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SEMI-COMPLEX SENTENCE

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SEMI-COMPLEX SENTENCE

1. In accord with the principles laid down in the introductory description of composite sentences (Ch. XXVI), the semi-composite sentence is to be defined as a sentence with more than one predicative lines which are expressed in fusion. For the most part, one of these lines can be identified as the leading or dominant, the others making the semi-predicative expansion of the sentence. The expanding semi-predicative line in the minimal semi-composite sentence is either wholly fused with the dominant (complete) predicative line of the construction, or partially fused with it, being weakened as a result of the fusing derivational transformation.




The semi-composite sentence displays an intermediary syntactic character between the composite sentence and the simple sentence. Its immediate syntagmatic structure ('surface' structure) is analogous to that of an expanded simple sentence, since it possesses only one completely expressed predicative unit. Its derivational structure ('deep' structure), on the other hand, is analogous to that of a composite sentence, because it is derived from two or more completely predicative units  its base sentences.

There are two different causes of the existence of the semi-composite sentence in language, each of them being essentially important in itself.

The first cause is the tendency of speech to be economical. As a result of this tendency, reductional processes are developed which bring about semi-blending of sentences. The second cause is that, apart from being economical, the semi-composite sentence fulfils its own purely semantic function, different from the function of the composite sentence proper (and so supplementing it). Namely, it is used to show that the events described in the corresponding sentence parts are more closely connected than the events described in the

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parts of the composite sentence of complete composition. This function is inherent in the structure  it reflects the speaker's view of reality, his presentation of it. Thus, for different reasons and purposes the same two or several events can be reflected now by one type of structure, now by another type of structure, the corresponding 'pleni'- and semi-constructions existing in the syntactic system of language as pairs of related and, for that matter, synonymically related functions. E.g.:

The sergeant gave a quick salute to me, and then he put his squad in motion. Giving a quick salute to me, the sergeant put his squad in motion. With a quick salute to me, the sergeant put his squad in motion.

The two connected events described by the cited sentences are, first, the sergeant's giving a salute to the speaker, and, second, the sergeant's putting his squad in motion. The first sentence, of the pleni-composite type, presents these situationally connected events in separate processual descriptions as they happened one after the other, the successive order being accentuated by the structural features of the construction, in particular, its sequential coordinate clause. The second sentence, of the semi-composite participial-expanded type, expresses a semantic ranking of the events in the situational blend, one of them standing out as a dominant event, the other as a by-event. In the presentation of the third construction, belonging to the primitivised type of semi-composition (maximum degree of blending), the fusion of the events is shown as constituting a unity in which the attendant action (the sergeant's salute) forms simply a background detail in relation to the immediately reflected occurrence (the sergeant's putting the squad in motion).

According to the ranking structure of the semi-composite sentences, they should be divided into semi-complex and semi-compound ones. These constructions correspond to the complex and compound sentences of complete composition (i.e., respectively, pleni-complex and pleni-compound sentences).

2. The semi-complex sentence is a semi-composite sentence built up on the principle of subordination. It is derived from minimum two base sentences, one matrix and one insert. In the process of semi-complexing, the insert sentence is transformed into a partially depredicated construction which is embedded in one of the syntactic positions of the

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matrix sentence. In the resulting construction, the matrix sentence becomes its dominant part and the insert sentence, its subordinate semi-clause.

The semi-complex sentences fall into a number of subtypes. Their basic division is dependent on the character of predicative fusion: this may be effected either by the process of position-sharing (word-sharing), or by the process of direct linear expansion. The sentences based on position-sharing fall into those of subject-sharing and those of object-sharing. The sentences based on semi-predicative linear expansion fall into those of attributive complication, adverbial complication, and nominal-phrase complication. Each subtype is related to a definite complex sentence (pleni-complex sentence) as its explicit structural prototype.

3. Semi-complex sentences of subject-sharing are built up by means of the two base sentences overlapping round the common subject. E.g.:

The man stood. + The man was silent. → The man stood silent. The moon rose. + The moon was red. → The moon rose red.

From the syntagmatic point of view, the predicate of these sentences forms the structure of the 'double predicate' because it expresses two essential functions at once: first, the function of a verbal type (the verb component of the predicate); second, the function of a nominal type (the whole combination of the verb with the nominal component). The paradigmatic analysis shows that the verb of the double predicate, being on the surface a notional link-verb, is in fact a quasi-link.

In the position of the predicative of the construction different categorial classes of words are used with their respective specific meanings and implications: nouns, adjectives, participles both present and past. Cf.:

Sam returned from the polar expedition a grown-up man. They waited breathless. She stood bending over the child's bed. We stared at the picture bewildered.

Observing the semantic, content of the given constructions, we sec that, within the bounds of their functional differences, they express two simultaneous events  or, rather, the simultaneity of the event described by the complicalor expansion with that described by the dominant part. At the

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same time the construction gives informative prominence not to its dominant, but to the complicator, and corresponds to the pleni-complex sentence featuring the complicator event in the principal clause placed in post-position. Cf.:

The moon rose red. → As the moon rose it was red. She stood bending over the child's bed. → As she stood she was bending over the child's bed.

In the subject-sharing semi-composites with reflexivised dominant verbs of intense action the idea of change is rendered. E.g.:

He spoke himself hoarse. → As he spoke he became hoarse. (Further diagnosis: He spoke and spoke until he became hoarse.)

Apart from the described types of subject-sharing sentences there is a variety of them featuring the dominant verb in the passive. E.g.:

The idea has never been considered a wise one. The company was ordered to halt.

These sentences have active counterparts as their paradigmatic derivation bases which we analyse below as semi-complex sentences of object sharing.

4. Semi-complex sentences of object-sharing, as different from those of subject-sharing, are built up of two base sentences overlapping round the word performing different functions in them: in the matrix sentence it is the object, in the insert sentence it is the subject. The complicator expansion of such sentences is commonly called the 'complex object'. E.g.:

We saw him.--He approached us. → We saw him approach us (approaching us). They painted the fence.--The fence was (became) green. → They painted the fence green.

Some dominant verbs of such constructions are not used in the same essential meaning outside the constructions, in particular, some causative verbs, verbs of liking and disliking, etc. Cf.: *I made him.+He obeyed. ~ I made him obey.

This fact, naturally, reflects a very close unity of the constituents of such constructions, but, in our opinion, it can't be looked upon as excluding the constructions from

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the syntactic subsystem in question; rather, the subsystem should be divided into the subsets of 'free' object-sharing and 'bound' object-sharing.

The adjunct to the shared object is expressed by an infinitive, a present or past participle, an adjective, a noun, depending on the structural type of the insert sentence (namely, on its being verbal or nominal).

As is seen from the above, the paradigmatic (derivational) explanation of the sentence with a 'complex object' saves much descriptive space and, which is far more important, is at once generalising and practicable.* As for the relations between the two connected events expressed by the object-sharing sentence, they are of the three basic types: first, relations of simultaneity in the same place; second, relations of cause and result; third, relations of mental attitude towards the event (events thought of, spoken of, wished for, liked or disliked, etc.). All these types of relations can be explicated by the corresponding transformations of the semi-complex sentences into pleni-complex sentences.

Simultaneity in the same place is expressed by constructions with dominant verbs of perceptions (see, hear, feel, smell, etc.). E.g.:

He felt the morning breeze gently touching his face. → He felt the morning breeze as it was gently touching his lace. I never heard the word pronounced like that. → I never heard the word as it was pronounced like that.

Cause and result relations are rendered by constructions with dominant causative verbs taking three types of complex objects: an unmarked infinitival complex object (the verbs make, let, get, have, help); a nounal or adjectival complex object (the verbs call, appoint, keep, paint, etc.); a participial complex object (the verbs set, send, keep, etc.). Cf.:

I helped Jo find the photo. → I helped Jo so that he found the photo. The cook beat the meat soft. The cook beat the meat so that it was (became) soft.

Different mental presentations of the complicator event are effected, respectively, by verbs of mental perceptions and thinking (think, believe, expect, find, etc.); verbs of speech

* Cf. the classical 'syntagmatic' explanation of constructions with complex objects in the cited 13. A. llyish's book, p. 257 ff.

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(tell, ask, report, announce, etc.); verbs of wish; verbs of liking and disliking. Cf.:

You will find many things strange here. → You will find that many things are strange here. I didn't mean my words to hurt you. → I didn't mean that my words should hurt you.

Semi-complex sentences of the object-sharing type, as we have stated above, are closely related to sentences of the subject-sharing type. Structurally this is expressed in the fact that they can be transformed into the passive, their passive counterparts forming the corresponding subject-sharing constructions. Cf.:

We watched the plane disappear behind the distant clouds. → The plane was watched to disappear behind the distant clouds. They washed the floor clean. The floor was washed clean.

Between the two series of constructions, i.e. active and passive, equivalence of the event-relations is observed, so that the difference in their basic meaning is inherent in the difference between the verbal active and passive as such.

5. Semi-complex sentences of attributive complication are derived from two base sentences having an identical element that occupies the position of the subject in the insert sentence and any notional position in the matrix sentence. The insert sentence is usually an expanded one. By the semi-complexing process, the insert sentence drops out its subject-identical constituent and is transformed into a semi-predicative post-positional attribute to the antecedent element in the matrix sentence. E.g.:

The waves sent out fine spray. + The waves rolled over the dam. → The waves rolling over the dam sent out fine spray. I came in late for the supper. + The supper was served in the dining-room. → I came in late for the supper served in the dining-room.

The analogy between post-positional attributes (especially of a detached type) and attributive subordinate clauses has always been pointed out in grammar-books of various destination. The common pre-positional attribute is devoid of a similar half-predicative character and is not to be considered as forming a semi-composite construction with the

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dominant predicative unit. Cf.: The bored family switched off the TV.  The family, bored, switched off the TV.



As for the possible detachment of the defining element (construction) in pre-position, this use is rather to be analysed as adverbial, not attributive, the circumstantial semantic component prevailing over the attributive one in this case. Cf.: Bored, the family switched off the TV. → As the family was bored, it switched off the TV.

, Naturally, the existence of some intermediary types cannot be excluded, which should be exposed in due course by the corresponding contextual observation.

As is seen, the base syntactic material for producing attributively complicated semi-composites is similar to the derivation base of position-sharing semi-composites. The essential difference between the constructions, though, lies in the character of joining their clausal parts: while the process of overlapping deprives the position-sharing expansion of any self-dependent existence, however potential it might be, the process of linear expansion with the attributive complication preserves the autonomous functional role of the semi-clause. The formal test of it is the possibility of inserting into the construction a relative conjunctive plus the necessary verbal element, changing the attributive semi-clause into the related attributive pleni-clause. E.g.:' This is a novel translated from the French. → This is a novel which has been translated from the French,

This test resembles a reconstruction, since an attributive complication in many respects resembles a reduced clause. The position-sharing expansion does not admit of this kind of procedure: the very process of overlapping puts it out of the question. The other factor of difference is the obligatory status of the position-sharing expansion (even in constructions of''free'''object-sharing) against the optional status of the attributive complicator.

The attributive semi-clause may contain in its head position a present participle, a past participle and an adjective. The present participial attributive semi-clause corresponds to the attributive subordinate clause with a verbal predicate in the active. E.g.: We found dry ground at the base of a tree looking toward the sun. → We found dry ground at the base of a tree that looked toward the sun.

Naturally, the present participial semi-clause of the attributive type cannot express an event prior to the event

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of the dominant clause. So, an attributive clause of complete predicative character expressing such an event has no parallel in a participial attributive semi-clause. E.g.: The squad that picked me up could have been scouts. → (*) The squad picking me up

The past participial attributive semi-clause corresponds to the passive attributive subordinate clause. E.g.: You can never rely on the information received from that office. → You can never rely on the information which is received from that office.

The adjectival attributive semi-clause corresponds to the nominal attributive subordinate clause. E.g.: We admired the lilies white against the blue water. → We admired the lilies which were white against the blue water.

Semi-complex sentences of participial attributive complication formed by introducer constructions resemble subject-sharing semi-complex sentences. Cf.:

There is a river flowing through the town. → There is a river which flows through the town. This is John speaking. → This is John who is speaking.

Still closer to the subject-sharing semi-composite sentence stands the peculiar introducer or demonstrative construction whose attributive semi-clause has a finite verb predicate. This specific semi-complex sentence, formed much on the pattern of common subject overlapping, is called the 'apo-koinou' construction (Greek 'with a common element'). E.g.:

It was you insisted on coming, because you didn't like restaurants (S. O'Casey), He's the one makes the noise at night (E. Hemingway). And there's nothing more can be done (A. Christie).

The apo-koinou construction is considered here under the heading of the semi-complex sentence of attributive complication on the ground of its natural relation to the complex sentence with an attributive subordinate clause, similar to any common semi-complex sentence of the type in question. The apo-koinou construction should be classed as a familiar colloquialism of occasional use.

6. Semi-complex sentences of adverbial complication are derived from two base sentences one of which, the insert

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sentence, is predicatively reduced and embedded in an adverbial position of the other one, the matrix sentence. E.g.:

The task was completed. + The task seemed a very easy one. → The task, when completed, seemed a very easy one. The windows were closed.--She did not hear the noise in the street. The windows being closed, she did not hear the noise in the street.

The subject of the insert sentence may be either identical with that of the matrix sentence (the first of the above examples) or not identical with it (the second example). This feature serves as the first fundamental basis for classifying the semi-complex sentences in question, since in the derived adverbial semi-clause the identical subject is dropped out and the non-identical subject is preserved. It will be reasonable to call the adverbial semi-clause of the first type (i.e. referring to the subject of the dominant clause) the 'conjoint' semi-clause. The adverbial complicator expansion of the second type (i.e. having its own subject) is known under the name of the 'absolute construction' (it will further be referred to as 'absolutive').

The given classification may be formulated for practical purposes as the 'rule of the subject', which will run as follows: by adverbialising scmi-complexing the subject of the insert sentence is deleted if it is identical with the subject of the matrix sentence,

The other classificational division of adverbial semi-clauses concerns the representation of the predicate position. This position is only partially predicative, the role of the partial predicate being performed by the participle, either present or past. The participle is derived from the finite verb of the insert sentence; in other words, the predicate of the insert sentence is participialised in the semi-clause. Now, the participle-predicate of the adverbial semi-clause may be dropped out if the insert sentence, presents a nominal or existential construction (the finite verb be). Thus, in accord with this feature of their outer structure, adverbial semi-clauses are divided into participial and non-participial. E.g.:

One day Kitty had an accident. + She was swinging in the garden. → One day Kitty had an accident while swinging in the garden. (The participle is not to be deleted, being of an actional character.) He is very young.+ He is quite competent in this field. Though being very young, he is

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quite competent in this field. → Though very young, he is quite competent in this field. (The participle can be deleted, being of a linking nature.) She spoke as if being in a dream. → She spoke as if in a dream. (The predicate can be deleted, since It is expressed by the existential be.)

The two predicate types of adverbial semi-clauses, similar to the two subject types, can be briefly presented by the 'rule of the predicate' as follows: by adverbialising semi-complexing the verb-predicate of the insert sentence is participialised, and may be deleted if it is expressed by be.

Conjoint adverbial semi-clauses are either introduced by adverbial subordinated conjunctions or joined to the dominant clause asyndetically. The adverbial semantics expressed is temporal, broader local, causal, conditional, comparative. Cf. syndetic introduction of adverbial semi-clauses:

He was silent as if not having heard the call. → as if he had not heard the call. Read on unless told otherwise. unless you are told otherwise. Although kept out of the press, the event is widely known in the diplomatic circles. → Although it is kept out of the press When in London, the tourists travelled in double-deckers. → When they were in London

Asyndetic introduction of adverbial semi-clauses is characteristic of temporal and causal constructions. Cf.:

Working on the book, the writer travelled much about the country. → When working on the book Dialling her number, she made a mistake. → While dialling her number Being tired, I could not accept the invitation. → As I was tired

As for the absolutive adverbial semi-clauses, they are joined to the dominant clause either asyndetically, or, mostly for the purpose of emphasis, by the conjunction with. The adverbial semantics of the absolutive complicator expansion is temporal, causal, and attendant-circumstantial. E.g.:

Everything being settled, Moyra felt relieved. → As everything was settled Two days having elapsed, the travellers set out on their way. When two days had elapsedWith all this work waiting for me, I can't afford to join their Sunday outing. → As all this work is waiting for me '

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The rule of the predicate is observed in absolulive complicators the same as in conjoint adverbial complicators. Its only restriction concerns impersonal sentences where the link-verb is not to be deleted. Cf.:

The long luncheon over, the business friend would bow and go his way. → When the long luncheon was over It being very hot, the children gladly ran down to the lake. → As it was very hot

7. Semi-complex sentences of nominal phrase complication are derived from two base sentences one of which, the insert sentence, is partially norninalised (changed into a verbid phrase of infinitival or gerundial type) and embedded in one of the nominal and prepositional adverbial positions of the other sentence serving as the matrix. The nominal verbid constructions meet the demands both of economy and expressiveness, and they are widely used in all the functional orders of speech. The gerundial phrase is of a more substantive semantic character, the infinitival phrase, correspondingly, of a more processual semantic character. The gerundial nominalisalion involves the optional change of the noun subject into the possessive, while the infinitival nominalisation involves the use of the preposition for before the subject. E.g.

Tom's coming late annoyed his mother. → The fact that Tom came late annoyed his mother. For him to come so late was unusual. → It was unusual that he came so late.

The rule of the subject exposed in connection with the adverbial semi-complexing (see above) applies also to the process of partial nominalisation and is especially important here. It concerns the two types of subject deletion; first, its contextual identification; second, its referring to a general (indefinite) person. Thus, the rule can be formulated in this way: the subject of the verbid phrase is deleted when it is either identified from the context (usually, but not necessarily, from the matrix sentence) or denotes an indefinite person. Cf. the contextual identification of the subject:

We are definite about it. → Our being definite about it. → Let's postpone being definite about it. Mary has recovered so soon. For Mary to have recovered so soon Mary is happy to have recovered so soon.

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Cf. the indefinite person identification of the subject:

One avoids quarrels with strangers. One's avoiding quarrels with strangers. → Avoiding quarrels with strangers is always a wise policy. One loves spring. For one to love spring.→It's but natural to love spring.

A characteristic function of the infinitive phrase is its use with subordinative conjunctions in nominal semi-clauses. The infinitive in these cases implies modal meanings of obligation, admonition, possibility, etc. E.g.:

I wondered where to go. I wondered where I was to go. The question is, what to do next. → The question is, what we should do next.

In contrast with nominal uses of infinitive phrases, gerundial phrases are widely employed as adverbial semi-clauses introduced by prepositions. Semi-clauses in question are naturally related to the corresponding adverbial pleni-clauses. Cf.:

In writing the letter he dated it wrong. → White he was writing the letter he dated it wrong. She went away without looking back. → As she went away she didn't look back. I cleaned my breast by telling you everything. → I cleaned my breast because I told you everything.

The prepositional use of gerundial adverbial phrases is in full accord with the substantival syntactic nature of the gerund, and this feature differentiates in principle the gerundial adverbial phrase from the participial adverbial phrase as a positional constituent of the semi-complex sentence.



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