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    The Disjunct Adverbial in English Grammar

    The Disjunct Adverbial in English Grammar

    Disjunct adverbials are words and phrases that provide additional information to frame an entire clause, which denotes the attitude of the speaker toward or judgment of the proposition such as truthfulness of manner of speaking. Three grammatical forms can perform the grammatical function of disjunct adverbial in the English language. The three grammatical forms that can function as the disjunct adverbial are:

    The following sections define and exemplify the three grammatical forms that can function as the disjunct adverbial in English grammar.

    Adverb Phrases as Disjunct Adverbials

    The first grammatical form that performs the grammatical function of disjunct adverbial is the adverb phrase. Adverb phrases are phrases in which an adverb functions as the head of the phrase plus any modifiers. For example, the following italicized adverb phrases function as disjunct adverbials:

    • Truthfully, adverbs are not one of my favorite grammatical forms.
    • Surprisingly, none of the children failed the test.
    • Honestly, I have no idea.
    • Clearly, the mail did not come today due to it being a national holiday.

    Prepositional Phrases as Disjunct Adverbials

    The second grammatical form that performs the grammatical function of disjunct adverbial is the prepositional phrase. Prepositional phrases are phrases that consist of a preposition plus another word, phrase, or clause functioning as the prepositional complement. For example, the following the following italicized prepositional phrases function as disjunct adverbials:

    • In my opinion, learning about language is super exciting.
    • For the love of all things holy, the children need to stop whining.
    • With all due respect, you need to calm yourself down.
    • According to the new study, drinking whole milk may aid weight loss.

    Postpositional phrases also function as disjunct adverbials. A postpositional phrase consists of a postposition plus another word, phrase, or clause functioning as a postpositional complement. Many grammars identify phrases that contain a postposition as the head erroneously as a prepositional phrase. However, both prepositions and postpositions are subcategories of adpositions. Prepositional complements follow the preposition. Postpositional complements precede the postposition. For example, the following italicized postpositional phrases function as disjunct adverbials:

    • Joking aside, we must decide on a plan of action by the end of the week.
    • Jokes aside, you need to finish studying for the test.
    • My opinion notwithstanding, the students must study harder for the standardized tests.
    • He needs to wash his hands, his opinion notwithstanding.

    Verb Clauses as Disjunct Adverbials

    The third grammatical form that performs the grammatical function of disjunct adverbial is the verb clause. Verb clauses are independent clauses that consist of a subject and a predicate. Some grammars refer to verb clauses as main clauses, matrix clauses, or superordinate clauses. The subjects and verbs of verb clauses functioning as disjunct adverbials are inverted. Subject-verb inversion is a type of inversion in which the subject and verb or verbs switch canonical order, meaning the subject follows the verb or verbs. For example, the following the following italicized postpositional phrases function as disjunct adverbials:

    • Reading aloud to children is crucial for language development, explains the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
    • Families should remain together, the lawyer stated.
    • Commented the researchers, the date appears inconclusive.
    • Subject-verb inversion will be on the test, announced the teacher.

    A disjunct adverbial is a word or phrase that frames an entire clause or sentence. The two grammatical forms that can function as the disjunct adverbial in the English language are adverb phrases, prepositional phrases, and verb clause.

    Summary

    Disjunct adverbials are words and phrases that provide additional information to frame an entire clause. Disjunct adverbials denote the attitude of the speaker toward or judgment of the proposition such as truthfulness of manner of speaking.

    Disjunct adverbial is a grammatical function.

    The grammatical forms that can function as the disjunct adverbial in English grammar are the adverb phrase, prepositional phrase, and verb clause.

    Disjunct adverbials are not constituents of either the subject or the predicate.

    References

    Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
    Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
    Huddleston, Rodney. Introduction to the Grammar of English. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1984.

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