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Syntactic Relations in English and Ukrainian



As could be already noticed, various syntactic relations in the contrasted languages can be realised both by isomorphic and by allomorphic means. The latter pertain to both languages, though analytical means are naturally predominant in English, whereas synthetic or combined analytical and synthetic means are predominant in Ukrainian. An exception constitutes, however, only one relation (that of the primary predication) whose expression finds its realisation between the main parts of the sentence, i.e. between the subject and the predicate. This type of connection is often qualified as interdependence, that is dependence of the subject on the predicate on the one hand, and dependence of the predicate upon the subject on the other. This means that primary predication is realised, at least in English, only on the S-P axis, though in some other languages it may be realised even without one (S or P) of these components. As for instance, in Latin: veni, vidi, vici or in present-day Italian, Ukrainian or Russian: Ато patria mia/ Люблю свою Батьківщину. Люблю свою родину. The predicate verbs ато and люблю correlate with the implicit subject (io, я) expressing its number, person and case.

The other three relations, which also pertain to all languages, i.e. the objective, the attributive and the adverbial ones can be realised with the help of different means that are grammatically relevant. Namely by a) syntactic placement and prepositions (analytical means); b) by morphological, i.e. synthetic means (inflexions), as well as with the help of combined means, i.e. synthetic plus analytical means simultaneously. Thus, the predicate in English statements always follows, as a rale, the subject, whereas in Ukrainian the simple verbal predicate even in unemphatic speech may precede the subject without ruining the grammaticality of the sentence. Eg:

Mary was listening; but she still Слухала Мері (or Мері слухала), проте

said nothing. (F. King) вона нічого не відповідала/ мовчала.


In English interrogative or (emphatic) sentences a part of the predicate may be placed in front of the subject/subject group, which is not necessarily followed in their Ukrainian counterpart sentence. For example:

"Were you ever compelled to mutilate - Тебе примушували будь-коли ка-

the animals?" (S. Chaplin) лічити тварин?

"Would you like us to send somebody -Хотіли б ви, щоб ми когось зараз

now?" (Hartley) послали?

Therefore, English predicates, wether simple or compound, rarely occupy, unlike predicates in Ukrainian, the initial position in the interrogative sentence. Though not without exceptions either. Cf. "He was there too". "Was he really?" or in the imperative sentences like Come here, my dear. Іди сюди, дорогенький. Or: Do get your boy to bring it here. (F. King) Скажи своєму хлопцеві, щоб він хутенько його приніс сюди (японський екран).

English simple verbal and compound nominal predicates, however, are in syntactic agreement (expressed through morphological means) with the subject. Cf. "I'm off, Dad, it's good bye till Christmas". (Less-ing) "Who is that in your flat?" "Who are they?" (W. Trevor)

All four predicates in these sentences (am, is, are) agree with their subjects in singular (first person) and correspondingly with It and who which are in the third person singular or plural. The same is observed in the preceding sentence where the predicate (Was she really) agrees in number and person with its subject he.

It is only partly so with the expression of the objective relation which may be realised in English and Ukrainian both synthetically and analytically as well:

We passed him through the narrow - Ми передали його по вузькому про-way; others relieved us. (S. Chaplin) ходу; інші допомагали нам.

The first object (him) is direct and it is expressed through its morphological (synthetic) form him (objective case); the second object is prepositional (through the narrow way) and the third (us) has also a morphological (synthetic) form that expresses its objective function. In the


Ukrainian counterpart of this sentence the objective relation has a synthetic expression in the first direct object його (as in English) and in the indirect object нам (synthetic expression, like in English). As to the prepositional object, its connection in Ukrainian differs from that in English in that it is prepositional and morphologically marked (по проходу). In other words it is combined (analytical, i.e. prepositional) and synthetic (objective case form no проходу). Hence, Ukrainian nouns express their dependence by means of their case forms (cf. дав книжку Петренкові товаришці, товаришам/товаришкам). Exceptions are made for the already mentioned indeclinable nouns as in Вона зайшла в фойє/ciлaв таксі, Вона у новому кімоно, сперечатися про галіфе, цікавитися працями Монтеск'є. The synthetic expression of objective relation in Ukrainian, unlike English, have also substantivised adjectives, present and past participles, and also numerals. Cf. задоволений новим (побаченим і почутим), зеленим та жовтим; зустрітися зі знайомим, з трьома/з першим. Synthetically dependent objective complements/ objects in Ukrainian may equally be indefinite and other pronouns. For example: зостатись/ вернутись з нічим, цікавитись усім, звести одного з одним, цікавитись кимсь, ніким і нічим. Many English pronominal objects of this type are naturally unmarked, i.e. they have no case distinction. Cf. He heard nothing. (S. Chaplin) Він нічого не чув. In Ukrainian нічого is the objective case form of the indefinite pronoun ніщо, whose equivalent nothing is indeclinable in English. Similarly with the English wholly substantivised adjectives which, unlike their Ukrainian equivalents, do not express their objective (or nominative) case form synthetically. For example:

Pink became royal red. Blue rose Рожеве ставало густо-червоним. Синє

into purple. (Norris) ставало пурпуровим.

Therefore, objective relations in English are expressed predominantly in the analytical way, i.e. by means of syntactic placement or with the help of syntactic placement and/plus the prepositional connection of objective complements (cf. satisfied with them/us).

The attributive relation and its realisation in English does not differ


much from the realisation of the objective relations, there being both synthetic and analytical means employed. The former, as has been pointed out above, are reduced in present-day English to a few standard cases involving only the four pairs of demonstrative pronouns this - these, that - those, such a - such, many a - many. These pronouns express their attributive function with the help of their form in singular and plural, i.e. they agree in number with their head nouns (cf. This day - these days, that book those books, such an event — such events, many a boy - many boys). Other ways and means of expressing the attributive relation in English are analytical. Namely, the preposed or postpositional placement of attributive components (adjectives, participles, numerals, pronouns) which do not agree either in number, case or gender with their head components (nuclei). Cf. jaunty fair hair, alert eyes, shining face, the only child, sweated bloody sweets, the drizzling darkness, the atmosphere of trade union meetings (after D. Lessing). Neither of the above-given attributive adjectives, present or past participles and adverbs agrees with the head noun. Nor does the postpositive prepositional word-group functioning as an attribute agree synthetically with the head noun in the last example above (e.g. the atmosphere of trade union meetings). Neither do gerundial and infinitival adjuncts agree with their head nouns or subordinating word-groups performing their function. Cf. books to read, articles to be translated or: books for reading (what books?).

One more way of expressing attributive relation is that by means of the so-called synthetic formant ('s) (Vorontsova: 10, 1950) as in the word-group her widowed mother's child. This synthetic element ('s) does nor express any categorical (morphological) meaning, it performs only a connective function. Consequently, the realisation of the attributive relation in English as compared with Ukrainian, so far as the means of expression are concerned, can be qualified as mainly allomorphic.

Adverbial relationsin each of the contrasted languages are mostly realised with the help of the same means as the objective and partly the attributive relations. These means of connection are analytical (placement or placement plus prepositions in English) and synthetic or combined (analytical plus synthetic) in Ukrainian. Cf. in English: (to) work hard (how? the adverbial relations of attendant circumstances); hard


work (what work? the attributive relation). Therefore, syntactic placement is the only means in English (here). In Ukrainian word-groups like працювати важко and важко працювати the change of place of the adverb важко does not change in any way the syntactic relation in the word-group, which remains in both variants adverbial (as in the English word-groups to work hard).

Other paradigmatic classes of word-groups in English and Ukrainian may have both isomorphic and allomorphic realisation of adverbial relations. Isomorphism is observed in adverbial word-groups as: very well дуже добре, early enough досить рано, quite seriously зовсім серйозно, rather slowly досить повільно, etc.

Syntactic placement or juxtaposition may be often enforced by way of prepositions preceding the adverbial word-group as in the following English sentence:

She looked at him with mild surprise, Вона глянула на нього трохи blushed. (Jessing) здивовано, червоніючи.

The attendant circumstance in the English sentence (How did she look at him? With mild surprise) has a combined expression: preposition with + adjective (mild) + noun (surprise), whereas in Ukrainian this same meaning can be expressed by means of an adverb здивовано or with the help of a prepositional noun (із здивуванням), i.e. with the help of prepositional government. Since in English there is no genuine government of nouns, as the noun is practically indeclinable, it can not express any attendant circumstance through its morphological (case) form as it is the case in Ukrainian. Neither can the causal meaning be expressed in this way in English (cf. to live from hand to mouth жити в злиднях, to be absent because of illness бути відсутнім через хворобу). Therefore, the accusative case form of the noun хвороба is used in Ukrainian), i.e. prep. + Naccusative, the analytical and synthetic way of expression. Syntactic placement (juxtaposition or adjoinment) is also the main means of realisation of temporal and local relations in English, which was already partly illustrated above. It is often observed in Ukrainian as well. Eg. to come/coming today приїжджати сьогодні, come/coming


in time прийти/приїхати вчасно, early today сьогодні вранці. In Ukrainian, however, adverbial components may change their place because of the logical/emphatic stress: учора звечора - звечора вчора, прийти раніше - раніше прийти. The means of connection, however, remains the same, i.e. analytical (placement, i.e. juxtaposition). This way of grammatical connection in both languages can often go along with prepositional connection which is usually an explicit form of prepositional government in Ukrainian. For example:

- by the way, your mother is in town."... між іншим, ваша матір (є) у місті".

(J.Cary)

There was no one else on the beachУже більш нікого не було на пляжі в

so late in the afternoon.(S. Hill) таку пізню годину пополудні.

The local meaning in the first English sentence is expressed only through the postpositive placement of the noun town (in town), whereas in Ukrainian this same adverbial relation (local meaning) is conveyed (and expressed) with the help of the preposition (y) and/plus the case form (locative) of the noun town (у місті),i.e. prepositional government.

Similarly realised are also local and temporal relations in the second sentence. In English: was on the beach(prepositional connection), in Ukrainian не було на пляжі(preposition plus the locative case ending, i. e. syntactic government of the noun пляж/на пляжі).The temporal meanings (and relations) in the English and Ukrainian sentences have some isomorphic and allomorphic expression as well. The main means in English here is placement (so plus late) and prepositional connection (late in the afternoon),whereas in Ukrainian there is observed the combined, i.e. the analytical and synthetic ways of connection in the temporal word-group (у таку годину),but there is a purely asyndetic (analytical connection, i.e. juxtaposition прилягання) in the second temporal word-group (у пізню годину пополудні).This is because the adverb пополудніis indeclinable and is adjoined to the synthetic head/ nucleus у пізню годину(пополудні).

Consequently, the same syntactic relations in English and Ukrainian word-groups are mostly realised with the help of different means. The


latter also display, as will be shown further, their cardinally different quantitative correlation in English and Ukrainian subordinate word -groups.





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