Tải bản đầy đủ

A study on syntactic and semantic features of english subordinators with reference to the vietnamese equivalents

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY

NGUYỄN THỊ MAI ANH

A STUDY ON SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC FEATURES
OF ENGLISH SUBORDINATORS WITH REFERENCE
TO THE VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS
(NGHIÊN CỨU ĐẶC ĐIỂM CÚ PHÁP VÀ NGỮ NGHĨA CỦA
LIÊN TỪ PHỤ THUỘC TIẾNG ANH TRONG SỰ LIÊN HỆ
VỚI TƯƠNG ĐƯƠNG TIẾNG VIỆT)

M.A. THESIS
Field: English Language
Code: 60220201

HANOI, 2017
i


MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING

HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY

NGUYỄN THỊ MAI ANH

A STUDY ON SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC FEATURES
OF ENGLISH SUBORDINATORS WITH REFERENCE
TO THE VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS
(NGHIÊN CỨU ĐẶC ĐIỂM CÚ PHÁP VÀ NGỮ NGHĨA CỦA
LIÊN TỪ PHỤ THUỘC TIẾNG ANH TRONG SỰ LIÊN HỆ
VỚI TƯƠNG ĐƯƠNG TIẾNG VIỆT)
M.A. THESIS
Field: English Language
Code: 60220201

Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hoang Tuyet Minh

HANOI, 2017
ii


CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY
I, the undersigned, hereby certify my authority of the study project report entitled “A
study on syntactic and semantic features of English subordinators with reference to
the Vietnamese equivalents” submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for
the degree of Master in English Language. Except where the reference is indicated, no
other person’s work has been used without due acknowledgement in the text of the
thesis.

Hanoi, 2017

Nguyen Thi Mai Anh

Approved by
SUPERVISOR

(Signature and full name)
Date:…………………………..

iii



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
During the process of implementing this thesis, I have received a great deal of
help, guidance and encouragement from a number of people who all deserved my
sincerest gratitude and appreciation.
First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Assoc. Prof.
Dr. Hoang Tuyet Minh – my supervisor for her guidance and assistance during this
challenging process. She has generously given me valuable suggestions, advices as
well as comments about my study. I myself find that this thesis cannot come to an end
without her enthusiastic supports.
A special word of thanks goes to all teachers of Faculty of Graduate Studies,
Hanoi Open University, without whose support and encouragement it would never
have been possible for me to have this thesis accomplished.
Last but not least, I would like to give my wholehearted thanks to my family
whose support and encouragements did play an important role in the success of the
study.

iv


ABSTRACT
The present thesis discusses a certain field of linguistics focusing on a
descriptive - contrastive approach which is applied to investigating and analyzing
syntactic and semantic features of subordinators in English and their Vietnamese
equivalents. As a method of conducting the present research, contrastive linguistic
analysis of subordinators in English and their Vietnamese equivalents has been chosen.
The chief aim of the thesis is to gain more insightful in the semantic and syntactic
features of subordinators in English and their Vietnamese equivalents, to figure out the
similarities and differences of subordinators represented in these two languages.
Similarities and differences of subordinators between two languages have been
identified in this thesis. In general, the position of English subordinators is the same as
that of Vietnamese subordinators. They can appear in initial, medial and final position.
Nevertheless, these positions bear different meanings in the two languages. That is, in
English, the clauses containing the speaker's focus of interest may be put initially
whereas in Vietnamese, those clauses may be put finally. In terms of their syntactic
features, in both languages, the subject and the verb of subordinate clauses can be
omitted and the clauses become elliptical clauses. Semantically, the English and
Vietnamese languages have nine types in common: time, place, condition, concession,
reason, result, purpose, manner, comparison. Except for the nine types, English
language has four other types of subordinators. They are subordinators of contrast,
proportion, preference and circumstance. Vietnamese language also has two different
types: subordinators of level and emphasis. Moreover, in terms of structure, there are
some differences between two languages. In Vietnamese, there are no concepts of
nonfinite, finite, verbless clauses. Meanwhile, these types of clauses are very popular
in English. Furthermore, in Vietnamese, the expression of the verb tense and aspect
does not seem very complicated. It is clear that, Vietnamese grammar, in terms of verb
tenses and aspects is much simple than that of English. Moreover, in English nonfinite
v


clauses, the active or passive meaning may be shown through the use of -ing or -ed
participles. In contrast, Vietnamese is not inflected language so in order to express the
passive meaning, we have to put bị / được before the verb. Besides, the way to insert
commas in two languages is also different. In English, when the subordinator clause
precedes the main clause, a commas is used to separate the two clauses. When the
subordinate clause follows the main clause, there is no need to use commas. Instead,
the conjunction may take that function. In comparison, in Vietnamese, commas are
used to separate two clauses whether the adverbial clauses stand initially, medially or
finally. Even when a correlative is used, it is advised that a comma should be inserted
before the second conjunction. The findings of this study can, to some extent, be
suggested as a referential material for Vietnamese students and teachers in studying
and teaching English subordinators.

vi


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
Br.E

British English

EFL

English as a Foreign Language

N

Noun

NP

Noun Phrase

Prep

Preposition

S

Subject

V

Verb

VP

Verb Phrase

vii


LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES
Table 2.1: Classification of English subordinators according to Carter &

10

McCarthy (2006)
Table 2.2: Classification of English subordinators according to Quirk et al.

11

(1985)
Table 2.3: Classification of English sobordinators according to Martin

12

(2000) in terms of meaning
Table 2.4: Classification of English subordinators according to Biber et al.

14

(2000)
Table 2.5: Some indicators of English subordinators

14

Table 2.6: Types of complement in subordinate clauses

15

Table 4.1: Semantic roles of English subordinators

49

Table 4.2: English subordinators and their Vietnamese equivalents

62

Table 4.3: Examples of English subordinators in terms of meaning

64

viii


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Certificate of originality

iii

Acknowledgements

iv

Abstract

v

List of abbreviations

vii

List of tables and figures

viii

Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION

1

1.1.

Rationale for the study

1

1.2.

Aims of the study

1

1.3.

Research questions

2

1.4.

Objectives of the study

2

1.5.

Scope of the study

2

1.6.

Significance of the study

2

1.7.

Structural organization of the study

3

Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

4

2.1.

Review of previous studies

4

2.2.

An overview of syntax and semantic theory

5

2.2.1. Theory of syntax

5

2.2.2. Theory of semantics

6

2.3.

7

An overview of subordination

2.3.1. Definition of subordination

7

2.3.2. Definition of subordinator

8

2.3.3. Classification of subordinator

9

2.3.4. The relationship between subordinators and other connecters

16

2.4.

19

Summary

Chapter 3: METHODOLOGY

20

ix


3.1.

Research-governing orientations

20

3.1.1. Research setting

20

3.1.2. Research approach

20

3.1.3. Criteria for intended data collection and data analysis

20

3.2.

21

Research methods

3.2.1. Major methods vs. supporting methods

21

3.2.2. Data collection techniques

21

3.2.3. Data analysis techniques

21

3.3.

22

Summary

Chapter

4:

SYNTACTIC

SUBORDINATORS

IN

AND

SEMANTIC

ENGLISH

AND

FEATURES

THEIR

OF

23

VIETNAMESE

EQUIVALENTS
4.1. Syntactic features of subordinators in English

23

4.1.1. Subordinators for finite clauses

23

4.1.1.1. Simple subordinators

23

4.1.1.2. Complex subordinators

27

4.1.1.3. Correlative subordinators

32

4.1.2. Subordinators for nonfinite clauses

34

4.1.2.1. Subordinators for bare infinitive clauses

34

4.1.2.2. Subordinators for to-infinitive clauses

35

4.1.2.3. Subordinators for –ed clauses and verbless clauses

36

4.1.2.4. Subordinators for –ing clauses

38

4.2. Semantic features of subordinators in English

39

4.3. Syntactic features of subordinators in Vietnamese

50

4.4. Semantic features of subordinators in Vietnamese

51

4.5. Similarities and differences between English subordinators and their

59

Vietnamese equivalents in terms of syntactic and semantic features

x


4.5.1. Similarities between subordinators in English and Vietnamese

59

4.5.1.1. In their position

60

4.5.1.2. In their syntactic features

60

4.5.1.3. In their semantic features

60

4.5.2. Differences between subordinators in English and Vietnamese

62

4.5.2.1. Difference in structures

62

4.5.2.2. Difference in the insertion of commas

63

4.5.2.3. Difference in emphasis

63

4.5.2.4. Difference in conditional clauses

63

4.6. Implications for teaching and learning English subordinators

64

4.7. Summary

67

Chapter 5: CONCLUSION

69

5.1 . Recapitulation

69

5.2. Concluding remarks

69

5.3. Limitations of the study

71

5.4 Suggestions for further studies

71

REFERENCES

72

xi


Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1. Rationale of the study
There is a blooming trend that the objective of studying foreign language is to
communicate people all over the world. However, there are many reasons behind
studying the language, especially English, if they are not good for using English
grammar, it will become difficult in communicating in English with foreigners. For
instance, it is admitted that subordinators are regarded as a kind of connectors and
connectors have the function for linking different parts in sentences. This explanation
for this could be that subordinators can be the phrase of time, place or reasons and each
subordinator will belong to the situation. For example, we use “since” for connecting
two sentences: “He gets up early……… he will have the test in this morning”. There are
two synonyms of this word which can replace “because” and “as”, this connection
means to show the reason. Thus, subordinators support in linking successful sentences,
they will make the sentences have clearly meanings when they translate from
Vietnamese to English.
The author decides to choose this topic to study because of two reasons. Firstly,
in English, subordinators have been studied by many grammarians, such as Quirk and
Sydney Greenbaum (1973), Oshima and Hogue (1998), Biber, Corad and Leech (1999),
Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey K. Pullum (2002), Cobuild (2003), Murphy (2001). In
Vietnamese, Ban and Thung (2001) and Toan and Luong (2007) used to do research in
subordinators. However, there has been noone giving out the comparison between
English subordinators and their Vietnamese equivalents in terms of syntactic and
semantic features. Secondly, it can be said that Vietnamese learners have many
difficulties in writing and translating English, especially using subordinators in
sentences and distinguishing subordinators and other connectors as well. The author
hopes that this study in terms of form and syntactic function would enable students to
learn how to use a certain class of words more accurately and help both teachers and
learners to get the best results in teaching and learning English subordinators.
1.2. Aims of research
The study is aimed at finding out the syntactic and semantic features of English
subordinators and comparing them with the Vietnamese equivalents, thus helping
1


Vietnamese EFL learners have a better understanding of English subordinators and be
able to use them effectively in real life communication.
1.3. Research questions
With the aims stated earlier, the following questions were addressed as follows:
(1) What are syntactic and semantic features of English subordinators and Vietnamese
subordinators?
(2) What are the similarities and differences of subordinators used in English and
Vietnamese?
(3) What are some implications for teaching and learning English subordinators
effectively?
1.4. Objectives of research
In order to achieve the aims, the following objectives are put forward:
Pointing out the syntactic and semantic features of English subordinators.
Finding out the similarities and differences of English subordinators and their
Vietnamese equivalents in terms of syntactic and semantic features.
Suggesting some possible implications for teaching and learning English
subordinators.
1.5. Scope of research
This study does stress on the subordinators which are used to connect clauses in
sentences in English and Vietnamese. Due to the scope of the thesis, the study just
works out subordinators syntactically and semantically, any feature relating to culture or
pragmatics will not be discussed here in the research. Besides, in terms of semantic
features, this thesis mainly studies on English subordinators and their Vietnamese
equivalents in adverbial clauses.
1.6. Significance of the study
Theoretically, the research is expected to contribute an in-depth understanding
of an in-depth description of English subordinators when analyzing their syntactic and
semantic features with reference to the Vietnamese equivalents to whoever desires to
study subordinators.
Practically, subordinators are used popularly in daily life, so this study is
conducted in attempt to provide Vietnamese EFL learners with better mastering about
the syntactic and semantic features of English subordinators. From the findings,
2


Vietnamese learners of English will enhance knowledge about subordinators as well as
be able to use them effectively in real life communication. This study is hoped to make
a major contribution to the process of teaching and learning English.
1.7. Structural organization of the study
The study consists of five chapters:
Chapter 1, Introduction, outlines the rational, the aims, the research questions,
the objectives, the scope, the significance and the structural organization of the thesis.
Chapter 2, Literature Review, is divided into four parts: review of previous
studies, an overview of syntax and semantic theory, an overview of subordination and
the summary.
Chapter 3, Methodology, describes the research plans, including research
orientations, research methods and summary.
Chapter 4, Syntactic and semantic features of subordinators in English and
their Vietnamese equivalents, presents the syntactic and semantic features of English
subordinators with reference to the Vietnamese equivalents to find out and discuss the
similarities and differences in term of syntactic and semantic features. Significantly,
this chapter proposes some implications for teaching and learning English subordinators
as well.
Chapter 5, Conclusion, consists of recapitulation, concluding remarks,
limitations of the study and suggestions for further studies. References come at the end
of the study.

3


Chapter 2
LITERATURE REVIEW
In order to give a better understanding of the study, it is necessary to provide
with the review of literature, some theoretical concepts related to the study.
2.1. Review of previous studies
Subordinators play an important role in forming sentences. Therefore, in both
English and Vietnamese, there have several grammarians who pay attention to
subordinators, such as Quirk and Greenbaum (1973), Oshima and Hogue (1998), Biber,
Conrad and Leech (1999), Ban and Thung (2001), etc.
Quirk and Sydney Greenbaum (1973) partly present subordination formal
indicators of subordination, subordinators. Subordinators, according to the authors, can
be divided into three types: simple subordinators, compound subordinators and
correlative subordinators.
Oshima and Hogue (1998) consider subordinator is one of three tools to connect
clauses. They also list out the popular subordinators that are usually used in connecting
clauses.
Biber, Conrad and Leech (1999) partly discuss about subordination and
subordinators. The authors also compare between subordinators and coordinators.
Furthermore, they give out some signals of subordination, and positions of
subordinators in sentences.
Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey K. Pullum (2002) also partly discuss about
subordinators. The authors show the boundaries between subordinators and prepositions
and also compare with traditional grammar.
Cobuild (2003) gives a definition of subordinators, and compares between
coordinating conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions. The writer shows specific
subordinators in term of semantic and syntactic.
Murphy (2001) partly presents about conjunction and preposition, and the author
considers subordinator is one of means to connect clauses in a sentences. He gives out
some kinds of compound sentences that use subordinators to link two clauses.
Ban and Thung (2001) claim that subordinators are often presented in sentences
which have subordinate relationship. According to the authors, subordinators contain
4


two groups: restrictive subordinators and dependent subordinators based on their effect
area. Additionally, the writers affirm that depending on different situations, contexts or
the intension of the speakers or writers, different subordinators are applied and the order
of clauses in sentences is set up.
Toan and Luong (2007) state that subordinator is a means to signal subordinate
clause in a sentence. The writers also discuss about the usage of some kinds of
sentences that use subordinators.
In short, although subordinators have been primarily presented in many works,
there have not been any studies giving out the comparison between English
subordinators and their Vietnamese equivalents in terms of syntactic and semantic
features. All their studies on subordinator will be used as the theoretical background
for my research.
2.2. An overview of syntax and semantic theory
2.2.1. Theory of syntax
Syntax is the grammar, structure, or order of the elements in a language
statement (Semantics is the meaning of these elements). Syntax applies to computer
languages as well as to natural languages. Usually, people think of syntax as “word
order”. However, syntax is also achieved in some languages such as Latin by
inflectional case endings. Syntax is understood to be the theory of the structure of
sentences in a language. This view has its direct antecedents in the theory of the
immediate constituents, in which the function of syntax is to mediate between the
observed forms of a sentence and its meaning. According to Bloomfield [1933:161],
we could not understand the form of a language if we merely reduced all the complex
forms to their ultimate constituents.
Syntax is now the study of the principles and rules that govern the ways in
which words are combined to form phrases, clauses, and sentences in a language.
Syntax is a subfield of grammar focuses on the word order of a language and the
relationships between words. In this use, syntax is opposed to morphology, the study of
word structure. In other words, morphology deals with phrase and sentence formation
out of words.

5


2.2.2. Theory of semantics
Semantics (as the study of meaning) is central to the study of communication and
as communication becomes more and more a crucial factor in social organization, the
need to understand it becomes more and more pressing. Semantics is also at the centre
of the study of the human mind – thought processes, cognition, conceptualization – all
these are intricately bound up with the way in which we classify and convey our
experience of the world through language.
Because it is, in these two ways, a focal point in man’s study of man, semantics
has been the meeting place of various cross-currents of thinking and various disciplines
of the study. Philosophy, psychology, and linguistics all claim a deep interest in the
subject. Semantics has often seemed baffling because there are many different
approaches to it, and the ways in which they are related to one another are rarely clear,
even to writers on the subject. Leech (1990).
According to Richmond H. Thomas (1966), semantics is the study of the
meaning of linguistic expressions. The language can be a natural language, such as
English or Navajor, or an artificial language, like a computer programming language.
Meaning in natural languages is mainly studied by linguists. In fact, semantics is one of
the main branches of contemporary linguistics. Theoretical computer scientists and
logicians think about artificial languages. In some areas of computer science, these
divisions are crossed. In machine translation, for instance, computer scientists may
want to relate natural language texts to abstract representations of their meanings; to do
this, they have to design artificial languages for representing meanings.
Generally, semantics is the study of meaning. It is a wide subject within the
general study of language. An understanding of semantics is essential to the study of
language acquisition (how language users acquire a sense of meaning, as speakers and
writers, listeners and readers) and of language change (how meanings alter over time).
It is important for understanding language in social contexts, as these are likely to
affect meaning, and for understanding varieties of English and effects of style. It is thus
one of the most fundamental concepts in linguistics. The study of semantics includes
the study of how meaning is constructed, interpreted, clarified, obscured, illustrated,
simplified, negotiated, contradicted and paraphrased.

6


2.3. An overview of subordination
2.3.1. Definition of subordination
In English, subordination is definited by some grammarians. According to Quirk
and Greenbaum (1973), subordination is a non-symmetrical relation, holding between
two clauses in such a way that one is constituent or part of the other. In linguistics,
subordination is a principle of the hierarchical organization of linguistics units. While
the principle is applicable in semantics, syntax, morphology, most works in linguistics
employs the term “subordination” in the context of syntax, and that is the context in
which it is considered here. The syntactic units of sentences are often either
subordinate or coordinate to each other.
Biber, Conrad and Leech (1999) pointed out some signals of subordination.
According to the writers, subordination can be signaled by an overt link, in the form of
subordinator or wh-word, and a non-finite verb phrase, that is, by a verb phrase
introduced by an infinitive, present participle or past participle. Finite clauses are
marked for tense or modality. Finite dependent clauses usually have an overt link,
starting with a subordinator or wh-word. Let’s see the following example:
Brian will attend the class if it suits him.
(Quirk, ‘A comprehensive grammar of English language’)
In the above example, we use if as one of the subordinator to connect two
clauses, so the readers and listeners can base on subordinator to recognize
subordination.
In Vietnamese, according to Toan and Luong (2007), subordination is
commonly expressed the relationship between subordinate clause and main clause in a
sentence. It has some following characteristics:
Firstly, it marks an unequal relationship between two clauses in subordinating
compound sentences, drives one clause become main clause, and the other is
subordinate clause. Let’s check the following example:
Hôm nay tôi nghỉ học
vì tôi bị ốm.
(Today I don’t go to school
because I am sick)
Main clause
Subordinate clause
Secondly, in semantical relationship, two events in two clauses are connected in
a control relationship each other, such as this event happened because of another event.
7


The final signal characteristic is that all the subordinated components can
change their order in a sentence. We can say: Hôm nay tôi nghỉ học vì tôi bị ốm (Today
I don’t go to school because I am sick) or we can also say: Vì hôm nay tôi bị ốm nên tôi
nghỉ học. (Because I am sick today, I don’t go to school).
2.3.2. Definition of subordinator
According to Quirk and Greenbaum (1973), subordinators are considered as the
most important formal indicator of subordination. Like preposition, which they
resemble in having a relating or connecting function, subordinators form the core of the
class consist of single word, and again, as with preposition, there are numerous
compound items which act, to various degree, like a single conjunction (Quirk and
Greenbaum 1973: 313). The writers also state that there are three types of
subordinators (subordinating conjunction): simple subordinators, compound
subordinators and correlative subordinators.
Biber, Conrad and Leech (1999) show that subordinators differ in important
ways from other clause links. Subordinators are like coordinators, but they are different
from linking adverbial, because subordinators occur in a fixed position at the front of
their clause.
Oshima and Hogue (1998) claim that subordinators are words and phrases that
signal subordinate clause, introduce dependent subordinate clauses and signal the
relationship between the subordinate clause and the main clause.
Besides, another source shows that subordinators are applied to a grammatical
distinct, close class of words whose primary role is to mark a clause as subordinate.
In Vietnamese, subordinators are considered as particles of empty words and
sentences that show the subordinated relationship. Like English, they are means of
connecting main element and subordinate element. Therefore, subordinators are likely
to connect with subordinate clause elements according to Ban and Thung (2001). Let’s
see the following example:
Diệp bị đau đầu vì cô ấy suy nghĩ quá nhiều.
(Ban, ‘Ngữ pháp Tiếng Việt’)
(Diep got headache because she thought too much)

8


In the above example, because joins two clauses Diệp bị đau đầu and cô ấy suy
nghĩ quá nhiều. The two clauses have subordinated relationship in which Diệp bị đau đầu is
the main clause and cô ấy suy nghĩ quá nhiều is subordinate clause.
Sharing the same idea, Toan and Luong (2007) state that subordinators are
empty words and they do not denote things but show the grammatical relationship
between two clauses (main clause and subordinate clause). They are considered as very
important means in connecting two clauses in sentences. Let’s look at the below
example:
Bởi tôi ăn uống điều độ và có chừng mực nên tôi chóng lớn lắm.
(Tô Hoài, ‘Dế mèn phiêu lưu kí’)
(Because I eat in a diet regularly and moderately, I grow very well)
2.3.3. Classification of subordinator
Grammarians, such as Quirk et al. (1985), Downing and Locke (2002), Carter
and McCarthy (2006), Martin (2000), etc., agree that subordination of clauses means
dependency of clauses on other constructions, in opposition to coordination and
subordinators are markers of subordinating status of clauses.
However, they adopt different ways to classify subordinators. Some
grammarians, such as Carter and McCarthy (2006), Quirk et al. (1985), etc., describe
subordinators in terms of form; others, such as Martin (2000), in terms of meaning;
Huddleston and Pullum (2005) divide subordinators from the perspective of syntactic
function; still others, such as Biber et al. (2000).
Carter and McCarthy (2006) subdivide subordinators into simple and complex.
Simple subordinators are single words which introduce subordinate clause; complex
subordinators consist of more than one word and include common expressions ending
in as and that (or optional that), plus a small number of other expressions. Let’s see
Table 1 below.

9


Table 2.1: Classification of English subordinators according to Carter & McCarthy
(2006)
Simple

Complex

after, although, as, because, before, for, as far as, as if, as/so long as, as soon as, as
how, however, if, in case, in order that, though, assuming (that), considering, given
lest, once, since, that, though, till, (that), granted (that), in case, in order for,
unless, until, when, whenever, where, in order that, insofar as, insomuch as, in the
whereas,

wherever,

which,

while, event that, providing/provided (that), seeing

whilst, who, whoever, whom, whose

as, seeing (that), such that, supposing (that)
(Carter & McCarthy, 2006, p. 558)

It should be said that this standard for classification is neat enough: if a
subordinator contains only one word it is a simple subordinator. If not, complex
subordinator. But they include in order that in the simple subordinators, which
obviously goes against the standard they mentioned. In addition, the labels of simple
and complex subordinators can’t provide the learners with any clue on the usage of
subordinators.
According to Quirk et al. (1985), subordination is generally marked by a signal
in the subordinate clause. Subordinators are the most important device of
subordination, particularly for finite clauses. Like prepositions, which they resemble in
having a relating function, subordinators forming the core of the class consist of a
single word, but there is a larger range of complex subordinators which function, to
varying degrees, like a single conjunction. In addition, there is a small class of
correlative subordinators, which combine two markers of subordination, one being a
subordinator (Quirk et al. 1985, p. 997).
Firstly, they recognize the same conjunctive function of both preposition and
subordinator and they added correlative subordinators to the word class. So according
to them the subordinators are divided into simple, complex and correlative
subordinators, etc.

10


Table 2.2: Classification of English subordinators according to Quirk et al. (1985)
Simple
subordinators
After,

Complex
Correlative
Marginal
Other
subordinators
subordinators subordinators
indicators
Ending with that: but As…so,
Even if, if Wh-elements:

although, as, that, that, in order as…as,
because,
that, insofar that, in so...as,
before,
directly,

only,
moment

the who,
whom,
whose, which,

the event that, save such…as,
(that),
if, that, such that.
so/such (that), everytime

when,
what,

where,
why,

immediately,
Ending with optional less/more((that);
how, whoever,
lest,
like, that:
assuming /er) than, no because
of whomever,
once,since,
(that), considering sooner…
the fact that, whichever,
that, though, (that),
excepting than/ when, due to the wherever,
till,
unless, (that), given (that), barely/hardly/ fact that, on whenever,
until,
granted
(that), scarcely…wh account
of whatever,
when(ever),

granting

(that), en/than,

where(ver),
whereas,
whereupon,
while, whilst

provided
(that), the…the,
providing
(that), whether/if…o
seeing
(that), r
supposing
(that);
except that, for all
that, now that, so

in (the) light
of the fact
that, in spite
of the fact
that,
regardless of

that.
Ending

the fact that; pronoun that;
in spite of the the
subject-

with

as:

according as, as far
as, as long as, as
soon as, forasmuch
as, inasmuch as,
insofar as, insomuch
as.
Others: as if, as
though, in case

the fact that, however,

fact/the
news/your
report/my
belief

whosoever,
whomsoever,
wheresoever,
whatsoever,
howsoever; the
relative

operator
inversion; the
absence of a
finite verb

(Quirk et al., 1985, pp. 998-1007)
11


Obviously, Quirk et al. (1985) make the class more inclusive and complete.
Martin (2000) sub-classifies the subordinating conjunctions from the perspective
of meaning.
Table 2.3: Classification of English sobordinators according to Martin (2000)
in terms of meaning
Meaning
Time

Subordinating conjunctions
After, as, as long as, before, since, until, when,
while

Place

In the same place as, where, wherever

Reason

As, because, since

Manner

As if, as though

Contrast

Although, despite the fact that, even though,
though, while

Condition
Purpose
Result

As long as, given that, if, provided that, unless
In order that, so that
So, so that
(Martin, 2000, p. 423)

Martin (2000) also studies the polysemy of some conjunctions, like since, which
could express meanings of both time and reason and subdivides the conjunctions of
time, according to meaning again, into 8 types: simultaneous events, non-simultaneous,
immediate sequence, duration, no duration, “time before”, “time after”, extending to
the present.
Making grammatical classification according to meaning might be easy for
readers to follow, but difficult to distinguish from each other. It always seems to be just
a list, easy to find exceptions and not exhaustive.
Biber et al. (2000) first make a distinction between words introducing relative
clauses and the ones introducing other clauses, such as subject, object and complement
clause etc. and use a different term, relativizer, for those words introducing relative
clauses and compare relativizers with subordinators. They are similar in that both
introduce dependent clauses, but they differ from each other in that relativizers have a
12


syntactic role as clause element or part of a clause element and the clauses relativizer
introduce are generally post modifiers of preceding noun phrases, on which the choice
of relativizers depends while subordinators have a purely syntactic role, not roles as
subject, object, adverbial, etc.. Consider the following examples:
(1) That he said nothing doesn’t surprise me.
(2) I know that it’s difficult.
(3) The teacher complained because the students didn’t finish their
homework.
(4) The secretary wrote to all the members who were absent from the
meeting.
According to Biber et al. (2000), who in (4) should be relativizer. This
distinction is reasonable and necessary in that a relative clause, such as the underlined
part in (4) can’t make the whole clause a complex one, whereas the other three
examples above are complex clauses. So from the perspective of distinguishing simple
clauses from complex ones this distinction between relativizer and subordinator is quite
useful. So relative clauses are different from subordinate clauses though there is
subordination between the relative clauses and the noun phrases that are modified by
them. That is to say, relative clauses are not subordinate clauses like the underlined
clauses in (1), (2) and (3).
Biber et al. (2000) also propose another term, complementizer, for those
subordinators, if, that, whether and wh- words, introduce complement clauses (or
nominal clauses). These subordinators have little meaning apart from marking
structural dependency. However, wh-words do have meaning and, like relativizers
mentioned above, they have syntactic roles as clause elements. It is also not desirable
to invent the terms of subjectizer or objectizer, which will result in too much
overlapping. Actually, Biber et al. (2000) have realized the overlap between
subordinators and other word classes and talked about the most extreme case of overlap
of that as complementizer, relativizer, subordinator, adverb, determinative and
pronoun.

13


Table 2.4: Classification of English subordinators according to Biber et al.
(2000)
Major subordinator

Complex

Correlative

Introducing

Introducing

Introducing

adverbial
clause:

degree
clause:

complement
as, as long as, as soon as if…then,
clause
(or That:
given
(that), although…y

after,

as, as,

As: according as, as far Simple+adv:

granted/granting (that), et, as…as

that, nominal

because, if, than

clause):

on

condition

(that), Degree

since,
(al)though,
whether,
while, etc.

complementiz
er
If,
that,
whether

provided (that); directly
(that),
immediately
(that), now (that), the
moment (that); but that,

element:
as…as, more
than,
so…that,

except (that), in that, in the…the
order that, so (that), such
that
Others: as if, as though,
even if, even though, in
case, no matter (+ whword)
(Biber et al., 2000, p. 85)
Huddleston and Pullum (2005) argue that there are three subordinators, namely
that, whether and if indicating interrogation. They put words in [i] and [iia] in the
following table into the class of preposition.
Table 2.5: Some indicators of English subordinators
i
ii

After, before, since, till, until
a- Although, because, if (c), lest, provided, though, unless
b- If (i), that, whether
(Huddleston & Pullum, 2005, p. 129)

They have good reasons for doing this because they have extended the
membership of the class of preposition class by modifying the usage of prepositions.
14


Tài liệu bạn tìm kiếm đã sẵn sàng tải về

Tải bản đầy đủ ngay

×