Word order of sentence components in English and Vietnamese SVA structures

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MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY --------------- PHUNG THI MAI HUONG WORD ORDER OF SENTENCE COMPONENTS IN ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE SVA STRUCTURE (A CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS) TRẬT TỰ TỪ CÁC THÀNH PHẦN CÂU TRONG CẤU TRÚC SVA TIẾNG ANH VÀ TIẾNG VIỆT (PHÂN TÍCH ĐỐI CHIẾU) M.A. THESIS Field: English language Code: 60220201 Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Pham Thi Tuyet Huong, Ph.D HANOI, 2013 DECLARATION I hereby declare that no part of the enclosed Master Thesis has been copied or reproducted by me from any other’s work without acknowledgement and that the thesis is originally written by me under strict guidance of my supervisor. Hanoi 05- 11- 2013 Candidate Phung Thi Mai Huong APPROVED BY i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my gratitude to all those who gave me the possibility to complete this thesis. I am deeply to my supervisor Pham Thi Tuyet Huong (Ph.D) whose endless guidance, stimulating suggestions and encouragement helped me in all time of the research. In addition, I thank for the co-operation of the students who actively participated in this study to help me complete the thesis successfully. I would like to thank my family and my friends. They helped me and encouraged me so much during researching. I also thank deeply all people who took part in achieving this work. ii TABLE OF CONTENTS PART I: INTRODUCTION.................................................................................... 1. RATIONALE OF THE STUDY............................................................................ 2. AIM OF THE STUDY........................................................................................... 3. OBJECTIVE AND SCOPE OF THE STUDY....................................................... 4. METHOD OF THE STUDY.................................................................................. 5. RESEARCH QUESTIONS.................................................................................... 6. DESIGN OF THE STUDY.................................................................................... PART II: DEVELOPMENT................................................................................... CHAPTER 1: LITERATURE REVIEW............................................................... 1.1. The study of word order in English and Vietnamese....................................... 1.1.1. The study of word order in English........................................................... 1.1.2. The study of word order in Vietnamese.................................................... 1.2. Some basic concepts........................................................................................ 1.2.1. Word order................................................................................................ 1.2.3. Basic sentence structures and syntactic structures................................... 1.2.4. Syntactic and semantic functions of clause elements.............................. 1.2.4.1. Syntactic and semantic functions of the subject................................ 1.2.4.2. Syntactic and semantic functions of the Verb................................... 1.2.4.3. Syntactic and semantic functions of the adverbial............................ 1.2.5. The common contrastive analysis of word order..................................... CHAPTER 2: SENTENCE COMPONENTS IN ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE SVA STRUCTURE AND THEIR ORDERS............................ 2.1. The basic word order of sentence components in English SVA structure...... 2.1.1. Copular verb “Be”................................................................................... 2.1.2. The intransitive verb “LIVE”.................................................................. 2.1.3. The intransitive verb “GET”................................................................... 2.1.4. Some other intransitive verbs.................................................................. 2.1.5. Some intransitive phrasal verbs............................................................... iii 2.2. The changes of word order of sentence components in English SVA structures.............................................................................................................. 2.2.1. ASV structure.......................................................................................... 2.2.1.1. “Here + subject (pronoun) + verb”................................................... 2.2.1.2. “There + subject + verb”.................................................................. 2.2.1.3. “Prepositions of direction + subject +verb”...................................... 2.2.2. AVS structure.......................................................................................... 2.2.2.1. “Prepositions/ prepositional phrases of place/position + subject + verb"...... 2.2.2.2. “Negative and semi-negative adverbials + verb + subject”............... 2.2.2.3. “Here + verb + subject”.................................................................... 2.2.2.4. “Prepositions of direction + verb + subject”..................................... 2.2.2.5. “There + verb + subject”.................................................................. 2.2.2.6. “Gerund clause + verb + subject”..................................................... 2.2.2.7. “So/ neither (nor) + auxiliary verb/verb + subject”........................... 2.2.2.8. “Other adverbials + verb + subject”.................................................. 2.2.3. Some conclusions about the changes of word order in English SVA structure............................................................................................................ 2.3. The basic word order of sentence components in Vietnamese SVA structure................................................................................................................ 2.4. The changes of word order of sentence components in Vietnamese SVA structure................................................................................................................ 2.4.1. AVS structure.......................................................................................... 2.4.2. VAS structure.......................................................................................... 2.5. Summary........................................................................................................ CHAPTER 3: COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF WORD ORDER OF SENTENCE COMPONENTS IN ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE SVA STRUCTURES....................................................................................................... 3.1. The similarities of word order in English and Vietnamese SVA structures. .............................................................................................................................. iv 3.2. The differences of word order in English and Vietnamese SVA structures. .............................................................................................................................. 3.3. The frequency of using SVA structure in English and Vietnamese literature and the reasons of these uses................................................................. 3.3.1. The writer or speaker wants to describe and introduce entities into discouse............................................................................................................. 3.3.2. The writer or speaker wants to emphasize the theme of the sentence. .......................................................................................................................... CHAPTER 4: A RESEARCH ON COMMON MISTAKES IN USING WORD ORDER IN ENGLISH SVA STRUCTURE........................................... 4.1. Researching learners’ mistakes...................................................................... 4.2. The main causes of the mistakes.................................................................... 4.3. Solutions........................................................................................................ 4.4. Exercise......................................................................................................... 4.5. Implication for teaching and learning English............................................... PART III: CONCLUSION.................................................................................... 1. Recapitulation...................................................................................................... 2. Limitation of the study......................................................................................... 3. Suggestions for the futher studies......................................................................... REFERENCES....................................................................................................... v LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS A = adverbial C = complement Cs = subject complement Cp = prepositional complement O = object Od = direct object Oi = indirect object Op = prepositional object P = predicate S = subject V = verb vi PART I: INTRODUCTION 1. RATIONALE OF THE STUDY Nowadays, the need of learning foreign languages, especially learning English in our society is in great demand because of the integration of Vietnam in globalization. It plays also essential role in education and training. However, as an English teacher, in process of teaching English, I realized that one of the big problems Vietnamese students often encounter when they learn English is to translate the sentences that do not have basic word order from English into Vietnamese and vice versa. Since the learner often transfers the habits of his native language structure to the foreign language word by word, there is a majority of difficulty in learning a structure of a foreign language. Therefore, the study of sentence structure is considered to be very important. A sentence structure is the way in which all of the elements of a sentence are put in order. So knowledge of the basic word order of a language is important because it has been found to correlate with other grammatical properties of the language. The word order is a universal concept of sentence structures in English as well as in Vietnamese. In the previous researches of linguists, the word order of sentence structure is paid much attention. However, the word order of components of SVA structure in English and Vietnamese has not been paid much attention to. Especially the changes of position of elements in SVA structure have not been written about. It describes what part of the sentence will go first, second and third. The basic elements of SVA structure are the subject (S), the verb (V) and the adverbial (A). The SVA structure is one of the basic structures in English grammar which students are taught at the beginning level. Therefore, it plays an important role both in teaching and learning of English. Moreover, I do contrastive analysis with Vietnamese so as to find out similarities as well as differences between two languages. For all the reasons, I would like to carry out my research on the topic: “Word order of sentence components in English and Vietnamese SVA structures”. 1 This thesis hopes to help students to overcome the difficulties in the process of their learning and translating. 2. AIM OF THE STUDY The main aims of the thesis are to: - Present main features of sentence components in English and Vietnamese SVA structures - Describe the word order of sentence components in English and Vietnamese SVA structures - Give a systemic description of the word order in English and Vietnamese SVA structures. - Try to point out some similarities and differences between sentence components in English and Vietnamese SVA structures. - Predict common errors of students when using English SVA structure and suggest a set of exercises for teaching and learning the word order of English SVA structure to Vietnamese learners. 3. OBJECTIVE AND SCOPE OF THE STUDY - The objective of the study is the word order of sentence components in English and Vietnamese SVA structures. - This thesis will limit itself within English and Vietnamese SVA structures in simple sentences only, especially in statements. And the adverbial in this structure is both obligatory and optional. 4. METHOD OF THE STUDY - The main methods of this thesis are description, comparison and contrastive analysis. - We have considered English as the basic language of the study and Vietnamese is the language to be compared. 5. RESEARCH QUESTIONS - What is the basic word order of English and Vietnamese SVA structure? - What are the changes of word order of sentence components in English and Vietnamese SVA structures? 2 - What are the syntactic and semantic functions of sentence components in English and Vietnamese SVA structures? - What are some similarities and differences between English and Vietnamese SVA structures? - What is the frequency of using SVA structures in literature of both languages and the causes? - Which errors do students often make when using SVA structure in English as well as in Vietnamese? 6. DESIGN OF THE STUDY The study consists of three parts: - Part I: Introduction This part consists of aims and objectives, scope and methodology and also the design of the study. - Part II: Development: It includes four chapters: + Chapter 1: Literature review This chapter looks at the theoretical preliminaries, the study of word order in English and Vietnamese deals with books, research work and articles and presents some basic concepts about word order and basic simple sentence, syntactic and semantic functions of components in SVA structure. + Chapter 2: Sentence components in English and Vietnamese SVA structures and their word orders This chapter presents the basic word order of components sentences and the changes of word order of sentence components in English and Vietnamese SVA structures. + Chapter 3: Contrastive analysis of the word order of sentence components in English and Vietnamese SVA structures. This chapter presents the similarities, the differences in English and Vietnamese SVA structures and the frequency of using SVA structure in English and Vietnamese literature, also points out the reasons of these uses. 3 +Chapter 4: A research on common mistakes in using word order in English SVA structure. This chapter presents some common mistakes of students in using SVA structure, especially, in translation. From that, the research gives some solutions and suggestions for teaching and learning English. This study is conducted with thirdyear students at Hanoi Open University. - Part III: Conclusion The concluding part summarizes the main findings of the study. At the end of the thesis, references are included. 4 PART II: DEVELOPMENT CHAPTER 1 LITERATURE REVIEW 1.1. The study of word order in English and Vietnamese. 1.1.1. The study of word order in English The study of word order is important because it can make indications about other features of the language, such as the placement of adjectives, adverbs and subordinators. Greenberg (1966) discussed 45 “universal” tendencies relating to word order that carry across all languages. These universals relate to basic word order typologies, syntax, and morphology. These universals were pioneering and influential in the study of word order because they allow us to make inferences about the properties of a language based on its word order. Quirk, R and Greenbaum, S (1976) also pointed out clause types with their word order such as: SVA, SVO, SVC, SVOC, SVOA, SVOO and SV. They stated “The order in which the elements appear is common but by no –means fixed.” D. Crystal (1987. p98) stated that more than 75% of all languages in the world have SVO word order, including both English and Vietnamese. Both of them use word order to be mean of top important grammar. Moreover, in both of languages, word order has relative fixity. It is expressed in moving of components in the sentence and some sentence structural models are not considered more basically than typical SVO model. Beside some modern English grammarians and linguists, such as Thomas, O (1967), Jacobs, R.A et al (1968) Palmer F (1978), Quirk R and Greenbaum, S (1990) discussed about word order. Leonard Bloomfield (1997) also stated “word order” is one part of syntax. According to him, the order of words in a sentence cannot but to be to some extent indicative of their syntactic relations, just as all the words of a sentence, to begin with, form an uninterrupted sequence. In many 5 languages, such as English, the order of word has a habitual syntactic significance. In English word order is the prevailing method of syntactic expression, not only the discursive but also material and emotional relations are expressed by word order. According to Jacobs (1968), the different languages may use different types of different orderings. The arrangement of word or phrase follows to certain structures called word order parameter. In some languages word order is not strictly classified as in English. In that ones have greater dependence on the suffixes and the other to mark the elements of the sentence. Thus word order seems to be a set of types based on a more general universal parameter in function marking, but there is no language in which word order is totally insignificant. According to R.A. Jacobs (1995, p35) word order parameter is differently expressed in different languages but none of languages in which word order does not meaning. Biber et. al. (1999, p141-151) discussed about the word order, the major English clause patterns are: subject- verb phrase (SV), subject- verb phraseobligatory adverbial (SVA), subject- verb phrase- subject complement (SVC), subject- verb phrase- direct object (SVOd), subject- verb phrase- prepositional object (SVOp), subject- verb phrase- indirect object- direct object (SVOiOd), subject- verb phrase- direct object- prepositional object (SVOdOp), subject- verb phrase- direct object- object complement (SVOdCo), subject- verb phrase- direct object- obligatory adverbial (SVOdA). According to him, subject- verb phraseobligatory adverbial (SVA) includes clauses which provide answers to the questions “When is/was X? And Where is was X?” (Biber et al. 1999, 143) (1). The baby was lying on his back. (2). The pleasant summer lasted well into March. (Biber et. al. 1999, 143) 1.1.2. The study of word order in Vietnamese Some Vietnamese linguists also paid a lot of attention to the word order such as Nguyen Tai Can (1960), Ly Toan Thang (1981), Tran Huu Manh (2008), for 6 instance, when contrastively analyzing between English and Vietnamese at sentence level (Tran Huu Manh (2008)), he points out one of the similarities in both languages is a certain number of basic sentence patterns. Seven basic sentence patterns in English are completely equivalent in Vietnamese. In the study on the word order in English and Vietnamese verb phrases, Pham Thi Tuyet Huong (2001), carried out comparing and analyzing the arrangement of words in typical syntactic structures- English and Vietnamese verb phrases. She considered English as the basic language of contrastive analysis; Vietnamese is the language to be compared. In the thesis, she gave a systemic description of the word order in English and Vietnamese verb phrase. After describing the word order in English and Vietnamese verb phrases, she pointed out some main striking similarities and differences between them. The trend of formalization in Vietnamese syntax research, with respect to the Subject of sentence, has been done thoroughly by Nguyen Minh Thuyet (1981). The author claimed that the criteria for word order and functional words are unreliable for distinguishing formal labels in the sentence structure, so that in an overall solution, the author built a set of formal methods, including ellipsis, substitution, complementation, transformation, and causalisation to expose formal differences of the sentence structural elements. In his PhD thesis “Subject in Vietnamese” (1981), the author provided formal criteria for distinguishing the sentence subject from other constituents; especially distinguishing subject from object, a matter previously paid little attention to in Vietnamese linguistics. Diep Quang Ban (1981) and Tran Ngoc Them (1985) realized the indispensable role of a constituent called adverbial in the existential sentence. This remains an important way to acknowledge that the adverbial in the existential sentence is, in essence, a kind of mandatory object of the sentence, the second actant of the existential predicate (the first actant is the phrase located after existential predicate). 7 There are different elements with different functions in the sentence. In “A university grammar of English” (1973), R. Quirk and S. Greanbaum said that there are five elements in English sentence, including subject (S), verb (V), object (O), complement (C), adjunct (A). Moreover, in “ The sentence componens of Vietnamese” (1998) Nguyen Minh Thuyet and Nguyen Van Hiep stated there are seven elements in Vietnamese sentence, including Subject (C), verb (Đ), object (B), theme-complement (K), disjunct (T), complement (Đ), adverbial (Tr). In this thesis, we would like to research the word order of sentence components in SVA structure more deeply. I hope this thesis will be useful for both teaching English to Vietnamese learners and Vietnamese to English learners. They can gain some experiences in using SVA structure in learning and translating from English into Vietnamese and vice- versa and hence understand deeply the changes of word order of sentence components in SVA structure. 1.2. Some basic concepts. 1.2.1. Word order When discussing about the word order, some linguistics gave some own views. According to the view of F.Palmer (1971) stated that word order is the combination between words in a phrase such as nouns with adjectives in noun phrase, verbs with adverbs in verb phrase. D.E. Rozental and M.A. Telenkova (M, 1972) defined that word order in a sentence is the arrangement between sentence components together. This arrangement has syntactic, semantic and stylistic meanings. Leech (1991, p550) described word order as “the order of the element in a sentence or clause”. In English, there are five basic elements of clause structure: subject (S), verb (V), object (O), complement (C) and adverbial (A) (Quirk et al., 1985, p49). Biber ( 1999, p898) and Leech ( 1991, p550) stated that English word order is usually described as rather fixed, due to the fact that the position of the above- mentioned elements indicates their syntactic function in a clause. 8 Each language has different word order to form sentences grammatically. That is one of the reason the researcher does this thesis. According to Sara Cushing Weigle (2002, p.216) word order is the order in which words come in clauses and sentences. So, word order is the arrangement of words coming in phrase, clause and sentence. According to Verma (1996, p1) the word order refers to the order in which words appear in sentences across different languages. The traditional perception of word order is based on the description of syntax that is an arrangement of words in sentences. In “English grammar” (1996, p.635) S.Greenbaum stated “word order is the order of components in a phrase, clause or sentence” According to Nguyen Tai Can (1999), order relations are used to distinguish the compounds, the fixed combinations and freedom combinations. A part from that, Nguyen Kim Than (1963) considered word order is one of means of syntax expression. According to him, using of word order is principled arrangement of a language to aim at syntax expression. In “The sentence components of Vietnamses” (2004, p.70) , according to Nguyen Minh Thuyet and Nguyen Van Hiep word order in Vietnamese is the important procedure expressing syntax functions of word. Besides, it also is used to express actual division, emotion and feeling of speaker and writer. Depending on the structure of real division and the need of expression in the sentence, a component can stand in different positions that its semantic and grammatical relations with other components are not changed. We can see some examples: (3). Anh ấy không hút thuốc (4). Thuốc anh ấy không hút (5). Anh ấy thuốc không hút [2004, p.70] 1.2.2. Simple sentence Simple sentence in English Quirk et al. (1985, p78-79) acknowledged that simple sentences are traditionally divided into two major parts, a subject and a predicate. This means 9 that, in terms of clause elements, the subject (S) is distinguished from the other elements (V and combinations of O, C, and A) which follow it: SUBJECT (6). Julie PREDICATE buys her vegetables in the market. The subject is often described as the constituent defining the topic of the sentence – that which the sentence is 'about' and which it presupposes as its point of departure, whereas the predicate is the thing which is asserted about the subject. Quirk, Randolph, Greenbaum, Sidney, Leech, Geoffrey and Svartvik, Jan (1985, p720-721) stated that a simple sentence consists of a single independent clause. According them, there are seven simple sentence types: (7). SVA: He got through the window. (8). SVO: He’ll get a surprise. (9). SVC: He’s getting angry. (10). SVOA: He got himself into trouble. (11). SVOC: Most students have found her reasonably helpful. (12). SVOO: He got her a splendid present. (13). SV: The sun is shining. According to Ann Hogue (1995, p18) the simple sentences can be written as formulas: simple subject with simple verb (SV), compound subject with simple verb (SSV), simple subject with compound verb (SVV), compound subject with compound verb (SSVV). We can see examples: (14). SV: My sister speaks English well. (15). SSV: Nensi and Asti play volleyball. (16). SVV: Naila reads and listens to music in the bedroom. (17). SSVV: My mother and father speak and write English well. According to Alice Oshima (2006, p164) A sentence is a group of words that you use to communicate your ideas. Every sentence is formed from one or more clauses and expresses a complete thought. Alice Oshima also stated that simple sentence is one independent clause. The 10 subject in simple sentence may be compound. The verb may also be compound. What is important is that there is only subject-verb combination in a simple sentence. In “The Longman grammar of spoken and written English” Biber, D., Johansson, S., Leech, G., Conrad, S., & Finegan, E. (1999) stated that A simple sentence is a unit that has only a single subject and a single predicate. The subject can be compound, but the simple sentence is a single unit as in the following examples: (18). “Jack and Jill went up a hill” Reference grammars usually definited sentences in terms of verb types. This analysis leads them to recognize 7 varieties in the category "simple sentence" each based on a type of verb. There's one simple sentence type that involves intransitive verbs: S+V. Linking verbs lead to two simple sentence types: S+V+SP and S+V+A. Transitive verbs lead to 4 types because of the 4 possibilities for different types of objects in their predicates: S+V+Od, S+V+Oi+Od, S+V+O+A, S+V+Od+Op. In simple sentence, intransitive verbs cannot have objects or complements. They are complete with just a subject and a verb. Adverbials can be added but are not required for the SV to be syntactically complete. We can see examples: (19). SV: It’s raining. (20). The wind is blowing. On the contrary, transitive verbs must have objects. Maybe it is more accurate to say that a transitive verb must have an object, because some transitive verbs need two objects or an object and an adverbial. We can see examples: (21). S+ V+ Od: Maria bought a book. (22). S+ V+ Oi+ Od: Maria gave her mother a book. (23). S+ V+ O+ A: Her mother put the book on the shelf. (24). S+ V+ Od+ Op: Her mother thought the book amusing. On the other hand, two types of sentences with linking verbs are given in the Longman Student Grammar “S+V+SP” has an adjective or a noun as the subject 11 predicative. Notice that most linking verbs can take only adjectives for their complements but that be can have either an adjective or a noun phrase. The second type is “S+V+A” where the A is required and is often a prepositional phrase used for location or time. We can see examples: (25). S+ V+ SP: The soup tasted salty. The cook is not a very good cook. (26). S+ V+ A: The soup is on the table. The cook is in the kitchen Simple sentence in Vietnamese According to Hoang Trong Phien (1980, p40-41) subject- predicate structure is the smallest unit of Vietnamese syntax. Basic order in Vietnamese sentence is: TR + C + V + B (Tr: adverbial, C: subject, V: predicate, and B: object) Examples: (27). Mùa hè năm ấy nhà tôi chuyển về thành phố. Tr C V B Diep Quang Ban (1987, p32) distinguished basic components (subject and predicate) and subordinate elements (complement, theme, adjunct, conjunctive and explanative) Examples: (28). Quan, Đề ngữ (theme) (29). Em ơi người ta sợ cái uy của quyền thế Chủ ngữ Vị ngữ (subject) (predicate) Ba Lan mùa tuyết tan Phụ ngữ Chủ ngữ Vị ngữ (adjunct) (subject) (predicate) (Diep Quang Ban, 1987,p198) A part from that, Nguyen Minh Thuyet and Nguyen Van Hiep (1998) distinguished between basic parts of the sentence (subject and predicate) and secondary elements (topic, modality, adjunct and adverbial). Additionally, they define that predicate is a part of the nucleus of sentence in front of which we can 12 complete the functional words such as đã, sẽ, đang, không. In “The sentence components of Vietnamese” (2004), Nguyen Minh Thuyet and Nguyen Van Hiep stated that main components are the syntax elements required in order to ensure the integrity of the sentence, it is the predicate with participant (V: vị ngữ) – obligatory subject (C: chủ ngữ) and object (B: bổ ngữ). We can see examples: (30). Chúng nó là sinh viên. C (31). Cô ấy là diễn viên điện ảnh. V (32). Tôi cảm thấy hạnh phúc. B Besides, Vietnamese sentences have sub-components such as: (33). Theme- complement: Còn Bân, hắn không nghe hát hiếc gì cả. (34). Disjunct: Cô ta sợ chúng mình thì có. (35). Complement: (36). Adverbial: Đột nhiên một hôm Thứ nghe nói San đã đi Hà nội. Từ sáng đến giờ chị chỉ long đong chạy đi chạy về. (Nguyen Minh Thuyet and Nguyen Van Hiep (2004)) 1.2.3. Basic sentence structures and syntactic structures. According to Jacobs, R.A (1995) and Tesniere, L. (1959), there are three major properties of sentence structure such as linearity, hierarchy, and categoriality. Linearity is word order in a sentence. All of the words in a sentence cannot be uttered at the same time; they are produced in a time sequence. Hierarchy is that different ways of grouping words may result in different meanings. And categoriality is that words have different distributions based on their categories. 1. Linearity Sentences are produced and received in a linear way. It means that words are spoken (or written) and listened (or read) in a sequence with respect to other words in the sentence; words are ordered from left to right in English. A sequence is represented in written English by a procession of written forms from left to right. 13
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