QUESTION #17 - WHAT IS THE ADVERBIAL CLAUSE OF
Date: June 5, 2016
Hello Corollary Theorems,
I graduated with a bachelor's degree in linguistics, and I stumbled onto your site when I was looking for some grammar information.
You have made claims that your grammar book is unlike any other grammar books out there, and I have to admit that I am impressed by
LSEG4 Table of Contents. It has prompted me to make plans to buy your book in the near future when I
have the funds, though I am curious about some of the topics in your book. [. . .]
One of them involves adverbial clauses. You mention the "adverbial clause of evolution". What words or subordinate
markers trigger this type of clause, "of evolution", and what are the advanced interpretations of it?
Why is the "adverbial clause of means" not a part of this book? What do you think of the "adverbial clause of explanation"
("that is to say that", "which is to say that", "meaning that", etc), the "adverbial clause of substitution
or preference" ("rather than", "sooner than", etc), the "adverbial clause of addition", the "adverbial
clause of exception or reservation" ("but that", "except that", "excepting that", "save that", etc),
the "adverbial clause of proportion" ("the more...the more...", "the less...the less...", etc), and "adverbial
clause of distance" ("as far as", "as near as", etc)?
From C. J. - Miami, FL, USA
[There are more interesting questions in C. J.'s email to us, though we
decided to address them one at a time.]
A17. LSEG4 was written to be a template of grammar for any language on the Planet [and even in the entire
Universe]. Note that we managed to assemble this universal template of grammar using the English grammar, and this comes as a
great relief since English grammar is way simpler than the grammars of most modern languages—French, Russian, German, Spanish,
However, in order to reach our ambitious goal [to deliver an universal template of grammar] the English grammar we present in
LSEG4 has a few
particularities. Unfortunately, those particularities do create some
confusion among the linguists, as is C. J.
Anyway, two grammatical principles have lead to this mysterious "adverbial of evolution" category:
1. "Grammar has to be universal"—if we want it to work as a
2. "Grammar needs to be (expressed/interpreted)
as simple as possible"—in
order to work in reality, in practice, in our day to day life.
Accordingly, it became imperative to us to re-structure the adverbs and the adverbials in
some logic manner, so that anybody can work
easily with them, regardless of the language employed. You see, it happens that
each grammar book ever published (in many
languages) presents the adverbs/adverbials in a dissimilar manner!
There is an incredible variety of adverb/adverbial categories, though the linguists invent/discover/name new ones
with each passing year. Fact
is, there are so many categories and subcategories of adverbs/adverbials, that they are way more difficult to handle/analyze/control
grammatically than the subject, the predicate, and the object taken together!
On the other hand, yes, those never ending categories/subcategories of adverbs/adverbials
could be important to the linguists, only they
are not that crucial to the ordinary people. All we need to know is, first, the adverb/adverbial functionality and, secondly, the
major category/subcategory of the adverbs/adverbials. Now, in order to accommodate the ordinary people's grammar, and the linguists' grammar,
it became imperative
re-structure the adverbs/adverbials into 4 major categories as follows:
1. Adverbs/adverbials of time;
2. Adverbs/adverbials of place;
3. Adverbs/adverbials of manner;
4. Adverbs/adverbials of evolution.
As a result, ordinary people can work now with those 4 categories of adverbs/adverbials only, in order to easily and perfectly analyze ANY
GRAMMATICAL CONTEXT. To the linguists—C. J. included—all the known/unknown categories of adverbs/adverbials that the
linguists have discovered/invented up to now fit
seamlessly into the mentioned 4 major categories of adverbs/adverbials.
The "adverbials of evolution" category is a simplification
presented in LSEG4 only. It includes the subcategories: "adverbials of
cause/reason/motivation" and "adverbials of purpose/result". It happens that
there are many instances in which it is
rather impossible to differentiate adverbials of cause and adverbials of purpose; as a result, such sentences (or complex sentences)
are rendered "un-analyzable" in Sentence Syntax (and in Complex
Sentence Syntax)—which we do not want to happen.
Using a major container category of adverbials (the adverbials of evolution)
we eliminate the ambiguity,
sentence (or the complex sentence)
becomes analyzable in Sentence
Syntax, and we also achieve
a greatly needed adverbial simplification. We
hope those are sufficiently sound reasons for any linguist on the Planet.
Why the name "adverbials of evolution"? Well, those adverbial subordinates explain "the cause", and also "the
purpose/result". If that is not "evolution" dear people then . . . you should tell us what it is.
Now, C. J. is talking about "adverbial clauses"—used in
Complex Sentence Syntax. However, we deal with "adverb clauses" when we employ
the "analogy to Morphology" method of analysis, or with "adverbial clauses" if we use the "analogy to
Sentence Syntax". Regardless,
all the existing and non-existing adverb/adverbial clauses also fit IN THEIR TOTALITY into the 4 major categories of adverbs/adverbials presented
above. Let's take, for example, each category of "adverbials" suggested by C. J.
A. The "adverbial clause of means" is just a plain/simple "adverbial of manner clause"—which
explains "how" is the action of the main predicate accomplished.
B. The alleged "adverbial
clause of explanation" is a grammatical mistake. In reality we have an explicative coordination relation between
clauses. Even more, from that particular explicative coordination relation are directly derived the major category of "relative
clauses"—particularly important in grammar! The "subordinate markers" presented are, in reality, just a subset of the "explicative
conjunctions". [As a note, an explanation can never function as an adverb/adverbial; adverbs/adverbials
describe only the
circumstances of predicate's action/state.]
C. The "adverbial clause of substitution or preference" is also a
plain "adverbial of manner clause". "Rather/sooner/better
than" are a small subset of subordinating conjunctions—specifically,
"adverbial conjunctions of manner".
D. The alleged "adverbial cause of addition" is non-existent. Addition is expressed in grammar only by the "cumulative
coordination relations" developed between main clauses.
E. The "adverbial clause of exception or reservation" and the submitted subset of "subordinating markers" are specific to "adverbial
of manner clauses". [Please study LSEG4 in order to discover the right, the complete, and the correct
F. The "adverbial clause of proportion" plus the submitted subset of "subordinating markers" are specific, again, to "adverbial
of manner clauses". In Complex Sentence Syntax, all comparisons are expressed using only "adverbials of manner" as a major
category, and "adverbials of comparison" as a direct manner subcategory.
G. The "adverbial clause of distance" and the "subordinating markers" submitted are specific to "adverbial of place
To end this appropriately, indeed structuring adverbs, adverbials, and adverbial clauses logically is one of the greatest problems in
grammar these days. The linguists have "identified" so many "adverb/adverbial" categories (including very many non-existent ones!)
that it seems the bulk of syntactic elements (the subject, the predicate, the object, and the attributes) are way too little
What the heck people! Those adverbials are just a secondary syntactic element, and that specific
adverbial functionality is very simple to identify! Note
that the only data we port from Sentence Syntax to Morphology is the major functionality of "adverbial". Only in
Morphology we can
differentiate adverbial functionality into a few concrete adverb categories, though we
shouldn't overdo things. Just try to keep things simple,
dear friends—remember the famous KISS principle . . .
anyone . . . ?
The 4 major categories of adverbs/adverbials presented above are perfectly sufficient to include all the adverbs/adverbials in
existence [in the entire Universe]. Even more, in LSEG4 you are also going to discover the first subcategories of adverbs/adverbials
[of the 4 major groups presented] that can accommodate to ANY GRAMMATICAL ANALYSIS. Once again, in order to function correctly in our
day to day social life, GRAMMAR MUST BE RENDERED AS SIMPLE AS
The complete, easy to learn, Logically Structured English Grammar 4: theory plus exercises!