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The Adjective as an Adjunctive Predicative Expression

A Semantic Analysis of Nominalised Propositional Structures as Secondary Predicative Syntagmas


Dorota Szumska

The analysis is a contribution to contemporary linguistics, particularly the theory of syntax, semantics and pragmatics. Within the theoretical framework of predicate-argument syntax (also known as semantic syntax), the author analyses the role of the adjective as an adjunctive predicative expression. The aim of the research is to create a description of an adjective which could be prospectively useful as a point of departure for analyses of phenomena analogous from the communication point of view in other languages. The book contains a rich text material and a large number of valuable pragmatic insights into Polish nominal syntagmas with an adjective.


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Chapter II The adjective as a predicative expression


Anyone who wants to understand the nature of language as a sign must maintain conceptual homogeneity. (K. Bühler) In the description of language predication has for a long time been associated with the sentence, but neither a good definition of the sentence nor of predication is very widely known. (L. Zawadowski) II. 1. Categorical differentiation of the system of lexical exponents of the predicate Many authors in the field have drawn attention to the tendency in language for predicates differentiated in terms of morphologically fixed surface- combinatorial properties to have a repertoire of accompanying expressional correlates ascribed to them, which makes it possible to apply a diversified syntactic arrangement in formal implementations with a propositional structure based on the given predicate1. For example, the exponent of predicates of state of the type (Polish) smut- 2 may be incorporated into the following morphemic structures: as an adjective (smutny – “sad”), as a noun (smutek – “sadness”), and as a verb (smuci si – “to be sad”)3. Another linguistic phenomenon which is considered equally natural is the association of exponents belonging to the expressional paradigm of a given predicate by means of a word-forming derivation the direction of which allows for the identification of the basic (simple, non-derived) predicative expression in the paradigm and its complex (secondary or formally derived) expressions [Karolak 2001f: 256] 4. The expressional paradigm may also comprise lexemes which do not participate in such a relation, e.g. mie/posiada/nalee (“to have/ to possess/ to belong to” – Skadnia 1984:94)5....

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