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Typological Features of the Clauses of Condition (умови)



Adverbial clauses of condition in English and Ukrainian are characterised by several isomorphic features which may be of semantic or structural nature. Thus, these clauses in both languages can express a real or unreal condition referring to present, past or future. Also common are the types of conditional relationships in English sentences and in their Ukrainian equivalents, and the time of the action/event expressed in their matrix and in subordinate clauses. The latter are introduced in English by the following conjunctions and connectives: if, unless, suppose/supposing, provided, in case, as though, on condition, etc. corresponding to Ukrainian якщо, якби, коли/б, аби, як, за умови якщо, etc.

Mostly the same (preposed or postposed) is the placement/position of conditional clauses in the equivalent English and Ukrainian complex sentences of this type. Cf.


You can die if you don't give up Ти помреш, якщо не кинеш випива-

drinking. (Hemingway) ти.

If you want to be an actor... Якщо ти хочеш сіпати артистом,

І can't stop you. (Maugham) ...я не можу відраджувати тебе.

Apart from the conjunction if the conjunction unless often introduces the clauses of real condition (its Ukrainian equivalent is якщо):

...He (dog) would not go with me ...він/собака ніколи не йшов за мною,

unless I urged him to. (O'Dell) якщо я його не кликав.

Unless my memory plays me а Якщо мені не зраджує пам'ять,

trick, his portrait... has already його фотографія вже

appeared in the Strand Magazine... публікувалася в журналі "Стренд".

Conditional clauses can also be introduced by the connectives "in case of" and "on condition that" (in Ukrainian "у випадку якщо" "за умови, якщо/коли"):

І also gathered herbs from the hill Я також назбирала трав на

above the spring in case I should горбку біля джерела на випа-

need them. (O'Dell) док, якщо в них буде потреба.

You can go swimming on condition Можеш іти купатися за умови,

that you don't go too far from the якщо не відпливатимеш далеко

river bank. (Hornby) від берега.

Note.Allomorphism is observed in the transposition of present tense form to express future in English sub-clauses of condition which is not so in Ukrainian where in both clauses the future tense is used, eg: "If you are decent with me, I'll work for you." (Gardner) Якщо ти будеш порядним зі мною, я працюватиму на тебе.

Of common structure and nature in both contrasted languages are also clauses of unreal condition referring to present, past and future and joined to the matrix clause asyndetically, eg:

"Had the house been merely what is "Був би це просто, як кажуть,

called a hermit house, you would покинутий будинок, ви б заліз-

have reached it..." (Christie) ли в нього по-іншому".


A specific feature of Ukrainian clauses of unreal condition is the use of the particles б, би, whereas in English a conditional meaning may be expressed by the phrase "but for": "But for your help we should not have finished in time." (Hornby). Cf. Якби/Коли б не твоя допомога...

Isomorphic in both languages is also the expression by conditional clauses (similar to some other clauses) together with some inherent accompanying adverbial meanings. The main of them in English and Ukrainian are the following three:

1. The temporal meaning (when the if-clause can be substituted for the when-clause):

I was not sure what I would do if Я не був певний у тому, що я ро- the Aleuts came. (O'Dell) бив би, якби/коли б з'явилися алеути.

Cf. I was not sure what I would do when the Aleuts came.

2. The suppositional and temporal meaning:

If she should come, I shall ask her В разі, якщо б/коли б вона

to wait. (Dreiser) пришила, я попрошу її зачекати.

The conjunction if in the sentence above may be equally substituted for the connective when with the same suppositional and conditional meanings: When she should come I shall ask her to wait.

3. A concessive accompanying meaning:

Miss O'Shanty had a way of ma- Міс О'Шенті вміла заглушити в

king you feel welcome even if you тобі протест, навіть якби тебе

came to be expelled. (Hughes) виключали з коледжу.

The conditional and concessive meanings in this sentence are inseparably interwoven. As a result, "even if" may be substituted for "even though " (cf. even though you came to be expelled — навіть хоч би тебе виключили з коледжу).

Isomorphic is also the use of tenses in the matrix and in the conditional clauses of the contrasted languages, eg:

But if they had been sent by my Але якби вони були послані мої-


people to take me away, then I ми людьми, щоб забрати мене,

should not hide. (O'Dell) тоді не слід би й ховатися.

Here the past subjunctive passive in the conditional clause and the present subjunctive active in the matrix clause have their absolute temporal (and semantic) equivalents in Ukrainian ("якби вони були послані", "й не слід би ховатися").





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