Presentation on theme: "Lecture 17: Modification. 1. What is modification? Modification is an important grammatical device for description and sentence expansion. We have already."— Presentation transcript:
Lecture 17: Modification
1. What is modification? Modification is an important grammatical device for description and sentence expansion. We have already touch upon some aspects of modification in the previous (Lectures19-27,33-34). In the present lecture, we will elaborate on modification in noun phrase as well as on appositives and adverbials.
2. Modification in noun phrase 2.1 Personification and post modification Modifiers in a noun phrase may be classified into pre modifiers and post modifiers. Pre modifiers occur before the headword. They are chiefly adjectives or adjective phrase (an intelligent boy, a very intelligent boy), nouns or noun phrase (a college student, a medical college student), as well as –ing or –ed forms (an approaching train, a retired worker).
2.2Restrictive and non-restrictive modifiers Modifiers in a noun phrase can be restrictive or non-restrictive. This is true of relative clauses as other modifiers. Generally speaking, a restrictive modifier is concerned with the inherent qualities of the noun phrase, while a non-restrictive modifier only adds some explanation, without which the noun phrase still refers to the same person or thing.
2.3 Discontinuous modification A modifier in the noun phrase is generally placed as close as possible to the item it modifiers, but in some contexts a separation of the two is preferable. This is what we call “discontinuous modification”. Discontinuous modification is often used when we want to avoid ambiguity, eg: There’s no report to us of any accident. When we want to achieve balance in sentence structure, eg: Many forms of apparatus have been devised by which a more accurate knowledge of blood pressure can be obtained.
3. Appositives An appositive to a noun phrase is also a sort of post modification, which might be considered as a reduced relative clause.
3.1 Forms of appositives An appositive to a noun phrase may be another noun phrase, which generally follows the first noun phrase, but sometimes it mat also take the initial or end position, eg: Your brother, a proud and unbending man, refused all help that was offered him. Streamlined swimmers and bloodhounds of the sea, sharks are equipped with an extraordinary sense of smell. Only one problem still remains-the storage of the grain.
3.2 Indicators of appositives Appositives are sometimes introduced by indicators which help to express different semantic relationships between the items in apposition. Some indicators denote “equation”. These include namely (viz), that is (ie), that is to say, in other words, or.. for short, etc. Other indicators denote “exemplification” or “enumeration”.
3.3 Modifiers of appositives Appositives may take modifiers if their own. These modifiers are usually adverbs or prepositional phrases, which function as adverbials when they occur in a corresponding relative clause, eg: Tom, normally a timid boy, jumped into the river and saved the drowning girl. = Tom, who was normally a timid boy, …
3.4 Restrictive vs non-restrictive appositives A restrictive appositive forms an integral part of the noun phrase in apposition. With this sort of appositive, there is no pause in speech and no comma or dash in writing, eg: Harold the lawyer Robinson the singer The nouns or noun phrases in apposition to personal pronouns are also restrictive appositive, eg: We Chinese are determined to defend out national sovereignty. Nothing is too hard for us Chinese people.
4. Adverbials An adverbial is also a sort of modifier, but it is a clause element, as distinguished from a modifier in the noun phrase. Adverbials fall into three categories: adjuncts, disjuncts, and conjuncts. Strictly speaking, it is only the first category-the adjunct-that can be right labeled an adverbial, which is generally treated as one of the five elements of a clause.
4.1 Adjuncts As a clause element, adjuncts are normally realized by adverb phrases, prepositional phrase, non-finite, and verbless clauses. Semantically, adjuncts may denote time, place, manner, purpose, cause, result, condition, concession, and accompanying circumstances.
4.2 Disjuncts A disjunct is different from an adjunct in that it does not integrate itself into the structure of a clause. It is somewhat detached from the clause structure and has a more or less peripheral nature. Semantically, a disjunct does not modify the action or process denoted by the verb but expresses and evaluation of, or comment on, what is being said with respect to form of the communication or to its meaning, eg: Very frankly, I’m tired of it. Officially, he’s on holiday; actually, he is in hospital.
4.3 Conjuncts Conjuncts differ from adjuncts and disjuncts in that they do not modify anything nor comment on the accompanying clause, but function as connectives between phrase, clauses or sentences. Conjuncts are commonly realized by con juncture and explanatory adverbs and prepositional phrase, eg: They have their umbrellas up; therefore, it must be raining. He could not do anything more than what he promised-namely, to look after Charlotte’s estate. Jane is reserved; by contrast, her sister is more outspoken.