Practical Aims and Tasks of Contrastive Typology

The results obtained in any branch of typological investigation can be usefully employed both in theoretical linguistics and in teaching practices. Thus, the all-embracing final results of universal and general typologies could help to successfully perform a scientifically substantiated general classification of languages. The results of structural and sublevel/aspect typologies could usefully help in creating scientifically well-grounded theoretical as well as practical phonetics/phonologies, grammars, lexicologies, stylistics and dictionaries of various languages. The study of charactereological and partial (aspects) typology would acquaint the student with the fundamentals of this modern branch of linguistics in general and with some of its principal methods of analysis in particular. A contrastive typological treatment of the main phonetical/phonological, lexical and grammatical features/phenomena, available or unavailable in the corresponding systems of the foreign language/languages and in the native tongue, will provide the students not only with the linguistic results necessary for their successful methodological work at school, but also with the understanding of a systemic organisation of all languages.

Contrastive typology as a branch of linguistics employs some terms and notions of its own. The principal and the most often occurrant of them are as follows:

1. Absolute universals (абсолютні/повні універсала) i.e. features or phenomena of a language level pertaining to any language of the world (cf. vowels and consonants, word stress and utterance stress, intonation sentences, parts of the sentence, parts of speech, etc.).

2. Near universals (неповні/часткові універсалії) i.e. features or phenomena common in many or some languages under typological investigation.

3. Metalanguage (метамова), as has been mentioned already, is the language in which the actual presentation/analysis of different features/phenomena of the contrasted languages is carried out.

4. Typologically dominant features (типологічні домінанти) are features or phenomena dominating at a language level or in the structure of one/some of the contrasted languages. Dominant in present-day English are known to be analytical means: rigid word order in word-groups and sentences, the prominent role of prepositions and placement as means of connection and expression of case relations and syntactic functions (cf. books for my friend, books to my friends, books by my friends; a nice flower-nice flowers, Peter came - Mary came), etc. The change of placement of the part of the sentence may completely change its sense. Cf. The hunter killed the hare - The hare killed the hunter. In Ukrainian the change of placement of the main parts of the sentence usually does not change the meaning of the sentence, as in this same sentence: Мисливець застрілив зайця or: Зайця застрілив мисливець. In Ukrainian everything is just on the contrary: case, gender and number categories are expressed by means of inflexions: братові книжки, братових книжок; він співав - вона співала, дитя співало; червона квітка - червоні квітки; перший крок - перші кроки, перша зміна. There is abundance of synthetic and analytical or synthetic and analytical government (кликати Марію/Петра; кликати до вечері/до столу; зроблено Петром/будь-ким (будь для кого), etc. Consequently, the dominant (and typical) features of a language predetermine its structural type as analytical, synthetic, agglutinative, etc.

5. Typologically recessive features/phenomena (типологічне рецесивні, втрачаючі колишню активну роль) are those losing their former dominant role as, for instance, case forms in English or the dual number forms of some nouns in present-day Ukrainian.

6. Isomorphic features/phenomena (ізоморфні риси/явища) as was mentioned already, are common features/phenomena in languages under Contrastive analysis. Isomorphic in English and Ukrainian is, for example,

the existence of consonants and vowels, assimilation, and the categories of number, person, tense, as well as parts of speech, the existence of sentences, etc.

7. Allomorphic features/phenomena (аломорфні риси/явища) are observed in one language and missing in the other. For example: palatalisation of practically all consonants or the dual number in Ukrainian, the gerund or the diphthongs and analytical verb forms in English, which are missing (allomorphic) in Ukrainian.

An exhaustive list of isomorphic and allomorphic features/phenomena of a foreign language and of the native tongue can constitute a reliable basis for charactereological typology. Its main aim, as in our case, should be to teach students to identify, select and group the isomorphic and allomorphic features/phenomena in English and in Ukrainian and to use the obtained results for methodological purposes in their future teaching and as well as in their translating practices.

8. The etalon language is a hypothetic language created by typologists for the sake of contrasting any languages. This "language" is supposed to contain exhaustive quantitative and qualitative data or characteristics concerning all existing language units and phenomena. For example, the quantity and quality of sounds (vowels, consonants) and syllables, morphemes, parts of speech and their morphological categories, the correlation of the means of grammatical connection, etc.

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