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  1. #1
    jirikoo is offline Member
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    Default modifier or complement?

    dear teachers,

    im not sure if this query belongs in here, but since its quite urgent and in the "ask the teacher" section it had attracted no attention, i will give it a try. Being a teacher myself, I have come across a riddle im trying to resolve:

    What do we call the sentence element that follows a subject complement as in the sentences bellow:

    What are the following clauses within the large sentence:



    1) It will be great to live here.
    2) It is a thing belonging to this group.,or potentially:It is a thing that belongs to this group.



    have a great day

  2. #2
    Kondorosi is offline Banned
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    Default Re: modifier or complement?

    Quote Originally Posted by jirikoo View Post
    1) It will be great to live here.
    2) It is a thing belonging to this group.,or potentially:It is a thing that belongs to this group.
    y
    1. This is a cleft sentence. (For X) to live here will be great (= SVC) --> It will be great (for X) to live here (= SVC)

    It = empty subject
    will be = CopV
    great to live here = AP (form) ('great' is the head); C (function), predicate adjective

    [Pro] to live here = infinitive adverb clause modifying the predicate adjective 'great'. This is the extraposed subject with which an attribute named by the word 'great' is associated. Syntactically, the association is realized by postmodification.

    Pro = null subject (you can't see it but it is there)
    to live = V
    here = optional predicate adjunct of location (pro-adverb)

    To recap, 'to live here' is a modifier (modifying 'great') and is part of the complement.



    2.



    thing belonging to this group = C (function); NP (form) ('thing' is the head)
    belonging to this group = describes 'thing' (adjective)
    Last edited by Kondorosi; 18-Jan-2010 at 06:48.

  3. #3
    jirikoo is offline Member
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    Default Re: modifier or complement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kondorosi View Post
    1. This is a cleft sentence. (For X) to live here will be great (= SVC) --> It will be great (for X) to live here (= SVC)

    It = empty subject
    will be = CopV
    great to live here = AP (form) ('great' is the head); C (function), predicate adjective

    [Pro] to live here = infinitive adverb clause modifying the predicate adjective 'great'. This is the extraposed subject with which an attribute named by the word 'great' is associated. Syntactically, the association is realized by postmodification.

    Pro = null subject (you can't see it but it is there)
    to live = V
    here = optional predicate adjunct of location (pro-adverb)

    To recap, 'to live here' is a modifier (modifying 'great') and is part of the complement.



    2.



    thing belonging to this group = C (function); NP (form) ('thing' is the head)
    belonging to this group = describes 'thing' (adjective)

    Thanks, i see the light finally.

    However, what about the second example? What is it syntactically when the cleft sentence is introduced by the non-finite clause (reduced relative clause) or the adjective clause (relative clause),or actually any other type of noun or adjective clause for that matter?

    Does it also function as a modifier?

    Much appreciate

  4. #4
    Kondorosi is offline Banned
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    Default Re: modifier or complement?

    when the cleft sentence is introduced by the non-finite clause (reduced relative clause) or the adjective clause (relative clause),or actually any other type of noun or adjective clause for that matter?
    Clefts are usually introduced by 'it' (and some other pronouns occasionally).

    What comes first in a sentence? Subject. Can the subject be realized by two phrases? No. It means the first phrase in the sentence is the subject. A subject is typically a noun phrase.

    Do these comments affect your last question in any way? I hope so because I do not really understand it.

  5. #5
    jirikoo is offline Member
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    Default Re: modifier or complement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kondorosi View Post
    Clefts are usually introduced by 'it' (and some other pronouns occasionally).

    What comes first in a sentence? Subject. Can the subject be realized by two phrases? No. It means the first phrase in the sentence is the subject. A subject is typically a noun phrase.

    Do these comments affect your last question in any way? I hope so because I do not really understand it.
    hi kondorosi,

    thanks for your time. Your latest comments really do not answer what i asked about.

    Let's demonstrate my inquiry on this little example.

    Cleft sentence:

    It is a great car that runs fast.

    What function does the adjective clause in the bold have to the subject complement "car"?

    Modifying or complementing?

  6. #6
    Kondorosi is offline Banned
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    Default Re: modifier or complement?

    It is a great car that runs fast. = SVC

    C = car that runs fast = NP
    that runs fast = AP (modifies 'car', the head of the NP)

  7. #7
    jirikoo is offline Member
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    Default Re: modifier or complement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kondorosi View Post
    It is a great car that runs fast. = SVC

    C = car that runs fast = NP
    that runs fast = AP (modifies 'car', the head of the NP)

    Thank you very much. What about this one:

    It is great that you are here.

    What is this noun clause to "great"?

    It seems like an adjective complement(?) Am I right?

  8. #8
    Kondorosi is offline Banned
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    Default Re: modifier or complement?

    It is great that you are here.
    Before I comment on this sentence, I would like to draw your attention to something:

    It is the dog that scared me.

    This sentence is open to two interpretations:

    1. A cleft sentence with 'it' as the empty subject and 'that scared me' is the true subject. In this case the sentence is not a SVC. It is a [The dog] [scared] [me] = SVO.



    2. A sentence with a relative clause. Possible paraphrase:

    This is the dog which scared me.

    ---------------

    Now your sentence.

    It is great that you are here. ≠ This is great which you are here.
    --> This is a cleft sentence.
    'that you are here' = S
    is = CopV
    here = A

    --> SVA

    I think I have mislead you with some of my previous comments, for which I apologize and feel deep shame.

  9. #9
    jirikoo is offline Member
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    Default Re: modifier or complement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kondorosi View Post
    Before I comment on this sentence, I would like to draw your attention to something:

    It is the dog that scared me.

    This sentence is open to two interpretations:

    1. A cleft sentence with 'it' as the empty subject and 'that scared me' is the true subject. In this case the sentence is not a SVC. It is a [The dog] [scared] [me] = SVO.



    2. A sentence with a relative clause. Possible paraphrase:

    This is the dog which scared me.

    ---------------

    Now your sentence.



    --> This is a cleft sentence.
    'that you are here' = S
    is = CopV
    here = A

    --> SVA

    I think I have mislead you with some of my previous comments, for which I apologize and feel deep shame.

    im sorry, i have a feeling i have a greater mess in my head than i started this thread.

    To be honest I have never used those diagrams before, and however synoptical, i still have trouble processing it.


    This is how i understand that.

    It is the dog that scared me.

    it -
    subject (empty subject)
    is - copula verb
    the
    - determiner
    dog
    - subject complement
    that scared me
    - adjective clause (defining relative clause)if you want to break down the adjective sentence, here we go:

    subject is implied, referring to antecedent ("that" is a relative pronoun)
    scared -
    transitive verb
    me -
    personal pronoun, direct objectMy question is: What is the clause "that scared me" to the subject complement "dog"? Does it modify it or complement it?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    My sample sentence:

    It is great that you are here.

    it - subject (empty subject)
    is - copula verbgreat - subject complement
    that you are here
    - noun clause

    Again, if you want to break down the noun clause, let's do it:

    that -
    conjunction
    you -
    pronoun, subject
    are -
    copula verb
    here -
    adverb phrase (subject complement)

    My question is: What is the clause "that you are here" to the subject complement "great"?

    I am just trying to figure out what elements usually follow the subject complements, ...if they complement or modify it, regardless of it being a part of a cleft clause or complex clause, or any other kind of clause.

    Cleft sentence: It is true that dental work is expensive. (does the noun clause along with the conjunction "that" modify the "true")

    Complex sentence: I was sure that she was right.
    (does the noun clause along with the conjunction "that" complement the "sure")









    ----------------------------------------

  10. #10
    Kondorosi is offline Banned
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    Default Re: modifier or complement?

    I am going to group these three sentences together and give them detailed treatment, in turn. Please read my comments carefully.

    1. I was sure you were wrong.
    2. It is great that you are here.
    3. It is the dog that scared me.

    1. I was sure (that) you were wrong.

    This is a SVC sentence.

    I = S
    was = CopV
    sure that you were wrong = adnominal subject complement, C
    sure = head of the AP
    that you were here = adverb phrase that postmodifies 'sure'. It modifies and not complements 'sure'.

    If 'that you were wrong' complemented 'sure', the sentence would be -- but it is not!!! -- a

    I = S
    was = CopV
    sure = C
    that you were wrong = C

    --> SVCC???

    I hope you see my point now.

    ---------------
    -------------

    2. It is great that you are here.

    It is a cleft sentence and not a relative-clause structure. Why? See this test:

    This is great which you are here

    It = surface subject
    that you are here = true subject
    is = CopV
    great = C

    SVC

    --------------
    ---------------

    3. It is the dog that scared me.

    First question: Is it a cleft or is it a relative structure? Could be both.

    This is the dog which scared me.

    Let us focus on the "relative clause" reading first.

    It = S
    is = CopV
    the dog that scared me = C
    that scared me = relative clause; postmodifying the head of the complement, 'dog'

    Cleft reading:

    The dog scared me (and not the cat). = SVO

    The missing words have only slot-filling function.

    P.S.: The ideas that I have expressed in this post reflect my subjective personal impressions that I have formed through studying English grammar on my own, throughout, from scratch. I am an amateur syntactician who likes to read grammar books in his free time. Do not think of me as someone with high academic achievements in the field of the English language and I think you might have inferred that already. To recapitulate: Take what I say with a pinch of salt.
    Last edited by Kondorosi; 19-Jan-2010 at 09:04.

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