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句尾重心原则的用法

作者:admin    文章来源:盐田区外国语学校    更新时间:2018-03-13
在书面语中,人们不能借助语调来区分主要和次要信息,而只能依靠词序和分句的主从关系来标示信息的主次。次要信息即旧信息一般处于句子的开头,最重要的信息即新信息一般出现在句子的末端,这种语言现象被称为句尾焦点(End Focus),或称作信息焦点(Information Focus)。试比较下面两组句子:
  1) A. What did Tom tell his mother?
   B. He told his mother his secret.
  2) A1. Who did Tom tell his secret?
   B1. He told his secret to his mother.
  上例中,句B把直接宾语his secret置于句末, 句B1把间接宾语his mother置于句末。在传统语法看来,二者意义没有什么区别,因为传统语法仅侧重研究孤立句子的形式和结构,不考虑语境。 实际上,在把形式与其表达的相应功能结合起来予以考察的功能语法看来,二者区别明显,是基于不同的预设,有着不同的语义意图,二者分别回答了不同的问题A和 A1。
  句尾焦点原则是英语语言对于词序布局的普遍要求。然而,在具体运用中,却有一个例外,即英语语言在句法上有一个前提,要避免头重脚轻(Heavy Ending), 尽可能实现句子结构的平衡。从结构上看,凡是字数较多或语法结构较为复杂的成分一般都出现在句尾,这种词序结构叫做句尾重心(End Weight)。
  句尾重心原则的主要实现形式如下:
  1.It充当形式主语或形式宾语,后面的真正主语或真正宾语通常是不定式结构、-ing分词结构或名词性分句。例如:
  It’s illegal to drive without a license.
  It was pleasant meeting you in London that day.
  It was not known whether there was gold left in the mine.
  He made it clear that he didn’t want to speak to me.
  2. SVoO(即“主语+动词+间接宾语+直接宾语”)句型中,一般词序是直接宾语位于间接宾语之后。如果间接宾语较长或结构比较复杂,一般应置于句尾。试比较:
  You should give them a good example.
  You should give a good example to your young brothers and sisters.
  3. SVOC (即“主语+动词+宾语+宾语补语”) 句型中,一般词序是宾语补语在宾语之后,但若宾语过长或比较复杂时一般将宾语移至宾语补语之后。例如:
  He has proved wrong the forecasts made by the country’s leading economic experts.
  The teachers of the College English Center are making great efforts to cultivate in their students the habit of speaking English.
  充当宾语的名词词组中心词,如果带有结构复杂的后置修饰语或同位语,有时将该修饰语或同位语移至句尾与名词词组中心词分隔。例如:
  Nixon saw an opportunity in Warsaw to convey a new and more significant message to China.
  We heard the story from her own lips of how she was embarrassed by two kids.
  The commander sent orders out that all civilians should evacuate the village.
  4.在SVOA(即“主语+动词+宾语+状语”)句型中,如果宾语较长或较复杂,而状语又较短,通常将宾语后置。例如:
  I read eagerly the book written by that famous British writer.
  The man said with deep feelings that he still loved her after so many years.
  5. 充当主语的名词词组中心词,如果带有结构复杂的后置修饰语或同位语时,常将该修饰语或同位语移至句尾,与之分隔。这种现象多发生在谓语动词为不及物动词或被动结构中。 后置修饰语可以是分词分句、不定式分句、关系分句、介词词组等。例如:
  About 85 papers were published reporting the results of the experiment.(分词分句)
  The time has now come for us to face the facts squarely.(不定式分句)
  The time has come when ordinary people can use computers both in the office and at home.(关系分句)
  But on the next day a swelling rapidly developed which threatened the viability of the hand.(关系分句)
  Chinese delegations have been sent to Asian-African countries, who will negotiate trade agreements with the respective governments.(关系分句)
  Many forms of apparatus have been devised by which a more accurate knowledge of blood pressure can be obtained. (关系分句)
  An order came from Berlin that no language but German be taught in the school. (同位语,或称作名词性分句)
  用作后置修饰语的介词词组可后移,与名词中心词分隔。例如:
  The question will arise of how to allocate these funds most fairly.
  A report has just been issued on meals served to children in schools.
  有时为了避免歧义或为了表达更清楚也可前置。例如:
  It’s said that of the total population of Bolivia fully 80 percent live at an altitude of over 10,000 ft.
  6.含有whether...or not, not...until等固定搭配的句子有时为了平衡需要,对隔开的搭配予以并置组合。试比较:
  
  了解句尾重心原则的各种实现形式,对于提高英语写作和翻译能力,减少英语阅读障碍, 提高阅读速度,均有实际指导作用。因此,教师在教学中应引导学生系统学习,并注意实际运用。
  (通讯地址:442700 湖北丹江口市 郧阳师范高等专科学校英语系)
句尾重心原则的用法|自考英语