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Theoretical Grammar of English

Theoretical Grammar of English

1. The subject matter of Theoretical Grammar

2. Descriptive and Prescriptive Grammar

3. Morphology and Syntax

4. Content (notion) words and function Words

5. Morphemes: The Minimal Units of Meaning

6. Bound and free Morphemes

7. Grammatical morphemes.

8. Three main types of distribution of morphemes

9. Grammatical meanings

10. Categorial grammatical meaning. Grammatical category. Paradigm.

11. Grammatical oppositions.

12. Synthetical and analytical grammatical forms.

13. Parts of Speech (A General Overview)

14. The Noun 15. The Article

16. The Adjective

17. The Pronoun 18. Verb - A general overview

19. The Adverb. General

20. Types of syntagmatic groupings of words.

21. Phrase.

22. Sentence. 23. Actual Division of the Sentence.

24. Classifications of Sentences

25. Simple and Composite sentences - a general overview

26. The Principal and secondary parts of the sentence

27. Text as an Object of Linguistic Research.

28. Textual Categories.

29. Textual Units. Supra-Phrasal Unity and Paragraph.

1. The subject matter of Theoretical Grammar

The term grammar goes back to the Greek word ?????????? where gram (from ?????? - "letter") meant something written. The part ???? derives from ????? and meant art. Hence ?????????? is the art of writing.

Our course of theoretical grammar serves to describe the grammatical structure of the English language as a system where all parts are interconnected. The grammar of a language consists of the sounds and sound patterns, the basic units of meaning such as words, and the rules to combine all of these to form sentences with the desired meaning. The grammar, then, is what we know. It represents our linguistic competence. To understand the nature of language we must understand the nature of grammar, and in particular, the internalized, unconscious set of rules that is part of every grammar of every language.

Language is a means of forming and storing ideas as reflections of reality and exchanging them in the process of human intercourse. Language is social by nature; it is inseparably connected with the people who are its creators and users; it grows and develops together with the development of society.

Language incorporates the three constituent parts ("sides"), each being inherent in it by virtue of its social nature. These parts are the phonological system, the lexical system, the grammatical system. Only the unity of these three elements forms a language; without any one of them there is no human language in the above sense.

The phonological system is the subfoundation of language; it determines the material (phonetical) appearance of its significative units. The lexical system is the whole set of naming means of language, that is, words and stable word-groups. The grammatical system is the whole set of regularities determining the combination of naming means in the formation of utterances as the embodiment of thinking process.

Each of the three constituent parts of language is studied by a particular linguistic discipline. These disciplines, presenting a series of approaches to their particular objects of analysis, give the corresponding "descriptions" of language consisting in ordered expositions of the constituent parts in question. Thus, the phonological description of language is effected by the science of phonology; the lexical description of language is effected by the science of lexicology; the grammatical description of language is effected by the science of grammar.

Modern linguistics lays a special stress on the systemic character of language and all its constituent parts. It accentuates the idea that language is a system of signs (meaningful units) which are closely interconnected and interdependent. Units of immediate interdependencies (such as classes and subclasses of words, various subtypes of syntactic constructions, etc.) form different microsystems (subsystems) within the framework of the global macrosystem (supersystem) of the whole of language.

2. Descriptive and Prescriptive Grammar

1. Descriptive Grammar

Every human being who speaks a language knows its grammar.

The shared knowledge - the common parts of the grammar - makes it possible to communicate through language. To the extent that the linguist's description is a true model of the speakers' linguistic capacity, it is a successful description of the grammar and of the language itself. Such a model is called a descriptive grammar. We have used the word grammar in two ways; the first in reference to the mental grammar speakers have in their brains; the second as the model or description of this internalized grammar.

2. Prescriptive Grammar

From ancient times until the present, "purists" have believed that language change is corruption, and that there are certain "correct" forms that all educated people should use in speaking and writing.

They wished to prescribe rather than describe the rules of grammar, which gave rise to the writing of prescriptive grammars.

In the Renaissance a new middle class emerged who wanted their children to speak the dialect of the "upper" classes. This desire led to the publication of many prescriptive grammars. In 1762 Bishop Robert Lowth wrote A Short Introduction to English Grammar with Critical Notes. Lowth prescribed a number of new rules for English, many of them influenced by his personal taste.

Many of these prescriptive rules were based on Latin grammar, which had already given way to different rules in the languages that developed from Latin. Because Lowth was influential and because the rising new class wanted to speak "properly," many of these new rules were legislated into English grammar, at least for the prestige dialect. Grammars such as Lowth's are different from the descriptive grammars mentioned above. Their goal is not to describe the rules people know, but to tell them what rules they should know.

3. Morphology and Syntax

Grammar is traditionally divided into two parts - morphology and syntax.

In traditional grammars morphology is defined as that part of grammar which treats of the parts of speech and their inflexion (or accidence), i.e. the forms of number and case of nouns and pronouns, the forms of tense, mood, etc. of verbs, the forms of degrees of comparison of adjectives, etc. By inflexion we mean an addition to a whole class of words expressing some grammatical function, or a meaning so general as not to constitute a new word.

To sum up, morphology is the science of the forms of words.

Syntax is usually defined as that part of grammar which treats of the rules according to which words are connected in the sentence, and also of various types of sentences, their structure and meaning.

According to O. Jespersen, both morphology and syntax treat of the whole complex of grammatical phenomena of a language, however syntax looks at grammatical facts from within, i.e. from the side of their meaning and signification, while morphology looks at the same phenomena from without, from the side of their form. Therefore, the difference is due to a different attitude of a linguist.

Some grammatical relations can be expressed either inflectionally (morphologically) or syntactically (as part of the sentence structure). We can see this in the following sentences:

England's queen is Elizabeth II. He loves books.

The planes which fly are red. He is hungrier than she.

What one language signals with inflectional affixes, another does with word order, and another with function words. For example, in English, the sentence Maxim defends Victor means something different from Victor defends Maxim. The word order is critical. In Russian, all the following sentences mean "Maxim defends Victor":

In English, to convey the future meaning of a verb we must use a function word will, as in "John will come Monday." In French, the verb is inflected with a future tense morpheme. Notice the difference between "John is coming Monday," Jean vient lundi, and "John will come Monday," Jean viendra lundi. Similarly, where English uses the grammatical markers have to form a perfect sentence and be to form a passive sentence, other languages use affixing to achieve the same meanings.

4. Content (notion) words and function Words

Languages make an important distinction between two kinds of words - content words and function words. Nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs are the content words. These words denote concepts such as objects, actions, attributes, and ideas that we can think about like children, anarchism, soar, and purple. Content words are sometimes called the open class words because we can and regularly do add new words to these classes.

There are other classes of words that do not have clear lexical meaning or obvious concepts associated with them, including conjunctions such as and, or, and but; prepositions such as in and of; the articles the, a/an, and pronouns such as it and he. These kinds of words are called function words because they have a grammatical function. For example, the articles indicate whether a noun is definite or indefinite - the boy or a boy. The preposition of indicates possession as in "the book of yours," but this word indicates many other kinds of relations too.

Function words are sometimes called closed class words. It is difficult to think of new conjunctions, prepositions, or pronouns that have recently entered the language. The small set of personal pronouns such as I, me, mine, he, she, and so on are part of this class.

The brain treats content and function words differently. These two classes of words have different functions in language. Content words have semantic content (meaning). Function words play a grammatical role; they connect the content words to the-larger grammatical context.

5. Morphemes: The Minimal Units of Meaning

The linguistic term for the most elemental unit of grammatical form is morpheme. The word is derived from the Greek word morphe, meaning "form."

The study of the internal structure of words, and of the rules by which words are formed, is morphology. This word itself consists of two morphemes, morph + ology. The suffix -ology means "science of" or "branch of knowledge concerning." Thus, the meaning of morphology is "the science of word forms."

Part of knowing a language is knowing its morphology. Like most linguistic knowledge, this is generally unconscious knowledge.

A single word may be composed of one or more morphemes:

one morpheme boy

desire two morphemes

boy + ish desire + able

three morphemes

boy + ish + ness

desire + able + ity

four morphemes gentle + man + Ii + ness

un + desire + able + ity

more than four un + gentle + man + Ii + ness

anti + dis + establish + ment + ari + an + ism?

A morpheme may be represented by a single sound, such as the morpheme a meaning "without" as in amoral or asexual, or by a single syllable, such as child and ish in child + ish. A morpheme may also consist of more than one syllable: by two syllables, as in camel, lady, and water; or by three syllables, as in Hackensack or crocodile; or by four or more syllables, as in hallucinate.

A morpheme - the minimal linguistic unit - is thus an arbitrary union of a sound and a meaning that cannot be further analyzed. Every word in every language is composed of one or more morphemes.

The decomposition of words into morphemes illustrates one of the fundamental properties of human language - discreteness. In all languages, discrete linguistic units combine in rule-governed ways to form larger units. Sound units combine to form morphemes, morphemes combine to form words, and words combine to form larger units phrases and sentences.

Discreteness is one of the properties that distinguish human languages from the communication systems of other species.

6. Bound and free Morphemes

Prefixis and Suffixis. One of the things we know about particular morphemes is whether they can stand alone or whether they must be attached to a host morpheme.

Some morphemes like boy, desire, gentle, and man may constitute words by themselves. These are free morphemes. Other morphemes like -ish, -ness, -ly, dis-, trans-, and un- are never words by themselves but are always parts of words. These affixes are bound morphemes. We know whether each affix precedes or follows other morphemes. Thus, un-, pre- (premeditate, prejudge), and bi- (bipolar) are prefixes. They occur before ether morphemes. Some morphemes occur only as suffixes, following other morphemes. English examples of suffix morphemes are -ing (e.g., sleeping, eating, running, climbing), -er (e.g., singer, performer, reader, and beautifier), -ist (e.g., typist: copyist, pianist, novelist, collaborationist, and linguist), and -ly (e.g., manly, sickly, spectacularly, and friendly), to mention only a few.

Morphemes are the minimal linguistic signs in all languages and many languages have prefixes and suffixes. But languages may differ in how they deploy their morphemes. A morpheme that is a prefix in one language may be a suffix in another and vice-versa. In English the plural morpheme -s is a suffix (e.g., boys, machines, diskettes).

ROOTS AND STEMS. Morphologically complex words consist of a root and one or more affixes. A root is a lexical content morpheme that cannot be analyzed into smaller parts. Some examples of English roots are paint in painter, read in reread, and ceive in conceive. A root mayor may not stand alone as a word (paint does; ceive doesn't).

When a root morpheme is combined with an affix, it forms a stem, which may or may not be a word (painter is both a word and a stem; -ceive + er is only a stem). Other affixes can be added to a stem to form a more complex stem, as shown in the following:

Root Chomsky (proper) noun

Stem Chomsky + ite noun + suffix

Word Chomsky + ite + s noun + suffix + suffix

As one adds each affix to a stem, a new stem and a new word are formed.

7. Grammatical morphemes.

In derivational morphology certain morphemes such as -ceive or -mit have meaning only when combined with other morphemes in a word, for example transmit, remit, receive, and deceive. Similarly, there are morphemes that have "meaning" only in combination with other words in a sentence. For example, what is the meaning of it in "It's hot in July" or "The Archbishop found it advisable". Function words such as it and to have a strictly grammatical meaning, or function, in the sentence. This means that they do not have any clear lexical meaning or concept associated with them. They are in the sentence because they are required by the rules of sentence formation - the syntax. For example, to in connection with a verb has the grammatical function of making the sentence an infinitive.

Inflectional Morphemes. Function words like to, it, and be are free morphemes. Many languages, including English, also have bound morphemes that have a strictly grammatical function. They mark properties such as tense, number, gender, case, and so forth. Such bound morphemes are called inflectional morphemes. They never change the syntactic category of the words or morphemes to which they are attached. Consider the forms of the verb in the following sentences:

(1) I sail the ocean blue.

(2) He sails the ocean blue.

(3) John sailed the ocean blue.

English Inflectional Morphemes

-s third-person singular present

-ed past tense

-ing progressive

-en past participle

-s plural -'s possessive

-er comparative

-est superlative

Compared to many languages of the world, English has relatively little inflectional morphology.

How are derivational morphemes as opposed to inflectional ones? The simplest answer is that derivational morphemes are affixes that are not inflectional. Inflectional morphemes signal grammatical relations and are required by the rule of sentence formation.

Derivational morphemes, when affixed to roots and stems, change the grammatical word class and/or the basic meaning of the word, which may then be inflected as to number (singular or plural), tense (present, past, future), and so on.

9. Grammatical meanings

Notional words, first of all verbs and nouns, possess some morphemic features expressing grammatical (morphological) meanings. These features determine the grammatical form of the word.

Grammatical meanings are very abstract, very general. Therefore the grammatical form is not confined to an individual word, but unites a whole class of words, so that each word of the class expresses the corresponding grammatical meaning together with its individual, concrete semantics.

For instance, the meaning of the substantive plural is rendered by the regular plural suffix -(e)s, and in some cases by other, more specific means, such as phonemic interchange and a few lexeme-bound suffixes. Due to the generalised character of the plural, we say that different groups of nouns "take" this form with strictly defined variations in the mode of expression, the variations being of more systemic (phonological conditioning) and less systemic (etymological conditioning) nature. Cf.: faces, branches, matches, judges; books, rockets, boats, chiefs, proofs; dogs, beads, films, stones, hens; lives, wives, thieves, leaves; girls, stars, toys, heroes, pianos, cantos; oxen, children, brethren, kine; swine, sheep, deer; cod, trout, salmon; men, women, feet, teeth, geese, mice, lice; formulae, antennae; data, errata, strata, addenda, memoranda; radii, genii, nuclei, alumni; crises, bases, analyses, axes; phenomena, criteria.

8. Three main types of distribution of morphemes

The "Allo-emic" theory. Further insights into the correlation between the formal and functional aspects of morphemes within the composition of the word may be gained in the light of the so-called "allo-emic" theory put forward by descriptive linguistics and broadly used in the current linguistic research.

In accord with this theory, lingual units are described by means of two types of terms: allo-terms and eme-terms. Eme-terms denote the generalised invariant units of language characterised by a certain functional status: phonemes, morphemes. Allo-terms denote the concrete manifestations, or variants of the generalised units dependent on the regular co-location with other elements of language: allophones, allomorphs. A set of iso-functional allo-units identified in the text on the basis of their co-occurrence with other lingual units (distribution) is considered as the corresponding eme-unit with its fixed systemic status.

Distributional analysis. The allo-emic identification of lingual elements is achieved by means of the so-called "distributional analysis". The immediate aim of the distributional analysis is to fix and study the units of language in relation to their textual environments, i.e. the adjoining elements in the text.

The environment of a unit may be either "right" or "left", e.g.: un-pardon-able.

In this word the left environment of the root is the negative prefix un-, the right environment of the root is the qualitative suffix -able. Respectively, the root -pardon- is the right environment for the prefix, and the left environment for the suffix.

The distribution of a unit may be defined as the total of all its environments; in other words, the distribution of a unit is its environment in generalised terms of classes or categories.

Three main types of distribution are discriminated in the distributional analysis, namely, contrastive distribution, non-contrastive distribution, and complementary distribution. Contrastive and non-contrastive distributions concern identical environments of different morphs. The morphs are said to be in contrastive distribution if their meanings (functions) are different. Such morphs constitute different morphemes. Cf. the suffixes -(e)d and -ing in the verb-forms returned, returning. The morphs are said to be in non-contrastive distribution (or free alternation) if their meaning (function) is the same. Such morphs constitute "free alternants", or "free variants" of the same morpheme. Cf. the suffixes -(e)d and -t in the verb-forms learned, learnt.

As different from the above, complementary distribution concerns different environments of formally different morphs which are united by the same meaning (function). If two or more morphs have the same meaning and the difference in (heir form is explained by different environments, these morphs are said to be in complementary distribution and considered the allomorphs of the same morpheme. Cf. the allomorphs of the plural morpheme /-s/, /-z/, /-iz/ which stand in phonemic complementary distribution; the plural allomorph -en in oxen, children, which stands in morphemic complementary distribution with the other allomorphs of the plural morpheme.

As we see, for analytical purposes the notion of complementary distribution is the most important, because it helps establish the identity of outwardly altogether different elements of language, in particular, its grammatical elements.

10. Categorial grammatical meaning. Grammatical category. Paradigm.

The most general notions reflecting the most general properties of phenomena are referred to in logic as "categorial notions", or "categories". The most general meanings rendered by language and expressed by systemic correlations of word-forms are interpreted in linguistics as categorial grammatical meanings. The forms themselves are identified within definite paradigmatic series.

The categorial meaning (e.g. the grammatical number) unites the individual meanings of the correlated paradigmatic forms (e.g. singular - plural) and is exposed through them; hence, the meaning of the grammatical category and the meaning of the grammatical form are related to each other on the principle of the logical relation between the categorial and generic notions. As for the grammatical category itself, it presents, the same as the grammatical "form", a unity of form (i.e. material factor) and meaning (i.e. ideal factor) and constitutes a certain signemic system. More specifically, the grammatical category is a system of expressing a generalised grammatical meaning by means of paradigmatic correlation of grammatical forms.

The ordered set of grammatical forms expressing a categorial function constitutes a paradigm.

11. Grammatical oppositions.

The paradigmatic correlations of grammatical forms in a category are exposed by the so-called "grammatical oppositions".

The opposition (in the linguistic sense) may be defined as a generalised correlation of lingual forms by means of which a certain function is expressed. The correlated elements (members) of the opposition must possess two types of features: common features and differential features. Common features serve as the basis of contrast, while differential features immediately express the function in question.

The oppositional theory was originally formulated as a phonological theory. Three main qualitative types of oppositions were established in phonology: "privative", "gradual", and "equipollent". By the number of members contrasted, oppositions were divided into binary (two members) and more than binary (ternary, quaternary, etc.).

The most important type of opposition is the binary privative opposition; the other types of oppositions are reducible to the binary privative opposition.

The binary privative opposition is formed by a contrastive pair of members in which one member is characterised by the presence of a certain differential feature ("mark"), while the other member is characterised by the absence of this feature. The member in which the feature is present is called the "marked", or "strong", or "positive" member, and is commonly designated by the symbol + (plus); the member in which the feature is absent is called the "unmarked", or "weak", or "negative" member, and is commonly designated by the symbol - (minus).

The most important type of opposition in morphology, the same as in phonology, is the binary privative opposition.

The privative morphological opposition is based on a morphological differential feature which is present in its strong marked) member and absent in its weak (unmarked) member. In another kind of wording, this differential feature may be said to mark one of the members of the opposition positively (the strong member), and the other one negatively (the weak member). The featuring in question serves as the immediate means of expressing a grammatical meaning.

For instance, the expression of the verbal present and past tenses is based on a privative opposition the differential feature of which is the dental suffix -(e)d. This suffix, rendering the meaning of the past tense, marks the past form of the verb positively (we worked), and the present form negatively (we work).

Equipollent oppositions in the system of English morphology constitute a minor type and are mostly confined to formal relations only. An example of such an opposition can be seen in the correlation of the person forms of the verb be: am - are - is.

Gradual oppositions in morphology are not generally recognised; in principle, they can be identified as a minor type on the semantic level only. An example of the gradual morphological opposition can be seen in the category of comparison: strong - stronger - strongest.

A grammatical category must be expressed by at least one opposition of forms. These forms are ordered in a paradigm in grammatical descriptions.

12. Synthetical and analytical grammatical forms.

The means employed for building up member-forms of categorial oppositions are traditionally divided into synthetical and analytical; accordingly, the grammatical forms themselves are classed into synthetical and analytical, too.

Synthetical grammatical forms are realised by the inner morphemic composition of the word, while analytical grammatical forms are built up by a combination of at least two words, one of which is a grammatical auxiliary (word-morpheme), and the other, a word of "substantial" meaning. Synthetical grammatical forms are based on inner inflexion, outer inflexion, and suppletivity; hence, the forms are referred to as inner-inflexional, outer-inflexional, and suppletive.

Inner inflexion, or phonemic (vowel) interchange, is not productive in modern Indo-European languages, but it is peculiarly employed in some of their basic, most ancient lexemic elements. By this feature, the whole family of Indo-European languages is identified in linguistics as typologically "inflexional".

Inner inflexion (grammatical "infixation", see above) is used in English in irregular verbs (the bulk of them belong to the Germanic strong verbs) for the formation of the past indefinite and past participle; besides, it is used in a few nouns for the formation of the plural. Since the corresponding oppositions of forms are based on phonemic interchange, the initial paradigmatic form of each lexeme should also be considered as inflexional. Cf.: take - took - taken, drive - drove - driven, keep - kept - kept, etc.; man - men, brother - brethren, etc.

Suppletivity, like inner inflexion, is not productive as a purely morphological type of form. It is based on the correlation of different roots as a means of paradigmatic differentiation. In other words, it consists in the grammatical interchange of word roots, and this, as we pointed out in the foregoing chapter, unites it in principle with inner inflexion (or, rather, makes the latter into a specific variety of the former).

Suppletivity is used in the forms of the verbs be and go, in the irregular forms of the degrees of comparison, in some forms of personal pronouns. Cf.: be - am - are - is - was - were; go - went; good - better; bad - worse; much - more; little - less; I - me; we - us; she - her.

As for analytical forms which are so typical of modern English that they have long made this language into the "canonised" representative of lingual analytism, they deserve some special comment on their substance.

The traditional view of the analytical morphological form recognises two lexemic parts in it, stating that it presents a combination of an auxiliary word with a basic word. However, there is a tendency with some linguists to recognise as analytical not all such grammatically significant combinations, but only those of them that are "grammatically idiomatic", i.e. whose relevant grammatical meaning is not immediately dependent on the meanings of their component elements taken apart. Considered in this light, the form of the verbal perfect where the auxiliary "have" has utterly lost its original meaning of possession, is interpreted as the most standard and indisputable analytical form 'in English morphology. Its opposite is seen in the analytical degrees of comparison which, according to the cited interpretation, come very near to free combinations of words by their lack of "idiomatism" in the above sense.

13. Parts of Speech (A General Overview)

All traditional grammars deal extensively with parts of speech. Though grammarians have been studying parts of speech for over two millennia, the criteria used for classifying them are not yet agreed upon. Hence there is much ambiguity in defining parts of speech and consequently there exist numerous classifications.

H.Sweet divides all parts of speech in English dichotomically into the following two groups:

1. declinable parts of speech, i.e. those capable of inflexion, which include noun-words (noun, noun-pronoun, noun-numeral, infinitive, gerund), adjective-words (adjective, adjective-pronoun, adjective-numeral, participles), verb (finite verb, verbals: infinitive, gerund. participles), and 2. indeclinable parts of speech (particles), i.e. those incapable of inflexion, which include adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections.

O.Jespersen, names five parts of speech: substantives (including proper names), adjectives, pronouns (including numerals and pronominal adverbs), verbs and particles (adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections). He maintains that in distinguishing parts of speech everything should be kept in view, form, function and meaning, though, in his opinion, form is the fundamental criterion.

As a matter of fact, most grammars of English published abroad give eight parts of speech in number: noun, pronoun, adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection. The current conventional classification of words into the particular eight parts of speech now common seems to go back to Joseph Priestley and his 'The Rudiment of English Grammar' (published 1761) and to have been generally accepted in grammars since 1850. Dealing with words under eight parts of speech J.Priestley made the significant innovation of excluding the participle and including the adjective.

It is only natural that in connection with the different classifications of parts of speech the question arises what accounts for such a great variety of systems of classification? In classifying words into parts of speech the linguist may take into account the following criteria:

1. the meaning of a word (the semantic characteristics),

2. the form of a word (the morphological characteristics) and

3. the function of a word (the syntactic characteristics).

In classifying words into parts of speech most Russian/Soviet linguists have taken into account all the three criteria mentioned above and this is why they differentiate many more parts of speech as compared with foreign grammarians. Though a number of foreign linguists also keep in mind the three criteria they very often regard form as the dominant feature and neglect the semantic and syntactic criteria.

The traditional classification of words into parts of speech has been under a severe attack by structural linguists who criticize it mainly from two points. In their opinion, one trouble with the traditional grammar is that it relies heavily on the most subjective element in language, meaning. Another is that it shifts the ground of its classification and produces the elementary logical error of cross-division.

14. The Noun

Most definitions of the noun given in traditional grammars are based on meaning. For example, the noun is defined as "a word expressing substance in the widest sense of the word", or "a part of speech which includes words denoting substance or certain facts or phenomena regarded as substances". A popular definition, which can be found in a number of English grammars published abroad, is that "a noun is the name of a living being or lifeless thing", or "a noun is the name of anything, living or inanimate, real or conceptual".

The usual definitions of the noun have been criticized by structuralists because, in their opinion, they are based on the very subjective and shaky foundation of meaning. Ch.C. Fries, for instance, gives the traditional definition of the noun, as "the name of a person, place or thing", but at the same time shows that such word as "blue" is the "name" of a colour, as is "yellow" or "red", and yet, in the expressions "a blue tie, a yellow rose', a red dress" we do not call "blue" and "yellow" and "red" "nouns". We do call "red" a noun in the sentence "this red is the shade I want". "Run" is the "name" of an action, as is "jump" or " arrive". "Up" is the "name" of' a direction, as is "down" or "across ". In spite of the fact that these words are all "names" and thus fit the definition given for the noun they are not called nouns in such expressions as "We ran home", "They were looking up into the sky", "The acid made the fibre red". The definition as it stands - that "A noun is a name" - does not furnish all the criteria necessary to exclude from this group many words which English grammarians in actual practice classify in other parts of speech.

In the opinion of structural linguists we identify nouns not by asking if they name something, but by their positions in expressions and by the formal marks they carry. In the sentence, "The slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe," any speaker of English knows that "toves" and "wabe" are nouns, though he cannot tell what they name, if indeed they name anything. He knows it because they have certain formal marks, like their position in relation to "the" as well as the whole arrangement of the sentence.

The noun in English has two grammatical categories: the category of number and the category of case.

15. The Article

The question whether the article is a separate part of speech or not has given rise to conflicting statements.

The article has definite grammatical functions which distinguish it as a part of speech:

1. The article is used to signify a noun, i.e. it shows which word is a noun: light - to light - a light.

2. The article is used in the sentence to separate a noun with its attributive word(s) from the other parts of the sentence: A terrible weight lifted off his heart. I shall never forget the one fourth serious and three fourths comical astonishment (Dickens)

3. The article is used to denote whether the thing named is known to the listener (or reader) or not: the - a (an).

Opinions differ as to the number of articles in English. All grammarians recognize the existence of the definite and the indefinite article. The problem arises how to interpret cases where a noun is used without any article, as in the sentence "Time is money".' The following views have been advanced:

1. It should be described as a case of the omission of the article. 2. It is a case of the (meaningful) absence of the article. 3. The absence of the article is a special kind of article - the zero article.

16. The Adjective

Despite the difference of opinion on what words belong to the group of adjectives all grammarians unanimously hold that the adjective forms a separate part of speech.

The adjective has the following semantic, morphological and syntactic characteristics: The adjective expresses a property of a substance. The only morphological characteristic is that of degrees of comparison. The adjective may be used as an attribute or as a predicative (She is stopping at one of the hotels in town. The morning was windy and sharp).

According to their meaning and grammatical characteristics adjectives are usually divided into two classes - qualitative and relative adjectives. Qualitative adjectives denote properties of a substance directly (large, warm, difficult, etc.). Most qualitative adjectives have degrees of comparison.

Relative adjectives express properties of a substance through their relation to materials (woollen, wooden), to place (German, European), to time (weekly, monthly), to some action (preparatory, circular). Relative adjectives have no degrees of comparison. Their number in English is limited. In addition to the two classes some linguists distinguish a third class - quantitative adjectives - which denote quantity. Here belong such words as "little, few, much, many".

The adjective in English has no category of gender, number or case. The adjective in Old English had these categories but lost them in Middle English. The only grammatical category characteristic of the adjective in English is the category of comparison. Qualitative adjectives have three degrees of comparison - the positive (long, difficult) comparative (longer, more difficult) and superlative (longest, most difficult). There are three ways of forming degrees of comparison: the synthetic, analytic and suppletive ways.

17. The Pronoun

Pronouns are words which indicate things and properties of things without naming or describing them.

Most Anglicists have defined the pronoun as a word used instead of a noun or an adjective. Although pronouns have the syntactical functions of nouns and adjectives they differ from nouns and adjectives in meaning.

Pronouns have a very general, relative meaning; from a purely logical point of view they may be defined as general nouns and adjectives.

As some pronouns have the peculiarities of the noun, others the peculiarities of the adjective, doubt has been expressed as to whether the pronoun is a separate part of speech at all. In the opinion of some linguists pronouns should belong to the c]ass of either nouns or adjectives.

Some pronouns have the grammatical category of case. However the case system of pronouns differs from that of nouns. Some pronouns (personal pronouns, the interrogative and conjunctive pronoun "who") distinguish between the nominative and the objective case, some pronouns (reciprocal pronouns, the indefinite pronouns "somebody, -one, anybody, -one, nobody, no one, other, another, one") have this common and the genitive (possessive) case. All other pronouns have no category of case whatsoever.

There are only a few pronouns which have the category of number: singular and plural. It is found in demonstrative pronouns and the indefinite pronouns "one" and "other". There is no grammatical category of number in personal and possessive pronouns because number is expressed here by different words. "

Syntactic characteristics. Although pronouns resemble nouns they have some peculiar features by which they differ from nouns.

Pronouns differ from nouns in that they cannot be modified by adjectives. Phrases like "poor me" are rare. Pronouns cannot be preceded by any article or be modified by a prepositional phrase. Pronouns can be used predicatively but only with "it" as the subject of the sentence: It's me.

Similar to nouns pronouns can be the subject or the object of the sentence: I am reading. Charles can do this.

The function of adjective-pronouns is that of an attribute: Give me some sugar.

18. The Verb - A general overview

The verb denotes a process. Processes are usually referred to as actions or states. The word "action" means a process of being active and implies an exhibition (conscious or unconscious) of force or energy. A state is a process of being in a certain mode or form of existence conditioned by a set of temporary or permanent circumstances.

The principal forms of the verb are: the infinitive, the past indefinite and the past participle (Participle II) - write, wrote, written. The present participle formed by

means of the suffix -ing cannot be regarded as a principal form of the verb as it is derived from the infinitive (write, writing).

According to the way in which the past indefinite and the past participle are formed, verbs are divided into:

a) regular or standard verbs which form the past indefinite and the past participle by adding -ed to the stem of the verb or only -d if the stem ends in -e;

b) irregular or non-standard verbs, numbering about 200, which form the past indefinite and the past Participle in a different way (they do not present a uniform group);

c) mixed verbs whose Past Indefinite is of the regular type and the past participle of the irregular type (ten in all): hew, lade, mow, rive, saw, sew, show, sow, strew, swell.

The various forms that a verb can take fall under two main divisions:

a) finite verbal forms or predicate verbal forms, which are used in the function of the simple predicate or the first verbal part of any other kind of predicate being limited by or bound to some subject with which they agree in person and number;

b) non-finite verbal forms or non-predicate verbal forms, which cannot be used as the predicate of a sentence but only as part of it and which have no grammatical subject

with which they agree in person and number. They are three in number: the infinitive, the gerund and the participle.

Syntactic characteristics. Verbs are associated with a preceding noun or its equivalent; and with a following noun or its equivalent (Tom studies German). Verbs are associated with adverbs (He plays the piano well). In a sentence the verb in its finite forms is always the predicate or part of a compound predicate. The non-finite verbal forms fulfil various functions in the sentence.

19. The Adverb. General

The adverb may be defined as a word which denotes either the degree of a property, or the propety of an action, or the circumstances under which an action takes place.

According to their meaning adverbs fall under several groups:

a) adverbs of time, definite or indefinite - today, tomorrow, soon, etc.

b) adverbs of repetition or frequency - often, seldom, ever, never, someimes, etc.

c) adverbs of place and direction - inside, outside, here, there, backward, upstairs, etc.

d) adverbs of cause and consequence - therefore, consequently, accordingly, etc.,

e) adverbs of manner - kindly, quickly, hard, etc.,

f) adverbs of degree, measure and quantity - very, enough, half, too, nearly, almost, much, little, hardly, rather, exceedingly, quite, once, twice, firstly, secondly, etc.

Three groups of adverbs stand aside: interrogative, relative and conjunctve. Interrogative adverbs - when, when, why, how - are used in special. interrogative sentences: Why didn't you tell me before? Relative and conjunctive adverbs - where, when, why, how - are used to introduce subordinate clauses: They had a warm hollow in the sandhills where the wind did not come. I should like to know when he will come. Relative adverbs introduce attributive clauses, conjunctive adverbs introduce subject, predicative and object clauses.

Among the adverbs there is a group of qualitative adverbs which have degrees of comparison; the synthetic way of forming degrees of comparison - long, longer, longest - the analytic one - brightly, more brightly, most brightly - and the suppletive type represented by a few adverbs - well, better, best; badly, worse, worst.

The syntactic function of the adverb in the sentence is usually that of an adverbial modifier. Occasionally the adverb may also be used as an attribute: The trees overhead deepened the gloom of the hour.

20. Types of syntagmatic groupings of words.

Words in an utterance form various syntagmatic connections with one another. There exist syntagmatic groupings of notional words alone, syntagmatic groupings of notional words with functional words, and syntagmatic groupings of functional words alone.

Different combinations of notional words (notional phrases) have a clearly pronounced self-dependent nominative destination, they denote complex phenomena and their properties in their inter-connections, including dynamic interconnections (semi-predicative combinations). Cf.: a sudden trembling; a soul in pain; hurrying along the stream; etc.

Combinations of a notional word with a functional word are equivalent to separate words by their nominative function. Since a functional word expresses some abstract relation, such combinations, as a rule, are quite obviously non-self-dependent; they are, as it were, stamped as artificially isolated from the context. Cf.: in a low voice; with difficulty; must finish; etc.

These combinations are known as "formative" ones. Their contextual dependence ("synsemantism") is quite natural; functionally they may be compared to separate notional words used in various marked grammatical forms (such as, for instance, indirect cases of nouns). Cf.: Mr. Snow's - of Mr. Snow; him - to him. Expanding the cited formative phrases with the corresponding notional words one can obtain notional phrases of contextually self-dependent value ("autosemantic" on their level of functioning). Cf.: Mr. Snow's considerations - the considerations of Mr. Snow; gave it him - gave it to him.

Among the notional word-classes only the noun has a full nominative force, for it directly names a substance. Similarly, we may assert that among various phrase-types it is the noun-phrase that has a full phrasal nominative force .

As for syntagmatic groupings of functional words, they are essentially analogous to separate functional words and are used as connectors and specifiers of notional elements of various status. Cf.: from out of; up to; so that; such as; must be able; don't let's.

Functional phrases of such and like character constitute limited groups supplementing the corresponding subsets of regular one-item functional words, as different from notional phrases which, as free combinations, form essentially open subsets of various semantic destinations.

21. Phrase.

The term "phrase" was introduced in the second half of the 18th century

to denote a word-combination in English.

It should be noted that there is some confusion that arises between the various meanings given to the term "phrase" by different grammarians.

Further the phrase will be termed as "every combination of two or more words which is a grammatical unit but not an analytical form of some word". Thus different tense forms of the verb are not phrases, e.g. was working, has been working, etc. A phrase is a group of related words which does not contain a subject and predicate.

Different classifications of phrases have been suggested by different linguists.

Phrases may be classified into several types according to their composition with regard to parts of speech, e.g. noun+noun (a silver watch, Tom's book), adjective+ noun (a round. table), verb+ noun (get a job), verb + adverb:( sing well), adverb+ adjective (very old). adverb + adverb (pretty heavily), noun+preposition+ noun (a murmur in the room), adjective + preposition+ noun (grateful to father), verb+ preposition + noun (look at the newcomer), noun + verb (the train stopped), etc.

The question whether the phrase type "noun + verb" exists in English or not has given rise to conflicting statements. One view is that such a phrase type does exist. The other view is that no such phrase type exists as the combination "noun + verb" constitutes a sentence rather than a phrase.

22. Sentence. One of the most difficult theoretical problems concerning the sentence which has remained unsolved to this day is the problem of the definition of the sentence. Sentence (Latin sentential) literally denotes an opinion, judgement, or sentiment.

In the history of linguistics at least four principal types of definition of the sentence are known: logical, psychological, structural (or grammatical) and phonetic definitions.

There are over 300 definitions of the sentence for language students to cope with but none of them is generally accepted. The old traditional definition is the following: a sentence is a group of words containing a subject and predicate and expressing a complete thought. The definition fails because there is no objective standard by which to judge the completeness of the thought; it assumes that the reader knows the meaning of the phrase "a complete thought". The definition also fails because it rules out all verbless sentences (When? Why? Fire!).

Another favourite 'practical definition used to count the number of sentences in any written material is phrased as follows: -a sentence is a word or group of words standing between an initial capital letter and a mark of end punctuation. However, this definition does not get us very far either. As stated by L.L.Iofik, punctuation cannot serve as an objective criterion for dividing a text into sentences.

The main requirements for a definition of a sentence, according to B.Ilyish, are as follows;

I) it must state the relation of the sentence, a unit of language, to thought.

2) it must take into account the specific structure of the language in question,

3) it must leave room for as many possible varieties of sentence as can be reasonably expected to occur in the given language.

Ch.C. Fries' definition of the sentence is "an independent linguistic form, not included by virtue of any grammatical construction in any larger linguistic form" (

One of the most important features of the sentence that distinguishes it from any combination of words is predication, i.e. the relation of an utterance to reality. Thus the utterances "the doctor's arrival" and "the doctor arrived" both include the same lexical units and their lexical content is the same as well as both express something about the same person (the doctor) and the same action (arrival).

Predication is as a rule expressed by the finite verbal forms.

Another most important feature of the sentence which distinguishes it from a phrase is intonation.

23. Actual Division of the Sentence.

The actual division of the sentence, called also the "functional sentence perspective", exposes the informative perspective of the sentence showing what immediate semantic contribution the sentence parts make to the total information conveyed by the sentence. The sentence can be divided into two sections - theme and rheme.

The theme is the part of the proposition that is being talked about (predicated). The theme expresses the starting point of communication; it means that it denotes an object or a phenomenon about which something is reported. Once stated, the theme is therefore "old news", i.e. the things already mentioned and understood.

The predicate that gives information on the topic is called rheme. The rheme expresses the basic informative part of the communication, emphasizing its contextually relevant centre. 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 of the actual division of the sentence may or may not coincide with the subject of the sentence. The rheme of the actual division, in its turn, may or may not coincide with the predicate of the sentence - either with the whole predicate group or its part, such as the predicative, the object, the adverbial.

1. Language means of expressing the theme and the rheme.

In comparison with the language means used to express the theme, language has a richer arsenal of means to express the rheme because the rheme marks the informative focus of the sentence. Many languages, like English, resort to different means in order to signal a new topic,

24. Classifications of Sentences

1. Classification of Sentences according to the Purpose of the Utterance

We find different classifications of sentences according to the purpose of the utterance.

Most grammarians follow the traditional classification and divide all sentences into declarative, interrogative, imperative and exclamatory.

2. Classification of Sentences according to Structure

The classification of sentences according to structure may be based on different grounds and therefore we can find very many different classifications.

According to the number of the principal parts several linguists suggest dividing sentences into two-member or double-nucleus and one-member and single-nucleus sentences.

A two-member sentence contains two principal parts - a subject and a predicate: The air was still. It may be either unextended comprising only a subject and a predicate as in the example given above or extended comprising besides the subject and the predicate some secondary parts: At the Captatint's command the ship weighed anchor.

25. Simple and Composite sentences - a general overview

From the point of view of their structure sentences may also be divided into simple and composite sentences depending on whether the sentence contains only one subject-predicate unit or more than one such unit.

The term "composite sentence" seems to have been introduced by H. Poutsma as a common term for both the compound and the complex sentence and has been accepted by those scholars who adhere to the traditional trichotomy. The trichotomic classification of sentences into simple, compound and complex was established in the middle of the nineteenth century and has remained the prevalent scheme of the structural classification of sentences.

A simple sentence contains only one subject-predicate unit: "Helen sighed. They talked about many things." A composite sentence contains more than one subject-predicate unit: "She's a very faithful creature and I trust her. If I let this chance slip, I am a fool." In a composite sentence each subject-predicate unit with the words attached to it is called a clause, a concept established in the nineteenth century. There are two kinds of composite sentences: compound and complex sentences.

Compound sentences have been defined as those containing syntactically independent co-ordinated clauses.

Complex sentences are those which include both independent and dependent clauses. The semantic relations, which can be expressed by subordination are much more numerous and more varied than with co-ordination and so are the means expressing subordination. The means expressing subordination are different conjunctions and conjunctive words.

26. The Principal and secondary parts of the sentence

1.The Principal parts of the sentence

There are two generally recognized main or principal parts of the sentence - the subject and the predicate. They are called so because they constitute the backbone of the sentence: without them the sentence would not exist at all, whereas all other parts may or may not be there.

The subject. The subject can be expressed by a single word or a group of words. The subject may be: a noun (The sun is rising), a pronoun (He is writing), an infinitive or gerund (To read good books improves the mind. Reading good books improves the mind), a substantivized adjective or participle (The wounded were taken good care of), a numeral (Of course, the two were quite unable to do anything), any other part of speech when it is substantivized (Under is a preposition), a phrase (early to bed, early to rise makes man healthy, wealthy and wise. Twice two is four). Besides, there is also a special kind of subject in English - the complex subject - expressed by different constructions with non-finite verbal forms: For me to ask would be treason, and for me to be told would be treason.

The predicate. The predicate as a rule contains a finite verb which may express tense, mood, voice, aspect, and sometimes person and number. According to the structure we obtain the following two main types - the simple predicate and the compound predicate each divided according to their morphological characteristics into verbal and nominal.

The simple verbal predicate is expressed by a finite verb in a simple or a compound tense form or by a phraseological unit: Mr. Rivarez, I have been looking for you everywhere. The man gave a violent start.

The simple nominal predicate is expressed by a noun or an adjective, without a link verb: My ideas obsolete! "Splendid game, cricket", remarked Mr.Barbecue-Smith heartily to no one in particular; "so thoroughly English."

The compound predicate consists, of two parts: a finite verb and some other part of' speech, the latter being the significant part of the predicate.

2. The secondary parts of the sentence. The secondary parts of the sentence

are the object, the attribute and the adverbial modifier.

27. Text as an Object of Linguistic Research.

The text is a unit of language in use. It applies to any passage, spoken or written, of whatever length, that does form a unified whole - a semantic unit. The text is the object of studies of the branch of linguistics called text linguistics. Text lingustics is a relatively new branch of language studies that deals with texts as communication systems. At the early stage of its development in the 60s of the 20th century, text linguistics dealt mainly with ways of expressing cohesion and coherence and distribution of the theme and the rheme of an utterance according to the rules of the functional sentence perspective. Its original aims lay in uncovering and describing text grammars. The application of text linguistics has, however, evolved from this approach to a point in which text is viewed in much broader terms that go beyond a mere extension of traditional grammar towards an entire text.

Contemporary text linguistics studies the text and its structure, its categories and components as well as ways of constructing texts. Text linguistics takes into account the form of the text, but also its setting, i.e. the way in which it is situated in an interactional, communicative context. Both the author of a text (written or spoken) as well as its addressee are taken into consideration in their respective (social and/or institutonal) roles in the specific communicative context. In general it is an application of linguistic analysis at the much broader level of text, rather than just a sentence or word.

The text can be studied as a product (text grammar) or as a process (theory of text). The text-as-a-product approach is focused on the text cohesion, coherence, topical organization, illocutionary structure and communicative functions; the text-as-a-process perspective studies the text production, reception and interpretation.

28. Textual Categories.

The textual category is a property characterizing every text, in other words, it is a typological feature of a text. Textual categories appear and function only in the text as a language unit of the highest rank. It is important to remember that the text is never modeled by one textual category but always by a totality of categories. It is sometimes regarded as a total of categories.

Today the list of textual categories is open: linguists name different textual categories because they approach the text from different angles.

The most commonly identified textual categories include:

1) divisibility - the text can be divided into parts, chapters and paragraphs dealing with specific topics, therefore having some formal and semantic independence;

2) cohesion - formal connectedness;

3) coherence - internal connectedness (integrity, according to I. R. Galperin);

4) prospection (flash-forward) - anticipation of future events;

5) retrospection (flash-back) - return to events in the past;

(Both prospection and retrospection break the space-time continuum of the text.)

6) anthropocentricity - the Man is the central figure of any text independent of its specific theme, message and plot;

7) conceptuality - any text has a message. Expressing some idea, that is, conveying a message is the basis of any creative work;

8) informativity

Prof. I. R. Galperin whose book on the text and its categories is one of the most authoritative and often quoted ones identifies three types of information:

- content-factual information - information about facts, events and processes taking place in the surrounding world; always explicit and verbalized;

- content-conceptual information conveys to the reader the author's understanding of relations between the phenomena described by means of content-factual information, understanding of their cause-effect relations, importance in social, economic, political and cultural life of people including

relations between individuals. This kind of information is deduced from the whole literary work and is a creative re-understanding of these relations, facts, events and processes; not always explicit;

- content-implicative information is hidden information that can be deduced from content-factual information due to the ability of linguistic units to generate associative and connotative meanings and also due to the ability of sentences conveying factual information to acquire new meanings.

9) completeness - the text must be a complete whole;

10) modality - the attitude of the author towards what is being communicated;

11) the author's image - way the author's personality is expressed in the text.

29. Textual Units. Supra-Phrasal Unity and Paragraph.

One of prospective trends in modern text linguistics is describing such syntactic formations, or text units, identifying patterns according to which they are built and studying relations between them. Irrespective of their specific features, all text units are united by their common function - they represent the text as a whole integrally expressing the textual topic.

There is no universal agreement as to the term that should be used to describe text units. In the Russian tradition the following terms were used to refer to such formations: "phrase", "strophe", "prosaic strophe", "component", "paragraph", "microtext", "period", "syntactic complex", "monologue utterance", "communicative bloc", "complex syntactic unity", "supra-phrasal unity". The latter is the most commonly used one.

The supra-phrasal unity is a minimal text unit consisting of two or more sentences united by a common topic. In some cases the SPU can coincide with the text if it's a short one, for example, a news item in the newspaper, a miniature story, etc. However, most commonly, the SPU is a component of a larger text. The SPU consists of at least two sentences, it is characterized by topical, communicative and structural completeness and the author's attitude towards what is being communicated. The SPU is a complex semantic-structural unit, the communicative value of which does not equal the sum of meanings of its constituent sentences, it is a new semantico-structural formation.

It should be noted that sometimes it is not easy to delimit the boundaries of the SPU. In some cases it can coincide with the paragraph (this is especially typical of scientific papers and business documents), while in others the paragraph can be easily divided into several SPUs, for example, in fiction and poetry.

In the first place, the supra-phrasal unity is essentially a feature of all the varieties of speech, both oral and written, both literary and colloquial. As different from this, the paragraph is a stretch of written or typed literary text delimited by a new (indented) line at the beginning and an incomplete line at the close.

In the third place, the paragraph in a monologue speech can contain more than one supra-phrasal unity and the supra-phrasal unity can include more than one paragraph.

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