Date: June 5, 2016

Q17: 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)?

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.]


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, Italian, etc.

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 general template.
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 to 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, and the 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 two main 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 coordinating/subordination conjunctions.]
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 clauses"—naturally.

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 important anymore!
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 POSSIBLE.


The complete, easy to learn, Logically Structured English Grammar 4: theory plus exercises!

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