13.2. Attribute with the meaning of "state"

To describe the meaning of certain modifications more precisely a special attribute with the meaning of state was introduced: is_state. The attribute is_state is assigned to all nodes with adjunct functors.

The verb být (=to_be) but also full verbs and nouns are modified by a whole range of prepositional modifications that generally express the meaning of state. Together with the governing verb they express the meanings of "being in a state" or "getting into a state". Example:

Pacient byl při smyslech. (=The patient was in full possession of his senses.)

Upadl do nesnází. (=He fell into trouble.)

člověk ve špatné náladě (=a man in a bad humour)

None of the adjunct functors expresses the meaning of these modifications exactly. Establishing a new functor would not solve the problem sufficiently. There are many semantic differentiations within this general meaning of state. When establishing a new functor it would be necessary to work with many subfunctors. Therefore, it is necessary to consider this type of free modification from different perspectives:

Prepositional modifications with the meaning of state have been assigned the functor that expresses the closest meaning (most frequently the functors LOC, TWHEN, MANN) and we establish the attribute is_state the values of which are 0, 1. The modifications with the meaning of state are assigned the value 1 (see also Table 7.4, "Values of the is_state attribute").

Table 7.4. Values of the is_state attribute


the node represents a modification that does not have the meaning of a state


the node represents a modification with the meaning of a state that cannot be represented properly just by the assigned functor and its subfunctors


Je v krizi.LOC [is_state=1] (=He is in a crisis)

Byl po operaci.TWHEN [is_state=1] (=lit. (He) was after (a) surgery.)

člověk ve špatné náladě.RSTR [is_state=1] (=lit. (a) man in (a) bad humour)

Zůstal na živu.MANN [is_state=1] (=lit. (He) stayed alive.)

Upadl do nesnází.DIR3 [is_state=1] (=lit. (He) fell into trouble.)

Modifications with the general meaning of state can also be valency modifications. For more on this see Section, "Valency modifications expressing that something is in a particular "state"".