Topic 25 – Cause, result and purpose relations

OUTLINE

1. INTRODUCTION.

1.1. Aims of the unit.

1.2. Notes on bibliography.

2. A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE NOTIONS OF CAUSE, CONSEQUENCE AND PURPOSE.

2.1. Linguistic levels involved.

2.2. On defining cause, consequence and purpose: what, how and why.

2.3. Grammar categories involved: open vs. closed classes.

3. A GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE NOTIONS OF CAUSE, CONSEQUENCE AND PURPOSE.

3.1. Phrase, sentence and clause structure.

3.2. Simple, complex and compound sentence.

3.3. Adverbial clauses: main types.

3.3.1. By means of other grammatical categories.

3.3.2. Syntactic classification.

3.3.3. Semantic classification.

3.4. Logical relations between clauses: main types.

4. CAUSAL CLAUSES.

4.1. Definition.

4.2. Main structural features.

5. CONSECUTIVE CLAUSES.

5.1. Definition.

5.2. Result clauses vs. purpose clauses.

5.3. Main structural features.

6. FINAL CLAUSES.

6.1. Definition.

6.2. Purpose clauses vs. result clauses.

6.3. Main structural features.

7. EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS.

8. CONCLUSION.

9. BIBLIOGRAPHY.

1. INTRODUCTION.

1.1. Aims of the unit.

Unit 25 is primarily aimed to examine the English logical relations of cause, consequence and purpose at sentence level in terms of their main structural features regarding form, function and main uses in order to provide a relevant and detailed account of this issue. In doing so, the study will be divided into eight main chapters.

Thus, Chapter 2 provides a linguistic framework for the notions of cause, consequence and purpose (namely achieved by means of adverbs, and also by means of prepositions, noun phrases and other grammatical structures) by answering questions such as, first, which linguistic levels are involved in their description within sentence structure; second, what they describe and how; and third, which grammar categories are involved in its description at a functional level.

Once we have set up these notions within a linguistic framework, we shall continue on offering the reader in Chapter 3 a general introduction to the notions of cause, consequence and purpose within the framework of sentence structure regarding key concepts and theories which are closely related to them and which prove to be essential in our analysis so as to get a relevant and overall view of the whole unit.

Thus, we shall start by revising some important notions which are closely related to the description of sentence structures: for instance, (1) the difference between phrase, clause and sentence and (2) the difference between simple, complex and compound sentences since the present three notions are drawn from adverbial clauses which may be complex or compound; (3) a brief typology of adverbs in terms of grammar, syntax and semantics which shall lead us to the syntactic classification of adverbial phrases (disjuncts, conjuncts, subjuncts and adjuncts) and semantic types of adverbs (place,time, cause, purpose and others) out of which we shall obtain the three main notions under consideration; and (4) the main types of logical relations between clauses in order to introduce the subsequent chapters.

Chapters 4, 5 and 6 will offer an individual analysis of each item regarding (1) definition of the term; (2) within the linguistic means, an analysis of the main ways of expressing each item through (a) major syntactic constructions and (b) main grammatical categories, namely by making comments on their structural features, that is, morphology, phonology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. Chapter 7 provides then an educational framework for their main structural features within our current school curriculum and Chapter 8 draws on a summary of all the points involved in this study. Finally, in Chapter 9 bibliography will be listed in alphabetical order.

1.2. Notes on bibliography.

In order to offer an insightful analysis and survey on the logical relations of cause, consequence and purpose at sentence level in English, we shall deal with the most relevant works in the field, both old and current, and in particular, influential grammar books which have assisted for years students of English as a foreign language in their study of grammar. For instance, a theoretical framework is namely drawn from the field of sentence analysis, that is, from the work of Flor Aarts and Jan Aarts (University of Nijmegen, Holland) in English Syntactic Structures (1988), whose material has been tested in the classroom and developed over a number of years; also, another essential work is that of Rodney Huddleston, English Grammar, An Outline (1988).

Other classic references which offer an account of the most important and central grammatical constructions and categories in English regarding the logical relations of cause, consequence and purpose at sentence level, are Quirk & Greenbaum, A University Grammar of English (1973); Thomson & Martinet, A Practical English Grammar (1986); and Greenbaum & Quirk, A Student’s Grammar of the English Language (1990).

More current approaches to notional grammar are David Bolton and Noel Goodey, Grammar Practice in Context (1997); John Eastwood, Oxford Practice in Grammar (1999); Sidney Greenbaum, The Oxford Reference Grammar (2000); Gerald Nelson, English: An Essential Grammar (2001); Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey K. Pullum, The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (2002); and. Angela Downing and Philip Locke, A University Course in English Grammar (2002).

2. A LINGUISTIC FRAMEWORK FOR THE NOTIONS OF CAUSE, CONSEQUENCE AND

PURPOSE.

Before describing in detail the logical relations of cause, consequence and purpose at sentence level in English, it is relevant to establish first a linguistic framework for these notions, since they must be described in grammatical terms. In fact, this introductory chapter aims at answering questions such as (1) where these notions are to be found within the linguistic level, (2) what they describe, how and why; and (3) which grammar categories are involved in their description at a functional level. Let us examine, then, in which linguistic level these notions are found.

2.1. Linguistic levels involved.

In order to offer a linguistic description of the logical relations of cause, consequence and purpose at sentence level, we must confine it to particular levels of analysis so as to focus our attention on this particular aspect of language. Yet, although there is no consensus of opinion on the number of levels to be distinguished, the usua l description of a language comprises four major components: phonology, grammar, lexicon, and semantics, out of which we get five major levels: phonological, morphological and syntactic, lexical, and semantic (Huddleston, 1988). However, we shall include here the field of pragmatics within our analysis since it is a central element so as to fully understand the items to be described.

First, the phonology describes the sound level, that is, consonants, vowels, stress, intonation, and so on. First, the phono logy describes the sound level, that is, the pronunciation (stress, rhythm, tone and intonation) within the sentence structure, where a pause (a comma in syntactic terms) may help distinguish between a purpose clause (i.e. I’ll help you so that you can go home earlier) or a result (i.e. He helped me, so that (and so) I was able to go home earlier).

Secondly, since the two most basic units of grammar are the word and the sentence, the component of grammar involves the morphological level where we can express cause, consequence and purpose by means of different choices within grammatical constructions (i.e. so that (purpose) vs. so + adjective + that (consequence)).

Thirdly , the lexicon, or lexical level, lists vocabulary items depending on our choice of different grammatical categories, for instance, nouns (i.e. this is the result of your coming earlier), prepositional phrases (i.e. I bought you a present so as to/in order to surprise you); conjunctions (i.e. because, as, since, etc) and so on. Therefore, lexis deals with the expression of cause, consequence and purpose regarding the choice between noun phrases or adverbial phrases (i.e. The reason why I stayed in is that it was raining vs. I stayed in because it was raining=cause) or other means such as other formal realizations of these notions (i.e. a noun phrase, a verbless clause, a finite clause, etc).

Next, semantics deals with the semantic roles of an adverbial element in clause structure apart from their syntactic roles as subject, verb, object or complement, where syntactic and morphological levels do not tell the difference (i.e. ‘because’, which may be used to express cause and consequence). The expression of cause, consequence and purpose are embedded in the semantic role of ‘contingency’ which may include: cause, reason, purpose, result, condition and concession (Quirk et al. 1990). We must not forget that a linguistic description which ignores meaning is obviously incomplete.

Similarly, from a functional approach, we must bear in mind the prominence of pragmatics in speech acts when dealing with ‘how to say things in English’, that is, taking into account the speaker’s attitude and the context where the sentence is uttered, where meaning and the speaker’s attitude are essential elements in communicative exchanges (oral, written, paralinguistic). For our purposes, it is an essential level since the speaker’s attitude may convey ‘cause’, ‘consequence’ or ‘purpose’.

Finally, the syntactic level describes the way words are placed in the sentence and shall help us locate the notions under study by (1) specifying the difference between phrase, sentence and clause; (2) establishing a grammatical typology of sentences (simple, complex and compound) since adverbial clauses are namely found in the two latter ones; and therefore (3) by classifying clauses into the adverbial type (disjuncts, conjuncts, subjuncts and adjuncts).

2.2. On defining cause, consequence and purpose: what, how and why.

On defining these notions, we must esta blish internal lin ks between (1) their linguistic description, that is, what they represent in terms of morphology, phonology and lexis and how they are represented, both grammatically (different grammatical categories: adverbs, nouns, prepositions, etc) and syntactically (the types of sentences in which they are embedded) (2) and their function within the sentence at a semantic and pragmatic level, that is, why they are used by the speaker and what kind of logical relations are to be conveyed in the speech act.

When answering the question of what they represent in linguistic terms, we deal with the morphology and phonology of their elements within the phrase structure at sentence level (i.e. pauses, stress and intonation in nouns, adverbs or prepositions) whereas the how they are represented refers to the different grammatical categories (i.e. conjunctions, nouns, prepositions, adverbs) and syntactic types of sentences (or clauses) in which they are embedded.

Following Traditional Grammar guidelines, the expression of cause, consequence and purpose is namely given by the grammatical category of adverbs, and therefore, adverbial phrases which are classified according to their main semantic roles: space (position, direction, goal, source, distance ), time (position, forward an d backward position, relationship in time ), respect, process (manner, means, instrument, and agency ), modality, degree (or quantity) (emphasizers, amplifiers, downtoners), sentence (affirmative, negative, interrogative), doubt (relative adverbs: where, whe n, why) and finally, for our purposes, the notion of contingency where we find the relations of cause, reason, purpose, result, condition and concession.

Moreover, these notions are also classified according to their syntactic function in causal, consecutive and final clauses whose function is to denote the of the verb by asking ‘Why, What for and Which result’ and which are embedded respectively under the category of contingency clauses as conjuncts, disjuncts and adjuncts. Note that the expression of cause, consequence or purpose is mainly achieved by means of adverbial, prepositional and noun phrases (Quirk & Greenbaum, 1973).

The three notions are syntactically realized by ‘causal, consecutive and final clauses’ respectively, and at a pragmatic level, their combinations describe different situations, such as ‘in view of the fact that’ to express cause (i.e. Since you are not very talkative, I will phone Anne) or by asking “Why”; similarly, we can establish a logical relation of consequence or result tow ards certain situations conveying the meaning of ‘in the end this is what happened’ (i.e. He arrived so late that he found no free seats); and finally, when conveying a relation of purpose between two sentences, the meaning conveyed answers to the question “What for” and not “Why”.

2.3. Grammar categories involved: open vs. closed classes.

In order to confine the notions of cause, consequence and purpose to particular grammatical categories, we must review first the difference between open and closed cla sses. Yet, grammar categories in English can be divided into two major sets called open and closed classes. The open classes are verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs, and are said to be unrestricted since they allow the addition of new members to their membership, whereas the closed classes are the rest: prepositions, conjunctions, articles (definite and indefinite ), numerals, pronouns, quantifiers and interjections, which belong to a restricted class since they do not allow the creation of new members.

Then, as we can see, when expressing cause, consequence and purpose we are mainly dealing with adverbs that, when taken to phrase and sentence level, may be substituted by other grammatical categories, in particular, prepositional phrases, noun phrases and specific syntactic structures. The classification of phrases reflects an established syntactic order which is found for all four of the open word classes (i.e. verb, noun, adjective, and adverb) where it is very often possible to replace open classes by an equivalent expression of another class (i.e. noun, adjective, preposition or another adverb), and also closed classes (i.e. prepositions, conjunctions, quantifiers) as we shall see later. Yet, as we shall see, these three notions shall deal with both classes.

3. A GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE NOTIONS OF CAUSE, CONSEQUENCE AND PURPOSE.

Once we have set up a linguistic framework, we shall continue on offering the reader a general introduction to these three notions regarding some previous considerations which prove to be relevant in our analysis in subsequent chapters. Thus, we shall start by revising some important notions which are closely related to the description of sentence structures: for instance, (1) the difference between phrase, clause and sentence since these three notions may lead us to misunderstandings; (2) the difference between simple, complex and compound sentences; and (3) a brief typology of adverbs following syntactic and semantic guidelines within adverbial clauses in order to locate the notions of cause, consequence and purpose, which will be fully described in the subsequent chapters.

3.1. Phrase, sentence and clause structure.

We refer to the distinction between phrase, sentence and clause structure at a functional level where they will fu nction first, in terms of single units of syntactic description within the structure of the phrase (noun phrase, adjective phrase, verb phrase, etc) and second, in terms of larger units as part of the structure of the sentence (subject and predicate) or embedded in the sentence structure, that is, clauses (subordinate). Following Aarts (1988), these larger structures are, apart form the morpheme and the word, “two major units of grammatical description”. But let us examine their main differences.

First, the phrase structure is defined as a constituent which can be identified on the basis of the word class membership of at least one of its constituent words which is called the ‘head’ of the phrase (i.e. adverbial phrase). Note that the other elements show a relation of dependency or subordination to the head (in noun phrases we find: determiners which are divided into pre-central- post determiners and modifiers: pre or post modifiers).

Second, the sentence is actually identifiable on the basis of the relations holding among its immediate constituents (subject, predicate, direct/indirect object, complement, adverbial, and so on). It is the largest unit of grammatical description and that it does not function in the structure of a unit higher than itself, we are ready to understand the duality sentence vs. clause by means of two further possibilities.

Hence, when sentences are embedded in the structure of other sentences or in the structure of phrases we call them ‘clauses’, which usually corresponds to the notions of subordination (or embedding) and coordination. Note that clauses can have other clauses embedded in them, as in ‘That she is rich is obvious’ or ‘The problem is that they have no money left’.

3.2. Simple, complex and compound sentences.

Up to this point, we shall approach the notion of sentence regarding the established typology between simple, complex and coumpound sentences since quite often, the sentence has been described as an indeterminate unit in the sense that it is difficult to establish where one sentence ends and another begins.

Simple sentences can be defined as “a sentence in which none of the functions are realized by a clause” (Aarts, 1988), that is, a simple sentence does not contain an embedded (or subordinate) sentence as realization of one of its functions (i.e. He likes science fiction films). In addition, a simple sentence is always an independent sentence which can occur on its own (i.e. John is a bachelor vs. He says that John is a bachelor ).

On the other hand, the complex sentence is defined as “those sentences in which one or more sentence functions are realized by a clause (finite or non-finite)” (Aarts, 1988). Then a complex sentence (or a clause) may contain one or more clauses in a relationship of subordination (i.e. I wonder if you would tell me where my keys are). This type of clauses can, in turn, contain more deeply embedded clauses (i.e. She was angry because he went away).

Hence clauses can be classified in two ways. First, from a structural point of view by disting uishing three types: finite clauses (i.e. We discovered who sent the e-mail); non-finite clauses (i.e. I don’t remember saying that); and verbless clauses (i.e. A staunch liberal, George did not believe in state ownership). Secondly, in terms of the functions they play in the structure of the sentence, for our purposes, as predicator complement clauses (i.e. I promised to come back) and adverbial clauses (i.e. To speak frankly, I don’t like this soup).

Finally, following Aarts (1988), compound sentences are defined as “a sentence in which two or more sentences (called conjoins) have been coordinated”. Note that each of the conjoins is independents since there is no question of embedding. Thus, a compound sentence may consist of (1) two (or more) simple sentences (i.e.Oil is now more expensive and that will affect our economy); (2) a combination of simple and complex sentences (i.e. If he believes that, he must be mad); and (3) two (or more) complex sentences (i.e. He must believe what I say about the case and that is what matters now. As we can see we shall namely deal with complex sentences.

3.3. A dverbial clauses: main types.

Since the expression of cause, consequence and purpose is to be realized by means of adverbs, we have to deal first with the different types of adverbs and therefore, the typology of adverbial phrases and clauses which are derived from this grammatical category. Moreover, we must bear in mind that these three notions under study are also drawn from other grammatical categories related to it, such as prepositions, adjectives, nouns and other grammatical structures like periphrastic phrases, idiomatic expressions or verbless sentences, although we shall namely deal with contingency adverbs.

3.3.1. By means of other grammatical categories.

In terms of other grammatical categories, we shall deal with adverbs, prepositions and nouns namely apart from other structures such as finite and non finite clauses, and so on . Thus, by means of noun phrases, although it is not common (i.e. This is the reason why I came so early ). Another kind of syntactic structure involves clause subordination, where we find two types. Thus (a) the non-finite verb clauses (or infinitival clauses) which function as modifier of the verbal phrase, and in which the verb is (i) an infinitive, as in ‘He left at nine to catch the nine -thirty bus’, (ii) present participle –ing, as in ‘She cried because of her falling’, and (iii) past participle –ed, as in ‘Since I warned you , I feel no regrets now’. Secondly, (b) we may find the finite content clause as in ‘I was so broke that I couldn’t buy any food’.

3.3.2. Syntactic classification.

Adverbs can also be classified according to their main functions whereby we may find for our purposes two main types: (1) the syntactic function, which is related to the structure and position of adverbial phrases at the sentence level; and (2) the semantic function, which is related to intrinsic aspects of adverbs since the intended meaning is usually indicated by the introductory conjunct or disjunct. We shall follow five main figures in this field in order to develop this section, thus Quirk

& Greenbaum (1973), Thomson & Martinet (1986), Huddleston (1988) , Aarts (1988), and Quirk et al. (1990).

Regarding the syntactic function, adverbs, as seen, play their role within a larger linguistic structure in order to modify verbs, adjectives, and nouns by means of other categories as well. Consequently, both function and word class are relevant for our present purposes and we shall examine the expression of cause, consequence and purpose through the notion of adverbial phrase, an essential element in syntactic analysis.

An adverbial phrase is a constituent which can be identified on the basis of the word class membership of adverbs, in this particular case, the relationship it holds among its immediate constituents is referred to as sentence level. Following Quirk et al. (1990), in terms of their grammatical functions, adverbs fall into four main categories: disjuncts, conjuncts, subjuncts and adjuncts, which later on will lead us to the semantic classification of process adjuncts.

Briefly, we can make a further distinction among them, in which disjuncts and conjuncts have a peripheral relation in the sentence vs. subjuncts and adjuncts which are relatively more integrated within the structure of the clause. Note that although subjuncts have a subordinate and parenthetic role in comparison with adjuncts, they lack the grammatical parity with other sentence elements and therefore we shall not include them in our study.

Thus, syntactically, disjuncts have a peripheral relation in the sentence, being somewhat detached from and superordinate to the rest of the sentence. We identify them because most of them are prepositional phrases or clauses which express the speaker’s authority for, or comment on, the accompanying clause (i.e. Honestly , I want to go home; From my point of view , you should not go ). They usually function as ‘comment’ words and are used to express consequence (i.e. frankly, briefly , consequently, as a result);

Conjuncts have a peripheral relation in the sentence, being somewhat detached from and superordinate to the rest of the sentence. We identify them because they serve to conjoin two utterances or parts of an utterance, and they do so by expressing at the same time the semantic relationship obtaining between them (cause, result, contrast, etc ). They are commonly introduced by the conjunctions “because”, “as” or “since” as in “I lent him the money because he needed it” or “Since Jane was the youngest, she was spoilt by everyone”. These different positonal tendencies reflect a different syntactic status, thus “because clauses” are considered to be adjuncts whereas “as” and “since” clauses are considered to be “disjuncts”.

And finally, adjuncts function as constituents of a clause or sentence and, for our purposes, will answer to the question ‘What for…?’ by means of finite and non finite clauses. Adjuncts, more than other adverbials, have grammatical properties resembling the sentence elements subject, complement and object and as such, can be the focus of a cleft sentence (i.e. It was because of the fine that he got so furious; Who helped Sarah?).

3.3.3. Semantic classification.

Following Aarts (1988), the syntactic classification brings about the semantic function. As stated before, conjuncts function as the connecting link between the sentence in which they occur and the preceding context. Semantically, they may express listing (in the first place, secondly; furthermore, moreover), summative (therefore, in sum, to sum up ), appositive (for example, that is, i.e., specifically, in particular), resultive (as a result, in consequence), inferential (in that case, then ), contrastive (better; on the contrary, on the other hand; however, n evertheless, yet), and transitional references (by the way, now; meanwhile, eventually).

Disjuncts express an evaluation of what is being said either with respect to the form of the communication or to its meaning. They usually function as ‘comment’ words, whereby they provide the speaker’s comment on the content or form of the utterance (i.e. Frankly, unfortunately, wisely, consequently, as a result). Semantically speaking, the semantic roles of disjuncts fall under two main headings: manner and modality , and respect. Regarding (1) manner and modality, we find disjuncts such as crudely, frankly, honestly, seriously, personally, strictly speaking, to be honest, to be precise, to put it briefly, in all honesty, and so on. Regarding (2) respect, they often appear in metalinguistic comments. For instance, strictly, generally, from what he said, in a word, in other words, and so on.

On the other hand, adjuncts add extra information to the action by means of descriptions about place (at the station), time (yesterday morning), manner (with patience/in jeans), means (by bike), instrument (with a fork ) or contingency (to see you) among others.

3.4. Logical relations between clauses: main types.

The terms ‘cause, consequence and purpose’ give account of the logica l relations between the main clause and the subordinate clauses they represent within the framework of compound sentences (i.e. She went out alone because he got asleep). It must be borne in mind that there is no clear-cut distinction between them and they may interrelate between each other by exchanging adverbial conjuncts or disjuntcs (i.e. clauses of reason and result-cause introduced by as or because = We camped here as/because it was too dark).

The three notions (cause, consequence and purpose) are syntactically realized by ‘causal, consecutive and final subordinate clauses’ which represent semantically reason, result and purpose. They respectively express (1) the cause of the action which took place in the main clause (i.e. He was late (main clause) because he couldn’t find a taxi (cause-reason)) and answers the question of “Why was he late?”; (2) consecutive subordinate clauses express the result of the action which took place in the main clause (i.e. He was working very hard (main clause), so he got asleep soon (consequence-result); and (3) final subordinate clauses express the purpose of what it is said in the main clause (i.e. I worked late (main clause) in order to clear up my papers (finality-purpose)).

As stated before, at a pragmatic level, their combinations describe different situations, such as ‘in view of the fact that’ to express cause (i.e. Since you are not very talkative, I will phone Anne) or by asking “Why”; similarly, we can establish a logical relation of consequence or result towards certain situations conveying the meaning of ‘in the end this is what happened’ (i.e. He arrived so late that he found no free seats); and finally, when conveying a relation of purpose between two sentences, the meaning conveyed answers to the question “What for” and not “Why”.

Once we have set up a general introduction on these notions and we have locate them in the linguistic field, we are ready to analyse them in more detail in subsequent chapters. We shall approach these notions in terms of (1) definition and (2) their main structural features, regarding form, function and main uses.

4. CAUSAL CLAUSES.

4.1. Definition.

Causal clauses are also called ‘clauses of cause’ or ‘clauses of reason’. The term ‘cause’ give s account of the logical relation between the main clause and the subordinate clause it represents within the framework of a compound sentence (i.e. She went on a trip because she was on holiday). This notion is syntactically realized by ‘causal clauses’ which semantically represent ‘the reason why…’, and in particular, the cause of the action which took place in the main clause (i.e. He was late (main clause) because he couldn’t find a taxi (cause-reason)) by answering the question of “Why?”

4.2. Main structural features.

Regarding its main structural features, we shall start by reviewing the logical relation of cause in terms of function and use, that is, from the field of semantics and pragmatics. Therefore, we shall examine the different types of relations that a clause of reason establishes with its main clause, which sometimes are not clear-cut and overlap other meanings such as circumstances, conditions, effect, motivation and so on. Thus we find direct and indirect relations , the former being semantic relations and the latter being syntactic ones.

(1) With respect to direct relations, following Quirk et al. (1990), “reason clauses convey a direct relationship with the matrix clause” in four different ways.

First, the relationship of cause and effect (i.e. He looks thinner because he has been on a strict diet), that is, when the effect in the main clause (He looks thinner) has an outstanding objective connection with the cause in the subordinate clause (because he has been on a strict diet). We can also convey this meaning by asking “Why does he look thinner?”

Secondly, the relationship of reason and consequence (i.e. She tidied up her bedroom because it was completely messed up), that is, when the consequence in the main clause (She tidied up her bedroom) is inferred by the speaker as an outstanding subjective connection with the reason in the subordinate clause (it –the room- was completely messed up). Note that we can also convey this meaning by asking “Why did she tidy up her room?”

Thirdly, in the relationship of motivation and result (i.e. I am going to tell you a secret because you are my best friend), the main clause expresses a result (I am going to tell you a secret) whose come out is expressed in the subordinate clause, making reference to the intention of the speaker, usually the motivation of an animate being (because you are my best friend). Note that the motivation is also drawn from the question “Why is he going to tell him a secret?”

Finally, in the relationship of circumstance and consequence (i.e. Since the bride is ill, the wedding will be put off), the reason (Since the bride is ill) is combined with a condition that is to be filled (in our case) or about to be filled (the wedding will be put off).

(2) Similarly, with respect to indirect relations, Quirk et al. (1990) stated that “reason clauses may express an indirect reason. The reason is not related to the situation in the matrix clause but is a motivation for the implicit speech act of the utterance” (i.e. As you are in charge, where are the files on the new project?). As we shall see, the indirect relationship is conveyed with the matrix clause” by (1) introducing subordination elements such as ‘because’ and ‘since’ and “other subordinators include ‘as’, ‘as long as’, ‘why’, ‘now that’,

‘for (somewhat formal); and (2) non-finite and verbless clauses without conjunction , by using ‘seeing (that)’ or ‘considering (that)’ with circumstancial clauses” (i.e. Being a witty man, he soon mended the engine).

A syntactic analysis of these constructions will shed light on the different positional tendencies of the respective conjunctions and subordinators within this type of clauses. Yet, they reflect a different syntactic status, for instance, because -clauses are adjuncts, whereas as- and since-clauses are disjuncts. Informally, however, a final because-clause sometimes functions as a disjunct of reason (i.e. They’ve burning old papers, because I can see the smoke from here).

The different positional tendencies are fronting and final positions. For instance, those clauses introduced by ‘because’ are usually in final position (i.e. He can’t be here because he is on holidays). On the contrary, those clauses introduced by ‘since’, ‘as’, ‘now that’ and those expressing circumstances (seeing that, considering that or other non-f inite forms, such as ‘writing hurriedly’, ‘Tired as he was’) are usually fronted (As it was raining, we stayed at home/Since you insist, I’ll tell you the truth/Now that you’ve come, you need new clothes).

Other special cases are , for instance, the subordinator ‘for’ which is not very common as a causal conjunct in colloquial speech and it is not used to answer the question “Why?” However, if it appears, a for-clause must be in final position (i.e. I asked him to stop, for I had something important to te ll him). Moreover, the conjunct ‘that’ may be a circumstancial subordinator when the subject complement is obligatorily fronted (i.e. Clumsy idiot that he was, Michael spoilt our romantic dinner).

As we have seen, morphologically speaking, the notion of ‘cause’ is namely introduced by the grammatical category of conjunctions, also called conjuncts (because, as, since, for –somewhat formal-) or non-finite and verbless clauses with no conjunctions and with a circumstancial meaning (seeing that= Seeing that is is about to rain, we’ll take an umbrella ). Regarding intonation, the main clause is usually taken with rising intonation and the subordinate causal clause is taken with falling intonation.

5. CONSECUTIVE CLAUSES.

5.1. Definition.

Consecutive clauses are also called ‘clauses of consequence’ or ‘clauses of result’. The term ‘consequence’ or ‘result’ gives account of the logical relation between the main clause and the subordinate clause it represents within the framework of a compound sentence, that is, a subordinate sentence (i.e. We paid him immediately, so he left quite happy). This notion is syntactically realized by ‘result or consecutive clauses’ which semantically represent the result of the action which took place in the main clause (i.e. We paid him immediately (main clause), so he left quite happy (consequence-result) eliciting the answer by asking “What was the result of paying him immediately?”

5.2. Result clauses vs. purpose clauses.

Since the relations of consequence or result are sometimes overlapped with the uses of purpose, we shall establish first the difference between result clauses and purpose clauses in semantic and syntactic terms. First of all, regarding semantic similarities or meaning, we shall state that result clauses have factual meaning, that is, the result is achieved, whereas purpose clauses have putative meaning, that is, the purpose is to be achieved. Hence, we may establish our second distinction following syntactic guidelines, that is, finite clauses of result do not need a modal auxiliary in their construction (i.e. We paid him immediately, so that he left happy) whereas purpose clauses do (i.e. We paid him immediately so that he could leave happy).

5.3. Main structural features.

Regarding its main structural features, we have seen already the logical relations of consequence or result at sentence level in terms of function and use, that is, from the field of semantics and pragmatics by means of subordinate elements such as ‘so’ and ‘so that’ and equivalent constructions when overlapped with the uses of purpose. On the other hand, a syntactic analysis of these constructions will shed more light on this type of clauses when overlapped with purpose clauses and causal clauses.

1. Yet, regarding purpose vs. consequence , we refer to a different syntactic status, for instance, result clauses are realized by disjuncts (i.e. so, so that, so + adjective + that), whereas purpose clauses are realized by adjuncts (usually infinitival, non-finite forms). ‘So’ may be ambiguous when ‘and’ is inserted before it , so it may convey coordination rather than subordination (i.e. We paid him immediately, and so he left happy).

Moreover, this distinction is also present by punctuation since in consecutive clauses we introduce a comma before ‘so that’, whereas in purpose clauses we do not (i.e. I’ll help you so that you can finish early (purpose) vs. I’ll help you, so that you can finish early (result)). We shall highlight two main points here: first, that purpose clauses require a modal auxiliary within their construction and second, the important role of intonation within this distiction, where we do mark the consecutive clause by pausing in the middle of the sentence and finish with falling intonation.

2. Secondly, the dichotomy result vs. cause have a close semantic relation since they both reflect the ‘result of the action’ of the main clause thus, ‘result clauses’ reflect the result itself of the main clause action whereas ‘causal clauses’ reflect the same idea but with the nuance of ‘the reason why the action took place in the main clause’. But they are realized and therefore, distinguished, by different positions in the sentence, thus a causal clause like ‘He couldn’t buy the new U2 single because he had no money’ (action+cause) may be turned into a result clause just by reversing the main and subordinate clause and by adding a comma before ‘so’ (i.e. He had no money, so he couldn’t buy the new U2 single –action + result). As we can see result clauses (disjuncts) are placed in final position in the sentence rather than fronting.

Other special syntactic cases are those constructions equivalent to the use of ‘so’ and ‘so that’. For instance, other structures such as such + a(n) + (adjective) + noun + that … (i.e. He is such a good student that he never fails an exam!) so + a(n) + (adjective) + noun + that … (i.e. His grandfather was so rich that he even had a McDonald’s at home!) so much/many + noun + that … (i.e. He ate so many oysters that he had a stomache afterwards) so + adjective + verb + noun (i.e. So happy was Thomas that he bought a new car to his son).

So + adjective/adverb + as + to-infinitive (i.e. She was so naive as to believe what he told that night).

For + accusative + to- infinitive (i.e. This house is too expensive for you to buy it). We use this construction when the subject of the sentence and the accusative of the infinitive do not refer to the same person.

As we have seen, morphologically speaking, the notion of ‘result’ is namely introduced by the grammatical category of disjuncts (so, so that) and equivalent constructions. Regarding intonation, the most important mention to be done is to a pause before the disjuncts ‘so’ or ‘so that’ to indicate the distinction between causal and result clauses, ma rked by a comma in punctuation; and the falling intonation in result clauses.

6. FINAL CLAUSES.

6.1. Definition.

Final clauses are also called ‘clauses of purpose’. The term ‘purpose’ gives account of the logical relation between the main clause and the subordinate clause it represents within the framework of a compound sentence, that is, a subordinate sentence (i.e. They trained hard to play the match). This notion is syntactically realized by ‘final clauses’ which semantically represent the purpose of what it is said in the main clause (i.e. I worked late (main clause) in order to clear up my papers (finality- purpose)) eliciting the answer by asking “What for?” and not “Why?” (i.e. What did you work late for? – To clear up my papers).

6.2. Purpose clauses vs. result clauses.

Since the relations of consequence and result are sometimes overlapped with the uses of purpose, we shall establish first the difference between these two clauses in semantic and syntactic terms. First of all, regarding semantic similarities or meaning, we shall state that purpose clauses have putative meaning, that is, the purpose is to be achieved (i.e. They hit him so that he would tell the truth) whereas result clauses have factual meaning, that is, the result is achieved (i.e. They hit him, so that he told the truth) , whereas Hence, in syntactic terms, finite clauses of result do not need a modal auxiliary in their construction whereas purpose clauses do.

6.3. Main structural features.

Regarding its main structural features, we shall see the logical relations of purpose at sentence level in terms of function and use, that is, from the field of semantics and pragmatics by means of subordinate elements such as the non-finite form ‘to + verb’ (the most usual adjunct-I’ve come to see her) and other conjuncts such as ‘in order to’, ‘so as to’, ‘so that’, ‘lest’, ‘for fear of’, ‘in case’, ‘so’ (informal) vs. ‘in order that’ (formal) , ‘that’(arcaic use) and equivalent constructions when overlapped with the uses of result (for+noun+to-infinitive).

On the other hand, a syntactic analysis of these constructions will shed more light on the specific constructions of this type of clauses. As stated above, when referring to the distinction purpose vs. consequence, we refer to a different syntactic status, for instance, result clauses are realized by disjuncts (i.e. so, so that, so + adjective + that), whereas purpose clauses are realized by adjuncts (usually infinitival, non-finite forms).

Moreover, this distinction is also present by punctuation since in consecutive clauses we introduce a comma before ‘so that’, whereas in purpose clauses we do not (i.e. I’ll help you so that you can finish early (purpose) vs. I’ll help you, so that you can finish early (result)). We shall highlight two main points here: first, that purpose clauses require a modal auxiliary within their construction and second, the important role of intonation within this distiction, where we do mark the consecutive clause by pausing in the middle of the sentence and finish with falling intonation.

Syntactic ally, purpose clauses are realized by a wide range of means, from non-finite forms to prepositional phrases. Hence, we may distinguish several constructions , for instance Adjuncts in non-finite forms is the most common way of expressing positive purpose, usually introduced by the infinitival forms of ‘to- infinitive’ (informal) as in ‘She came to see you’ vs. ‘in order to’ and ‘so as to’ (formal) in affirmative sentences. In order to express negative purpose, we shall introduce the particle ‘not’ before the proclitic ‘to’ (not to see her/in order not to see her/so as not to see her).

Positive purpose is also realized by the constructions ‘so that’ and ‘so’ (informal) vs. ‘in order that’ (formal) as in “He visited Bristol in order that/so that he could see his doctor”, and also the archaic ‘that’. In this type of clauses, we find the putative meaning, which means the introduction of modal auxiliaries, such as ‘may’ for present and future time; ‘might’ for past time; ‘can’, ‘could’ and ‘should’ in colloquial style (i.e. I’ll phone him so that he can get ready on time). Also, ‘in case’ (i.e. I’ve brought my umbrella in case it rains).

Negative purpose is expressed by introducing ‘lest’ (an archaic and very formal conjunction) and ‘shall’ for present time (i.e. I broke his lents lest he should buy a pair of new ones); ‘should’ for past time (i.e. He arrived late on purpose so that he should not take the exam); and also ‘for fear of’ (i.e. They left early for fear they would meet him).

Other equivalent construction is ‘for + accusative + to- infinitive (i.e. It is too early for you to start smoking). We use this construction when the subject of the sentence and the accusative of the infinitive do not refer to the same person.

As we have seen, morphologically speaking, the notion of ‘purpose’ is namely introduced by the grammatical category of adjuncts (non-finite forms) and other equivalent constructions. Regarding intonation, the most important mention to be done is the stress on the particle ‘to’ and the falling intonation in purpose clauses since they are usually placed in final position in the sentence.

7. EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS.

The logical relations between the notions of cause, consequence and purpose dealt with in this study is relevant to the learning of the vocabulary of a foreign language since differences between the vocabulary of the learner’s native language (L1) and that of the foreign language (L2) may lead to several problems, such as the incorrect use of the expressions of cause, consequence and purpose expressions, especially because of the syntactic, morphological, and semantic processes implied in these notions. Moreover, these connections are brought to their attention, especially when they overlapped (cause, consequence, purpose).

It has been suggested that a methodology grounded in part in the application of explicit linguistic knowledge enhances the second language learning process. In the Spanish curriculum (B.O.E.2002), the notions of cause, consequence and purpose is envisaged from earlier stages of ESO, thus (i.e. People need English to communicate; I eat brown bread because it is good for me), results (i.e. He ran 30 km so he is tired now), up to higher stages of Bachillerato, towards more complex constructions, such as ‘so that’, ‘for+accusative+to-infinitive’ (i.e. This is too difficult for me to learn) and processes of fronting when expressing reason (i.e. Since yoou are sorry, I’ll forgive you) and so on.

The notions of cause, consequence and purpose have been considered an important element of language teaching because of its high-frequency in speech. Hence, the importance of how to handle these expressions cannot be understated since you cannot communicate without it. Learners are expected to be able to recognise and produce all the above clause types, and to use them as appropriate in the functions set out in the previous chapters. However, al nguage learners do not automatically recognize similiarities which seem obvious to teachers; learners need to have these associations brought to their attention.

So far, we have attempted in this discussion to provide a broad account of the notions of cause, consequence and purpose in order to set it up within the linguistic theory, going through the localization of adjuncts, disjuncts and conjuncts in syntactic structures, and finally, once correctly framed, a brief presentation of the three main notions under study. We hope students are able to understand the relevance of handling correctly the expression of these logical relations in everyday life communication.

8. CONCLUSION

So far, in this study we have attempted to take a fairly broad view of the notions of cause, consequence and purpose since we are also assuming that there is an intrinsic connexion between its learning and successful communication. Yet, we have provided a descriptive account of Unit 25, untitled Logical relations of cause, consequence and purpose at sentence level whose main aim was to introduce the student to the different ways of expressing these relations in English in terms of their main structures features.

In doing so, the study provided a broad account the notions of cause, consequence and purpose, starting by a lingistic framework in order to get some key terminology on the issue, and further developed within a grammar linguistic theory, described in syntactic terms as we were dealing with syntactic structures. Once presented, we discussed how adverbs, prepositions and other syntactic constructions reflected these notions.

In fact, they are currently considered to be a central element in communicative competence and in the acquisition of a second language since students must be able to convey the meaning of cause, consequence and purpose in their everyday life in many different situations. As stated before, the teaching of these expressions comprises five major components in our educational curriculum: phonology, grammar, lexicon, semantics and pragmatics, out of which we get five major levels: phonological, morphological and syntactic, lexical, semantic and the extra field of use.

In fact, our students are expected to be able to understand and produce simple, compound and complex sentences within the limits of specifications of cause, consequence and purpose logical relations. In speech, they can produce compound sentences, limited to one or two subordinate clauses of relatively simple structure with a main clause frame of a basic character by handling properly a good knowledge at all the linguistic levels examined in this study.

Therefore, it is a fact that students must be able to handle the four levels in communicative competence in order to be effectively and highly communicative in the classroom and in real life situations. The expression of quality proves highly frequent in our everyday speech, and consequently, we must encourage our students to have a good managing of it.

9. BIBLIOGRAPHY.

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– Hymes, D. 1972. On communicative competence. In J. B. Pride and J. Holmes (eds.), Sociolinguistics, pp. 269-93. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

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Publicado: noviembre 11, 2015 por Santiago

Etiquetas: tema 25 inglés secundaria