Contrastive and Adversative Compound Sentences

Like all other compound sentences with determining clauses, the contrastive and adversative subtype of composite sentences are distinguished in the contrasted languages through the seemingly copulative conjunction "and", whose meaning in Ukrainian corresponds to the adversative conjunction "a". Cf:


Then Jim made some kind of a noise and she heard it and waited a minute, and then she said... (Lardner)


Потім Джім злегка зашарудів, а вона почула це, зачекала якусь мить, а тоді сказала...


The contrastive and adversative meaning in compound sentences of this subtype seem to be more explicit in Ukrainian, which (can be explained by the existence of the adversative conjunction a, whose meaning in English is included in the semantic structure of the conjunction and.

The semantic/logical dependence of clauses in the sentence above makes no changes of their position possible. Though in some compound sentences of this subtype there may be looser ties between the constituent clauses. Cf. The worst of them had drunk plenty of gin, and they were a rough bunch even when sober. (Lardner)

The second clause above can be moved to the initial position, i. e. change its placement with the main clause. Cf. They were a rough bunch even when sober, and the most of them had drank plenty of gin.


Though the sequence of actions in the sentence has been changed, the general sense of it and its grammaticality remain inviolable both in the author's original and in the transformed variant. These features are also preserved in the Ukrainian transform: Вони й тверезими були дикою зграєю, а (тут) більшість з них (ще й) добряче хильнули джину.

Practically no semantic changes can be noticed in many other transforms in English and in Ukrainian compound sentences of this subtype. Cf. There are butterflies in the sunshine, and from everywhere arises the drowsy hum of bees. (London) — From everywhere arises the drowsy hum of bees, and there are butterflies in the sunshine. Somewhat looser ties are observed in the Ukrainian transform of the sentence as well: На осонні літають метелики, а довкола заспокійливо гудуть бджоли. — Довкола заспокійливо гудуть бджоли, а на осонні літають метелики.

Transformations of this kind become impossible in English and Ukrainian contrastive and adversative compound sentences, when their clauses are semantically bound to one object or action/event. Thus, in the compound sentence Her complexion was not good and her face was covered with blotches. (Anderson) the subjects complexion and face belong together, since "complexion" is a feature of one's face. As a result, the second clause, being a logical sequence of the state expressed in the main clause, can not precede it but only follow it. Otherwise the sentence would be logically/semantically incompatible. The Ukrainian transform of this sentence would completely pervert the logical sequence of actions. Cf. *Воно було в прищах, а/і в неї був негарний колір обличчя.

As can be noticed, the transformed sentence loses the semantic unity between its clauses in both contrasted languages. Consequently, such transformations are impossible.


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