Tema 24- Expresión del modo, los medios y el instrumento

Tema 24- Expresión del modo, los medios y el instrumento

Process Adjuncts: Manner, Means and Instrument:


  1. All semantic types of process adjuncts can be realized by prepositional phrases:

– She uttered the words with cold deliberation (manner).

– She spoke from notes (means)

– The speech was made audible with an amplifying system (instrument)

  1. Manner and means adjuncts can be realized by noun phrases, though theses are unusually expandable to constitute prepositional phrases so as to make it natural to regard the noun phrase as having an omitted preposition.

– They were walking single file through the wood (in single file)

– I´d like to send this parcel air mail (by air mail)

  1. Manner adjuncts especially and those of means and instrument to some extent, are also realized by adverb phrases.

– He glanced at her very lovingly (manner)

-Some patients ask to be treated homeopathically. (means = by homeopathic medicine)

– She was examining a fossil microscopically. (instrument = with a microscope).

  1. Finally, manner adjuncts can be expressed by clauses, though the forms concerned strongly imply comparison as distinct from a direct reference to manner or mode of action.

– I try to cook vegetables as the Chinese do (in the Chinese way)

All process adjuncts are normally predicational. When fronted, the adverbial concerned tend to become a subject-oriented subjunct, no longer corresponding to any inquiry How?, In whay way?

– She replied to the listeners´ questions courteously. (in a courteous manner)

– Courteously, she replied to the listeners´ questions. (she courteous enough to reply).

Adjuncts of means or instrument, however, can be sentence adjuncts especially when their reference is specific rather than generic and there is adequate alternative complementation in the clause.

– He chopped the parsley with a knife. (predication adjunct)

– With a knife like that, you couldn´t cut through this salami. (sentence adjunct)

Manner adjuncts:

Examples of the use of manner adjuncts:

– She spoke to him coldly.

– She repaired the housed like an expert.

– You should write as I tell you to.

– He always writes in a carefree manner.

– She dances (in) the same way as I do.

– My little boy loves dressing up cowboy-style.

– They are dressed schoolboy-fashion.

Noun phrases with way, manner and style as head tend to have the definite article. However prepositional phrases can have both definite and indefinite.

– She cooks chicken the way I like.

– She cooks chicken in the/a way I like.

An adverb manner adjunct can usually be paraphrased by “in a ……. Manner” or “in a……. way” with its adjective base in the vacant position.

Where an adverb form exists, it is usually preferred over such a corresponding cognate prepositional phrase with manner or way.

– He always writes carelessly

Is more usual than

– He always writes in a careless manner/way.

But the latter periphrastic form is preferred where the adjunct requires modification. Successive –ly adverbs are avoided, partly for stylistic reasons and partly because a sequence of adverbs leads one to expect the first to be a modifier of the second.

We wouldn´t say:

– He always writes deliberately carelessly


– He always writes in a deliberately careless way.

In careful usage, clausal adjunct with as are sharply distinguished from semantically equivalent phrasal adjunct with like.

– Please try to write as I do

– Please try to write like me

But informally like is often used as a conjunction.

– Please try to write like I do

Adverbs as manner adjuncts can sometimes serve as the response to a how-question.

– How was your little boy dressed up that so amused the policeman? Oh, cowboy-style.

But other units as manner adjuncts can more easily serve as responses.

– How does she dance? The same way as I do.

– How do you prefer to cook? In the French style.

It should be noted however, that How-questions usually elicit means or instrument adjuncts.

– How did he clean his room? Carefully (not very usual) /With a vacuum cleaner

Means and instrument adjuncts:

Examples of the use of means adjuncts:

– He decided to treat the patient surgically.

– I go to school by car/ in my car.

– You can stop the machine by pressing this button.

– We are travelling to Washington (by) first class.

– Fly Air India/ by Air India/ with Air India.

Examples of the use of instrument adjuncts:

– He was killed with a bullet.

– You can cut the bread with that knife.

– He examined the specimen microscopically.

– She could open the car without a key.

Means adjuncts are generally elicited by how-questions, instrument adjuncts by how or what…. with?

Means: How are you flying to Europe? By British Airways.

Instruments: How shall we prop the door open?

What shall we prop the door open with?

Semantic blends:

Some adjuncts express a blend of manner with some other relations.

  1. Manner with result and sometimes intensification:

– She fixed it perfectly (in such a way that it was perfect).

2. Manner with time duration:

– They broke the new to him gradually (in such a way that it was spread over a period of time).

Cooccurrence restrictions on process adjuncts:

Adverbials that funcyion only as process adjuncts cannot cooocur with verbs in stative use.

– He like them / skilfully

– He owns it / awkwardly

Nor can process adjuncts be used as adverbials with copular verbs:

– He is a teacher / awkwardly

– They seem happy / awkwardly

– She looks angry / skilfully

Of course, if the meaning is deliberate intention, the verb use is nonstative and then we have fully acceptable sentences like:

– She looks angry skilfully

The different types of process adjuncts can cooccur with each other:

– He frugally travelled economy class. (manner + means)

– He travels economy class by air but first class by train. (manner + means)

– She was accidentally struck with a racket by her partner. (manner + instrument + agent)

Syntactic features of process adjuncts:

Means and instrument adjuncts can become the focus of a cleft sentence, even as realized by single adverbs:

– It was with a bullet that he was killed

– It was surgically that he treated the patient

Position of process adjuncts:

Process adjuncts are usually placed at end position, since they usually receive the information focus. No other position is likely if the process adjunct is obligatory for the verb.

– They live frugally.

– They frugally live. (wrong)

Process adjuncts are commonly placed in middle position rather than in end when the verb is in the passive:

– Discussions have tentatively begun.

However, middle position is odd for means and instrument adverbials even in the passive:

– These linguistic units should be intonationally separated.