adjuncts: modifiers and supplements (as per CGEL)

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adjuncts: modifiers and supplements (as per CGEL)

Post by dante » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:16 pm

Tired and ahead of the ship..a wonderful example of a predicative adjunct, which is supplement (not a modifier) :)
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Re: It's only a zeugma . . .

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:06 pm

Actually, the pre-mangled versions are as below:


Predicative and non-predicative adjuncts

(based on Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 604)

•Adjectives: predicative modifiers
– Tired of the ship, the captain saw an island on which to land.
Tired is predicated of the captain.
– The captain, tired of the ship, saw an island on which to land.
– The captain – tired of the ship – saw an island on which to land.
– *Tired of the ship, there was a small island.


•Prepositions: non-predicative modifiers
– Ahead of the ship, the captain saw an island on which to land.
– Ahead of the ship, there was an island on which to land. [And the captain saw it.]
– The captain saw an island – ahead of the ship – on which to land.

and, back to predicative modification:
[- Ahead of the ship, Peter suddenly realised that the waves were non-fictional]

But we'd better steer clear of brackets.
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Re: It's only a zeugma . . .

Post by dante » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:32 am

•Adjectives: predicative modifiers
Tired of the ship, the captain saw an island on which to land.
•Prepositions: non-predicative modifiers
Ahead of the ship, the captain saw an island on which to land.
They don't use the term "modifier" for the functional elements I bolded in these sentences. Both phrases are supplements - an element appended to the rest of the sentence. They use the term "adjunct", which is more general and one of the very basic terms in the syntactic analysis which is used to indicate a kind of a (non-essential) sentence element. As an element in the sentence structure adjunct can function as either a modifier or supplement. Another important syntactic point about adjuncts is that they can be used either predicatively or non-predicatively, that is, they can have the subject of the main clause as their "anchor", or can qualify the entire content of the main clause.

Here's from CGEL, page 262:
Like numerous other kinds of adjunct, predicatives may be integrated into the structure as modifiers, or detached, as supplements:

i They left empty-handed. (modifier)
ii Angry at this deception, Kim stormed out of the room, (supplement)

The supplements are positionally mobile and are set apart prosodically. The modifiers are of course more like complements, especially in cases when they occur very frequently with a particular verb, as with "leave" in i, or "die" in He died young., bear in the passive "He was born rich", and so on.
I think that distinguishing adjuncts-supplements from adjuncts-modifiers is very practical when you want to make sense of the syntactic structures in the sentence. Supplements are clearly noticeable appendage to the main clause, which lets you automatically skip that part in the analysis and focus on the central proposition of the sentence.
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Re: It's only a zeugma . . .

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:58 pm

I'm sure WiZ will agree.
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Re: It's only a zeugma . . .

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:15 pm

dante wrote:
•Adjectives: predicative modifiers
Tired of the ship, the captain saw an island on which to land.
•Prepositions: non-predicative modifiers
Ahead of the ship, the captain saw an island on which to land.
They don't use the term "modifier" for the functional elements I bolded in these sentences.
Are you saying that the quotes in blue above don't appear exactly that way (apart from your bolding and my blueing) in the CGEL (page 604, or thereabouts in other editions), Dante?

If they do, I think that there is a problem at least with conflicting terminology, at worst with non-rigorous analysis, when one compares with your quotes (which are, I assume, accurate) from page 262.
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Re: It's only a zeugma . . .

Post by dante » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:37 pm

When I read your quotation Edwin, it first crossed my mind that the authors made a slip, but no. The part "adjectives: predicative modifiers" and "prepositions: non-predicative modifiers" is not from the book. Here's how it exactly reads in the book, under the heading "Distinctive properties of prepositions in English", in the subheading "Functions (of prepositions)"
a) Non-predicative adjunct

The ability of PPs to function as an adjunct in clause structure that is not in a predicative relation to the subject is one of the main respects in which prepositions differ from adjectives, as explained in Ch.6, &2.1. Compare, for example:

3) i a. Tired of the ship, the captain saw an island on which to land.
b,* Tired of the ship, there was a small island.

ii a. Ahead of the ship, the captain saw an island on which to land.
b. Ahead of the ship, there was a small island.

In ia) tired of the ship is an AdjP predicated of the subject: it entails that the captain was tired of the ship. The deviance of ib) is then attributable to the fact that there is no appropriate subject for the AdjP to be predicated of. No such constraint applies to the PP ahead of the ship in ii): iia does not entail that the captain was ahead of the ship, and iib is perfectly well-formed.
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Re: It's only a zeugma . . .

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:13 pm

Ah, thank you, Dante.

So the 'quote' I had found was a misquote (which misquote I quoted accurately).

CGEL rules the waves (in this neck of the woods) and CGEL pirates had better watch out.

Doubtless, some grammarian (qualified or not) has taken some good analysis from P & H and adapted it to their own liking, using their own terminology, not caring that investigators with limited access will be baffled when they come across apparent conflicts in the original. Modified quotes should be carefully marked as such.

The quotes as I came across them are from the fourth Google hit AMSTC for "Tired of the ship, the captain saw an island on which to land." (p 41 on the PPT presentation)
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Re: It's only a zeugma . . .

Post by dante » Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:30 pm

Doubtless, some grammarian (qualified or not) has taken some good analysis from P & H and adapted it to their own liking, using their own terminology, not caring that investigators with limited access will be baffled when they come across apparent conflicts in the original. Modified quotes should be carefully marked as such.
Agree Edwin. The term "adjunct" is safe to use in this case as it subsumes "supplements" and "modifiers". As I said, making a distinction between basic syntactic terms is very important, and provides non-professionals, who don't need more detailed syntactic knowledge , with sufficient understanding of language structure, needed for improving their writing skills, which most of us need in our lives.
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Re: It's only a zeugma . . .

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:38 am

.. so let's see what we can do to confuse the issue about predictive non-modifying descriptive supplemental adjuncts >>

i They left empty-handed. (modifier) >> They left angry at his deception.

.. or ..

ii Angry at this deception, Kim stormed out of the room, (supplement) >> Kim stormed out of the room empty-handed.

.. so have I written a predictive modifier or an adjunct or a non-predictive load of nonsense ??

WoZ the blue
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Re: It's only a zeugma . . .

Post by dante » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:53 am

.. so have I written a predictive modifier or an adjunct or a non-predictive load of nonsense ??
It is predicative, from predicate , not predictive as it doesn't have anything to do with predictions :) Predicative is a term used to describe the fact that the phrase in question has its subject/predicand somewhere in the clause. For this reason the function as "empty-handed" has in They left empty-handed. is sometimes called "secondary predication": We first said "She left" and then we said "She was empty handed." . Those are two different propositions we blended into one. Or for example: She was lying on the beach reading a book. "Reading a book" is a secondary predication, we first said: She was lying on the beach and then She was reading a book..
CGEL named this function "predicative adjunct", which is perfectly consistent with the terminology adopted in the book.
That is about the meaning of the terms "predicate" and "predication", now about supplements.

i They left empty-handed. (modifier) >> They left angry at his deception.
The bolded AdjPs function as modifier in these sentences, and the same is with :

Kim stormed out of the room empty-handed.

The interrupting prepositional phrase "out of the room" doesn't change anything - empty-handed is still predicated of the subject "Kim" and it is still well integrated in the sentence structure.

In Angry at this deception, Kim stormed out of the room the AdJP "Angry at this deception" is a supplement.

Supplementive adjuncts and modifying adjuncts are most often very similar functional categories (depending on the semantic class of adjuncts of course, this may be more or less true), and realized by the same formal categories. Here's an example from CGEL (p1353):

i) The necklace which her mother gave to her was in the safe. (the relative clause "which her mother gave to her " is a modifier)
ii) The necklace, which her mother gave to her, was in the safe. ( the same relative clause is now supplement).

Here's what the authors say in the explanation:
In i the relative clause is a modifier of the head noun necklace and serves semantically to identify which necklace is being referred to, but in ii it is a supplement to the anchor NP the necklace, which is assumed to be identifiable independently of the information given in the relative clause.
The main characteristics of supplements are that they are detached prosodically in speech and with punctuation in writing, and with some semantic types of adjuncts their position is always marked (the default position of the phrase is elsewhere, the case as in v) below). Here's from CGEL (p1360):
i) This final potrayal - of Stalin - does no credit to the author.
ii) In my opinion, the idea isn't worth pursuing.
iii) Teh Dean, as you know, is totally opposed to the proposal.
iv) Frankly, I think we could do better ourselves.
v) The go - probably - by bus.

..The other supplements in (30) (doesn't apply to the first sentence) have a clause as anchor, and their function is very much like that of a modifier. In cases like v) there is a contrast with an integrated construction, They probably go by bus: the latter has the adverb in its default position, and it only when set off intonationally as an interpolation that it can occur in the position it occupies in v). For the rest, there is little difference between supplements with a clause as anchor and modifiers, and in this book we generally treat them together, using adjunct as a general term covering both.
Or in a very simple example with adjective used as predicative adjunct:

She left the room angry. (modifier)
Angry, she left the room. (supplement)


To me, supplements are sort of a hiccup in the sentence. If you read something in one breathe, without making a pause, as you would do with the first sentence above, whatever adjuncts or other elements you have in the sentence, none of them is a supplement. In both speech and writing, supplement must be felt as an appendage or interpolation, or it is not.

The authors of CGEL (p1353) suggest that supplements are not to be treated as syntactic constituent but as separate - supplementation construction.
..But the lack of integration of the supplement into the syntactic structure means that there is no good reason to treat the supplementation as a syntactic constituent. We propose, therefore, thta in the syntactic representation supplements should be kept separate from the tree structure, related to their anchors by some different notational device.
Finally, supplements are used for a variety of reasons. If we limit the analysis to only those used as sentence appendage, which are usually fronted, we'll get an idea how versatile the use of supplements is: discourse markers (however, on the other hand, in contrast etc), hedging device (in my opinion, probably, possibly..),expressions of manner out of their default position to achieve some purpose in writing (Hurriedly, she took...), , expressions of frequency (Frequently, I used this..), locative phrases (Ahead of the ship, there was a small island..) etc.
The use of supplements as NP apposition is equally complex.
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Re: It's only a zeugma . . .

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:18 pm

Don't most grammarians calls what P & H are calling supplements parentheticals?
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Re: It's only a zeugma . . .

Post by dante » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:20 pm

"Parentheticals" is a term which is used in H&P, but denotes one of the forms of supplements. I'll give an excerpt from CGEL with examples of these forms as they are systematized under the heading 5.2 "The form of supplements" on page 1356 :


1) Relative clause : We called in to see Sue's parents, which made us rather late.

2a) Ascriptive NPs : Kim Jones, a quite outstanding student, won a scholarship to MIT.

2b) Specifying NPs: (The construction with a specifying NP as a supplement is known as apposition): A university lecturer, Dr Brown, was arrested for the crime.

3. Content clauses: The excuse he gave - that the train had been late- seemed to satisfy the boss

4a. Main clauses: I raised a more serious objection: it's against the law.

4b. Parenthetical and tags :(p894 By parentheticals we mean expressions which can be appended parenthetically to an anchor clause, but which also have a non-parenthetical use in which they take a declarative content clause as complement: expressions like I think, don't you think and so on:

Non-parenthetical use Parenthetical use

I think it's quite safe. It's quite safe, I think
Don't you think it is safe? It is safe, don't you think?


5. AdjP

Too afraid to venture out, Kim stayed barricaded in the house all week.


6. Verbless clause

The tourists, most of them foreigners, had been hoarded onto a cattle truck.


7. Non-finite clauses

Having read the report, Max was sure he had nothing to worry about


8. PPs and AdvPs

The Dean, as you know, is totally opposed to the proposal.


9. Interjections

Damn, we've missed the bus again!


10. Clauses and phrases introduced by a coordinator

If he checks - and he probably will- I'll be sacked

The terms "parenthetical disjunct" and "comment clause" in Quirk's grammar correspond exactly to the term "parentheticals" as used in H&P. I'll check other grammars later and update this post with more information on this.
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Re: adjuncts: modifiers and supplements (as per CGEL)

Post by Goronsky in New York » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:57 pm

Adjuncts? I once had an adjunct professor in college. She was a real piece of work. More on that later, though.
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Re: adjuncts: modifiers and supplements (as per CGEL)

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:55 am

Please note the switches in title throughout the thread; splitting and re-titling threads is sensible, facilitating focus and ease of retrieval, but in practice leads to this technical hiccup.

Also, I think that 'Pullum and Huddleston' is prosodically superior to the expression as usually ordered, hence my abbreviation (actually, I can never remember which way round they appear in print). 'H & P' also imparts a certain flavour....

Seriously, I've seen people use CGEL to refer to 'A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language' (Quirk et al); I believe the accepted initialism is ACGEL to distinguish it from &PH.
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Re: adjuncts: modifiers and supplements (as per CGEL)

Post by Wizard of Oz » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:11 pm

.. a saucy comment Ed !! ..

WoZ who prefers tomato
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