SYNTACTIC FUNCTIONS OF FINITE AND NON-FINITE
CLAUSES IN ACADEMIC ENGLISH Cover Image

SYNTACTIC FUNCTIONS OF FINITE AND NON-FINITE CLAUSES IN ACADEMIC ENGLISH
SYNTACTIC FUNCTIONS OF FINITE AND NON-FINITE CLAUSES IN ACADEMIC ENGLISH

Author(s): Marcela Malá
Subject(s): Language studies, Syntax
Published by: Masarykova univerzita
Keywords: academic English; syntactic functions of finite/non-finite clauses; primary/secondary predication;

Summary/Abstract: Finite and non-finite clauses can perform four syntactic functions in sentences. They can substitute for clause elements commonly expressed by noun phrases or adverbials; they can pre- and postmodify noun phrases, or as comment clauses, be independent of the rest of the sentence. This paper explores the four categories in 100 consecutive sentences in four research articles from psychology and economics published at the beginning of the 20th century and a hundred years later. The findings show that fi nite and non-finite clauses postmodifying noun phrases are by far the most frequently used category in the older texts. In the modern texts, however, this category decreases in favour of clauses occupying a noun phrase slot and adverbial. In the disciplines explored, the data also shows that texts are more impersonal and academic English indicates a trend towards a non-finite mode of expression.

  • Issue Year: 3/2010
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 73-85
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: English