The absolute nominative constructions 233
§ 130. These constructions are called ‘absolute’ because they are not dependent on any other part of the including sentence, though they cannot be used without it, as they lack a finite verb form and thus have no predicate.
From the point of view of their transformational possibility, absolute constructions fall into two types, verbal and non-verbal ones.
I. Constructions with verbals as their second part. When transformed into clauses they retain their predicate part, which takes a proper tense-aspect form.
She sat on the porch,Mary playing with her doll ————> She sat on the porch, and (while) Mary was
playing with her doll.
The clauses resulting from such transformations usually have a simple verbal predicate. If the second part includes a form of the verb to be, the predicate of the clause is, of course, a compound nominal one:
It being late, he went home ——> As it was late, he went home.
II. Constructions with non-verbals with an adjective, a stative, an adverb or a noun (with a preposition) as their second part. When transformed into clauses, a proper form of the link verb to be must be introduced, as these constructions lack a verbal component of their own.
He marched out of the room, his head high up ——> He marched out of the room, and his head was high
Thus clauses resulting from the transformation of constructions of this type always have a compound nominal predicate.
§ 131. Absolute constructions may have two forms: non-prepositional and prepositional. The latter is introduced by the preposition with (in the case of the infinitive construction it may be without).
Dinner over, everybody rose.
He was slowly coming to us, with his hands up.