Syntactic constancy of the subject complement. Part 2: A comparison between English and Czech

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The paper elaborates the point treated in Part 1 (in Linguistica Pragensia 14,2004, No 2) from the opposite side, viz. syntactic constancy of the subject complement in the English-Czech direction. The greatest difference between the two approaches was found in the measure of constancy, which was almost twenty per cent lower from English to Czech than in the opposite direction. The high degree of nonconstancy appeared to be due to the use of a full verb as a counterpart of the copula in three types of syntactic divergence (fusion of the copula and the CS in a lexical verb; adverbial, and object). Other differences were found in the diversity and relative frequency of occurrence of the divergent counterparts. A point specific to the English-Czech direction was revealed in the rendition of the cleft sentence, both it-and wh-clefts, as a result of expressing by one clause the bi-clausal presentation of one propositional content, which is the constitutive feature of the cleft sentence. In the opposite direction, this type of divergence was precluded by the nature of the subject complement. As regards functional sentence perspective, in the case of divergent counterparts realized by postverbal elements neither the linear order, nor the FSP function was affected. The motivating factor of the divergence was here found to be the more verbal character of Czech. On the other hand, the noncorrespondence English CS>Czech subject appeared to be due to different relations in English and Czech between the syntactic and the semantic structure.


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