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Lecture-Notes in English Theoretical Grammar


Point 1. The subject of theoretical grammar and its difference from practical grammar.

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.

Point 2. The main development stages of English theoretical grammar.

English theoretical grammar has naturally been developing in the mainstream of world linguistics. Observing the fact that some languages are very similar to one another in their forms, while others are quite dissimilar, scholars still long ago expressed the idea that languages revealing formal features of similarity have a common origin. Attempts to establish groups of kindred languages were repeatedly made from the 16th century on. Among the scholars who developed the idea of language relationship and attempted to give the first schemes of their genealogical groupings we find the name of J. J. Scaliger (1540-1609).

But a consistently scientific proof and study of the actual relationship between languages became possible only when the historical comparative method of language study was created – in the first quarter of the 19th century.

The historical comparative method developed in connection with the comparative observation of languages belonging to the Indo-European family, and its appearance was stimulated by the discovery of Sanskrit.

Sir William Jones (1746-1794), a prominent British orientalist and Sanskrit student, was the first to point out in the form of rigorously grounded scientific hypothesis that Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Gothic, and some other languages of India and Europe had sprung from the same source which no longer existed. He put forward this hypothesis in his famous report to the Calcutta Linguistic Society (1786), basing his views on an observation of verbal roots and certain grammatical forms in the languages compared.

The relations between the languages of the Indo-European family were studied systematically and scientifically at the beginning of the 19th century by some European scholars, such as Franz Bopp (1791-1867), Rasmus Kristian Rask (1787-1832), Jacob Grimm (1785-1863), and A. Ch. Vostokov (1781-1864). These scholars not only made comparative and historical observations of the kindred languages, but they defined the fundamental conception of linguistic ‘kinship’ (‘relationship’), and created the historical comparative method in linguistics. The rise of this method marks the appearance of linguistics as a science in the strict sense of the word.

After that the historical and comparative study of the Indo-European languages became the principal line of European linguistics for many years to come.

The historical comparative linguistics was further developed in the works of such scholars of the 19th and 20th centuries as F. Dietz (1794-1876), A. F. Pott (1802-1887), A.Schleicher (1821-1868) , F.I.Buslayev (1848-1897), F. F. Fortunatov (1848-1914), F. de Saussure (1857-1913), A.Meillet(1866-1936) and other linguists.

At the beginning of the 20th century the science of linguistics went different ways and later formed into various trends or schools, each of them contributing greatly to English theoretical grammar. The process is still under way nowadays, and it is going to be considered in detail further on.

Thus, we may tentatively trace three main development stages of English theoretical grammar: first (the 16th century - the first quarter of the 19th century), second (the first quarter of the 19th century - the 1930s) and third (the 1930s - present day).

Point 3. The classical scientific grammar of the late 19th century and the first

half of the 20th century .

As it has been stated above, the main method of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century was the historical comparative method. Valuable as it was for the scientific study of languages, it had definite shortcomings and limitations.

The historical comparative method did not give any exact definition of the object of linguistics as an independent science. Logical, psychological, and sociological considerations were involved in linguistic studies to such an extent as to obscure linguistics proper.

The study of numerous languages of the world was neglected, the research being limited to the group of the Indo-European languages.

It was mainly the historical changes of phonological and morphological units that were studied; syntax hardly existed as an elaborate domain of linguistics alongside of phonology and morphology. The painstaking study of the evolution of sounds and morphemes led to an atomistic approach to language.

As a reaction to the atomistic approach to language a new theory appeared that was seeking to grasp linguistic events in their mutual interconnection and interdependence, to understand and to describe language as a system.

The first linguists to speak of language as a system or a structure of smaller systems were Beaudouin de Courtenay (1845-1929) and Academician F.F.Fortunatov of Russia, and the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure.

There were three major linguistic schools that developed these new notions concerning language and linguistics as the science that studies it: the Prague School that created Functional linguistics, the Copenhagen School which created Glossematics, and the American School that created Descriptive linguistics. The Immediate Constituents Grammar was a further development of descriptive linguistics; the Transformational Grammar, the latest.

The Prague School was founded in 1929, uniting Czech and Russian linguists: Mathesius, Trnka, Nikolay Trubetskoy, Roman Jakobson, and others. The chief contribution of early Praguians to modern linguistics is the technique for determining the units of the phonological structure of languages. The basic method is the use of oppositions (contrasts) of speech sounds that change the meaning of the words in which they occur.

The Copenhagen School was founded in 1933 by Louis Hjelmslev (1899-1959) and Viggo Brondal (1887-1942). In 1939 the Prague and the Copenhagen Schools founded the journal ”Acta Linguistica” that had been for several years the international journal of Structural Linguistics. In the early 1930s the conception of the Copenhagen School was given the name of ’Glossematics’ (from Gk. ’glossa’ – language).

Point 4. The American Descriptive Linguistics of the 1940s-1950s.

Descriptive linguistics developed from the necessity of studying half-known and unknown languages of the Indian tribes. At the beginning of the 20th century these languages were rapidly dying out under the conditions of that time. The study of these languages was undertaken out of purely scientific interest.

The Indian languages had no writing and, therefore, had no history. The historical comparative method was of little use there, and the first step of work was to be keen observation and rigid registration of linguistic forms.

Frantz Boas, linguist and anthropologist (1858-1942) is usually mentioned as the predesessor of American Descriptive Linguistics. His basic ideas were later developed by Edward Sapir (1884-1939) and Leonard Bloomfield (1887-1949). Bloomfield’s main work ”Language” was published in 1933. All linguists of the USA at one time or other felt the influence of this book. It is a complete methodology of language study, approaching the language as if it were unknown to the linguist (student). The main concepts of Bloomfield’s book are:

1. Language is a workable system of sygnals, that is linguistic forms by means of which people communicate.

2. Grammar is a meaningful arrangement of linguistic forms from morphemes to sentence.

The chief contribution of the American Descriptive School to modern linguistics is the elaboration of the techniques of linguistic analysis. The main methods are the Distributional method and the method of Immediate Constituents.

A recent development of Descriptive linguistics gave rise to a new method – the Transformational grammar. The TG was first suggested by Zellig S. Harris as a method of analyzing the ”raw meterial” (concrete utterances) and was later elaborated by Noam Chomsky as a synthetic method of ”generating” (constructing) sentences. The TG refers to syntax only and presupposes the recognition (identification) of such linguistic units as phonemes, morphemes and form-classes, the latter being stated according to the distributional and the IC-analysis or otherwise. Charles Carpenter Fries is another prominent figure of American linguistic theory. His main work ”The Structure of English” is widely known.

Theme 1. INTRODUCTION (continued).

Point 5. Problems of ’Case’ Grammar.

’Case” Grammar, or role grammar, is a method to describe the semantics of a sentence, without modal or performative elements, as a system of semantic valencies through the bonds of ’the main verb’ with the roles prompted by its meaning and performed by nominal components.

Example: the verb ’to give’ requires the roles, or cases, of the agent, the receiver and the object of giving.

He gives me a book. I am given a book by him. A book is given to me by him.

Case Grammar emerged within the frames of Transformational Grammar in the late 1960s and developed as a grammatical method of description.

There are different approaches towards Case Grammar concerning the type of the logical structure of the sentence, the arrangement of roles and their possible combinations, i.e. ’case frames’, as well as the way in which semantic ties are reflected in a sentence structure by means of formal devices.

Case Grammar has been used to describe many languages on the semantic level. The results of this research are being used in developing ’artificial intellect’ (the so-called ’frame semantics’) and in psycholinguistics.

However, Case Grammar has neither clear definitions nor criteria to identify semantic roles; their status is vague in the sentence derivation; equally vague are the extent of fulness of their arrangement and the boundaries between ’role’ elements and other elements in a sentence.

Point 6. The main conceptions of syntactic semantics (or semantic syntax) and text linguistics

The purpose and the social essence of language are to serve as means of communication. Both structure and semantics of language ultimately serve exactly this purpose. For centuries linguists have focused mainly on structural peculiarities of languages. This may be easily explained by the fact that structural differences between languages are much more evident than differences in contents; that is why the study of the latter was seen as research in concrete languages. The correctness of such an assumption is proved by the fact that of all semantic phenomena the most studied were those most ideoethnic, for example, lexical and semantic structure of words. As for syntactic semantics, which is in many aspects common for various languages, it turned out to be least studied. Meanwhile, the study of this field of language semantics is of special interest for at least two reasons. Firstly, communication is not organized by means of separate words, but by means of utterances, or sentences. Learning speech communication, fully conveyed with the help of language information, is impossible without studying sentence semantics. Secondly, studying the semantic aspect of syntactic constructions is important, besides purely linguistic tasks, for understanding the peculiarities and laws of man’s thinking activities. Language and speech are the basic source of information which is a foundation for establishing the laws, as well as the categories and forms, of human thinking. Thus, language semantics is as important and legal object of linguistic study as language forms are.

Point 7. Modern methods of grammatical analysis: the I.C. method (method of immediate constituents), the oppositional, transformational and componential methods of analysis.

(a) The IC method, introduced by American descriptivists, presents the sentence not as a linear succession of words but as a hierarchy of its ICs, as a ’structure of structures’.

Ch. Fries, who further developed the method proposed by L.Bloomfield, suggested the following diagram for the analysis of the sentence which also brings forth the mechanism of generating sentences: the largest IC of a simple sentence are the NP (noun phrase) and the VP (verb phrase), and they are further divided if their structure allows.

English Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarLayer 3 The recommending committee approved his promotion.

English Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarLayer 2

English Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarLayer 1

The deeper the layer of the phrase (the greater its number), the smaller the phrase, and the smaller its ICs. The resulting units (elements) are called ultimate constituents (on the level of syntax they are words). If the sentence is complex, the largest ICs are the sentences included into the complex construction.

The diagram may be drawn somewhat differently without changing its principle of analysis. This new diagram is called a ‘candelabra’ diagram.

The man hit the ball.

English Theoretical Grammar English Theoretical Grammar English Theoretical Grammar
English Theoretical Grammar
English Theoretical Grammar


If we turn the analytical (‘candelabra’) diagram upside down we get a new diagram which is called a ‘derivation tree’, because it is fit not only to analyze sentences, but shows how a sentence is derived, or generated, from the ICs.

The IC model is a complete and exact theory but its sphere of application is limited to generating only simple sentences. It also has some demerits which make it less strong than transformational models, for instance, in case of the infinitive which is a tricky thing in English.

(b) The oppositional method of analysis was introduced by the Prague School. It is especially suitable for describing morphological categories. The most general case is that of the general system of tense-forms of the English verb. In the binary opposition ‘present::past’ the second member is characterized by specific formal features – either the suffix -ed, or a phonemic modification of the root. The past is thus a marked member of the opposition as against the present, which is unmarked.

The obvious opposition within the category of voice is that between active and passive; the passive voice is the marked member of the opposition: its characteristic is the pattern 'be+Participle II', whereas the active voice is unmarked.

(c) The transformational method of analysis was introduced by American descriptivists Z.Harris and N.Chomsky. It deals with the deep structure of the utterance which is the sphere of covert (concealed) syntactic relations, as opposed to the surface structure which is the sphere of overt relations that manifest themselves through the form of single sentences. For example: John ran. She wrote a letter.

But: 1) She made him a good wife.

2) She made him a good husband.

The surface structures of these two sentences are identical but the syntactic meanings are different, and it is only with the help of certain changes (transformations) that the covert relations are brought out:

1) She became a good wife for him.

2) He became a good husband because she made him one.

The transformational sentence model is, in fact, the extension of the linguistic notion of derivation to the syntactic level which presupposes setting off the so-called ‘basic’ or ‘kernel’ structures and their transforms, i.e. sentence-structures derived from the basic ones according to the transformational rules.

E.g. He wrote a letter. – The letter was written by him.

This analysis helps one to find out difference in meaning when no other method can give results, it appears strong enough in some structures with the infinitive in which the ICs are the same:

1) John is easy to please.

2) John is eager to please.

English Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical Grammar1) It is easy - - It is easy (for smb.) to please John

English Theoretical GrammarEnglish Theoretical GrammarSmb. pleases John - - John is easy to please.

English Theoretical Grammar2) John is eager - -

English Theoretical GrammarJohn is eager to please.

John pleases smb. - -

(d) The componential analysis belongs to the sphere of traditional grammar and essentially consists of ‘parsing’, i.e. sentence-member analysis that is often based on the distributional qualities of different parts of speech, which sometimes leads to confusion.

E.g. My friend received a letter yesterday. (A+S+P+O+AM)

His task is to watch. (A+S+V(+?)

His task is to settle all matters. (A+S+V+?+A+O)



Point 1. The correlation of analysis and synthesis in the structure of English.

Languages may be synthetical and analytical according to their grammatical structure.

In synthetical languages, such as, for instance, Ukrainian, the grammatical relations between words are expressed by means of inflexions: e.g. долоньруки.

In analytical languages, such as English, the grammatical relations between words are expressed by means of form-words and word order: e.g. the palm of the hand.

Analytical forms are mostly proper to verbs. An analytical verb-form consists of one or more form-words, which have no lexical meaning and only express one or more of the grammatical categories of person, number, tense, aspect, voice, mood, and one notional word, generally an infinitive or a participle: e.g. He has come. I am reading.

However, the structure of a language is never purely synthetic or purely analytical. Accordingly in the English language there are:

1. Endings (speaks , tables , brother’s , smoked ).

2. Inner flexions (ma n – me n, spea k – spo ke).

3. The synthetic forms of the Subjunctive Mood: were, be, have, etc.

Owing to the scarcity of synthetic forms the order of words, which is fixed in English, acquires extreme importance: The fisherman caught a fish.

A deviation from the general principle of word order is possible only in special cases.

Point 2. Peculiarities of the structure of English in the field of accidence (word-building and word-changing).

Affixes, i.e. prefixes and suffixes, in the English language have a dual designation – some are used in word-building, others – in word-changing. Word-building is derivation of new words from basic forms of some part of speech. Word-changing is derivation of different forms of the same word. Word-building and word-changing have their own sets of affixes: their coincidence may only be pure accidental homonymy (cf.=confer –er in agentive nouns – writer, and –er in the comparative degree of adjectives – longer). There may be occasional cases of a word-changing suffix transformation into a word-building one: I am in a strong position to know of her doings.

English prefixes perform only word-building functions, and are not supposed to be considered in this course. As for suffixes, they are divided into word-building and word-changing ones; the latter are directly related to the grammatical structure.

Point 3. Peculiarities of the English language in the field of syntax.

English syntax is characterized by the following main features:

1) A fixed word order in the sentence;

2) A great variety of word-combinations;

3) An extensive use of substitutes which save the repetition of a word in certain conditions (one, that, do);

4) Availability of numerous form-words to express the grammatical relations between words in the sentence or within the word-combination;

5) Plentiful grammatical constructions.

Point 4. Functional and semantic connection of lexicon and grammar.

The functional criterion of word division into parts of speech presupposes revealing their syntactic properties in the sentence. For notional words, it is primarily their position-and-member characteristics, i.e. their ability to perform the function of independent members of the sentence: subject, verbal predicate, predicative, object, attribute, adverbial modifier. In defining the subclass appurtenance of words, which is the second stage of classification, an important place is occupied by finding out their combinability characteristics (cf., for example, the division of verbs into valency subclasses). This is the level of analysis where a possible contradiction between substantive and lexical, and between categorial and grammatical, semantics of the word, is settled. Thus, in its basic substantive semantics the word ‘stone’ is a noun, but in the sentence ‘Aunt Emma was stoning cherries for preserves’ the said substantive base comes forward as a productive one in the verb. However, the situational semantics of the sentence reflects the stable substantive orientation of the lexeme, retained in the causative character of its content (here, ‘to take out stones’). The categorial characteristics of such lexemes might be called ‘combined objective and processional’ one. Unlike this one, the categorial characteristics of the lexeme ‘go’ in the utterance ‘That’s a go’ will be defined as ‘combined processional and objective’. Still, the combined character of semantics on the derivational and situational, and on the sensical level, does not deprive the lexeme of its unambiguous functional and semantic characterization by class appurtenance.

Point 5. Functional and semantic (lexico-grammatical) fields.

The idea of field structure in the distribution of relevant properties of objects is applied in the notion of the part of speech: within the framework of a certain part of speech a central group of words is distinguished, which costitutes the class in strict conformity with its established features, and a peripheral group of words is set off, with the corresponding gradation of features. On the functional level, one and the same part of speech may perform different functions.


Point 1. The main notions of accidence.

Accidence is the section of grammar that studies the word form. In this study it deals with such basic notions as ‘the word’, ‘the morpheme’, ‘the morph’, ‘the allomorph’, ‘the grammatical form and category of the word’, as well as its ‘grammatical meaning’, and also ‘the paradigm’, ‘the oppositional relations and the functional relations of grammatical forms’.

Point 2. The notion of the morpheme. Types of morphemes. Morphs and

a llomorphs

(a) One of the most widely used definitions of the morpheme is like this: ‘The morpheme is the smallest linear meaningful unit having a sound expression’. However, there are other definitions:

- L.Bloomfield: The morpheme is ‘a linguistic form which bears no partial resemblance to any other form’.

- B. De Courtenay: The morpheme is a generalized name for linear components of the word, i.e. the root and affixes.

- Prof. A.I.Smirnitsky: The morpheme is the smallest language unit possessing essential features of language, i.e. having both external (sound) and internal (notional) aspects.

(b) Morphemes, as it has been mentioned above, may include roots and affixes. Hence, the main types of morphemes are the root morpheme and the affix morpheme. There also exists the concept of the zero morpheme for the word-forms that have no ending but are capable of taking one in the other forms of the same category, which is not quite true for English.

As for the affix morpheme, it may include either a prefix or a suffix, or both. Since prefixes and many suffixes in English are used for word-building, they are not considered in theoretical grammar. It deals only with word-changing morphemes, sometimes called auxiliary or functional morphemes.

(c) An allomorph is a variant of a morpheme which occurs in certain environments. Thus a morpheme is a group of one or more allomorphs, or morphs.

The allomorphs of a certain morpheme may coincide absolutely in sound form, e.g. the root morpheme in ‘fresh’ , ‘refresh ment’, ‘fresh en’, the suffixes in ‘speaker ’, ‘actor ’, the adverbial suffix in ‘greatly ’, ‘early ’. However, very often allomorphs are not absolutely identical, e.g. the root morpheme in ‘co me-ca me’, ‘ma n-me n’, the suffixes in ‘walked ’, ‘dreamed ’, ‘loaded ’.

Point 3. The grammatical form of the word. Synthetical and analytical forms.

(a) The grammatical form of the word is determined by its formal features conveying some grammatical meaning. The formal feature (flexion, function word, etc.) is the ‘exponent’ of the form, or the grammatical ‘formant’, the grammatical form proper being materialized by the unification of the stem with the formant in the composition of a certain paradigmatic row. Therefore, the grammatical form unites a whole class of words, each expressing a corresponding general meaning in the framework of its own concrete meaning. (E.g. the plural form of nouns: books-dogs-cases-men-oxen-data-radii, etc.) Thus the grammatical form of the word reflects its division according to the expression of a certain grammatical meaning.

(b) Synthetic forms are those which materialize the grammatical meaning through the inner morphemic composition of the word. Analytical forms, as opposed to synthetic ones, are defined as those which materialize the grammatical meaning by combining the ‘substance’ word with the ‘function’ word.

Theme 3. ACCIDENCE (continued).

Point 4. The grammatical category.

The grammatical category is a combination of two or more grammatical forms opposed or correlated by their grammatical meaning. A certain grammatical meaning is fixed in a certain set of forms. No grammatical category can exist without permanent formal features. Any grammatical category must include as many as two contrasted forms, but their number may be greater. For instance, thre are three tense forms – Present, Past and Future, four aspect forms – Indefinite, Perfect, Continuous, Perfect Continuous, but there are only two number forms of nouns, two voices, etc.

Point 5. The grammatical meaning. Categorial and non-categorial meanings ingrammar.

(a) The grammatical meaning is a generalized and rather abstract meaning uniting large groups of words, being expressed through its inherent formal features or, in an opposition, through the absence of such. Its very important property is that the grammatical meaning is not named in the word, e.g. countables-uncountables in nouns, verbs of instant actions in Continuous (was jumping, was winking), etc.

The grammatical meaning in morphology is conveyed by means of:

1. Flexion, i.e. a word-changing formant which may be outer (streets , approached ) or inner (foo t-fee t, fi nd-fou nd).

2. Suppletive word forms (to be-am-was, good-better-best).

3. Analytical forms (is coming, has asked).

(b) The most general meanings conveyed by language and finding expression in the systemic, regular correlation of forms, are thought of as categorial grammatical meanings. Therefore, we may speak of the categorial grammatical meanings of number and case in nouns; person, number, tense, aspect, voice and mood in verbs, etc. Non-categorial grammatical meanings are those which do not occur in oppositions,e.g. the grammatical meanings of collectiveness in nouns, qualitativeness in adjectives, or transitiveness in verbs, etc.

Point 6. The notion of the paradigm in morphology.

An orderly combination of grammatical forms expressing a certain categorial function (or meaning) constitutes a grammatical paradigm. Consequently, a grammatical category is built up as a combination of respective paradigms (e.g. the category of number in nouns, the category of tense in verbs, etc.).

Point 7. Oppositional relations of grammatical forms.

The basic method of the use of oppositions was elaborated by the Prague School linguists. In fact, the term ‘opposition’ should imply two contrasted elements, or forms, i.e. the opposition should be binary. The principle of binary oppositions is especially suitable for describing morphological categories where this kind of relations is more evident.

For example, the tense-forms of the English verb may be divided into two halves: the forms of the present plane and those of the past. The former comprises the Present, Present Perfect, Present Continuous, Present Perfect Continuous, and the Future; the latter includes the Past, Past Perfect, Past Continuous, Past Perfect Continuous, and the Future-in-the-Past. The second half is characterized by specific formal features – either the suffix –ed (or its equivalents) appear, or a phonemic modification of the root. The past is thus a marked member of the opposition ‘present::past’ as against the present sub-system, which is the unmarked member. The same may be applied to perfect and non-perfect forms, active and passive forms, singular and plural forms in class nouns, etc.

Point 8. Functional transpositions of grammatical (morphological) forms.

In context functioning of grammatical forms under real circumstances of communicating, their oppositional categorial features interact so that a member of the categorial opposition may be used in a position typical of the other contrasted member. This phenomenon is referred to as the functional transposition. One must bear in mind that there are two kinds of functional transpositions: the one with a partial loss of the functional property, and the one with a complete loss of the functional property. The former may also be defined as the functional transposition proper where the substituting member performs the two functions simultaneously. E.g. the unusual usage of the plural form of a ‘unique’ object (cf.: …’that skin so prized by Southern women and so carefully guarded with bonnets, veils and mittens against hot Georgian suns ’. (M.Mitchel)

Point 9. Neutralization of the opposition.

The second kind of functional transposition where the substituting member completely loses its functional property, is the actual neutralization of the opposition. Such neutralization itself does not possess any expressive meaning but is generally related to the variations of particular meanings (cf.: A man can die but once.(proverb) The lion is not so fierce as he is painted.(proverb)

Point 10. Polysemy, synonymy and homonymy in morphology.

Morphological polysemy implies representations of a word as different parts of speech, e.g. the word ‘but’ may function as a conjunction (last, but not least), a preposition (there was nothing but firelight), a restrictive adverb (those words were but excuses), a relative pronoun (there are none but do much the same), a noun in the singular and plural (that was a large but; his repeated buts are really trying).

Morphological synonymy reflects a variety of representations by different parts of speech for the same meaning, e.g. due to (adjective), thanks to (noun), because of (preposition), etc.

Morphological homonymy may be described as phonetic equivalents with different grammatical functions, e.g. He looks – her looks; they wanted – the job wanted; smoking is harmful – a smoking man; you read – we saw you, etc.

Point 11. The main problems of functional morphology.

The problems of functional morphology are many, the main and most disputed being:

(a) the functions of ‘formal’ morphemes (affixes) and allomorphs;

(b) the functional correlation, i.e. connection of phenomena differing in certain features but united through others (import-to import, must-should);

(c) the functional classification of words as parts of speech.


Point 1. The problems of the parts of speech.

The whole lexicon of the English language, like the one of all Indo-European languages, is divided into certain lexico-grammatical classes traditionally called ‘parts of speech’. The existence of such classes is not doubted by any linguists though they might have different points of view as to their interpretation. Classification of the parts of speech is still a matter of dispute; linguists’ opinions differ concerning the number and the names of the parts of speech.

Point 2. The principles of division into the parts of speech. Issues of discussion in the classification of words into the parts of speech. Notional and functional parts of speech. Conversion of the parts of speech.

(a) The main principles of word division into certain groups, that had long existed, were formulated by L.V.Shcherba quite explicitly. They are lexical meaning, morphological form and syntactic functioning. Still, some classifications are based on some of the three features, for any of them may coincide neglecting the strict logical rules.

(b) In linguistics there have been a number of attempts to build up such a classification of the parts of speech (lexico-grammatical classes) that would meet the main requirement of a logical classification, i.e. would be based on a single principle. Those attempts have failed.

H.Sweet, the author of the first scientific grammar of the English language, divides the parts of speech into two main groups – the declinables and the indeclinables. That means that he considers morphological properties to be the main principle of classification. Inside the group of the declinables he kept to the traditional division into nouns, adjectives and verbs. Adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections are united into the group of the indeclinables. However, alongside of this classification, Sweet proposes grouping based on the syntactic functioning of certain classes of words. This leads to including nouns, pronouns, infinitives, gerunds and some other parts of speech into the same class, which is incorrect.

The Danish linguist O.Jespersen suggested the so-called theory of three ranks (primary, secondary and tertiary words), e.g. ‘furiously barking dog’ where ‘dog’ is a primary word, ‘barking’ – secondary, and ‘furiously’ – tertiary.

Another attempt to find a single principle of classification was made by Ch.Fries in his book ‘The Structure of English’. He rejects the traditional classification and tries to draw up a class system based on the word’s position in the sentence; his four classes correspond to what is traditionally called nouns (class 1), verbs (class 2), adjectives (class 3) and adverbs (class 4). Besides the four classes he set off 15 groups. And yet, his attempt turned out to be a failure, too, for the classes and groups overlap one another.

(c) Words on the semantic (meaningful) level of classification are divided into notional and functional.

To the notional parts of speech of the English language belong the noun, the adjective, the numeral, the pronoun, the verb and the adverb.

Contrasted against the notional parts of speech are words of incomplete nominative meaning and non-self-dependent, mediatory functions in the sentence. These are functional parts of speech. To the basic functional series of words in English belong the article, the preposition, the conjunction, the particle, the modal word, the interjection.

(d) From the point of view of their functional characteristics lexical units may belong to different lexico-grammatical classes. This kind of syntactic transition is called conversion and represents a widespread phenomenon as one of the most productive and economical means of syntactic transpositions. E.g. She used to comb her hair lovingly. – Here is your comb. They lived up north a few years ago. – You must be ready to take all these ups and downs easy.

Theme 4. THE PARTS OF SPEECH (continued).

Point 3. The parts of speech in the onomasiologic light.

Comparing the class division of the lexicon at the angle of functional designation of words, we first of all note a sharp contrast in language of two polar types of lexemes, the notional type and the functional one. Being evaluated from the informative-functional point of view, the polar distribution of words into completely meaningful and incompletely meaningful domains appears quite clear and fundamental; the overt character of the notional lexical system and the covert one of the functional lexical system (with the field of transition from the former to the latter being available) acquire the status of the most important general feature of the form.

The notional domain of lexicon is divided into four generalizing classes, not a single more or less. The four notional parts of speech defined as the words with a self-dependent denotational-naming function, are the noun (substantially represented denotations), the verb (processually represented denotations), the adjective (feature-represented denotations of the substantial appurtenance) and the adverb (feature-represented denotations of the non-substantial appurtenance).

However, the typical functional positions of these classes may be occupied by representatives of the functional classes by virtue of substitution, that is why some scholars speak of additional notional subclasses.

Point 4. The field nature of the parts of speech.

The intricate correlations of units within each part of speech are reflected in the theory of the morphological fields which states the following: every part of speech comprises units fully possessing all features of the given part of speech; these are its nucleus. Yet, there are units which do not possess all features of the given part of speech though they belong to it. Therefore, the field includes both central and peripheral elements; it is not homogeneous in composition (cf.: ‘gives’ – the lexical meaning of a process, the functional position of a predicate, the word-changing paradigm; and ‘must’ – a feeble lexical meaning, the functional position of a predicative, absence of word-changing paradigm).


Point 1. The noun. The grammatical meaning of the noun. Semantic and grammatical subclasses of nouns. Grammatical categories of the noun. The category of number. The correlation of the singular and the plural forms. The category of case. The varying semantics of the noun in the possessive case. Syntactic functions of nouns. The field structure of the noun.

(a) The noun is a notional part of speech possessing the meaning of substantivity.

(b) Substantivity is the grammatical meaning due to which word units, both the names of objects proper and non-objects, such as abstract notions, actions, properties, etc., function in language like the names of objects proper.

(c) From the point of view of semantic and grammatical properties all English nouns fall under two classes: proper nouns and common nouns.

Proper nouns are individual names given to separate persons or things. As regards their meaning proper nouns may be personal names (Mary, Peter, Shakespeare), geographical names (London, The Crimea), the names of the months and the days of the week, names of ships, hotels, clubs, etc. A large number of nouns now proper were originally common nouns (Brown, Smith, Mason). Proper nouns may change their meaning and become common nouns (sandwich, champagne).

Common nouns are names that can be applied to any individual of a class of persons or things (man, dog, book), collections of similar individuals or things regarded as a single unit (peasantry, family), materials (snow, iron,cotton) or abstract notions (kindness, development).

Thus there are different groups of common nouns: class nouns, collective nouns, nouns of material and abstract nouns.

Nouns may also be classified from another point of view: nouns denoting things (the word ‘thing’ is used in a broad sense) that can be counted are called countable nouns; nouns denoting things that cannot be counted are called uncountable nouns.

(d) We may speak of three grammatical categories of the noun.

1. The category of number. Nouns that can be counted have two numbers: singularand plural.

2. The category of case is highly disputable. Yet, many scholars assume that nouns denoting living beings (and some nouns denoting lifeless things) have two case forms: the common case and the genitive (or possessive) case.

3. It is doubtful whether the grammatical category of gender exists in Modern English for it is hardly ever expressed by means of grammatical forms. There is practically one gender-forming suffix in Modern English, the suffix –ess, expressing feminine gender. It is not widely used (heir – heiress, poet – poetess, actor – actress).

(e) The basic meaning of the category of number is the opposition of the singularity and the plurality of objects. The plurality implies an amount exceeding one. The singular number is conveyed by the basic form, i.e. by the form which has no endings and which coincides with the stem. The plural number is graphically conveyed by the –s formant that materializes itself as a number of allomorphs (/s/, /z/, /iz/) depending on the character of the final sound of the stem (books, cats, dogs, potatoes, classes, bushes). However, there are other, unproductive means of forming the plural form (children, nuclei, phenomena, feet, mice). And finally, there are some nouns that do not possess the formal features of either plural or singular number (sheep, deer, swine, news, scissors, trousers).

(f) Of the two number forms, the singular number is compulsory for all nouns, except for pluralia tantum. The reason for this fact is that the singular number is capable of conveying not only the availability of quantity (one) but also the absence of quantitative measurements for uncountables. The plural form always conveys some quantitative relationship; it is due to this fact that the plural number is capable of conveying the concretion of an abstract notion: a noun denoting a generalized feature (a quality or a feeling) may also convey manifestations which are occasional (attentions, joys).

Theme 5. THE NOTIONAL PARTS OF SPEECH (continued).

(g) It is generally assumed that there are two cases in English: the common case and the genitive (possessive) case. Thus the paradigm may look as follows:

Singular Plural

Common case: the boy the boys

Genitive case: the boy’s the boys’

Most scholars usually point to the fact that the genitive case is mainly used with the nouns of person (Jim’s book, Mary’s brother) but it may be occasionally used with the nouns denoting lifeless things, namely: periods of time, distance, and price (a week’s notice, a mile’s distance, a dollar’s worth of sugar). It may also occur, though seldom, with the nouns which are situationally definite (The car’s front door was open).

(h) The semantic characteristics of the noun vary depending on the case used; the genitive case expresses the individual characteristics of the object modified whereas the common case denotes a generalized property which is not ascribed to any single bearer (cf.: Shakespeare’s sonnets – the Shakespeare National Theatre; the room’s walls – the room walls).

(i) The field structure of the noun is made up of the central group and the peripheral group. The central group includes object nouns and nouns of person, both having equal number of characteristic features; though object nouns are easily used as prepositive attributes, they do not tend to be used so easily in the genitive case which, in turn, is a characteristic feature of the nouns of person. The peripheral group consists of abstract nouns and nouns of material; both of them are devoid of the categories of number and case (with a few exceptions); they are not used with the indefinite article. However, nouns of material are easily used as prepositive attributes.

Point 2. The pronoun. The semantic classification of pronouns. The deictic and the anaphoric functions of pronouns. Syntactic peculiarities of pronouns. Grammatical categories of pronouns.

(a) The pronoun is a part of speech which points out objects and their qualities without naming them. Therefore, the pronoun possesses a highly generalized meaning that seldom materializes outside of the context.

(b) The semantic classification of pronouns includes such subclasses as personal, possessive, demonstrative, interrogative, reciprocal, relative, indefinite, negative, conjunctive, defining and reflexive pronouns.

(c) The deictic, or indicatory, function of the pronoun is inherent in many subclasses except, maybe, interrogative, indefinite and negative. The anaphoric function, or the function of connecting with the preceding sentence or clause, is characteristic of relative and conjunctive pronouns though it may be occasionally performed by the other subclasses.

(d) Syntactic peculiarities of pronouns are accounted for by the fact that the pronoun is very close in its syntactic functions to those of the noun and the adjective. Hence, the main functions it performs are the ones of the subject, the predicative, the object, and the attribute.

(e) The pronoun seems to have the grammatical categories of person, gender (personal and possessive pronouns), case (personal, and the relative and interrogative WHO – the nominative and objective cases; indefinite, reciprocal and negative – the common and genitive cases) and number (demonstrative, and the defining OTHER).

Point 3. The numeral. General characteristics and problems of subcategorizing.

(a) The numeral is a part of speech which indicates number or the order of persons and things in a series.

(b) Numerals are united by their semantics only. They have neither morphologic nor syntactic features. All numerals are subdivided into cardinal and ordinal. Both subclasses can perform equally well the functions peculiar of nouns and adjectives. Numerals possess a specific word-building system: suffixes –teen, -ty, -th. Some of them are easily substantivized and treated as nouns.

Point 4. The adjective. The grammatical meaning of the adjective. Semantic and grammatical subclasses of adjectives. Grammatical categories of the adjective. Syntactic functions of adjectives. Substantivization of adjectives. The field nature of the adjective.

(a) The adjective is a part of speech expressing a quality of a substance.

(b) The grammatical meaning of the adjective lies in the fact that this part of speech names a quality possessing certain stability unlike Participle I, for example: a fast train – an approaching train.

(c) According to their meanings and grammatical characteristics, adjectives fall under two classes: (1) qualitative adjectives, (2) relative adjectives. Qualitative adjectives denote qualities of a substance directly, not through its relation to another substance, as size, shape, colour, physical and mental qualities, qualities of general estimation: little, large, high, soft, warm, white, important, etc. Relative adjectives denote qualities of a substance through their relation to materials (silken, woolen, wooden, metallic), to place (Italian, Asian), to time (monthly, weekly), to some action (preparatory, educational).

(d) Most adjectives have degrees of comparison: the comparative degree and the superlative degree.

(e) In a sentence the adjective may be used as an attribute or as a predicative, the former in preposition being more characteristic.

(f) Substantivized adjectives have acquired some or all of the characteristics of the noun, but their adjectival origin is still generally felt. They may be wholly substantivized (a native, the natives, a native’s hut, valuables, sweets, a Ukrainian, Ukrainians) and partially substantivized (the rich, the poor, the unemployed, the English, the good, the evil).

(g) Qualitative adjectives possess all the grammatical features of the adjective and belong to the central group. The peripheral group includes relative adjectives and words of state (asleep, awake) though there is no hard and fast demarcation line between these two groups.

Theme 5. THE NOTIONAL PARTS OF SPEECH (continued).

Point 5. The verb. The grammatical meaning of the verb. Semantic and grammatical groups of verbs. The valency of verbs. Grammatical categories of the verb (aspect, tense, voice and state). Transpositions of verb-forms. Functional and semantic fields of temporality, state and modality. Verbals, their grammatical categories and syntactic functions.

(a) The verb is a part of speech which denotes an action.

(b) The grammatical meaning of action is understood widely: it is not only activities proper (He wrote a letter) but both a state (He will soon recover) and just an indication of the fact that the given object exists or belongs to a certain class of objects or persons (A chair is a piece of furniture). It is important that the verb conveys the feature as an action within some period of time, however unlimited.

(c) Semantically and grammatically English verbs are grouped as transitive (to give), intransitive (to sleep), regular, irregular, mixed, notional, auxiliary, link (to grow, to turn, to look), terminative (to come), non-terminative (to live) and verbs of double lexical (aspect) character (to see).

(d) The valency of verbs is their combinability. For example, all verbs are characterized by their subordination to the subject of a sentence; transitive verbs are usually combined with an object; auxiliary and link verbs need a notional predicative, etc.

(e) The verb has the grammatical categories of person, number, tense, aspect, voice, and mood.

In Modern English there are but few forms indicating person and number in the synthetic forms of the verb. These are:

(1) The third person singular Present Indefinite Indicative – ‘he speaks’.

(2) The Future Indefinite Tense – ‘I shall speak’ (‘He will speak’).

The verb ‘to be’ has suppletive forms for different persons – ‘am, is, are’.

The category of tense is very clearly expressed in the forms of the English verb. This category denotes the relation of the action either to the moment of speaking or to some definite moment in the past or future. The category of tense and the category of aspect are intermingled. There are four groups of tenses: Indefinite, Continuous, Perfect and Perfect Continuous.

The category of aspect shows the way in which the action develops, whether it is in progress or completed, etc. The Indefinite form has no aspect characteristics whatever, the Continuous, Perfect and Perfect Continuous forms denote both time and aspect relations. Each of these forms includes four tenses: Present, Past, Future and Future-in-the-Past. Thus there are 16 tenses in English.

Voice is the category of the verb which indicates the relation of the predicate to the subject and the object.

There are two undoubted voices in English: the active voice and the passive voice.

The active voice shows that the person or thing denoted by the subject is the doer of the action expressed by the predicate.

The passive voice shows that the person or thing denoted by the subject is acted upon.

Some scholars assume there is one more voice in English, the so-called neuter-reflexive voice. (E.g. She was dressing herself.)

Mood is a grammatical category which indicates the attitude of the speaker towards the action expressed by the verb from the point of view of its reality.

We distinguish the indicative mood, the imperative mood, and the subjunctive mood.

The Indicative Mood shows that the action or state expressed by the verb is presented as a fact.

The Imperative Mood expresses a command or a request.

The Subjunctive Mood shows that the action or state expressed by the verb is presented as a non-fact, as something imaginary or desired.

(f) Transpositions of verb-forms may be connected with either substitutions of personal forms in special cases (cf.: ‘If he were present, we’d ask him’ in the Subjunctive Mood) or with functional transpositions of tense forms (cf.: ‘He will come tomorrow. – He is coming tomorrow’.).

(g) The concepts of temporality (time correlations), state and modality are in most cases expressed by verbs, but the fields may be different in nature. The field of temporality may imply different functional patterns for the same action (cf.: ‘He will come next week. – He is coming next week. – He comes next week’, where the first sentence is grammatically central, and the other two peripheral.). On the other hand, the field of temporality may be represented by semantically different classes of verbs, such as terminative, non-terminative, and verbs of double lexical character, the latter belonging to the centre of the field.

As for the functional and semantic fields of state and modality, they may include a central group of verbs expressing these concepts both lexically and functionally, and a peripheral group of other parts of speech used in similar positions.

(h) There are three verbals in English: the participle, the gerund and the infinitive.

The characteristic traits of the verbals are as follows:

1. They have a double nature, nominal and verbal. The participle combines the characteristics of a verb with those of an adjective; the gerund and the infinitive combine the characteristics of a verb with those of a noun.

2. The tense distinctions of the verbals are not absolute, but relative.

3. All the verbals can form predicative constructions.

The participle is a non-finite form of the verb which has a verbal and an adjectival or an adverbial character. Its categories are those of tense-aspect and voice. In the sentence it may be used as an attribute, an adverbial modifier, a predicative and part of a complex object.

The gerund developed from the verbal noun, which in course of time became verbalized preserving at the same time its nominal character. It has the categories of tense-aspect and voice. The gerund can perform the function of subject, object, predicative, attribute and adverbial modifier.

The infinitive is the most abstract verb-form which simply indicates action (in the Indefinite Aspect). That is why it is referred to first in verb articles of dictionaries. Its categories are those of tense-aspect and voice. It can be used as a subject, a predicative, an object, an attribute, and an adverbial modifier.

Theme 5. THE NOTIONAL PARTS OF SPEECH (continued).

Point 6. The adverb. The grammatical meaning of the adverb. The semantic classification of adverbs. The degrees of comparison of adverbs. Syntagmatics of adverbs.

(a) The adverb is a part of speech which expresses some circumstances that attend an action or state.

(b) The grammatical meaning of the adverb is pointing out some characteristic features of an action or a quality.

(c) According to their meanings adverbs fall under several groups:

1. adverbs of time (today, soon, etc.);

2. adverbs of repetition or frequency (often, seldom, over, etc.);

3. adverbs of place and direction (inside, backward, etc.);

4. adverbs of cause and consequence (therefore, accordingly, etc.);

5. adverbs of manner (kindly, hard, etc.);

6. adverbs of degree, measure and quantity (very, almost, once, etc.).

Three groups of adverbs stand aside: interrogative (where, when, why, how), relative and conjunctive adverbs, the former being used in special questions, and the latter two to introduce subordinate clauses.

Some adverbs are homonymous with prepositions, conjunctions (before, after, since) and words of the category of state.

(d) Some adverbs have degrees of comparison. This grammatical category finds its morphological expression only in a limited group of adverbs, namely, the suppletive forms of ‘well’, ‘badly’, ‘much’, ‘little’, and the degrees of comparison of the adverbs ‘fast’, ‘near’, ‘hard’. In other cases the forms are analytical (wisely - more wisely - most wisely). The adverb ‘far’ has a peculiar form.

(e) The syntagmatics of the adverb is that of an adverbial modifier (said softly, nice in a way), and sometimes of an attribute (the then president).

Point 7. The problems of setting off modal words as parts of speech.

The modal words express the attitude of the speaker to the reality, possibility or probability of the action he speaks about.

Formerly, they used to be referred to as adverbs, and it was in Russian linguistics that they were identified as a part of speech. However, H.Sweet distinguished the adverbs relating to the whole sentence and expressing the speaker’s attitude.

Modal words stand aside in the sentence, they are not its members. Sometimes they are used as sentence-words.

The structural field of the modal words consists of the modal words proper used only parenthetically or as sentence-words (perhaps, maybe, indeed, etc.) and a peripheral group of adverbs functioning as modal words without losing their morphological and syntactic features (apparently, unfortunately, etc.).

Point 8. The interjection as a part of speech. Determination of the boundaries of interjections. Conversion of words belonging to other parts of speech, and other language units, into interjections.

(a) The interjection is a part of speech which expresses various emotions without naming them.

(b) According to Prof. Smirnitsky interjections ‘are opposed to the words of intellectual semantics’ and their field boundaries are limited by this characteristic feature. Nevertheless, interjections may be primary and secondary.

Primary interjections are not derived from other parts of speech. Most of them are simple words: ah, oh, eh, pooh, hum, fie, bravo, hush. Only a few primary interjections are composite: heigh-ho! hey-ho! holla-ho! gee-ho!

(c) Secondary interjections are derived from other parts of speech or language units. They are homonymous with the words or syntagms they are derived from. They are: well, now, why, God gracious, damn it, etc.; they should not be confused with exclamation-words such as ‘nonsense’, ‘shame’, ‘good’, etc.


Point 1. The conjunction. The place of conjunctions in the system of connecting devices in the English language. Types of conjunctions and their functioning in the sentence. Polysemy and synonymy of conjunctions.

(a) The conjunction is a part of speech which denotes connections between objects and phenomena. It connects parts of the sentence, clauses, and sentences.

(b) The conjunction seems to have some peculiar features: unlike the preposition it conveys grammatical relations in a more abstract way, it has no nomination and it cannot be a member of the sentence; on the other hand, it is more universal than prepositions and conjunctive words, for it can connect various syntactic structures and units.

(c) As to their functions conjunctions fall under two classes: coordinating conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions.

Coordinating conjunctions join coordinate clauses in a compound sentence, or homogeneous parts in a simple sentence, or homogeneous subordinate clauses in a complex sentence, or independent sentences. There are four different kinds of coordinating conjunctions:

1. Copulative conjunctions: and, nor, as well as, both…and, not only…but (also), neither…nor. They chiefly denote that one statement or fact is simply added to another (‘nor’ and ‘neither’ express that relation in the negative sense).

2. Disjunctive conjunctions: or, either…or, or else, else. They offer some choice between one statement and another.

3. Adversative conjunctions: but, while, whereas. They show that one statement or fact is contrasted with or set against another.

4. Causative-consecutive conjunctions: so, for. They denote consequence, result, or reason.

Subordinating conjunctions generally join a subordinate or dependent clause to a principal clause, or adverbial modifiers to the predicate in a simple sentence, or sometimes they join homogeneous parts.

(d) Polysemy of conjunctions may be demonstrated by the example of the subordinating conjunction ‘that’ which may introduce different kinds of clauses(subject, predicative, object, etc.).

Synonymy of conjunctions is easily seen in such pairs as: in order – so as (that), as if – as though, etc.

Point 2. The preposition. The problem of the meaning of the preposition. The classification of prepositions. Grammatical functions of prepositions. Interconversion of prepositions and other parts of speech.

(a) The preposition is a part of speech which denotes the relations between objects and phenomena. It shows the relations between a noun or a pronoun and other words.

(b) The lexical meaning of some prepositions is quite concrete (e.g. in, below, between, before, after, till, etc.), while that of some other prepositions may be weakened to a great extent (e.g. to, by, of).

(c) According to their meanings prepositions may be divided into:

- prepositions of place and direction (in, on, below, under, between, etc.);

- time (after, before, at, etc.);

- prepositions expressing abstract relations (by, with, because of, etc.).

(d) A preposition does not perform any independent function in the sentence; it either reflects a relation between sentence-members, or is included in a word-combination.

(e) Prepositions may function as other parts of speech (e.g. ups and downs), while other parts of speech may serve as prepositions (e.g. owing to, in spite of).

Point 3. Particles. Grounds for setting off particles as parts of speech. The role of particles in the sentence.

(a) The particle is a part of speech giving modal or emotional emphasis to other words or groups of words or clauses.

(b) The theory of particles has not yet been elaborated well enough. Almost all the particles are homonymous with other parts of speech, chiefly with adverbs (simply), but also with conjunctions (but), pronouns (all), and adjectives (only). The particles ‘else, solely, merely’ have no homonyms. Taking this latter fact into account, as well as the emphasizing and sense-changing functions of the particle, we may set it off as a functional part of speech.

(c) Particles have no independent function in the sentence. Thus they may be treated dubiously: either as independent sentence units, or as parts of the sentence-members they refer to. As the former, they would require a specific name, apart from the traditional five sentence-members, otherwise they should not be considered while analyzing a sentence. As the latter, according to B.A.Illysh, they may lead to a confusion in case of a distant position with regard to the mother-member.

Point 4. The article. The categorial status of the article. The number of articles in the English language. The functions of the article.

(a) The article is a structural part of speech used with nouns.

(b) The categorial status of the article implies that it reflects the category of definiteness or indefiniteness.

(c) Opinions differ as to the number of articles in English. Recently, widespread has been the theory of three articles: the definite article, the indefinite article and the so-called ‘zero’ article. The theory of the zero article is, of course, directly connected with the theory of the zero morpheme. But if we assume that the article is a word, the concept of a ‘zero’ word seems hardly reasonable. Consequently, it appears more feasible to stick to the theory of two articles.

(d) The morphological function of the article is that of indicating the noun. Its syntactical function is that of defining the left border of an attributive word-combination. The main semantic function of the article is that of actualizing the notion; in other words, the article correlates a notion with the reality represented in the given text, i.e. any utterance irrespective of its volume and contents.

Theme 7. SYNTAX.

Point 1. The subject of syntax. The main units of syntax. Syntactic connections. Syntactic synonymy and homonymy. Problems of semantic syntax. Problems of functional syntax.

(a) The subject of syntax is the study of various grammatical structures which are realized as the product of speech-thinking activity of man.

(b) The main units of syntax are the word-combination, the sentence, and the text.

(c) Traditionally, the basic types of connections distinguished in syntax are coordination and subordination. Besides this two-member succession, there is another succession consisting of four members that denote relations called predicative, objective, adverbial and attributive.

Some linguists suppose that the two-member succession may be expanded to a three-member one to include the “interdependence” type, as L.Hjelmslev named it.

(d) Synonymy in syntax implies that one and the same communicative information may be conveyed by means of different syntactic structures (cf.: Having read the book, she took up another one. = As soon as she finished reading the book, she took up another one.).

Homonymy is the coincidence of sound forms of different syntactic functions (cf.: a smoking man – a smoking-room; Watching me closely, the dog slowly retreated. – I noticed a man watching me closely.).

(e) The semantic syntax covers a wide range of problems, among which are the semantics of the word-combination constituents, of the parts of the sentence and of the sentence as a whole, as well as of the role meanings of the sentence components, of the phenomena of the reference, of the presupposition and sequence, etc.

(f) The basic problem of the functional syntax is studying and systematizing various language units (syntactic structures) as they function in the speech-thinking activity of man. This general problem may be subdivided into a number of minor ones, such as the problem of combinability and valency, the problem of syntactical analysis, etc.

Point 2. The word-combination. The theory of the word-combination in linguistics. The classification of word-combinations.

(a) The word-combination is defined in different ways. Some scholars assume that it is a group of words which does not possess any communicative purpose. This definition is, no doubt, correct, but it is not complete. Most linguists are of the opinion that the word-combination is any syntactically organized group of words irrespective of the type of relations on which it is based. But in any case it is a grammatical structure.

(b) The issue of the word-combination was first mentioned by Russian linguists in their early studies of grammar in the 18th century. But it was not until late in the 19th century and especially early in the 20th century that a really scientific theory of the word-combination appeared. It was developed by outstanding Russian linguists F.F.Fortunatov, A.A.Shakhmatov and others. The definition of the word-combination as any syntactically organized group was predominant up to the 1950s. That viewpoint is still shared by Ukrainian linguists (G.G.Pocheptsov and others), and it was supported by Western scholars (L.Bloomfield and others).

In the 1950s a new approach found its way. The term ‘word-combination’ was interpreted as a combination of at least two notional words in subordination. This viewpoint was worded by Acad. Vinogradov and supported by many linguists.

(c) The classification of word-combinations may be based on space-position relations, on the one hand. The resulting types of word-combinations are those based on the linear space-position relations and those based on the sublinear space-position relations (independent and dependent).

On the other hand, the classification may be based on the internal structure of word-combinations. They are then classified as kernel and non-kernel.

Kernel word-combinations are grammatically organized structures in which one element dominates the others. This element is the kernel (the head, according to L.Bloomfield).

Non-kernel word-combinations are not united by any single common structural feature. They are, in turn, subdivided into independent (easy and simple; she nodded) and dependent (\send\ him a letter).


Point 1.1. Problems of the definition of the sentence. The fundamental features of the sentence. Predication and modality of the affirmation and negation. The correlation of the notions “the sentence” and “the utterance”. The level analysis of the sentence. The structural and syntactic characteristics of the sentence. Principal and secondary parts of the sentence. The complicating elements of the sentence: homogeneous, specifying, and detached parts of the sentence.

(a) The sentence is the immediate integral unit of speech built up of words according to a definite syntactic pattern and distinguished by a contextually relevant communicative purpose. Any coherent connection of words having an informative destination is effected within the framework of the sentence. Therefore the sentence is the main object of syntax as part of the grammatical theory.

The sentence, being composed of words, may in certain cases include only one word of various lexico-grammatical standing. (Congratulations! Why? Certainly.)

The actual existence of one-word sentences, however, does not contradict the general idea of the sentence as a special syntactic combination of words. A word-sentence as a unit of the text is radically different from a word-lexeme as a unit of lexicon, the differentiation being inherent in the respective places occupied by the sentence and the word in the hierarchy of language levels.

(b) The sentence not only names some referents with the help of its word-constituents, but also, first, presents these referents as making up a certain situation, or, more specifically, a situational event, and second, reflects the connection between the nominal denotation of the event on the one hand, and objective reality on the other, showing the time of the event, its being real or unreal, desirable or undesirable, necessary or unnecessary, etc. Thus a sentence possesses predication, modality, form and intonation.

(c) The sentence is characterized by its specific category of predication which establishes the relation of the named phenomena to actual life. The general semantic category of modality is also defined by linguists as exposing the connection between the named objects and surrounding reality. However, modality, as different from predication, is not specifically confined to the sentence: it is revealed both in the grammatical elements of language and its lexical, purely nominative elements. Predication and modality of the affirmation and negation are both reflected in language by means of syntactical or lexical devices since they are similar intonationally.

(d) The notions of the sentence and the utterance are very similar and often overlap each other. The above-mentioned definition of the sentence, if compared to that of the utterance as “any stretch of talk, by one person, before and after which there is silence on the part of the person”(Z.S.Harris.”Method in Structural Linguistics”.Chicago.1960,p.14), will show that both units are means of communication. A distinct difference may be seen in the way they are organized. Besides, the notion of the utterance is much wider as the latter may consist of a word, a word-combination (or a phrase), a sentence and even a text.

(e) The level of the sentence, the so-called “proposematic” level, will include smaller levels going upward from the “phrasematic” level through the nomination and predication levels. According to Ch.Fries, the level analysis should also go down to the lexemic level (or rather the level of the parts of speech). The details of this type of analysis were considered in the section dealing with modern methods of grammatical analysis.

(f) The structural scheme of an English sentence is rather simple and fixed. It consists of the principal parts (subject and predicate) and the secondary parts (object, attribute, adverbial modifier). This scheme may be elementary (a simple sentence) or sophisticated (a composite sentence) but its syntactic characteristics are generally the same. Two-member sentences and one-member sentences are vivid examples of purely syntactical opposition, though some scholars treat them as examples of ellipsis.

(g) In a sentence we distinguish the principal parts, secondary parts and independent elements. The principal parts of a sentence are the subject and the predicate. The independent elements are interjections, direct address and parenthesis.

The subject is the principal part of the sentence which is grammatically independent of the other parts of the sentence. The subject can denote a living being, a lifeless thing or an idea. It can be expressed by:

1. A noun in the common (nominative) case.

2. A pronoun – personal, demonstrative, defining, indefinite, negative, possessive, interrogative.

3. A substantivized adjective or participle.

4. A numeral.

5. An infinitive, an infinitive phrase or construction.

6. A gerund, a gerundial phrase or construction.

7. Any part of speech used as a quotation, or a quotation group.

8. A group of words which is one part of the sentence, i.e. a syntactically indivisible group.

The predicate is the principal part of the sentence which expresses an action, state, or quality of the person, thing, or idea denoted by the subject. It is grammatically dependent upon the subject.

As a rule the predicate contains a finite verb which may express tense, mood, voice, aspect, and sometimes person and number. According to the structure and the meaning of the predicate we distinguish two main types: the simple predicate and the compound predicate.

The simple predicate is expressed by a finite verb in a simple or a compound tense form. It generally denotes an action; sometimes, however, it denotes a state which is represented as an action. There is a special kind of predicate expressed by a phraseological unit, the so-called phraseological predicate.

The compound predicate consists of two parts: (a) a finite verb and (b) some other part of speech: a noun, a pronoun, an adjective, a verbal, etc. The second component is the significant part of the predicate. The first part expresses the verbal categories of person, number, tense, aspect, mood and voice; besides it has a certain lexical meaning of its own. The compound predicate may be nominal or verbal.

The compound nominal predicate consists of a link verb and a predicative (the latter is also called the nominal part of the predicate).

The compound verbal predicate consists of a modal verb (modal expression) or a verb expressing the beginning, repetition, duration or cessation of the action, and an infinitive or a gerund.

There are also mixed types of predicates.

The object is a secondary part of the sentence which completes or restricts the meaning of a verb or sometimes an adjective, a word denoting state, or a noun. There are three kinds of object in English: the direct object, the indirect object, and the cognate object (e.g. to live a happy life).

The attribute is a secondary part of the sentence which qualifies a noun, a pronoun, or any other part of speech that has a nominal character. There is a special kind of attribute called apposition which may be close or loose (detached).

The adverbial modifier is a secondary part of the sentence which modifies a verb, an adjective or an adverb. There exist adverbial modifiers of time, frequency, place and direction, attendant circumstances, degree and measure, cause, result (consequence), comparison, concession and purpose.

(h) The complicating elements of the sentence are homogeneous members (two or more subjects, predicates, etc.), specifying parts of the sentence (objects, attributes, adverbial modifiers) and detached, or loose, parts of the sentence, i.e. those which assume a certain grammatical and semantic independence. In spoken language they are marked by intonation, pauses, and special stress; in written language they are generally separated by commas or dashes.

Theme 8. THE SENTENCE (continued)

Point 1.2. Models of the sentence. The notion of the syntactic paradigm. The word order in the sentence. Semantic and syntactic characteristics of the sentence. The notion of predicative and non-predicative symbols. Types of predicates. The notion of inclusive and included predicates. The role semantics of the sentence. The notion of presupposition.

(a) The sentence as a unit of information in the speech succession sets off its own generalized model, a typical construction which stands behind the concrete lexico-semantic composition of the utterance bound to its context. This model is a combination of two essential signemic functions of the sentence: the nominative and the predicative. However, different types of sentences have their own characteristic models that are observed in most cases. Thus we may speak of a specific model of a declarative sentence (a fixed word order, a falling intonation), an interrogative sentence (structural or structural and morphological changes, a rising or/and falling intonation), a complex sentence, etc.

(b) There are some general principles of constructing syntactic paradigms of predicative functions, with a differentiation between syntactic paradigms of the ‘normal’ type and the ‘actual’ type.

The normal paradigm of a sentence should include all forms of its changing, e.g. This is true. – This isn’t true. – Is this true? – This is true, isn’t it?, etc.

The actual paradigm should be based upon a real sentence of the text, e.g. She couldn’t hear it. – Couldn’t she hear it? – She couldn’t have heard it. – It couldn’t be heard by her., etc.

(c) Arrangement, or order of words is of especially great importance in such languages as English whose inflexion is comparatively scarce and syntactic relations are chiefly expressed by analytical means. Words have to be arranged in a definite order, in a definite succession to express such syntactic relations as, say, attributive, predicative, subject-object relations. It is preferable to distinguish between two sets of phenomena within a sentence:

(1)normal order, which may be either the order “subject-predicate”, as in most declarative sentences, or “predicate-subject”, as in most interrogative and in some declarative sentences (There are many people in the room. There came a thunderstorm.)

(2)inverted order, or inversion, which may be the order “predicate-subject” in a special type of a declarative sentence (Only at sunset did I leave the house.) or “subject-predicate” in a special type of a sentence characterized in general by the order “predicate-subject” (the latter is a very rare phenomenon indeed).

(d) Taking into consideration the two-aspective character of the sentence as a signemic unit of language, predication should be interpreted not simply as referring the content of the sentence to reality, but as referring the nominative content of the sentence to reality. It is this interpretation of the semantico-functional nature of predication that discloses, in one and the same generalized presentation, both the unity of the two identified aspects of the sentence, and also their different, though mutually complementary meaningful roles.

(e) The predicate expresses two variants of structural meanings:

- the meaning inherent in the predicate as a definite part of the sentence, i.e. the meaning of the predicative signal;

- the meanings connected with the grammatical categories of a finite verb ( the meanings of mood and tense, voice, person and number), i.e. the meanings of non-predicative signals.

(f) There are two basic types of predicates: the verbal predicate and the nominal predicate. Some linguists set off a third type of predicates – the phraseological predicate. All the three types have been mentioned and described in detail earlier, in the lecture dealing with the predicate.

(g) Besides simple predicates consisting of only finite verbs, there may be inclusive and included predicates.

Inclusive predicates are such structures which contain a finite verb and some other parts of speech, e.g. We are sitting. – She had breakfast. – He is supposed to have arrived.

Included predicates are parts of larger structures, e.g. There appeared a young girl in the doorway.

(h) Semantic units that represent language identification of the participants of a situation are called semantic roles. The main bearers of role meanings are nominal groups. Semantic roles, or rather a definite set of them, together with the action expressed by a verb, reflect the language semantic model of a non-language situation. A set of semantic roles which is implied by the lexico-semantic contents of a verb, and which allows for an adequate reflection of the situation, comprises the role structure of the verb. For instance, in the sentence ‘They showed him the jewels’ the role structure of the verb ‘to show’ includes the agent, the object of the action, and the object to which the action is directed. Thus role structures reflect the nature of objective relations between things (or persons) in reality.

(i) Presupposition is a judgement drawn from the sentence where it is present in a covert form (cf. He came late. – Even he came late./here the word ‘even’ reflects the presupposition which may be worded as ‘it is unexpected’/).

Some scholars are of the opinion that presupposition is a condition (or conditions) that should be fulfilled before the sentence can be used in any communicative function (cf. Please, open the door./there must be some door, and it must be closed/).

Anyway, presupposition is characterized by three essential factors:

- its drawability (ambiguity);

- its insensitiveness to negation (cf. Even he came late. – Even he did not come late./the sentences are quite different in meaning but the presupposition is the same: contrary to my expectations/);

- its pragmatic contents (it shows the author’s attitude).

Point 2. Actual division of the sentence. Methods of identification of the theme and the rheme.

(a) Alongside of the traditional nominative division of the sentence, the idea of the so-called ‘actual division’ of the sentence has been put forward in theoretical linguistics. The purpose of the actual division of the sentence, called also the ‘functional sentence perspective’ (FSP), is to reveal the correlative significance of the sentence parts from the point of view of their actual informative role in an utterance, i.e. from the point of view of the immediate semantic contribution they make to the total information conveyed by the sentence in the context of connected speech. In other words, the actual division of the sentence in fact exposes its informative perspective.

(b) The main components of the actual division of the sentence are the theme (T) and the rheme (R). The theme (from the Greek ‘the’ – ‘to set’, ‘to establish’) expresses the starting point of the communication, i.e. it denotes an object or a phenomenon about which something is reported. The rheme (from the Greek ‘rhe’ – ‘to say’, ‘to tell’) expresses the basic informative part of the communication, its contextually relevant center. Between the theme and the rheme are positioned intermediary, transitional parts of the actual division of various degrees of informative value (these parts are sometimes called ‘transition’). The theme and the rheme of the actual division of the sentence may or may not coincide with the subject and the predicate, respectively.

E.g. They obeyed. Here is your book.


Point 3. The main semantic types of sentences. Existential sentences. Qualifying sentences. Identifying sentences and others.

(a) The semantic classification of simple sentences should be effected at least on the three bases: first, on the basis of the subject categorical meanings; second, on the basis of the predicate categorical meanings; third, on the basis of the subject-object relation.

Reflecting the categories of the subject, simple sentences are divided into personal and impersonal. The further division of the personal sentences is into human and non-human; human – into definite and indefinite; non-human – into animate and inanimate. The further essential division of impersonal sentences is into factual (It rains; It’s 5 o’clock) and perceptional (It smells of hay here).

Reflecting the categories of the predicate, simple sentences are divided into process-featuring (‘verbal’) and, in the broad sense, substance-featuring (‘nominal’). Among the process-featuring sentences actional and statal ones are to be discriminated (The window is opening. – The window is glistening in the sun.); among the substance-featuring sentences factual and perceptional ones are to be discriminated (The sea is rough. – The place seems quiet.).

Finally, reflecting the subject-object relation, simple sentences should be divided into subjective (John lives in London.), objective (John reads a book.) and neutral or ‘potentially’ objective (John reads.), capable of implying both the transitive action of the syntactic person and the syntactic person’s intransitive characteristic.

On the other hand, taking into account general semantics of sentences, we may classify them into existential, qualifying, identifying, etc.

(b) Existential sentences express the general idea of something or somebody existing by means of various lexico-semantic facilities, of which the predicate is the signemic center.

(c) Qualifying sentences lay the main stress on qualifying some fact of reality conveyed in speech, whether it is substance, action or state, etc.

(d) Identifying sentences mostly serve to identify various phenomena with each other to express the idea more clearly and adequately.

Theme 8. THE SENTENCE (continued).

Point 4. Communicative types of sentences.

In accord with the purpose of communication three cardinal sentence-types have long been recognized in linguistic tradition: first, the declarative sentence; second, the imperative (inductive) sentence; third, the interrogative sentence.

The declarative sentence expresses a statement, either affirmative or negative, and as such stands in systemic syntagmatic correlation with listener’s responding signals of attention, of appraisal (including agreement or disagreement), or of fellow-feeling.

The imperative sentence expresses inducement, either affirmative or negative. That is, it urges the listener, in the form of request or command, to perform or not to perform a certain action. As such, the imperative sentence is situationally connected with the corresponding ‘action response’, and lingually is systemically correlated with a verbal response showing that the inducement is either complied with, or else rejected.

The interrogative sentence expresses a question, i.e. a request for information wanted by the speaker from the listener. It is naturally connected with the answer, forming together with it a question-answer dialogue unity.

Point 5. Nominative and modal-communicative aspects of the sentence. Modus and dictum.

(a) The nominative aspect of the sentence is a major functional and lingual aspect of speech. Nomination effects naming of sentential events or situations whereas modal-communicative aspects correlate the named events or situations with reality, considering the purpose of communication.

The modal aspect is versatile. Structurally, the basic modal aspect is the one implied by the mood of the verb-predicate. It is inherent in every sentence. Even verbless sentences are thought of as belonging to some kind of aspect. The basic modal aspect presents the described as real or unreal. Another modal layer of meanings, conveyed by modal words and constructions, serves to enhance or diminish the general modal meaning of the sentence, and brings in a subjective flavour, showing the author’s attitude clearly and distinctly.

(b) Modus (Latin – ‘measure’, ‘method’) denotes any means of reporting some communication in speech, comprising a great variety of lexico-grammatical signals.

Dictum (from the Latin ‘dicto’ – ‘I dictate’, ‘I order’) denotes any piece of communication within the framework of connected speech.

Point 6. Pragmatic aspects of the sentence. The correlation of semantics and pragmatics of the sentence.

(a) Pragmatic syntax studies the social designation of language, i.e. the usage of sentences in speech activity. The sentence is a concentration of functional peculiarities of language and speech. Studying sentence pragmatics comprises an important sphere of language knowledge, since language literacy presupposes not only an ability to construct sentences (language competence) but also an ability to use them correctly in acts of speech to achieve the desired communicative-functional result (communicative competence).

Pragmatic aspects of the sentence include the following notions:

- communicative intention, which is, inherent in the sentence, directiveness to solving a definite lingual problem of communication;

- locution, which is the use of cognitive contents of the sentence, without any communicative purpose;

- illocution, which is an intonational framing of a communicative intention;

- perlocution, which is the effect of an act of speech.

(b) Since the contents of sentences, actualized in acts of speech, is not limited to lexico-grammatical in formation only, but always includes communicative-intentional, or pragmatic, contents, this semantic peculiarity is of great importance. Semantically identical sentences may have various illocutionary points, e.g. the sentence ‘I’ll watch you’ may be used as a statement, a promise, a menace, an inquiry, etc. However, there are cases when the semantics of the sentence predetermines its pragmatics, e.g. the sentence ‘The train will arrive in time’ cannot mean a promise, for the reality of the action does not depend on the speaker.

Point 7. The sentence and the speech act. Pragmatic transposition of the sentence.

(a) The definition of the sentence implies its structural framing, as well as lexico-grammatical, semantic and pragmatic features. We may also say that the sentence is a unit of speech. On the other hand, the speech act is any piece of communication, which means that it may be both smaller and larger than the sentence, or it may coincide with the sentence, in volume.

(b) The loose character of the relations between the form and contents, inherent in language as a whole, also shows through in pragmatics. A sentence belonging to a certain pragmatic type by its formal features, in speech realization may acquire the illocutionary power of the sentences belonging to another type. For example, an interrogative in form and contents sentence may have the illocutionary power of inducement: Are you still here? (=Go away at once!). Uttering this sentence, the speaker does not expect any reply from the listener. In such cases it is commonplace to speak of ‘indirect’ acts of speech.

Point 8. Structural and syntactic types of sentences. Simple sentences (one-member and two-member sentences). Composite sentences (compound and complex sentences). Complete and elliptical sentences. Types of nominalization of the English sentence.

(a) According to their structure all sentences are divided into simple and composite sentences.

(b) Simple sentences are divided into two-member and one-member sentences.

A two-member sentence has two members – a subject and a predicate. If one of them is missing it can be easily understood from the context.

A one-member sentence is a sentence having only one member which is neither the subject nor the predicate. This does not mean, however, that the other member is missing, for the one member makes the sense complete.

One-member sentences are generally used in descriptions and in emotional speech.

If the main part of a one-member sentence is expressed by a noun, the sentence is called nominal. The noun may be modified by attributes.

E.g. Dusk – of a summer night. (Dreiser)

Freedom! Bells ringing out, flowers, kisses, wine. (Heym)

The main part of a one-member sentence is often expressed by an infinitive.

E.g. To die out there – lonely, wanting them, wanting home! (Galsworthy)

Simple sentences, both two-member and one-member, can be unextended and extended. A sentence consisting only of the primary or principal parts is called an unextended sentence.

An extended sentence is a sentence consisting of the subject, the predicate and one or more secondary parts (objects, attributes, or adverbial modifiers).

(c) The composite sentence, as different from the simple sentence, is formed by two or more predicative lines. Being a polypredicative construction, it expresses a complicated act of thought, i.e. an act of mental activity which falls into two or more intellectual efforts closely combined with one another. In terms of situations and events this means that the composite sentence reflects two or more elementary situational events viewed as making up a unity; the constitutive connections of the events are expressed by the constitutive connections of the predicative lines of the sentence, i.e. by the sentential polypredication.

Each predicative unit in a composite sentence makes up a clause in it, so that a clause as part of a composite sentence corresponds to a separate sentence as part of a contextual sequence.

According to the traditional view, all composite sentences are to be classified into compound sentences (coordinating their clauses) and complex sentences (subordinating their clauses), syndetic or asyndetic types of clause connection being specifically displayed with both classes.

(d) A two-member sentence may be complete or incomplete. It is complete when it has a subject and a predicate.

It is incomplete when one of the principal parts or both of them are missing, but can be easily understood from the context. Such sentences are called elliptical and are mostly used in colloquial speech and especially in dialogue.

Theme 8. THE SENTENCE (continued).

(e) The general definition of nominalizing transformations in English reads as follows: the nominalizing transformations are such transformations as ‘nominalize a sentence, i.e. change to a form that can appear in one of the N-phrases positions of another sentence’.

English Theoretical GrammarE.g. The seagull shrieked the shriek(ing) of the seagull

English Theoretical GrammarHe loves pictures his love for pictures

English Theoretical GrammarThe man has a son the man’s son

The N-transforms show that the relations of the sentences from which they are derived are preserved in the N-phrases: in the first sentence these were the relations of ‘actor – action’, in the second ‘actor – action – thing acted upon’, and in the third – the relations of possession. These relations constitute the meaning of the N-transforms.

Thus we must conclude that the definition of nominalization given above is not exhaustive, and we must add to it the following: ‘…and keep the same relations between their form classes that characterize the sentences from which they are derived’.

We may distinguish three degrees of nominalization.

(1) The slightest degree when the only trait of nominalization is the capability of standing in the NP position (N-clauses).

E.g. What he brought is here.

(2) The lower degree when transforms capable of standing in the NP position still have a V, but it is non-finite (semiclauses).

E.g. His managing the bank was a success.

(3) The higher degree of nominalization, N structures without V.

E.g. Their love for children was genuine.


Point 1. Grammatical organization, structure and semantics of the compound sentence.

A compound sentence is a sentence which consists of two or more clauses coordinated with each other. A clause is part of a sentence which has a subject and a predicate of its own.

In a compound sentence the clauses may be connected:

(a) syndetically, i.e. by means of coordinating conjunctions (and, or, else, but, etc.) or conjunctive adverbs (otherwise, however, nevertheless, yet, etc.);

(b) asyndetically, i.e. without a conjunction or conjunctive adverb.

We can distinguish the following types of coordination:

1. Copulative coordination, expressed by the conjunctions ‘and, nor, neither…nor, not only…but (also)’. With the help of these conjunctions the statement expressed in the clause is simply added to that expressed in another.

2. Disjunctive coordination, expressed by the conjunctions ‘or, else, or else, either…or’, and the conjunctive adverb ‘otherwise’. By these a choice is offered between the statements expressed in two clauses.

3. Adversative coordination, expressed by the conjunctions ‘but, while, whereas’ and the conjunctive adverbs ‘nevertheless, still, yet’. These are conjunctions and adverbs connecting two clauses contrasted in meaning.

4. Causative-consecutive coordination, expressed by the conjunctions ‘for, so’ and the conjunctive adverbs ‘therefore, accordingly, consequently, hence’. ‘For’ introduces coordinate clauses explaining the preceding statement. ‘Therefore, so, consequently, hence, accordingly’ introduce coordinate clauses denoting cause, consequence and result.

Point 2. Classification of complex sentences. Functional transpositions of subordinate clauses.

(a) A complex sentence consists of a principal clause and one or more subordinate clauses. This definition is true, however, only in a general sense. In an exact sense there is often no principal clause; this is the case with complex sentences containing a subject clause or a predicative clause.

Clauses in a complex sentence may be linked in two ways:

1. Syndetically, i.e. by means of subordinating conjunctions or connectives. There is a difference between a conjunction and a connective. A conjunction only serves as a formal element connecting separate clauses, whereas a connective serves as a connecting link and has at the same time a syntactic function in the subordinate clause it introduces.

2. Asyndetically, i.e. without a conjunction or connective.

A subordinate clause may follow, precede, or interrupt the principal clause.

A complex sentence may contain two or more homogeneous clauses coordinated with each other.

A subordinate clause may be subordinated to the principal clause or to another subordinate clause. Accordingly we distinguish subordinate clauses of the first, second, third, etc. degree of subordination.

According to their grammatical function subordinate clauses are divided into subject, predicative, attributive, object, and adverbial clauses.

Subject clauses perform the function of subject to the predicate of the sentence.

Predicative clauses perform the function of a predicative.

Object clauses perform the function of an object to the predicate-verb of the principal clause. An object clause may also refer to a non-finite form of the verb, to an adjective, or to a word belonging to the part of speech expressing state.

Attributive clauses serve as an attribute to a noun (pronoun) in the principal clause. This noun or pronoun is called the antecedent of the clause. According to their meaning and the way they are connected with the principal clause attributive clauses are divided into relative and appositive ones.

Attributive relative clauses qualify the antecedent, whereas attributive appositive clauses disclose its meaning.

Attributive relative clauses can be restrictive and non-restrictive or descriptive.

1. An attributive relative restrictive clause restricts the meaning of the antecedent. It cannot be removed without destroying the meaning of the sentence.

2. An attributive relative non-restrictive clause does not restrict the meaning of the antecedent; it gives some additional information about it.

A variant of the attributive non-restrictive clause is the continuative clause, whose antecedent is not one word but a whole clause.

E.g. He hasn’t helped her, which is a shame.

Attributive appositive clauses disclose the meaning of the antecedent, which is expressed by an abstract noun.

An adverbial clause performs the function of an adverbial modifier. It can modify a verb, an adjective or an adverb in the principal clause.

According to their meaning we distinguish the following kinds of adverbial clauses: adverbial clauses of time, place, cause (reason), purpose, condition, concession, result, manner, and comparison.

(b) Subordinate clauses may be substituted by various syntactic structures, both complex and simple, while retaining the semantic and modal features of the kernel structures. The transforms, therefore, may be represented by word combinations, participial, gerundial, and infinitival constructions.

Point 3. Neutralization of the opposition “hypotaxis::parataxis”.

There are cases when the difference between coordinate and subordinate clauses is so small that it is rather hard to discriminate between them with respect to both semantics and structure.

For example, cause, consequence and result may be expressed by either coordinate or subordinate clauses:

There was something wrong with him, for he looked grave and ill. (coordinate)

He is suspicious and jealous for fear anyone might oust him. (subordinate)

The phenomenon of neutralization of this kind of opposition is especially evident in attributive continuative clauses, e.g.

Drive-in cinemas are very popular in the USA, which is not the case with Ukraine.

Point 4. Problems of implicit nominalization.

Implicit nominalization refers to the structures where nominalization is implied but is not evident. It is disclosed only after respective transformations, e.g.

What he intends to do is very reasonable. – His intention is very reasonable.

Their fault was that they failed to report it. – Their fault was their failure to report it.


Point 1. The notion of the text

The general idea of a sequence of sentences forming a text includes two different notions. On the one hand, it presupposes a succession of spoken or written utterances irrespective of their forming or not forming a coherent semantic complex. On the other hand, it implies a strictly topical stretch of talk, i.e. a continual succession of sentences centering on a common informative purpose. It is this latter understanding of the text that is syntactically relevant. It is in this latter sense that the text can be interpreted as a lingual element with its two distinguishing features: first, semantic (topical) unity; second, semantico-syntactic cohesion.

A text may have the form of a dialogue, or a monologue, or both, but the two forms have a common feature: a communicative direction.

Point 2. The main categories of the text.

As a result of comparing the sentence with the supersentential constituents (or supraphrasal unities) of the text, the notion of the elementary text unit called the ‘dicteme’ is developed.

The supraphrasal unity, sometimes also called the ‘cumuleme’ is an immediate accumulation of sentences of the coordinating type.

The dicteme is an elementary unit of text topicalization, which is formed by sentences. It may coincide in volume with a sentence, a supraphrasal unity, or a paragraph.

Point 3. The problem of text grammar and stylistics

The text has been recently included in the sphere of grammatical description of the most generalized aspects of its form and semantics. Grammar studies the text from the point of view of its formation by lingual means.

Text stylistics should be differentiated from the literary term in the sense that the text stylization is a combination of stylistic features which are natural and vital for any kind of speech.

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