Загрузил Алексей Туарменский

Лекции по теоретической грамматике английского языка

Theoretical grammar (TG)
Grammar in the systemic conception of language
Theoretical grammar and its object
Development of grammar theory
Language as a semiotic system
Basic notions of structuralism:
a) Language and speech
b) Syntagmatics and paradigmatics
c) Synchrony and diachrony
1. The term ‘grammar’ is of Greek origin, it literary means the art of writing, but later the word
acquired a larger meaning and now it embraces the study of language in general. Grammar
can be practical and theoretical. The practical grammar is to formulate grammar rules that
help us to use the language. The aim of theoretical grammar is to explain these rules. TG
deals with language as a functional system. Grammar includes morphology and syntax.
Morphology studies the inner structure of words, their grammatical categories and parts of
speech division. Syntax deals with rules of combining words into longer units.
Linguistic units can go into 3 types of relations:
Types of relations
Approach to
Linguistic discipline
language study
Between a language and an object in the world semantic
Between a unit and other units of the same
Between a unit and a person who uses it
2. Evolution of grammar theory
I. Classical grammar (ancient times - 1840-1850)
Historical-comparative grammar (1850 - beginning of the 20th
Structural linguistics (beginning of the 20th century – up to now)
Generative-transformational grammar (since the 50s)
Semantic trends in grammar (since the 60s-70s)
Text (textual) grammar (since the 60s)
Functional grammar (pragmatics) (since the 70s-80s)
Grammar theory goes back to ancient times and Aristotle is usually believed to be the 1st
grammarian. He was the 1st to introduce the notions of subject and predicate and he initiated
division into parts of speech. The classical period was characterized by accumulation of facts
about language and for sure these were first disconnected attempts to describe it. This
approach was not devoid of limitations and the basic conception of it was wrong. They
believed that grammar is direct reflection of logic and thinking. These notions are connected
but not directly. The laws of thinking are universal but grammar systems are different.
Classical grammar treated Latin and Greek as model languages. Their structure was
considered to be perfect and the closer the language was to Latin or Greek, the more perfect it
was considered to be.
II. In the second part of the 19th century a new trend appeared - historical-comparative
grammar. It was called so because linguists compared genetically related languages and
studied historical changes within them. It was the time of interesting discoveries that now
belong to the history of language. Now this approach is criticized for being atomistic.
III. At the beginning of the 20th century a new modern period started. Within it the language
was treated as a holistic system with its own laws and functions. The structure of language
was in the center of attention so it was also called structural linguistics. Representatives:
Фортунатов, Baudouin de Courtenay, Ferdinand de Saussure.
3. Language is regarded as a system of elements that are called signs, or units of language. These
units have no value without each other and they are co-dependent. They exist only in the system,
but not in isolation. Language is a structural system. Structure is a hierarchy of levels.
Language level
Language unit and its function
Text – the informative unit
Sentence – a minimal communicate unit, the
word-group – the dependent syntactic unit
Lexeme (word) – a minimal naming
(=nominative) unit
Morpheme – a minimal meaningful unit
Phoneme – a distinctive unit (it is not a sign)
We should exclude the lexical level because it belongs to lexicology.
The system of language is of semiotic character and its units of different levels are signs. Any sign
has 2 sides: the plane of content and the plane of expression. The theory of linguistic sign belongs
to Saussure, who described basic features of the sign. He also compared the system of language
with other systems and he proved that the former is far more complicated. In the language there is
no one-to-one correspondence between two sides of the sign. This phenomenon makes any
language not only complicated but at the same time economical and expressive. Language signs are
characterized by the following specific features:
1) replacement of language sign – language sign does not lose its value in time, it can be replaced in
time continuum;
2) reflexivity of language sign (возвратность) – the ability of the sign to investigate the system of
language = we use language to describe language (metalinguistic function)
3) open-endedness (открытость)
a) any language sign is open to changes
b) it leads to open-endedness of the whole system of language
4) they are arbitrary by nature. It means there are no direct relations between 2 sides
5) predetermination of the sign by the system – if we take some sign separately, we can’t speak of
its meaning
4. a) Before Saussure these notions were not differentiated. Language is system of means of
expression, it includes units of different levels, so language is hierarchical in structure. Language is
source that all speakers use in order to express what they need, so it is one for all, it is social by
nature. Language exists in our mind as knowledge so it is ideal (abstract).
Speech on the contrary is individual. It is created by some definite speaker. Speech is material. We
can hear it. And structurally speech is organized like a chain, it’s linear.
b) This antinomy is related to the previous one because the sphere of application is different.
Paradigmatic relation are relations within language system, whereas syntagmatic ones are used in
speech. Both types of links can be found on all levels. Paradigmatic relations are abstract,
associated relations that can serve as a basis for all kids of classification. Relations between
neighboring elements in speech are called syntagmatic. On the phonological level we can face the
process of assimilation, on the morphemic level – bound morphemes (лоб – лба).
c) These are two approaches to language study. Before Saussure, historical-comparative grammar
mainly investigated the development of language units. But the newly introduced notion of the
language system made the synchronic approach more urgent. It gives the opportunity to reveal the
whole complexity of relations that exist within language at each step of its development. Nowadays
linguists equally use all the approaches and the choice of it depends on the object of investigation.
Basic schools of modern linguistics
Traditional approach to grammar analysis and its limitations
Descriptive linguistics, or descriptivism
the distributional method
the IC-method (the immediate-constituence method)
Generative transformational grammar
Semantic trends in grammar: case grammar (падежная грамматика), contensive grammar
Text grammar
Traditional grammar analysis focuses on functional aspect only because first of all, we
distinguish sentence parts. After that the morphological nature of each word is described.
Traditional analysis can hardly be called perfect, it is just satisfactory for teaching purpose,
but it is not scientific enough. The reason for it lies in rather vague indefinite definitions of
terminology. Sentence parts: sometimes it is difficult to see the border between two
members – “He likes books”. vs. “He likes to go”. The difference between principal and
secondary sentence parts is not determined either.
2. a) Limitations of traditional grammar were to some extent eliminated by descriptivism and
later grammatical trends. Descriptive linguistics appeared in the USA at the beginning of the
20th century and it was called so because it wanted to describe American-Indian languages
using structural methods. That is why later it developed into American structuralism. The
languages of American Indians belong to incorporating type where sentence formally looks
like indivisible unit and they were some regularities of word order. So traditional methods of
analysis were not helpful at all. It was more convenient to describe linguistic forms in the
aspect of their distribution. This notion was introduced in the book “Language” by Leo
Bloomfield. The basic notions are ‘distribution’ and ‘environment’. Environment is the set
of all neighboring elements of some unit. ‘a red dress’ The notion of distribution is wider, it
is the total number of all potential environments where this element can occur. Distribution
can be of three types:
 Contrastive – it is difference between two language units that occur in the same
environment and it creates difference in meaning. Pen – pens
 Non-contrastive is difference between 2 language units that occur in the same
environment without difference in meaning
 Complementive – two units are considered to be in complementive distribution if
only one of them occurs in some environment and the other one should be used only
in some other type of distribution
According to Ch.F if 2 language elements occur in the same distribution without change of
meaning, they belong to the same class. Practically, the analysis was carried out on the basis of
2000 real telephone conversations. Fries divided al grammar structures used by the speakers into
minimal sentences. He found out that all the structures whatever different they seemed were
actually reduced to 7 elementary patterns. These patterns correspond to universal logical structures
that can be found in any language (with some slight modifications).
N V – John came
N V prep N – John looked at Mary
N V N - John saw Mary
N is N – John is a teacher
N is prep N – John is in bed
N is D – John is out
N is A – John is angry
Ch.F. Analysed environment of all elements in these several patterns. As a result he singled out 4
classes of Notional words and 15 groups of functional words.
1. Noun-like words -f
2. verb-like words -f
3. adjective-like words -t
4. adverb – like words – t
f – connector, conjunction, prepositions
t – determiners (articles, demonstrative pronouns)
Class 1 words include not only nouns but also personal, indefinite, negative pronouns, numerals.
Class 3 words include not only adjectives but also participles, ordinal numerals.
Class 4 includes adverbs and prepositions that are used post-positively.
Each element got its own symbol.
The old man
3a 1a/he
2-d +-
+the distributional model shows the sentence objectively because it represents objective
distributional and some formal features of words and it isn't influenced by the subjectivity if
meaning interpretation.
-at the same time a holistic neglect of meaning can sometimes be misleading because real semantic
relations between words are not seen in this pattern which is linear.
English verbs and adverbs
1a f
Old men and children
3a 1a f
There a lot of grammatical structurals that correspond to the same distributional patterns and
essential semantic differences between them are beyond this model.
To some extend the above-mentioned limitations were overcome by another method also introduced
by discriptivists.
/// a linguistic element which is a part of a longer unit. An immediate constituent is one of the 2
constituents which build up some language unit. This method consists in division of a grammatical
structure into 2 parts and each part should be meaningful.
Beauti / ful / ly
«Эта модель изображает предложение не как линейную последовательность слов, а как
иерархию уровней членения. Предполагается, что членение предложения производится
таким образом, что на каждом этапе членения выделяются отрезки максимальной длины
(имеющие значение), т.е. такие, которые в свою очерелдь допускают максимальное число
дальнейших членений. Эти отрезки носят название NS. т.к. длина NS должна быть
максимальной, то их число на каждом этапе должно быть минимально и, как правило,
деление это осуществляется на бинарном принципе”
the next step is to represent relations between words in a grammatical structure. The scheme of
sentence-tree was introduced.
English / verbs // and ///adverbs (pic 1)
Old // men / and // children (pic 2)
this method focuses on the structure but at the same time it takes meaning into consideration. It is
more detailed than distributional model, because it's hierarchical structure reflects the real order of
uniting elements in the sentence.
But not all sentences can be analysed like that. One-member sentences and extremely complicated
structures theoretically can be analysed but the schemes become extremely complicated.
Sometimes sentences can be syntactically ambiguous and this method is of no use here either.
John / is // easy /// to //// please
John / is // eager /// to //// please
My // best /// friend / meets /// me /// at //// the ///// University // every /// day.
2-s +
1c (it)
My best friend (1) meets me at the University every day.
My (2) best friend (1) meets me at the University (2) every day.
My (2) best (3) friend (1) meets me (3) at the University (2) every (3) day.
My (2) best (3) friend (1) meets (4) me (3) at (4) the University (2) every (3) day.
My (2) best (3) friend (1) meets (4) me (3) at (4) the (5) University (2) every (3) day.
Pic 3
One more limitation – this method is helpful because it shows the way how some long sentence is
structured in our mind. And it represents semantic closeness of words in the sentence. At the same
time in every language there syntactically ambiguous sentences. Their formal structure coincides,
but meaning is quite different. IC method fails to show this difference.
The next method represents such ambiguous sentences. TG – method. TG Grammar. (Генеративнотринсформационная грамматика) Generative/transformational Grammar/
This method of analysis was developed by Noam Chomsky in his book “Syntactic Structures” 1957.
according to this theory sentences have 2 structures: deep and surface ones (глубинная и
поверхностная структуры предложения). The surface structure is usually more complex and
more variable. Deep structure is connected with ideas and concepts, that are usually simple and one
sentence can contain several of them. In actual speech we use sentences of different length. And the
shortest ones (declarative, active, indicative) are close to these elementary ideas.
According to Chomsky such minimal sentences make the basis of Grammar and they are
UNIIVERSAL for all languages. But language is differ in the way such concepts are expressed.
According to Chomsky kernel sentences can undergo different transformations that are called
transformational rules. These rules are specific for each language but some of them coincide
(active/passive transformation, affirmative-negative-interrogative, indicative – imperative – oblique,
tense, number). As a result of such transformations we can get an infinite number of transforms.
That is why this grammar is called Generative – transformational and it demonstrates the procedure
of real formation of utterance in the mind of the speaker.
My best friend meets me at the University every day.
1. my friend meets (smb.)(N)
2. The friend is mine (N is A)
3. He is the best (N is A)
4. He meets me (NVN)
5. He does (it) at the University (NVprepN)
6. He does (it) every day (NVD)
We can represent our sentence as N is A, NVN etc.
TG Grammar was the first approach to analyse meaning as the central element of syntactical
structure. Every sentence can be divided into minimal kernel sentences and their comparison can
show whether these sentences are the same or different in their meaning.
Mary is curious to know.
Mary is curious + Mary wants to know smth
N1 is A. N1N
Conclusion. This analysis help us compare deep and surface structures and understand real meaning
of the sentence.
4. Semantic trends in grammar.
1. Case Grammar or Semantic case theory.
After Chomsky with his idea of deep and surface structure most linguists started their analysis with
meaning. They used different methods but totally they are all called semantic trends. Case grammar
was created by Chomsky's pupil the American scholar Charles Filmore. He shared Chomsky's ideas
about 2 structure, but he went further on in the analysis of meaning. The ficus point here is the verb.
He said: “A verb is a potential sentence”. A verbial-centred theory. According to Filmore each verb
has a definite number of case roles.
He tells me a lie. - He V me a lie.
V-He Case-role 1 – link correlation between the doer and the action.
V-me Case role 2
V a lie Case role 3
Relations between the verb and words related to it are of 2 kinds – obligatory and optional.
According to obligatory relations all verbs are divided into 3 types:
one-place verbs like I read
two-place verb he does it
three-place verbs
All obligatory relations are called arguments. Optional – just “links”. Arguments and links can
describe the deep sentence structure of each sentence. Filmore singled out a list of case-roles.
A – agent. The doer of the action. e.g. I read
I – instrument. Object with the help of which the action is done.
E – experiencer. Animate recipient of the action, “someone who suffers”
P – patient. The inanimate recipient of the action.
F- Factitive. Something which appears as the result of the action.
L – locative.
T – Temporative.
Pos. - Possessor. e.g. The dress is mine.
Char. - Characterizer. e.g. He is clever.
Adr. - Addressee. e.g. He wrote a letter to me.
N – nominizer. e.g. Here is John. He is my boss.
S – source.
G – goal.
The man opened the door / with a key
A. <--------V------->P
The door was opened by the man / with a key
P <-----------V------------>A
If we compare sentences like these ones, we see that traditional sentence parts do not coincide, but
case roles of related words remain the same. The same deep structure of the sentence can
correspond to different surface structures and at the same time the same surface structure can be
interpreted in two ways.
Languages differ mainly in surface structures. But deep structures are more universal, because
communicative demands are universal.
Contensive Grammar.
This method is based on the previous achievements of Grammar and was introduces in Russian by
C.Д.Кацнельсон. The main idea is to study the ambiguous syntactical constructions in the aspect of
meaning (content) but not its form, because the form can be poly-semantic and misleading.
Actually, one to one correspondence of form and meaning is a very rare phenomena in any
Стол накрыт скатертью (P)
Стол накрыт официантом (A)
As the second step after definition the case role, transformational analysis is added. (in order to
show the difference in meanings on the surface).
Скатерть покрывает стол
Официант накрывает стол
a kind of encoding:
Скатерть покрывает стол N1VN2
Официант накрывает стол
Conclusion: meaning is not always clear and evident that results in syntactic ambiguity. Ambiguity
can be discarded through transformation and specification of semantic relations between
components of the utterance.
Generative semantics. Semantic syntax.
Created by George Lackoff who also shared 2 ideas of Filmore:
1.Verb is the centre of the sentence
2. Correlation of deep and surface structure.
The difference in his vision is expressed in identification or relations between elements of the
sentence. Filmore: deep structure was actualised in relations (case roles)
Lackoff: it is expressed within each element of a sentence.
Each word is understood as a set of elements or components of meaning. Later the terms seme,
semantic marker or distinguisher. That is why this method was called “Componential analysis”. Not
only semantic, but also grammatical markers can be singled out.
1.human +
2.animate +
3.concrete +
4.grown up - !
5.male +
1.human +
2.animate +
3.concrete +
4.grown up + !
5.male +
1.human +
2.animate +
3.concrete +
4.grown up - !
5.male -
Markers have 2 peculiarities:
1. they are always binary related. We can't find any other type of opposition
2. they are not of equal rank. There are higher markers, more general in meaning and lower
markers that are more specified.
1.human 2.animate BEAUTY
3.concrete 4.grown up 5.male -
This method became very popular in lexicology because it shows slightest differences between
related words (synonyms).
The thing is that if we want to make a grammatically correct sentence we shouldn't ignore the
lexical meaning of the word, because lexical filling of the same grammatical pattern should be
carefully selected. We shouldn't combine words with contradictory markers.
Sincerity frightens the boy. (animate +)
The boy frightens sincerity. (animate -)
Text Grammar.
Apeears in the 60-s simultaneously in our country and abroad. Mickle Holiday, Harris, звегинцев,
Москальская. The central idea is that not the sentence, but a text is the highest unit of language.
Text is what you hear, read or produce. The initial impulse was connected with logical division of a
sentence. This idea comes from Aristotle's idea. Modern linguistics use the terms “actual division of
a sentence” and “functional sentence prospective”.
I have a pen. Theme – I have, Rheme – a pen
The pen is nice. Theme – the pen is, Rheme – nice
It was notices that sentences in one text are not isolated but they are in some relations. And this fact
creates some specific text structure. Text structures can be described with the help of theme/rheme
division. Professor Moskalskaya studied a lot of texts and singled out three structures that are most
T1----->R1------>T2------>R3---------->T3-------->R3...etc. (Explanation or narration)
John is my friend. He is a teacher. A teacher is... etc.
e.g. The sun is shining. The grass is green. The birds are singing. (Everything about one and the
same situation) (Description)
In real texts we find various combinations of such patterns, where the same structure can be used
several times and it can be of different length. Each text possesses a unique and individual structure
that can be described. There is another functional aspect of text analysis, because text are also
analysed as for style and communicative purpose.
Another branch of text grammar is the so-called discourse analysis that appeared abroad and now
very popular. Zvegintsev expressed his ideas before the analysis appeared.
The term “discourse” is understood in 2 ways – in wide or narrow sense. In the narrow: D is a
portion of text in which real meaning of a sentence is actualised. D – (wider) – situationally bond
text. The length of D is variable, even 1 sentence can be called D if it is connected with some
e.g. the house is in fire: “FIRE!” (D)
Logically connected sentences make minimal texts. These sections are called super/phrasal units or
microtexts. The upper limit of the text can hardly be defined. It can be a whole story or novel and it
is called marcotext. Macrotexts are characterised by relations of inclusion. The problem of text
delimitation (segmentation) is disputable. Linguists use a lot of related terms and some of them can
be called doublets.
The super-phrasal unit
Сферхфразовое единство
The complex semantic entity
Сложное синтаксическое целое
The super-sentential construction
"единица большая, чем предложение
The transphrasal whole
Межфразовое целое
The paragraph
The discourse
The content block
Смысловой блок
The prosaic strophe
Прозаическая строфа
The texteme union
"союз.сообщество текстем»
The microtext
Another challenge for text grammar is justification of the fact that text is a unit of language, but not
a chain of disconnected sentences. Sentences in the text are linked on two levels: the level of form
and the level of meaning. It's an obvious similarity with any other language sing.
Relations of meaning are described by the first basic text category -Topical (semantic) entity. If we
change the topic another text appears. The mechanism of text entity is based on constant change of
themes and rhemes. Relations of form are described by the second text category - lexicogrammatical coherency. It reveals itself in some concrete language means of cohesion.
Means of cohesion:
1. partial substitution
2. reference (the use of a pronoun instead of a noun)
3. absolute (full) substitution
4. repetition
5. key words (semantic groupings): a)family relation, b)evaluation
6. antonyms
7. synonyms
8. conjunctions
9. derivatives (indirect repetition) “person-personality”
10. ellipsis – one of the elements of the sentence is omitted.
Classification of morphemes.
Grammatical meaning and grammatical form.
Grammatical oppositions and categories.
Reduction of grammatical oppositions.
The morpheme is a minimal meaningful unit of language.
a)Nowhere: no-where or now-here?
b) French/man (2 morphemes) – German (1 morpheme)
Homonymy of morphemes
Root (Shipwreck)
Suffix (Friendship)
Classification of morphemes
a) according to the type of meaning:
Lexical (roots)
Lexico-grammatical (prefixes Grammatical (inner and outer
and derivational suffixes)
suffixes, grammatical suffixes)
b) according to the presence/absence of meaning:
Full (presence of ANY type of meaning)
Empty (only structural function, no meaning)
See e.g. above
Child/r/en, re/join/d/er, sale/s/man
c)according to the interaction with other morphemes:
Man = m...n (add.) + -a- (subst.)
Men = m...n + -e-
d) according to their structure:
a) m(a)n=m...n+-a-; b) Has (visit)ed
e) according to the degree of independence
Free (only roots – if their form corresponds to Bound (all morphemes)
the WORD)
Visit -
-ed, -s, m...n
f) according to the way of representation
Segmental (=linear)
Supersegmental (expressed by Supersegmental
(expressed by segmental phonetic means - means added to the linear structure of the word –
a) stress; b) juncture; c)order of elements
'import – im'port
annoys -a noise,
outrun (v)-run-out (n),
income (n) – come in
All the examples above
e.g. is decided
the number of morphemes - 2
is...ed (gr.)
e.g. tooth
the number of morphemes - 2
t...th (lex.)
Dis- (lex-gr)
Satisfi(y) - (lex)
-ed (gr. /lex-gr)
sale's girl
decid(e) (lex.)
-oo- (gr.)
Linguistics is based on 2 types of meaning – lex and grammatical. Lexical is individual, it denotes
smth. It specifies the very word and relates it to other words with the same meaning.
A boy
a table
a lecture
Grammatical meaning is more general, it on the contrary unites big classes of words. Words of the
same part of speech have common categorial grammatical meaning. (verbs – process, action;
adjectives – quality). Besides categorial meaning some specific grammatical meanings can be
singled out in each part of speech. Nouns – case, number; verbs – mood, tense, aspect, person.
Any grammatical meaning should be expressed in some way. It can be: inflection (inner or outer),
use of auxiliary verbs, suppletivism. Grammatical form can be either synthetical or analytical.
Synthetical form consists of 1 element and both grammatical and lexical meanings are expressed in
There are 3 productive synthetical means in English:
1. Inflections. Morpheme added to the stem to change its grammatical form. e.g. pen – pens.
Modern English has some particular features oncerning inflections:
-the number of inflexions is quite limited.
-there are many homonymys inflections.(-ed, -s)
-the role of zero inf. is very important
2. Suppletivism is building a new form changing the whole stem.
e.g. good-better, bad-worse
e.g. be-is-are-was-am
e.g. go-went
This means is not productive and exists in most languages just as a rudiment of ancient periods of
development of language. Originally, suppletive forms go back to different words that were
synonyms previously.
e.g. wendan, Ʒan.
Suppletive forms should have absolutely identical lexical meaning and there shouldn't be any
parallel form.
e.g. must/had to aren't suppletive forms.
3. Sound alternation (interchange)
In terms of morphemes is called “inner flexion”. There exist vowel-, consonant- and mixed types.
e.g. give – gave, send – spent, bring – brought.
The only productive synthetic means is inflexions. All new words change their forms using
inflections. Besides syntactic forms English use analytical ones.
The analytical form is a construction of 2 or more elements where lexical and grammatical
meanings are separated. Grammatical elements expressed by auxiliary verbs BE, HAVE should be
absolutely free from lexical meaning. In English there are a lot of such forms: continuous, passive,
perfect, some forms of mood. It is notable that most forms that appeared in middle English and later
– they are all analytical.
One and the same form expresses several grammatical meanings at once. It is called syncretisism of
meaning. In order to single out each meaning we must oppose some form of the word to the others.
(I) run/0 (3rd person)
(he) runs
(they) run/0 (singular)
(he) ran (non-past)
(he) is running (non-continuous)
In each couple of forms we find all the meanings that are all identical with the exception of only
one. This distinctive feature introduces some grammatical category. The forms are called
opposemes. Each part of speech has its own specific categories. The theory of oppositions was
worked out in phonology by Trubetskoy. It was extended to grammar by Jacobson. Nowadays
oppositions of any type (phonological, grammatical, lexical) are all divided into several kinds and
the principles are quantitative and qualitative ones.
a) quantitative principle:
b) qualitative principle:
-private (privative) (always binary in structure)
Each grammatical category is based on some type of opposition. They say that binary privative type
is most wide-spread. And the other types can be reduced to it. But in this case opposition looses its
Classification of grammatical categories.
GC are divided into several types.
a)-Formal-logical (=immanent)
-Formal proper (=reflecting)
if grammatical meaning corresponds to logical relations and we find some obvious semantic
difference between forms, it's immanent category. If forms are used just for syntactical agreement
without any logical difference, it's a reflecting category.
e.g. круглый стол — круглые столы For Russian language number of nouns is immanent or
logical, and number of adjective is reflective. In English reflective categories are not used.
b)-Fixed/constant (=classifying)
-Changeable/variable (form-changing)
if a word has its meaning in all its forms, its a constant category. e.g. gender in Russian.
-covert (cryptotypes)
Overt categories have regular morphological expression. Covered categories express grammatical
meaning on other language levels – lexical, phonetical, syntactical, but not morphological. The
grammatical meaning of definitiveness/indefiniteness in English is expressed by obligatory use of
articles. In Russian the same meaning is also expressed but not on the morphological level. The
category of transitivity/intransitivity is covered both in English and Russian. We understand this
meaning from the neighbouring words.
Reduction of grammatical oppositions.
The theory of GO is widely used in modern linguistics and some new aspects are added to it now.
Professor Blokh formulated the law of reduction of grammatical opposition. Its aim is to
systematise and explain mechanisms of unusual effects in language. Reduction is the use of one
oposeme instead of the other when the whole opposition looses its distinctive force. In grammar
reduction of meaning also exists and it is divided into 2 types – neutralisation and transposition.
1)neutralisation. N had under some circumstances or only in some words. Expains all cases of
exception. Always free from any additional stylistic effect. e.g. in Russian masculine genger can be
used also for feminine but not VS: Ахматова — великая поэтесса, Ахматова — великий поэт.
Sometimes neutralisation happens with morphemes and as a result we have forms of Pluralia and
Singularia tamtum (disappearance of one of the two forms for SOME words or constructions):
a)Custom – customs (обычаи)
Customs (таможня) (no singular form!!!)
(also: words of Pluralia and Singularia tamtum)
b) disappearance of Future for causes of time and condition
e.g. I'll be here when he COMES. (logical future)
e.g. I don't know when he WILL COME (logical future)
2)Transposition (the use of some grammar form in unusual environment for changing LEXICAL
-Discending type (markes instead ofunmarked)
a)We, Elizabeth II, proclaim... (logical singular+elevated style)
b)snows, waters, sands (logical uncountability)
pains — усилия, colours – знамена (change of meaning)
-Ascending type (unmarked instead of marked)
e.g. Many a day (logical plural – archaic style)
(word-class theory)
1. principles of parts-of speech classification
2. notional words and functional (form) words.
1. this problem is an ancient one, but even now there are some words that are disputable as for
their parts-of-speech status. The term itself is conventional, 'cos it denotes classes that
belong to language, not to speech. The first attempts to group words were made by Aristotle
who singles out 4 classes – the name, the verb, particle and the link.
A bit later in Alexandria they already knew 8 classes of words - “partes oratonis”. The term was
used in classical grammar and entered grammar system of many languages as a calque. Russian
grammar started with M.V.Lomonosov who created the first Russian grammar.
The name – noun, adjective, numerals
the verb
the particle
the adverb
the prepositions
the conjunctions
the interjunction
now the term “part of speech” denote a wide class of words that differ from others in some
grammatical features. There exist 3 basic criteria of division:
-semantic – meaning
-formal, morfological
-formulated-functional – function.
Structuralists added the 4th criteria – distribution.
Semantic cr.is connected not with individual lexical, but with general categorial meaning of a
whole part of speech. e.g. - substantivity for nouns, quality for adjectives, etc.
Morphological – Is connected with possible ways of form-building and with grammatical categories
this part of speech has.
Functional is based on syntactic role of the word in the sentence.
Distributional – describes this part of speech from the view-point of environment. (what other
words can be used as neighbours)
Actually, none of the cr.is absolute, 'cos they work not for all words for the same part of speech.
Thus among nouns we find words with categorial meaning of quality.
In order to classify words correctly in typical cases only semantic criteria is sufficient. In other
cases we should combine all of them in order to give objective characteristic of a word.
Notional vs Functional words.
This opposition exists in any language. In each language there are words that name objects, actions
or qualities and there are words that establish relations between them. The firs group is
characterised by distinct denotational lexical meaning while the 2nd has a more generalised relative
Autosemantic words
(notional parts of speech
Syntemantic words
(functional words)
Noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, numeral Preposition, conjunction, particle, article,
auxiliary verb, copula (=link), interjection
In linguistics 2 approaches to the nature of function words are known. The first is that such words
are not real words, but they are equal to other grammatical means like morphemes or word order.
Functional words are empty words. (empty of denotational type of meaning). The essence of
denotational meaning doesn't make functional words less important. Sometimes meaning cam only
be expressed with the help of functional words.
twas brilling, and the slithy toves
did gyre and gimble in the wabe
all mimsy were the borogous
and the mome raths outgrabe
(L. Carroll, Through the looking-glass)
traditional grammar has another view-point as for the nature of functional words, and they also
speak about lexical meaning of function words. The only difference is that this meaning is the name
of relation. eg. Time, cause, space.
Function words are classified according to their purpose.
Syntactic Functions
Morphological Functions
auxiliary verb
general characteristics of the noun.
The category of number
the problem of gender in modern English
The noun is a central lexical unit of any language. Some semantic features: the noun has the
grammatical meaning of substantivity which is a more general term than previously used term
According to this aspect nouns are heterogeneous so they fall into several sub-classes.
According to the type of nomination they are common and proper.
According to the form of existence they are animate and inaminate. Animate fall into human or
personal (those that denote only people) and non-human.
According to their quantitative structure they can be countable and uncountable.
According to the sphere denoted they can be concrete and abstarct.
concrete abstract
mass (3)
collective (4)
Morphological features
as for structure of stems nouns are divided into simple (pen), derived (darkness), compound (armchair)
speaking about combinability and distribution we must say that there are no limitations in both
Number. This category is based on a binary type of opposition – singular (-) and plural (+). the
markers - inflection -s, -en, sound alteration, zero inflection, the meaning of the marked member is
narrower, it's “more than 1”. the meaning of an unmarked member is wider (oneness, a whole class
of things, any representative of the class, the meaning of plurality – reduction: “many a day”,
uncountable abstract meaning).
On the basis of their forms nouns are classified into:
Nouns with 2 forms
Nouns with 1 form
Sg (=singularia tantum) Pl (=pluralia tantum)
swine, deer, fish, sheep milk, air
Pl include several classes:
-nouns indicating symmetrical objects: spectacles, scissors. Such words coinside3 in most
-nouns of indefinite
-physical states or illness
- names of games and sciences: mathematics, billiards
Sg tantum
-abstract, uncountable nouns
-names of materials: paper, water
S0mtimes to emphasise a variant great amount of such substance plural form is used.
case relations express semantic links of words in the word group or sentence. It's a formalogical
category because it correlates with the objective category of possession. The category is based on
the binary privative opposition, common case vs possessive case. (e.g. sister-sister's) it's a
traditional view-point and is called “limitive case theory” (traditional)
however there are a lot of other view-points and linguists speak about different number of cases.
“semantic view” (semantic theory – indefinite number of cases) – according to Potibnya, every
particular syntactic meaning that is created between words should be called “a separate case”
irrespective of the form of expression. e.g. if we take any traditional case (geneive) we can find
several meaning within it:
стакан воды (partitive case), приезд брата (subjective case), наказание брата(objective case),
книга брата . so, each meaning has its own case.
The meanings here depend on lexical meaning of the words and some meanings can be contextually
dependent. Thus, we get a wide list of cases that can hardly be quite precise.
Then we have so-called “prepositional theories” (indefinite, 6, 4 cases) 6-case paradigm is singles
out on the analogy with Latin. The markers of case are both synthatical (') and analytical.
Genetive – 's, “of”
Dative - “to”, sntactical - “I sent the boy a letter”
Instrumental - “by”
Vocative – syntactical e.g. Tom!
Indefinite number - According to this view-point, each preposition is connected with different case.
“substitutional theory” (pronouns) (3 cases) this paradigm includes the following cases^ nominative
(subject) e.g.
the boy (he – Nom. case of pronoun) reads a book.
I met the boy (him – objective) yesterday.
Boy's (his – possessive) book.
“postpositional theory” - na case as a morphological category at all) (group-genetive theory). In real
speech apostrophe ' is not only used with 1 word but with word groups and even clauses:
e.g. the Queen of England's residence, an Oxford professor of Literature's lecture.
Here the marker ' can hardly be called a morphological inflection. It belongs to the group of words
and is equal to preposition “of” here.
e.g. the residence OF the Queen of England.
Prepositions are elements of syntax, on the analogy, Vorontsova calls apostrophe ' postposition.
According to this view-point both of phrases and constructions with apostrophe ' constitute a more
general semantic category of possession. Morphological case does not exist in English.
most of linguists support limitive case theory, because it's an obvious morphological opposition.
Sometimes possessive is called “genetive”, because the meaning of this form is not only of
possession. Some meanings:
-possessive genetive (mary's father)
subjective genetive (the doc's arrival)
-objective genetive (the man's release)
-adverbial genetive (two hour's work)
-aquasion genetive (a mile's distance)
and some other meanings. So we see genetive is polysemantic. The unmarked member “common
case” is even wider in meaning because it can fulfil all syntactical functions in the sentence whereas
genetive fulfils only the function of an attribute. (I like Tom's cat)
BUT! We went to the grocery's. - adverbial modifier. Reduction of structure (grocery's shop).
Not all linguists recognise this category in modern English. According to prof. Ivanova this
category disappeared in Middle English and when we want to denote gender we use lexical or
derevational means.
Lexical means
Derivational means
tom-cat – pussy-cat
he-cat - she-cat
Waiter – waitress
lion – lioness
Lehrer – Lerherin
But some linguists (bernand Stragn) single out the category of gender on the basis of substitution of
pronounce he-she. According to it, not all nouns have gender, only animate human nouns. All the
rest are called “the neutral” gender, substituted by “it”. Blokh also adds “common” gender –
teacher, person (can be both he or she).
1. general caracteristics of adj.
2. Degrees of comparison
3. substantivation and adjectivation
4. pronoun as a part of speech.
Grammatical meaning of adj is that of a quality but some of them denote more abstract relations and
it leads to decision of adj into 2 types: qualitative and relative. The 1st type denotes the quality as it
is. e.g. clever, green. That's why such words have degrees of comparison. The quality can expressed
to a different degree. The second type denotes relation of cause, time, place, purpose. (Ryasan State
Pedagogical University, a summer dress). That's why they can't be used in degrees of comparison.
Relative adj have specific suffixes
-al (analytical), -ly (weekly), -en (wooden), -ern (nothern), -y (temporary)
very often no suffixes are used (past, present)
so very often adj can look the same with other parts of speech and we recognise them by their
combinability, position and function in the sentence.
There are 2 primary functions of adj – attributive and predicative. Both relative and qualitative
types can be used as attributes. e.g. this is a nice dress (attr) – the dress is nice (predic)
predicative function is fulfilled only by qualitative adj and if we need to use a relative adj as a
predicative we add pronoun “one”: e.g. this is a summer dress and this is a winter one. The table is a
wooden one.
In English there is one more group of words that are close to adj and some linguists treat them as
the 3d type of adjectives.
Words like awake, asleep, afloat – as well as relative adj perform only 1 function (predicative) such
words have common origin. Present prefix “a-” comes from reduction of old English preposition
e.g. an slaepe (on sleep) → asleep
at the same time such words have meaning that differs from the meaning of adjectives. It is not a
permanent quality but a temporary state. e.g. the book is nice – the boy is afraid. That's why other
linguists treat these words as a separate group of words that are called “statives”. In Russian words
that denote state are also used and Smirnitsky also groups them in a separate part of speech – жаль,
темно, холодно, зябко. (close to adverbs because of their suffix “-o”).
degrees of comparison.
Adj have only 1 category and traditional view-point n it is that it's a triple gradual opposition. The
positive degree, comparative and superlative. The first shows that some thing or a person is not
compared to another one. This form expresses comparison in structures “this is...”. The comparative
degree presupposes the comparison of two notions. e.g. this film is more interesting than this one.
The superlative degree presupposes comparison of 1 object to a whole class of them – e.g. this is
the most interesting film of this producer.
Sometimes superlative forms are used with article “a”.
e.g. he's a most experienced person in this sphere. - it doesn't mean that he's the most experienced, it
is called alleviative use of the superlative degree. It doesn't express comparison, it denoted very
high degree of quality, means of intensification.
Blokh interprets this category as an equipoland opposition that consists of 5 opposemes.
The least ← less ← Clever → cleverer → cleverest (most) (3 classes)
more and most have some kind of lexical meaning.
In many languages words can be built on the basis of conversion. It means that words of one part of
speech enter another part of speech without any formal changes. Substantivation is changing adj
into nouns. It can be compplete, absolute, partial.
Complete – ALL noun features are acquired. e.g. native – meaning of substantivity, haas forms of
number and case and functions – subjects and object, distribution. In this case dictionaries represent
2 words.
Partially – get only some qualities of the noun – the poor, the rich, the wounded. They function as
nouns but in meaning they are a bit different – they can never denote one object – they denote a
whole class. Do not have the categories of number and case and only an article is used as
grammatical marker. The same is typical of Russian.
Adjectivation. This process is typical only of analytical languages. In English the structural pattern
N N … id very popular: e.g. a summer dress. Nowadays the linguistic status of such words is still
disputable. According to Henry Sweet, these words are still nouns, because they have no degrees of
comparison and can't be used as predicatives.
Otto Jesperson has an opposite opinion. He regards them to be adjectives, because such words can
be linked with real adjectives by means of coordination.
e.g. a merry and butterfly existence
e.g. he stretched his long skeleton hand
some of these newly formed adjectives can nearly have degrees of comparison.
e.g. choice party – the choicest party
e.g. my bosom friend
at the same time adjectivised words can also preserve some features of the noun.
e.g. the old car problem – the old cars problem
the P is a very heterogeneous part of speech, because different types ofpronouce has quite different
Absolute use
I, he, you
My, his, their
(+mine, theirs)
Each other
This, that
Smth, anybody
-(exception whom)
Who, which, what -
Nothing, nobody
-(exception whom)
Who, which, what -
Some, much, few
An obvious difference exists in the functional sphere. Some pronouns behave like nouns – personal,
reciprocal, indefinite, negative, interrogative. Like adjectives – possessive and relative. Like articles
– demonstrative. Like particles – self-pronouns. Like conjunctions – relative. So, the question arises
– what is this common base that unites such different words in one part of speech? Linguists speak
about two aspects – type of meaning and specific functions of all of them.
Meaning – pronouns do not denote things or qualities, they have referential or relative type of
meaning. This type of meaning unites pronouns with all functional words. But at the same time
there is an essential difference, because pronouns can be separate sentence-parts whereas function
words can never be. Pronouns have two specific functions that characterize all types of pronouns –
substitutional and the deictic function (deixis).
Pronouns do not have some fixed meaning, it always depends on the situation (situationally bound
words). Besides pronouns some adverbs are also deictic.
e.g. yesterday, here, now.
At the same time not all linguists recognise all these words as members of the same morphological
class. Some linguists single out semantic groups and refer to them words of different parts of speech
with a same component of meaning.
1. classification of verbs
2. the category of person and number
3. the category of tense
4. time correlation
5. aspect
6. voice
7. mood
8. the verbals
Grammatically the verb is he most complicated part of speech. It fulfils the central function in the
sentence. Predicativity of the sentence is expressed in the verbal categories. Predicativity denotes
relations between a situation described by the sentence and reality. Verbs can be classified according
to combinability. They can be transitive and intransitive. Transitive type demands the direct object,
because the action can't be actualised without object. From the view-point of meaning verbs are
divided into notional and auxiliary. Notional have lexical denotational meaning, they name the
action and the process. Auxiliary ones have only grammatical or structural meaning. Besides, there
is a limited group of link – verbs that also lack lexical meaning but they are different from
auxiliaries in functions. Auxiliaries are used in negative and interrogative sentences and in analitical
forms. e.g. is done, is writing.
Link-verbs are used as syntactical element because they unite the subject with the predicative. e.g.
this is nice, he is a teacher. In many languages and in English as well there are several verbs that can
be both notional and auxiliary (functional) depending on the situation. These three verbs – do, be,
Notional verbs are divided into durative (to know, love, possess, etc) and terminative (to break) .
Some verbs can also be both (to read). Durative verbs – stative.
The functions of verbs
the only function of finite forms is that of a predicate. Non-finite forms or verbals can never fulfil
this function by themselves, but instead they fulfil a lot of other nominal functions.
Finite forms.
The category of person and number.
These two grammatical meanings are expressed together by the same form in all IE languages.
In English the opposition of this category is treated in two ways – a traditional view-poin: most
linguists treat this category as a binary privative opposition
Sg - -o(take-) and -s (takes)
b) multiple equipollent oppositions
sg :
-0 (1)
-0 (2)
-0 (3)
-0 (4)
-0 (5)
THE GRAMMATICAL MEANING of tense is expression the logical time of the action and the
difference between tenses is the correlation betweeen moments pf speacking
-after-going - future
-coinciding - present
-precision – past
it's a formological categories based on equipollent triple opposition. The marker for present is -s.
past - -ed, sound alternation, suppletivism, zero-inflection.
Future is expressed analytically with the help of auxiliary verbs shall or will. The linguistic status of
future is also disputable and it is connected with the origin of shall and will. Nowadays some shade
of modality is still preserved. Besides, any future action is not yet real – it is still problematic. If
some modal meaning is present the verb can't be called an auxiliary one, it is a modal verb.
Time correlation.
It's a category that denotes not logical time, but the idea of correlation of two actions – it doesn't
matter in what time sphere it happens. It is expressed by the opposition of all perfect forms VS all
indefinite ones. (like a proportion). In English there are several ways of expressing the second
action. First, direct way when in a complex sentence both verbs are used. E,g, we had helped him
and then he left. Second – indirect, because the second action is not named, but it is represented by
time-indicator. e.g. we've done it by 5 o'clock. Third – implicit – when the relation is established
between some action and the moment of speaking.
A is a category that denotes the way of representation of the action. It can be just a fact in all
indefinite form or a process in all continuous forms. The difference here is not in logical time, but in
the way we view the situation. The marker is also analytical. There are cases of reduction of this
opposition. In fact, there can be cases when this rule is broken. e.g. you are seeing!
Rus – perfective (Perfect – E)
imperfective (cont. - E)
Voice denotes direction of the action either to the object or to the subject.
1) Active voice
I read a book
2) Passive voice
the book is read by me
Traditionally these voices are singled out. It's a binary opposition where the /// is expressed
analytically. Passive forms in English can be stylistically marked. They are preferred in scientific
and official styles. Besides, Passive forms are used in some communicatively bound situations,
when the doer of the action is not known or when he is not important. e.g. Don't worry, it has
already been done.
In any language there are cases when the voice meaning of the verb does not coincide either with
active or passive. In English grammar some linguists speak about three voices more:
3) Reflexive.
S (=O)
he washed himself
4) Reciprocal
they kissed each other
5) Middle
the book reads well, the linen washes well (active form+passive
At the same time traditional Grammar recognises only two voices and treats cases with /// as
specific structures of particular voice where specificity consists not in the verb form but in the
object. Middle voice is also referred to active n the following bases and it is called a case of
reduction of opposition.
Mood expresses relation of the action to reality. It's a triple equipolent opposition that includes
indicative mood, imperative mood and oblique mood. Indicative mood denotes some real actions in
any time. Imperative mood denotes orders, commands, requests. And oblique mood denotes all
kinds of unreal actions (desirable, problematic, etc.). ?? include imperative and oblique, because
they are not /??
in English imperative mood has only one form that also contributes to the idea that is can't be
singled out as a separate category.
In Russian oblique mood is expressed by means of particle бы that sometimes may fuse with a
conjunction чтобы. In English the system of oblique moods on the contrary is very complicated.
Professor Smirnitsky introdused the following xlassification of moods:
Probable actions
Subjunctive 1
Subjective 2
Conditional mood
V constitute a specific class of words that includes in English 3 types – infenitive, gerund and
participle. All verbals posses both verbal and nominal features. The reason for it is their origin. The
infinitive has developed from old English noun which indenticates was preceded by a preposition
“to” - to writtan
gerund appeared only in the 18th century and before that there existed forms of the nouns with the
inflections -ynge or -inge
the only verbal that existed in old English was participle. It denoted the quality and ended with
either -ende (part. II) and -inge (part I). e.g. he was on hundinge – he was hunting.
The verbal features.
1)All of them denote process.
2)All of them have a number of categories of the verb – time correlation, voice, infinitive and
3)Verbals have similar distribution with verbs. e.g. he reads fluently. To read fluently. Reading
4)Verbals take direct and prepositional objects.
1)Finite forms. Verbals are non-finite forms. Finite forms denote the process which is associated
with a definite time.
2)Verbals lack suck categories of the verbs as tense, person, number, mood.
3)verbals are never used in the function of the predicate, which is the only function of finite forms.
Verbals can only be a part of it. But in addition they fulfil a number of other funcions. (subject,
object, attribute, adverbial modifier)
such peculiar combination of nominal and verbal qualities makes linguists on one hand, recognise
closeness of verbals to the verb, but on the other, they are autonomous position within verbal
paradigm. In order to describe relations between verbs and verbals Smirnitsky introduced the
category of representation of the verb.
The category of representation
Verbal (linked with a certain period of time finite forms)
Non-verbal representation (not linked with a
certain period of time -verbals)
Nominal representation Adjectival
(infinitive, gerund)
Basic notions of syntax. Word combination (word-group)
1.Types of syntactic links
2.the notion of the word group.
3.classification of word groups.
4. Means of expressing syntactic links.
Syntax is a part of grammar that deals with syntactic links between words that occur in speech and
rules of arrangement words in longer units. Linguists usually distinguish between direct and indirect
syntactic links – прямая и опосредованная. Direct links exist between any two words that are
immediate constituents of a larger units.
e.g. I met my friend yesterday.
Syntactic links are divided into three types:
-subordination (subordinative link)
-coordination (coordinative link)
-predication (predicative link)
these links lie in the basis of three-types of word groups. Subordinative word groups are singled out
if words in it are not equal. One of the words is called “head” and a dependent element is called
“adjunct”. The head is an obligatory element of a sentence structure. But the adjunct can be omitted.
In case of coordination the syntactic function of the whole word-group coincides with a function of
every element. e.g. I bought pens and pencils. I bought what? Objects. Coordinative word-groups
mostly include words of the same parts of speech.
In case of predication the function of the whole group does not coincide with functions of every
member. e.g. Pupils write.
Prof. Barhudarov compares 3 types of links in the following diagram.
Predicative type of links has 2 levels – primary and secondary. Primary type exists only between
subject and predicate and in always constructs a sentence. On the word-group level we single out
secondary predication вторично-предикативные обороты, that semantically correspond to a
compressed sentence but formally they can not be called so. e.g. Having don it, I returned home.
Secondary predication is connected with the use of verbals, whereas primary – with the use of
verbs. According to the type of verbals we single out 3 types of predicative word-groups – infinitive
predicative word-groups (it is for John to go), gerundial predicative (John's reading), absolute
predicative word-groups (all things considered...).
Word-groups. Notion of syntax.
Word-group – is a minimal syntactic unit that constitutes a semantic cluster within sentence
The word-group is a combination of at least two notional words which do not make a sentence but
are syntactically and semantically connected. The presence of fictional words, which a means of
realisation. An interesting book, to go to school, a clever and smart person – word-groups.
The word-group is a dependent syntactic unit, it is not communicative one and it does not have
intonation of its own.
The word-group is a nominative syntactic unit and it makes it close to the word, but the type of
nomination here is different, it's more concrete. e.g. An object and its quality: e red dress.
The word-group is also different from a compound word, because a constituents in a word-group
correspond to different notions. While in the compound word they denote 1 object. e.g. a black bird,
a blackbird.
The word – group as a separate unit was singled out only in the 30th of the 20th century. Before that
the idea of comb inability of words was not discussed. Grammarians believed that the sentence is
constructed of several words, but now psycho-linguistics has proved that when we construct a
whole sentence, we use established links in word groups making syntactic clusters. Structuralists
use the term phrase instead of a word-group. But they refer to phrases a greater variety of structures.
It should be any cluster with the exception of the analytical form.
Word-groups can be classified according to different principles.
I. the type of link. Subordinative (a clever student), coordinative (students and teachers) and
predicative (for me to go). But this division is applicable only when we have two notional
words. If we have more than 2, the structure changes. And they can be word-groups either
with the same type of link (elementary) or with different links (compound).
e.g. teaching English grammar. (teaching (E.grammar) – subordination, English grammar –
subordination). 2 cases of subordination. Elementary subordinative word-group.
e.g. rich in mineral oil (rich in (mineral oil)) – elementary subordinative word-groups.
e.g. teachers, pupils and parents – elementary coordinative group.
e.g. bought pens and pencils – compound word-group including coordination and subordination.
II. Subordinative and coordinative word-groups are characterized according to the
morphological principles. The part of speech of a head-word is important and in
coordinative w-g all the elements are taken into consideration.
1. Nominative – a red dress
2. Adjectival - extremely beautiful
3. Verbal – went to school, asked and helped
4. Adverbial - very distinctly
III. subordinative and coordinative are classified according to their own schemes
1. simple and complex. Simple – 2 notional words. (cold water, to visit a friend), complex – if we
have more than 2 notional words. If we have more than 2 notional words, then:
a) with expanding head (e.g. the reception of the delegation by the president)
b) with the expanded adjunct (e.g. saw the father of the boy)
c) with both components expanded (e.g. the reception of the delegation by the president of the
2. Continuous (not broken within the sentence structure) or discontinuous (broken within the
sentence structure: e.g. slowly (he) got up). e.g. “...” said (Tom) in a low voice)
1. Syndetic (if we have conjunction):
a) simple – with simple conjunctions: harsh and loud
b) correlative – with discontinuous conjunction – neither...nor
asyndetic (without conjunction):
a) copulative – the conjunction is not used but it is possible – warm pleasant weather
b) appositive – conjunction is possible: King Lear, you boys, the writer Pushlin
1. infinitival
2. gerundial
3. absolute predicative
e.g. Sweet and tasty candies
subordinative – complex, with expanding adjunct, continuous, nominal
Coordinative - syndetic, simple, adjectival, continuous
forms (means) of expression.
The types of link discussed belong to the deep structure. They define the essence and the syntectic
function of the word-group. These links are universal for all flective languages. But in each
language the means of expression of such links are different. Most of all, languages use from-words
for that (e.g. to go to school -”to”), word-order (read fluently), inflections (Pete readS). Languages
of different types prefer different means – synthetic languages prefer inflexions, analytical – the rest
two. Besides, means of linking are divided as for the mechanism of the link:
1. agreement (concord)
2. government
3. adjoinment
Agreement demands that the adjunct should take the form of the head word and both words take the
same form. In English as well as in many analytical languages agreement is not popular at all, but
there are two cases of agreement – pronouns “these-that” according to number.
Government is determination of the form of the adjunct by the head-word that does not change
itself. Government is realised in cases and in prepositions. In English government is extremely
popular in its prepositional variation. e.g. to listen to smb, to depend on (upon) smb. The noun itself
does not have case inflection. If only one preposition is possible it's called strong prepositional
government. But if we have 2 words and between them we can change prepositions and the
meaning will remain the same, it's called “weak prepositional government (near the table, by the
table, not far from the table). Weak and strong variations are also singled out in case government.
Though the weak case government is extremely rare phenomena.
In English case government is connected not with nouns but wit personal pronouns. (e.g. to meet
Adjoinment is connected with syntactic relations that exist only on the level of meaning but are not
expressed formally. This link unites words at least one of which should be unchangeable.
Besides these three mechanisms one more type is singled out – enclosure. It means that a group of
related words are included between some determiner and the head-word. e.g. some ← (new
comfortable) flats. In English enclosure very often is used to create a stylistic device based on
unusual function of some part of speech. e.g. the 'then' government. e.g. an on-the-spot
The sentence.
1. sentence as a unit of language
2. classification of sentences
3. simple sentence and its principle parts (primary parts)
4. transitional sentence type
5. composite sentence
The sentence is a basic unit of the syntactic level. It is more independent that the word-group, it can
convey information and it possesses a definite semantic and syntactic structures. On the other hand
the sentence itself is included in the text structure. The sentence has been studied in many aspects.
But in fact now we can't say that a perfect definition of it exists. All the definitions can be grouped
in two types: logical (semantic) and structural.
The sentence is a group of words linked together and expressing a complete idea. We can never
prove what is a complete thought.
The sentence is a language unit that possesses subject-predicate structure. The existence of onemember sentences is in contradiction to such structural definitions and so most definitions try to
combine more aspects to make the definition more informative.
Barkhudarov: the sentence is a language unit that possesses the subject-predicate structure enabling
the unit to function as a minimal utterance. (one-membered-sentences are not included here).
The is an obvious tendency to include the phonetic criteria, because sentences as a rule are
characterised by intonation of finality. Sometimes only intonation can distinguish between different
sentence types and between 2 simple sentences and 1 composite one.
Francis: the sentence is as much of the uninterrupted utterance of a single speaker as is included
between the beginning of the utterance and the final pause.
Jones: The sentence if a final intonation contour between 2 pauses.
In order to reveal the grammatical essence of a sentence we should compare it to other syntactic
units – word and text. The sentence is different from the word-group in the degree of
informativeness, in functions and structure.
Word-groups fulfil nominative functions, whereas a sentence is a nominative-communicative unit.
Structural difference consists in predicativity expressed in any sentence and existence of
subordination, coordination or secondary predication in the word-group.
The difference between the sentence and the text consists in greater structural complexity of the text
and the degree of informativeness. The text taken in its speech aspect is called “discourse”.
Discourse is always situationally bound. Structurally it includes at least 2 sentences that are referred
to the same topic. But in a wide sense some linguists state that the lower limit of discourse can be
equal to 1 sentence when it is situationally bound.
Classification of the sentences.
Sentences are classified according to different principles:
1. communicative:
a) declarative (affirmative and negative)
b) interrogative
c) imperative
d) emphatic (special emphasis on this or that word, they are not stylistically neutral)
2. Structurally:
a) 1-member sentences
b) 2-member sentences
 simple (extended and unextended)
 composite (compound and complex)
 transitional
the existence of 1-member sentences is disputable. According to prof. Barkhudarov each sentence is
a 2-member structure but 1 of its elements can be expressed by zero-member on the analogy with
morphology. Such constructions where one of the principal parts is omitted are called elliptical and
zero-element here can be recognised. But there are a lot of constructions that lack subject-predicate
structure and they do not admit only one definite reconstruction. In such cases we call the
construction a one-member sentence. As a rule they do not name any reconstruction because their
unusual structure adds not only to localisity (economy) but also to style. One-member sentences are
more typical of synthetic languages where the subject can be omitted and the form of the verb will
express its form. In analytical languages one-member sentences are not so numerous but they are
still used. They are classified according to their structure and semantics.
1. substantive type (e.g. A very tragic affair.)
2. adjectival type (e.g. How nice!)
3. verbal type (e.g. Why not do smth?)
1. existential sentences (sentences that denote state of a person or environment) (e.g. Fog
2. imperative type (e.g. Why not go? Go in the library)
3. emotive (e.g. How nice)
3. Sentences are also classified according to the type of the subject
a) personal (the subject denotes some object or living being) (e.g. The book is on the table)
b) indefinite personal (the doer of the action exists but it is not specified) (e.g. They say he
is ill. One should do it)
c) impersonal sentence-type (empty-subject or grammatical subject) (e.g. It is necessary. It
is dark)
Simple sentence.
The simple sentence is expressed by only one subject-predicate structure. In case of one-member
sentence we speak about implicit predicativity when the reference to reality is expressed not in the
verb but within the discourse.
Simple sentence consists of 5 members: 2 principle ones (subject and predicative) and object,
adverbial modifier and attributes.
Structuralists treat sentence members in a different way. According to them we single out different
secondary members. They single out attributes (words combined with nouns), compliments (words
that are combined with words: go somewhere, take smth), extension (words combined with
adjectives and adverbs – modifiers of modifiers: a very beautiful girl)
The subject is also defined in many ways in accordance with the definition of the sentence. A
subject is word spoken about in the sentence. The subject is one of the principal sentence parts
which precedes the predicate and agrees with it in person and number.
Definitions of the predicate can also be structural and semantic and they are given parallely woth
definitions of the subject.
Ilysh: the predicate is a principle sentence part expressed by the finite form of the verb and denoting
the action performed by the subject. Predicates can be:
1. simple
a) verbal (is expressed by 1 word, rendered by analytical or synthetic form e.g. will be
b) non-verbal (is singled out when the sentence is elliptical and the link of the compound
nominal predicate is omitted. e.g. Michael not cheerful)
2. compound
a) verbal
 modal
 aspect
b) nominal
c) phrasal
d) complex
Сompound verbal type can include a modal verb, modal equivalent (to have to, to be to) and the
infinitive. Another variant of the same type has verbs like to begin, continue, finish and so on as the
first element. That's why this type is called aspect predicate (it shows some face of the action).
Compound nominal predicate consists of a link verb and a predicative expressed by a noun, an
adjective, a participle, an adverb and sometimes numerals and gerund and infinitive. (is beautiful, is
a teacher, there were two of them, the task is to study).
Compound complex type also has a link-verb, but its predicative is not expressed by one word, but
by a construction with secondary predication (the only fact that mattered was for the war to finish).
Compound phrasal – this type is connected with idiomaticity. (he gave me an angry look).
In English there is an obvious tendency to use many notional verbs in the linking function where
they are delexicolized (lose their lexical meaning). To go, to grow, to become, to get and so on. To
grow grey.
He went to school (SIMPLE VERBL PREDICATE).
He went barefoot in summer (COMPOUND NOMINAL PREDICATE).
Prof. Blokh singles out one more type of predicate – double predicate. The snow lay deep
(compression). The moon rose red.
From the point of view of meaning predicates are classified into
1. actional
2. statal
3. qualifying
transition from simple to composite sentence. Transitional sentences are more complicated than
simple ones, because their semantic structure is more complicated than their formal structure. But
the second predicative line is not present here. In English, transitional type include:
1. sentences with homogeneous subjects or predicates
2. sentences with a dependant appendix
3. sentences with secondary predication.
These structures differ greatly but they have one thing in common. They can be paraphrased and
the second predicative line becomes explicit. (my brother and I read).
Sentences with dependant appendix – both subordinative and coordinative conjunctions are used: he
works as his father (does). He stood silent though (he was) excited. Denis tried to escape but (it
was) in vain.
Complex object. - I saw him run. (I saw that he ran).
Common participial constructions – reading the book he learns much new.
Absolute constructions – weather permitting we will go for a walk.
Composite sentences.
The compound sentence has two or more predicative lines linked by coordination. Semantically,
coordination is divided into three types – copulative coordination, disjunctive coordination and
adversitive coordination. Accordingly we single out three types of coordinative conjunctions.
Copulative: “and”, both and, not only but, neither nor, then, besides.
Disjunctive: or, either or, otherwise, or else.
Adversitive: but, while, however, yet, still, nevertheless.
Sometimes clauses are linked without conjunction and this is called asyndetic coordination. The
conjuncion is regarded to be the central // of linking but actually it is not the only one. Besides it,
linking function is fulfilled by morphological syntactical and semantic means.
secondary means of linking:
a) order of clauses (is actualized not in all sentences, but only when clauses can't be replaced).
b) the grammatical form of predicates ( it works in case of relative use, and in the same time-sphere
of all predicates)
c) structural arrangement of clauses:
- ellipsis
- substitution the verbs by do and nouns by one
- parallelism
d) semantic link – realised within the context (when nothing else is present)
Complex sentence.
The complex sentence is classified according to many principles. The traditional classification is
connected with the functional type of the subordinate clause. Each subordinate clause is
functionally equal to some simple sentence part. (subject-clauses, predicative, attributive, object and
Subject-clauses. [Why she said so], remained not clear to me.
Predicative. The only reason I came is [because he asked me to].
Object. He didn't know [when it had happened].
Attributive. The man who helped me was
Adverbial clauses – of time, place, manner, condition, cause, purpose, gradation.
There exists another classification that is based on purely syntactical principle. We pay attention to
the type of link that exists between clauses.
The first type is called correlative type when the conjunction is immediately related to some word
in principle clause making correlation. Antecedent. It was just that, what made me upset.
Complementive type – the PC contains an element devoid of lexical meaning, usually it is IT,
FACT, MATTER. And it is complemented by the SC. It is believed that this winter will be cold. The
fact that he was present yesterday gave him courage.
Inclusive type. It is used only in cases of subject and predicative clauses. [(what he is interested in)
is all the same for me].
Coodependent type is used in clauses of gradation. The more we get – the more we waste.
Lose-connection type. The only type where clauses can be separated and it is connected with all
typed of adverbial clauses. When they came we had a nice talk.
Structural classification.
1. chain-like arrangement.
2. Fan-like or parallel. He wanted to know where that happened and how people behaved and
how people behaved and what people said about it.
3. “double-head” arrangement.
4. Hierarchical