Unit 9: More About Clauses: 9.2 Adverbial clauses

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Compare the sentences below:


1.

Se{

MCl [
S

NP
H
(He)
pn
P

VP
H
(left)
V
A

AvP
H
(recently)
Av

]

}

A = AvP

2.

Se{

MCl [
S

NP
H
(He)
pn
P

VP
H
(left)
V
A

PP
x
(after
pr
H
supper)
N

]

}

A = PP

3.

Se{

MCl [
S

NP
H
(He)
pn
P

VP
H
(left)
V
A
SCl [
ACl
x
when
c
S

NP
M
(the
d
H
rain)
N
P

VP
H
(stopped)
V

]

]

}

A = ACl

This is an ACl of TIME, which answers the question "When?". Other conjunctions which answer this question are: after, before, since, until, while.

All these sentences answer the question "When did he leave?" The AvP, PP, and ACl are all adverbials at the SPOCA level even though they are different at the form level.

There are several sub-types of ACl, classified according to the subordinating conjunctions and the questions they answer. These questions should be familiar from our study of adverbs.


4.

Se{

MCl [
S

NP
H
(Mary)
N
P

VP
H
(stayed)
V
A
SCl [
ACl
x
because
c
S

NP
H
(John)
N
P

VP
H
(left)
V

]

]

}

This is an ACl of REASON, answering the question "Why?". Such clauses are also introduced by the conjunctions as and since.

Like other Adverbials, ACl's are mobile, ie. they can occur at various places in the sentence:


5.

Se{

MCl [
A
SCl [
ACl
P

VP
H
(Looking)
V
C

AjP
H
(terrified)
Aj

]
S

NP
H
(he)
pn
P

VP
H
(collapsed)
V

]

}

This is an ACl of MANNER, answering the question "How?". Other conjunctions which introduce such clauses are as, as if/though. Note the non-finite participle in (5). An example with a conjunction would be:


[He looked


ACl

[as
c

if he had seen a ghost]].

A sentence can contain more than one ACl.


6.

Se{

MCl [
A
SCl [
ACl
x
If
c
S

NP
H
(Mary)
N
P

VP
H
(leaves)
V

]
S

NP
H
(John)
N
P

VP
M
(will
a
H
stay)
V
A
SCl [
ACl
x
so that
c
S

NP
H
(she)
pn
P

VP
H
(is)
V
x
not
n
C

AjP
H
(embarrassed)
Aj

]

]

}

The first clause in (6) is an ACl of CONDITION; other possible conjunctions are if, unless. The second ACl is an ACl of PURPOSE, which answers the question "Why?". Another possible conjunction here is in order that.

An abstract representation of the structure of this sentence would be:

Se{     MCl[     SCL[     ]     SCl[     ]     ]     }

The final bracket indicates the end of the MCl.


7.

Se{

MCl [
A
SCl [
ACl
x
Although
c
S

NP
H
(I)
pn
P

VP
H
(got)
V
C

AjP
H
(wet)
Aj

]
S

NP
H
(I)
N
P

VP
H
(enjoyed)
V
O

NP
M
(the
d
H
walk)
N

]

}

This is an ACl of CONTRAST; other possible conjunctions are although, unless.


8.

Se{

MCl [
S

NP
H
(I)
pn
P

VP
H
(eat)
V
A
SCl [
ACl
x
wherever
c
S

NP
H
(it)
pn
P

VP
H
(is)
V
C

AjP
H
(cheap)
Aj

]

]

}

This is an ACl of PLACE, which answers the question "Where?". Such clauses can also be introduced by the conjunction where.