Complex Sentence with Conditional Subordinate Clause in Middle English: Structure and Function

Кхеліл, Олеся Ігорівна (2017) Complex Sentence with Conditional Subordinate Clause in Middle English: Structure and Function PhD thesis, Київський університет імені Бориса Грінченка.

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The thesis focuses on the study of structural and functional peculiarities of complex sentence with conditional subordinate clause in Middle English. The author holds that this type of a sentence contains two clauses logically connected by means of "cause – result" relation, syntactically united with the help of a conditional marker, and semantically explicating the meaning of direct (factual, hypothetical, unreal) and indirect (relevance conditionals) condition. From the standpoint of generative grammar, the conditional embedded clause forms an independent CP projection which splits into TP and vP functional projections and corresponding lexical projections. The structural approach explains the positional characteristics of the conditional subordinate clause in initial, final, and medial positions. The most typical position of the conditional subordinate clause is initial (78%) which does not contradict logical and philosophical interpretation of conditional relations (if p, then q). The findings indicate that the explicit markers of the antecedent are of dominant and peripheral types. The dominant if marker functions in its one-component (if) and two-component forms (if that), in either way being generated in the position of CP head. The conditional markers of the peripheral type are those inherited from Old English (all if, als if, als, for and, bot, and) and newly acquired conjunctions (suppois, on caas if), that are being fixed in Middle English starting from the northern dialects. The explicit marking of the consequent takes place in the 13% of all conditional complex sentence realizations. The actualization of then in the main clause leads to the structural (inversion) and functional (uniqueness of a condition) changes. The constituent arrangement in the conditional embedded clause corresponds to the main tendency of Middle English to a fixed SVO word order. The study shows the increasing number of SVO patterns throughout Middle English period – SVO (ME1 69% – ME2 81% – ME3 87% – ME4 95%), SOV (ME1 27% – ME2 18% – ME3 12% – ME4 3%), VSO (ME1 4% – ME2 1% – ME3 1% – ME4 2%). The existence of SOV word order is explained by the use of head pied-piping operation, which was a peculiar feature of early Germanic languages. In the case of VSO word order the verb moves to the head CP position to obtain the mood feature. The paper investigates the functional peculiarities of complex sentence with conditional subordinate clause to claim that it is a complex speech act that contains two heterogeneous types of utterances, the most prevalent being "condition – supposition", and the least spread being "condition – invitation". Complex conditional speech acts demonstrate sensitivity to the Middle English written records genre. The author outlines the following communicative functions of relevance conditionals which explicate indirect condition: down-toning of the requirement, request which considers the needs and desires of the hearer, getting the permission, doubting, diffidence of the information explicated in the main clause, contact making, and introduction of a new idea. The thesis proves that the precise criteria for the division of Middle English conditional sentences into factual and counterfactual are not clear-cut. This is exemplified by the coexistence of indicative and subjunctive forms for marking hypothetical and unreal action, unification of indicative and subjunctive endings, and lack of means to explicate the time correlation of an unreal action. With the loss and unification of endings the Middle English language develops analytical forms on the basis of periphrastic syntactic constructions with a modal, whose functioning increases from 24% in МЕ1 to 44% in МЕ4. The findings of the dissertation provide grounds for further research for which it seems reasonable to conduct a comparative analysis of the complex sentence with conditional subordinate clause in different periods of the development of English.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: antecedent, complex sentence with conditional subordinate clause, consequent, explicit marker, generative grammar, Middle English.
Subjects: Це архівна тематика Київського університету імені Бориса Грінченка > Автореферати > Спецради Університету
Divisions: Це архівні підрозділи Київського університету імені Бориса Грінченка > НМЦ > НМЦ досліджень, наукових проектів та програм
Depositing User: Ганна Сало
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2017 08:19
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2017 08:19

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