Unit 4 Adverbials and Sentence Modifiers Group Assignments

1. Sentence Collection

Find an example of a sentence of each type in a written source, diagram each sentence, and provide, using appropriate tests, a clear explanation in grammatical terms of the reasoning behind your analyses. Please provide citations for the sources of your sentences.

  1. Sentence with an adverbial subordinate clause.
  2. Sentence with a NP acting as an adverbial.
  3. Sentence with an infinitive acting as sentence modifier.
  4. Sentence with a prepositional phrase acting as sentence modifier.
  5. Sentence with a manner adverbial (any structure).
  6. Sentence with an adverbial infinitive.

2. A "Research" Assignment.

  1. Construct sentences showing whether the following words in -ly can be used as adverbials (VP adverbs), as sentence modifiers (S adverbs), or as both: calmly, oddly, hopefully, quickly. Explain the reasoning behind your answers; and remember that a sentence that is ungrammatical to a native speaker can provide information about how a word can or cannot be used.

  2. Look up the words in two unabridged or college dictionaries. What information do the dictionaries give about how these words are used? Do the dictionaries treat the words as main entries (words set off and given their own definitions) or do they run them in with the entry for the word from which they are derived; e.g., oddly would be part of a larger entry giving meanings for the adjective odd ? The latter is a technique dictionary editors (lexicographers) use to signal that the meaning of a derived word can be predicted from the meanings of the main entry plus the suffix. It saves space, but it doesn't necessarily do justice to meanings of adverbs that may have evolved separately. Do you find that the dictionary treatment of these words is an adequate treatment of their meanings and uses in each case? If so, how; if not, why not? Please remember to cite the dictionaries in which you found the entries.

    3. Comments on Problematical Sentences

    Each of these sentences has a problem. Some are not possible English sentences, some are possible but not terribly successful as writing, others are grammatical only in non-standard dialects. For each sentence, identify and explain the problem using grammatical terms accurately, and provide a corrected version of the sentence.

    1. To keep your leopard content, meals of raw meat must be served.
    2. We will sell gasoline to anyone in a glass container.
    3. Maurice boasted that he had done good on his grammar test.
    4. Gwendolyn resided.
    5. Drive friendly.
    6. Amos resembles his father strenuously.
      (Here's a hint on this one: what else do we know about the behavior of resemble? )


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    Comments to: Sara Kimball
    Last updated January, 2001