ERIC Number: ED351877
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Preposed and Postposed Adverbials in English.
Levinsohn, Stephen H.
A study investigated the differences made in the meaning of a passage in English by placing adverbial clauses before (preposing) or after (postposing) the verb. Examples are: "When the wolf arrived, he was picking apples"; "He was picking apples when the wolf arrived"; "While he was picking apples, the wolf arrived"; and "The wolf arrived while he was picking apples." The report is presented in two main parts. The first discusses preposed adverbials, arguing that they have a bidirectional function: serving as a point of departure for communication and also providing a basis for relating the communication to the context. The information contained in such an adverbial is generally of secondary importance in relation to the clause to which it is subordinated. The second part proposes that postposed adverbials serve two purposes: to preserve topic continuity and to convey information of primary importance, perhaps even conveying information that represents a turning point or complication of the story. A 20-item bibliography is included. (MSE)
Descriptors: Adverbs, English, Grammar, Language Patterns, Language Research, Linguistic Theory, Semantics, Sentence Structure
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: In: Dooley, Robert A. and Marshall, David F., Eds. Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, 1992, University of South Dakota Session, Volume 36; see FL 020 753.