Balancing and deranking
In linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

, balancing and deranking are terms used to describe the form of verb
A verb, from the Latin verbum meaning word, is a word that in syntax conveys an action , or a state of being . In the usual description of English, the basic form, with or without the particle to, is the infinitive...

s used in various types of subordinate clauses and also sometimes in co-ordinate constructions.
  • A verb form is said to be balanced if it is identical to forms used in independent declarative clauses
  • A subordinate verb form is said to be deranked if it cannot be used in independent declarative clauses

Deranked verb forms

Verb forms that occur in subordinate clauses of various languages that cannot occur in independent clauses are of various types, but there do exist some typical patterns that differentiate these forms from main-clause verb forms in the same language.
  1. There are verb forms that possess the same type of person and tense
    Grammatical tense
    A tense is a grammatical category that locates a situation in time, to indicate when the situation takes place.Bernard Comrie, Aspect, 1976:6:...

     marking as the verb forms used in independent declarative clauses, but differ in mood
    Grammatical mood
    In linguistics, grammatical mood is a grammatical feature of verbs, used to signal modality. That is, it is the use of verbal inflections that allow speakers to express their attitude toward what they are saying...

    . Typical examples include such forms as subjunctives
    Subjunctive mood
    In grammar, the subjunctive mood is a verb mood typically used in subordinate clauses to express various states of irreality such as wish, emotion, possibility, judgment, opinion, necessity, or action that has not yet occurred....

     and irrealis moods. In the Eskimo–Aleut languages, there are special "dependent moods" used only in subordinate clauses.
  2. There are verb forms that have the same distinctions of person, tense and aspect as are found in main-clause verbs, but which indicate them using special forms distinct from those of main clause verbs.
  3. There are verb forms that do not have the distinctions of person, tense and aspect found in main-clause verbs, such as participles. These are used for certain types of subordinate clauses in English
    English language
    English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

     like "Being so busy, I couldn't come home."
  4. There are verb forms that add extra morphemes never found on main clause verbs. Often these are adposition
    Prepositions are a grammatically distinct class of words whose most central members characteristically express spatial relations or serve to mark various syntactic functions and semantic roles...

    s or case
    Grammatical case
    In grammar, the case of a noun or pronoun is an inflectional form that indicates its grammatical function in a phrase, clause, or sentence. For example, a pronoun may play the role of subject , of direct object , or of possessor...


Subordination deranking hierarchy

Languages that use deranking for their subordinate-clause verb forms do so according to a definite pattern.

There are relatively few languages that use deranked verb forms for all subordinate clauses (examples are found amongst the Tungusic
Tungusic languages
The Tungusic languages form a language family spoken in Eastern Siberia and Manchuria by Tungusic peoples. Many Tungusic languages are endangered, and the long-term future of the family is uncertain...

 and Salishan languages
Salishan languages
The Salishan languages are a group of languages of the Pacific Northwest...

) but most languages with significant verb inflection use deranking for at least some of their subordinate clauses. Exceptions can be found only amongst certain rigidly head-marking language
Head-marking language
A head-marking language is one where the grammatical marks showing relations between different constituents of a phrase tend to be placed on the heads of the phrase in question, rather than the modifiers or dependents. In a noun phrase, the head is the main noun and the dependents are the...

s such as Ainu
Ainu language
Ainu is one of the Ainu languages, spoken by members of the Ainu ethnic group on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaidō....

 and Lakhota
Lakota language
Lakota is a Siouan language spoken by the Lakota people of the Sioux tribes. While generally taught and considered by speakers as a separate language, Lakota is mutually understandable with the other two languages , and is considered by most linguists one of the three major varieties of the Sioux...

. Languages with deranking far down (rightward) on the hierarchy are most typically those with extensive nominal case
Grammatical case
In grammar, the case of a noun or pronoun is an inflectional form that indicates its grammatical function in a phrase, clause, or sentence. For example, a pronoun may play the role of subject , of direct object , or of possessor...

 systems. This is because in their presence information expressed by person marking on the verb is already expressed on nouns. If relations of core noun phrases are marked only on the verb, it is less uneconomic to express them in a dependent clause.

The distribution of balancing and deranking in languages that do not belong to one of the two polar types briefly discussed in the previous page follows a definite hierarchy. If balancing is used at any point, it is used for all points below it on the following list ("to the right" in traditional wording of the deranking hierarchy) Relevant clauses for each example are italicised.
  1. Modals
    Modal verb
    A modal verb is a type of auxiliary verb that is used to indicate modality -- that is, likelihood, ability, permission, and obligation...

     and phasals (e.g. "I begin to run")
  2. Purpose clauses (e.g. "I went into the phone booth in order to ring up my friend")
  3. Desideratives (e.g. "I want to write a letter") and manipulatives (e.g. "I made John fight")
  4. Perception (e.g. "I see the bus passing")
  5. "Before"
  6. "When" and "after", plus nominative
    Nominative case
    The nominative case is one of the grammatical cases of a noun or other part of speech, which generally marks the subject of a verb or the predicate noun or predicate adjective, as opposed to its object or other verb arguments...

     or absolutive
    Absolutive case
    The absolutive case is the unmarked grammatical case of a core argument of a verb which is used as the citation form of a noun.-In ergative languages:...

    Relative clause
    A relative clause is a subordinate clause that modifies a noun phrase, most commonly a noun. For example, the phrase "the man who wasn't there" contains the noun man, which is modified by the relative clause who wasn't there...

  7. Reason (e.g. "I cannot leave him alone, because he's gone mad") and reality condition (e.g. "If capitalism did not cause the Great Depression, government was responsible"), plus accusative
    Accusative case
    The accusative case of a noun is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb. The same case is used in many languages for the objects of prepositions...

     or ergative
    Ergative case
    The ergative case is the grammatical case that identifies the subject of a transitive verb in ergative-absolutive languages.-Characteristics:...

  8. Knowledge (e.g. "I know that the weather will be very hot") and propositional attitude (e.g. "I think that we should stay at home today"), plus oblique and indirect object relativisation.
  9. Utterance (e.g. "He said that he was tired").

Explanations for the deranking hierarchy

The commonly accepted explanation for the hierarchy outlined in the previous section is that the types of relation at the top of the deranking hierarchy are much more semantically integrated than those at the bottom. Being semantically integrated means that the events in the main and subordinate clauses are linked, which is true of purpose, perception, "before", "when" and "after" clauses, but not of those further rightward in the hierarchy. This integration leads to the use of verb forms not marked for tense, person or aspect, since they are much simpler than verb forms with these markers.

Relations that are temporal and imply that the dependent event takes place within a particular time reference relative to the main event favour verb forms that are unmarked for tense or aspect for the same reason. The is why temporal relations like "before", "when" and "after" come above relationships that have no temporal implication of this type like conditionals.

Another factor influencing use of deranking is lack of realisation of the dependent event, which often leads in purpose, desiderative and manipulative clauses to the use of moods that cannot be used in independent clauses.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.