s a study of our computer-like ability in transformational-generative terms to generate, process and recognize acceptable or non-acceptable structures of the type The field is frozen. The leaves are dry. Life... [читать подробенее]