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The Adjective as an Adjunctive Predicative Expression

A Semantic Analysis of Nominalised Propositional Structures as Secondary Predicative Syntagmas

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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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When you cannot go any further you should stop. (Horace) A description of the adjective as an appended predicative expression, a description that takes a semantic-syntactic approach, changes more than just the perspective from which the surface-syntactic category of adjectivity is viewed. Thanks to the shift of focus from the level of expression and formal relations to the combinatorics of meaning the entire noun phrase along with its adjectival accessory component stands out in a new light, and the adjective, hitherto considered structurally a “half-finished product” suddenly emerges as communicatively of the same rank as the sentence-forming entity. It is equal in rank, but idiosyncratic, predestined to carry out surface reductions and formalise propositional contents. Such an approach serves as the point of departure and turnkey to the resolution of the following problems: • the identification of the speaker’s motive for the application of an adjectival accessory component in the message, and the associated question of the causes for the use of non-sentence-forming predication in verbal communication; • the identification of the cohesive mechanisms at play; first to regulate the emergence of noun phrases with multi-component sequences of adjectival subordinates which arise in outcome of the co-nominalisation of predicative- argument structures; and secondly, to determine the way the polypropositional complex is integrated at the sentence level; • why some adjectives are incapable of appearing in the adjunctive position, in other words the non-commutability of predication in which such adjectives participate in non-sentence-forming conditions to predication under assertion. The potential occurrence of this kind...

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