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01/12/2018

Introduction

The diploma paper sets out to explore parenthesis, a qualifying, explanatory, or appositive word, phrase, clause, or sentence that interrupts a syntactical construction without otherwise affecting it, having often a characteristic intonation and indicating in writing by commas, parentheses, or dashes [19].

The research of the Parenthesis is extremely important in English. It helps to connect the ideas and sentences, so that writing and speaking is fluent, accurate and clear. Using the Parenthesis helps the reader to maintain a coherent point of view, to sort out main ideas and important details, to reduce the risk of leaving out some really important fact or argument and to give verbal signposts to the reader showing how you are moving on [3, 10-12].

The work considers such branches of grammar as lexicology, morphology and syntax. At the lexicological level Parenthesis is analyzed semantically, the sets of Parenthetical phrases and structures examples are illustrated. At the morphological level the structural characteristics are discussed and the means of expressing Parenthesis are examined. At the syntactical level its position in the sentence and in the text is investigated.

As regards its meaning and function, Parenthesis can be of several types. It may express the speaker’s attitude to the relation between what is expressed in the sentence and reality (perhaps, maybe, certainly, of course, oh, dear me). It may connect the sentence it belongs to with the preceding or the following one (first, firstly, secondly, finally, after all, besides, by the way, on the contrary, that is, for example). It may specify that which is said in the sentence or express a comment (according to my taste, in my opinion, to tell the truth, in other words, in short, as I know, by the way).

The diploma paper presents different means of expressing Parenthesis, such as conjuncts, modal, viewpoint and comment adverbs. In the sentence they can be presented as a single word (conjunct, adverb), phrase (prepositional phase), word combination, clause (infinitive, participle), or sentence.

The present research is aimed at investigating the means of expressing Parenthesis and their functioning in publicistic style. The major research focus is on the modal, commenting and viewpoint adverbs, conjunctions, infinitival and participial clauses, which perform the function of Parenthesis.

Parenthesis has recently seen a surge in interest, as shown by the abundance of new publications on Germanic as well as on Romance languages. Various taxonomies have been proposed, but these are still far from complete. Most of the scientists rate Parenthesis as ‘”Linking words and Phrases” which are useful for writing essays. Among these researchers there are Mark Skipper [21, 76], John Eastwood [14, 366]. Geoffrey Leech calls them “Linking signals” [5, 139] and “Linking constructions” [5, 141], Michael Swan defines them as “discourse markers” [9, 172].

The textbooks on theoretical grammar provide only scanty information about Parenthesis, though it is liable to present us with a whole bundle of problems. Firstly, there are a lot of borderline cases of transition between Parenthesis, on the one hand, and Apposition and detached parts of the sentence, on the other. A number of fairly plausible viewpoints on the issue have been expressed and the objective criteria have been suggested. Nevertheless, they do not yield clear results and, a fully convincing solution to the problem has not been found yet [7; 8]. This calls for the need to provide a theoretical insight into the problem of Parenthesis in English, to consider the cases of grammatical homonymy at some length, to discuss the nature of relationships between parenthesis and its host construction it is embedded in.

Secondly, ignorance and wrong use of the Parenthesis appears to be one of the major errors notoriously common with the students. This determines the topicality of the research, its theoretical and practical value.

The object of investigation is Parenthesis. The subject of research is the means of expressing Parenthesis, including conjunctions, modal, commenting and viewpoint adverbs, infinitival and participial clauses, their functioning in the text. Such methods of investigation as structural-semantic, distributional and the elements of the quantitative analysis are used in this paper.

The aim of the diploma paper is many-fold and embraces the accomplishment of the following tasks:

  • to compare the existing approaches and consolidate the insights into the theoretical treatment of Parenthesis and the adjacent structures such as Apposition and Detachment;
  • to determine the salient characteristics of Parenthesis and examine the convergent and divergent features of Parenthesis, on the one hand, and Apposition and Detachment, on the other;
  • to review the functions assigned to Parenthesis from a pragmatic perspective;
  • to explore the functional potential of Parenthesis and to give its classification;
  • to analyze the positional and structural peculiarities of Parenthesis on the sentence and textual level;
  • to examine the syntactic usage of different parenthetical types.

According to the spheres of concern the work falls into an Introduction, three parts, conclusion and the list of references which together with the appendix comprise 87 pages. Part 1 deals with the analysis of the semantic, structural and positional characteristics of Parenthesis. Part 2 is concerned with the diverse means of its expression. Part 3 presents the analysis of Parenthesis as functioning in publicistic style. Most of the examples presented in this diploma paper are taken form Corpus of Historical American English (COHA), Macmillan English Dictionary, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Besides, for Part 3 different articles from such newspapers as The New York Times, The Guardian, The Independent and The BBC News were presented.

The scientific value of the diploma paper is that the results of the investigation can be used for the course of Theoretical Grammar, for teaching the usage of Parenthesis during writing essays, speeches and stories etc., for preparation for diverse tests and exams not only for University students, but also for university applicants.

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