초록

The purpose of this study is to investigate the syntactic and semantic properties of the absolute constructions in English from a synchro-diachronic perspective. The non-finite adverbial adjunct clause with an overt subject is referred to as an absolute clause, in which “absolute” is manifested from two aspects: an overt subject which is not coreferential with the subject of the main clause and no need of conjunction. This paper is mainly concerned with three questions: (i) what syntactic and semantic properties the absolute clauses have; (ii) why a subject cannot be deleted in the absolute clauses unlike other ~ing (participial) free adjuncts; (iii) why the absolute clauses are productive in PDE. Following Kortmann (1991), two types of the absolute clauses are discussed here: the augmented absolute clause, [with + NPsubj + modifiers] and the unaugmented absolute clause, [NPsubj + ~ing]. I propose a TP-adjoined CP structure for the unaugmented absolute clause and a TP-adjoined PP structure for the augmented absolute clause, providing an explicit structural and semantic explanation for the first and second questions (i) and (ii). The answer to the question (iii) is based on the diachronic explanation of Latinism and the grammaticalization process since the Middle English period.

키워드

absolute construction, (un)augmented absolute clause, overt subject, TP-adjoined CP, TP-adjoined PP

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