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This list of grammatical terms takes as its starting point the glossary in Essentials of Mastering English by Carl Bache. (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 2000. pp. 267-297).
A: see Adverbial.
Absolute clause: a nonfinite or verbless adverbial clause with a subject and without a subordinator, e.g. Ronald moved forward, Jenny staying behind and Ronald knelt down, his hands behind his back.
Absolute comparative: a comparative which expresses '(fairly) high degree' rather than 'higher rank', e.g. Our dog likes older people (older = 'elderly').
Absolute superlative: a superlative which expresses 'exceptionally high degree' rather than 'highest rank', as in Her face expressed the liveliest gratification and a most remarkable evening.
Accusative with infinitive/participle: a traditional term for object infinitive or partiple clauses containing a subject, e.g. I wanted her to leave. When a personal pronoun is subject in the object clause it is in the objective ('accusative') form.
Action(ality): the category of action deals with the different (dynamic and stative) types of situation. The actionality of a construction is its situational nature (e.g. punctual, telic or habitual).
Active (voice): see Voice.
adj: see Adjective.
Adjectival: a form term covering both 'adjective group' and 'single adjective'.
Adjective (adj): adjectives typically express qualities in relation to nouns and pronouns (e.g. a long letter / he is afraid) and often allow comparison (e.g. longer, longest / more afraid, most afraid).
Adjective group: a group with an adjective as head, e.g. My wife is very beautiful.
Adjunct: an adverbial which is closely integrated in the sentence structure. Adjuncts typically express negation, time, place, manner, instrument, reason, purpose, condition, degree, etc. (e.g. I left my wife in London).
adv: see Adverb.
Adverb (adv): adverbs typically express qualities in relation to verbs (e.g. Jack moved slowly), adjectives (e.g. very big), other adverbs (e.g. so gently), or the rest of the sentence (e.g. Fortunately, everybody was saved). Adverbs are often derived from adjectives by means of the -ly suffix: e.g. slow Æ slowly, gentle Æ gently. Like many adjectives, many adverbs allow comparison (e.g. more slowly, most slowly).
Adverb group: a group with an adverb as head, e.g. She danced very beautifully.
Adverbal: a form term covering both 'adverb group' and 'single adverb'.
Adverbial (A): a default clause/sentence function in that it is not a subject, predicator, object or complement. Adverbials fall into three major subclasses: adjuncts (e.g. Jack left Rome yesterday), disjuncts (e.g. James is undoubtedly a talented piano player) and conjuncts (e.g. However, there are many other considerations).
AFFECTED: a specific participant role; something/someone involved in, or affected by, a dynamic situation (e.g. Jack fixed the old motor-bike).
AGENT: a specific participant role; a volitional (typically human) instigator of a dynamic situation (e.g. Jack fixed the old motorbike).
AmE: American English.
Anaphoric: a term for something that relates 'backwards' to an earlier constituent. In e.g. Jack wanted to see her as soon as he got back, the subject he in the subclause refers anaphorically to the subject Jack in the matrix clause.
Antecedent: a constituent referred to anaphorically. In an example like I bought the book shortly after it was published, the object the book in the matrix clause is the antecedent of the subject it in the subclause.
Appended coordination: coordination which provides additional information by means of a separate conjoint, as in Barbara sings beautifully, and Joan too.
Apposition: a post-head parenthetical dependent (e.g. Jack Parker, my neighbour, and John, who moved to Hove last year,).
art: see Article.
Article (art): articles typically combine with nouns to express definiteness (e.g. the car, the idea) or indefiniteness (e.g. a car, an idea).
Aspect: a category which enables the speaker/writer to present a situation as being in progress, i.e. with an internal focus (as in It was raining in Dublin) or as a fact, a complete unit, i.e. with an external focus (as in It rained in Dublin). Aspect is closely related to the category of tense. The combined tense-aspect system comprises the following four choices of verb form: present/past, future/non-future, perfect/nonperfect and progressive/non-progressive.
Assertive pronoun: see Partitive pronoun.
Attitude: a psychological state (opinion, belief, love, hatred, liking, need, knowledge, supposition, etc.), cf. George believes in God.
Attraction concord: concord between a verb and a form closer to the verb than the head noun of the subject, as in The situation in Bosnian mountain areas and forests now seem critical. Such concord is erroneous, but is sometimes found when the verb is some distance from the subject head noun.
Attraction inversion: inversion triggered by a special initial constituent, e.g. a negative or restrictive constituent other than the subject, as in Rarely have I set eyes on such a stunning beauty.
ATTRIBUTE: a specific participant role representing three stative subroles: characterization (e.g. Victoria is beautiful), identification (e.g. Bill is the fellow standing over there) and classification (e.g. Mick is a dentist).
Attributive adjective: adjective serving as a dependent in a noun or pronoun group, e.g. a beautiful woman and something strange.
Autonomous genitive: a specifying genitive which does not relate to an overt head but rather by itself assumes an external function, as in I met Jane at my uncle's.
Autonomous pronoun: autonomous pronouns are either heads of pronoun groups (e.g. Someone I like will be disappointed) or syntactically independent (e.g. She gave me some).
Auxiliary verb: a verb that relates to and modifies full verbs (auxiliary verbs are sometimes called 'helping verbs'). The auxiliaries comprise BE, HAVE and DO as well as the modal verbs (will /would, shall/should, can/could, etc.).
Backshifting: the expression of indirect speech on the basis of direct speech, a process which involves changes of person, of tense-aspect (typically 'back' to some past form) and of other deictic elements, e.g. Peter said that his commanding officer would regard that as cowardice (cf. the original statement My commanding officer will regard this as cowardice).
Base form: the form of a word from which manifestation forms are derived (e.g. love, loves, loved and loving are manifestation forms derived from the base form LOVE). The base form of a word is its entry form in dictionaries.
Basic sentence structure: a typical constellation of obligatory sentence functions, e.g. S P O as in Richard kissed Jessica.
BE-passive: the 'normal' passive with BE as the auxiliary, e.g. He was killed.
BENEFICIARY: a specific participant role; someone/something for whose sake the dynamic situation is brought about (e.g. He gave me the book).
Binary: consisting of two parts.
BrE: British English.
Case: a category which applies to nouns and pronouns (personal, interrogative and relative). Three cases are recognized: the subjective, the objective and the genitive. Nouns are unmarked with respect to the distinction between subjective and objective but often take the genitive case to express possession or some other relationship with the head noun (e.g. the boy's book and my sister's idea). Some pronouns have specific subjective and objective forms (e.g. he/him, they/them, who/whom). Possessive pronouns can be regarded as the genitive form of personal pronouns: e.g. his and their.
Cataphoric: a term for something that relates to elements in the following text. For example, in Deny it though he might, he dumped his wife in Paris, the object it in the subclause refers cataphorically to the matrix clause.
Categorization: the expression of a category of things, persons, etc.; the central function of the head of a nominal is to categorize the referent.
Category: systematic formal variation affecting a large set of words. For example, the distinction between singular and plural, which applies to most nouns (car/cars and girl/girls), is referred to as the number category.
Catenative: a term sometimes used about (full) verbs which are chained together with (other) full verbs but which have a subordinate status, e.g. KEEP and GET in She kept laughing and He got run over yesterday.
CAUSE: a specific participant role; a non-volitional (typically non-human) entity bringing about a dynamic situation, cf. The landslide killed the old man.
Central adjective: adjective which is gradable and occurs freely in both attributive pre-head position and in predicative position. Central adjectives are often coordinated and they typically describe rather than classify or define the referent to which they assign a property. Examples: NICE, FUNNY, GOOD, ANGRY, COLD, etc. Central adjectives are also called descriptive adjectives.
Central determiner: the main, or only, determiner in a construction, as in the fool and what a fool.
Central pronoun: personal, possessive and reflexive pronouns are grouped together as central pronouns.
Central-M: adverbial medial position immediately following the operator, as in Keith had never wanted her soul. If there is no operator, Central-M position is simply between subject and predicator, as in Keith never wanted her soul.
CJT: see Conjoint.
cl: see Clause.
Class-member referent: see Referent.
Classification: a general term for the arrangement of things in categories or groups. It is sometimes used in a specialized sense to refer to a subfunc-tion of modification, realized by classifying adjectives.
Classifying adjective: adjective which subcategorizes the head it modifies. For example, a medical dictionary is a special kind of dictionary. Classifying adjectives (unlike central adjectives) are not gradable.
Classifying genitive: a genitive which serves as a classifying modifier immediately preceding the head noun, as in a women's magazine.
Clausal complement(ation): the type(s) of clause (that-clause, infinitive clause, etc.) which a verb requires as object, adverbial or complement clause.
Clausal negation: see Syntactic field of negation.
Clause (cl): a complex form consisting of at least two clause functions (subject, predicator, object, etc.), one of which is almost always the predicator (e.g. Jack left / Leave her now! / Would you care for a cup of tea? / If in doubt, ...).
Cleft sentence: a sentence like It was John who left early, in which a constituent (John) is singled out for emphatic identifica-tion. This constituent is placed as a subject complement between provisional subject it + BE and a relative subclause as the real, extraposed subject.
Closed word class: closed word classes have relatively few members and rarely allow any new members. Pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions and articles are closed word classes.
CO: see Coordinator.
Co: see Object complement.
Co-reference: a relation between two or more expressions which have the same referent. In e.g. She hated herself, the subject and the object are co-referential.
Cognate object: an object whose head noun is derived from the verb preceding it, as in to live a good life and to sing a song.
Cohesion: a textual link between sentences, created by e.g. pro-forms or adverbials (especially conjuncts).
Collective noun: a number-inflecting noun (like audience/audiences) whose singular form can be interpreted in two different ways: a) as referring to a single unit (The audience was impressed), or b) as a collection of individuals (BrE The audience were impressed).
Comment: that which is stated about the topic, usually expressed by the predicate of a clause, as in The parish vibrated with gossip the next day.
Comment clause: a clause which adds a parenthetic comment to the content of the matrix, as in It's private, you see.
Common gender: the conflation of masculine and feminine gender, e.g. writer, driver, teacher, etc., which may equally well refer to males and females.
Common noun: a noun which refers to something regarded as a member of a class of things (e.g. KNIFE, BOY, PARENT, SCHOOL, BOOK, PEN, CUP, etc.).
Communicative function: the communicative function of a unit is its use in com-munication. For example, clauses are used to offer statements, ask questions, give orders, etc. Such functions are also referred to as illocutionary values.
Comparative: see Comparison.
Comparative basis: the standard against which a comparison is made. In e.g. Joan is taller than Jack, the comparative basis is expressed by than Jack.
Comparative element: the formal expression of comparison, i.e. either the suffixes -er and -est (as in stronger/strongest) or the adverbs more and most (as in more beautiful / most beautiful).
Comparison: a category which enables the speaker/writer to express the ranking of entities on the basis of the degree to which they possess some property, e.g. 'higher rank' or 'the highest rank'. For example, in Jane is faster than Bob, the subject Jane is ranked higher than Bob with respect to the property 'fastness'. Within the category of comparison three members are recognized: the positive (e.g. fast), the comparative (e.g. faster) and the superlative (e.g. fastest).
Complementation: a kind of subordination; a relationship between two constituents (e.g. a dependent and a head) where the subordinate constituent fills out the meaning of the superordinate element, as in immune to criticism, in which to criticism complements immune. If a complement is left out, it can be assumed to be understood in the context.
Complete semantic scope of negation: see Semantic scope of negation.
Complex coordination: coordination of conjoints which consist of more than one function, as in She sold and I bought the house (where each conjoint consists of both a subject and a predicator).
Complex form: complex forms require further syntactic analysis, i.e. analysis of their internal constituency. Complex forms include groups, compound units and clauses but not individual words (which are simple forms).
Complex-transitive predicator: a transitive predicator which takes an object plus either an object complement (as in We painted the wall yellow) or an obligatory adverbial (as in I put the book on the shelf). The basic sentence structures associated with complex predicators are S P O Co and S P O A.
Compound: a unit (typically nominal) made up by two or more independent parts, e.g. classroom.
Compound unit (cu): a complex form consisting of two or more conjoints (CJTs) typically linked by means of a coordinator (CO), e.g. Wendy and Kim sat round the table and They saw your daughter and my son at the party.
Concessive clause: a clause which expresses concession. Clauses are often marked as concessive by conjunctions like (al)though, even if, whereas, etc.
Concord: agreement in form between different constituents, e.g. the subject and the predicator, as in the boy is clever / the boys are clever.
conj: see Conjunction.
Conjoint (CJT): a constituent linked with another constituent by means of coordination in a compound unit. In e.g. They saw your daughter and my son at the party, the object your daughter and my son is a compound unit with two conjoints: your daughter and my son.
Conjunct: an adverbial which is peripheral to sentence structure. Conjuncts typically serve to relate the sentence to a previous sentence (e.g. However, they both disappeared) or they are used as discourse initiators (e.g. So how are you today, Sally?).
Conjunction (conj): conjunctions express relations between constituents. Coordinating conjunc-tions do so by combining constituents at the same level (e.g. cars and books, clever but arrogant). Subordinating conjunctions place one clause (e.g. He didn't support her) at a lower level in relation to another clause (e.g. I said that he didn't support her, where [he didn't support her] is at a lower level than, or embedded in [I said x]).
Constituent: a unit of analysis (e.g. a word, a group of words, or a clause) which is part of a larger construction. For example, my and friend are constituents of the group my friend, and my friend and laughed are constituents of the clause my friend laughed.
Contraction: the attachment of a reduced form to another form, e.g. operator-contraction as in: it's (= it + is) and not contraction, as in hasn't (= has + not).
CONTROLLER: a specific participant role; a volitional (typically human) participant for whom a state obtains for so long as he or she keeps it that way, e.g. Roger is in London.
Coordinating conjunc-tion: see Conjunction.
Coordination: the linking together of constituents which have the same syntactic status and are at the same level of analysis, e.g. Rolf and Werner were devious devils and She called Tim or Ruth the other day. The coordinating conjunction (typically and, or or but) and the constituents it links form a compound unit. In a compound unit the constituents linked are analysed functionally as conjoints and the conjunction as a coordinator.
Coordinator (CO): a constituent which links conjoints to form compound units, e.g. cars and books and clever but arrogant. A coordinator is typically realized by one of the conjunctions and, or or but.
Copula predicator: a predicator which takes a complement, as in Marion is such a nice person. The basic sentence structure associated with copula predicators is S P C.
Count noun: a noun whose referent is conceived of as something individualized which we can count (e.g. BOOK, WINDOW, CAR, HOUSE, etc.).
Cs: see Subject complement.
cu: see Compound unit.
Dangling participle: see Unattached participle.
Declarative clause: a form type of clause typically used to express a positive or negative statement, e.g. Bob inspected the book and He is not here. Clauses are divided into declarative, interrogative, imperative and exclamatory.
Deixis (adj: deictic): a term used for meanings and categories that can only be interpreted in relation to the communicative event itself. For example, to interpret the personal pronoun I, we need to know who is speaking. Tense meaning is also deictic: we interpret present, past and future meaning in relation to the moment of communication. Another example involves demonstrative pronouns, which are used to refer to distant or near entities relative to the position of the speaker (e.g. this book versus that book).
Demonstrative pronoun: the central demonstrative pronouns are this, these, that and those. Demonstratives are mainly used to point to things. Two categories apply to them: number (singular this and that versus plural these and those) and deixis (near this and these versus distant that and those).
Denominal adjective: an adjective deriving from a noun, e.g. FRIENDLY.
Deontic: see Modality.
DEP: see Dependent.
Dependent (DEP): a subordinate group constituent which enters some relationship with the head of the group, e.g. expensive wine, may dance and very beautifully.
Description: a general term for saying in words what something is like.. It is sometimes used in a specialized sense to refer to a subfunc-tion of modification, realized by descriptive adjec-tives.
Descriptive adjective: see Central adjective.
Determination: a kind of subordination; a relationship between a dependent and a nominal head where the dependent signals what kind of reference the noun group has, for example definite as in the girl and indefinite as in a girl. Such dependents are more specifically called determiners.
Determinative pronoun: determinative pronouns serve as DEP (as in some people and her car).
Determiner: see Determination.
Deverbal adjective: adjective deriving from a verb, e.g. RESISTIBLE.
Direct object: see Object.
Direct reference: involves strictly co-referential expressions, as in John looked for the book, but couldn't find it, where it refers directly to the book. Direct reference contrasts with indirect reference.
Direct speech: the quoting of what an original speaker said, as in Sally said: "Simon has given up". Direct speech contrasts with indirect speech, as in Sally said that Simon had given up.
Directed(ness): directed situations progress towards a natural terminal point but do not include this point, cf. Sally was building a garden shed.
Directive: the communicative function of instructing the hearer to perform some action or to behave in a certain way, as in Be quiet!
Discontinuity: lack of linear continuity. A constituent whose parts are not all positioned together in the linear expression is said to be discontinuous. The predicator was kissing is continuous in Jack was kissing the beautiful girl but discontinuous in Was Jack kissing the beautiful girl?, where the subject Jack intervenes between the dependent and the head of the verb group.
Disjunct: an adverbial which is peripheral to sentence structure. Disjuncts typically convey the speaker's comment on the information expressed by the rest of the sentence or on the style or form of the expression itself (e.g. To be frank, I do not want you to leave Hawaii yet).
Dislocation: involves using a pro-form in the place of a constituent placed outside the sentence structure, either to the left, as in Sally, she's an excellent pianist (left-dislocation), or to the right, as in I can't stand him, that friend of yours (right-dislocation).
Distributive: a term used about an expression which refers to separate things, cf. e.g. the distributive plural the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Ditransitive predicator: a transitive predicator which takes two objects, a direct and an indirect one, as in Fred bought Sally a bunch of roses. Ditransitive predicators contrast with monotransitive predicators, which take one object only. The basic sentence structure associated with ditransitive predicators is S P Oi Od.
DO-support: the use of auxiliary DO to form subject-operator inversion, as in yes-no questions (e.g. Do you like me), to form a negative clause (e.g. She does not like me), or to create emphasis (e.g. She did like me after all!).
DOER: a general participant role; someone/something bringing a dynamic situation about, e.g. Jack fixed the old motorbike.
Domain of negation: concerns the overall polarity of clauses; a distinction is drawn between global negation (negated unit = the clause as a whole) and local negation (negated unit = less than a full clause), cf. He didn't apologize (global) and Jim pleaded not guilty (local).
DONE-TO: general participant role; someone/something passively affected by a dynamic situation, e.g. Jack fixed the old motorbike.
Dual pronoun: a pronoun which implies a class of two members only, e.g. both and either.
Dynamic: a dynamic situation requires a continual input of energy and typically involves change, e.g. the situation of 'Jack fixing the old motorbike'.
Elaborative: a term used about dependents which enter an identity relation to the head but at the same time elaborate on the content of the head, as in Jack Parker, my neighbour, and the idea that I should marry her.
Ellipsis: a device for abbreviating expressions by leaving out constituents.
Embedding: the occurrence of complex forms within complex forms, e.g. clauses within clauses, as in To see her is to love her.
Emphatic DO-support: DO-support used to create emphasis, as in She did like me after all.
End-focus: the tendency to place new and important information at the end of a clause/sentence is called the principle of end-focus.
End-weight: the tendency, wherever possible, to place heavy (i.e. long) constituents last in a clause/sentence is called the principle of end-weight.
Endophoric reference: see Textual reference.
Epistemic: see Modality.
Exclamation: the communicative function of indicating emotional reaction (surprise, disapproval, pleasure, etc.), e.g. How quiet John was! and Wow!
Exclamatory clause: a form type of clause typically used to express exclamations, as in What a big crowd turned up! and How delightful it is.
Existential sentence: existential sentences state that something or someone exists somewhere, or comes into existence. Typically there is used as provisional subject and the predicator is realized by BE or a near synonym, as in There was/remained a bottle of wine on the table.
Exophoric reference: see Non-textual reference.
Extensive relation: a physical state, condition, location, position or possession obtaining for an entity, cf. e.g. The village lies in a dark valley.
EXTRA: default general participant role; anything that is not DOER, DONE-TO, SPECIFIER or SPECIFIED, e.g. Jack was in London last week.
Extraposed (real) (direct) object: see Real object and Extraposition.
Extraposed (real) subject: see Real subject and Extraposition.
Extraposition: involves the movement of a constituent (e.g. the subject or object) from its normal position to a position at the end of the clause, outside the basic clause structure. Real subjects and objects are often extraposed, as in It was good to see you and I found it hard to work with her.
Extrasentential: a term used about relations or phenomena outside a sentence.
Field of negation: see Syntactic field of negation.
Finite: a verb is finite when it formally expresses present tense (as in they sing / she runs) or formally expresses past tense (as in they sang / she ran). Other form types of verbs (such as infinitives, present participles and past participles) are nonfinite. There is only one finite verb in a finite predicator, and it always precedes any nonfinite verb (e.g. She was being followed by us).
Focalization: the postponement of a constituent for reasons of information structure (i.e. in order to give it end-focus).
Form: the make-up, or composition, of a constituent. Words, groups, compound units and clauses are form types. The manifestion form of a word is the morphological shape of its exact realization (e.g. love, loves, loved and loving are different manifestation forms of the verb LOVE).
Free (or implicit) indirect speech: indirect speech with the reporting clause left out, or parenthesized, as in Would she be able to recognize this interpretation of herself, he wondered.
Full (subject-predicator) inversion: see Inversion.
Full verb: the verb that carries the lexical content of a predicator (a full verb is often called a lexical verb), e.g. RUN / JUMP / LAUGH / WRITE / CONSOLE. Full verbs contrast with auxiliary verbs.
Function: the way a constituent is used in relation to other constituents. For example, subject, predicator and direct object are clause functions, and head and dependent are group functions.
g: see Group.
g-replacive one: group-replacive one; one used as a pro-form for a group rather than just a noun: e.g. When she asked for a new key, I gave her one.
Gender: a category which marks constituents as feminine, masculine, neuter or common. In English the category involves certain nominal and pronominal distinctions (e.g. lion/ lioness and he/she/it).
Generic referent: see Referent.
Genitive (case): see Case.
GET-passive: passive with GET used as the auxiliary verb, e.g. He got killed.
Global negation: see Domain of negation.
Gradable adjective: gradable adjectives denote scalar properties and thus take degree adverbs like VERY and EXTREMELY (e.g. NICE and RICH).
Grammar: the study of morphology and syntax, i.e. the study of how morphemes and words are combined to form higher-level constituents in meaningful ways.
Group (g): a complex form consisting of a head and one or more dependents. The head determines the nature of the group. Thus if the head is realized by a noun, the group is a noun group (e.g. a nice party); if the head is realized by a verb, the group is a verb group (e.g. may have been dancing), and so forth.
Group-replacive: see g-replacive one.
H: see Head.
Habit: the product of a (dynamic or stative) situation occurring so regularly that it is conceived of as characteristic of someone or something, cf. John teaches linguistics and Sally smokes.
Head (H): a superordinate group constituent with one or more dependents. A head and its dependents form a group: e.g. sad songs, may have been dancing and extremely miserable. The head is an obligatory element which characterizes the group as a particular kind of group. Thus, for example, a group with a noun as head is a noun group.
HOLDER: specific participant role; a non-volitional (typically but not inevitably non-human) participant for whom/which a state obtains, e.g. The village lies in a dark valley.
Hypotaxis: a relation between elements at different levels of analysis. In e.g. envious Republican senators, there is a hypotactic relation between the two adjectives, envious modifying Republican senators rather than just senators.
Illocutionary: see Communication function.
Imperative: a mood realized by the base form of the verb. The imperative expresses something which needs to be made real, such as a directive or command (e.g. Please come with me).
Imperative clause: a form type of clause typically used to express a directive or a command, as in Shut the door and You listen to me!
Incomplete semantic scope of negation: see Semantic scope of negation.
Indefinite pronouns: a fairly complex subclass of pronouns comprising every, some, any, no and their combinations with -one, -body, -thing (e.g. everyone, somebody, anything, etc.). But there are other indefinite pronouns, the most important of which are each, all, both, either, neither and one(s).
Independent relative clause: a relative clause with non-textual reference, i.e. without an antecedent. Independent relative pronouns can be interpreted as a fusion of a normal relative and an antecedent, as in I gave her what was left, where what means that which.
Indicative: a mood which has -s in the 3rd person singular of the present form of the verb and -ed in the past. The indicative basically expresses something real or factual (e.g. Somebody opens/opened the door).
Indirect object (Oi): a clause/sentence function which usually follows the predicator but precedes a direct object, as in Fred bought Sally a bunch of roses. It typically expresses a BENEFICIARY.
Indirect reference: reference to a non-identical, but related, antecedent, as in I looked at the book but couldn't see the title, where the title refers anaphorically but indirectly to the book.
Indirect speech: the reporting of what an original speaker said without offering a verbatim quote, as in Sally said that Simon had given up. Indirect speech contrasts with direct speech, as in Sally said: "Simon has given up".
Infinitive: a verb form identical with the base form (also used as the entry form for verbs in dictionaries). Infinitives occur with or without the infinitive marker: e.g. (to) write, (to) think, (to) work.
Infinitive marker (infm): the word to when used in connection with an infinitive, as in To see her is to love her.
Inflection: morphological process whereby a word is marked by means of a morpheme to signal a grammatical relationship, e.g. car - cars (number), walk - walked (tense), friend - friend's (genitive), etc. Many manifestation forms are created by means of inflection. Thus, for example, the manifestation forms loves, loved and loving are inflectional variants of the base form LOVE.
Inflectional morphology: morphology involving inflection.
infm: see Infinitive marker.
Information structure: the way information is presented (e.g. the order in which constituents are placed).
Inherent adjective: inherent adjectives directly ascribe a property to the referent of the head they modify, e.g. a beautiful girl and an angry man.
INSTRUMENT: a specific participant role; entity or means used to bring about a dynamic situation, e.g. Roger peeled potatoes with his pocket-knife.
Intensive plural: a plural that intensifies the concept of the corresponding singular expression rather than simply quantifying the referent, e.g. apologies, fears, skies, waters, etc.
Intensive relation: either a description of an entity in terms of another or an assignment of a property to an entity, cf. Ottawa is the capital of Canada and Victoria is beautiful.
Interjection (intj): interjections are words which express emotional reaction (surprise, pleasure, annoyance, hesitation, etc.) like huh, ouch, well, oh, etc.
Interrogative clause: a form type of clause typically used to ask questions. There are two types of interrogative clause: wh-interrogatives (e.g. Who killed the mocking bird?) and yes-no interrogatives (e.g. Did you like her a lot?).
Interrogative pronoun: interrogative pronouns are used to form interrogative sentences, such as Who wants to go? and What is this?. The central interrogative pronouns are who/whom/whose, which and what.
Interrogative scope: concerns the set of possible answers to a question. The set is either limited or unlimited (quantitative selectivity), or it is of a special kind (qualitative selectivity). For example, the two expressions Who is Roger Wilkinson and Which (of them) is Roger Wilkinson are distinguished in terms of quantitative selectivity, the latter (but not the former) assuming a limited set of possible answers.
intj: see Interjection.
Intransitive predicator: a predicator which takes no object or complement, such as Richard was sleeping. Some intransitive predicators take an obligatory adverbial (e.g. Jessica was in London) and/or a number of optional adverbials (as in Richard was sleeping heavily in the next room). The basic sentence structures associated with intransitive predicators are S P and S P A.
Intrasentential: a term used about relations or phenomena inside a sentence.
Inversion: the reversal of the order of constituents. Typically the term is used in connection with a reversal of order in basic sentence structures. A distinction is drawn between (partial) subject-operator inversion (as in Did you like her?) and (full) subject-predicator inversion (as in Here comes the bus).
Irreversible coordination: coordination where the order of conjoints cannot be changed for formal reasons, or without also changing the meaning: e.g. She went inside again and Philip drove off / Philip drove off and she went inside again.
Iterative/iteration: iterative situations consist of a number of identical, or similar, consecutively realized subsituations, cf. Someone was tapping me on the shoulder.
Left-dislocation: see dislocation.
Left-hyphenation: the use of hyphenation before a label (e.g. -P:g) to indicate a discontinuous relationship between the unit it represents and a unit in the preceding linguistic context.
Lexical item: a word; the expression 'lexical item' is often used to refer to a word in its dictionary form, i.e. in its base form.
Lexicalization: the expression of meanings through words.
Limited negation: see Syntactic field of negation.
Linked coordination: coordination where the conjoints are explicitly connected by a coordinator, as in John and Mary.
Local genitive: an autonomous genitive referring to a home, building, institution, business or another place, as in I met her at my uncle's.
Local negation: see Domain of negation.
Main clause: corresponds to the whole sentence (or what could be a whole sentence), e.g. Jenny would help me if she got the chance. This main clause consists of the matrix Jenny would help me and the subclause if she got the chance. The subclause (if she got the chance) is said to be embedded in the main clause.
Mandative subjunctive: the deontic expression of compulsion in that-clauses after verbs, adjectives or nouns expressing demand, resolution, recommendation or the like, e.g. I suggest that Smith leave at once.
Manifestation form: the inflected or uninflected form of a word in actual speech or writing. The forms love, loves, loved and loving are manifestation forms of the base form LOVE.
Marked: atypical, unusual.
Mass noun: a noun whose referent is conceived of as something unindividualized which we cannot (or simply do not) count (e.g. WATER, SAND, BUTTER, FURNITURE, ADVICE, etc.).
Matrix clause: a main clause minus its subclauses. In e.g. They discovered that Jack was a double agent, the matrix is They discovered. The rest is a subclause.
Middle verb: a verb which appears not only in normal active and passive sentences but also in intransitive active, but notionally passive sentences with the AFFECTED participant as topicalized subject, e.g. The door opened.
Missing constituent: a constituent which has been left out to obtain economy of expression, as in Ann became president and Jack __ vicepresident. Cases of missing constituents are referred to as ellipsis.
Mod. I adjective: specifying adjective in modificational zone I.
Mod. II adjective: descriptive adjective in modificational zone II.
Mod. III adjective: classifying adjective in modificational zone III.
Modal verbs: auxiliaries which express modal meaning and which have no base form: will/would, shall/should, can/could, may/might and must.
Modality: modal meaning primarily involves two kinds of non-factual meaning: epistemic and deontic. Epistemic meaning concerns probability (logical possibility and necessity, hypothetical meaning, beliefs and predictability), while deontic meaning concerns desirability (permission, obligation and volition). For example, MAY is epistemic in The economy may get worse (possibility) but deontic in May I come in? (permission).
Modification: a kind of subordination; a relationship between two constituents (typically a dependent and a head) where the subordinate constituent attributes a property to the superordinate constituent. A distinction is drawn between premodification (as in beautiful roses) and postmodification (as in something beautiful) depending on the position of the subordinate constituent relative to the superordinate constituent.
Mod(ificational) zone I: the zone containing specifying adjectives, e.g. the same old English stock and the first few interesting talks.
Mod(ificational) zone II: the zone containing descriptive adjectives, e.g. the same old English stock and a tall dark stranger.
Mod(ificational zone) III: the zone containing classifying adjectives, e.g. the same old English stock and a new American medical dictionary.
Monotransitive predicator: a transitive predicator which takes only one object (typically a direct object), as in Jeremy kissed Sandra. Monotransitive predicators contrast with ditransitive predicators, which take two objects (a direct and an indirect one). The basic sentence structure associated with monotransitive predicators is S P O.
Mood: a verbal category which can be used to define sentence/clause types accord-ing to how their meaning relates to reality. There are three moods: the indicative (e.g. Somebody opens the door all the time), the imperative (e.g. Somebody open the door, will you) and the subjunctive (e.g. I suggest that somebody open the door).
Morpheme: the smallest meaningful unit in language. Morphemes may be words (such as e.g. my, the, old and shed) or parts of words (as e.g. un- and kind in unkind, and paint and -ed in painted).
Morphological comparison: comparison by means of the -er and -est suffixes (e.g. strong/stronger/strongest).
Morphology: the study of how morphemes combine to form words, e.g. un + kind = unkind and car + s = cars.
n: see Noun.
n-replacive one: noun-replacive one; one used anaphorically as a pro-form for a noun rather than a whole group, as in There were three visitors. The tall one left early.
Nominal: a form term covering both 'noun group' and 'single noun'.
Nominal clause: a cover term for subject, object and com-plement clauses.
Nominalization: the expression of a situation as 'a thing' by forming a nominal constituent from a verbal or clausal one, as in the killing of pigs.
Non-assertive: see Partitive pronoun.
Non-gradable adjective: non-gradable adjectives denote categorial or determinative properties and are not normally compatible with intensification or comparison (e.g. ATOMIC, LINGUISTIC, MEDICAL, OWN, OTHER, etc.).
Non-inherent adjective: non-inherent adjectives relate by way of associa-tion to the meaning of the head they modify rather than ascribing a property to the referent as such, e.g. a heavy sleeper and an animate noun.
Non-recursive coordination: coordination where the number of conjoints is formally restricted to two. But is a non-recursive coordinator: e.g. I like claret but not port but not I like claret but not port but Madeira.
Non-restrictive relative clause: a relative clause which offers additional information about the referent of the antecedent, e.g. Jim, who was brave, ran forward.
Non-repetitive reference: anaphoric or cataphoric reference which does not involve the repetition of a form, as in Jack said that he liked the idea, where he refers anaphorically but non-repetitively to Jack. Contrasts with repetitive reference.
Non-textual reference: reference to something outside the text itself. Also called exophoric reference. Example: He went to Paris.
Nonfinite: a verb is nonfinite when it is not marked as present or past, i.e. when it has one of the following forms: infinitive (e.g. (to) think), present participle (e.g. thinking) or past participle (e.g. (have) thought).
Not contraction: see Contraction.
Notional concord: concord determined by the notional number of the subject rather than its grammatical number, as in My family love Australia.
Notional passive: see Middle verb.
Noun (n): nouns typically express things or persons. In doing so they are often combined with articles and inflected for the expression of number (e.g. the car vs. the cars) and the genitive case (e.g. Jack vs. Jack's).
Noun group: a group with a noun as head, e.g. My wife studies aboriginal art.
Noun-replacive: see n-replacive one.
num: see Numeral.
Number: a category which enables the speaker/writer to express the distinction between singular and plural. The category applies to nouns (e.g. car/cars, girl/girls, etc.) and to certain pronouns (e.g. this/these, I/we, he-she-it/they).
Number-invariable noun: a noun that is invariably singular or plural, e.g. furniture (invariably singular) and jeans (invariably plural).
Number-transparent: a term used about a syntactic head which lets a dependent determine the number of the construction as a whole, as in A lot of milk was needed versus A lot of eggs were needed.
Numeral (num): numerals are words which express a number, such as five, hundreds, 1993, tenth, twenty-first, etc.
O: see Object.
Object (O), direct object (Od): a clause/sentence function which usually follows immediately after the predicator. It typically expresses the participant affected by the situation expressed by the predicator. Objects are identified by asking 'Who(m) or what' followed by the relevant partially inverted S P construction. Thus, to find the object in Harris moved the bike, we ask 'Who or what did Harris move?'. The answer is the bike (= the object).
Object complement (Co): a clause/sentence function which expresses further information about the referent of the object, as in We painted the wall yellow, where the object complement yellow describes the object the wall ('the wall became yellow'). The object complement is normally realized by an adjectival or nominal constituent.
Objective (case): see Case.
Objective genitive: a genitive relating to a verbal noun the way the object is related to the predicator in a corresponding clause, e.g. Old Jack's release (i.e. 'someone released Old Jack')
Obligatory constituent: a constituent which is syntactically indispensable. In e.g. The small car stopped, all the constituents except small are obligatory.
Od: see Object, direct object.
Op: see Provisional object.
Open word class: open word classes have indefinitely many members and admit new members whenever there is a need for them, e.g. nouns like LASER, SOFTWARE, etc. Nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are open classes.
Operator: the finite auxiliary in a complex finite predicator: e.g. may have lost, is working, have been running, etc.
Operator-contraction: see Contraction.
Optative: the communicative function of expressing a wish or a benediction/ malediction, e.g. If only I were you.
Optional constituent: a constituent which is syntactically &endash; though typically not semantically &endash; dispensable. In e.g. Richard slept heavily in the next room, the two adverbials heavily and in the next room are optional.
Or: see Real object.
P: see Predicator.
Parataxis: a relation between elements at the same level of analysis. Parataxis typically involves unlinked or linked coordination. In e.g. a tall dark handsome stranger and a tall, dark and handsome stranger, the adjectives are paratac-tically related.
Partial inversion: see Inversion.
Participant: participants are referents (of especially nominal and pronominal constituents) involved in the situation expressed by the clause, e.g. DOER, SPECIFIER, CAUSE, BENEFICIARY, etc.
Participle: there are two kinds of participle in English: present participles (in the -ing form: singing, beating, etc.) and past participles (in the -en form: broken, beaten, etc.; the -en suffix is often realized as -(e)d (as in loved and booked) or irregularly with a change of vowel (as in bought and told), or not at all (as in cut, put)).
Partitive pronoun: a subtype of indefinite pronoun. There are two kinds of partitive pronoun: assertive (some, somebody, someone, something) or non-assertive (any, anybody, anyone, anything).
Passive (voice): see Voice.
Past: a tense-aspect form, e.g. happened.
Past future: a tense-aspect form, e.g. would happen.
Past future perfect: a tense-aspect form, e.g. would have happened.
Past future perfect progressive: a tense-aspect form, e.g. would have been happening.
Past future progressive: a tense-aspect form, e.g. would be happening.
Past participle: the -en form of a verb: e.g. broken, beaten, etc. The -en suffix is often realized as -(e)d (as in loved and booked) or irregularly with a change of vowel (as in bought and told), or not at all (as in cut, put).
Past perfect: a tense-aspect form, e.g. had happened.
Past perfect progressive: a tense-aspect form, e.g. had been happening.
Past progressive: a tense-aspect form, e.g. was happening.
Perception: a sense relation (visual, auditory, etc.), cf. I saw her clearly.
Perfect: a verb form consisting of HAVE and a past participle, e.g. They have left and I have always loved her.
Performative: the communicative function of 'doing by saying', e.g. I (hereby) pronounce you man and wife.
Peripheral adjective: an adjective which is not a central adjective. Peripheral adjectives are either classifying adjectives (e.g. SOLAR, MEDICAL, LINGUISTIC) or specifying adjectives (e.g. ONLY, SAME, FIRST).
Person: a category which enables the speaker/writer to express the distinc-tion between speaker/writer (first person), listener/reader (second person), and others (third person), respec-tively). The category applies to personal pronouns, both singular (I, you, he/she/it) and plural (we, you, they), as well as derived forms, both possessive (mine, your, his) and reflexive (myself, yourself, herself).
Personal pronoun: personal pronouns refer to the interlocutors of a speech situation (I, me; you) and/or things and persons in relation to the interlocutors (he, him; she,her; it; we, us; they, them). Four categories apply to personal pronouns: case (e.g. subjective she versus objective her), number (e.g. singular I versus plural we), person (e.g. second-person you versus third-person they), and gender (masculine he versus feminine she versus neuter it).
Phoneme: distinctive individual language sound, e.g. /k/ + /æ/ + /t/ = cat.
Phrasal verb: a verb fused with a following adverb, as in Julia gave in eventually.
Phrasal-prepositional verb: a verb fused with a following adverb and preposition, as in (one reading of) Cassandra looked down on the nurses.
Positive: see Comparison.
Possessive pronoun: personal pronoun 'in the genitive'. There are two sets of possessive pronouns: determinative (my, your, his, her, its, our, your, their) and autonomous (mine, yours, his, hers, ours, yours, theirs), cf. This is her Porsche and I parked my Porsche behind hers.
Post-genitive: an autonomous genitive which appears in a postmodifying of-construction with a quantifying, partitive meaning ('of several'), e.g. a friend of my sister's.
Post-M position: adverbial position after the second or third auxiliary and before the head verb, as in She may be secretly supporting their cause.
Postcedent: a constituent referred to cataphorically. For example, in When he had passed his degree, James left Paris, the subject James in the matrix is the postcedent of the subject he in the subclause.
Postdeterminer: a determiner following another (central) determiner. Every, such and possessive pronouns are postdeterminers when they follow other determiners (e.g. Jack's every wish and any such luck).
Postmodification/Postmodifier: see Modification
Pragmatic function: general communicative function.
Pre-M position: adverbial position immediately before the operator, as in I miss you, darling, I really do.
Predeterminer: a determiner preceding another (central) determiner, e.g. what a jerk.
Predicate: a constituent comprising everything in a clause except the subject. In Jack was fixing the old motorbike again, the predicate consists of the predicator, the object and the adverbial: was fixing the old motorbike again. (Do not confuse 'predicate' with 'predicator' or 'predication'.)
Predication: a constituent comprising everything in a predicate except the operator. In Jack was fixing the old motorbike again, the predication consists of the nonfinite part of the predicator, the object and the adverbial: fixing the old motorbike again.
Predicative adjective: adjective with complement function, e.g. I was rich.
Predicator (P): a clause/sentence function always realized by one or more verbs expressing a situation, as in Jack treated Sophia very badly and He can run a mile in six minutes.
Premodification/Premodifier: see Modification.
prep: see Preposition.
Preposition (prep): prepositions express relations (often spatial relations) between constituents. They do so by relating a noun or group (e.g. the table) to another noun or group (e.g. the book) as in the book on the table, or to some action or state (The book was placed on the table / The book is on the table).
Preposition group: a group with a preposition as head, e.g. to my suprise.
Prepositional complement: the traditional name for a dependent in a preposition group, e.g. to my uncle and without their consent.
Prepositional verb: a verb fused with a following preposition, as in Alfred's wife always stood by Jack.
Present: a tense-aspect form, e.g. happens.
Present future: a tense-aspect form, e.g. will happen.
Present future perfect: a tense-aspect form, e.g. will have happened.
Present future perfect progressive: a tense-aspect form, e.g. will have been happening.
Present future progressive: a tense-aspect form, e.g. will be happening.
Present participle: the -ing form of a verb (breaking, thinking, etc.).
Present perfect: a tense-aspect form, e.g. has happened.
Present perfect progressive: a tense-aspect form, e.g. has been happening.
Present progressive: a tense-aspect form, e.g. is happening.
Primary verb: BE, HAVE and DO are called primary verbs because they function sometimes as auxiliaries (as in She was laughing), sometimes as full verbs, being alone in the predicator (as in She was brave).
pro: see Pronoun.
Proform: a form representing another constituent. Pronouns are common proforms, e.g. My little sister saw herself in the mirror.
Progressive: a verb form consisting of BE and a present participle, e.g. She was running and They are thinking about it.
Pronominal: a form term covering both 'pronoun group' and 'single pronoun'.
Pronoun (pro): pronouns are a rather heterogeneous word class, comprising personal pronouns (I, me; you; he, him; she, her; it, etc.), possessive pronouns (my, mine; your, yours, etc.), reflexive pronouns (myself, yourself, etc.), demonstrative pronouns (that, those, this, these), interrogative and relative pronouns (e.g. who, which, what) and indefinite pronouns (some, something, any, anybody, no, nothing, every, everyone, all, (n)either, both, etc.).
Pronoun group: a group with a pronoun as head, e.g. There is something rotten in the state of Denmark.
Proper noun: a noun written with a capital letter which is used as a name of e.g. a person (Jack and Jenny) or a place (London and Spain).
Provisional direct object: see Provisional object.
Provisional object (Op): a clause/sentence function always realized by it representing an extraposed real object (Or), as in They found it difficult to work, where it represents, or stands in the place of, the real object to work.
Provisional subject (Sp): a clause/sentence function realized by it or there in subject position representing a postponed real subject (Sr), as in It was obvious that he disliked her and There were five books on the table, where It and There are provisional subjects, representing the real subjects that he disliked her and five books, respectively.
Pseudo-cleft sentence: consists of a subject realized by an independent relative what-clause followed by BE and a subject complement, e.g. What worries me is the poor quality of your work.
Pseudo-coordination: coordination of conjoints which, formally, are completely identical, as in There are teachers and teachers.
Punctual(ity): punctual situations have little or no extension in time and hence not conceived of as having internal structure (e.g. She hit me on the nose).
Qualitative selectivity: concerns the interrogative scope of expressions like What years are leap years? and Which years are leap years?, which differ with respect to the kind of answers assumed. The former expression (unlike the latter) tries to elicit a characterization rather than just a list of years.
Quantification: the expression of meanings relating to number or quantity, as in numerous cars, three books, some money and lots of beer.
Quantifier: a word that expresses number or quantity, e.g. some, three, many, lots, etc.
Quantitative selectivity: see Interrogative scope.
Quantity partition: the quantification of the referent of a (mass or count) noun by means of a partitive of-construction preceded by a count noun, e.g. a pint of beer.
Question: the communicative function of seeking information, e.g. Was John quiet? (wh-question) and Are you hungry (yes-no question).
Raised subject: see Raising.
Raising: a term used when a function in a subclause (such as e.g. the subject or the object) appears in ('is raised into') the normal subject position in the matrix clause, e.g. Alfred appears to be hungry (cf. It appears that Alfred is hungry) and His explanation was hard to believe (cf. It was hard to believe his explanation).
Real object (Or): a clause/sentence function which presupposes the use of a provisional object (it). A real object is extraposed from the object position, as in They found it difficult to work.
Real subject (Sr): a clause/sentence function which presupposes the use of a provisional subject (it or there). A real subject is postponed or extraposed from the subject position, as in There were five books on the table and It was obvious that he disliked her, respectively.
Reciprocal: a term used about constituents expressing reciprocity, such as each other and one another.
Recursive: a term used to describe the repeated application of a rule to form indefinitely large complex constructions.
Recursive coordination: coordination with no formal restriction on the number of conjoints. And and or are recursive coordinators: e.g. Would you like beer, white wine, port ... or Madeira?
Reference: the communicative function of establishing something/someone as a referent.
Referent: something/someone referred to. Referents are divided into unique, generic and class-member. If a referent is conceived of as the only one of its kind (such as Peter Schmeichel has decided to leave Manchester United) it is unique. If it is seen as one of many similar things (e.g. I parked my car near the library) it is a class-member referent. If it is a kind or type of thing rather than an individual class-member, it is generic (as in The funnel-web spider is very common in New South Wales).
Reflexive pronoun: reflexive pronouns are self-forms (myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves). Reflexive pronouns are mainly used to express 'the same referent' as some other constituent, typically the subject (as in Jack prided himself on his victory).
Reflexive verb: a verb which requires a reflexive object, e.g. INGRATIATE (as in He always ingratiated himself with his superiors).
Relative (sub)clause: a (subclause) with a relative pronoun in it.
Relative pronoun: relative pronouns signal clausal subordination (like subordinating conjunc-tions) and at the same time they take on a clause function other than SUB in the relative subclause (e.g. subject or object) and have anaphoric reference: e.g. They arrested Jeremy, who was on his honeymoon. The central relative pronouns are who/whom /whose, which, what and that.
Repetitive reference: involves the repetition of a form, as in A man and a woman entered the room. The man was laughing.
Reporting clause: clause which introduces direct or indirect speech, as in He said that Jane had left early and He shouted: "Jane left early".
Representation: the communicative function of 'standing for something'. In e.g. I love you, the personal pronouns represent the speaker and the hearer.
Restrictive relative clause: a relative clause which helps establish the referent of the antecedent, as in The soldiers who were brave ran forward.
RESULT: specific participant role; an entity created by the situation, e.g. He dug a hole and She became a raving lunatic.
Retrievability: the unique identification of a missing constituent.
Reversible coordination: coordination where the order of conjoints can be changed with no difference of meaning, e.g. Jane and Albert arrived before noon / Albert and Jane arrived before noon.
Right-dislocation: see Dislocation.
Right-hyphenation: the use of hyphenation after a label (e.g. P:g-) to indicate a discontinuous relationship between the unit it represents and a unit in the subsequent linguistic context.
S: see Subject.
Scope: the scope of a constituent is the extent of its semantic relations to other constituents (or of its influence over other constituents).
Self-contained/self-containment: self-contained situations are durative situations not having, or being directed towards, any natural point of comple-tion, cf. James and George were sailing along the coast.
Semantic scope of negation: the extent of the semantic effect of negation; a distinction is drawn between complete (everything in the clause is included) and incomplete (not everything in the clause is included) scope, cf. Jane didn't kill Bob deliberately (complete) versus Jane deliberately didn't kill Bob (incomplete, deliberately being outside the seman-tic scope of negation).
Semantics: the study of meaning in language.
Semi-auxiliary: semi-auxiliaries are verbs which are difficult to classify unambiguously as either auxiliaries or full verbs because they share properties with both subclasses. Verbs like OUGHT (to), USED (to), DARE, NEED, HAVE (to), KEEP, GET, BE (to), BE (about to), BE (going to) are semi-auxiliaries.
Sentence: a string of words/constituents expressing a statement (e.g. I love grammar), a question (What is grammar?), a command (e.g. Read this grammar carefully) or an exclamation (What a wonderful grammar teacher she is!).
Sentence function: sentence functions form sentences. The main sentence functions are subject, predicator, direct object, indirect object and adverbial.
Sentential relative clause: a relative clause which refers back to a superordinate clause, e.g. The twins don't look alike, which puzzles me.
Simple coordination: coordination of constituents which by themselves would serve only one clause or group function: Jane and Albert left (= Jane left and Albert left). Simple coordination contrasts with complex coordination.
Simple form: a form which does not require further syntactic analysis, i.e. an individual word.
Situation: a cover term for the many different dynamic and stative meanings that sentences express (e.g. punctuality, iteration and habituality).
Sp: see Provisional subject.
Specification: the communicative function of singling out, or determining the extent of, a referent. In e.g. his decision, the possessive pronoun his has a specifying value. Specification is also a subfunction of modification, realized by specifying adjectives.
SPECIFIED: general participant role; someone/something for whom/which a state exists or is true, e.g. Jack is in London.
SPECIFIER: general participant role; determines the nature of a state (relation) in conjunction with the predicator, e.g. Jack is in London.
Specifying adjective: adjective which singles out or quantifies the referent in relation to some context, e.g. his main reason and my former colleague.
Specifying genitive: a genitive that serves as a central definite determiner, as in my sister's degree.
Split infinitive: an infinitive construction where an adverbial intervenes between infinitive marker and infinitive verb, as in to suddenly resign.
Sr: see Real Subject.
Standard negation: negation expressed by NOT in central-M position, as in Jack has not apologized and She didn't love him any more.
Statement: the communicative function of giving information, e.g. John left.
Stative: a stative situation 'exists' or is 'true' of someone/something rather than 'takes place' or 'happens', cf. e.g. Ottawa is the capital of Canada.
Stranded preposition: a preposition whose complement in an active clause (e.g. Alice slept in the bed) serves as the subject of a passive clause, so that the preposition no longer has a complement (The bed was slept in).
Subclause/subordinate clause: a clause which functions within a main clause, either by realizing a clause function (such as the subject in Being with you is far more important) or by realizing some lower-level function (such as the DEP in The house which my parents bought last year).
Subject (S): a clause/sentence function which typically expresses the person or thing which the predicator says something about. In statements the subject precedes the predicator. We can identify the subject by asking 'Who or what' immediately followed by the predicator. Thus if we want to find the subject in The parish vibrated with gossip the next day, we ask 'Who or what vibrated?'. The answer is The parish (= the subject).
Subject complement (Cs): a clause/sentence function which expresses further information about the referent of the subject, as in My brother looks very intelligent. Subject complements can always be realized by an adjectival constituent, but often have nominal realization (e.g. Jack became very friendly / Jack became my best friend).
Subject-operator (partial) inversion: see Inversion.
Subject-predicator (full) inversion: see Inversion.
Subjective (case): see Case.
Subjective genitive: a genitive relating to a verbal noun the way the subject relates to the predicator in a corresponding clause, e.g. Dr. Daruwalla's estimation (i.e. 'Dr. Daruwalla estimated').
Subjunctive: a mood which is realized by the base form of the verb (or by were), and which typically expresses something non-factual or hypothetical (e.g. It is essential that Pitt leave at once and If only I were rich and famous).
Subordinate clause: see Subclause.
Subordinating conjunction: subordinating conjunctions place one clause (e.g. He didn't support her) at a lower level in relation to another clause (e.g. I said that he didn't support her), or in relation to the head of a group (e.g. The claim that he didn't support her was obviously false).
Subordination: relationship between constituents which have a different syntactic status. In groups there is subordination between head and dependent(s), the latter being the subordinate constituent(s) (e.g. nice colours, where nice is subordinate to colours). At clause level, subordination is often marked explicitly by means of a subordinating conjunction (e.g. I said that he didn't support her, where [he didn't support her] is subordinate to [I said]). There are three main kinds of subordination: determination, complementation and modification.
Substantival use of adjectives: adjectives expressing properties as if they were 'things' or 'persons', as in The poor hadn't heard the worst yet.
Superlative: see Comparison.
Suffix: a morphological ending added to the base form of a word, e.g. -s, -ed and -ing (LOOK: looks/looked/looking).
Syllable: a unit of pronunciation typically larger than the phoneme but smaller than the word. Syllables often consist of a vowel and a number of consonants, e.g. po and lite in polite.
Syntactic comparison: comparison by means of the adverbs more and most (e.g. beautiful / more beautiful / most beautiful).
Syntactic field of negation: concerns the syntactic material acutally negated; a distinction is drawn between clausal negation (stadard negation with NOT, as in He didn't give us the tickets) and limited negation, where a negative clause function other than the predicator makes the clause as a whole negative, as in No one gave us the tickes and He gave us no tickets.
Syntactic zone: see Zone.
Syntax: the study of how words combine to form sentences, e.g. Everybody + likes + chocolate = Everybody likes chocolate.
Tag (question): an interrogative construction like is it and can't we added to a statement: e.g. It is not urgent, is it? and We can leave now, can't we?
Telic(ity): telic situations are durative (i.e. non-punctual) leading up to and including a natural terminal point (cf. Jack fixed the old motorbike).
Tense: a category which enables the speaker/writer to express assignment to situations of 'location in time', e.g. present time location Linda lives in Stockholm versus past time location Linda lived in Stockholm. Tense is closely related to the category of aspect. The combined tense-aspect system comprises the following four choices of verb form: present/past, future/non-future, perfect/nonperfect and progressive/nonprogressive.
Textual reference: reference to something in the text itself, or to something already established as a referent elsewhere in the text. Also called endophoric reference. Example: Jack killed himself.
Topic: the person or thing a predicator says something about, usually expressed by the subject, as in The parish vibrated with gossip the next day.
Topicalization: the fronting of a constituent to highlight it as topic, e.g. This book I can't stand).
Transferred negation: negation which is moved from a subclause where it belongs semantically to a superordinate clause, e.g. I don't think it is raining.
Transitive predicator: a predicator which takes an object, as in Richard kissed Jessica. The basic sentence structure associated with transitive predicators is S P O.
Unattached participle: a participle in a subjectless participle clause where the implied subject is not the subject of the matrix clause, e.g. Known primarily as the author of 'Changing Places', many consider Lodge a humourist. Also called 'dangling participle'. Generally viewed as unacceptable English.
Unique referent: see Referent.
Universal pronoun: a subtype of indefinite pronoun. There are two kinds of universal pronoun: positive (every, everybody, everyone, everything; all) and negative (no, nobody, no one, nothing, none).
Unlinked coordination: coordination with no overt coordinator, as in Who blew the landing party, the coordinates, the beach, the time?
Unmarked: most typical, usual.
v: see Verb.
Valency: the number and kinds of participants associated with verbs.
Verb (v): verbs express dynamic or stative situations and inflect for tense and aspect (e.g. write vs. wrote), person and number (e.g. write vs. writes).
Verb group: a group with a verb as head, e.g. may have been dancing and having been examined.
Verbal: a form term covering both 'verb group' and 'single verb'.
Verbless clause: a clause without a predicator, e.g. When in Rome, ...
Vocative: an expression used to address the hearer, as in Bob, please go now.
Voice: a category allowing the speaker to present information in two different ways, in the active voice or in the passive voice: e.g. Her parents might have saved her (active) / She might have been saved by her parents (passive).
w: see Word.
Word (w): a conventional unit of expression consisting of one or more morphemes, e.g. kind and unkind.
Word class: a collection of words which share morphological, semantic and/or syntactic characteristics, e.g. nouns, which are a collection of words which typically express things or persons (semantics), which are often combined with articles (syntax), and which are usually inflected for the expression of number (morphology). There are eight main word classes: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions and articles.
Yes-no question: a question which tries to elicit a yes or a no for an answer, e.g. Do you like me?.
Zero (form): a missing constituent represented by the symbol Ø (e.g. He said Ø he was hungry).
Zone: an area with a particular function which may be realized by one or more items, e.g. pre-head adjectival modification in nominals.