Loading...

Clause Types. Declaratives, Interrogatives, Imperatives and Exclamatives

by Janina Madlener (Author) Philipp Bosshard (Author) Amanda Shala (Author)

Seminar Paper 2015 48 Pages

English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics

Excerpt

Index

I. Overview: Main Structures
1.1 Sentence and Clause
1.2 Main Clause and Subordinate Clause
I. 2A Finite clauses
I. 2 B Non-finite Clause:
1.3 Characteristic use of clause types

II Declaratives
II 1 The form of declarative sentences
II.2 Illocutionary force
II.3 Effects resulting from the relation of clause type and illocutionary force
II.3 A Contrasts of clause types
II.3 B Other factors
II.3 C Utterance may belong to more than one illocutionary category
II.3 D Overriding factors
A Intonation
B Performative use of illocutionary verbs
C Declaratives as directives

I. Ways of expressing interrogatives

II. Types of questions - open and closed interrogatives

III. Wh-questions
III. 1 Formation of wh-questions
111.2 Wh-in-situ questions
111.3 Multiple wh-questions

IV. Yes / no questions

V. Tag question

VI. Echo Questions

I. Imperatives
I.1 Introduction
I.2 Central kinds of imperative construction

II. Subtypes of the imperative
II.1 Prohibitives
II.2 Hortatives

III. Subject pronouns and concord features

IV. Imperatives in ergative languages

V. Exclamatives
V.1 Introduction
V.2 Formal features of exclamative constructions
V.2 A Co-occurrence with interjections
V.2 B Propositional content
V.2 C NP Complements

Bibliography

The following term paper is a result of the presentation on clause types that was held on May 19, 2015 by Philipp Bosshard, Janina Gaiser and Amanda Shala.

Term Paper: Clause Types. Overview and Declaratives (Philipp Bosshard)

I. Overview: Main Structures

According to Huddleston, clause type is the grammatical system whose five major terms are illustrated as follows:

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Image 1: Huddleston. Rodney (1988). English Grammar: An Outline. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 853.

Each of the categories is associated with a distinct characteristic use, as this example indicates:

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Image 2: Huddleston, Rodney (1988). English Gratmnar: An Outline. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 853.

Statement, directive, question and exclamatory statement are categories of meaning. Huddleston distinguishes between four main terms of grammatical form in the system of clause types:[1]

illustration not visible in this excerpt

This term paper focuses on declaratives, imperatives, interrogatives and exclamatives. With the help of examples from English, the authors are going to highlight the underlying structures of the four clause types and, whenever possible, provide examples of different languages in a comparative way. Beforehand, a brief overview of the clause and sentence structure will be given.

1.1 Sentence and Clause

Traditional grammar distinguishes between sentences, clauses, words and morphemes. Thereby, grammatical units are stretches of language that carry smaller or larger grammatical patterns, as Morley illustrates in the following example:

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Image 3: Morley, George D. (2004). Explorations in Functional Syntax: A New Framework for Lexicogrammatical Analysis. London: Equinox., p. 26.

Furthermore, a graphic scale is provided by Morley:

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Image 4: Morley, George D. (2000). Syntax in Functional Grammar: An Introduction to Lexicogrammar in Systemic Linguistics. London: Continuum., p. 25.

Commonly, grammarians recognize two other units intermediate between the word and the sentence: phrases and clauses.[2] Prior to a more detailed approach towards clause types, it is essential to have a look at the different units of grammatical description. Bloomfield defines sentence as independent linguistic form that is not included by virtue of any grammatical construction in any larger linguistic form.[3] Matheusius comes up with the following definition: “The sentence is an elementary communicative utterance through which the speaker reacts to some reality or several items of the reality in a manner that appears to be formally customary and subjectively complete.”[4] Bloomberg and Matheusius both provide definitions that are not only restricted to syntax, but also involve pragmatics. There have been many attempts to distinct a sentence from other syntactic elements.[5] This underlines the complexity of the overlying structures. Lyons simplifies Bloomfield as follows: “The sentence is the largest unit of grammatical description.”[6]

As this term paper focuses on clause types, it is important to highlight the difference between a sentence and a clause.[7] Lyons draws the line between sentence and clause as follows:

“A group of words with its own subject and predicate, if it is included in a larger sentence, is a clause.”[8]

For the use of this term paper, it can be said that a clause is the smallest grammatical unit that can express a complete proposition. Usually, this is represented as a syntactic construction consisting of subject and predicate.

e.g. (The bus) who was parked at the gas station.

Huddleston & Pullum[9] consider the predicator (P), complements of the predicator (C) and adjuncts (A) the major functions in the structures of the clause:

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Image 4: Major functions in the clause-structure

I.2 Main Clause and Subordinate Clause

Sentence clause structure differs depending on the combination of clauses, . Traditional Grammar distinguishes between simple sentences, compound sentences and complex sentences.

A single clause forms the underlying structure of a simple sentence. e.g. He was eating a bacon sandwich, single clause

A compound sentence consists of at least two (independent) clauses, e.g. I do not know how to peel apple, so I use canned pears, independent clause + independent clause

Complex sentences feature (at least) one independent clause and a dependent clause, e.g. After we had lunch, we went back to work, subordinate c. + main clause

I.2 A Finite clauses

Finite clauses must contain a verb which shows tense. They can be main clauses or subordinate clauses. The Cambridge Dictionaries online provides the following examples[10]:

e.g. Is it raining? (main: present)
e.g. We didn’t get any food because we didn’t have enough time, (main: past; subordinate: past)

I.2 B Non-finite Clause:

Non-finite clauses contain a verb which does not show tense, as the following example[11] shows.

e.g. Helped by local volunteers, staff at the museum have spent many years sorting and cataloguing more than 100,000 photographs.

I.3 Characteristic use of clause types

Huddleston & Pullum distinguish clause types as follows:

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Image 5: Huddleston, Rodney & Geoffrey K. Pullum: The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge: 2002, p. 853.[12]

After having provided an overview of the main structure, the following chapters will offer a profound insight into the individual clause types.

II. Declaratives

Huddleston categorises declaratives as “unmarked terms” and states that “all kernel clauses are declarative and at the language-particular level the other terms will be defined by reference to the syntactic properties distinguishing them from this basic type of clause”[13]. Even if most declaratives end on a full stop, it would be premature to consider this
punctuation-element an overall-defining feature for declaratives, as we will see when it comes to overriding factors. In the absence of overriding factors, declaratives are used to make a statement.

e.g. Elvis has left the building.[14]

II. 1 The form of declarative sentences

Two main categories help to distinguish between marked and unmarked clause types. In order to express assertions, reports, or conclusions some languages feature what Jerrold & Zwicky call “obligatory formal features may mark clauses as declaratives”[15]. This is called marked clause. The most common way is the unmarked case. In many languages, it is also the most widespread form of clause. This is also true for English.

Declarative is the unmarked clause type and does not feature any special grammatical properties that would help to distinguish it from the marked clause types.[16] In English, declaratives usually have the same form as some dependent clauses. This is even true in Karok, a language which uses participial and nominalized constructions for most subordinations. In Karok, declarative sentences have essentially the same form as adverbial subordinate clauses, as Jerrold & Zwicky point out[17]. Jerrold & Zwicky[18] provide the following three examples to illustrate unmarked declaratives:

1. Pigs which cannot fly are numerous.
2. I believe that pigs cannot fly.
3. If pigs cannot fly, then dogs cannot fly.

Languages that have marked declaratives, feature syntactic or morphological marks to indicate the marked situation. German shows a distinct word order with the inflected verb in second position in declaratives, while in interrogatives the inflected verb is sentence initial.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Image 6: Sadock, Jerrold M. & Arnold M. Zwicky. Speech Act Distinctions in Syntax (1985). In Timothy Shopen (ed.). Language Typology and Syntactic Description, vol. 1: Clause Structure, 155-195. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 181

In the German equivalent, the inflected verb is also found in second position. The order Subject - Verb - Object[19] is the most commonly used structure in English while German is considered a language with two primary alternating orders as it features both Subject - Object - Verb and SVO.[20]

Some languages show a large number of marked declaratives. In Greenlandic Eskimo and Blackfoot, negative and positive declaratives are inflected differently. They use verbal affixes to realise the marked clause.[21]

II.2 Illocutionary force

Syntactic structures are closely linked to pragmatics preliminaries. Clause types are usually dealt with on a syntactical level. Every utterance, especially directives and assertives, feature important pragmatic meaning in a particular context.[22] Huddleston formulates unequivocally: “The particular dimension of meaning along which statement, directive and question are distinguished is called illocutionary force”[23]. If a person utters the clause “Paul has arrived”, it is uttered with the illocutionary force of a statement, or in other words: The speaker has performed the illocutionary act of making a statement.[24] Another example is the utterance “sit down” with the intention of letting someone know that he should sit down. The utterance has the illocutionary force of a directive. The speaker has performed the illocutionary act of issuing a directive.[25] The correlation between clause types and illocutionary categories are considered to provide the basis for the general definitions of the clause types rather than for the language-specific ones.[26]

The following classes of illocutionary acts were coined by Searle:[27]

- assertives
- directives
- comissives
- expressives
- declarations

The following chapter will provide further information on the effects caused by the relation between clause type and illocutionary force.

II.3 Effects resulting from the relation of clause type and illocutionary force

II.3 A Contrasts of clause types

Contrast of clause type apply to subordinate clauses as well as main clauses. Yet, only utterances of main clauses do have illocutionary force. The declarative clause “I know who did it” features the interrogative “who did it”, but is only a statement in a normal utterance. The following examples illustrate that categories of form and meaning are not always identical, as Huddleston and Pullum highlight:
5 U ISO H.PIN AT L

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Image 6: Huddleston, Rodney & Geoffrey K. Pullum: The Cambridge Graimnar of the English Language. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge: 2002. P. 854.

II.3 B Other factors

In main clauses, clause type is not the only factor determining illocutionary force. Intonation or the use of verbs like request can be of high relevance. The following sentence indicates how the use of the verb request has the illocutionary force of a directive.[28] e.g. Passengers are requested to remain seated.

It is obvious that passengers must not get up from their seats and this sentence shows the illocutionary force of a directive, even though its syntactic form is the one of a declarative. Huddleston points out that “A normal utterance of a declarative main clause will have the force of a statement unless there are special factors, which override clause types in the determination of illocutionary force.[29] It is important to underline that there are other grammatical, lexical or prosodic and contextual features that also have an impact on the sentence’s meaning. At this point Pragmatics and Syntax tend to overlap and can not always be contemplated in an isolated way.

II.3 C Utterance may belong to more than one illocutionary category

In some cases, an utterance may belong to more than one illocutionary category. Let us have a look at the following example:

e.g. “It gives me great pleasure to declare this asbestos-free library open”.[30] While the description of pleasure marks a statement, the action of declaring the library open falls into the category of declarations. Therefore, every individual syntactic framework needs to be analysed individually.

II.3 D Overriding factors

As already mentioned, there is a variety of overriding factors. Intonation is often used to express a question. The following example shows how a change of intonation can change the meaning of a clause.

A Intonation

Intonation is a determining factor, when it comes to the meaning of a clause. Depending on the intonation, meaning changes, as the following two examples prove:[31]

illustration not visible in this excerpt

The first clause clearly is a statement. The second example does share the syntactical structure, but yet is to be understood as a question, as raise of the voice at the end of a clause is commonly linked to a question.

B Performative use of illocutionary verbs

Some verbs are called illocutionary verbs as they denote illocutionary acts. Commonly used are the verbs request, command, promise, ask and congratulate.[32]

e.g. I ask you to do your homework.

These verbs can be used performatively in some cases.

C Declaratives as directives

By the use of overriding factors, clause types can change their category. Declaratives can be used with either direct or indirect force, as the following example illustrates:

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Image 7: Cf. Huddleston. Rodney & Geoffrey K. Pullum: The Cambridge Graimnar of the English Language. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge: 2002. P. 941.

The directive force involves a performative construction. In addition to the many indirect cases, the speaker can also express his wants or needs or the addressee's future actions, as the following two examples show:

e.g. I want / need / would like someone to help me.

This example emphasises on the speaker's wants or needs.

e.g. You are going to / will apologise.

This example emphasises on the addressee's future actions.

The first part of this term paper has provided an overview of the main syntactic structures before going into detail on declaratives. The upcoming chapter is going to examine interrogatives.

Term Paper: Clause Types. Interrogatives (Janina Gaiser)

In general, the term interrogative is used in grammar to refer to features that form questions. An interrogative sentence is, therefore a sentence whose grammatical form indicates that it is a question.33

I. Ways of expressing interrogatives

When talking about interrogatives, it needs to be highlighted that languages distinguish interrogatives from declaratives in various ways. This paper will not go into detail about all various ways, but nevertheless wants to give a short overview of the ways of expressing interrogatives:

1. Prosody. This refers to changes in intonation while speaking. Some languages lack a way of marking questions grammatically, and thus do so using intonation only.
2. Morphology. Some languages mark interrogatives by using a particular inflection of the verb. In the Turkish language, for example, the verb takes the interrogative particle mi (also mi, mu, mii according to the last vowel of the word due to vowel harmony) with other personal or verbal suffixes following after that particle: Geliyorum. ("I am coming.") —► Geliyor nmyum? ("Am I coming?")
3. Punctuation. Sentences can also further be marked as questions when they are written down by inserting a question mark at the end.
4. Syntax. Changes in word order and the addition of interrogative words or particles are the main devices used in many languages for marking questions. In the following, this paper will focus on this part, since the English language uses syntax, as well as intonation and punctuation, to form questions.[34]

[...]


[1] Huddleston, Rodney (1988). English Grammar: An Outline. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 129.

[2] cf. Lyons, John (1968). Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 172.

[3] cf. Bloomfield, Leonard (1969). Language. London: Allen Unwin, p. 170.

[4] Mathesius, Vilem (1975). A Functional Analysis of Present Day English on a General Linguistic Basis. Mouton de Gruyter, p. 79.

[5] German grammarian John Ries discussed a full 150 possible definitions for a sentence in his work “Was ist ein Satz”. See also: Ries, John (1931). Was ist ein Satz? Prag: Taussig & Taussig.

[6] Lyons, John (1968). Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 172.

[7] Robert E Longacre conducted extensive research on the relations of sentence and clause. See also: Longacre, Robert E. (2013). The Grammar of Discourse. New York: Springer Science & Business Media.

[8] Lyons, John (1968). Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 170.

[9] See Huddleston, Rodney & Geoffrey K. Pullum (2002). The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 215.

[10] Cambridge Dictionaries Online. Cambridge University Press. Clauses finite and non-finite. Url: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/de/graimnatik/britisch-graimnatik/clauses-finite-and-non-finite. 29.7.2015)

[11] Cambridge Dictionaries Online. Cambridge University Press. Clauses finite and non-finite. Url: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/de/graimnatik/britisch-graimnatik/clauses-finite-and-non-finite. 20.7.2015)

[12] Huddleston, Rodney & Geoffrey K. Pullum: The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge: 2002.

[13] Huddleston, Rodney: English Graimnar. An outline. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge: 1988. P. 129.

[14] Depending on the context, this sentence could as well be considered a directive, assuming that the person who utters the words wants the audience to leave the building where Elvis just finished his concert. See also: Overriding factors.

[15] Cf: Sadock, Jerrold M. & Arnold M. Zwicky. Speech Act Distinctions in Syntax (1985). In Timothy Shopen (ed.), Language Typology and Syntactic Description, vol. 1: Clause Structure, 155-195. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 165.

[16] Cf. Huddleston, Rodney (1988). English Grammar: An Outline. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 134.

[17] Cf: Sadock, Jerrold M. & Arnold M. Zwicky. Speech Act Distinctions in Syntax (1985). In Timothy Shopen (ed.), Language Typology and Syntactic Description, vol. 1: Clause Structure, 155-195. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 165.

[18] Sadock, Jerrold M. & Arnold M. Zwicky. Speech Act Distinctions in Syntax (1985). In Timothy Shopen (ed.), Language Typology and Syntactic Description, vol. 1: Clause Structure, 155-195. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 165.

[19] Henceforth: SVO.

[20] Dryer, Matthew S. “Chapter Order of Subject, Object and Verb.” The World Atlas of Language Structures Online. 2013. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 29.7.2015. http://wals.info/chapter/81. Dryer states more precisely, that Gennan features SVO-order in main clauses.

[21] Cf. Sadock, Jerrold M. & Arnold M. Zwicky. Speech Act Distinctions in Syntax (1985). In Timothy Shopen (ed.). Language Typology and Syntactic Description, vol. 1: Clause Structure, 155-195. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 166. As the chapter on interrogatives will go into more detail, this introductory chapter will not provide any further content on interrogatives.

[22] Cf. Huddleston, Rodney & Geoffrey K. Pullmn (2002). The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 895.

[23] Huddleston, Rodney: English Graimnar. An outline. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge: 1988. P. 129.

[24] See also: Huddleston, Rodney & Geoffrey K. Pullum (2002). The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 895.

[25] See also: Huddleston, Rodney & Geoffrey K. Pullum (2002). The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 895.

[26] Cf. Huddleston, Rodney (1988). English Grammar: An Outline. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 130.

[27] Cf. Searle, John R. (1969). Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 124.

[28] Cf. Huddleston, Rodney (1988). English Grammar: An Outline. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 130.

[29] Cf. Huddleston. Rodney: English Graimnar. An outline. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge: 1998. P. 131

[30] Own example.

[31] The little arrows visualise the intonation.

[32] Cf. Huddleston, Rodney: English Grammar. An outline. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge: 1988. P. 131.

[33] This paper will not go into detail on the topic of grammatical moods. Interrogative sentences are sometimes said to exhibit an interrogative mood and thus the interrogative is treated as one of the grammatical moods. For more information, see What is interrogative mood? (2004). In Susan Anderson, Dwight H. Day, Paul C. Jordan, Eugine E. Loos & J. Douglass Wingate (eds.). Glossary of linguistic terms. Dallas, TX: SIL International Digital Resources. Retrieved June 19, 2015, from: http ://www-01. sil. org/linguistics/glossary oflinguistictenns/WhatlsInterrogativeMood. htm.

[34] This is a very general overview, since the paper focuses on syntax. Therefore, no further examples are given here. For more details, see: Interrogative (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved 10 June 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrogative.

Details

Pages
48
Year
2015
ISBN (eBook)
9783668654396
ISBN (Book)
9783668654402
File size
1.3 MB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v415669
Institution / College
University of Constance
Grade
1.5
Tags
clause types

Authors

Previous

Title: Clause Types. Declaratives, Interrogatives, Imperatives and Exclamatives