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How many grammatical relations unite two clauses?

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How many grammatical relations unite two clauses?

Postby ethopoeia » Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:55 pm

A compound sentence is characterised by containing two or more clauses. Traditionally, the Grammar distinguishes between independent and dependent clauses. The grammatical relations uniting these clauses are diverse. How many are they?
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Re: How many grammatical relations unite two clauses?

Postby Emma_85 » Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:32 am

ethopoeia wrote:A compound sentence is characterised by containing two or more clauses. Traditionally, the Grammar distinguishes between independent and dependent clauses. The grammatical relations uniting these clauses are diverse. How many are they?


Well, I might be forgetting some here, but first off we have the conditional clauses, e.g. 'if this happens, something else will happen'
Then there are the temporal ones: "After that happened, this happened"
well, there are quite a few more when you think about it. Easiest thing to do if you don't have a grammar book handy is go through a few sentences you can make up and see which sentences fit which category.
'I agree, but...' - new category!
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Postby ethopoeia » Tue Apr 11, 2006 1:57 pm

According to my Grammar, in compound sentences there are two categories of clauses: (I) Independent, and (II) Dependent.

(I) Independent clauses imply a relation of semantic independence between two single clauses. Traditionally, Grammar divides them in i) copulative, ii) adversative, iii) disjunctive, iv) distributive, v) continuative, and vi) explanative.

(II) Dependent clauses imply a relation of semantic dependence between a main clause and a dependent clause. Traditionally, Grammar distinguishes between i) relative, ii) substantive, iii) adverbial (temporal, local, modal, quantitative), iv) causal, v) concessive, vi) consecutive, vii) conditional, and viii) final.

Since I'm particularly interested in Theory of Grammar, I'd like to exchange some tricky casuistry with you. To get started, and daring to be overtly provocative, I'll deny i) the universal validity of the former, and ii) the very existence of sentences.

So I'm sorry Emma. No sentences -no categories! :)
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Postby Paul » Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:34 pm

ethopoeia wrote:To get started, and daring to be overtly provocative, I'll deny i) the universal validity of the former, and ii) the very existence of sentences.


Sounds like fun!

Can you say what you understand by "sentence" that we might begin to understand what you mean by denying its "very existence"?

Cordially,

Paul
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Postby bellum paxque » Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:38 pm

By sentences do we not mean merely verbs bearing baggage?
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Postby Paul » Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:10 am

bellum paxque wrote:By sentences do we not mean merely verbs bearing baggage?


Here is a verb and its baggage, compliments of Chomsky.

"Colorless green ideas sleep furiously."

Do you consider this to be a sentence?

Cordially,

Paul
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Postby bellum paxque » Wed Apr 12, 2006 4:06 am

Yes. It's a good, grammatical sentence, in my book. Now, the fact that it doesn't make any sense is a different matter, involving contradictions between the lexical entries for the words at issue.

Just as: "They did that as often as before" doesn't make much sense, but for different reasons, namely, the level of context involved.

Just because a given sentence doesn't mean much of anything doesn't mean that "sentence" doesn't mean anything... or perhaps I've missed your point?

Regards

David
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Postby Paul » Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:36 am

Hi David,

For now let me say that I probably agree with you that it's a sentence. Nor do I put myself in ethopoeia's camp: I think that sentences exist.

I will try to say more about this tomorrow. In the meantime, it would be nice, given his provocative entry, if ethopoeia put forth his opinions about what sentences are, and why they don't exist.

Cordially,

Paul
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Postby bellum paxque » Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:46 pm

Yes, let's hear ethopoeia's point of view.

-David
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Postby ethopoeia » Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:34 pm

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Postby bellum paxque » Tue Apr 18, 2006 7:34 pm

I enjoyed reading your discussion of grammar, especially since I've never (or, at least, very rarely) done this sort of grammatical thinking in Latin before, only English. Though I do not have time to express my opinion at the moment, I will explain the points where I disagree with you at a later time.

Until now, thanks for the stimulating topic.

Best,

David
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Postby ethopoeia » Wed Apr 19, 2006 12:36 pm

Yes, I am confident that you, and many other academicians, disagree. Or, at least, I hope so!

My main point is that Grammar categories are not univocal. There can be superpositions, deviations and, perhaps, new grammatical categories. But why? And how? I should be the happiest man if we were able to find just one new grammatical category!

As for the existence of sentences, I still believe that "sentences" do not exist. Being such a dummy, I'll need some advice about when and where should I write down a fullstop. :wink:

God, if we don't get rid of Grammar soon, how will we be able to get started with the next subject of the Trivium, Rhetoric? Ars longa, uita breuis... (no verb -no sentence!). :P
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Postby bellum paxque » Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:17 pm

Ars longa [est, sed] vita brevis [est] ;)

-David

(More tonight, I hope.)
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Sat Apr 22, 2006 3:40 am

Ueni, uedi, uici.

That's 3 sentences (according to one definition of sentence) juxtaposed in 1 sentence (according to another definition of sentence). What makes it one sentence? The intention of the speaker as insinuated by his intonation and the length of his pauses, and represented with punctuation.

Grammar books are full of different classifications of sentences, and it seems to me, ethopoeia, like you're just playing with words. Do you want to give a different name to each different kind of sentence? Why don't you start with more pressing matters and give a different name to spicy hot as opposed to temperature hot? I'll second that.
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Postby bellum paxque » Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:46 am

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Postby IreneY » Sat Apr 22, 2006 3:19 pm

I am not sure I can fully participate in this conversation since Latin is involved and my Latin is not good enough to comment on all the examples you used.

Hoewever here's my two cents:
1. Do sentences exist? Well, yes, as much that is as any abstract creation of man can be said to exist. I prefer the definition about "grammatical" sentences since if we get into what consitutes a "complete" idea we may end up arguing if it takes one sentence or a whole book or even several of them to express an idea completely (if, that is, it is even possible :) )

2. Why is it then that there are cases (I am actually thinking of some examples from Greek) when it's difficult to determine what kind of a sentence we are talking about?
Well, as bellum paxque commented, it is because context governs grammar and because the beauty of language is the multiple layers of meaning it can convey.
This may lead us to question the categories of sentences we have created but not the existence of sentences really. Whether in Example II i.e. the sentence is casual or final (it's final by they way; see bellum paxque's reply and remember that causal sentences refer to the reason that led to the action, not the reason for which the action will happen) the fact remains that it IS a sentence.

If you want to talk about that (the categories) this is a different matter. :)
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Postby bellum paxque » Sat Apr 22, 2006 4:39 pm

ethopoeia: As IreneY suggests, there is quite a difference between asking what category a given sentence falls into and asking whether there are sentences at all. The seeming conflation of these two issues was a little confusing to me when I was reading your post.

Thanks for your input, IreneY!

-David
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:08 am

"[...] a grammatical sentence is a subject, a verb and a predicate. So does it mean that, in compound sentences, we find several "sentences" in one? Indeed, a period contains several sentences. That's why I claimed at the very beginning that sentences do not exist [...]." ---ethopoeia.

A grammatical sentence has at least one verb AND two full pauses (front and back) AND a melodic curve AND is a complete idea (whether it makes sense or not); SO many compound and complex sentences (that is, with more than one verb) COULD be several sentences if enunciated differently, BUT many others CAN'T because they would be an incomplete idea.

I wish you were old.
I wish. (Sentence.)
You were old. (Not a sentence.)

I think I understand what you mean, Etho; if I do, you're getting mixed up 'sentences' and 'the ideas behind sentences'. I'm sure that ideas coordinate and subordinate each other, but once they go verbal you're stuck with grammar. Resistance is futile.
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Postby edonnelly » Sun Apr 23, 2006 12:47 pm

Bardo de Saldo wrote:You were old. (Not a sentence.)


What were you before you were very old?
You were old.

Granted it's a different mood (now indicative) and it has basically the opposite meaning as it did in the original sentence, but isn't it still a sentence? [I don't disagree with your post, though, Bardo; I just wanted to ask why you thought this wasn't a sentence.]

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G'Oogle and the Internet Pharrchive - 1100 or so free Latin and Greek books.
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Postby Bert » Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:01 pm

Even if I don't get much out of a discussion my time is not wasted. I get a lot of enjoyment just looking at edonnelly's avatar. I love the one where the little girl is jumping, her hair around her like a halo.

Okay. Back to the topic at hand. Sorry for the interuption.
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Sun Apr 23, 2006 7:31 pm

Well, Ed, I wasn't thinking clearly. My example isn't even a compound sentence, Etho's main theme, but a mere complex sentence. ALL compound sentences DO become several full sentences if you intone them separately. Thus what counts is the intention of the speaker, not the ability of the hearer to understand why the speaker chose a compound sentence instead of a succession of independent sentences or their semantic relationships.
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Wed May 03, 2006 9:50 pm

That settles the question, then! I knew that if my arguments didn't convince you all, my strategic majusculation would!

Allow me a victory lap:

~~~
~~~
~~~
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