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比较状语从句中主语的单独省略初探
作者:倪肖丁    文章来源:本站原创    点击数:    更新时间:2016/8/21    
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比较状语从句中主语的单独省略初探

 

西安  倪肖丁

导语

比较状语从句中,省略是一种常见现象,它使得句子的结构更为简洁、语义更为明确、表达更为顺畅。比如:

Bill runs faster than his sister (does/runs).(省略谓语)

Mary has known Peter better than she has (known) John.(省略主动词)

Kate doesn’t write so many poems now as (she did/wrote poems ) years ago.(省略主谓宾)

This animal is three times as popular with girls asit iswith boys.(省略主语和be动词)

省略的目的是简约和避免重复。因此原则上讲,已知信息可知信息都可以也应该省略。从上述例句可知,比较从句中的省略具有多样性,是否恢复省略部分不影响语义的表达。

但是,比较从句中主语单独省略的情况相对少见。因此,人们对于More people hope to live in the countryside than used to一句可能会感到困惑:than直接加used to的使用是否得当?than后究竟省略了什么?如何复原从句的主语?

首先,可以肯定的说,…than used to的用法并无不当之处,英文辞书典籍中不难见其踪影。例如:

More people own houses than used to years ago. (UGE)

More people are buying a second car than used to twenty years ago.(EGUC)

Fewer people smoke these days than used to. (CIDE)

从现有的例证看,用than used to从句时,主句主语往往伴有more, fewerless这样的修饰词。

确定一个用法是否存在相对容易,要诠释比较从句中主语单独省略的现象、揭示其一般规律则较为复杂。本文从以下三方面进行粗浅的探讨,以期抛砖而引玉。

一、比较从句中主语单独省略的现象

按照The Cambridge Dictionary of English GrammarEllipsis in comparative clauses一节)的说法:thanas从句中主语缺失是一种”standard English”。所以在正规英文出版物中不难发现其踪影。例如:

01I want a cake as big as can be!(WALD)

02Though they were brothers, the difference between them was as great as could be.DCAU

03They seemed as happy as can be when I last saw them.WALD

04Hillary works faster than was expected.(CDEG)

05She's not as upset with them as might be expected.(WALD)

06The audience seemed more enthusiastic than was expected.(CDEG)

07It happens earlier than was arranged (LPVD)

08Doctors often work for more time than is usual.(LDOCEe)

09They are afraid of incriminating themselves and say no more than is necessary.CCED

10More people died of flu in 1919 than were killed in the First World War.PEU

11The result will be less effective than would be achieved by a teacher in harmony with the unit. (LGSWE)

12You spent more money than was intended to be spent. (CGOEL)

  以上例句虽然具有共性,即asthan从句均出现单独的主语缺失,但要回答缺失的是什么?”怎样复原?等问题,需要个性化处理。

 

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