ЗНАЕТЕ ЛИ ВЫ?

REALIZATION OF CONTEXTUAL MEANINGS OF THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE



Strange as it may seem but very often, almost predominantly, the indefinite article is endowed in speech/text with lexical meanings, which may coincide with those of different pronouns. The only exception is made for the meaning of the cardinal numeral «one» from which the indefinite article historically originates. No wonder that the contextual meanings of the lexically charged indefinite article can sometimes be, as will be seen further on, quite unexpected. The most frequent and common of these meanings can be expressed, as has been mentioned already, in one of the following ways:

1) by the cardinal numeral один (одна, одне): He said something about а Він тут розповідав щось про

1 See: Бархударов Л.С. Структура простого предложения современного английского язьїка. - М.: «Вьісш. шк.», 1966, p.p. 192-195.


schooner that's gettin' ready to go одну шхуну,
off.
(О. Wilde) відпливати.


яка готується


2) In some contexts, however, the indefinite article may ac
quire a lexical meaning which corresponds either to the Ukrainian
cardinal numeral один, to the ordinal numeral перший or to the in
definite pronoun якийсь (якась, якесь). The indefinite article may
also mark the rheme of the utterance as in the sentence: Only for an
instant he hesitated, then his head went up and his hand came off.
(J. London) In this sentence any of the above-given substitutes may
be quite faithful, since the cardinal or ordinal numeral and the indefi
nite pronoun are equally fitting in the utterance, which in Ukrainian
will have another position:

Він був у нерішучості (вагався) тільки якусь мить... Він був у нерішучості (вагався) тільки першу мить... Він був у нерішучості (вагався) тільки одну мить... Similarly in the following sentences:

It was only fora moment. Це тривало тільки одну/

(J. London) якусь мить.

3) By the indefinite pronoun якийсь only, without the attendant
meanings of the cardinal or ordinal numerals:

He saw her come down the aisle, with Arthur and a strange young man.(J.London) Sometimes, when with her, she noted an unusual brightnessin his eyes, and she liked it. (Ibid.)

Він бачив, як вона пройшла партером у супроводі Артура і ще якогось незнайомого молодика.

Часом, коли він бував з нею,
вона помічала якийсь

особливий блискв його очах, що подобався їй.

4) when the lexically meaningful indefinite article precedes the noun under logical stress, it functions as the demonstrative pronoun, which is translated into Ukrainian as цей, ця, це:


This was his programme for a week.(J. London)

Here was a man who could do anything, was the message she read there. (Ibid.)

How can a man write so badly?.. (E. Hemingway)


Це була його програма на цей тиждень.

Ця людина здатнана все-ось що вона прочитала в його погляді.

Як може ця людина (цей чоловік)писати так погано?..



5) As one of the possessive textual meaning):

He did not go home immediately, and under the tree, where he kept his vigils, he looked up at a windowand murmured. (J. London)

When she returned with the grammar, she drew a chairnear his. (Ibid.)


pronouns (according to their con-

Він (Мартін) не рушив зразу додому, а пішов до знайомого дерева, став на звичне місце проти їївікна і прошептав схвильовано.

Коли вона (Рут) повернулася з граматикою, вона присунула свій стілець до його стільця.


6) As the negative ргопоипжоден or the negative perticle ані (when the determined noun is preceded by the negative particle not):

You were not following а Ви не чули жодного слова/
word.ані слова.

Не hadn't a penny.Він не мав жодного пенні
(S. Maugham) (ані пенні).


7) as the relative adjective цілийwhich is lexically equivalent in the sentences below to the Ukrainian identifying pronoun весь (вся, все):

Мартін узяв напрокат друкарську машинку і цілий (весь)день вчився друкувати на ній. ...(його) доробок за день дорівнював доробкові якого-небудь модного письменника за цілийтиждень.

Martin rented a typewriter and spent a day mastering the machine. (J. London)

- (his) day's work was the equivalent to a week's workof

the average succesful writer. (Ibid.)


8) More common in Ukrainian contextual substitutes for the lexically meaningful indefinite article are, however, different relative adjectives, the most often used being справжній:

It is sweet to feel that you are really and truly a woman.(Ibid.)

This small sum seemed a fortune.(Ibid.)


Приємно відчувати (себе), що ти є справжньоюжінкою.

Ця маленька сума здалася (Мартіну) справжнім(цілим) скарбом.


9) The contextual meaning of the indefinite article may some-


times be expressed in Ukrainian through different adverbs:

He had the conviction that he У нього було таке переконання,

could sit in a draught if he що він міг сидіти навіть на протязі,

wanted to. (J. Galsworthy) якби того захотів...

There is a great difference. Це зовсім різні речі/зовсім

(O.Wilde) інша річ.

The above-given lexical realizations of the determining and identifying functions of the definite and indefinite articles would be incomplete without the illustration of some other meanings, which they may acquire in contextual environment. The choice of the se-mantically fitting substitute for the definite or indefinite article then rests entirely with the translator, who is well acquainted with the text/ work under translation. Since the style of the text may often influence or predetermine the choice of the necessary synonym, care should be taken in order not to neglect the possible ways of expression in Ukrainian either. Thus, the lexical meaning of the indefinite article a in the sentence - I didn't dare show my face at Court for a month. (O. Wilde) - could be faithfully expressed in Ukrainian either through the identifying pronoun весь or by its lexical equivalent at sentence level, which is the relative adjective цілий. But the translator of The Picture of Dorian Gray (R. Dotsenko) has suggested for this particular case a more acceptable contextual version: Я добрий місяць і носа не наважувався показати при дворі.

10) The broader context often predetermines the employment
of lexically equivalent variants which could scarcely ever be offered
for a narrow context. The kind of contextual substitutes can be seen
in the examples below, where Ukrainian demonstrative and other
pronouns, adjectives, numerals, etc., are contextually/semantically
enforced by emphatic or modal particles. Thus, the contextual mean
ing of the indefinite article below is expressed through an adjective
enforced by an emphatic or some other particle or group of particles:

He was not to remain a sailor. Бо ж він не буде простим

(London) собі матросом..

Не seemed to think it a dis- Він вважав це чи не за

tinction. (Ibid.) особливу відзнаку.

11) The contextual meaning of the indefinite article may be
expressed through the interrogative or indefinite pronoun also en
forced by some emphatic particles:

- a penniless young fellow, а ...молодик без шеляга за


mere nobody, sir, a subaltern in а душею, - власненіщо, сер,
foot regiment. усього лишень якийсь

піхотний офіцерик... What a lovely day!(La Mure) Який жегарний день!

Note:Apart from the above-cited contextual meanings of the definite and the indefinite articles there may be some other (implicit) meanings of them. Thus, the definite article may sometimes have the following additional realizations in Ukrainian:

a) that of a pronominal word-group of an emphatic force:

I want you to get rid of the Я хочу, щоб ви врешті-решт
dreadful peopleyou're associ- перестали спілкуватися з усіма
ated with. (O. Wilde) тимипокидьками.

The identifying definite article may include in its semantic information some specifying function and meaning too:

The Chinamenwere already Там уже метушились госпо-
busy in their shops. (Ibid.) дарі китайськихкрамничок.

Some implicit contextual meanings of the modifying and identifying definite article the can often be given a true and faithful explication i.e. realization in translation only after a thorough study of the broader content as well. Cf.:

After a moment's hesitation, Стрікленд роздумував

Strickland scrambled to his feet, недовго. Випростав затерплі
and together they went to the ноги, і вони вдвох подалися до
Bonchee de Pain. іншого благодійного

(S.Maugham) закладу під назвою

«Хлібодар».

The MacAndrews,who were Полковник Мак-Ендрю з

childless and in easy circum- дружиною,бездітні й добре
stances, arranged to undertake забезпечені, взяли на
the care of the children, and Mrs. утримання її дітей, так що місіс
Strickland had only herself to pro- Стрікленд заробляла тільки на
vide for. (Ibid.) себе.

b) Sometimes the article may substitute an implicit identifying/
interrogative pronoun and a particle expressing the contextual mean
ing of the emphatically used noun with the definite article. This can be
seen in the following exclamatory sentence:


The pity of it! The pity of it! Якжаль! Якийжаль!

шкода! Дужешкода!

The picture of contextual realizations of meanings pertained to the determining and identifying articles would be incomplete without some illustrations of their «deep», as one might call them, or interpharasal and superphrasal meanings, which the articles may acquire in some contexts. The interphrasal meaning of the definite or indefinite article may be elicited already from its contextual meaning at the level of the sentence. Cf.:

I looked at her mouth for an Я позирав на її вуста - чи expressionthat could give me не майне там бодайтінь її a clue to what she felt. (Maugham) душевного стану.

The meaning of the noun with the indefinite article (an expression)is clearly perceived from the content of the sentence where it may also be substituted tor якийсь вираз/хоч якийсь вираз.

More or less transient is also the meaning of the underlined noun with the definite article in the following sentence:

Of the threatshe said noth- Власне ж про саму погрозу
ing. (O.Wilde) вона промовчала/не сказала

нічого.

In some cases, however, it is next to impossible to translate a noun with the implicit meaning of its identifying or specifying article without an inquiry into the broader context of the whole work, as in the following sentence:

They sent me to Amsterdam Мене вірядили до
to try for a scholarship,and І Амстердама на конкурс,який
won it. (Maugham.) обіцяв стипендію в художній

школі,і я здобув її.

It goes without saying that such a descriptive translation of the noun (a scholarship)could be offered only by a translator well acquainted with the content of the preceding sentences or even of the whole paragraph.

There are, naturally, many more contextual realizations of the lexical meanings, pertaining to the definite and the indefinite articles, which they may acquire in a text/at speech level.

In view of the diversity of possible lexical realizations, which the English articles may have in speech, the student will be warned to employ not only their single word equivalents to express their meanings in Ukrainian. A thorough study of the broader context may sometimes help to find a more fitting substitute for a lexically charged


indefinite or definite article in Ukrainian. Thus, in the sentence He had a face that reminded me of a frog. (W.Lewis) the bold type indefinite article a can not be denied the meaning of the demonstrative pronoun таке.All this must be borne in mind when dealing with the lexically meaningful articles in the sentences of the exercise below. Unfortunately, the restricted space of the manual makes it impossible to give regular passages with the implicit (contextual) meanings of the definite and the indefinite articles.





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