Theoretical grammar and its subject.



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Theoretical grammar and its subject.



Билет 1

Theoretical grammar and its subject.

The term “grammar” goes back to a Greek word that may be translated as the “art of writing”. But later this word acquired a much wider sense and came to embrace the whole study of language. Now it is often used as the synonym of linguistics. A question comes immediately to mind: what does this study involve?

Grammar may be practical and theoretical. The aim of practical grammar is the description of grammar rules that are necessary to understand and formulate sentences. The aim of theoretical grammar is to offer explanation for these rules. Generally speaking, theoretical grammar deals with the language as a functional system.

The following course of theoretical grammar serves to describe the grammatical structure of the English language as a system where all parts are interconnected. The difference between theoretical and practical grammar lies in the fact that practical grammar prescribes certain rules of usage and teaches to speak (or write) correctly whereas theoretical grammar presents facts of language, while analyzing them, and gives no prescriptions.

Unlike school grammar, theoretical grammar does not always produce a ready-made decision. In language there are a number of phenomena interpreted differently by different linguists. To a great extent, these differences are due to the fact that there exist various directions in linguistics, each having its own method of analysis and, therefore, its own approach to the matter. But sometimes these differences arise because some facts of language are difficult to analyze, and in this case the only thing to offer is a possible way to solve the problem, instead of giving a final solution. It is due to this circumstance that there are different theories of the same language phenomenon, which is not the case with practical grammar.

 

Functions of the indefinite article.

The Indefinite Article( a ,an ) is a weakened form of the numeral “one” and is historically related to it. It has 3 functions:

· Classifying (meaning “one of” ). For example: It’s a letter.

· Generalizing (meaning “any” ) .For example: A tiger is a dangerous animal

· Numerical (meaning “one” ).For example: Wait a minute!

The Indefinite article is used only with singular nouns. In the plural such nouns are used without any article. For example: There are books on the shelves

Note

In English the nouns advice, information, fun, luck, news, weather are never used with the indefinite article.

A noun with the indefinite article in the classifying function always contains the novelty of information, therefore this article is used before nouns whose referents are mentioned in the situation of speech for the first time. For example: there’s a man waiting for you…

 

Definition and general characteristics of the word-group.

There are a lot of definitions concerning the word-group. The most adequate one seems to be the following: the word-group is a combination of at least two notional words which do not constitute the sentence but are syntactically connected. According to some other scholars (the majority of Western scholars and professors B.Ilyish and V.Burlakova – in Russia), a combination of a notional word with a function word (on the table) may be treated as a word-group as well. The problem is disputable as the role of function words is to show some abstract relations and they are devoid of nominative power. On the other hand, such combinations are syntactically bound and they should belong somewhere.

General characteristics of the word-group are:

1) As a naming unit it differs from a compound word because the number of constituents in a word-group corresponds to the number of different denotates:

a black bird – чорний птах (2), a blackbird – дрізд (1);

a loud speaker (2), a loudspeaker (1).

2) Each component of the word-group can undergo grammatical changes without destroying the identity of the whole unit: to see a house - to see houses.

3) A word-group is a dependent syntactic unit, it is not a communicative unit and has no intonation of its own.

 

Билет 2

General principles of grammatical analysis.

According to the Bible: ‘In the beginning was the Word’. In fact, the word is considered to be the central (but not the only) linguistic unit (одиниця) of language. Linguistic units (or in other words – signs) can go into three types of relations:

a) The relation between a unit and an object in the world around us (objective reality). E.g. the word ‘table’ refers to a definite piece of furniture. It may be not only an object but a process, state, quality, etc.

This type of meaning is called referential meaning of a unit. It is semantics that studies the referential meaning of units.

b) The relation between a unit and other units (inner relations between units). No unit can be used independently; it serves as an element in the system of other units. This kind of meaning is called syntactic. Formal relation of units to one another is studied by syntactics (or syntax).

c) The relation between a unit and a person who uses it. As we know too well, when we are saying something, we usually have some purpose in mind. We use the language as an instrument for our purpose (e.g.). One and the same word or sentence may acquire different meanings in communication. This type of meaning is called pragmatic. The study of the relationship between linguistic units and the users of those units is done by pragmatics.

Thus there are three models of linguistic description: semantic, syntactic and pragmatic. To illustrate the difference between these different ways of linguistic analysis, let us consider the following sentence: Students are students.

The first part of the XXth century can be characterized by a formal approach to the language study. Only inner (syntactic) relations between linguistic units served the basis for linguistic analysis while the reference of words to the objective reality and language users were actually not considered. Later, semantic language analysis came into use. However, it was surely not enough for a detailed language study. Language certainly figures centrally in our lives. We discover our identity as individuals and social beings when we acquire it during childhood. It serves as a means of cognition and communication: it enables us to think for ourselves and to cooperate with other people in our community. Therefore, the pragmatic side of the language should not be ignored either. Functional approach in language analysis deals with the language ‘in action’. Naturally, in order to get a broad description of the language, all the three approaches must be combined.

 

Functions of the definite article.

Historically the definite Article ( the ) is a demonstrative pronoun. It has 2 functions:

· Individualizing (specifying) – meaning “this, definite”. For example: Give me the ( this ) book, please

· Generic( meaning “the whole class of” ). For example: The housewife has an easier life than the office worker

The Definite Article is used in the specifying function before nouns whose referents are definite. They are made definite by:

1. a restrictive/limiting/ attribute or a restrictive attributive clause .For example:…..he stood at the other end of the room. Where is the book that I bought this morning?

2. The preceding context. For example: A large half-wild gray cat was rubbing at Marcie’s leg.

3. The situation of speech. For example: Mary sprang up and rushed to the door/of the room where Mary was/.

4. The meaning of the noun. For example: The sun was dropping to the west

Note

The referents of the nouns sun and west are definite because they denote unique objects like moon, sky, world and other.

 

Билет 3

Subordinate word-groups.

Subordinate word-groups are based on the relations of dependence between the constituents. This presupposes the existence of a governing

Element which is called the head and the dependent element which is called the adjunct (in noun-phrases) or the complement (in verb-phrases).

According to the nature of their heads, subordinate word-groups fall into noun-phrases (NP) – a cup of tea, verb-phrases (VP) – to run fast, to see a house, adjective phrases (AP) – good for you, adverbial phrases (DP) – so quickly, pronoun phrases (IP) – something strange, nothing todo.

The formation of the subordinate word-group depends on the valency of its constituents. Valency is a potential ability of words to combine. Actual realization of valency in speech is called combinability.

 

Билет 4

1. Notions of ‘system’ and ‘structure’.

Language is regarded as a system of elements (or: signs, units) such as sounds, words, etc. These elements have no value without each other, they depend on each other, they exist only in a system, and they are nothing without a system. System implies the characterization of a complex object as made up of separate parts (e.g. the system of sounds). Language is a structural system.

Structure means hierarchical layering of parts in `constituting the whole. In the structure of language there are four main structural levels: phonological, morphological, syntactical and supersyntatical.

 

The noun-phrase (NP).

Noun word-groups are widely spread in English. This may be explained by a potential ability of the noun to go into combinations with practically all parts of speech. The NP consists of a noun-head and an adjunct or adjuncts with relations of modification between them. Three types of modification are distinguished here:

1.Premodification that comprises all the units placed before the head: two smart hard-working students. Adjuncts used in pre-head position are called pre-posed adjuncts.

2.Postmodification that comprises all the units all the units placed after the head: studentsfrom Boston. Adjuncts used in post-head position are called post-posed adjuncts.

3.Mixed modification that comprises all the units in both pre-head and post-head position:two smart hard-working students from Boston.

Pronoun Adj. N2 N`s Ven Ving Num D

Post-posed adjuncts Adj. Ven Ving prep.N2 prepVing D Num wh-clause, that-clause

 

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Linguistic unit.

Linguistic units (or in other words – signs) can go into three types of relations:

a) The relation between a unit and an object in the world around us (objective reality). E.g. the word ‘table’ refers to a definite piece of furniture. It may be not only an object but a process, state, quality, etc.

This type of meaning is called referential meaning of a unit. It is semantics that studies the referential meaning of units.

b) The relation between a unit and other units (inner relations between units). No unit can be used independently; it serves as an element in the system of other units. This kind of meaning is calledsyntactic. Formal relation of units to one another is studied by syntactics (or syntax).

c) The relation between a unit and a person who uses it. As we know too well, when we are saying something, we usually have some purpose in mind. We use the language as an instrument for our purpose (e.g.). One and the same word or sentence may acquire different meanings in communication. This type of meaning is called pragmatic. The study of the relationship between linguistic units and the users of those units is done by pragmatics.

Thus there are three models of linguistic description: semantic, syntactic and pragmatic. To illustrate the difference between these different ways of linguistic analysis, let us consider the following sentence: Students are students.

The first part of the XXth century can be characterized by a formal approach to the language study. Only inner (syntactic) relations between linguistic units served the basis for linguistic analysis while the reference of words to the objective reality and language users were actually not considered. Later, semantic language analysis came into use. However, it was surely not enough for a detailed language study. Language certainly figures centrally in our lives. We discover our identity as individuals and social beings when we acquire it during childhood. It serves as a means of cognition and communication: it enables us to think for ourselves and to cooperate with other people in our community. Therefore, the pragmatic side of the language should not be ignored either. Functional approach in language analysis deals with the language ‘in action’. Naturally, in order to get a broad description of the language, all the three approaches must be combined.

 

Forms of verb stems.

All Old English verbs may be subdivided into a number of groups in accordance with the grammatical means with the help of which they built their principal stems.

There were two principal means for forming verb-stems in Old English:

1. By means of vowel interchange of root vowel and 2. By means of suffixation.

In accordance with these two methods of formation all the verbs in Old English formed two groups – the strong and the weak verbs.

The strong verbs are verbs which use vowel-interchange as principal means of expressing different grammatical categories. They differ from the weak ones not only in the manner of the building of their forms but also in the number of these principal forms.

There were seven principal gradation classes, five of them based on qualitative ablaut, the sixth class on the quantitative ablaut, the seventh- by means of the so-call reduplication of the root syllable.

The weak verbs are relatively younger than strong verbs. They reflect a later stage in the development of Germanic languages.

They were an open class in Old English, as new verbs that entered the language generally formed their forms on analogy with weak verbs.

The weak verbs are subdivided into three classes.

1.-the stem-suffix-i

2.-the stem-suffix-oi

3.-of the third class there remained in Old English only three verbs –habban (have),libban (live), seyan (see)

 

The verb-phrase.

The VP is a definite kind of the subordinate phrase with the verb as the head. The verb is considered to be the semantic and structural centre not only of the VP but of the whole sentence as the verb plays an important role in making up primary predication that serves the basis for the sentence. VPs are more complex than NPs as there are a lot of ways in which verbs may be combined in actual usage. Valent properties of different verbs and their semantics make it possible to divide all the verbs into several groups depending on the nature of their complements

Classification of verb-phrases.

VPs can be classified according to the nature of their complements – verb complements may be nominal (to see a house) and adverbial (to behave well). Consequently, we distinguish nominal, adverbial and mixed complementation.

Nominal complementation takes place when one or more nominal complements (nouns or pronouns) are obligatory for the realization of potential valency of the verb: to give smth. to smb., to phone smb., to hear smth.(smb.), etc.

Adverbial complementation occurs when the verb takes one or more adverbial elements obligatory for the realization of its potential valency: He behaved well, I live …in Kyiv (here).

Mixed complementation – both nominal and adverbial elements are obligatory: He put his hat on he table (nominal-adverbial).

According to the structure VPs may be basic or simple (to take a book) – all elements are obligatory; expanded (to read and translate the text, to read books and newspapers) andextended (to read an English book).

 

Билет 7

Language and speech.

The distinction between language and speech was made by Ferdinand de Saussure, the Swiss scholar usually credited with establishing principles of modern linguistics. Language is a collective body of knowledge, it is a set of basic elements, but these elements can form a great variety of combinations. In fact the number of these combinations is endless. Speech is closely connected with language, as it is the result of using the language, the result of a definite act of speaking. Speech is individual, personal while language is common for all individuals. To illustrate the difference between language and speech let us compare a definite game of chess and a set of rules how to play chess.

Language is opposed to speech and accordingly language units are opposed to speech units. The language unit phoneme is opposed to the speech unit – sound: phoneme /s/ can sound differently in speech - /s/ and /z/). The sentence is opposed to the utterance; the text is opposed to thediscourse.

 

The division of the verbs.

According to different principles of classification, classifications can be morphological, lexical-morphological, syntactical and functional.

A. Morphological classifications..

I. According to their stem-types all verbs fall into: simple (to go),sound-replacive (food - to feed, blood - to bleed), stress-replacive (import - to import, transport - to transport, expanded (with the help of suffixes and prefixes): cultivate, justify, overcome, composite (correspond to composite nouns): to blackmail), phrasal: to have a smoke, to give a smile (they always have an ordinary verb as an equivalent). 2.According to the way of forming past tenses and Participle II verbs can be regularand irregular.

B. Lexical-morphological classification is based on the implicit grammatical meanings of the verb. According to the implicit grammatical meaning of transitivity/intransitivity verbs fall into transitive andintransitive. According to the implicit grammatical meaning of stativeness/non-stativeness verbs fall into stative and dynamic. According to the implicit grammatical meaning of terminativeness/non-terminativeness verbs fall into terminative and durative. This classification is closely connected with the categories of Aspect and Phase.

C. Syntactic classifications. According to the nature of predication (primary and secondary) all verbs fall into finite and non-finite. According to syntagmatic properties (valency) verbs can be of obligatoryand optional valency, and thus they may have some directionality or be devoid of any directionality. In this way, verbs fall into the verbs of directed (to see, to take, etc.) and non-directed action (to arrive, to drizzle, etc.):

D. Functional classification. According to their functional significance verbs can be notional (with the full lexical meaning), semi-notional (modal verbs, link-verbs), auxiliaries.

 

Билет 8

Predicative word-groups.

Predicative word combinations are distinguished on the basis of secondary predication. Like sentences, predicative word-groups are binary in their structure but actually differ essentially in their organization. The sentence is an independent communicative unit based on primary predication while the predicative word-group is a dependent syntactic unit that makes up a part of the sentence. The predicative word-group consists of a nominal element (noun, pronoun) and a non-finite form of the verb: N + Vnon-fin. There are Gerundial, Infinitive and Participial word-groups (complexes) in the English language: his reading, for me to know, the boy running, etc.)

 

Билет 9

The sentence.

It is rather difficult to define the sentence as it is connected with many lingual and extra lingual aspects – logical, psychological and philosophical. We will just stick to one of them - according to academician G.Pocheptsov, the sentence is the central syntactic construction used as the minimal communicative unit that has its primary predication, actualises a definite structural scheme and possesses definite intonation characteristics. This definition works only in case we do not take into account the difference between the sentence and the utterance. The distinction between the sentence and the utterance is of fundamental importance because the sentence is an abstract theoretical entity defined within the theory of grammar while the utterance is the actual use of the sentence. In other words, the sentence is a unit of language while the utterance is a unit of speech.

The most essential features of the sentence as a linguistic unit are a) its structural characteristics – subject-predicate relations (primary predication), and b) its semantic characteristics – it refers to some fact in the objective reality. It is represented in the language through a conceptual reality:

We may define the proposition as the main predicative form of thought. Basic predicative meanings of the typical English sentence are expressed by the finite verb that is immediately connected with the subject of the sentence (primary predication).

To sum it up, the sentence is a syntactic level unit, it is a predicative language unit which is a lingual representation of predicative thought (proposition).

 

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Билет 11

The category of voice.

The verbal category of voice shows the direction of the process as regards the participants of the situation reflected in the syntactic construction.

Wrote – was written

Meaning – direction of the action, whether the action is represented as issuing from its subject or as experienced by its object.

He wrote this letter yesterday. – This letter was written yesterday.

But The bells rang and The fabric washes easily. Is it the active voice? Why do we have the sentences They rang the bells and She washed the fabric. These are causative constructions.

Middle voice. Greek had the middle voice, the same is in Semitic languages. The weak point – there is no distinct set of forms.

Prof.Barkhudarov considers the middle meaning to be part of the active voice meaning. If it were part of the passive voice meaning it would be possible to use the by-phrase: ?The bells rang by John; ?The fabric washed by the girl.

Reflexive voice: He hurt himself. Meaning – the action is concentrated on one and the same person. Form – verb + reflexive pronoun. But reflexive pronouns can be omitted and the meaning of reflexivity remains: He shaved and dressed. Prof. Ilyish: He hurt himself and the child. Besides: He makes toys – He makes mistakes. And not always reflexive pronouns can be omitted: He found himself in a dark room.

Reciprocal voice: They met each other at the station. Meaning – mutuality of the action. The subject is often plural. Form – verb + reciprocal pronoun. But They met at the station.

Conclusion: if we insist on external being obligatory to form a voice (certainly in combination with meaning), we should refer all the cases mentioned previously to the active voice (non-passive): He opened the door. The door opened. The book reads well. He shaved. They kissed. So, it’s a poly-functional form.

Passive voice: be+en. 2 controversial problems:

1). The form – get and become (He got wounded in the war. He became surprised). - the verbs get and become retain to some extent their lexical meaning; - though Passive is a dependent form (Active is the basic one and Passive is a mere transform) there isn’t full correspondence between Active and Passive: e.g. The boy resembles his father. The hat suits you. – I am surprised. He was killed in the war. The radio was invented by Popov (theme-rheme).

Passive constructions:

Direct Passive (The letter was written yesterday)

Indirect Passive (I was given a very interesting book)

Prepositional Passive (The doctor was sent for) · Phraseological Passive (Care should be taken not to confuse these words)

Adverbial Passive (The house has not been lived in for many years)

2). Passive constructions and compound nominal predicates: The floor was washed only yesterday. – The floor is washed. Action :: result. How to treat the 2 case? Either as Statal Passive (simple verbal predicate) or a phrase (compound nominal predicate). The presence of the by-phrase, the continuous form of the verb, non-terminative verbs, the presence of modal verbs, the use of adverbials indicate passive constructions. e.g. The is closed. The shop is closed at 7.

 

Билет 12

The category of tense.

The category of tense is a verbal category that reflects the objective category of time. The essential characteristic of the category of tense is that it relates the time of the action, event or state of affairs referred to in the sentence to the time of the utterance (the time of the utterance being "now" or the present moment). The tense category is realized through the oppositions. The binary principle of oppositions remains the basic one in the correlation of the forms that represent the grammatical category of tense. The present moment is the main temporal plane of verbal actions. Therefore, the temporal dichotomy may be illustrated by the following graphic representation (the arrows show the binary opposition):

 

Text as a syntactic unit.

Text is the unit of the highest (supersyntactic) level. It can be defined as a sequence of sentences connected logically and semantically which convey a complete message. The text is a language unit and it manifests itself in speech as discourse. Textlinguistics is concerned with the analysis of formal and structural features of the text. Textual basic integrative properties can be described with the help of the notions of coherence (цілісність), cohesion (формальна складність) and deixis

 

Билет 13

1. The notion of ‘grammatical meaning’.

The word combines in its semantic structure two meanings – lexical and grammatical. Lexical meaning is the individual meaning of the word (e.g. table). Grammatical meaning is the meaning of the whole class or a subclass. For example, the class of nouns has the grammatical meaning of thingness. If we take a noun (table) we may say that it possesses its individual lexical meaning (it corresponds to a definite piece of furniture) and the grammatical meaning of thingness (this is the meaning of the whole class). Besides, the noun ‘table’ has the grammatical meaning of a subclass – countableness. Any verb combines its individual lexical meaning with the grammatical meaning of verbiality – the ability to denote actions or states. An adjective combines its individual lexical meaning with the grammatical meaning of the whole class of adjectives – qualitativeness – the ability to denote qualities. Adverbs possess the grammatical meaning of adverbiality – the ability to denote quality of qualities.There are some classes of words that are devoid of any lexical meaning and possess the grammatical meaning only. This can be explained by the fact that they have no referents in the objective reality. All function words belong to this group – articles, particles, prepositions, etc.

 

The Category of aspect.

The category of aspect is a linguistic representation of the objective category of Manner of Action. It is realized through the opposition Continuous: Non-Continuous (Progressive::Non-Progressive). The realization of the category of aspect is closely connected with the lexical meaning of verbs.The general meaning of the category of aspect is the inherent mode of realization of the process. Aspect is closely connected with time semantics, showing, as A. M. Peshkovsky puts it, “the distribution of the action in time”, or the “temporal structure” of the action.Like time, aspect can be expressed both by lexical and grammatical meansThe expression of aspective semantics in English verbal forms is interconnected with the expression of temporal semantics; that is why in practical grammar they are treated not as separate tense and aspect forms but as specifictense-aspect forms, cf.: the present continuous – I am working; the past continuous – I was working; the past perfect and the past indefinite – I had done my work before he came, etc. This fusion of temporal and aspectual semantics and the blend in their formal expression have generated a lot of controversies in dealing with the category of aspect and the tense-aspect forms of the verb. The analysis of aspect has proven to be one of the most complex areas of English linguistics: the four correlated forms, the indefinite, the continuous, the perfect, and the perfect continuous, have been treated by different scholars as tense forms, as aspect forms, as forms of mixed tense-aspect status, and as neither tense nor aspect forms, but as forms of a separate grammatical category.

 

The notion of coherence.

Coherence is a semantic or topical unity of the spoken or written text – that is, the sentences within the text are usually connected by the same general topic. Generally speaking, a coherent text is the text that ‘sticks together’ as a whole unit. Coherence is usually achieved by means of the theme and rheme progression. There exist various types of the theme and rheme progression. Naturally, in the process of text development different types of theme and rheme progression are combined.

 

Билет 14

1. Types of grammatical meaning.

The grammatical meaning may be explicit and implicit. The implicit grammatical meaning is not expressed formally (e.g. the word table does not contain any hints in its form as to it being inanimate). The explicit grammatical meaning is always marked morphologically – it has its marker. In the word cats the grammatical meaning of plurality is shown in the form of the noun; cat’s – here the grammatical meaning of possessiveness is shown by the form ‘s; is asked – shows the explicit grammatical meaning of passiveness. The implicit grammatical meaning may be of two types – general and dependent. The general grammatical meaning is the meaning of the whole word-class, of a part of speech (e.g. nouns – the general grammatical meaning of thingness). The dependent grammatical meaning is the meaning of a subclass within the same part of speech. For instance, any verb possesses the dependent grammatical meaning of transitivity/intransitivity, terminativeness/non-terminativeness, stativeness/non-stativeness; nouns have the dependent grammatical meaning of contableness/uncountableness and animateness/inanimateness. The most important thing about the dependent grammatical meaning is that it influences the realization of grammatical categories restricting them to a subclass. Thus the dependent grammatical meaning of countableness/uncountableness influences the realization of the grammatical category of number as the number category is realized only within the subclass of countable nouns, the grammatical meaning of animateness/inanimateness influences the realization of the grammatical category of case, teminativeness/non-terminativeness - the category of tense, transitivity/intransitivity – the category of voice.

 

Билет 15

Grammatical categories.

Grammatical meaning is the meaning of the whole class or a subclass. For example, the class of nouns has the grammatical meaning of thingness. If we take a noun (table) we may say that it possesses its individual lexical meaning (it corresponds to a definite piece of furniture) and the grammatical meaning of thingness (this is the meaning of the whole class). Besides, the noun 'table3 has the grammatical meaning of a subclass - countableness.

Grammatical categories are made up by the unity of identical grammatical meanings that have the same form (e.g. singular::plural).

We may define grammatical categories as references of the corresponding objective categories. For example, the objective category of time finds its representation in the grammatical category of tense, the objective category of quantity finds its representation in the grammatical category of number. Those grammatical categories that have references in the objective reality are called referential grammatical categories. However, not all of the grammatical categories have references in the objective reality, just a few of them do not correspond to anything in the objective reality. They are called significational categories. To this type belong the categories of mood and degree.

 

Textual deictic markers.

As a linguistic term deixis means ‘identification by pointing’.

Much of the textual meaning can be understood by looking at linguistic markers that have a pointing function in a given context. For example, consider the following note pinned on a professor’s door:“Sorry, I missed you. I’m in my other office. Back in an hour.” Without knowing who the addressee is, what time the note was written, or the location of the other office, it is really hard to make a precise information of the message. Those terms that we cannot interpret without an immediate context are called deixis. Deictic terms are used to refer to ourselves, to others, and to objects in our environment. They are also used to locate actions in a time frame relative to the present. Deictic terms can show social relationship – the social location of individuals in relation to others. They may be used to locate parts of a text in relation to other parts.

Deictic expressions are typically pronouns, certain time and place adverbs (here, now, etc.), some verbs of motion (come/go), and even tenses. In fact all languages have expressions that link a sentence to a time and space context and that help to determine reference.

We can identify five major types of deictic markers – person, place, time, textual and social.

 

Билет 16

The notion of opposition.

Any grammatical category must be represented by at least two grammatical forms (e.g. the grammatical category of number – singular and plural forms). The relation between two grammatical forms differing in meaning and external signs (внешние признаки) is called opposition – book::books (unmarked member/marked member). All grammatical categories find their realization through oppositions, e.g. the grammatical category of number is realized through the opposition singular::plural.

Taking all the above mentioned into consideration, we may define the grammatical category as the opposition between two mutually exclusive form-classes (a form-class is a set of words with the same explicit grammatical meaning).

Means of realization of grammatical categories may be synthetic (near – nearer) and analytic (beautiful – more beautiful).

 

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Word classes.

Modern grammars normally recognise four major word classes (verb, noun, adjective, adverb) and five other word classes (determiners(, preposition(предлог), pronoun, conjunction (союз), interjection(междометие)), making nine word classes (or parts of speech) in total.

A noun is a word that identifies:

a person (man, girl, engineer, friend) a thing (horse, wall, flower, country) an idea, quality, or state (anger, courage, life, luckiness)

Nouns are the most common type of word, followed by verbs.

A verb describes what a person or thing does or what happens. For example, verbs describe:

an action – jump, stop, explore\ an event – snow, happen \ a situation – be, seem, have \ a change – evolve, develop

An adjective is a word that describes a noun, giving extra information about it. For example:

an exciting adventure

a green apple

Adverbs are words that to give information about verbs, adjectives or other adverbs, like: quickly, back, ever, badly, away generally, completely

They can make the meaning of a verb, adjective, or other adverb stronger or weaker, and often appear between the subject and its verb (She nearly lost everything.)

Nouns are the most common type of word, followed by verbs. Adjectives are less common and adverbs are even less common.

Many words belong to more than one word class. For example, book can be used as a noun or as a verb; fast can be used as an adjective or an adverb:

It’s an interesting book. (noun)

We ought to book a holiday soon. (verb)

Pronouns are used in place of a noun that is already known or has already been mentioned. This is often done in order to avoid repeating the noun. For example:

Laura left early because she was tired.

Prepositions (предлоги) are words usually in front of a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation to another word or element, like: after, down, near, of, plus, round, to. They show the relationship between the noun or pronoun and other words in a sentence.

Interjections(междометия) have no grammatical value - words like: ah, hey, oh, ouch, um, well. is a word or phrase that expresses strong emotion, such as surprise, pleasure, or anger. Exclamations often stand on their own

A conjunction (союз) (also called a connective) is a word such as and, because, but, for, if, or, and when. Conjunctions are used to connect phrases, clauses, and sentences.

A determiner is a word that introduces a noun, such as a/an, the, every, this, those, or many (as in a dog, the dog, this dog, those dogs, every dog, many dogs).

The determiner the is sometimes known as the definite article and the determiner a (or an) as the indefinite article.

 

Textual deictic markers.

As a linguistic term deixis means ‘identification by pointing’. Much of the textual meaning can be understood by looking at linguistic markers that have a pointing function in a given context. For example, “Sorry, I missed you. I’m in my other office. Back in an hour.” Without knowing who the addressee is, what time the note was written, or the location of the other office, it is really hard to make a precise information of the message. Those conditions that we cannot interpret without an immediate context are called deixis (Те условия, которые мы не можем интерпретировать без непосредственного контекста называются дейксис) Deictic terms are used to refer (для обозначения) to ourselves, to others, and to objects in our environment.

Deictic terms can show social relationship – the social location of individuals in relation to others. They may be used to define parts of a text in relation to other parts.

Deictic expressions are typically pronouns, certain time and place adverbs (here, now, etc.), some verbs of motion (come/go), and even tenses.

We can identify five major types of deictic markers – person, place, time, textual and social.

Person deixis refers to grammatical markers of communicant roles in a speech event. The first person is the speaker’s reference to self; the second person is the speaker’s reference to addressee(s) and the third person is reference to others who are neither speaker nor addressee.

Place deixis refers to how languages show the relationship between space and the location of the participants in the text: this, that, here, there, in front of, at our place, etc.

Temporal deixis refers to the time relative to the time of speaking: now, then, today, yesterday, tomorrow, etc.

Textual deixis has to do with keeping track of reference in the unfolding text: in the following chapter, but, first, I’d like to discuss, etc. (Textual deixis должны делать с отслеживания ссылок в разворачивающейся тексте).

Social deixis is used to code (используется для кодирования социальных отношений) social relationships between speakers and addressee or audience. Here belong titles of addresses and pronouns. There are two kinds of social deixis: relational and absolute. Absolute deictic markers are forms attached to a social role: Your Honor, Mr.President, Your Grace, Madam, etc. Relational deictic markers locate persons in relation to the speaker rather than by their roles in the society: my cousin, you, her, etc.

 

Билет 20

Билет 21

The category of number.

The grammatical category of number is the linguistic representation of the objective category of quantity. The number category is realized through the opposition of two form-classes: the plural form :: the singular form. The category of number in English is restricted in its realization because of the dependent implicit grammatical meaning of countableness/uncountableness. The number category is realized only within subclass of countable nouns.

The grammatical meaning of number may not coincide with the notional quantity: the noun in the singular does not necessarily denote one object while the plural form may be used to denote one object consisting of several parts. The singular form may denote:

1.oneness (individual separate object – a cat);

2.generalization (the meaning of the whole class – The cat is a domestic animal);

3.indiscreteness (нерасчлененность or uncountableness - money, milk).

The plural form may denote:

1.the existence of several objects (cats);

2.the inner discreteness (внутренняя расчлененность, pluralia tantum, jeans).

To sum it up, all nouns may be subdivided into three groups:

1.The nouns in which the opposition of explicit discreteness/indiscreteness is expressed :cat::cats;

2.The nouns in which this opposition is not expressed explicitly but is revealed by syntactical and lexical correlation in the context. There are two groups here:

3.Singularia tantum. It covers different groups of nouns: proper names, abstract nouns, material nouns, collective nouns;

4.Pluralia tantum. It covers the names of objects consisting of several parts (jeans), names of sciences (mathematics), names of diseases, games, etc.

5.The nouns with homogenous number forms. The number opposition here is not expressed formally but is revealed only lexically and syntactically in the context: e.g. Look! A sheep is eating grass. Look! The sheep are eating grass.

 

Билет 22

The category of case.

The problem of case is one of the most debatable problems in English grammar. The usual view is that the English nouns have 2 cases – a common and possessive (or genitive), for example – mother – mother’s. But there are other views which are contradictory to each other. The 1st is that the number of cases is more that 2. The 2nd is that there are no cases at all on the sphere of English nouns. Case is the category of a noun, expressing relations between the thing denoting by a noun and other things or properties or actions and manifested by some formal sign in the noun itself. This sign is almost always an inflection and it may be a zero sign: the absence of any sign may be significant in distinguishing one particular case from another. The minimum number of cases in a give language system must be 2 because the existence of 2 correlated elements is needed to establish a category. German linguists proposed that the case may be expressed by different prepositions, by word order they distinguish 4 cases – nominative, genitive, dative (by preposition ‘to’ and word order) and accusative. This point of view isn’t right, because if we admit that the phrase ‘of the pan’ is genitive case, ‘to the pan’ is dative, then there would be no reason to deny that ‘with the pan’ is an instrumental case, ‘in the pan’ is the locative case. Thus, the number of cases would become indefinitely large, because there are a lot of prepositions in English. It seems obvious that the number of cases can’t be more than 2 - common and possessive. The possibility of forming possessive case is limited to a class of nouns, denoting living beings (my brother’s wife) and those, denoting units of time (this year’s election) and also substantivized adverbs (today’s newspaper).

 

Билет 23

Basic syntactic notions.

The definition of the sentence still remains one of the most difficult problems of general linguistics. It remains unsolved up to this date. Professor Ilyish avoids giving the definition of the sentence, he gives the following characteristic futures of the sentence: 1) It must state the relation of the sentence as a unit of language to the thought. 2) It must take into account the specific structure of the language. 3) It must leave room, as for many variants as it’s possible. Though the definition of the sentence has a long system, it still remains one of the most debatable theoretical problems and it still remains unsolved to this day. But syntax deals not only with the sentence, but also with the word group, the word combination or the phrase. What is the difference between the sentence and the phrase? To answer this question professor Smirnitsky compares 2 word combinations: ‘The doctor’s arrival’ and ‘the doctor arrived’. The 1st word combination doesn’t communicate anything. It’s not a unit of communication. In the 2nd word combination the same phenomenon of objective reality is represented as connected with reality. The indication of the connection of our communication with reality is called predication. Thus, predication expresses the reference of the contents of speech to reality. Therefore, the sentence is the shortest unit of communication , which is characterized by predication, modality, relative completeness of its meaning and intonation. The phrase or word group is a grammatically organized unit of speech, consisting of 2 or more words, denoting a certain notion.

 

Билет 24

Syntactic relations.

No unit can be used independently; it serves as an element in the system of other units. This kind of meaning is called syntactic. Syntactic units can go into 3 types of syntactic relations. Coordination (SR1) – syntagmatic relations of independence. SR1 can be observed on the phrase, sentence and text levels. Coordination may be symmetric and asymmetric. Symmetric coordination is characterized by complete interchangeability of its elements – pens and pencils. Asymmetric coordination occurs when the position of elements is fixed: ladies and gentlemen. Forms of connection within SR1 may be copulative (you and me), disjunctive (you or me), adversative (strict but just) and causative-consecutive (sentence and text level only). Subordination (SR2) – syntagmatic relations of dependence. SR2 are established between the constituents of different linguistic rank. They are observed on the phrase and sentence level. Subordination may be of three different kinds – adverbial (to speak slowly), objective (to see a house) and attributive (a beautiful flower). Forms of subordination may also be different – agreement (this book – these books), government (help us), adjournment (the use of modifying particles just, only, even, etc.) and enclosure (the use of modal words and their equivalents really, after all, etc.). Predication (SR3) – syntagmatic relations of interdependence. Predication may be of two kinds – primary (sentence level) and secondary (phrase level). Primary predication is observed between the subject and the predicate of the sentence while secondary predication is observed between non-finite forms of the verb and nominal elements within the sentence. Secondary predication serves the basis for gerundial, infinitive and participial word-groups (predicative complexes).

 

Билет 1

Theoretical grammar and its subject.

The term “grammar” goes back to a Greek word that may be translated as the “art of writing”. But later this word acquired a much wider sense and came to embrace the whole study of language. Now it is often used as the synonym of linguistics. A question comes immediately to mind: what does this study involve?

Grammar may be practical and theoretical. The aim of practical grammar is the description of grammar rules that are necessary to understand and formulate sentences. The aim of theoretical grammar is to offer explanation for these rules. Generally speaking, theoretical grammar deals with the language as a functional system.

The following course of theoretical grammar serves to describe the grammatical structure of the English language as a system where all parts are interconnected. The difference between theoretical and practical grammar lies in the fact that practical grammar prescribes certain rules of usage and teaches to speak (or write) correctly whereas theoretical grammar presents facts of language, while analyzing them, and gives no prescriptions.

Unlike school grammar, theoretical grammar does not always produce a ready-made decision. In language there are a number of phenomena interpreted differently by different linguists. To a great extent, these differences are due to the fact that there exist various directions in linguistics, each having its own method of analysis and, therefore, its own approach to the matter. But sometimes these differences arise because some facts of language are difficult to analyze, and in this case the only thing to offer is a possible way to solve the problem, instead of giving a final solution. It is due to this circumstance that there are different theories of the same language phenomenon, which is not the case with practical grammar.

 



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