Some remarks on adverbial participial clauses from the point of view of functional sentence perspective

Číslo v edici: 
Číslo v periodiku: 

Místo vydání:

Rok vydání:


Typ publikace:



Participial adverbial clauses perform the same range of FSP functions within the communicative field of the superordinate clause as non-clausal and finite-clause adverbials. The FSP function of participial adjuncts is determined primarily by the FSP factors as given by Firbas (1992) for written texts: the context, semantics, and linear modification. Out of these, the employment of the factor of linear modification is constrained by processing pressure (due to the clausal form of the adverbial and the unexpressed subject in participial free adjuncts). The role of context is generally reduced in adverbials, as they are not typically context-dependent or independent in the same way as other (nominal) clause elements. The FSP factor prominent in adverbial clauses thus seems to be the semantic structure. Several secondary factors, or clues, can be traced here. The adverbial clause generally introduces more information into the superordinate clause than non-clausal adverbials, which marks it as more dynamic. Consequently, the thematic adverbial clause typically functions as the diatheme. If the information presented by the participial clause is quite specific or the adverbial clause is itself complex (this applies in particular to adverbial clauses with a finite-clause object), the end-placed adverbial clause functions as a rhematic element. The form of the adverbial (a nonfinite clause) may influence the distribution of CD in the superior communicative field in yet another way. Being itself homogeneous with regard to the distribution of CD, the participial clause may lead to the compacting effect, setting off the rheme of the superior field or assigning additional prominence to an adjacent thematic element, typically the subject of the superordinate clause.


BÄCKLUND, I. (1984), Conjunction-Headed Abbreviated Clauses in English. Uppsala, Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Studia Anglistica Upsaliensia, 50.
DVOŘÁKOVÁ, E. (1964), “On the English and Czech Situational Adverbs in Functional Sentence Perspective”. Brno Studies in English 4, pp. 129-141.
EDGREN, E. (1971), Temporal Clauses in English. Uppsala, Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Studia Anglistica Upsaliensia 9.
FIRBAS, J. (1961), “On the Communicative Value of the Modern English Finite Verb”. Brno Studies in English 3, pp. 79-102.
- (1991), Functional Sentence Perspective in Written and Spoken Communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
HAJIČOVÁ, E. - HAVELKA, J. - SGALL, P. (2001), Discourse Semantics and the Salience of Referents.
HOROVÁ, E. (1976), “On Position and Function of English Local and Temporal Adverbials”. Brno Studies in English 12, pp. 93-123.
HRBÁČEK, J. (1994), Nárys textové syntaxe spisovné češtiny. Praha: Trizonia.
KORTMANN, B. (1991), Free Adjuncts and Absolutes in English. London: Routledge.
POVOLNÁ, R. (2000), “Some Notes on Spatial and Temporal Adverbials with Regard to Functional Sentence Perspective”. Brno Studies in English 26, pp. 27-55.
QUIRK, R. - GREENBAUM, S. - LEECH, G. - SVARTVIK, J. (1985), A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. London: Longman.
SGALL, P. - HAJIČOVÁ, E. - PANEVOVÁ, J. (1986), The Meaning of the Sentence in Its Semantic and Pragmatic Aspects. Praha: Academia.
SVOBODA, A. (1968), “The Hierarchy of Communicative Units and Fields as Illustrated by English Attributive Constructions”. Brno Studies in English 7, pp. 49-101.
- (1987), “K vnitřní struktuře adverbiale a adverbia z pohledu aktuálního členění”. Acta facultatis Paedagogicae Ostraviensis, D 24, pp. 47-55.
ŠVARDALOVÁ, E. (1998), The Position of Adverbial Clauses in Complex Sentences. Diploma dissertation, Charles University in Prague, Philosophical Faculty, Department of English and American Studies.
UHLÍŘOVÁ, L. (1974), “O vztahu sémantiky příslovečného určení k aktuálnímu členění”. Slovo a slovesnost 35, pp. 99-106.
- (1980), “K aktuálnímu členění podřadného spojení vět (konkurence vyjadřování větného a nevětného)”. Slovo a slovesnost 41, pp. 274-278.