Are these two prepositional phrases disjuncts or something else? I’ve looked through Biber and Huddleston, and the two examples don’t seem to fit into any of their categories of disjuncts. Thanks in advance!

Given the issue's complexity, a brief summary is difficult.

Considering his size, he was speedy.

UPDATE: I thought I would provide some background on my question since someone asked which books I was using. I’ve been looking at these three books:

Huddleston - Cambridge Grammar of English Language (2002), Biber - Grammar of Spoken and Written English (1999), Quirk - Comprehensive Grammar English (1985)

I am focused on prepositional phrases. I can’t find the answers to any of my remaining questions about prepositional phrases in any of their books. The authors frequently use the PPs I’m confused about in their own writing, but they don’t address them directly in their books. Huddleston points out a few types of adjuncts that can’t be directly questioned using When? Where? How? and Why? Having said that, it would seem that the ones he doesn’t point out as such should be “questionable.” All of the disjuncts and conjunct examples these sources present are simple to understand. And it makes sense that if the prepositional phrase is not a disjunct or conjunct, then it must be an adjunct. However, I should be able to see how a prepositional phrase adjunct fits into at least one of their models. Adjuncts don’t modify entire sentences, do they? I thought only disjuncts did that. So, there’s a bit more background on my questions. Thanks for your help!

  • Could you give a date/title for the Biber and Huddleston, please? – Araucaria May 23 '16 at 20:09
  • Hi Josh. Welcome to EL&U :-) It's always good to wait a day or two before selecting an answer. You may get several more answers with other ideas or different advice. But people may not bother to write you another answer if you've already selected one! (you can unselect it for the time being by clicking on the green tick - you can put it back again later on the same answer if you want to) Keep asking good questions! – Araucaria May 24 '16 at 1:04
  • I’ll do that. I think you are correct with the first one at least. It seems to answer the question Why? The second one doesn’t seem to answer any of the main “adjunct questions.” – josh.r May 24 '16 at 2:55
  • Josh, Which Huddleston book have you been looking at? and which Biber book? It's difficult to give you a really good answer without this info! The definitions of adjunct and so forth have changed a lot over the years, so it's difficult to give you a good explanation of why these are adjunct if we don't know which versions of these words you're referring to. :) – Araucaria May 24 '16 at 7:35
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    I’ve been looking over Quirk (in the prepositions section) and it has cleared up most of my confusion. What you said is the same conclusion I came to, but I still wanted to hear what you thought. The Do So test points out that “sentence modifiers” or disjuncts clearly do not modify only the verb or even just the verb phrase. You can't even really apply the Do So test with these kinds of modifiers. Huddleston doesn’t call them disjuncts, but he does have adjunct categories that match what other’s call disjuncts. And what’s in a name? Thanks for your insights. – josh.r May 26 '16 at 23:07

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