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Communicative types of sentences

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Actual division of the sentence.

The notional parts of the sentence referring to the basic elements of the reflected situation form, taken together, the nominative meaning of the sentence. The main components of the actual division of the sentence are the theme and the


rheme. The theme expresses the starting point of the communication, i.e. it denotes an object or a phenomenon about which something is reported. The rheme expresses the basic informative part of the communication, its contextually relevant centre.

The Theme of the actual division of the sentence may or may not coincide with the subject of the sentence. The rheme of the actual division, in its turn, may or may not coincide with the predicate of the sentence - either with the whole predicate group or its part, such as the predicative, the object, the adverbial.

The actual division of the sentence finds its full expression only in a concrete context of speech, therefore it is sometimes referred to as the "contextual" division of the sentence.

The sentence is a communicative unit, therefore the primary classification of sentences must be based on the communicative principle. This principle is formulated in traditional grammar as the "purpose of communication".

In accord with the purpose of communication three cardinal sentence-types are recognized in linguistic tradition: first, the declarative sentence; second, the imperative (inducive) sentence; third, the interrogative sentence. The declarative sentence expresses a statement, either affirmative or negative. The imperative sentence expresses inducement, either affirmative or negative. That is, it urges the listener, in the form of request or command to perform or not to perform a certain action. The interrogative sentence expresses a question, i.e. a request for information wanted by the speaker from the listener.

Alongside the three cardinal communicative sentence-types, another type of sentences is recognized in the theory of syntax, namely, the so-called exclamatory sentence. Each of the cardinal communicative sentence-types can be represented in the two variants: non-exclamatory and exclamatory.

4. Simple sentence: constituent structure.

The basic predicative meanings of the typical English sentence are expressed by the finite verb, which is immediately connected with the subject of the sentence. This predicative connection is commonly referred to as the "predicative line" of the sentence. Depending on their predicative complexity, sentences can feature one predicative line or several (more than one) predicative lines; in other words, sentences may be, respectively, "monopredicative" and "polypredicative". Using this distinction, we must say that the simple sentence is a sentence in which only one predicative line is expressed. E.g.: Bob has never left the stadium. Opinions differ. This may happen any time.



According to this definition, sentences with several predicates referring to one and the same subject cannot be considered as simple. E.g.: I took the child in my arms and held him.


Sentences having one verb-predicate and more than one subject to it, if the subjects form actually separate (though) interdependent) predicative connections, cannot be considered as simple, either. E.g.: The door was open, and also the front window.

The nominative parts of the simple sentence, each occupying a notional position in it, are subject, predicate, object, adverbial, attribute, parenthetical enclosure, addressing enclosure. The parts are arranged in a hierarchy, wherein all of them perform some modifying role.

Thus, the subject is a person-modifier of the predicate. The predicate is a process-modifier of the subject-person. The object is a substance-modifier of a processual part (actional or statal). The adverbial is a quality-modifies (in a broad sense) of a processual part or the whole of the sentence). The attribute is a quality-modifier of a substantive part. The parenthetical enclosure is a detached speaker-bound modifier of any sentence-part or the whole of the sentence. The addressing enclosure (address) is a substantive modifier of the destination of the sentence and hence, from its angle, a modifier of the sentence as a whole.

The subject-group and the predicative-group of the sentence are its two constitutive "members" (составы предложения). According as both members are present in the composition of the sentence or only one of them, sentences are classed into 'two-member" and "one-member" ones.

Elliptical sentences in which the subject or the predicate is contextually omitted, are analysed as "two-member" sentences.

The semantic classification of simple sentences should be effected at least on the three bases: first, on the basis of the subject categorial meanings; second, on the basis of the predicate categorial meanings; third, on the basis of the subject-object relation.

Reflecting the categories of the subject, simple sentences are divided into personal and impersonal.

Reflecting the categories of the predicate, simple sentences are divided into process featuring ("verbal") and, in the broad sense, substance featuring (including substance as such and substantive quality - "nominal").

Reflecting the subject-object relation, simple sentences should be divided into subjective (John lives in London), objective (John reads a book) and neutral or "potentially " objective (John reads).





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