Syntactic Constancy of Adverbials between English and Czech

Číslo v edici: 
Číslo v periodiku: 

Místo vydání:

Rok vydání:


Typ publikace:



The present paper is a contribution to a more extensive study concerned with interlingual constancy of clause elements. The study was undertaken on the assumption that syntactic structure is hierarchically subordinate to the information structure (functional sentence perspective, FSP henceforth) insofar as the latter is governed by the principle of end focus, which is assigned universal validity. The languages under study, English and Czech, qualify as suitable samples on the ground of representing different language types, analytic vs. synthetic inflecting, respectively, with different hierarchies of the word order principles: whereas English word order primarily serves to indicate grammatical functions, the primary word order principle in Czech is compliance with the basic distribution of communicative dynamism, i.e. presenting the information structure according to the gradual increase in the information load (communicative dynamism) with the focal element (the rheme) at the end. Given the general validity of the principle of end focus (final position of the rheme), the two languages may thus be expected to display some instances of the same ordering of corresponding lexical items (semantic elements), but construed in different syntactic structures where mere reordering of the sentence components is not feasible in English. The limitation to some instances has to be made with respect to the fairly common occurrence in English of thematic elements after the rheme (cf. Dušková 1999b).


BIBER, D., S. JOHANSSON, G. LEECH, S. CONRAD, E. FINEGAN (1999), Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. London: Longman.
DUŠKOVÁ, L. (1986), "A note on the Thematic Character of the Subject in English in Comparison with Czech" in Prague Studies in Mathematical Linguistics 9, Prague: Academia, pp. 92-105. Reprinted in Dušková 1999a, Chapter 33.
— (1998), "Syntactic Forms of the Presentation Scale and their Differentiation". Linguistica Pragensia 8, pp. 36-43.
— (1999a), Studies in the English Language. Part 2. Karolinum, Prague: Charles University Press.
— (1999b), "Basic Distribution of Communicative Dynamism vs. Nonlinear Indication of Functional Sentence Perspective" in E. Hajičová et al. (eds.), Travaux du Cercle linguistique de Prague n. s., Prague Linguistic Circle Papers 3, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, pp. 249-261.
— (2003), "Constancy of Syntactic Function Across Languages" in J. Hladký (ed.), Language and Function: To the Memory of Jan Firbas. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, pp. 127-145.
FIRBAS, J. (1992), Functional Sentence Perspective in Written and Spoken Communication. Cambridge: University Press.
HUDDLESTON, R. and G.K. PULLUM (2002), The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge: University Press.
KLÉGR, A. (1996), The Noun in Translation. Karolinum, Prague: Charles University Press.
MATHESIUS, V. (1975), A Functional Analysis of Present Day English on a General Linguistic Basis. Prague: Academia.
QUIRK, R., S. GREENBAUM, G. LEECH and J. SVARTVIK (1985), A Comprehensive Grammar of theEnglish Language. London: Longman.