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Pre-nominal modifiers refer to the possessive pronouns, numbers, and a few other descriptive modifiers that come before the noun. According to Radden and Dirven (2007), pre-nominal modifiers mainly involve the characteristics and permanent qualities of pronouns and/or numbers. The authors also emphasize on the need to arrange pre-nominal modifiers in such a manner as to generate natural language.
In order to achieve fluent utterances, one needs to first determine the pre-nominal modifiers. The way modifiers are arranged before a noun affects both the fluency of generated utterances and the meaning as well (Shaw & Hatzivassiloglou, 1999; Malouf, 2000). When using pre-nominal modifiers, position is critical.
Fries (1940) notes that “…position alone indicates modification and nouns are freely placed before others as modifiers…. each modifier tends to modify the unit immediately following….” (Fries 1940). The following is an example of a pre-nominal modifier from the journal is provided : One of my favorite novels is ‘Forbidden Love’ by Norma Khouri.
Colston (1999) has defined contextual assumptions as the background knowledge shared by both the communicator and the interpreter (Ariel 2010). The extent to which we consider contextual assumptions depends on whether one is dealing with a direct speech or an indirect speech. Contextual assumptions influence the way we understand an utterance.
In a situation whereby a negation has been used, a more complex contextual assumption is needed in order to facilitate understanding of the negation (Torra 1996). The following is an example of a contextual assumption from the journal: “I enjoy reading novels about romance and thrillers because I am drawn to the suspense created by writing styles in thrillers and also the mystery”.
In this example, we assume that the author is intrigued by reading romantic and thrilling novels on account of the suspense and mystery created by their writing styles. Although there could be another explanation, this one seems more potent.
Subordinating conjunctions is a term used in reference to conjunctions whose work is to link a dependent clause with an independent clause (Algeo 2010). The subordinate conjunction plays two crucial roles. To start with, subordinating conjuctions provide a much needed transition of ideas in a sentence. Also, subordinating conjunctions reduce the importance of one clause.
According to Algeo (2010), subordinating conjunctions enables the reader to both comprehend and differentiate the most important idea out of a set of two. In this case, the main clause contains the most significant idea.
On the other hand, a subordinate clause helps to introduce the less important idea into the sentence (Dryer 2005). the following sentence provides an example of a subordinating conjunction used in the journal provided: “Additionally on Facebook I rarely use grammatically correct phrases as it is a social networking platform that does not require the users to be formal”.
Linguistic decisions are one set of decisions made by speakers who wish to “express in natural language information given in a semantic representation” (Daulos 1984). According to Herrera-Viedma et al. (2004), a linguistic decision is necessary in situations whereby the information can only be correctly assessed qualitatively, and not quantitatively.
For instance, we often use words and not numerical values while trying to qualify a phenomenon involving human perception. Chen and Hwanf (1992) note that a linguistic decision may be informed by various reasons for example, at times, it may be hard to quantify the information on account of its nature.
Therefore, the only way to state such information is to express it in linguistic terms. Levrat et al. (1997) observe that when assessing the “design” or “comfort” of a car, we can use such terms as “medium”, “good”, or “bad”. In other circumstances, however, we are less likely to state precise quantitative information due to its unavailability or on account of the high cost of its computation (Herrera-Viedma et al. 2004).
Therefore, we are more likely to tolerate an “approximate value” (for example, when assessing the speed of a car, we are likely to use such linguistic terms as “slow”, “fast”, or “very fast”.
Linguistic decisions involve such questions as the type of syntactic constructions/lexical items to choose (Radden & Dirven 2007), or the best way to cut the text into sentences and paragraphs from the journal entry provided, two linguistic decisions can be identified based on the order of information and the number of sentences used.
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The first instance of a linguistic decision used by the author of the journal in question is provided in the following sentence: “On the whole my writing depends on the situation and who I am writing to, for example if I am writing an essay, I would use Standard English and ensure my work has no errors.” In this case, the writer opted to combine the two phrases in which the result and the act have been integrated into a complex sentence.
The writer also had the option of forming a text consisting of two sentences in which one describes the result, and the other one the act, as can be seen from the following sentence: “On the whole my writing depends on the situation and who I am writing to.
If for example I am writing an essay, I would use Standard English to ensure my work has no errors”. In this particular example, the writer has combined the phrases expressing the RESULT and the ACT to form a complex sentence.
An alternative formulation would have been to insert a semicolon as below: “On the whole my writing depends on the situation and who I am writing to; if I am writing an essay I would use Standard English and ensure my work has no errors”. In this case, the semicolon helps to connect the two closely related ideas.
The second linguistic decision that can be identified from this journal entails order of information. In this case, the writer decides whether the ACT should precede the RESULTS, or whether the RESULT should precede the ACT. Below is an example: “I enjoy reading novels about romance and thrillers because I am drawn to the suspense created by writing styles in thrillers and also the mystery”.
In the sentence above, the ACT (reading) comes before the RESULT (suspense/mystery). From this example, we get the impressions that the writer enjoys reading thrilling and romantic novels as he is attracted by the suspense and mystery of their writing styles.
An alternative format for the sentence would have been, “the suspense and mystery created by writing styles of romantic and thrilling novels draws me to read them”. However, in doing this, there is the risk of adding passive voice to the sentence.
Algeo, J 2006, British or American English? A Handbook of Word and Grammar Patterns, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK.
Ariel, M 2010, Defining Pragmatics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Chen, SJ & Hwang, CL 1992, Fuzzy Multiple Attribute Decision Making-Methods and Applications, Springer, Berlin.
Colston, HL 1999.’”Not Good Is “Bad,” but “Not Bad” Is Not “Good”: An Analysis of Three Accounts of Negation Asymmetry’, Discourse Processes, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 237-256.
Dryer, MS 2005, “Order of adverbial subordinator and clause”. In Haspelmath, Martin; Dryer, Matthew S.; Gil, David; Comrie, Bernard. The World Atlas of Language Structures, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Herrera-Viedma, E, Mata, F, Martinez, L & Chiclana, F 2004, A Consensus Support System Model For Group Decision-Making Problems With Multi-Granular Linguistic Preference Relations. Web.
Malouf, R 2000, The order of prenominal adjectives in natural language generation. Web.
Fries, CC 1940, American English Grammar, D. Appleton-Century Company, New York.
Levrat, L, Voisin, A, Bombardier, S & Bremont, J 1997,’ Subjective evaluation of car seat comfort with fuzzy set techniques’, Internat. J. Intell. Systems, vol. 12, pp. 891–913.
Radden & Dirven, RJ 2007, Cognitive English Grammar, John Benjamins Publishing Company, Philadelphia.
Shaw, J & Hatzivassiloglou, V 1999, Ordering among premodifiers. Web.
Torra, V 1996,’Negation functions based semantics for ordered linguistic labels’, Internat. J. Intell. Systems, vol. 11, pp. 975–988.