ADVERBIALS – general info An ADVERBIAL is a sentence element which gives extra information about the time, place, manner, etc. of the event/state described by the rest of the clause. The adverbial differs from the other four sentence elements (S, V, O, C) in several ways: it has a wider range of meanings (time, place, manner, etc.) it has a wider range of forms (AdvP, NP, PP, clause) it has a wider range of positions (initial, medial, final) it has the possibility of multiple occurrences (This time last year Angelina and I were hiking for many days over beautiful Peruvian mountains.)
ADVERBIALS – syntactic classes There are THREE SYNTACTIC CLASSES of adverbials, depending on how integrated they are into the structure of the clause. ADJUNCTS DISJUNCTS CONJUNCTS INTEGRATED into the structure of the clause PERIPHERAL to the structure of the clause, they convey the SPEAKER’S COMMENT PERIPHERAL to the structure of the clause, they have a CONNECTIVE FUNCTION
ADVERBIALS – syntactic form ADVERBIALS PHRASESAdvPNPPPCLAUSESfinitenon-finiteverbless
ADVERBIALS – syntactic classes There are 7 syntactic tests for showing that adjuncts are more integrated into the structure of the clause, unlike disjuncts or conjuncts:
Yes, adjuncts ARE integrated into the clause structure – EVIDENCE #1 ADJUNCTS CAN BE FOCUSED BY CLEFT SENTENCES: However, John is dating Angelina this week. However, it is this week, that John is dating Angelina. DISJUNCTS AND CONJUNCTS CANNOT BE FOCUSED BY CLEFT SENTENCES (SOUNDS ODD): However, John is dating Angelina this week. It is however, that John is dating Angelina this week.
Yes, adjuncts ARE integrated into the clause structure – EVIDENCE #2 ADJUNCTS CAN BE THE FOCUS OF A QUESTION (CONSTITUENT QUESTION): However, John is dating Angelina this week. When is John dating Angelina? (A: This week.) DISJUNCTS AND CONJUNCTS CANNOT BE THE FOCUS OF A QUESTION: However, John is dating Angelina this week. ??? is John is dating Angelina this week? (A: However.)
Yes, adjuncts ARE integrated into the clause structure – EVIDENCE #3 ADJUNCTS CAN BE THE FOCUS OF A QUESTION: However, John is dating Angelina this week. Is John dating Angelina this or next week? (A: This week.) DISJUNCTS AND CONJUNCTS CANNOT BE THE FOCUS OF A QUESTION: However, John is dating Angelina this week. Is John is dating Angelina this week however or whatever? (A: However.)
Yes, adjuncts ARE integrated into the clause structure – EVIDENCE #4 ADJUNCTS ARE CONTAINED IN PREDICATION ELLIPSIS: However, John graduated in 1999. However, John graduated in 1999 and so did Angelina? DISJUNCTS AND CONJUNCTS CANNOT BE CONTAINED IN PREDICATION ELLIPSIS: However, John graduated in 1999. However, John graduated in 1999 and so did Angelina. ( ≠ : However, John graduated in 1999 and however Angelina graduated in 1999?
Yes, adjuncts ARE integrated into the clause structure – EVIDENCE #6 MOST ADJUNCTS CANNOT APPEAR IN THE INITIAL POSITION IN NEGATIVE DECLARATIVE CLAUSES: However, John left quickly. Quickly John didn’t leave. DISJUNCTS AND CONJUNCTS CAN APPEAR IN THE INITIAL POSITION IN NEGATIVE DECLARATIVE CLAUSES: To my regret, John left quickly. To my regret, John didn’t leave quickly.
ADVERBIALS: their position and order She was killed WITH A KNIFE / IN HER APARTMENT / AROUND 3 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING / YESTERDAY. < STILL TERRIBLE, BUT GRAMMATICALLY OK She was killed AROUND 3 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING / IN HER APARTMENT / YESTERDAY / WITH A KNIFE /. < TERRIBLE, AND GRAMMATICALLY WRONG
ADVERBIALS: their position What can we learn from this sentence: At that time, he somehow used to sort of be always seeking, I don’t know how to say it, a religiously valid reason, I guess, to attack him as soon as possible. A language of an uneducated person? Think again! You’re looking at the sentence uttered by this man:
ADVERBIALS: their position AL GORE, US presidential candidate and Nobel prize winner (and the narrator of the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
ADVERBIALS - position Compared to other syntactic constituents, the adverbial can be placed with relative freedom in several positions in a sentence. For example, the adjunct by then can be inserted in seven different positions in the following sentence: The book should have been returned to the library. By then, the book should have been returned to the library. The book by then should have been returned to the library. The book should by then have been returned to the library. The book should have by then been returned to the library. The book should have been by then returned to the library. The book should have been returned by then to the library. The book should have been returned to the library by then. INITIAL MEDIAL FINAL INITIALMEDIALFINAL ↓ The book ↓ should ↓ have ↓ been ↓ returned↓ to the library ↓.
INITIAL POSITION INITIAL POSITION: before the subject: By then, the book should have been returned to the library. Sometimes we go hiking at weekends. Last year we organized a huge party for her birthday. Today we are going to talk about adverbials.
MEDIAL POSITION MEDIAL POSITION: in or around the VP. Depending on the complexity of the VP, there may be several available medial positions: M1: after the subject, before the first auxiliary (no modal) or modal, before the lexical verb (in a simple VP) e.g. This HARDLY is my business. I SIMPLY do not understand you. M2: after BE as a lexical verb (in a simple VP), between two auxiliaries (if there are only two), between the auxiliary (the only one) and the lexical verb e.g. They have JUST been arrested. She is STILL your friend. M3: between the second and the third auxiliary e.g. The book should have BY THEN been returned to the library. M4: between the third auxiliary and the lexical verb e.g. The book should have been BY THEN returned to the library.
FINAL POSITION FINAL POSITION: after the lexical verb and other obligatory elements. F1: immediately after the lexical verb or after an obligatory complement e.g. I paid immediately for the book. I haven’t finished my report yet. F2: after a non-obligatory element or, simply, at the end of the sentence e.g. I paid for the book immediately.
LET’S BUILD UPON THAT FOUNDATION MORE PROPERTIES OF ADVERBIALS
ADVERBIALS – OPTIONALITY Adverbials are often said to be OPTIONAL sentence elements, i.e. “the adverbial is the optional constituent; it can be left out of the clause; all others are obligatory.” (David Crystal) However, that is not always the case, as you will see in the next slide.
ADVERBIALS - OPTIONALITY Compare the following sentences: Anne is Scottish. Anne is a Scotswoman. Anne is from Scotland. Anne is in Scotland. WHAT IS ANNE (LIKE)? WHERE DOES ANNE COME FROM? WHERE IS ANNE? THE FIRST TWO EXAMPLES CONTAIN A LINKING/COPULA VERB “BE” FOLLOWED BY A SUBJECT COMPLEMENT. THE VERB “BE” CANNOT BE REPLACED WITH ANY OTHER VERB, I.E. THE SENTENCE CANNOT BE PARAPHRASED WITH ANY OTHER VERB. THE LAST TWO EXAMPLES CONTAIN AN INTRANSITIVE VERB “BE” FOLLOWED BY AN ADVERBIAL. THE VERB “BE” CAN BE REPLACED WITH OTHER VERBS, I.E. THE SENTENCE CAN BE PARAPHRASED WITH E.G. COME, STAY OR LIVE. THESE ADVERBIALS ARE OBLIGATORY.
FACEBOOK IS WHERE YOU TALK TO THE WALL. *FACEBOOK IS.
ADVERBIALS - OPTIONALITY Of course, adverbials are also obligatory in sentences that follow the SVOA pattern (COMPLEX TRANSITIVE VERBS): He put the book on the shelf. She put the cheese back. He threw the paper in the bin.
Generally, a RAG-BAG category in linguistic systems: usually negatively defined as sentence elements which are not VERBS and DO NOT have a participant function in the clause Sometimes positively defined as sentence elements that provide answers to the questions how/why, where and when. (Crystal) Somehow adverbials that answers to the questions how/why, where and when seem PROTOTYPICAL.
ADVERBIALS Etymology: from Latin adverbium: ad (“to”) + verbum (“word”) Therefore they are also sometimes defined in the following way (Sinclair 1990): “An adverbial is a word or a group of words that you add to a clause when you want to say something more about the circumstances of an event or a situation, for example, when it occurs, how it occurs, how much it occurs or where it occurs.” These definitions present adverbials as sentence elements with a secondary importance. Some idea of the actual frequency of adverbials and their importance in communication can be had from the following example:
David sat /silently/ /in the grass/, watching the insects which lay /at different angles from one another/ /on numerous blades of grass/, /like ships out in the roadstead/. A caterpillar started to wriggle /towards him/, /peering/ /this way and that/ /with interrogatory antennae/. A large cricket jumped /to the handrail of the old bench/, /swaying/ it /slightly/ and cleaning its face /like a cat/. / Only then / did David realize that a large tarantula climbed / onto his arm / / looking for a nice place /to bask/ /in the afternoon sunshine/.
ADVERBIALS Actually, ADVERBIALS are the most important sentence elements from the point of view of COMMUNICATION. They are the sentence elements which contain THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECES OF INFORMATION AND THE CRUCIAL DETAILS ABOUT THE STATE OR ACTIVITY EXPRESSED BY THE VERB. Look at the previous passage with adverbials omitted:
David sat. A caterpillar started to wriggle. A large cricket jumped. David realized that a large tarantula climbed onto his arm (obligatory adverbial).
In another life, I would make you stay, so I don’t have to say you were the one that got away. I would make you stay. PURPOSE TIME (HYPOTHETICAL)
I should’ve told you what you meant to me, ‘cause now I pay the price. I should’ve told you what you meant to me. REASON
EVOLUTION: Populations of organisms gradually change in response to their environment. Populations of organisms change. MANNERCAUSE
You could be doing many wonderful things, if you were not sitting at your computer. You could be doing many wonderful things. CONDITION (HYPOTHETICAL)
ADVERBIALS: their meaning You will get killed IF YOU DON’T DRIVE CAREFULLY. You will get killed. CONDITION (REAL POSSIBILITY)
ADVERBIALS: their meaning They camped AT THE BEACH. They camped. LOCATION
ADVERBIALS: their meaning WHEN HE WAS A BOY, he used to dream of owning a sailboat. He used to dream of owning a sailboat. TIME-WHEN
ADVERBIALS: their meaning The scientist examined the sample WITH A MICROSCOPE. The scientist examined the sample. INSTRUMENT
ADVERBIALS: their meaning They walked HAND IN HAND. They walked. MANNER
ADVERBIALS He ran. Naturally, when he saw an Albertosaurus, he ran as fast as he could. A sentence without adverbials. A sentence with adverbials.
ADVERBIALS: their other meanings If possible (A), ring me later. [contingency] Although he's young (A), he's good. [concession] While she slept (A), I worked. [contrast] I would go, except I can't (A). [exception] Knowing her (A), I chose a red one. [reason] I fed the stray, to gain its trust (A). [result] The dog obeyed, as instructed (A). [comparison] I would fight, rather than quit (A). [preference] Ankara, I believe (A), is the capital. [comment = disjunct]
IN OTHER WORDS… WE HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO. WELCOME TO THE BEAUTIFUL, INTRICATE, SOMETIMES COMPLEX AND ALWAYS FUZZY WORLD OF SEMANTIC CLASSIFICATION OF ADVERBIALS.
SEMANTIC CLASSIFICATION OF ADVERBIALS (i.e. their meanings)
SEMANTIC TYPES OF ADJUNCTS Adjuncts Process Space/ Place Time Contingency Focusing Degree/ Intensifier Modality Respect/ Viewpoint Subjuncts
1. ADJUNCTS – PROCESS They favor the FINAL position Some can take the MEDIAL position Co-occurrence possible: She was accidentally struck with a racket by her partner.
2. ADJUNCTS – SPACE / PLACE (1/2) Co-occurrence is possible. Relative order is fixed: distance + position: He swam a mile in the open sea. direction + position: He fell into the water near that rock. distance + direction: She walked a few steps towards him. two of the same subtype: position smaller/more specific + position bigger/less specific Many people eat in restaurants in London. goal + source or source + goal (depending on information structure): We flew from Cairo to Istanbul. We flew to Istanbul from Cairo. Only adverbials of same meaning can be coordinated: I drove down Gower Street and into University College /*several miles.
2. ADJUNCTS – SPACE / PLACE (2/2) Position of SPACE ADJUNCTS in the sentence: Normally, they take FINAL positions If they are clustered, the order is: DISTANCE – DIRECTION – POSITION She walked [a few steps] [towards him] [in the dark] SPACE ADJUNCTS OF POSITION can be moved to INITIAL position: On the top of the building, two men were gesticulating wildly. Some space adjuncts denoting POSITION AND DIRECTION cause subject-operator inversion (LOCATIVE INVERSION) when they are placed initially: Here he is!There was the book.Down swooped the hawk.
3. ADJUNCTS – TIME (1/5) They typically favor the FINAL position. However, they can often take the INITIAL position: In 1982, the economy started to recover. For many years, no one wanted to buy the house. Some, especially short adjuncts (such as: always, often, just, recently, already) take the MEDIAL position: She often arrives late. You could then take a train to London.
3. ADJUNCTS – TIME (2/5) TIME ADJUNCTS TIME WHEN/POSITION DURATION (backward/forwar d span) FREQUENCY OTHER TIME RELATIONSHIP TIME ADJUNCTS – SUBCLASSIFICATION
3. ADJUNCTS – TIME (3/5) TIME ADJUNCTS – SUBCLASSIFICATION: TIME WHEN/POSITION – answers the question WHEN? See you tomorrow / then. Two of the same type: more specific + less specific I’ll see you [at nine] [on Monday]. However, if one of the two adjuncts is very long, the order is: shorter + longer I lived there in the fifties when my first child was born. DURATION (backward/forward span) – three subtypes: Duration of specific or indefinite length: answers the question HOW LONG? He walked for 6 hours.He waited from 1 to 5.He worked all day. Duration – forward span: answers the question TILL WHEN? He will arrive till / until five o’clock.He didn’t arrive until 5. (till + negation) Duration – backward span: answers the question SINCE WHEN? He will arrive till / until five o’clock.He didn’t arrive until 5. (till + negation)
3. ADJUNCTS – TIME (4/5) TIME ADJUNCTS – SUBCLASSIFICATION: FREQUENCY Frequency of occasion: answers the question HOW MANY TIMES? He did it twice.He sent that message three times. Frequency of period: answers the question HOW OFTEN? He is paid daily/monthly. Definite frequency: TWICE, DAILY Indefinite frequency – four subsets on the scale: UNIVERSAL FREQUENCY: always HIGH FREQUENCY: often, frequently USUAL OCCURRENCE: usually, generally LOW FREQUENCY: seldom, hardly ever, never olow frequency time adjuncts sometimes cause NEGATIVE INVERSION when they are in the initial position: Never have I seen such a play. OTHER TIME RELATIONSHIPS: previously, again, already…
3. ADJUNCTS – TIME (5/5) When time adjuncts co-occur, their relative order is: 1. DURATION – 2. FREQUENCY – 3. POSITION I was there [for a short while] [every day or so] [last year].
4. ADJUNCTS – CONTINGENCY Mostly occur in the INITIAL and FINAL positions. When they co-occur in the FINAL position, the order is: 1. RESPECT – 2. PROCESS – 3. SPACE – 4. TIME – 5. CONTINGENCY Many people died [in Africa] [in the 20 th century] [from malnutrition]. IMPORTANT NOTE: CAUSE vs. REASON CAUSE (no subject’s control): She died of cancer. REASON (subject’s control): Working hard, she got promoted.
5. ADJUNCTS – FOCUSING They don’t favor any position in particular. The general rule for their position is that they are placed before the focused element: She had also questioned only her patients only the previous week also. If the whole predication is focused, they take medial position: She had only questioned her patients the previous week. HOWEVER, not all focusing expressions are really adjuncts: He only wants to help. (ADJUNCT) Only he wants to help. (MODIFIER OF NP)
HOWEVER, THERE ARE ALSO DISJUNCTS AND CONJUNCTS
DIGRESSION: frequent words The most frequent words in English are: THE A IS ARE WAS WERE DID DO However, these are just INDIVIDUAL WORDS. We know that language actually operates on UNITS LARGER THAN WORDS: PHRASES and CLAUSES So, what do you think, what is the most frequent phrase/clause in the English language?
THE MOST FREQUENT PHRASE/CLAUSE IN ENGLISH: YOU KNOW /j’ nou/ Closely followed by: I mean, I suppose, You see, Sort of and similar expressions. IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS REFERS TO SPOKEN ENGLISH
YOU KNOW, I MEAN, YOU SEE… AN EXAMPLE When my sister and I were children, we had a small, ahm, a little, sort of, patch, you know, cunningly a bit tucked away at the back of somewhere at our place and we used to grow tomatoes and the odd vegetable. I mean, I've always felt that's an important part of, you know, one's connection with nature and the soil, and so, I suppose, that was part of it. But then when I, you know, when I came down here, and I just wanted to get stuck in and I'd always wanted to do a bit of farming - I'm not very good at it but fortunately there are lots of other people around to help. IS THIS GOOD ENGLISH? OFFICIALLY, THIS IS REALLY BAD ENGLISH! IF YOU WANT TO SOUND LIKE AN EDUCATED PERSON, YOU SHOULDN’T TALK LIKE THIS.
WHO IS, THEN, THIS PERSON? Who is this person that tortures and abuses the beauty of the language of Shakespeare, Chaucer, Dickens, Joyce, etc? Who is this uneducated scum of the earth who dares ruin the perfection of English as it has evolved over two millennia? What is his walk of life, education and social background? PRINCE CHARLES > heir to the throne of England and the man married to a Camel
YOU KNOW, YOU SEE, I MEAN… ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE DISJUNCTS, ACTUALLY.
DISJUNCTS STYLE DISJUNCTS Comment the style, form, conditions of speaking CONTENT/ ATTITUDINAL DISJUNCTS (comment the truth value of an utterance) CERTAINTYEVALUATION
DISJUNCTS: more info Disjuncts are typically PPs and CLAUSES. STYLE DISJUNCTS convey either: Speaker’s assertion of truth (truthfully), or Speaker’s indication of generalization (broadly). ATTITUDINAL DISJUNCTS comment on: TRUTH VALUE OF THE SENTENCE (CERTAINTY) General: certainly General + perception: obviously General + comment on reality of content: really CONTENT OF COMMUNICATION (EVALUATION) General: understandably General + comment on clause subject: wisely (similar to subjuncts)
CONJUNCTS (1/2) They have a CONNECTIVE FUNCTION between SENTENCES (sometimes, they are called SENTENCE LINKERS) Most typically, they take the INITIAL POSITION, but they are not restricted to it. Sometimes, they can take the MEDIAL and FINAL position:
CONJUNCTS (2/2) There are many classifications of conjuncts, below there is a list of THE MOST FREQUENT classes of conjuncts (there are many other classes, which are not given here):
CONJUNCTS: add-on According to most textbooks there are two more groups: INFERENTIAL CONJUNCTS: They convey an inference from what is implicit in the preceding sentence or sentences: Else, otherwise, then, in other words, in that case TEMPORAL TRANSITION CONJUNCTS: They convey that the temporal ordering is simultaneous with the previous sentences (similar to TIME ADJUNCTS): In the meantime, in the meanwhile…
CONJUNCTS: add-on Also, according to most textbooks there are four subtypes of CONTRASTIVE CONJUNCTS: REFORMULATORY CONTRASTIVE CONJUNCTS: BETTER, RATHER, IN OTHER WORDS… REPLACIVE CONTRASTIVE CONJUNCTS: AGAIN, ALTERNATIVELY, RATHER, BETTER, WORSE, ON THE OTHER HAND ANTITHETIC CONTRASTIVE CONJUNCTS: CONTRARIWISE, CONTRASTINGLY, CONVERSLY, INSTEAD, OPPOSITELY, ON THE CONTRARY, IN CONTRAST, IN COMPARISON, ON THE OTHER HAND… CONCESIVE CONTRASTIVE CONJUNCTS: ANYHOW, ANYWAY, BESIDES, ALSE, HOWEVER, NONTHELESS, NEVERTHELESS, NOTWITHSTANDING, STILL, YET, IN ANY CASE, AT ANY RATE, FOR ALL THAT, ALL THE SAME…
THE END THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME! CU SOME TIME IN APRIL!