[grammar](and) so loud was the rush...

thetazuo

Senior Member
Chinese - China
Galia thought she heard him sniff, loudly, but then she thought this was merely her imagination, too, so loud was the rush in her ears.


Hi. I read this sentence in a novel called "Dishonored". I don't quite understand the underlined part. I think it should be "... she thought this was merely her imagination, too, and so loud was the rush in her ears" or "so loud (being) the rush in her ears", shouldn't it? Why is the sentence correct when the conjunction word "and" to connect the two clauses is missing? Could you explain it?

Thank you for your help.
 
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  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    It is correct. "so loud was the rush in her ears" is a way of saying "because the rush in her ears was so loud"
    Here's another example "He ate three pies at once, so huge was his appetite."
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Galia thought she heard him sniff, loudly, but then she thought this was merely her imagination, too, so loud was the rush in her ears.


    Hi. I read this sentence in a novel called "Dishonored". I don't quite understand the underlined part. I think it should be "... she thought this was merely her imagination, too, and so loud was the rush in her ears" or "so loud (being) the rush in her ears", shouldn't it? Why is the sentence correct when the conjunction word "and" to connect the two clauses is missing? Could you explain it?

    Thank you for your help.
    This so means because, not "and," and since you already have so, the sentence doesn't need because. The reason is this: so and because are "complementizers," which are words that mark embedded sentences (the embedded sentence is "the rush in her ears was so loud"). Traditional grammar calls so and because "subordinating conjunctions." Whatever term you use, you need just of them, which means that you use either so or because.

    The choice has a linguistic implication. If you use so, you create "inversion," where the subject and subject complement switch places: so loud was the rush in her ears. Negative adverbs usually trigger inversion, and "so loud" has a negative connotation. If you use because, there's no inversion: because the rush in her ears was so loud.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Sorry, I don't think so functions as a conjunction there. So is a kind of adverb (as a submodifier).

    Think of the normal word order first, such as

    1. The rush in her ears was so loud that she thought this was merely her imagination.

    (You have the clause, followed by a that clause, with a clear cause-and-effect relationship as you would expect with so ... that.)

    Now, you can front so loud, which triggers an inversion.

    2. So loud was the rush in her ears that she thought this was merely her imagination.

    Now you can move the whole first clause to the end and omit that. (The reason now appears like an afterthought.)

    3. She thought this was merely her imagination, so loud was the rush in her ears.
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    With inversion, you get rid of because, the word/complementizer that introduced the tensed complement clause in the original sentence. As a result, in so loud was the rush in her ears, so assumes the role of complementizer; it is the word that introduces the inverted tensed clause. I call so a complementizer; traditional grammar calls it a subordinating conjunction (or an adverbial subordinating conjuntion). Different labels, same function. And there are lots of adverbs that function as conjuntions/complementizers (similarly, regrettably, now, moreover, etc.)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Thanks, but would you not also say that so also modifies loud? The other conjunctions or complementisers mentioned modify whole clauses. I can also see that so that functions as a conjunction ('the rush was very loud so that she thought she was imagining it'), but think that this is a little different from the so + adjective + that construction here.
     

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    I agree that "so" is an adverb here, meaning "excessively" "to such an extent" You could re-word it as "she thought this was merely her imagination, too, exceptionally/incredibly loud was the rush in her ears."
     
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