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Statives and their Typological Characteristics



Statives in English and Ukrainian are invariable notional words whose logico-grammatical function is to denote the physical state of persons,


things or phenomena, the psychological state of persons, state in motion, etc. English statives have a characteristic prefix a- formerly added to the roots of nouns, adjectives or verbs (cf. afire, aflame, alike, afloat, atremble, astride, ashudder, etc.). "The lamps were still alight...". (Galsworthy) "Her little resolute face... was suspiciously eager and aglow ". (Ibid.) "1 woke at six the next morning and found George awake". (J. K. Jerome) "He had been ashamed and afraid". (P. Abrahams)

Ukrainian statives, on the contrary, are formed with the help of some suffixes, which are the following: -о: Романові стало і прикро і якось соромно (Минко); -а: Треба хазяїну на хутір... Шкода журитись, молодичко! (М. Вовчок); -е: Добре Чіпці у діда підпасичем. (Мирний) Так мені зробилось жалко і досадно.(А. Тесленко)

The category of state may be expressed in the contrasted languages by means of nouns (in English by prepositional nouns only). Cf. "She seemed on fire". (Galsworthy) "You keep me in the know". (Ibid.) Сором слів, що ллються від безсилля. (Л. Українка) Не раз він був у відчаї.(Стельмах) Страхбере, їх охоплював жах.

Statives in the contrasted languages rarely correlate lexically. Thus, English statives have mostly predicative verbs, adverbs or adjectives for their equivalents in Ukrainian. Cf.

"I lay awake a long time". Мені довго не спалось.

(Galsworthy). довго не міг заснути.)

"Ruth was aghast". (London) Рут була приголомшена.

An exception constitute the following lexical correlations:They were ashamed — їм було соромно. Треба хазяїнові на хутір... (М. Вовчок) The farmer has a need in going on some business to the hamlet.

Among other isomorphic features one more should be pointed out: some statives may have grading. Cf. He is more dead than alive. She was more ashamed than anybody else. Йому стало краще. Нам тут гірше, їй там було найкраще. Йому ще холодніше, ніж було досі.

The combinability of English and Ukrainian statives is characterised by both isomorphism and allomorphism. Isomorphic are the following patterns of stative word-groups in English and Ukrainian:


Stative + Vinf.: afraid to answer; треба працювати; (йому) соромно це згадувати; St. + prep. + N: ashamed of the deed/step; соромно за хлопця (йому соромно за свій вчинок);

St. + prep. + I: afraid of this/of everything; соромно за неї/за всіх. St. + prep. + Q: afraid of the two/three; треба для /на двох; краще для обох.

Pertaining only to English is the combinability of statives with the gerund (cf. afraid of answering, ashamed of having said that). Allomorphism is also pertained to Ukrainian in which some statives may take instead a direct prepositionless nominal complement also other indirect case forms which is impossible in English. Cf. шкода праці, треба часу, сором сліз and легше вже йому (dative case, object) вже краще малому /старшому, обом, etc. Hence, the prepositionless objective case in Ukrainian (краще йому старшому/обом, etc.) is impossible in English where nouns have only the genitive case (cf. Ann's, Peter's). Similarly with other nominals, except some personal pronouns and the interrogative pronoun who (cf. whom) which have the objective case forms (cf. me, him, her, them). A common syntactic function of statives in the contrasted languages is that of the predicate or predicative. Cf. a) as predicative: "Ruth was aghast". (London) Йому все-таки було тоскна... на серці. (Гончар); b) As simple nominal predicate: He, afraid? Мені їх не шкода, мені їх не жаль. (Шевченко)

Allomorphic for Ukrainian, however, is the function of the attribute, typical of the English language only. Cf. the child asleep, the house ablaze, the shore afar, etc.

Note.Some morphological and functional indefiniteness of statives gave ground to several Western and domestic grammarians not to recognise these words (singed out as a separate part of speech by Academician Shcherba a "legitimate" part of speech. This opinion was openly expressed by L. Barkhudarov and supported by I. Ivanova and her coauthors [15: 37-38] as well as by some Ukrainian grammarians [30] even in their latest publications [A. Hryschenko: 30].





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