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Group I: Grammar and Style

Moulic, April Ezra

Paleb, Janette
Pecson, Areya June
Rayat, Justine Kyla

I. Objective
This unit aims to develop some useful building blocks for a study of grammar and style.
II. Content
- Hugely complex set of interlocking categories, units, and structures: in effect the
RULES of that language
- These rules are nothing more than a random collection of ad hoc and prejudiced
structures about language use. This means that these set of rules were created
as such because they were necessary in our study of language.
- The grammatical rules of a language are responsible for making up its syntactic
construction. This is the reason why stylisticians find it an intimidating area of
analysis because it is not always easy to point out which aspects of a texts many
interlocking patterns of grammar are stylistically important.
A Basic Model of Grammar
o Grammatical units are ordered hierarchically according to their size. The
hierarchy is known as the rank scale.
Rank Scale
- ordered hierarchy of grammatical units
- sorts units in a consists of relationship, progressing from the largest down to the
*sentence (clause complex)
*phrase (group)
The morpheme is the smallest unit in grammar because it has no structure
of its own.
o Arguably, the most important unit on the scale is the clause complex. It is
especially important because we can find several important functions in
- It provides tense. (verbal or non-verbal)
- It can be distinguished as something which possess positive or negative
polarity. (markers)
- It provides the core or nub of a proposition in language.
- This is where information about grammatical mood is situated
Four Basic elements of Clause Structure
1. Subject (S)- typically filled with by a noun phrase
2. Predicator (P)- always filled by a verb phrase
3. Complement (C)- typically filled either by a noun phrase or adjective phrase
4. Adjunct (A)- typically filled either by an adverb phrase or by a prepositional
SPCA pattern examples:
Subject Predicator Complement Adjunct
(1) The woman feeds those pigeons regularly.
(2) Our bull terrier was chasing the postman yesterday.
(3) Ang aso ay nagkalat ng pagkain sa opisina.
(4) Si Donna ay naglaro ng trumpo kanina.
These examples highlight grammars capacity to embed units of different sizes
within one another. ( The elements of clause structure are filled up by units on
the lower scale)

The rule which stipulates that a verb phrase must fill up the predicator slot is a
hard and fast one, whereas the rules on filling up the other slots are less
Test for Clause Constituents
1. Finding the Subject: it should answer the question who or what placed in
front of the verb
example: Who feeds those pigeons regularly?
(the woman)
Ano ang nagkalat ng pagkain sa opisina?
(ang aso)
2. Finding the Complement: it should answer the question who or what placed
after the verb
example: Our bull terrier was chasing who.
(the postman)
Si Donna ay naglaro ng ano
3. Finding the Adjunct: it should answer the questions such as how. when,
where, or why placed after the verb.
example: Ang aso ay nagkalat ng pagkain saan.
(sa opisina)
Our bull terrier was chasing the postman when.
4. Adding a tag question to the declarative form of the clause
-A sentence may have a negative or positive polarity which allows the speaker or
writer to alter the function of the declarative.
- A tag question is a useful tool for exploring grammatical structure because it
always repeats the Subject element in a more simplistic manner. (using pronouns)
-It also draws out an important aspect of the Predicator in the form of auxiliary
verb (does, was) which supplies information about tense and finiteness.
example: The girl dances gracefully, doesnt she?
The magazine photo was taken yesterday, was it?
Other examples:
1. My sister and my aunt visit the dentist monthly, dont they?
Coordination- grammatical technique where the two noun phrases My sister and
my aunt which are different entities are brought together by the conjunction and
o Notice how these two entities are brought together through using the
pronoun they in the tag question.
2. The man, a UP graduate, had donated the books in the library, had he?
Apposition- the grammatical technique which makes the two phrases The man
and a UP graduate in different ways to the same entity.
Variations in Basic Clause Structures
The Imperative and the Interrogative
- another way of clausal patterning
-form typically used for request and commands
- the subject is implicit
-cannot be marked for tense
examples: Listen.
Turn off the lights, please
Mind your head
Always count your change
Pakilinis ang hagdanan
Panatilihing malinis ang bahay
-form typically used for asking questions
-contains the Subject element
-Many types of interrogative position part of the Predicator in front of the Subject.
example: Will the parents attend the meeting on time?
Does the woman wear elegant shoes every Friday?

Declarative clauses may themselves display significant variation around the
SPCA pattern.
o Ex. When a clause contains two complements by having a direct object
and an indirect object.
Elizabeth gave her lover a heartache.
Her wounds gave the young man a seriously worried face.
Adjunct elements are many and varied in terms of the forms they take and of the
information they bring to a clause. They basically describe the circumstances that
attach to the process and for that reason they can be often removed without
affecting the grammaticality of the clause as a whole.

Minor Clause
-conventionally used to described structures which lack a Predicator element
-frequently seen on spoken interactions
This is where the term context applies to. We know that structurally the answer of
speaker B is only a constituent which is an adjunct. However, in the context of a
conversation it already showed us the entire response of the speaker.
(1) Speaker A: Where is the key?
Speaker B: inside the box
Finally, as a general rule of thumb, when analyzing elements which are present in a
text, there can only be one subject element and one predicator element of structure in
any given clause. There may be however be up to two complement elements and any
number of adjunct elements.