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01/24/2018

Sentence in the text or a cumulative sequence

The formation of a one-direction sequence is based on syntactic cumulation of sentences, as different from syntactic composition of sentences making them into one composite sentence. Hence, the supra-sentential construction of one-direction communicative type can be called a cumulative sequence, or a “cumuleme”. The formation of a two-direction sequence is based on its sentences being positioned to meet one another. Hence, I propose to call this type of sentence-connection by the term “occursive”, and the supra-sentential construction based on occursive connection, by the term “occurseme”.

Furthermore, it is not difficult to see that from the hierarchical point of view the occurseme as an element of the system occupies a place above the cumuleme. Indeed, if the cumuleme is constructed by two or more sentences joined by cumulation, the occurseme can be constructed by two or more cumulemes, since the utterances of the interlocutors can be formed not only by separate sentences, but by cumulative sequences as well. E.g.:

“Damn you, stop talking about my wife. If you mention her name again I swear I’ll knock you down.” — “Oh no, you won’t. You’re too great a gentleman to hit a feller smaller than yourself” (S. Maugham).

As we see, in formal terms of the segmental lingual hierarchy, the supra-proposemic level (identified in the first chapter of the book) can be divided into two sublevels: the lower one — “cumulemic”, and the higher one — “occursemic”. On the other hand, a fundamental difference between the two units in question should be carefully noted lying beyond the hierarchy relation, since the occurseme, as different from the cumuleme, forms part of a conversation, i.e. is essentially produced not by one, but by two or several speakers, or, linguistically, not by one, but by two or several individual sub-lingual systems working in an intercourse contact.

As for the functional characteristic of the two higher segmental units of language, it is representative of the function of the text as a whole. The signemic essence of the text is exposed in its topic. The monologue text, or “discourse”, is then a topical entity; the dialogue text, or “conversation”, is an exchange-topical entity. The cumuleme and occurseme are component units of these two types of texts, which means that they form, respectively, subtopical and exchange-sub-topical units as regards the embedding text as a whole. Within the framework of the system of language, however, since the text as such does not form any “unit” of it, the cumuleme and occurseme can simply be referred to as topical elements (correspondingly, topical and exchange-topical), without the “sub “-specification.

Sentences in a cumulative sequence can be connected either “prospectively” or “retrospectively”.

Prospective (“epiphoric”, “cataphoric”) cumulation is effected by connective elements that relate a given sentence to one that is to follow it. In other words, a prospective connector signals a continuation of speech: the sentence containing it is semantically incomplete. Very often prospective connectors are notional words that perform the cumulative function for the nonce. E.g.:

I tell you, one of two things must happen. Either out of that darkness some new creation will come to supplant us as we have supplanted the animals, or the heavens will fall in thunder and destroy us (B. Shaw).

The prospective connection is especially characteristic of the texts of scientific and technical works. E.g.:

Let me add a word of caution here. The solvent vapour drain enclosure must be correctly engineered and constructed to avoid the possibility of a serious explosion (From a technical journal).

As different from prospective cumulation, retrospective (or “anaphoric”) cumulation is effected by connective elements that relate a given sentence to the one that precedes it and is semantically complete by itself. Retrospective cumulation is the more important type of sentence connection of the two; it is the basic type of cumulation in ordinary speech. E.g.:

What curious “class” sensation was this? Or was it merely fellow-feeling with the hunted, a tremor at the way things found one out? (J. Galsworthy).

On the basis of the functional nature of connectors, cumulation is divided into two fundamental types: conjunctive cumulation and correlative cumulation.

Conjunctive cumulation is effected by conjunction-like connectors. To these belong, first, regular conjunctions, both coordinative and subordinative; second, adverbial and parenthetical sentence-connectors (then, yet, however, consequently, hence, besides, moreover, nevertheless, etc.). Adverbial and parenthetical sentence-connectors may be both specialised, i.e. functional and semi-functional words, and non-specialised units performing the connective functions for the nonce. E.g.:

There was an indescribable agony in his voice. And as if his own words of pain overcame the last barrier of his self-control, he broke down (S. Maugham). There was no train till nearly eleven, and she had to bear her impatience as best she could. At last it was time to start, and she put on her gloves (S. Maugham).

Correlative cumulation is effected by a pair of elements one of which, the “succeedent”, refers to the other, the “antecedent”, used in the foregoing sentence; by means of this reference the succeeding sentence is related to the preceding one, or else the preceding sentence is related to the succeeding one. As we see, by its direction correlative cumulation may be either retrospective or prospective, as different from conjunctive cumulation which is only retrospective.

Correlative cumulation, in its turn, is divided into substitutional connection and representative connection. Substitutional cumulation is based on the use of substitutes. E.g.:

Spolding woke me with the apparently noiseless efficiency of the trained housemaid. She drew the curtains, placed a can of hot water in my basin, covered it with the towel, and retired (E. J. Howard).

A substitute may have as its antecedent the whole of the preceding sentence or a clausal part of it. Furthermore, substitutes often go together with conjunctions, effecting cumulation of mixed type. E.g.:

And as I leaned over the rail methought that all the little stars in the water were shaking with austere merriment. But it may have been only the ripple of the steamer, after all (R. Kipling).

Representative correlation is based on representative elements which refer to one another without the factor of replacement. E.g.:

She should be here soon. I must tell Phipps, I am not in to any one else (O. Wilde). I went home. Maria accepted my departure indifferently (E. J. Howard).

Representative correlation is achieved also by repetition, which may be complicated by different variations. E.g.:

Well, the night was beautiful, and the great thing not to be a pig. Beauty and not being a pig\ Nothing much else to it (J. Galsworthy).

A cumuleme (cumulative supra-sentential construction) is formed by two or more independent sentences making up a topical syntactic unity. The first of the sentences in a cumuleme is its “leading” sentence, the succeeding sentences are “sequential”.

The cumuleme is delimited in the text by a finalising intonation contour (cumuleme-contour) with a prolonged pause (cumuleme-pause); the relative duration of this pause equals two and a half moras (“mora” — the conventional duration of a short syllable), as different from the sentence-pause equalling only two moras.

The cumuleme, like a sentence, is a universal unit of language in so far as it is used in all the functional varieties of speech. For instance, the following cumuleme is part of the author’s speech of a work of fiction:

The boy winced at this. It made him feel hot and uncomfortable all over. He knew well how careful he ought to be, and yet, do what he could, from time to time his forgetfulness of the part betrayed him into unreserve (S. Butler).

Compare a cumuleme in a typical newspaper article:

We have come a long way since then, of course. Unemployment insurance is an accepted fact. Only the most die-hard reactionaries, of the Goldwater type, dare to come out against it (from Canadian Press).

Here is a sample cumuleme of scientific-technical report prose:

To some engineers who apply to themselves the word “practical” as denoting the possession of a major virtue, applied research is classed with pure research as something highbrow they can do without. To some business men, applied research is something to have somewhere in the organisation to demonstrate modernity and enlightenment. And people engaged in applied research are usually so satisfied in the belief that what they are doing is of interest and value that they are not particularly concerned about the niceties of definition (from a technical journal).

Poetical text is formed by cumulemes, too:

She is not fair to outward view, | As many maidens be; | Her loveliness I never knew | Until she smiled on me. |Oh, then I saw her eye was bright, | A well of love, a spring of light (H. Coleridge).

But the most important factor showing the inalienable and universal status of the cumuleme in language is the indispensable use of cumulemes in colloquial speech (which is reflected in plays, as well as in conversational passages in works of various types of fiction).

The basic semantic types of cumulemes are “factual” (narrative and descriptive), “modal” (reasoning, perceptive, etc.), and mixed. Here is an example of a narrative cumuleme:

Three years later, when Jane was an Army driver, she was sent one night to pick up a party of officers who had been testing defences on the cliff. She found the place where the road ran between a cleft almost to the beach, switched off her engine and waited, hunched in her great-coat, half asleep, in the cold black silence. She waited for an hour and woke in a fright to a furious voice coming out of the night (M. Dickens).

Compare this with modal cumulemes of various topical standings:

She has not gone? I thought she gave a second performance at two? (S. Maugham) (A reasoning cumuleme of perceptional variety)

Are you kidding? Don’t underrate your influence, Mr. O’Keefe. Dodo’s in. Besides, I’ve lined up Sandra Straughan to work with her (A. Hailey). (A remonstrative cumuleme)

Don’t worry. There will be a certain amount of unpleasantness but I will have some photographs taken that will be very useful at the inquest. There’s the testimony of the gunbearers and the driver too. You’re perfectly all right (E. Hemingway). (A reasoning cumuleme expressing reassurance) Etc.

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