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Semantico-situational analysis of the simple sentence


This is an analysis of a sentence which is called the deep cases of analysis which was worked out by the American linguist Charles Fillmore. This type of analysis is called to reveal the “true” or deep meanings hidden under the parts of a sentence, (surface structure of the sentence). The essence of it is the following – each unit of the surface structure (for ex – the subject or the object) may correspond to different unit of the deep structure. These units are called semantic roles, deep cases, semantic octants. They distinguish the following deep cases( semantic roles):

- Agent

- Patient

- Benefactive

- Instrument

- Means

- Locative

- Temperative

- Nominative

- Force


For ex: The pilot (agent) changed his tactics. The lightning (force) struck the high tension line. The road(patient) will be reconstructed. The face (nominative) seems glorified. The morning (temperative-время) saw them approaching the airport.



24) Simple sentences are usually classified into one-member and two-member.

This distinction is based on a difference in the main parts of a sentence. One-

member sentences do not contain two such separate parts; in these sentences there

is only one main part (e.g. Silence! Come here!) Such sentences contain neither the

subject nor the predicate. Instead there is only one main part. It is a disputed point

whether the main part of such a sentence should, or should not, be termed subject

in some cases, and predicate, in others. As it was pointed out by academician V.

Vinogradov, grammatical subject and grammatical predicate are correlative notions

and the terms are meaningless outside their relation to each other. He suggested

that for one-member sentences, the term "main part" should be used, without

giving it any more specific name.

Prof. Blokh, however, does not accept this approach because, in his view, it

is based on an inadequate presupposition that in the system of language there is a

strictly defined, "absolute" demarcation line between the two types of

constructions. Instead he suggests that all simple sentences of English be divided

into two-axis constructions and one-axis constructions. In a two-axis sentence, the

subject axis and the predicate axis are directly and explicitly expressed in the outer

structure. In a one-axis sentence only one axis or its part is explicitly expressed, the

other one being non-presented in the outer structure of the sentence.

However, this point of view is not widely accepted, so we shall adhere to the

traditional approach. One-member sentences are further divided into:

a) nominal or "naming" sentences;

b) infinitival sentences.

Nominal sentences name a person or thing. The main member in such

sentences is expressed by a noun.

e.g. Winter. Snow.

The main member of infinitival sentences is expressed by an infinitive.

Infinitival sentences are fairly common in spoken English and literary prose. Like

other units of predicative value, they can communicate not only their denotative

meaning but also the connotative suggestions of various circumstances of their use.

e.g. To talk like that to your own mother! To have eloped with a butler!

One-member sentences should be kept apart from two-member sentences

with either the subject or the predicate omitted, i. e. from elliptical sentences.

Ellipsis in sentence-structure is a natural syntactic process in linguistic

development presented as normal practices in many, if not all, languages. In terms

of traditional grammar, elliptical sentences are generally identified as sentences

with the subject or predicate missing. Some grammarians hold another point of

view recognising ellipsis also in sentences where the secondary parts of the

sentence are felt as missing. Such was A. M. Peshkovsky' s treatment of elliptical

sentences in Russian. This view was also shared by B. Ilyish, L. S. Barkhudarov

and D. A. Shtellіng in regards to English. And this is the view we shall adhere to in

our course. So an elliptical sentence is a sentence with one or more of its parts left

out, which can be unambiguously inferred from the context. The main sphere of

elliptical sentences is dialogue.

   e.g. Where are you going? – To the movies.

   In terms of structure the following types of elliptical sentences are singled


   a) omission of the subject: e.g. Hope to see you soon.

   b) omission of the predicate in patterns with there is, there are, e. g. Too

many mistakes, I am afraid.

   c) omission of auxiliary, copulative and other function verbs, e. g. You like it


   d) omission of the subject and auxiliary verb, e. g. Hear me?

   e) omission of the subject and the copula-verb, e. g. Glad to see you again.



The Predicate

The predicate is the second principal part of the sentence which expresses an action, state, or quality of the person or thing denoted by the subject. It is grammatically dependent on the subject. According to the structure and the meanings of the predicate we distinguish 2 main types of predicate: the simple predicate and the compound predicate.

The Simple Predicate

It is expressed by a finite verb in a simple or a compound tense form. There is a special kind of simple predicate expressed by a phraseological unit (to get rid, to take care, to pay attention, to have awash, to lose sight…) – phraseological predicate: the 1st component –the finite verb has lot its concrete meaning to a great extent and forms one unit with the N, consequently the N cannot be treated as an object to the verb.

· The man gave a violent start.

We distinguish 2 types of phraseological predicates:

1) word combinations of the following type to have a smoke, to have a run, to take a look, to give a laugh, to make a move, to give a push (finite verb + N formed from a verb (V) and mostly used with the indefinite article).

· He had a smoke.

2) word combinations of the following type to get rid, to get hold, to make use, to take care, to lose sight, to make fun, to pay attention, to change one’s mind… (the 2nd component of these combinations is in most cases an abstract N used without any article.)

· You were making fun of mother just now.

 The Compound Predicate

It consists of 2 parts: a finite verb + some part of speech (N, ProN, Adj.,Verbal). It can be nominal or verbal.

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