The study of Parenthesis reveals that it is as a multifaceted linguistic phenomenon embracing paradigmatically and syntactically heterogeneous units.
According to the semantic characteristics Parenthesis can be divided into the following groups: sequence, addition, personal or other people’s opinion, comparison, contrast, reinforcement, explanation, classification, alternative ideas, cause / reason, result, concluding.
Concerning structural characteristics of Parenthesis two important criteria should be taken into consideration: Syntactical and Morphological aspects.
In terms of syntax, Parenthesis can be presented as a single word, a phrase, a word combination, a sentence and it can be separated by commas, dashes or brackets.
In terms of morphology, Parenthesis can be expressed by viewpoint/comment adverbs, modal words, conjuncts, prepositional phrases, participle clauses, infinitive clauses.
As regards the analysis of positional peculiarities of the Parenthesis, it was investigated on two levels: on the sentence and text level. On the sentence level the Parenthesis can be embedded in the host syntactic structure at the beginning, in the middle or at the end. Similarly, on the text level Parentheses can occupy the initial, the mid- or final position.
The main functions assigned to Parenthesis are the following:
- to add figures or letters marking the division of a subject;
- to enclose words not directly relevant to the main topic of the sentence but too important to omit;
- to indicate an equivalent entity with parenthetical punctuation;
- to give examples, definitions, explanations, alternative ideas;
- to introduce personal opinion and attitude to some facts or events;
- to reinforce the sense of the whole context in the sentence;
- to show the reason, result, conclusion.
On the basis of newspaper articles the syntactic usage of different parenthetical types was researched. The results of the analysis lead to conclude that Parentheses indicating supplementary information, addition, background data, comments and personal opinion, definition and explanation of the facts, events are abundantly used in publicistic style. Parentheses expressed by stance adverbs qualifying a standpoint, including epistemic, evaluative and illocutionary adverbs, are characterized by the highest frequency of occurrence in the texts analysed, which can be regarded as a prominent characteristic of the language of newspapers.
This structural type of Parenthesis is overwhelmingly dominant over the other structural types discussed in the paper.
Another conspicuous feature of newspaper style is an extensive use of parenthetical clauses. They are intended to either show one’s personal attitude to or opinion of what is being said, or direct attention to what is being said. Such clauses may be patterned like different communicative types of sentences or clauses – statements, questions, imperative or exclamatory sentences or clauses. Pragmatically, the embedded structure acquires a secondary status, informing the reader of the author’s opinion of the utterance, or containing some comment on the content of the embedding sentence, or else addressing the reader directly. The embedding structure is primary in importance and structurally independent.
Parentheses expressed by conjuncts, unlike stance adverbs and parenthetical clauses, serve to maintain a coherent point of view and mark semantic relationships between propositions expressed by different clauses, such as comparison, contrast, concession, reason, result, addition, enumeration, transition. Therefore, they perform a wide range of functions in the sentence: listing, enumerative, additive, summative, appositive, resultative (inferential), antithetic, concessive, temporal.
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