Lesson 5

                   
                       Of Clumps and Clusters
 
      Every coherent word-group can be replaced by a single word.  That is to
say, every coherent word-group operates as a single word;  therefore, it has a
sentence function and a form,-  that is, it is a particular part of speech. 
Moreover, every coherent word-group is built around a single base-word (main/
head/key word), and word-groups can be classified as clumps or clusters on the
basis of the relationship between the base word and the whole word-group.  If
the base word and the word-group are the same part of speech with the same
function, then the word-group is a cluster;  otherwise, it is a clump.  To
study this, compare the following three sentences (the first is 4.d):

 

i) She hears the fat elf. ii) She does hear Santa. iii) She has been hearing Santa. In i) the word-group 'the fat elf' which clusters around the base 'elf' can be replaced by the one word 'Santa'. Both 'Santa' and 'the fat elf' have the same form and function; therefore, 'the fat elf' is a noun cluster. In ii) and iii) the simple verb 'hears' is replaced by compound verb clusters. In the interest of practical uniformity and historical cogency we always take the lexical item (the dictionary form) of the verb as the base. Accordingly, 'hear' and 'hearing' are the bases, while 'does' and 'has been' are the adjuncts. Adjuncts are of two kinds: helping verbs as those above or 'modal auxiliaries' like 'can', 'must', 'should', or 'may'. Ultimately, every sentence breaks down into a noun (/pronoun) cluster called the subject (topic or power-grip) and a verb cluster called the predicate (comment or adjustment- touch). Consider the following sentence: The big hawk soon will relentlessly chase the little birds away. The subject cluster is 'the big hawk' and the rest of the sentence is the predicate cluster. Note that this predicate is made up of a verb (-cluster), an object (-cluster) which answers the question 'What?', and adverbs (-clusters) which answer the questions 'When? Where? How? Why?'. A clump is a very different type of word-group. Consider, for instance, the word-group 'across the sky' from 5.e. Since this group answers the question 'Where?' about the action of the verb, it must operate as an adverb. Likewise, the group 'at night' in 5.d operates as an adverb because it explains when Santa laughs; likewise again, the group 'When Santa laughs' modifies the main verb, specifying the period of its possibility or pertinence. Therefore, all these three groups operate as adverbs, although no single word in them is an adverb. When the sentence function of the whole word-group is different from the immediate function of its base word, then the group is called a clump. Now finish the following chart to include all the clumps in the sentences in Set #5: INTRO Base Base Base Clump Clump Clump WORD WORD FORM FUNCTION FORM FUNCTION DEPENDENCE When fade verb act adverb modify forget into oblivion noun object adverb modify fade When save verb aff(ect) adverb modify saves from triviality noun _____ ______ ______ ______
The traditional name for a word that introduces a clump whose base word is a noun is a preposition, while a conjunction is the word for a 'when'-type word that introduces a verb as a base word. Notice that the function of both of these is the same: they are both 'introductory connectors'. Prepositions and conjunctions are Janus words which look inward into their clump and outward to the rest of the sentence. They connect their clump to some word outside their clump on which the whole clump depends. Consider the similarity of connectors to modifiers in respect to their systemic equivalence: INTRODUCES / MODIFIES WORD-TYPE Preposition Adjective NOUN Conjunction* Adverb VERB * only subordinate so far Now let us again update our chief chart: WORD FORM FUNCTION DEPENDS Type of Type Reference Relation on Clump 6 Preposition STATIC introduces & NOUN PHRASE relationship connects 7 Conjunction STATIC intro & connects VERB CLAUSE If the philosophers would permit us to define an activity or action as a dynamic relationship, then we could suggest that from the point of view of Word world, the Surd world consists of objects, qualities, and the dynamic and static relationships between them, any of which can be asserted or implied. If Surd world seems absurdly simple, Word world is not far behind: it seems to use only a handful of basic operations or manipulations to connect words together. Note your comments & observations here.
Now make up three sentences that use the two types of clumps above, labelling each word, numbering its dependence, and bracketting each clump: E.G.: (When Santa laughs [at night]) ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Now consider the next set of sentences: Example Set #6 a. Satan gives us fads to distract us. b. To save art we sell it to museums. c. Scholars tell you the truth to free you. d. To convince them, show them your proofs. e. He offered us money to catch the birds. What is special about verbs meaning to give, tell, or show? In sentence b) what is difference between the clumps 'to save' and 'to museums'? How do constructions like 'to distract us' fit into the rest of the sentence? What function does this construction perform in the sentence? Note your observations and suggestions here: __________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ On ODDS locate, circle, and label 5 instances of each of the new constructions.