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悬垂分词及其纠正方法

第12卷第3期2010年6月

V ol. 12, No. 3

Jun., 2010基础英语教育

Journal of Basic English Education

悬垂分词(dangling participle) 又叫无依附分词(unattached participle)、非关联分词(unrelated participle)、错关联分词 (misrelated participle) 或悬吊分词 (pendent participle)(夸克等,1989)。它是英语学习者在使用英语特别是在写作时常犯错误的地方。本文首先介绍一下分词的逻辑主语、依着法则和悬垂分词的概念、种类,然后谈一下悬垂分词的纠正方法及其可接受性。

一、分词的逻辑主语、依着法则和悬垂分词

按照传统语法规则,-ing分词和-ed分词在句中充当某种成分时,它们没有语法主语,但有意义上的逻辑主语。一般说来,当分词短语作状语时,其逻辑主语和句子的主语是一致的(Swan, 1982);当它们作宾语补足语时,其逻辑主语是句子的宾语;当它们作定语时,其逻辑主语是它们所修饰的名词中心词。如:

(1) My wife had a long talk with Sally, explaining why she didn’t want the children to play together.

(2) The hunter saw a huge lion drinking at the spring.

(3) He was hurt by a stone dropped from the roof.

例(1)、(2)、(3)中的分词explaining,drinking和dropped的逻辑主语分别是My wife,a huge lion和a stone。分词短语与它的逻辑主语构成了逻辑上的主谓关系。分词短语通常是通过它的逻辑主语而与句子发生依着关系,这种语言现象叫做依着法则(attachment rule)(章振邦,2003)。

依着法则除了适用于分词短语之外,还适用于不定式短语、介词后的动名词短语等。如:

(4) We all rejoiced to hear of your success.(不定式的逻辑主语为We)

(5) After having annoyed everybody he went home. (having annoyed…的逻辑主语为he)当违反了依着法则时,也就是说,当分词短语在句子中找不到它的逻辑主语或依着在它不应该依着的词语上时,这些分词短语处于悬浮状态,成了悬垂分词(章振邦,2003)。如:

(6) *Looking out of the window of our hotel room, there were lots of mountains.

(7) *Grilled on charcoal, everyone enjoyed the fish they caught.

(8) *Opening the cupboard, a skeleton fell out.

(9) *Reading the evening paper, a dog started barking.

例(6)读起来好像是群山在向窗外看;例(7)读起来好像是人们被放在炭火上炙烤了;例(8)读起来好像是一副骷髅打开了橱子;例(9)读起来好像是狗在读晚报。这四个句子从语法结构上来说是错误的,是不可以接受的;从逻辑上来说是讲不通的,甚至是荒唐的,都是需要加以纠正的。

二、悬垂分词的种类

悬垂分词是泛指这一类结构,除了悬垂现在分词短语、过去分词短语外,它还应包括悬垂不定式短语、悬垂动名词短语、悬垂省略状语从句等(徐广联,2005)。

悬垂分词及其纠正方法

邢殿普

知识集锦

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1.悬垂现在分词短语/过去分词短语

如果句子的主语不能充当分词短语的逻辑主语,就会造成悬垂分词短语。这时句子的主语往往为物而不是人。如:

(10) W alking along the lake, the country scenery presented a lovely show.

(11) Sitting at the window, a flock of birds flew across the sky.

(12) Weakened by his last illness, another winter in this country would kill him.

2. 悬垂不定式短语

如果句子的主语在逻辑上不是不定式行为的发出者,就形成了悬垂不定式短语。如:

(13) To speak English well, a lot of practice is needed.

(14) To admit fresh air, the windows were all wide open.

3. 悬垂动名词短语

悬垂动名词短语通常是指位于介词后的动名词短语。句子的主语也应与这种动名词构成逻辑主谓关系,否则就造成悬垂动名词短语。如:

(15) By building a railway there, coal can be carried out from the mountains.

(16) From attending the class, the principles of physics were made clear.

4. 悬垂省略状语从句

如果在悬垂分词短语前加上从属连词,就形成了悬垂省略状语从句。如:

(17) While reading the book, the door bell rang.

(18) Though troubled by heavy family cares, the work was done as well as ever.

三、悬垂分词的纠正方法

悬垂分词的纠正方法很多,主要有四种。

1. 调整句子的主语

这时分词短语/动名词短语保持不变,而是调整句子的主语,使改变后的主语既能充当句子的主语,又能充当原悬垂分词/动名词的逻辑主语,其他部分也要作出相应的变动。如:

(19) *Walking in the fields, a snake bit Tom in the heel.

→Walking in the fields, Tom was bitten in the heel by a snake.

(20) *Sitting in the dentist’s chair, an idea suddenly occurred to me.

→Sitting in the dentist’s chair, I suddenly thought of an idea.

(21) *Tied to a post, the sea was tossing the boat up and down.

→Tied to a post, the boat was being tossed up and down.

(22) *By building a railway there, coal can be carried out from the mountains.

→ By building a railway there, people can carry coal out from the mountains.

2. 添加分词短语/动名词短语的逻辑主语

这时句子的主要部分保持不变,而是给分词短语添加逻辑主语,将分词短语变为独立主格结构,这时就成了独立主格结构作状语。如:

(23) *Having no more to say, the meeting was closed.

→Nobody having any more to say, the meeting was closed.

(24) *Being very hot, we decided to go swimming.

→It being very hot, we decided to go swimming.

如果是悬垂动名词短语,就在动名词前加上代词或名词属格,使动名词有自己的逻辑主语。如:

(25) *From attending the class, the principles of physics were made clear.

→From us/our attending the class,the principles of physics were made clear.

3. 将分词短语/动名词短语变为状语从句

这时句子的主要部分保持不变,而是给原来的悬垂分词/动名词添加上适当的从属连词和主语,再将原来的分词/动名词变为谓语的组成部

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分,这时从句的主语就不再与主句的主语产生逻辑上的矛盾了。如:

(26) *Having eaten our lunch, the bus went on to Chicago.

→After we had eaten our lunch, the bus went on to Chicago.

(27) *Wondering where to go, an advertisement caught her eye.

→As she was wondering where to go, an advertisement caught her eye.

(28) *In talking with my students, they told me of their suggestions.

→When I was talking with my students, they told me of their suggestions.

4. 调整分词短语的位置

之所以造成了悬垂分词这样的错误,原因在于人们把分词短语放错了位置,其改正办法就是把分词短语调整到正确的位置。一般说来,分词短语作定语时,它要紧跟在它所修饰的名词中心词之后;分词短语作宾语补足语时,它要紧跟在宾语之后。如:

(29) *Pinned to the door by a knife, the men saw

a notice.

→The men saw a notice pinned to the door by a knife.

(30) *Written in large letters, they read the word ‘Beware’.

→They read the word ‘Beware’ written in large letters.

(31) *Uprooted by the gale, the road was blocked by a huge tree.

→The road was blocked by a huge tree uprooted by the gale.

四、悬垂分词的可接受性

对于悬垂分词的可接受性问题,语法学家们历来有着不同的意见。规定语法学家们对悬垂分词采取绝对排斥的态度;而描写语法学家们对它采取比较宽容的态度,认为只要悬垂分词不引起语义混乱或模棱两可,它们就是正常的和可以接受的。从语言实例来看,这种“不合逻辑”的语言现象大量出现在英美文学作品和科技作品中,已越来越广泛地被人们所使用(高合顺,2001)。在下面几种情况下,悬垂分词是可以接受的。

1. 分词短语作评注性状语时

有些分词短语作状语,仅表示说话人对所说内容的态度,起评注性状语的作用,含有泛指意义,这时不考虑分词的逻辑主谓关系,可将它们视为独立成分或插入语。经常这样用的分词结构有:generally/properly/strictly/roughly/broadly speaking, judging from, putting it another way, putting it frankly, taking…as an example, speaking of, talking of, taking…into consideration等。这些分词短语一般位于句首,有时在句中或句末。如:

(32) Generally speaking, men can run faster than women.

(33) Judging from his expression, he’s in a bad mood.

(34) Taking everything into consideration, they ought to be given another chance.

有时不定式短语也可以这样用。常见的这样用的不定式短语有:to be fair, to put it more precisely, to tell the truth, to put it bluntly, to be exact, to come to the point 等。如:

(35) T o tell the truth, I forgot it was your birthday last Friday.

(36) To be honest, I just don’t like him.

2. 分词短语的逻辑主语是句子主要部分中的形容词性物主代词相对应的人称代词

这时形容词性物主代词大多出现在句子的主要部分中。由于在句子的主要部分中出现了这种物主代词,所以分词短语的逻辑主语就不难判断。如:

(37) Getting down from the bus, my ankle was sprained.

(38) W alking or sleeping, the subject was always in my mind.

(39) He felt himself gently touched on the

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shoulder; and looking round, his father stood before him.

上面句子中的分词短语Getting…,Walking or sleeping, looking round 的逻辑主语暗含在物主代词my 和 his 中,即为人称代词I 和he。这种句子之所以能被接受,是因为它们意思完整,不致被误解。例(37)、(38)的主语my ankle和the subject是无生命的,不可能被误解为getting和walking 的逻辑主语;而例(39)由于上下文的关系,looking的逻辑主语为he 更为明显。

3. 分词短语的逻辑主语为句子主要部分中的动词宾语或介词宾语

如果该宾语是人称代词宾格,分词短语的逻辑主语相对应的应是人称代词的主格形式。如:

(40) Searching along the deck, it had taken him some time to find a doctor.

(41) Leaving the cinema, it seemed to him that the film had been exceptionally bad.

上两例中的分词短语的逻辑主语分别为动词宾语him和介词宾语him。

4. 分词短语的逻辑主语暗含在by后面的施动者中

如果句子的谓语是被动语态,分词短语的逻辑主语可以包含在by后面的施动者(有时并未明写出来)中。如:

(42) Looking out through the window, a beautiful landscape was seen (by him/her/us…).

(43) Ideas can be expressed (by us) accurately and effectively using simple sentences.

例(42)、(43)中的分词短语Looking...和using...的逻辑主语当然不是a beautiful landscape 和 Ideas, 而是see和express 的没有明确表示出来的施动者。

5. 分词短语隐含的逻辑主语是泛指的one/we/ you/people 或是非人称代词it

这在科技语体中用得较多,因为科技语体通常避免使用人称主语,悬垂分词的逻辑主语泛指“人们/我们”或指不言而喻的人或事物,句子含义一般不会引起误解。如:

(44) Using the electric energy(= When we/you/one use(s) the electric energy), it is necessary to change its form.

(45) Being Christmas (= Since it was Christmas), the government offices were closed.

当分词短语与when/while/until等连词连用时,这些短语可以看作是从句省略主语的形式,它比不带when等从属连词的短语更容易叫人接受。如:

(46) When installing a boiler (=When we/you/ people/one install(s) a boiler), the floor space which is available is very important.

(47) When driving carelessly, it is easy to have an accident.

6. 当分词短语作结果状语、用来起补充说明作用时

这时它的逻辑主语是前面的整个句子,分词短语相当于which引导的非限制性定语从句。如:

(48) The siren sounded, indicating that the air raid was over. (=…, which indicated that…)

(49) First of all, this difficult problem has to be tackled, enabling us to proceed to the other. (=…, which will enable us…)

7. 分词短语在句首,指后面整个句子

这时它的隐含主语是后面的整个句子。如:

(50) Unknown to his closest advisers (= It was unknown to his closest advisers that…), he had secretly negotiated with an enemy emissary.

8. 有些分词已经转化为介词或连词

有些分词由于长期的独立使用,已经转化为介词或连词,它们就不受依着法则的限制了。常见的这样的分词有:admitting (that), assuming (that), provided/providing (that), saving (that), presuming, supposing, granting, concerning, excepting, considering, regarding, including, given。如:

(51) We shall go provided (that) the weather is fine.

(52) Given their inexperience, they’ve done a

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good job.

(53) He wrote to me concerning a business arrangement.

以上我们论述了悬垂分词的概念、种类、纠正方法和它的可接受性。由于悬垂分词毕竟不是规范的语法结构,而且在正规的考试中一般被判为错误,所以,为保险起见,当用分词短语作状语时,在一般情况下,注意务必使其逻辑主语与句子的主语保持一致。除非在科技语体中,我们应尽量少用它,特别是对初学者来说,更不宜模仿。

参考文献:

Swan, M. 1982. 英语用法指南 [M]. 北京:外语教学

与研究出版社.

高合顺. 2001. 英语悬垂分词及其语用理据 [J]. 聊城师范学院学报, (6).

夸克等. 1989. 英语语法大全 [M]. 上海:华东师范大学出版社.

徐广联. 2005. 大学英语语法讲座与测试(第三版)[M]. 上海:华东理工大学出版社.

章振邦. 2003. 新编英语语法教程(第四版)[M]. 上海:上海外语教育出版社.

收稿日期:2010-04

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