kernel and non kernel clauses

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Kernel and Non Kernel Clauses



KERNEL CLAUSESKernel clause This term is introduced by Chomsky in 1950s. According to him kernel sentences define simple sentences which have not gone through any process of transformation. For example The cake is nice Harry baked the cake

NON KERNEL CLAUSESNon kernel clauses Unlike kernel clause, non kernel clause is the complex type of clauses. They get through different kinds of transformations which make the complicated. For example if we take the sentences of above kernel clauses, it will become non kernel in this way The cake which Harry baked is nice

EXPLANATIONThe minimal structure of a sentence is known as KERNEL Other items may be added to simple sentences Negation ; Peter does not understand it Interrogation; did you buy the newspaper today?

Each of these structures are represented by means of a functional phrase Negation: Neg P (negative phrase) Interrogation: Int P (interrogative phrase) Note the movement of the subject is always a rising one in English

There are two kinds of questions closed questions: with an auxiliary but no wh word. The answer is usually yes or no Open questions: with a wh words The movement of the interrogative element, a wh word is direct. It does not jump along the different nodes, as the rising subject does but reaches the top position straight ahead.

ANALYSIS OF KERNEL CLAUSES(Your father) (washed the car again). subject predicate Characteristics of subject Form

class Position in declarative clauses Position in interrogative clauses Subject-verb agreement Case in personal pronoun Conditions on omissibility

FORM CLASSThe prototypical subject is an NP; there is no predicate that cannot take an NP as subject In KERNEL clauses virtually the only other form of subject we find is a subordinate clause (that he was guilty) in That he was guilty was now clear to everyone.

POSITION IN DECLARATIVE CLAUSESIn declarative clauses the normal position for the subject is before the verb or with an intervening adverb phrase as: Your father very often looses his temper

POSITION IN INTERROGATIVE CLAUSESIn main clauses containing an operator, the simplest kind of interrogative clause is derived from its declarative counterpart by moving the operator to the left of the subject Thus the declarative Your father is washing the car again, yields interrogative Is your father washing the car again Dummy; do, does and did

SUBJECT VERB AGREEMENTPerson-number properties of the verb are determined by agreement with the subject Modal operators and past tenses of verbs other than be have no person number properties but we can apply the agreement criterion indirectly in such cases by changing the verb and /or the tense.

Thus, Tom would not help me, there is no agreement. But if we replace past modal wouldnt by present non modal doesnt we can see that it is Tom that selects doesnt in contrast to dont. Similarly with Your father know them.


A handful of pronouns, we have noted, have contrasting case forms Nominative Accusative I me He him She her We us They them

In finite clauses the subject requires a nominative form, while the object takes an accusative : They shot him formal/informal it was I/it was me

CONDITION ON OMISSIBILITYIn kernel clauses the subject is an obligatory element, along with the predicator The minimal kernel construction consists of just these two elements. One respect in which a clause may be non kernel is by virtue of being elliptical (you) be quiet!

Subordinate non finites such as infinitival [ Ed remembered ] to take his key Compare the finite main clause [ Ed took his key ] or present participle [ Liz married Ed before ] hearing of the incident

Notice that these particular non finite constructions require a double reference to the subject: Firstly, The

subordinate clause lacks a subject , so that We understand Liz married Ed before she heard of the incident, not . Before he heard of the incident

CONCLUSIONIn kernel clauses the subject is very easily identifiable by the criteria we have discussed before, Some non kernel clauses lack a subject but some leave the subject intact. For example,

Coordination [Tom mowed the lawn] and your father(sub) washed the car again Subordination [He says] that your father(sub) washed the car again. Negation your father did not wash the car again.

PREDICATEIt is what is left of the clause when we remove the subject I realize(superordinate clause) that he is ill(subordinate clause) realize that is ill is ill

Main verb as its ultimate head The predicate position is filled by a verb phrase. Leaving aside cases of ellipsis, a VP contains a verb as head optionally accompanied by one or more dependents. Dependents of the predicator Complements Adjuncts

EXAMPLEYour father washed the car again Note: Complement is a function that we shall be using in the analysis of other constructions than the VP Complements They are distinguished from adjuncts in VP structure by following properties:

Non omissibility Verb lexeme classification Form class

NON OMISSIBILITYComplements are sometimes obligatory whereas adjuncts are omissible Examples He became ill & he used a drill.

VERB LEXEME CLASSIFICATIONThe selection of a complement of a particular type depends on the presence of a verb lexeme of an appropriate class whereas the selection of adjuncts is not lexically controlled in this way : Take example Your father washed the car again

There are lots of verbs which exclude the selection of a dependent with the function of the car. your father hoped/disappointed/relied the car. And thus the car although it is not obligatory , is identifiable as a complement. again , by contrast, can occur with any verb and is accordingly an adjunct.

FORM CLASSThe most central complements are NPs or AdjPs, while the most central adjuncts are AdvPs The main exception involves temporal NPs like this morning last week,etc Which although they can function as complement As in I wasted this morning more often function as adjunct as in I arrived this morning


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