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. .

xau uxa nx
N 2103 at xstx
xaa, asaa,
x, xt 2004 r.
nx xuxr ntsax.
an xt uax.
]ra]x s a. a
xa Btmax mxna 1983
xa]a arnxr xstxa txxr
arruxr a atx
xstx . . . nma x
]nn. ax, ]. . . nm.
. .
F70 uxax raaxa arnxr xstxa:
Vux. nx ]nn. ]ax. - ]ax.
arn. xs. s. .: Btm. mxna, 1983. .
383 B .: 1 .
B ux aaamx axm
nt ]nr axa arnxr
xstxa x n r
r xstxsax. B ux
nt raax nxx a ]
amr ax raauxr
x arnxr xstxa. a
nxx nantt a aur aansa
raauxx xn an
nantxx a xx
x aan nntm asx
]antr nruxr tmnx.
Vux aa a arnx xstx.
81.2 -9
4 ()
sant Btmax mxna, 1983.
PreIace ....................................................................... 4
Chapter I. Grammar in the Systemic Conception oI Language.
.................................................................................... 6
Chapter II. Morphemic Structure oI the Word ........... 17
Chapter III. Categorial Structure oI the Word ........... 26
Chapter IV. Grammatical Classes oI Words .............. 37
Chapter V. Noun: General .......................................... 49
Chapter VI. Noun: Gender.......................................... 53
Chapter VII. Noun: Number ...................................... 57
Chapter VIII. Noun: Case........................................... 62
Chapter IX. Noun: Article Determination .................. 74
Chapter X. Verb: General ........................................... 85
Chapter XI. Non-Finite Verbs (Verbids) .................... 102
Chapter XII. Finite Verb: Introduction ....................... 123
Chapter XIII. Verb: Person and Number .................... 125
Chapter XIV. Verb; Tense .......................................... 137
Chapter XV. Verb: Aspect .......................................... 155
Chapter XVI. Verb: Voice .......................................... 176
Chapter XVII. Verb: Mood......................................... 185
Chapter XVIII. Adjective ........................................... 203
Chapter XIX. Adverb ................................................. 220
Chapter XX. Syntagmatic Connections oI Words ..... 229
Chapter XXI. Sentence: General . . ........................... 236
Chapter XXII. Actual Division oI the Sentence......... 243
Chapter XXIII. Communicative Types oI Sentences . 251
Chapter XXIV. Simple Sentence: Constituent Structure ...
Chapter XXV. Simple Sentence: Paradigmatic Structure . . .
Chapter XXVI. Composite Sentence as a Polypredicative
Construction ..............................................................288
Chapter XXVII. Complex Sentence .......................... 303
Chapter XXVIII. Compound Sentence ...................... 332
Chapter XXIX. Semi-Complex Sentence .................. 340
Chapter XXX. Semi-Compound Sentence ................ 351
Chapter XXXI. Sentence in the Text ......................... 361
A List oI Selected Bibliography ................................ 374
Subject Index.............................................................. 376
This book, containing a theoretical outline oI English
grammar, is intended as a manual Ior the departments oI
English in Universities and Teachers' Colleges. Its purpose is
to present an introduction to the problems oI up-to-date
grammatical study oI English on a systemic basis, sustained
by demonstrations oI applying modern analytical techniques
to various grammatical phenomena oI living English speech.
The suggested description oI the grammatical structure oI
English, reIlecting the author's experience as a lecturer on
theoretical English grammar Ior students specialising as
teachers oI English, naturally, cannot be regarded as
exhaustive in any point oI detail. While making no attempt
whatsoever to depict the grammar oI English in terms oI the
minutiae oI its arrangement and Iunctioning (the practical
mastery oI the elements oI English grammar is supposed to
have been gained by the student at the earlier stages oI
tuition), we rather deem it as our immediate aims to supply
the student with such inIormation as will enable him to Iorm
judgments oI his own on questions oI diverse grammatical
intricacies; to bring Iorth in the student a steady habit oI
trying to see into the deeper implications underlying the
outward appearances oI lingual correlations bearing on
grammar; to teach him to independently improve his
linguistic qualiIications through reading and critically
appraising the available works on grammatical language
study, including the current materials in linguistic journals; to
Ioster his competence in Iacing academic controversies
concerning problems oI grammar, which, unIortunately but
inevitably, are liable to be aggravated by polemical excesses
and terminological discrepancies.
In other words, we wish above all to provide Ior the
condition that, on Iinishing his study oI the subject matter oI
the book, under the corresponding guidance oI his College
tutor, the student should progress in developing a
grammatically-oriented mode oI understanding Iacts oI
language, viz. in mastering that which, in the long run, should
distinguish a proIessional linguist Irom a layman.
The emphasis laid on cultivating an active element in the
student's approach to language and its grammar explains why
the book gives prominence both to the technicalities oI
grammatical observations and to the general methodology oI
linguistic knowledge: the due application oI the latter will
lend the necessary demonstrative Iorce to any serious
consideration oI the many special points oI grammatical
analysis. In this connection, throughout the whole oI the book
we have tried to point out the progressive character oI the
development oI modern grammatical theory, and to show that
in the course oI disputes and continued research in maniIold
particular Iields, the grammatical domain oI linguistic science
arrives at an ever more adequate presentation oI the structure
oI language in its integral description.
We Iirmly believe that this kind oI outlining the
Ioundations oI the discipline in question is especially
important at the present stage oI the developing linguistic
knowledge the knowledge which, Iar Irom having been
by-passed by the general twentieth century advance oI
science, has Iound itselI in the midst oI it. SuIIice it to cite
such new ideas and principles introduced in the grammatical
theory oI our times, and reIlected in the suggested
presentation, as the grammatical aspects oI the correlation
between language and speech; the interpretation oI
grammatical categories on the strictly oppositional basis; the
demonstration oI grammatical semantics with the help oI
structural modelling; the Iunctional-perspective patterning oI
utterances; the rise oI the paradigmatic approach to syntax;
the expansion oI syntactic analysis beyond the limits oI a
separate sentence into the broad sphere oI the continual text;
and, Iinally, the systemic principle oI description applied to
the interpretation oI language in general and its grammatical
structure in particular.
It is by actively mastering the essentials oI these
developments that the student will be enabled to cope with
the grammatical aspects oI his Iuture linguistic work as a
graduate teacher oI English.
Materials illustrating the analysed elements oI English
grammar have been mostly collected Irom the literary works
oI British and American authors. Some oI the oIIered
examples have been subjected to slight alterations aimed at
giving the necessary prominence to the lingual phenomena
under study. Source reIerences Ior limited stretches oI text are
not supplied except in cases oI special relevance (such as
implications oI individual style or involvement oI contextual
The author pays tribute to his Iriends and colleagues
teachers oI the Lenin State Pedagogical Institute (Moscow)
Ior encouragement and help they extended to him during the
years oI his work on the presented matters.
The author's sincere thanks are due to the staII oI the
English Department oI the Dobrolyubov State Pedagogical
Institute oI Foreign Languages (Gorky) and to ProI. L. L.
Nelyubin Ior the trouble they took in reviewing the
manuscript. Their valuable advice and criticisms were
careIully taken into consideration Ior the Iinal preparation oI
the text.
M. Blokh
( 1. Language is a means oI Iorming and storing ideas as
reIlections oI reality and exchanging them in the process oI
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 oI society.*
Language incorporates the three constituent parts ("sides"),
each being inherent in it by virtue oI its social nature. These
parts are the phonological system, the lexical system, the
grammatical system. Only the unity oI these three elements
Iorms a language; without any one oI them there is no human
language in the above sense.
The phonological system is the subIoundation oI language;
it determines the material (phonetical) appearance oI its
signiIicative units. The lexical system is the whole set oI
naming means oI language, that is, words and stable word-
groups. The grammatical system is the whole set oI
regularities determining the combination oI naming means in
the Iormation oI utterances as the embodiment oI thinking
Each oI the three constituent parts oI language is studied
by a particular linguistic discipline. These disciplines,
presenting a series oI approaches to their particular objects oI
analysis, give the corresponding "descriptions" oI language
consisting in ordered expositions oI the constituent parts in
question. Thus, the phonological description oI language is
eIIected by the science oI phonology; the lexical description
oI language is eIIected by the science oI lexicology; the
* See: xstxsa. ut ax,
]xn, x xstxa/. . x F. .
., 1970, . 9 cn.
grammatical description oI language is eIIected by the science
oI grammar.
Any linguistic description may have a practical or
theoretical purpose. A practical description is aimed at
providing the student with a manual oI practical mastery oI
the corresponding part oI language (within the limits
determined by various Iactors oI educational destination and
scientiIic possibilities). Since the practice oI lingual
intercourse, however, can only be realised by employing
language as a unity oI all its constituent parts, practical
linguistic manuals more oIten than not comprise the three
types oI description presented in a complex. As Ior theoretical
linguistic descriptions, they pursue analytical aims and
thereIore present the studied parts oI language in relative
isolation, so as to gain insights into their inner structure and
expose the intrinsic mechanisms oI their Iunctioning. Hence,
the aim oI theoretical grammar oI a language is to present a
theoretical description oI its grammatical system, i.e. to
scientiIically analyse and deIine its grammatical categories
and study the mechanisms oI grammatical Iormation oI
utterances out oI words in the process oI speech making.
2. In earlier periods oI the development oI linguistic
knowledge, grammatical scholars believed that the only
purpose oI grammar was to give strict rules oI writing and
speaking correctly. The rigid regulations Ior the correct ways
oI expression, Ior want oI the proIound understanding oI the
social nature oI language, were oIten based on purely
subjective and arbitrary judgements oI individual grammar
compilers. The result oI this "prescriptive" approach was, that
alongside oI quite essential and useIul inIormation, non-
existent "rules" were Iormulated that stood in sheer
contradiction with the existing language usage, i.e. lingual
reality. Traces oI this arbitrary prescriptive approach to the
grammatical teaching may easily be Iound even in to-date's
school practice.
To reIer to some oI the numerous examples oI this kind, let
us consider the well-known rule oI the English article stating
that the noun which denotes an object "already known" by the
listener should be used with the deIinite article. Observe,
however, English sentences taken Irom me works oI
distinguished authors directly contradicting
"I've just read a book oI yours about Spain and I wanted to
ask you about it." "It's not a very good book, I'm aIraid"
(S. Maugham). I Ieel a good deal oI hesitation about telling
you this story oI my own. ou see it is not a story like other
stories I have been telling you: it is a true story (. . erome).
Or let us take the rule Iorbidding the use oI the continuous
tense-Iorms with the verb be as a link, as well as with verbs oI
perceptions. Here are examples to the contrary:
My holiday at Crome isn't being a disappointment (A.
Huxley). For the Iirst time, Bobby Ielt, he was really seeing
the man (A. Christie).
The given examples oI English articles and tenses, though
not agreeing with the above "prescriptions", contain no
grammar mistakes in them.
The said traditional view oI the purpose oI grammar has
lately been re-stated by some modern trends in linguistics. In
particular, scholars belonging to these trends pay much
attention to artiIicially constructing and analysing incorrect
utterances with the aim oI a better Iormulation oI the rules
Ior" the construction oI correct ones. But their examples and
deductions, too, are oIten at variance with real Iacts oI lingual
Worthy oI note are the Iollowing two artiIicial utterances
suggested as Iar back as 1956:
Colourless green ideas sleep Iuriously. Furiously sleep
ideas green colourless.
According to the idea oI their creator, the American scholar
N. Chomsky, the Iirst oI the utterances, although nonsensical
logically, was to be classed as grammatically correct, while
the second one, consisting oI the same words placed in the
reverse order, had to be analysed as a disconnected,
"ungrammatical" enumeration, a "non-sentence". Thus, the
examples, by way oI contrast, were intensely demonstrative
(so believed the scholar) oI the Iact that grammar as a whole
amounted to a set oI non-semantic rules oI sentence
However, a couple oI years later this assessment oI the
lingual value oI the given utterances was disputed in an
experimental investigation with inIormants natural
speakers oI English, who could not come to a unanimous
about the correctness or incorrectness oI both oI them. In
particular, some oI the inIormants classed the second
utterance as "sounding like poetry".
To understand the contradictions between the bluntly
Iormulated "rules" and reality, as well as to evaluate properly
the results oI inIormant tests like the one mentioned above,
we must bear in mind that the true grammatical rules or
regularities cannot be separated Irom the expression oI
meanings; on the contrary, they are themselves meaningIul.
Namely, they are connected with the most general and abstract
parts oI content inherent in the elements oI language. These
parts oI content, together with the Iormal means through
which they are expressed, are treated by grammarians in terms
oI "grammatical categories". Such are, Ior instance, the
categories oI number or mood in morphology, the categories
oI communicative purpose or emphasis in syntax, etc. Since
the grammatical Iorms and regularities are meaningIul, it
becomes clear that the rules oI grammar must be stated
semantically, or, more speciIically, they must be worded
Iunctionally. For example, it would be Iallacious to state
without any Iurther comment that the inverted word order in
the English declarative sentence is grammatically incorrect.
Word order as an element oI grammatical Iorm is laden with
its own meaningIul Iunctions. It can express, in particular, the
diIIerence between the central idea oI the utterance and the
marginal idea, between emotive and unemotive modes oI
speech, between diIIerent types oI style. Thus, iI the inverted
word order in a given sentence does express these Iunctions,
then its use should be considered as quite correct. E.g.: In the
centre oI the room, under the chandelier, as became a host,
stood the head of (he family, old Jolyon himself (.
The word arrangement in the utterance expresses a
narrative description, with the central inIormative element
placed in the strongest semantic position in narration, i.e. at
the end. Compare the same sort oI arrangement
accompanying a plainer presentation oI subject matter: Inside
on a wooden bunk lay a young Indian woman (E.
Compare, Iurther, the Iollowing:
And ever did his Soul tempt him with evil, and whisper oI
terrible things. et did it not prevail against him, so great was
the power oI his love (O. Wilde). (Here the inverted word
order is employed to render intense emphasis in a
legend-stylised narration.) One thing and one thing only could
she do Ior him (R. ipling). (Inversion in this case is used to
express emotional intensiIication oI the central idea.)
Examples oI this and similar kinds will be Iound in plenty
in Modern English literary texts oI good style repute.
3. The nature oI grammar as a constituent part oI
language is better understood in the light oI explicitly
discriminating the two planes oI language, namely, the plane
oI content and the plane oI expression.
The plane oI content comprises the purely semantic
elements contained in language, while the plane oI expression
comprises the material (Iormal) units oI language taken by
themselves, apart Irom the meanings rendered by them. The
two planes are inseparably connected, so that no meaning can
be realised without some material means oI expression.
Grammatical elements oI language present a unity oI content
and expression (or, in somewhat more Iamiliar terms, a unity
oI Iorm and meaning). In this the grammatical elements are
similar to the lingual lexical elements, though the quality oI
grammatical meanings, as we have stated above, is diIIerent
in principle Irom the quality oI lexical meanings.
On the other hand, the correspondence between the planes
oI content and expression is very complex, and it is peculiar to
each language. This complexity is clearly illustrated by the
phenomena oI polysemy, homonymy, and synonymy.
In cases oI polysemy and homonymy, two or more units oI
the plane oI content correspond to one unit oI the plane oI
expression. For instance, the verbal Iorm oI the present
indeIinite (one unit in the plane oI expression)
polysemantically renders the grammatical meanings oI
habitual action, action at the present moment, action taken as
a general truth (several units in the plane oI content). The
morphemic material element s!es (in pronunciation -s, -z,
-iz), i.e. one unit in the plane oI expression (in so Iar as the
Iunctional semantics oI the elements is common to all oI them
indiscriminately), homonymically renders the grammatical
meanings oI the third person singular oI the verbal present
tense, the plural oI the noun, the possessive Iorm oI the noun,
i.e. several units oI the plane oI content.
In cases oI synonymy, conversely, two or more units oI the
plane oI expression correspond to one unit oI the plane
oI content. For instance, the Iorms oI the verbal Iuture
indeIinite, Iuture continuous, and present continuous (several
units in the plane oI expression) can in certain contexts
synonymically render the meaning oI a Iuture action (one unit
in the plane oI content).
Taking into consideration the discrimination between the
two planes, we may say that the purpose oI grammar as a
linguistic discipline is, in the long run, to disclose and
Iormulate the regularities oI the correspondence between the
plane oI content and the plane oI expression in the Iormation
oI utterances out oI the stocks oI words as part oI the process
oI speech production.
4. Modern linguistics lays a special stress on the systemic
character oI language and all its constituent parts. It
accentuates the idea that language is a system oI signs
(meaningIul units) which are closely interconnected and
interdependent. Units oI immediate interdependencies (such
as classes and subclasses oI words, various subtypes oI
syntactic constructions, etc.) Iorm diIIerent microsystems
(subsystems) within the Iramework oI the global macrosystem
(supersystem) oI the whole oI language.
Each system is a structured set oI elements related to one
another by a common Iunction. The common Iunction oI all
the lingual signs is to give expression to human thoughts.
The systemic nature oI grammar is probably more evident
than that oI any other sphere oI language, since grammar is
responsible Ior the very organisation oI the inIormative
content oI utterances Fnx, 4, 11 n.. Due to this Iact, even
the earliest grammatical treatises, within the cognitive limits
oI their times, disclosed some systemic Ieatures oI the
described material. But the scientiIically sustained and
consistent principles oI systemic approach to language and its
grammar were essentially developed in the linguistics oI the
twentieth century, namely, aIter the publication oI the works
by the Russian scholar Beaudoin de Courtenay and the Swiss
scholar Ferdinand de Saussure. These two great men
demonstrated the diIIerence between lingual synchrony
(coexistence oI lingual elements) and diachrony (diIIerent
time-periods in the development oI lingual elements, as well
as language as a whole) and deIined language as a synchronic
system oI meaningIul elements at any stage oI its historical
On the basis oI discriminating synchrony and diachrony,
the diIIerence between language proper and speech proper
can be strictly deIined, which is oI crucial importance Ior the
identiIication oI the object oI linguistic science.
Language in the narrow sense oI the word is a system oI
means oI expression, while speech in the same narrow sense
should be understood as the maniIestation oI the system oI
language in the process oI intercourse.
The system oI language includes, on the one hand, the
body oI material units sounds, morphemes, words, word-
groups; on the other hand, the regularities or "rules" oI the use
oI these units. Speech comprises both the act oI producing
utterances, and the utterances themselves, i.e. the text.
Language and speech are inseparable, they Iorm together an
organic unity. As Ior grammar (the grammatical system),
being an integral part oI the lingual macrosystem it
dynamically connects language with speech, because it
categorially determines the lingual process oI utterance
Thus, we have the broad philosophical concept oI
language which is analysed by linguistics into two diIIerent
aspects the system oI signs (language proper) and the use
oI signs (speech proper). The generalising term "language" is
also preserved in linguistics, showing the unity oI these two
aspects Fnx, 16.
The sign (meaningIul unit) in the system oI language has
only a potential meaning. In speech, the potential meaning oI
the lingual sign is "actualised", i.e. made situationally
signiIicant as part oI the grammatically organised text.
Lingual units stand to one another in two Iundamental
types oI relations: syntagmatic and paradigmatic.
Syntagmatic relations are immediate linear relations
between units in a segmental sequence (string). E.g.: The
spaceship was launched without the help oI a booster rocket.
In this sentence syntagmatically connected are the words
and word-groups "the spaceship", "was launched", "the
spaceship was launched", "was launched without the help",
"the help oI a rocket", "a booster rocket".
Morphemes within the words are also connected
syntagmatically. E.g.: space/ship; launch/ed; with/out;
Phonemes are connected syntagmatically within
morphemes and words, as well as at various juncture points
(cf. the processes oI assimilation and dissimilation).
The combination oI two words or word-groups one oI
which is modiIied by the other Iorms a unit which is reIerred
to as a syntactic "syntagma". There are Iour main types oI
notional syntagmas: predicative (the combination oI a
subject and a predicate), ob"ective (the combination oI a verb
and its object), attributive (the combination oI a noun and its
attribute), adverbial (the combination oI a modiIied notional
word, such as a verb, adjective, or adverb, with its adverbial
Since syntagmatic relations are actually observed in
utterances, they are described by the Latin Iormula as
relations "in praesentia" ("in the presence").
The other type oI relations, opposed to syntagmatic and
called #paradigmatic#, are such as exist between elements oI
the system outside the strings where they co-occur. These
intra-systemic relations and dependencies Iind their
expression in the Iact that each lingual unit is included in a set
or series oI connections based on diIIerent Iormal and
Iunctional properties."
In the sphere oI phonology such series are built up by the
correlations oI phonemes on the basis oI vocality or
consonantism, voicedness or devoicedness, the Iactor oI
nazalisation, the Iactor oI length, etc. In the sphere oI the
vocabulary these series are Iounded on the correlations oI
synonymy and antonymy, on various topical connections, on
diIIerent word-building dependencies. In the domain oI
grammar series oI related Iorms realise grammatical numbers
and cases, persons and tenses, gradations oI modalities, sets oI
sentence-patterns oI various Iunctional destination, etc.
Unlike syntagmatic relations, paradigmatic relations
cannot be directly observed in utterances, that is why they are
reIerred to as relations "in absentia"" ("in the absence").
Paradigmatic relations coexist with syntagmatic relations
in such a way that some sort oI syntagmatic connection is
necessary Ior the realisation oI any paradigmatic series. This
is especially evident -in a classical grammatical paradigm
which presents a productive series oI Iorms each consisting oI
a syntagmatic connection oI two elements: one common Ior
the whole oI the series (stem), the other speciIic Ior every
individual Iorm in the series (grammatical Ieature
inIlexion, suIIix, auxiliary word). Grammatical paradigms
express various grammatical categories.
The minimal paradigm consists oI two Iorm-stages. This
kind oI paradigm we see, Ior instance, in the expression oI the
category oI number: boy $ boys. A more complex paradigm
can be divided into component paradigmatic series, i.e. into
the corresponding sub-paradigms (cf. numerous paradigmatic
series constituting the system oI the Iinite verb). In
other words, with paradigms, the same as with any other
systemically organised material, macro- and micro-series are
to be discriminated.
5. Units oI language are divided into segmental and
suprasegmental. Segmental units consist oI phonemes, they
Iorm phonemic strings oI various status (syllables,
morphemes, words, etc.). Supra-segmental units do not exist
by themselves, but are realised together with segmental units
and express diIIerent modiIicational meanings (Iunctions)
which are reIlected on the strings oI segmental units. To the
supra-segmental units belong intonations (intonation
contours), accents, pauses, patterns oI word-order.
The segmental units oI language Iorm a hierarchy oI
levels. This hierarchy is oI a kind that units oI any higher level
are analysable into (i.e. are Iormed oI) units oI the
immediately lower level. Thus, morphemes are decomposed
into phonemes, words are decomposed into morphemes,
phrases are decomposed into words, etc.
But this hierarchical relation is by no means reduced to the
mechanical composition oI larger units Irom smaller ones;
units oI each level are characterised by their own, speciIic
Iunctional Ieatures which provide Ior the very recognition oI
the corresponding levels oI language.
The lowest level oI lingual segments is phonemic: it is
Iormed by phonemes as the material elements oI the higher
-level segments. The phoneme has no meaning, its Iunction is
purely diIIerential: it diIIerentiates morphemes and words as
material bodies. Since the phoneme has no meaning, it is not a
Phonemes are combined into syllables. The syllable, a
rhythmic segmental group oI phonemes, is not a sign, either; it
has a purely Iormal signiIicance. Due to this Iact, it could
hardly stand to reason to recognise in language a separate
syllabic level; rather, the syllables should be considered in the
light oI the intra-level combinability properties oI phonemes.
Phonemes are represented by letters in writing. Since the
letter has a representative status, it is a sign, though diIIerent
in principle Irom the level-Iorming signs oI language.
Units oI all the higher levels oI language are meaningIul;
they may be called "signemes" as opposed to phonemes (and
letters as phoneme-representatives).
The level located above the phonemic one is the
level. The morpheme is the elementary meaningIul part oI the
word. It is built up by phonemes, so that the shortest
morphemes include only one phoneme. E.g.: ros-y -1; a-Iire
-; come-s -z.
The morpheme expresses abstract, "signiIicative"
meanings which are used as constituents Ior the Iormation oI
more concrete, "nominative" meanings oI words.
The third level in the segmental lingual hierarchy is the
level oI words, or le%emic level.
The word, as diIIerent Irom the morpheme, is a directly
naming (nominative) unit oI language: it names things and
their relations. Since words are built up by morphemes, the
shortest words consist oI one explicit morpheme only. &f.:
man; will; but; I; etc.
The next higher level is the level oI phrases (word-
groups), or phrasemic level.
To level-Iorming phrase types belong combinations oI two
or more notional words. These combinations, like separate
words, have a nominative Iunction, but they represent the
reIerent oI nomination as a complicated phenomenon, be it a
concrete thing, an action, a quality, or a whole situation. &f.,
respectively: a picturesque village; to start with a jerk;
extremely diIIicult; the unexpected arrival oI the chieI.
This kind oI nomination can be called "polynomination",
as diIIerent Irom "mononomination" eIIected by separate
Notional phrases may be oI a stable type and oI a Iree type.
The stable phrases (phraseological units) Iorm the
phraseological part oI the lexicon, and are studied by the
phraseological division oI lexicology. Free phrases are built
up in the process oI speech on the existing productive models,
and are studied in the lower division oI syntax. The
grammatical description oI phrases is sometimes called
"smaller syntax", in distinction to "larger syntax" studying the
sentence and its textual connections.
Above the phrasemic level lies the level oI sentences, or
#proposemic# level.
The peculiar character oI the sentence ("proposeme") as a
signemic unit oI language consists in the Iact that, naming a
certain situation, or situational event, it expresses predication,
i.e. shows the relation oI the denoted event to reality. Namely.
it shows whether this event is real or unreal, desirable or
obligatory, stated as a truth or asked about, etc. In this sense,
as diIIerent Irom the word and the phrase, the
sentence is a predicative unit. &f.: to receive to receive a
letter Early in une I received a letter Irom Peter Mel
The sentence is produced by the speaker in the process oI
speech as a concrete, situationally bound utterance. At the
same time it enters the system oI language by its syntactic
pattern which, as all the other lingual unit-types, has both
syntagmatic and paradigmatic characteristics.
But the sentence is not the highest unit oI language in the
hierarchy oI levels. Above the proposemic level there is still
another one, namely, the level oI sentence-groups, "supra-
sentential constructions". For the sake oI uniIied terminology,
this level can be called #supraproposemic#.
The supra-sentential construction is a combination oI
separate sentences Iorming a textual unity. Such combinations
are subject to regular lingual patterning making them into
syntactic elements. The syntactic process by which sentences
are connected into textual unities is analysed under the
heading oI "cumulation". Cumulation, the same as Iormation
oI composite sentences, can be both syndetic and asyndetic.
He went on with his interrupted breakIast. Lisette did not
speak and there was silence between them. 'ut his appetite
satisIied, his mood changed; he began to Ieel sorry Ior himselI
rather than angry with her, and with a strange ignorance oI
woman's heart he thought to arouse Lisette's remorse by
exhibiting himselI as an object oI pity (S. Maugham).
In the typed text, the supra-sentential construction
commonly coincides with the paragraph (as in the example
above). However, unlike the paragraph, this type oI lingual
signeme is realised not only in a written text, but also in all
the varieties oI oral speech, since separate sentences, as a rule,
are included in a discourse not singly, but in combinations,
revealing the corresponding connections oI thoughts in
communicative progress.
We have surveyed six levels oI language, each identiIied
by its own Iunctional type oI segmental units. II now we
careIully observe the Iunctional status oI the level-Iorming
segments, we can distinguish between them more selI-
suIIicient and less selI-suIIicient types, the latter being
deIined only in relation to the Iunctions oI other level units.
Indeed, the phonemic, lexemic and proposemic levels are
most strictly and exhaustively identiIied Irom the Iunctional
point oI
view: the Iunction oI the phoneme is diIIerential, the Iunction
oI the word is nominative, the Iunction oI the sentence is
predicative. As diIIerent Irom these, morphemes are identiIied
only as signiIicative components oI words, phrases present
polynominative combinations oI words, and supra-sentential
constructions mark the transition Irom the sentence to the
Furthermore, bearing in mind that the phonemic level
Iorms the subIoundation oI language, i.e. the non-meaningIul
matter oI meaningIul expressive means, the two notions oI
grammatical description shall be pointed out as central even
within the Iramework oI the structural hierarchy oI language:
these are, Iirst, the notion oI the word and, second, the notion
oI the sentence. The Iirst is analysed by morphology, which is
the grammatical teaching oI the word; the second is analysed
by syntax, which is the grammatical teaching oI the sentence.
1. The morphological system oI language reveals its
properties through the morphemic structure oI words. It
Iollows Irom this that morphology as part oI grammatical
theory Iaces the two segmental units: the morpheme and the
word. But, as we have already pointed out, the morpheme is
not identiIied otherwise than part oI the word; the Iunctions
oI the morpheme are eIIected only as the corresponding
constituent Iunctions oI the word as a whole.
For instance, the Iorm oI the verbal past tense is built up
by means oI the dental grammatical suIIix: train-ed -d;
publish-ed -t; meditat-ed -id.
However, the past tense as a deIinite type oI grammatical
meaning is expressed not by the dental morpheme in
isolation, but by the verb (i.e. word) taken in the
corresponding Iorm (realised by its morphemic composition);
the dental suIIix is immediately related to the stem oI the verb
and together with the stem constitutes the temporal
correlation in the paradigmatic system oI verbal categories
Thus, in studying the morpheme we actual study the word
in the necessary details or us composition and Iunctions.
2. It is very diIIicult to give a rigorous and at the same
time universal deIinition to the word, i.e. such a deIinition as
would unambiguously apply to all the diIIerent word-units oI
the lexicon. This diIIiculty is explained by the Iact that the
word is an extremely complex and many-sided phenomenon.
Within the Iramework oI diIIerent linguistic trends and
theories the word is deIined as the minimal potential sentence,
the minimal Iree linguistic Iorm, the elementary component oI
the sentence, the articulate sound-symbol, the grammatically
arranged combination oI sound with meaning, the
meaningIully integral and immediately identiIiable lingual
unit, the uninterrupted string oI morphemes, etc., etc. None oI
these deIinitions, which can be divided into Iormal,
Iunctional, and mixed, has the power to precisely cover all the
lexical segments oI language without a residue remaining
outside the Iield oI deIinition.
The said diIIiculties compel some linguists to reIrain Irom
accepting the word as the basic element oI language. In
particular, American scholars representatives oI
Descriptive Linguistics Iounded by L. BloomIield
recognised not the word and the sentence, but the phoneme
and the morpheme as the basic categories oI linguistic
description, because these units are the easiest to be isolated
in the continual text due to their "physically" minimal,
elementary segmental character: the phoneme being the
minimal Iormal segment oI language, the morpheme, the
minimal meaningIul segment. Accordingly, only two
segmental levels were originally identiIied in language by
Descriptive scholars: the phonemic level and the morphemic
level; later on a third one was added to these the level oI
"constructions", i.e. the level oI morphemic combinations.
In Iact, iI we take such notional words as, say, water, pass,
yellow and the like, as well as their simple derivatives, e.g.
watery, passer, yellowness, we shall easily see their deIinite
nominative Iunction and unambiguous segmental delimitation,
making them beyond all doubt into "separate words oI
language". But iI we compare with the given one-stem words
the corresponding composite Iormations, such as waterman,
password, yellowbac(, we shall immediately note that the
identiIication oI the latter as separate words is much
complicated by the Iact that they themselves are
decomposable into separate words. One could point out that
the peculiar property distinguishing composite words Irom
phrases is their linear indivisibility, i.e. the impossibility
tor them to be divided by a third word. But this would-be
rigorous criterion is quite irrelevant Ior analytical wordIorms,
e.g.: has met has never met; is coming is not by any
means or under any circumstances coming.
As Ior the criterion according to which the word is
identiIied as a minimal sign capable oI Iunctioning alone (the
word understood as the "smallest Iree Iorm", or interpreted as
the "potential minimal sentence"), it is irrelevant Ior the bulk
oI Iunctional words which cannot be used "independently"
even in elliptical responses (to say nothing oI the Iact that the
very notion oI ellipsis is essentially the opposite oI selI-
In spite oI the shown diIIiculties, however, there remains
the unquestionable Iact that each speaker has at his disposal a
ready stock oI naming units (more precisely, units standing to
one another in nominative correlation) by which he can build
up an inIinite number oI utterances reIlecting the ever
changing situations oI reality.
This circumstance urges us to seek the identiIication oI the
word as a lingual unit-type on other lines than the "strictly
operational deIinition". In Iact, we do Iind the clariIication oI
the problem in taking into consideration the diIIerence
between the two sets oI lingual phenomena: on the one hand,
"polar" phenomena; on the other hand, "intermediary"
Within a complex system oI interrelated elements, polar
phenomena are the most clearly identiIiable, they stand to one
another in an utterly unambiguous opposition. Intermediary
phenomena are located in the system in between the polar
phenomena, making up a gradation oI transitions or the so-
called "continuum". By some oI their properties intermediary
phenomena are similar or near to one oI the corresponding
poles, while by other properties they are similar to the other,
opposing pole. The analysis oI the intermediary phenomena
Irom the point oI view oI their relation to the polar
phenomena reveal their own status in the system. At the same
time this kind oI analysis helps evaluate the deIinitions oI the
polar phenomena between which a continuum is established.
In this connection, the notional one-stem word and the
morpheme should be described as the opposing polar
phenomena among the meaningIul segments oI language; it is
these elements that can be deIined by their Iormal and
Iunctional Ieatures most precisely and unambiguously. As Ior
Iunctional words, they occupy intermediary positions between
these poles, and their very intermediary status is gradational.
In particular, the variability oI their status is expressed in the
Iact that some oI them can be used in an isolated response
position (Ior instance, words oI aIIirmation and negation,
interrogative words, demonstrative words, etc.), while others
cannot (such as prepositions or conjunctions).
The nature oI the element oI any system is revealed in the
character oI its Iunction. The Iunction oI words is realised in
their nominative correlation with one another. On the basis oI
this correlation a number oI Iunctional words are
distinguished by the "negative delimitation" (i.e. delimitation
as a residue aIter the identiIication oI the co-positional textual
elements),* e.g.. the/people; to/speak; by/way/oI.
The "negative delimitation'' immediately connects these
Iunctional words with the directly nominative, notional words
in the system. Thus, the correlation in question (which is to be
implied by the conventional term "nominative Iunction")
unites Iunctional words with notional words, or "halI-words"
(word-morphemes) with "Iull words". On the other hand,
nominative correlation reduces the morpheme as a type oI
segmental signeme to the role oI an element in the
composition oI the word.
As we see, iI the elementary character (indivisibility) oI
the morpheme (as a signiIicative unit) is established in the
structure oI words, the elementary character oI the word (as a
nominative unit) is realised in the system oI lexicon.
Summing up what has been said in this paragraph, we may
point out some oI the properties oI the morpheme and the
word which are Iundamental Irom the point oI view oI their
systemic status and thereIore require detailed investigations
and descriptions.
the morpheme is a meaningIul segmental component oI
the word; the morpheme is Iormed by phonemes; as a
meaningIul component oI the word it is elementary (i.e.
indivisible into smaller segments as regards its signiIicative
The word is a nominative unit oI language; it is Iormed by
morphemes; it enters the lexicon oI language as its
elementary component (i.e. a component indivisible into
smaller segments as regards its nominative Iunction); together
* See: )*+,-+./+0 1. 2. n (na
nt na). B x.: Bt
xstxa. ., 1955.
other nominative units the word is used Ior the Iormation oI
the sentence a unit oI inIormation in the communication
3. In traditional grammar the study oI the morphemic
structure oI the word was conducted in the light oI the two
basic criteria: positional (the location oI the marginal
morphemes in relation to the central ones) and semantic or
Iunctional (the correlative contribution oI the morphemes to
the general meaning oI the word). The combination oI these
two criteria in an integral description has led to the rational
classiIication oI morphemes that is widely used both in
research linguistic work and in practical lingual tuition.
In accord with the traditional classiIication, morphemes on
the upper level are divided into root-morphemes (roots) and
aIIixal morphemes (aIIixes). The roots express the concrete,
"material" part oI the meaning oI the word, while the aIIixes
express the speciIicational part oI the meaning oI the word,
the speciIications being oI lexico-semantic and grammatico-
semantic character.
The roots oI notional words are classical lexical
The aIIixal morphemes include preIixes, suIIixes, and
inIlexions (in the tradition oI the English school grammatical
inIlexions are commonly reIerred to as "suIIixes"). OI these,
preIixes and lexical suIIixes have word-building Iunctions,
together with the root they Iorm the stem oI the word;
inIlexions (grammatical suIIixes) express diIIerent
morphological categories.
The root, according to the positional content oI the term
(i.e. the border-area between preIixes and suIIixes), is
obligatory Ior any word, while aIIixes are not obligatory.
ThereIore one and the same morphemic segment oI Iunctional
(i.e. non-notional) status, depending on various morphemic
environments, can in principle be used now as an aIIix
(mostly, a preIix), now as a root. &f.:
out $ a root-word (preposition, adverb, verbal
postposition, adjective, noun, verb);
throughout $ a composite word, in which out serves as
one oI the roots (the categorial status oI the meaning oI both
morphemes is the same);
outing $ a two-morpheme word, in which out is a root,
and ing is a suIIix;
outloo(, outline, outrage, outtal(, etc. words, in which
out serves as a preIix;
loo(out, (noc(out, shutout, timeout, etc. words
(nouns), in which out serves as a suIIix.
The morphemic composition oI modern English words has
a wide range oI varieties; in the lexicon oI everyday speech
the preIerable morphemic types oI stems are root-stems (one-
root stems or two-root stems) and one-aIIix stems. With
grammatically changeable words, these stems take one
grammatical suIIix two "open" grammatical suIIixes are
used only with some plural nouns in the possessive case, cf.:
the children's toys, the oxen's yokes).
Thus, the abstract complete morphemic model oI the
common English word is the Iollowing: preIix root lexical
suIIixgrammatical suIIix.
The syntagmatic connections oI the morphemes within the
model Iorm two types oI hierarchical structure. The Iirst is
characterised by the original preIixal stem (e.g. preIabricated),
the second is characterised by the original suIIixal stem (e.g.
inheritors). II we use the symbols St Ior stem, R Ior root, Pr
Ior preIix, L Ior lexical suIIix, Gr Ior grammatical suIIix, and,
besides, employ three graphical symbols oI hierarchical
grouping braces, brackets, and parentheses, then the two
morphemic word-structures can be presented as Iollows:
W1 Pr (R L) Gr; W2
(Pr R) L Gr
In the morphemic composition oI more complicated words
these model-types Iorm diIIerent combinations.
4. Further insights into the correlation between the
Iormal and Iunctional aspects oI morphemes within the
composition oI the word may be gained in the light oI the so-
called "allo-emic" theory put Iorward by Descriptive
Linguistics and broadly used in the current linguistic research.
In accord with this theory, lingual units are described by
means oI two types oI terms: alloterms and emeterms. Eme-
terms denote the generalised invariant units oI language
characterised by a certain Iunctional status: phonemes,
morphemes. Allo-terms denote the concrete maniIestations, or
variants oI the generalised units dependent on the regular co-
location with
other elements oI language: allophones, allomorphs. A set oI
iso-Iunctional allo-units identiIied in the text on the basis oI
their co-occurrence with other lingual units (distribution) is
considered as the corresponding eme-unit with its Iixed
systemic status.
The allo-emic identiIication oI lingual elements is
achieved by means oI the so-called "distributional analysis".
The immediate aim oI the distributional analysis is to Iix and
study the units oI language in relation to their textual
environments, i.e. the adjoining elements in the text.
The environment oI a unit may be either "right" or "leIt",
e.g.: un-pardon-able.
In this word the leIt environment oI the root is the
negative preIix un, the right environment oI the root is the
qualitative suIIix able. Respectively, the root pardon is the
right environment Ior the preIix, and the leIt environment Ior
the suIIix.
The distribution oI a unit may be deIined as the total oI all
its environments; in other words, the distribution oI a unit is
its environment in generalised terms oI classes or categories.
In the distributional analysis on the morphemic level,
phonemic distribution oI morphemes and morphemic
distribution oI morphemes are discriminated. The study is
conducted in two stages.
At the Iirst stage, the analysed text (i.e. the collected
lingual materials, or "corpus") is divided into recurrent
segments consisting oI phonemes. These segments are called
"morphs", i.e. morphemic units distributionally
uncharacterised, e.g.: the/boat/s/were/gain/ing/speed.
At the second stage, the environmental Ieatures oI the
morphs are established and the corresponding identiIications
are eIIected.
Three main types oI distribution are discriminated in the
distributional analysis, namely, contrastive distribution, non
contrastive distribution, and complementary distribution.
Contrastive and non-contrastive distributions concern
identical environments oI diIIerent morphs. The morphs are
said to be in contrastive distribution iI their meanings
(Iunctions) are diIIerent. Such morphs constitute diIIerent
morphemes. &f. the suIIixes (e3d and ing in the verb-Iorms
returned, returning. The morphs are said to be in non-
contrastive distribution (or Iree alternation) iI their meaning
(Iunction) is the same. Such
morphs constitute "Iree alternants", or "Iree variants" oI the
same morpheme. &f. the suIIixes (e3d and t in the verb-
Iorms learned, learnt.
As diIIerent Irom the above, complementary distribution
concerns diIIerent environments oI Iormally diIIerent morphs
which are united by the same meaning (Iunction). II two or
more morphs have the same meaning and the diIIerence in
(heir Iorm is explained by diIIerent environments, these
morphs are said to be in complementary distribution and
considered the allomorphs oI the same morpheme. &f. the
allomorphs oI the plural morpheme /-s/, /-z/, /-iz/ which stand
in phonemic complementary distribution; the plural allomorph
en in o%en, children, which stands in morphemic
complementary distribution with the other allomorphs oI the
plural morpheme.
As we see, Ior analytical purposes the notion oI
complementary distribution is the most important, because it
helps establish the identity oI outwardly altogether diIIerent
elements oI language, in particular, its grammatical elements.
5. As a result oI the application oI distributional analysis
to the morphemic level, diIIerent types oI morphemes have
been discriminated which can be called the "distributional
morpheme types". It must be stressed that the distributional
classiIication oI morphemes cannot abolish or in any way
depreciate the traditional morpheme types. Rather, it
supplements the traditional classiIication, showing some
essential Ieatures oI morphemes on the principles oI
environmental study.
We shall survey the distributional morpheme types
arranging them in pairs oI immediate correlation.
On the basis oI the degree of selfdependence, "Iree"
morphemes and "bound" morphemes are distinguished.
Bound morphemes cannot Iorm words by themselves, they
are identiIied only as component segmental parts oI words. As
diIIerent Irom this, Iree morphemes can build up words by
themselves, i.e. can be used "Ireely".
For instance, in the word handful the root hand is a Iree
morpheme, while the suIIix ful is a bound morpheme.
There are very Iew productive bound morphemes in the
morphological system oI English. Being extremely narrow,
the list oI them is complicated by the relations oI homonymy.
These morphemes are the Iollowing:
1) the segments (e3s -z, -s, -iz: the plural oI nouns, the
possessive case oI nouns, the third person singular present
oI verbs;
2) the segments (e3d -d, -t, -id: the past and past
participle oI verbs;
2) the segments ing: the gerund and present participle;
3) the segments er, est: the comparative and superlative
degrees oI adjectives and adverbs.
The auxiliary word-morphemes oI various standings
should be interpreted in this connection as "semi-bound"
morphemes, since, being used as separate elements oI speech
strings, they Iorm categorial unities with their notional stem-
On the basis oI formal presentation, "overt" morphemes
and "covert" morphemes are distinguished. Overt morphemes
are genuine, explicit morphemes building up words; the
covert morpheme is identiIied as a contrastive absence oI
morpheme expressing a certain Iunction. The notion oI covert
morpheme coincides with the notion oI zero morpheme in the
oppositional description oI grammatical categories (see
For instance, the word-Iorm cloc(s consists oI two overt
morphemes: one lexical (root) and one grammatical
expressing the plural. The outwardly one-morpheme word-
Iorm cloc(, since it expresses the singular, is also considered
as consisting oI two morphemes, i.e. oI the overt root and the
coert (implicit) grammatical suIIix oI the singular. The usual
symbol Ior the covert morpheme employed by linguists is the
sign oI the empty set: 0.
On the basis oI segmental relation, "segmental"
morphemes and "supra-segmental" morphemes are
distinguished. Interpreted as supra-segmental morphemes in
distributional terms are intonation contours, accents, pauses.
The said elements oI language, as we have stated
elsewhere, should beyond dispute be considered signemic
units oI language, since they are Iunctionally bound. They
Iorm the secondary line oI speech, accompanying its primary
phonemic line (phonemic complexes). On the other hand,
Irom what has been stated about the morpheme proper, it is
not diIIicult to see that the morphemic interpretation oI
suprasegmental units can hardly stand to reason. Indeed, these
units are Iunctionally connected not with morphemes, but
with larger elements oI language: words, word-groups,
sentences, supra-sentential constructions.
On the basis oI grammatical alternation, "additive"
morphemes and "replacive" morphemes are distinguished.
Interpreted as additive morphemes are outer grammatical
suIIixes, since, as a rule, they are opposed to the absence oI
morphemes in grammatical alternation. CI. looked; smaller,
etc. In distinction to these, the root phonemes oI grammatical
interchange are considered as replacive morphemes, since
they replace one another in the paradigmatic Iorms. &f. dr-i-
ve dr-o-ve dr-i-ven; m-a-n m-e-n; etc.
It should be remembered that the phonemic interchange is
utterly unproductive in English as in all the Indo-European
languages. II it were productive, it might rationally be
interpreted as a sort oI replacive "inIixation" (correlated with
"exIixation" oI the additive type). As it stands, however, this
type oI grammatical means can be understood as a kind oI
suppletivity (i.e. partial suppletivity).
On the basis oI linear characteristic, "continuous" (or
"linear") morphemes and "discontinuous" morphemes are
By the discontinuous morpheme, opposed to the common,
i.e. uninterruptedly expressed, continuous morpheme, a two-
element grammatical unit is meant which is identiIied in the
analytical grammatical Iorm comprising an auxiliary word
and a grammatical suIIix. These two elements, as it were,
embed the notional stem; hence, they are symbolically
represented as Iollows:
be ... ing Ior the continuous verb Iorms (e.g. is going);
have ... en Ior the perIect verb Iorms (e.g. has gone); be
... en Ior the passive verb Iorms (e.g. is taken)
It is easy to see that the notion oI morpheme applied to the
analytical Iorm oI the word violates the principle oI the
identiIication oI morpheme as an elementary meaningIul
segment: the analytical "Iraming" consists oI two meaningIul
segments, i.e. oI two diIIerent morphemes. On the other hand,
the general notion "discontinuous constituent", "discontinuous
unit" is quite rational and can be helpIully used in linguistic
description in its proper place.
1. Notional words, Iirst oI all verbs and nouns, possess
some morphemic Ieatures expressing grammatical
(morphological) meanings. These Ieatures determine the
grammatical Iorm oI the word.
Grammatical meanings are very abstract, very general.
ThereIore the grammatical Iorm is not conIined to an
individual word, but unites a whole class oI words, so that
each word oI the class expresses the corresponding
grammatical meaning together with its individual, concrete
For instance, the meaning oI the substantive plural is
rendered by the regular plural suIIix -(e)s, and in some cases
by other, more speciIic means, such as phonemic interchange
and a Iew lexeme-bound suIIixes. Due to the generalised
character oI the plural, we say that diIIerent groups oI nouns
"take" this Iorm with strictly deIined variations in the mode oI
expression, the variations being oI more systemic
(phonological conditioning) and less systemic (etymological
conditioning) nature. &f.: Iaces, branches, matches, judges;
books, rockets, boats, chieIs, prooIs; dogs, beads, Iilms,
stones, hens; lives, wives, thieves, leaves; girls, stars, toys,
heroes, pianos, cantos; oxen, children, brethren, kine; swine,
sheep, deer; cod, trout, salmon; men, women, Ieet, teeth,
geese, mice, lice; Iormulae, antennae; data, errata, strata,
addenda, memoranda; radii, genii, nuclei, alumni; crises,
bases, analyses, axes; phenomena, criteria.
As we see, the grammatical Iorm presents a division oI the
word on the principle oI expressing a certain grammatical
2. The most general notions reIlecting the most general
properties oI phenomena are reIerred to in logic as "categorial
notions", or "categories". The most general meanings
rendered by language and expressed by systemic correlations
oI word-Iorms are interpreted in linguistics as categorial
grammatical meanings. The Iorms themselves are identiIied
within deIinite paradigmatic series.
The categorial meaning (e.g. the grammatical number)
unites the individual meanings oI the correlated paradigmatic
Iorms (e.g. singular plural) and is exposed through them;
hence, the meaning oI the grammatical category and the
meaning oI the grammatical Iorm are related to each other on
the principle oI the logical relation between the categorial and
generic notions.
As Ior the grammatical category itselI, it presents, the
same as the grammatical "Iorm", a unity oI Iorm (i.e. material
Iactor) and meaning (i.e. ideal Iactor) and constitutes a certain
signemic system.
More speciIically, the grammatical category is a system oI
expressing a generalised grammatical meaning by means oI
paradigmatic correlation oI grammatical Iorms.
The ordered set oI grammatical Iorms expressing a
categorial Iunction constitutes a paradigm.
The paradigmatic correlations oI grammatical Iorms in a
category are exposed by the so-called "grammatical
The opposition (in the linguistic sense) may be deIined as a
generalised correlation oI lingual Iorms by means oI which a
certain Iunction is expressed. The correlated elements
(members) oI the opposition must possess two types oI
Ieatures: common Ieatures and diIIerential Ieatures. Common
Ieatures serve as the basis oI contrast, while diIIerential
Ieatures immediately express the Iunction in question.
The oppositional theory was originally Iormulated as a ;
phonological theory. Three main qualitative types oI
oppositions were established in phonology: "privative",
"gradual", and "equipollent". By the number oI members
contrasted, oppositions were divided into binary (two
members) and more than binary (ternary, quaternary, etc.).
The most important type oI opposition is the binary
privative opposition; the other types oI oppositions are
reducible to the binary privative opposition.
The binary privative opposition is Iormed by a contrastive
pair oI members in which one member is characterised by the
presence oI a certain diIIerential Ieature ("mark"), while the
other member is characterised by the absence oI this Ieature.
The member in which the Ieature is present is called the
"marked", or "strong", or "positive" member, and is
commonly designated by the symbol (plus); the member in
which the Ieature is absent is called the "unmarked", or
"weak", or "negative" member, and is commonly designated
by the symbol (minus).
For instance, the voiced and devoiced consonants Iorm a
privative opposition b, d, g p, t, k. The diIIerential Ieature
oI the opposition is "voice". This Ieature is present in the
voiced consonants, so their set Iorms the marked member oI
the opposition. The devoiced consonants, lacking the Ieature,
Iorm the unmarked member oI the opposition. To stress the
marking quality oI "voice" Ior the opposition in
question, the devoiced consonants may be reIerred to as
The gradual opposition is Iormed by a contrastive group oI
members which are distinguished not by the presence or
absen oI a Ieature, but by the degree oI it.
For instance, the Iront vowels i:ieae Iorm a
quaternary gradual opposition, since they are diIIerentiated
by the degree oI their openness (their length, as is known, is'
also relevant, as well as some other individualising
properties, but these Iactors do not spoil the gradual
opposition as such).
The equipollent opposition is Iormed by a contrastive pair
or group in which the members are distinguished by diIIerent
positive Ieatures.
For instance, the phonemes m and b, both bilabial
consonants, Iorm an equipollent opposition, m being
sonorous nazalised, b being plosive.
We have noted above that any opposition can be
reIormulated in privative terms. Indeed, any positive Ieature
distinguishing an oppositionally characterised lingual element
is absent in the oppositionally correlated element, so that
considered Irom the point oI view oI this Ieature alone, the
opposition, by deIinition, becomes privative. This
reIormulation is especially helpIul on an advanced stage oI
oppositional study oI a given microsystem, because it enables
us to characterise the elements oI the system by the
corresponding strings ("bundles") oI values oI their
oppositional Ieaturing ("bundles oI diIIerential Ieatures"),
each Ieature being represented by the values or .
For instance, p is distinguished Irom b as voiceless
(voice ), Irom t as bilabial (labialisation ), Irom m as
non-nazalised (nazalisation ), etc. The descriptive
advantages oI this kind oI characterisation are selI-evident.
Unlike phonemes which are monolateral lingual elements,
words as units oI morphology are bilateral; thereIore
morphological oppositions must reIlect both the plane oI
expression (Iorm) and the plane oI content (meaning).
The most important type oI opposition in morphology, the
same as in phonology, is the binary privative opposition.
The privative morphological opposition is based on a
morphological diIIerential Ieature which is present in its
strong parked) member and absent in its weak (unmarked)
member. In another kind oI wording, this diIIerential Ieature
may be
said to mark one oI the members oI the opposition positively
(the strong member), and the other one negatively (the weak
member). The Ieaturing in question serves as the immediate
means oI expressing a grammatical meaning.
For instance, the expression oI the verbal present and past
tenses is based on a privative opposition the diIIerential
Ieature oI which is the dental suIIix (e3d. This suIIix,
rendering the meaning oI the past tense, marks the past Iorm
oI the verb positively (we wor(ed3, and the present Iorm
negatively (we wor(3.
The meanings diIIerentiated by the oppositions oI
signemic units (signemic oppositions) are reIerred to as
"semantic Ieatures", or "semes".
For instance, the nounal Iorm cats expresses the seme oI
plurality, as opposed to the Iorm cat which expresses, by
contrast, the seme oI singularity. The two Iorms constitute a
privative opposition in which the plural is the marked
member. In order to stress the negative marking oI the
singular, it can be reIerred to as "non-plural".
It should be noted that the designation oI the weak
members oI privative morphological oppositions by the
"non-" terms is signiIicant not only Irom the point oI view oI
the plane oI expression, but also Irom the point oI view oI the
plane oI content. It is connected with the Iact that the meaning
oI the weak member oI the privative opposition is more
general and abstract as compared with the meaning oI the
strong member, which is, respectively, more particular and
concrete. Due to this diIIerence in meaning, the weak member
is used in a wider range oI contexts than the strong member.
For instance, the present tense Iorm oI the verb, as diIIerent
Irom the past tense, is used to render meanings much broader
than those directly implied by the corresponding time-plane
as such. &f.:
The sun rises in the East. To err is human. They don't
spea( French in this part oI the country. Etc.
Equipollent oppositions in the system oI English
morphology constitute a minor type and are mostly conIined
to Iormal relations only. An example oI such an opposition
can be seen in the correlation oI the person Iorms oI the verb
be: am $ are $ is.
Gradual oppositions in morphology are not generally
recognised; in principle, they can be identiIied as a minor
type on the semantic level only. An example oI the gradual
morphological opposition can be seen in the category oI
comparison: strong $ stronger $ strongest.
A grammatical category must be expressed by at least one
opposition oI Iorms. These Iorms are ordered in a paradigm
in grammatical descriptions.
Both equipollent and gradual oppositions in morphology,
the same as in phonology, can be reduced to privative
oppositions within the Iramework oI an oppositional
presentation oI some categorial system as a whole. Thus, a
word-Iorm, like a phoneme, can be represented by a bundle
oI values oI diIIerential Ieatures, graphically exposing its
categorial structure. For instance, the verb-Iorm listens is
marked negatively as the present tense (tense ), negatively
as the indicative mood (mood ), negatively as the passive
voice (voice), positively as the third person (person ), etc.
This principle oI presentation, making a morphological
description more compact, at the same time has the advantage
oI precision and helps penetrate deeper into the inner
mechanisms oI grammatical categories.
3. In various contextual conditions, one member oI an
opposition can be used in the position oI the other, counter-
member. This phenomenon should be treated under the
heading oI "oppositional reduction" or "oppositional
substitution". The Iirst version oI the term ("reduction")
points out the Iact that the opposition in this case is
contracted, losing its Iormal distinctive Iorce. The second
version oI the term ("substitution") shows the very process by
which the opposition is reduced, namely, the use oI one
member instead oI the other.
By way oI example, let us consider the Iollowing case oI
the singular noun-subject: 4an conquers nature.
The noun man in the quoted sentence is used in the
singular, but it is quite clear that it stands not Ior an
individual person, but Ior people in general, Ior the idea oI
"mankind". In other words, the noun is used generically, it
implies the class oI denoted objects as a whole. Thus, in the
oppositional light, here the weak member oI the categorial
opposition oI number has replaced the strong member.
Consider another example: Tonight we start Ior London.
The verb in this sentence takes the Iorm oI the present,
while its meaning in the context is the Iuture. It means that
the opposition "present Iuture" has been reduced, the
weak member (present) replacing the strong one (Iuture).
The oppositional reduction shown in the two cited cases is
stylistically indiIIerent, the demonstrated use oI the Iorms
does not transgress the expressive conventions oI ordinary
speech. This kind oI oppositional reduction is reIerred to as
"neutralisation" oI oppositions. The position oI neutralisation
is, as a rule, Iilled in by the weak member oI the opposition
due to its more general semantics.
Alongside oI the neutralising reduction oI oppositions
there exists another kind oI reduction, by which one oI the
members oI the opposition is placed in contextual conditions
uncommon Ior it; in other words, the said reductional use oI
the Iorm is stylistically marked. E.g.: That man is constantly
complaining oI something.
The Iorm oI the verbal present continuous in the cited
sentence stands in sharp contradiction with its regular
grammatical meaning "action in progress at the present time".
The contradiction is, oI course, purposeIul: by exaggeration,
it intensiIies the implied disapproval oI the man's behaviour.
This kind oI oppositional reduction should be considered
under the heading oI "transposition". Transposition is based
on the contrast between the members oI the opposition, it
may be deIined as a contrastive use oI the counter-member oI
the opposition. As a rule (but not exclusively)
transpositionally employed is the strong member oI the
opposition, which is explained by its comparatively limited
regular Iunctions.
4. The means employed Ior building up member-Iorms
oI categorial oppositions are traditionally divided into
synthetical and analytical5 accordingly, the grammatical
Iorms themselves are classed into synthetical and analytical,
Synthetical grammatical Iorms are realised by the inner
morphemic composition oI the word, while analytical
grammatical Iorms are built up by a combination oI at least
two words, one oI which is a grammatical auxiliary (word-
morpheme), and the other, a word oI "substantial" meaning.
Synthetical grammatical Iorms are based on inner inIlexion,
outer inIlexion, and suppletivity; hence, the Iorms are
reIerred to as inner-inIlexional, outer-inIlexional, and
Inner inIlexion, or phonemic (vowel) interchange, is not
productive in modern Indo-European languages, but it is
peculiarly employed in some oI their basic, most ancient
lexemic elements. By this Ieature, the whole Iamily oI Indo-
European languages is identiIied in linguistics as
typologically "inIlexional".
Inner inIlexion (grammatical "inIixation", see above) is
used in English in irregular verbs (the bulk oI them belong to
the Germanic strong verbs) Ior the Iormation oI the past
indeIinite and past participle; besides, it is used in a Iew
nouns Ior the Iormation oI the plural. Since the corresponding
oppositions oI Iorms are based on phonemic interchange, the
initial paradigmatic Iorm oI each lexeme should also be
considered as inIlexional. CI.: take took taken, drive
drove driven, keep kept kept, etc.; man men,
brother brethren, etc.
Suppletivity, like inner inIlexion, is not productive as a
purely morphological type oI Iorm. It is based on the
correlation oI diIIerent roots as a means oI paradigmatic
diIIerentiation. In other words, it consists in the grammatical
interchange oI word roots, and this, as we pointed out in the
Ioregoing chapter, unites it in principle with inner inIlexion
(or, rather, makes the latter into a speciIic variety oI the
Suppletivity is used in the Iorms oI the verbs be and go, in
the irregular Iorms oI the degrees oI comparison, in some
Iorms oI personal pronouns. &f.: be am are is
was were; go went; good better; bad worse;
much more; little less; I me; we us; she her.
In a broader morphological interpretation, suppletivity can
be recognised in paradigmatic correlations oI some modal
verbs, some indeIinite pronouns, as well as certain nouns oI
peculiar categorial properties (lexemic suppletivity see
Ch. IV, 8). &f.: can be able; must have (to), be
obliged (to); may be allowed (to); one some; man
people; news items oI news; inIormation pieces oI
inIormation; etc.
The shown unproductive synthetical means oI English
morphology are outbalanced by the productive means oI
aIIixation (outer inIlexion), which amount to grammatical
suIIixation (grammatical preIixation could only be observed
in the Old English verbal system).
In the previous chapter we enumerated the Iew
grammatical suIIixes possessed by the English language.
These are used to build up the number and case Iorms oI the
noun; the Person-number, tense, participial and gerundial
Iorms oI the verb; the comparison Iorms oI the adjective and
adverb. In the oppositional correlations oI all these Iorms, the
3-1499 33
paradigmatic Iorm oI each opposition is distinguished by
a zero suIIix. &f.: boy boys; go goes; work
worked; small smaller; etc.
Taking this into account, and considering also the Iact
that each grammatical Iorm paradigmatically correlates
with at least one other grammatical Iorm on the basis oI
the category expressed (e.g. the Iorm oI the singular with
the Iorm oI the plural), we come to the conclusion that the
total number oI synthetical Iorms in English morphology,
though certainly not very large, at the same time is not so
small as it is commonly believed. Scarce in English are
not the synthetical Iorms as such, but the actual aIIixal
segments on which the paradigmatic diIIerentiation oI
Iorms is based.
As Ior analytical Iorms which are so typical oI modern
English that they have long made this language into the
"canonised" representative oI lingual analytism, they
deserve some special comment on their substance.
The traditional view oI the analytical morphological
Iorm recognises two lexemic parts in it, stating that it
presents a combination oI an auxiliary word with a basic
word. However, there is a tendency with some linguists to
recognise as analytical not all such grammatically
signiIicant combinations, but only those oI them that are
"grammatically idiomatic", i.e. whose relevant
grammatical meaning is not immediately dependent on the
meanings oI their component elements taken apart.
Considered in this light, the Iorm oI the verbal perIect
where the auxiliary "have" has utterly lost its original
meaning oI possession, is interpreted as the most standard
and indisputable analytical Iorm 'in English morphology.
Its opposite is seen in the analytical degrees oI comparison
which, according to the cited interpretation, come very
near to Iree combinations oI words by their lack oI
"idiomatism" in the above sense nx, (2), 68
n.; Faxa, (2), 67 n..*
The scientiIic achievement oI the study oI "idiomatic"
analytism in diIIerent languages is essential and
indisputable. On the other hand, the demand that
"grammatical idiomatism" should be regarded as the basis
oI "grammatical analytism" seems, logically, too strong.
The analytical means underlying the Iorms in question
consist in the discontinuity oI the corresponding lexemic
constituents. Proceeding Irom
* &f. anux xxn xstxax asnutx
: . ./. . x B. . x . .
.., 1965.
this Iundamental principle, it can hardly stand to reason to
exclude "unidiomatic" grammatical combinations (i.e.
combinations oI oppositional-categorial signiIicance) Irom
the system oI analytical expression as such. Rather, they
should be regarded as an integral part oI this system, in
which, the provision granted, a gradation oI idiomatism is to
be recognised. In this case, alongside oI the classical
analytical Iorms oI verbal perIect or continuous, such
analytical Iorms should also be discriminated as the analytical
inIinitive (go $ to go3, the analytical verbal person (verb plus
personal pronoun), the analytical degrees oI comparison oI
both positive and negative varieties (more important $ less
important3, as well as some other, still more unconventional
Moreover, alongside oI the standard analytical Iorms
characterised by the unequal ranks oI their components
(auxiliary elementbasic element), as a marginal analytical
Iorm-type grammatical repetition should be recognised,
which is used to express speciIic categorial semantics oI
processual intensity with the verb, oI indeIinitely high degree
oI quality with the adjective and the adverb, oI indeIinitely
large quantity with the noun. &f.:
He (noc(ed and (noc(ed and (noc(ed without reply (Gr.
Greene). Oh, I Ieel I've got such boundless, boundless love to
give to somebody (. MansIield). Two white-haired severe
women were in charge oI shelves and shelves oI knitting
materials oI every description (A. Christie).
5. The grammatical categories which are realised by the
described types oI Iorms organised in Iunctional paradigmatic
oppositions, can either be innate Ior a given class oI words, or
only be expressed on the surIace oI it, serving as a sign oI
correlation with some other class.
For instance, the category oI number is organically
connected with the Iunctional nature oI the noun; it directly
exposes the number oI the reIerent substance, e.g. one ship $
several ships. The category oI number in the verb, however,
by no means gives a natural meaningIul characteristic to the
denoted process: the process is devoid oI numerical Ieatures
such as are expressed by the grammatical number. Indeed,
what is rendered by the verbal number is not a quantitative
characterisation oI the process, but a numerical Ieaturing oI
the subject-reIerent. &f.:
The girl is smiling. The girls are smiling. The ship is in
the harbour. The ships are in the harbour.
Thus, Irom the point oI view oI reIerent relation,
grammatical categories should be divided into "immanent"
categories, i.e. categories innate Ior a given lexemic class, and
"reIlective" categories, i.e. categories oI a secondary,
derivative semantic value. Categorial Iorms based on
subordinative grammatical agreement (such as the verbal
person, the verbal number) are reIlective, while categorial
Iorms stipulating grammatical agreement in lexemes oI a
contiguous word-class (such as the substantive-pronominal
person, the substantive number) are immanent. Immanent are
also such categories and their Iorms as are closed within a
word-class, i.e. do not transgress its borders; to these belong
the tense oI the verb, the comparison oI the adjective and
adverb, etc.
Another essential division oI grammatical categories is
based on the changeability Iactor oI the exposed Ieature.
Namely, the Ieature oI the reIerent expressed by the category
can be either constant (unchangeable, "derivational"), or
variable (changeable, "demutative").
An example oI constant Ieature category can be seen in the
category oI gender, which divides the class oI English nouns
into non-human names, human male names, human Iemale
names, and human common gender names. This division is
represented by the system oI the third person pronouns
serving as gender-indices (see Iurther). &f.:
It (non-human): mountain, city, Iorest, cat, bee, etc. 6e (male
human): man, Iather, husband, uncle, etc. She (Iemale human):
woman, lady, mother, girl, etc. 6e or she (common human):
person, parent, child, cousin, etc.
Variable Ieature categories can be exempliIied by the
substantive number (singular plural) or the degrees oI
comparison (positive comparative superlative).
Constant Ieature categories reIlect the static classiIications
oI phenomena, while variable Ieature categories expose
various connections between phenomena. Some marginal
categorial Iorms may acquire intermediary status, being
located in-between the corresponding categorial poles. For
instance, the nouns singularia tantum and pluralia tantum
present a case oI hybrid variable-constant Iormations, since
their variable Ieature oI number has become "rigid",
or "lexicalised". &f.: news, advice, progress; people, police;
bellows, tongs; colours, letters; etc.
In distinction to these, the gender word-building pairs
should be considered as a clear example oI hybrid constant-
variable Iormations, since their constant Ieature oI gender has
acquired some changeability properties, i.e. has become to a
certain extent "grammaticalised". &f.: actor actress,
author authoress, lion lioness, etc.
6. In the light oI the exposed characteristics oI the
categories, we may speciIy the status oI grammatical
paradigms oI changeable Iorms.
Grammatical change has been interpreted in traditional
terms oI declension and conjugation. By declension the
nominal change is implied (Iirst oI all, the case system), while
by conjugation the verbal change is implied (the verbal Iorms
oI person, number, tense, etc.). However, the division oI
categories into immanent and reIlective invites a division oI
Iorms on a somewhat more consistent basis.
Since the immanent Ieature is expressed by essentially
independent grammatical Iorms, and the reIlective Ieature,
correspondingly, by essentially dependent grammatical Iorms,
all the Iorms oI the Iirst order (immanent) should be classed
as "declensional", while all the Iorms oI the second order
(reIlective) should be classed as "conjugational".
In accord with this principle, the noun in such synthetical
languages as Russian or Latin is declined by the Iorms oI
gender, number, and case, while the adjective is conjugated
by the same Iorms. As Ior the English verb, it is conjugated
by the reIlective Iorms oI person and number, but declined by
the immanent Iorms oI tense, aspect, voice, and mood.
GRAATICA& C&A""E" $% )$R*"
1. The words oI language, depending on various Iormal
and semantic Ieatures, are divided into grammatically
relevant sets or classes. The traditional grammatical classes
oI words are called "parts oI speech". Since the word is
distinguished not only by grammatical, but also by
semantico-lexemic properties, some scholars reIer to parts oI
as "lexico-grammatical" series oI words, or as "lexico-
grammatical categories" nx, (1), 33; (2), 100.
It should be noted that the term "part oI speech" is purely
traditional and conventional, it can't be taken as in any way
deIining or explanatory. This name was introduced in the
grammatical teaching oI Ancient Greece, where the concept
oI the sentence was not yet explicitly identiIied in distinction
to the general idea oI speech, and where, consequently, no
strict diIIerentiation was drawn between the word as a
vocabulary unit and the word as a Iunctional element oI the
In modern linguistics, parts oI speech are discriminated on
the basis oI the three criteria: "semantic", "Iormal", and
"Iunctional". The semantic criterion presupposes the
evaluation oI the generalised meaning, which is characteristic
oI all the subsets oI words constituting a given part oI speech.
This meaning is understood as the "categorial meaning oI the
part oI speech". The formal criterion provides Ior the
exposition oI the speciIic inIlexional and derivational (word-
building) Ieatures oI all the lexemic subsets oI a part oI
speech. The functional criterion concerns the syntactic role oI
words in the sentence typical oI a part oI speech. The said
three Iactors oI categorial characterisation oI words are
conventionally reIerred to as, respectively, "meaning",
"Iorm", and "Iunction".
2. In accord with the described criteria, words on the
upper level oI classiIication are divided into notional and
Iunctional, which reIlects their division in the earlier
grammatical tradition into changeable and unchangeable.
To the notional parts oI speech oI the English language
belong the noun, the adjective, the numeral, the pronoun, the
verb, the adverb.
The features of the noun within the identiIicational triad
"meaning Iorm Iunction" are, correspondingly, the
Iollowing: 1) the categorial meaning oI substance
("thingness"); 2) the changeable Iorms oI number and case;
the speciIic suIIixal Iorms oI derivation (preIixes in English
do not discriminate parts oI speech as such); 3) the
substantive Iunctions in the sentence (subject, object,
substantival predicative); prepositional connections;
modiIication by an adjective.
The features of the ad"ective: 1) the categorial meaning oI
property (qualitative and relative); 2) the Iorms oI the
degrees oI comparison (Ior qualitative adjectives); the
speciIic suIIixal Iorms oI derivation; 3) adjectival Iunctions
in the sentence (attribute to a noun, adjectival predicative).
The features of the numeral: 1) the categorial meaning oI
number (cardinal and ordinal); 2) the narrow set oI simple
numerals; the speciIic Iorms oI composition Ior compound
numerals; the speciIic suIIixal Iorms oI derivation Ior ordinal
numerals; 3) the Iunctions oI numerical attribute and
numerical substantive.
The features of the pronoun: 1) the categorial meaning oI
indication (deixis); 2) the narrow sets oI various status with
the corresponding Iormal properties oI categorial
changeability and word-building; 3) the substantival and
adjectival Iunctions Ior diIIerent sets.
The features of the verb: 1) the categorial meaning oI
process (presented in the two upper series oI Iorms,
respectively, as Iinite process and non-Iinite process); 2) the
Iorms oI the verbal categories oI person, number, tense,
aspect, voice, mood; the opposition oI the Iinite and non-
Iinite Iorms; 3) the Iunction oI the Iinite predicate Ior the
Iinite verb; the mixed verbal other than verbal Iunctions
Ior the non-Iinite verb.
The features of the adverb: 1) the categorial meaning oI
the secondary property, i.e. the property oI process or another
property; 2) the Iorms oI the degrees oI comparison Ior
qualitative adverbs; the speciIic suIIixal Iorms oI derivation;
3) the Iunctions oI various adverbial modiIiers.
We have surveyed the identiIying properties oI the
notional parts oI speech that unite the words oI complete
nominative meaning characterised by selI-dependent
Iunctions in the sentence.
Contrasted against the notional parts oI speech are words
oI incomplete nominative meaning and non-selI-dependent,
mediatory Iunctions in the sentence. These are Iunctional
parts oI speech.
On the principle oI "generalised Iorm" only unchangeable
words are traditionally treated under the heading oI Iunctional
parts oI speech. As Ior their individual Iorms as such, they are
simply presented by the list, since the number oI these words
is limited, so that they needn't be identiIied on any general,
operational scheme.
To the basic Iunctional series oI words in English belong
the article, the preposition, the conjunction, the particle, the
modal word, the interjection.
The article expresses the speciIic limitation oI the
substantive Iunctions.
The preposition expresses the dependencies and
interdependences oI substantive reIerents.
The con"unction expresses connections oI phenomena.
The particle unites the Iunctional words oI speciIying and
limiting meaning. To this series, alongside oI other speciIying
words, should be reIerred verbal postpositions as Iunctional
modiIiers oI verbs, etc.
The modal word, occupying in the sentence a more
pronounced or less pronounced detached position, expresses
the attitude oI the speaker to the reIlected situation and its
parts. Here belong the Iunctional words oI probability
(probably, perhaps, etc.), oI qualitative evaluation
(fortunately, unfortunately, luc(ily, etc.), and also oI
aIIirmation and negation.
The inter"ection, occupying a detached position in the
sentence, is a signal oI emotions.
3. Each part oI speech aIter its identiIication is Iurther
subdivided into subseries in accord with various particular
semantico-Iunctional and Iormal Ieatures oI the constituent
words. This subdivision is sometimes called
"subcategorisation" oI parts oI speech.
Thus, nouns are subcategorised into proper and common,
animate and inanimate, countable and uncountable, concrete
and abstract, etc. &f.:
Mary, Robinson, London, the Mississippi, Lake Erie
girl, person, city, river, lake;
man, scholar, leopard, butterIly earth, Iield, rose,
coin/coins, Iloor/Iloors, kind/kinds news, growth,
water, Iurniture;
stone, grain, mist, leaI honesty, love, slavery, darkness.
Verbs are subcategorised into Iully predicative and
partially predicative, transitive and intransitive, actional and
statal, Iactive and evaluative, etc. &f.:
walk, sail, prepare, shine, blow can, may, shall, be,
take, put, speak, listen, see, give live, Iloat, stay, ache,
ripen, rain;
write, play, strike, boil, receive, ride exist, sleep, rest,
thrive, revel, suIIer;
roll, tire, begin, ensnare, build, tremble consider,
approve, mind, desire, hate, incline.
Adjectives are subcategorised into qualitative and relative,
oI constant Ieature and temporary Ieature (the latter are
reIerred to as "statives" and identiIied by some scholars as a
separate part oI speech under the heading oI "category oI
state"), Iactive and evaluative, etc. &f.:
long, red, lovely, noble, comIortable wooden, rural,
daily, subterranean, orthographical;
healthy, sickly, joyIul, grievous, wry, blazing well, ill,
glad, sorry, awry, ablaze;
tall, heavy, smooth, mental, native kind, brave,
wonderIul, wise, stupid.
The adverb, the numeral, the pronoun are also subject to
the corresponding subcategorisations.
4. We have drawn a general outline oI the division oI the
lexicon into part oI speech classes developed by modern
linguists on the lines oI traditional morphology.
It is known that the distribution oI words between diIIerent
parts oI speech may to a certain extent diIIer with diIIerent
authors. This Iact gives cause to some linguists Ior calling in
question the rational character oI the part oI speech
classiIication as a whole, gives them cause Ior accusing it oI
being subjective or "prescientiIic" in essence. Such nihilistic
criticism, however, should be rejected as utterly ungrounded.
Indeed, considering the part oI speech classiIication on its
merits, one must clearly realise that what is above all
important about it is the Iundamental principles oI word-class
identiIication, and not occasional enlargements or diminutions
oI the established groups, or re-distributions oI individual
words due to re-considerations oI their subcategorial Ieatures.
The very idea oI subcategorisation as the obligatory second
stage oI the undertaken classiIication testiIies to the objective
nature oI this kind oI analysis.
For instance, prepositions and conjunctions can be
combined into one united series oI "connectives", since the
Iunction oI both is just to connect notional components oI the
sentence. In this case, on the second stage oI classiIication,
the enlarged word-class oI connectives will be
subdivided into two main subclasses, namely, prepositional
connectives and conjunctional connectives. Likewise, the
articles can be included as a subset into the more general set
oI particles-speciIiers. As is known, nouns and adjectives, as
well as numerals, are treated in due contexts oI description
under one common class-term "names": originally, in the
Ancient Greek grammatical teaching they were not
diIIerentiated because they had the same Iorms oI
morphological change (declension). On the other hand, in
various descriptions oI English grammar such narrow
lexemic sets as the two words yes and no, the pronominal
determiners oI nouns, even the one anticipating pronoun it are
given a separate class-item status though in no way
challenging or distorting the Iunctional character oI the
treated units.
It should be remembered that modern principles oI part oI
speech identiIication have been Iormulated as a result oI
painstaking research conducted on the vast materials oI
numerous languages; and it is in Soviet linguistics that the
three-criteria characterisation oI parts oI speech has been
developed and applied to practice with the utmost
consistency. The three celebrated names are especially
notable Ior the elaboration oI these criteria, namely, V. V.
Vinogradov in connection with his study oI Russian grammar,
A. I. Smirnitsky and B. A. Ilyish in connection with their
study oI English grammar.
5. Alongside oI the three-criteria principle oI dividing
the words into grammatical (lexico-grammatical) classes
modern linguistics has developed another, narrower principle
oI word-class identiIication based on syntactic Ieaturing oI
words only.
The Iact is, that the three-criteria principle Iaces a special
diIIiculty in determining the part oI speech status oI such
lexemes as have morphological characteristics oI notional
words, but are essentially distinguished Irom notional words
by their playing the role oI grammatical mediators in phrases
and sentences. Here belong, Ior instance, modal verbs
together with their equivalents suppletive Iillers, auxiliary
verbs, aspective verbs, intensiIying adverbs, determiner
pronouns. This diIIiculty, consisting in the intersection oI
heterogeneous properties in the established word-classes, can
evidently be overcome by recognising only one criterion oI
the three as decisive.
Worthy oI note is that in the original Ancient Greek
grammatical teaching which put Iorward the Iirst outline oI
the part oI speech theory, the division oI words into
grammatical classes was also based on one determining
criterion only, namely, on the Iormal-morphological
Ieaturing. It means that any given word under analysis was
turned into a classiIied lexeme on the principle oI its relation
to grammatical change. In conditions oI the primary
acquisition oI linguistic knowledge, and in connection with
the study oI a highly inIlexional language this characteristic
proved quite eIIicient.
Still, at the present stage oI the development oI linguistic
science, syntactic characterisation oI words that has been
made possible aIter the exposition oI their Iundamental
morphological properties, is Iar more important and universal
Irom the point oI view oI the general classiIicational
This characterisation is more important, because it shows
the distribution oI words between diIIerent sets in accord
with their Iunctional destination. The role oI morphology by
this presentation is not underrated, rather it is Iurther clariIied
Irom the point oI view oI exposing connections between the
categorial composition oI the word and its sentence-Iorming
This characterisation is more universal, because it is not
specially destined Ior the inIlexional aspect oI language and
hence is equally applicable to languages oI various
morphological types.
On the material oI Russian, the principles oI syntactic
approach to the classiIication oI word stock were outlined in
the works oI A. M. Peshkovsky. The principles oI syntactic
(syntactico-distributional) classiIication oI English words
were worked out by L. BloomIield and his Iollowers .
Harris and especially Ch. Fries.
6. The syntactico-distributional classiIication oI words is
based on the study oI their combinability by means oI
substitution testing. The testing results in developing the
standard model oI Iour main "positions" oI notional words in
the English sentence: those oI the noun (N), verb (V),
adjective (A), adverb (D). Pronouns are included into the
corresponding positional classes as their substitutes. Words
standing outside the "positions" in the sentence are treated as
Iunction words oI various syntactic values.
Here is how Ch. Fries presents his scheme oI English
word-classes Fries.
For his materials he chooses tape-recorded spontaneous
conversations comprising about 250,000 word entries (50
hours oI talk). The words isolated Irom this corpus are tested
on the three typical sentences (that are isolated Irom the
records, too), and used as substitution test-Irames:
7rame 8. The concert was good (always).
7rame '. The clerk remembered the tax (suddenly).
7rame &. The team went there.
The parenthesised positions are optional Irom the point oI
view oI the structural completion oI sentences.
As a result oI successive substitution tests on the cited
"Irames" the Iollowing lists oI positional words ("Iorm-
words", or "parts oI speech") are established:
&lass 9. (A) concert, coIIee, taste, container, diIIerence,
etc. (B) clerk, husband, supervisor, etc.; tax, Iood, coIIee, etc.
(C) team, husband, woman, etc.
&lass :. (A) was, seemed, became, etc. (B) remembered,
wanted, saw, suggested, etc. (C) went, came, ran,... lived,
worked, etc.
&lass ;. (A) good, large, necessary, Ioreign, new, empty,
etc.&lass <. (A) there, here, always, then, sometimes, etc.
(B) clearly, suIIiciently, especially, repeatedly, soon, etc.
(C) there, back, out, etc.; rapidly, eagerly, conIidently, etc.
All these words can Iill in the positions oI the Irames
without aIIecting their general structural meaning (such as
"thing and its quality at a given time" the Iirst Irame;
"actor action thing acted upon characteristic oI the
action" the second Irame; "actor action direction oI
the action" the third Irame). Repeated interchanges in the
substitutions oI the primarily identiIied positional (i.e.
notional) words in diIIerent collocations determine their
morphological characteristics, i.e. characteristics reIerring
them to various subclasses oI the identiIied lexemic classes.
Functional words (Iunction words) are exposed in the cited
process oI testing as being unable to Iill in the positions oI the
Irames without destroying their structural meaning. These
words Iorm limited groups totalling 154 units.
The identiIied groups oI Iunctional words can be
distributed among the three main sets. The words oI the Iirst
set are used as speciIiers oI notional words. Here belong
determiners oI nouns, modal verbs serving as speciIiers oI
verbs, Iunctional modiIiers and intensiIiers oI adjectives and
adverbs. The words oI the second set play the role oI inter-
positional elements, determining the relations oI notional
words to one another. Here belong prepositions and
conjunctions. The words oI the third set reIer to the sentence
as a whole. Such are question-words =what, how, etc.),
inducement-words (lets, please, etc.), attention-getting words,
words oI aIIirmation and negation, sentence introducers (it,
there3 and some others.
7. Comparing the syntactico-distributional classiIication
oI words with the traditional part oI speech division oI words,
one cannot but see the similarity oI the general schemes oI
the two: the opposition oI notional and Iunctional words, the
Iour absolutely cardinal classes oI notional words (since
numerals and pronouns have no positional Iunctions oI their
own and serve as pro-nounal and pro-adjectival elements), the
interpretation oI Iunctional words as syntactic mediators and
their Iormal representation by the list.
However, under these unquestionable traits oI similarity
are distinctly revealed essential Ieatures oI diIIerence, the
proper evaluation oI which allows us to make some important
generalisations about the structure oI the lexemic system oI
8. One oI the major truths as regards the linguistic
mechanism arising Irom the comparison oI the two
classiIications is the explicit and unconditional division oI the
lexicon into the notional and Iunctional parts. The open
character oI the notional part oI the lexicon and the closed
character oI the Iunctional part oI it (not excluding the
intermediary Iield between the two) receives the strict status
oI a Iormal grammatical Ieature.
The unity oI notional lexemes Iinds its essential
demonstration in an inter-class system oI derivation that can
be presented as a Iormal Iour-stage series permeating the
lexicon and reIlected in regular phrase correlations. &f.:
a recognising note a notable recognition to note
recognisingly to recognise notably; silent disapproval
disapproving silence to disapprove silently to silence
disapprovingly; etc.
This series can symbolically be designated by the Iormula
"2 ( where "2 represents the morphemic stem oI
the series, while the small letters in parentheses stand Ior the
derivational Ieatures oI the notional word-classes (parts oI
speech). Each stage oI the series can in principle be Iilled in
by a number oI lexemes oI the same stem with possible
hierarchical relations between them. The primary presentation
oI the series, however, may be realised in a Iour-unit version
as Iollows:
strength to strengthen strong strongly
peace to appease peaceIul peaceIully
nation to nationalise national nationally
Iriend to beIriend Iriendly Iriendly, etc.
This derivational series that unites the notional word-
classes can be named the "lexical paradigm oI nomination".
The general order oI classes in the series evidently
corresponds to the logic oI mental perception oI reality, by
which a person discriminates, Iirst, objects and their actions,
then the properties oI the Iormer and the latter. Still, as the
actual initial Iorm oI a particular nomination paradigm within
the general paradigmatic scheme oI nomination can prove a
lexeme oI any word-class, we are enabled to speak about the
concrete "derivational perspective" oI this or that series, i. e.
to identiIy nomination paradigms with a nounal (N-V), verbal
(V), adjectival (A), and adverbial (>?3 derivational
perspectives. &f.:
N power to empower powerIul powerIully
V to suppose supposition supposed supposedly
A clear clarity to clariIy clearly
D out outing to out outer
The nomination paradigm with the identical Iorm oI the
stem Ior all the Iour stages is not represented on the whole oI
the lexicon; in this sense it is possible to speak oI lexemes
with a complete paradigm oI nomination and lexemes with an
incomplete paradigm oI nomination. Some words may even
stand apart Irom this paradigm, i.e. be nominatively isolated
(here belong, Ior instance, some simple adverbs).
On the other hand, the universal character oI the
nomination paradigm is sustained by suppletive completion,
both lexemic and phrasemic. &f.:
an end to end-----Iinal Iinally
good goodness- -well to better
evidence evident evidently- -to make evident
wise wisely wisdom--to grow wise, etc.
The role oI suppletivity within the Iramework oI the
lexical paradigm oI nomination (hence, within the lexicon as
a whole) is extremely important, indeed. It is this type oI
suppletivity, i.e. lexemic suppletivity, that serves as an
essential Iactor oI the open character oI the notional lexicon
oI language.
9. Functional words re-interpreted by syntactic approach
also reveal some important traits that remained undiscovered
in earlier descriptions.
The essence oI their paradigmatic status in the light oI
syntactic interpretation consists in the Iact that the lists oI
Iunctional words may be regarded as paradigmatic series
themselves which, in their turn, are grammatical
constituents oI higher paradigmatic series on the level oI
phrases and especially sentences.
As a matter oI Iact, Iunctional words, considered by their
role in the structure oI the sentence, are proved to be exposers
oI various syntactic categories, i.e. they render structural
meanings reIerring to phrases and sentences in constructional
Iorms similar to derivational (word-building) and relational
(grammatical) morphemes in the composition oI separate
words. CI.:
The words were obscure, but she understood the
uneasiness that produced them. The words were obscure,
weren't they 6ow then could she understand the uneasiness
that produced them @r perhaps the words were not too
obscure, aIter all @r, conversely, she didn't understand the
uneasiness that produced them 'ut the words were
obscure. 6ow obscure they were Still she did understand the
uneasiness that produced them. Etc.
This role oI Iunctional words which are identiIied not by
their morphemic composition, but by their semantico-
syntactic Ieatures in reIerence to the embedding
constructions, is exposed on a broad linguistic basis within
the Iramework oI the theory oI paradigmatic syntax (see
10. Pronouns considered in the light oI the syntactic
principles receive a special systemic status that
characteristically stamps the general presentation oI the
structure oI the lexicon as a whole.
Pronouns are traditionally recognised on the basis oI
indicatory (deictic) and substitutional semantic Iunctions.
The two types oI meanings Iorm a unity, in which the deictic
semantics is primary. As a matter oI Iact, indication is the
semantic Ioundation oI substitution.
As Ior the syntactic principle oI the word stock division,
while recognising their deictic aspect, it lays a special stress
on the substitutive Ieatures oI pronouns. Indeed, it is the
substitutional Iunction that immediately isolates all the
heterogeneous groups oI pronouns into a special set oI the
The generalising substitutional Iunction oI pronouns
makes them into syntactic representatives oI all the notional
classes oI words, so that a pronominal positional part oI the
sentence serves as a categorial projection oI the
corresponding notional subclass identiIied as the Iiller set oI
the position in question. It should be clearly understood that
even personal pronouns oI the Iirst and second persons play
the cited representative role, which is unambiguously exposed
by examples with direct addresses and appositions. &f.:
I, Aittle 7oot, go away making noises and tramplings. Are
you happy, AilB
Included into the system oI pronouns are pronominal
adverbs and verb-substitutes, in due accord with their
substitutional Iunctions. Besides, notional words oI broad
meaning are identiIied as Iorming an intermediary layer
between the pronouns and notional words proper. Broad
meaning words adjoin the pronouns by their substitutional
Iunction. &f.:
I wish at her age she'd learn to sit quiet and not do things.
Flora's suggestion is ma(ing sense. I will therefore brieIly set
down the circumstances which led to my being connected
with the affair. Etc.
As a result oI these generalisations, the lexical paradigm
oI nomination receives a complete substitutive representation.
&f.: one, it, they... do, make, act... such, similar,
same... thus, so, there...
Symbolically the correlation oI the nominal and
pronominal paradigmatic schemes is stated as Iollows:
N V A D Npro Vpro Apro Dpro.
11. As a result oI the undertaken analysis we have
obtained a Ioundation Ior dividing the whole oI the lexicon on
the upper level oI classiIication into three unequal parts.
The Iirst part oI the lexicon Iorming an open set includes
an indeIinitely large number oI notional words which have a
complete nominative Iunction. In accord with the said
Iunction, these words can be reIerred to as "names": nouns as
substance names, verbs as process names, adjectives as
primary property names and adverbs as secondary property
names. The whole notional set is represented by the Iour-
stage derivational paradigm oI nomination.
The second part oI the lexicon Iorming a closed set
includes substitutes oI names (pro-names). Here belong
pronouns, and also broad-meaning notional words which
constitute various marginal subsets.
The third part oI the lexicon also Iorming a closed set
includes speciIiers oI names. These are Iunction-categorial
words oI various servo-status.
Substitutes oI names (pro-names) and speciIiers oI names,
while standing with the names in nominative correlation as
elements oI the lexicon, at the same time serve as connecting
links between the names within the lexicon and their actual
uses in the sentences oI living speech.
1. The noun as a part oI speech has the categorial
meaning oI "substance" or "thingness". It Iollows Irom this
that the noun is the main nominative part oI speech, eIIecting
nomination oI the Iullest value within the Iramework oI the
notional division oI the lexicon.
The noun has the power, by way oI nomination, to isolate
diIIerent properties oI substances (i.e. direct and oblique
qualities, and also actions and states as processual
characteristics oI substantive phenomena) and present them
as corresponding selI-dependent substances. E.g.:
Her words were unexpectedly bitter. We were struck by
the unexpected bitterness oI her words. At that time he was
down in his career, but we knew well that very soon he would
be up again. His career had its ups and downs. The cable
arrived when ohn was preoccupied with the arrangements
Ior the party. The arrival oI the cable interrupted his
preoccupation with the arrangements Ior the party.
This natural and practically unlimited substantivisation
4-1499 49
Iorce establishes the noun as the central nominative lexemic
unit oI language.
2. The categorial Iunctional properties oI the noun are
determined by its semantic properties.
The most characteristic substantive Iunction oI the noun is
that oI the subject in the sentence, since the reIerent oI the
subject is the person or thing immediately named. The
Iunction oI the object in the sentence is also typical oI the
noun as the substance word. Other syntactic Iunctions, i.e.
attributive, adverbial, and even predicative, although
perIormed by the noun with equal ease, are not immediately
characteristic oI its substantive quality as such. It should be
noted that, while perIorming these non-substantive Iunctions,
the noun essentially diIIers Irom the other parts oI speech
used in similar sentence positions. This may be clearly shown
by transIormations shiIting the noun Irom various non-
subject syntactic positions into subject syntactic positions oI
the same general semantic value, which is impossible with
other parts oI speech. E.g.:
Mary is a flowergirl.? Che flowergirl (you are speaking
oI) is Mary. He lives in Dlasgow.? Dlasgow is his place oI
residence. This happened three years ago. Chree years have
elapsed since it happened.
Apart Irom the cited sentence-part Iunctions, the noun is
characterised by some special types oI combinability.
In particular, typical oI the noun is the prepositional
combinability with another noun, a verb, an adjective, an
adverb. E.g.: an entrance to the house; to turn round the
corner; red in the Iace; Iar Irom its destination.
The casal (possessive) combinability characterises the
noun alongside oI its prepositional combinability with
another noun. E.g.: the speech oI the President the
President's speech; the cover oI the book the book's cover.
English nouns can also easily combine with one another
by sheer contact, unmediated by any special lexemic or
morphemic means. In the contact group the noun in
preposition plays the role oI a semantic qualiIier to the noun
in post-position. E.g.: a cannon ball; a log cabin; a sports
event; Iilm Iestivals.
The lexico-grammatical status oI such combinations has
presented a big problem Ior many scholars, who were
uncertain as to the linguistic heading under which to treat
either as one separate word, or a word-group.* In the history
oI linguistics the controversy about the lexico-grammatical
status oI the constructions in question has received the halI-
Iacetious name "The cannon ball problem".
Taking into account the results oI the comprehensive
analysis undertaken in this Iield by Soviet linguists, we may
deIine the combination as a speciIic word-group with
intermediary Ieatures. Crucial Ior this decision is the
isolability test (separation shiIt oI the qualiIying noun) which
is perIormed Ior the contact noun combinations by an easy,
productive type oI transIormation. &f.: a cannon ball a ball
Ior cannon; the court regulation the regulation oI the court;
progress report report about progress; the Iunds
distribution the distribution oI the Iunds.
The corresponding compound nouns (Iormed Irom
substantive stems), as a rule, cannot undergo the isolability
test with an equal ease. The transIormations with the nounal
compounds are in Iact reduced to sheer explanations oI their
etymological motivation. The comparatively closer
connection between the stems in compound nouns is reIlected
by the spelling (contact or hyphenated presentation). E.g.:
Iireplace place where Iire is made; starlight light coming
Irom stars; story-teller teller (writer, composer) oI stories;
theatre-goer a person who goes to (Irequents) theatres.
Contact noun attributes Iorming a string oI several words
are very characteristic oI proIessional language. E.g.:
A number oI Space Shuttle tra"ectory optimisation
problems were simulated in the development oI the algorithm,
including three ascent problems and a re-entry problem (From
a scientiIic paper on spacecraIt). The accuracy oI offshore
tan(er unloading operations is becoming more important as
the cost oI petroleum products increases (From a scientiIic
paper on control systems).
3. As a part oI speech, the noun is also characterised by a
set oI Iormal Ieatures determining its speciIic status in the
lexical paradigm oI nomination. It has its word-building
distinctions, including typical suIIixes, compound stem
models, conversion patterns. It discriminates the grammatical
categories oI gender, number, case, article determination,
which will be analysed below.
* See: )*+,-+./+0 1. 2. xxnrx arnxr
xstxa. ., 1956, 133; ran B. ., aa . .,
]x . . 255.
The cited Iormal Ieatures taken together are relevant Ior
the division oI nouns into several subclasses, which are
identiIied by means oI explicit classiIicational criteria. The
most general and rigorously delimited subclasses oI nouns are
grouped into Iour oppositional pairs.
The Iirst nounal subclass opposition diIIerentiates proper
and common nouns. The Ioundation oI this division is "type oI
nomination". The second subclass opposition diIIerentiates
animate and inanimate nouns on the basis oI "Iorm oI
existence". The third subclass opposition diIIerentiates human
and nonhuman nouns on the basis oI "personal quality". The
Iourth subclass opposition diIIerentiates countable and
uncountable nouns on the basis oI "quantitative structure".
Somewhat less explicitly and rigorously realised is the
division oI English nouns into concrete and abstract.
The order in which the subclasses are presented is chosen
by convention, not by categorially relevant Ieatures: each
subclass correlation is reIlected on the whole oI the noun
system; this means that the given set oI eight subclasses
cannot be structured hierarchically in any linguistically
consistent sense (some sort oI hierarchical relations can be
observed only between animate inanimate and human
non-human groupings). Consider the Iollowing examples:
There were three 4arys in our company. The cattle have been
driven out into the pastures.
The noun 4ary used in the Iirst oI the above sentences is
at one and the same time "proper" (Iirst subclass division),
"animate" (second subclass division), "human" (third subclass
division), "countable" (Iourth subclass division). The noun
cattle used in the second sentence is at one and the same time
"common" (Iirst subclass division), "animate" (second
subclass division), "non-human" (third subclass division),
"uncountable" (Iourth subclass division).
The subclass diIIerentiation oI nouns constitutes a
Ioundation Ior their selectional syntagmatic combinability
both among themselves and with other parts oI speech. In the
selectional aspect oI combinability, the subclass Ieatures Iorm
the corresponding selectional bases.
In particular, the inanimate selectional base oI
combinability can be pointed out between the noun subject
and the verb predicate in the Iollowing sentence: The
sandstone was crumbling. (Not: *The horse was crumbling.)
The animate selectional base is revealed between the noun
subject and the verb in the Iollowing sentence: The poor
creature was laming. (Not: *The tree was laming.)
The human selectional base underlies the connection
between the nouns in the Iollowing combination: ohn's love
oI music (not: *the cat's love oI music).
The phenomenon oI subclass selection is intensely
analysed as part oI current linguistic research work.
!$'!7 E!*ER
( 1. There is a peculiarly regular contradiction between the
presentation oI gender in English by theoretical treatises and
practical manuals. Whereas theoretical treatises deIine the
gender subcategorisation oI English nouns as purely lexical or
"semantic", practical manuals oI English grammar do
invariably include the description oI the English gender in
their subject matter oI immediate instruction.
In particular, a whole ten pages oI A. I. Smirnitsky's
theoretical "Morphology oI English" are devoted to proving
the non-existence oI gender in English either in the
grammatical, or even in the strictly lexico-grammatical sense
nx, (2), 139-148. On the other hand, the well-
known practical "English grammar" by M. A. Ganshina and
N. M. Vasilevskaya, aIter denying the existence oI
grammatical gender in English by way oI an introduction to
the topic, still presents a pretty comprehensive description oI
the would-be non-existent gender distinctions oI the English
noun as a part oI speech Ganshina, Vasilevskaya, 40 II..
That the gender division oI nouns in English is expressed
not as variable Iorms oI words, but as nounal classiIication
(which is not in the least diIIerent Irom the expression oI
substantive gender in other languages, including Russian),
admits oI no argument. However, the question remains,
whether this classiIication has any serious grammatical
relevance. Closer observation oI the corresponding lingual
data cannot but show that the English gender does have such
a relevance.
2. The category oI gender is expressed in English by the
obligatory correlation oI nouns with the personal pronouns oI
the third person. These serve as speciIic gender classiIiers
oI nouns, being potentially reIlected on each entry oI the
noun in speech.
The category oI gender is strictly oppositional. It is
Iormed by two oppositions related to each other on a
hierarchical basis.
One opposition Iunctions in the whole set oI nouns,
dividing them into person (human) nouns and non-person
(non-human) nouns. The other opposition Iunctions in the
subset oI person nouns only, dividing them into masculine
nouns and Ieminine nouns. Thus, the Iirst, general opposition
can be reIerred to as the upper opposition in the category oI
gender, while the second, partial opposition can be reIerred to
as the lower opposition in this category.
As a result oI the double oppositional correlation, a
speciIic system oI three genders arises, which is somewhat
misleadingly represented by the traditional terminology: the
neuter (i.e. non-person) gender, the masculine (i.e. masculine
person) gender, the feminine (i.e. Ieminine person) gender.
The strong member oI the upper opposition is the human
subclass oI nouns, its sememic mark being "person", or
"personality". The weak member oI the opposition comprises
both inanimate and animate non-person nouns. Here belong
such nouns as tree, mountain, love, etc.; cat, swallow, ant,
etc.; society, crowd, association, etc.; bull and cow, coc( and
hen, horse and mare, etc.
In cases oI oppositional reduction, non-person nouns and
their substitute (it) are naturally used in the position oI
neutralisation. E.g.:
Suddenly something moved in the darkness ahead oI us.
Could it be a man, in this desolate place, at this time oI night
The ob"ect oI her maternal aIIection was nowhere to be
Iound. It had disappeared, leaving the mother and nurse
The strong member oI the lower opposition is the Ieminine
subclass oI person nouns, its sememic mark being "Iemale
sex". Here belong such nouns as woman, girl, mother, bride,
etc. The masculine subclass oI person nouns comprising such
words as man, boy, father, bridegroom, etc. makes up the
weak member oI the opposition.
The oppositional structure oI the category oI gender can
be shown schematically on the Iollowing diagram (see Fig. I).
Feminine Nouns Masculine Nouns
Fig. 1
A great many person nouns in English are capable oI
expressing both Ieminine and masculine person genders by
way oI the pronominal correlation in question. These are
reIerred to as nouns oI the "common gender". Here belong
such words as person, parent, friend, cousin, doctor,
president, etc. E.g.:
Che Eresident oI our Medical Society isn't going to be
happy about the suggested way oI cure. In general she insists
on quite another kind oI treatment in cases like that.
The capability oI expressing both genders makes the
gender distinctions in the nouns oI the common gender into a
variable category. On the other hand, when there is no special
need to indicate the sex oI the person reIerents oI these nouns,
they are used neutrally as masculine, i.e. they correlate with
the masculine third person pronoun.
In the plural, all the gender distinctions are neutralised in
the immediate explicit expression, though they are rendered
obliquely through the correlation with the singular.
3. Alongside oI the demonstrated grammatical (or
lexico-grammatical, Ior that matter) gender distinctions,
English nouns can show the sex oI their reIerents lexically,
either by means oI being combined with certain notional
words used as sex indicators, or else by suIIixal derivation.
&f.: boy-Iriend, girl-Iriend; man-producer, woman-producer;
washer-man, washer-woman; landlord, landlady; bull-calI,
cow-calI; cock-sparrow, hen-sparrow; he-bear, she-bear;
master, mistress; actor, actress; executor, executrix; lion,
lioness; sultan, sultana; etc.
One might think that this kind oI the expression oI sex
runs contrary to the presented gender system oI nouns, since
the sex distinctions inherent in the cited pairs oI words reIer
not only to human beings (persons), but also to all the other
animate beings. On closer observation, however, we see that
this is not at all so. In Iact, the reIerents oI such nouns as
"ennyass, or peahen, or the like will in the common use
quite naturally be represented as it, the same as the reIerents
oI the corresponding masculine nouns "ac(ass, peacoc(, and
the like. This kind oI representation is diIIerent in principle
Irom the corresponding representation oI such nounal pairs as
woman $ man, sister $ brother, etc.
On the other hand, when the pronominal relation oI the
non-person animate nouns is turned, respectively, into he and
she, we can speak oI a grammatical personiIying
transposition, very typical oI English. This kind oI
transposition aIIects not only animate nouns, but also a wide
range oI inanimate nouns, being regulated in every-day
language by cultural-historical traditions. Compare the
reIerence oI she with the names oI countries, vehicles, weaker
animals, etc.; the reIerence oI he with the names oI stronger
animals, the names oI phenomena suggesting crude strength
and Iierceness, etc.
4. As we see, the category oI gender in English is
inherently semantic, i.e. meaningIul in so Iar as it reIlects the
actual Ieatures oI the named objects. But the semantic nature
oI the category does not in the least make it into "non-
grammatical", which Iollows Irom the whole content oI what
has been said in the present work.
In Russian, German, and many other languages
characterised by the gender division oI nouns, the gender has
purely Iormal Ieatures that may even "run contrary" to
semantics. SuIIice it to compare such Russian words as
FGH/H- $ I-, JHK/HI-H, LMNO.P $ I-I, as well as their
German correspondences das Dlas $ es, die Casse $ sie, der
Celler $ er, etc. But this phenomenon is rather an exception
than the rule in terms oI grammatical categories in general.
Moreover, alongside oI the "Iormal" gender, there exists in
Russian, German and other "Iormal gender" languages
meaningIul gender, Ieaturing, within the respective idiomatic
systems, the natural sex distinctions oI the noun reIerents.
In particular, the Russian gender diIIers idiomatically Irom
the English gender in so Iar as it divides the nouns by the
higher opposition not into "person non-person" ("human
non human"), but into "animate inanimate", discriminating
within the Iormer (the animate nounal set) between
masculine, Ieminine, and a limited number oI neuter nouns.
Thus, the Russian category oI gender essentially divides the
noun into the inanimate set having no
meaningIul gender, and the animate set having a meaningIul
gender. In distinction to this, the English category oI gender is
only meaningIul, and as such it is represented in the nounal
system as a whole.
1. The category oI number is expressed by the opposition
oI the plural Iorm oI the noun to the singular Iorm oI the
noun. The strong member oI this binary opposition is the
plural, its productive Iormal mark being the suIIix -(e)s -z, -s,
-iz as presented in the Iorms dog $ dogs, cloc( $ cloc(s,
bo% $ bo%es. The productive Iormal mark correlates with the
absence oI the number suIIix in the singular Iorm oI the noun.
The semantic content oI the unmarked Iorm, as has been
shown above, enables the grammarians to speak oI the zero-
suIIix oI the singular in English.
The other, non-productive ways oI expressing the number
opposition are vowel interchange in several relict Iorms
(man $ men, woman $ women, tooth $ teeth, etc.), the
archaic suIIix (e3n supported by phonemic interchange in a
couple oI other relict Iorms (o% $ o%en, child $ children,
cow $ (ine, brother $ brethren3, the correlation oI individual
singular and plural suIIixes in a limited number oI borrowed
nouns (formula $ formulae, phenomenon $ phenomena,
alumnus alumni, etc.). In some cases the plural Iorm oI the
noun is homonymous with the singular Iorm (sheep, deer,
fish, etc.).
2. The semantic nature oI the diIIerence between
singular and plural may present some diIIiculties oI
On the surIace oI semantic relations, the meaning oI the
singular will be understood as simply "one", as opposed to the
meaning oI the plural as "many" in the sense oI "more than
one". This is apparently obvious Ior such correlations as
boo( $ boo(s, la(e $ la(es and the like. However, alongside
oI these semantically unequivocal correlations, there exist
plurals and singulars that cannot be Iully accounted Ior by the
above ready-made approach. This becomes clear when we
take Ior comparison such Iorms as tear (one drop Ialling Irom
the eye) and tears (treacles on the cheeks as
tokens oI grieI or joy), potato (one item oI the vegetables) and
potatoes (Iood), paper (material) and papers (notes or
documents), s(y (the vault oI heaven) and s(ies (the same sky
taken as a direct or Iigurative background), etc. As a result oI
the comparison we conclude that the broader sememic mark
oI the plural, or "plurality" in the grammatical sense, should
be described as the potentially dismembering reIlection oI the
structure oI the reIerent, while the sememic mark oI the
singular will be understood as the non-dismembering
reIlection oI the structure oI the reIerent, i.e. the presentation
oI the reIerent in its indivisible entireness.
It is sometimes stated that the plural Iorm indiscriminately
presents both multiplicity oI separate objects ("discrete"
plural, e.g. three houses3 and multiplicity oI units oI measure
Ior an indivisible object ("plural oI measure", e.g. three
hours3 Ilyish, 36 II.. However, the diIIerence here lies not in
the content oI the plural as such, but in the quality oI the
objects themselves. Actually, the singulars oI the respective
nouns diIIer Irom one another exactly on the same lines as the
plurals do =cf. one house one hour3.
On the other hand, there are semantic varieties oI the plural
Iorms that diIIer Irom one another in their plural quality as
such. Some distinctions oI this kind were shown above. Some
Iurther distinctions may be seen in a variety oI other cases.
Here belong, Ior example, cases where the plural Iorm
expresses a deIinite set oI objects =eyes oI the Iace, wheels oI
the vehicle, etc.), various types oI the reIerent =wines, tees,
steels3, intensity oI the presentation oI the idea =years and
years, thousands upon thousands3, picturesqueness =sands,
waters, snows3. The extreme point oI this semantic scale is
marked by the lexicalisation oI the plural Iorm, i.e. by its
serving as a means oI rendering not speciIicational, but purely
notional diIIerence in meaning. &f. colours as a "Ilag",
attentions as "wooing", pains as "eIIort", Quarters as "abode",
The scope oI the semantic diIIerences oI the plural Iorms
might pose beIore the observer a question whether the
category oI number is a variable grammatical category at all.
The answer to the question, though, doesn't leave space or
any uncertainty: the category oI number is one oI the regular
variable categories in the grammatical system oI he English
language. The variability oI the category is simply given in
its Iorm, i.e. in the Iorms oI the bulk oI English nouns which
do distinguish it by means oI the described
binary paradigm. As Ior the diIIerences in meaning, these
arise Irom the interaction between the underlying
oppositional sememic marks oI the category and the more
concrete lexical diIIerences in the semantics oI individual
3. The most general quantitative characteristics oI
individual words constitute the lexico-grammatical base Ior
dividing the nounal vocabulary as a whole into countable
nouns and uncountable nouns. The constant categorial Ieature
"quantitative structure" (see Ch. V, 3) is directly connected
with the variable Ieature "number", since uncountable nouns
are treated grammatically as either singular or plural. Namely,
the singular uncountable nouns are modiIied by the non-
discrete quantiIiers much or little, and they take the Iinite verb
in the singular, while the plural uncountable nouns take the
Iinite verb in the plural.
The two subclasses oI uncountable nouns are usually
reIerred to, respectively, as singularia tantum (only singular)
and pluralia tantum (only plural). In terms oI oppositions we
may say that in the Iormation oI the two subclasses oI
uncountable nouns the number opposition is "constantly"
(lexically) reduced either to the weak member (singularia
tantum) or to the strong member (pluralia tantum).
Since the grammatical Iorm oI the uncountable nouns oI
the singularia tantum subclass is not excluded Irom the
category oI number, it stands to reason to speak oI it as the
"absolute" singular, as diIIerent Irom the "correlative" or
"common" singular oI the countable nouns. The absolute
singular excludes the use oI the modiIying numeral one, as
well as the indeIinite article.
The absolute singular is characteristic oI the names oI
abstract notions =peace, love, "oy, courage, friendship, etc.),
the names oI the branches oI proIessional activity =chemistry,
architecture, mathematics, linguistics, etc.), the names oI
mass-materials =water, snow, steel, hair, etc.), the names oI
collective inanimate objects =foliage, fruit, furniture,
machinery, etc.). Some oI these words can be used in the Iorm
oI the common singular with the common plural counterpart,
but in this case they come to mean either diIIerent sorts oI
materials, or separate concrete maniIestations oI the qualities
denoted by abstract nouns, or concrete objects exhibiting the
respective qualities. &f.:
Joy is absolutely necessary Ior normal human liIe. It
was a "oy to see her among us. Helmets Ior motor-cycling are
nowadays made oI plastics instead oI steel. Using diIIerent
modiIications oI the described method, super-strong steels are
produced Ior various purposes. Etc.
The lexicalising eIIect oI the correlative number Iorms
(both singular and plural) in such cases is evident, since the
categorial component oI the reIerential meaning in each oI
them is changed Irom uncountability to countability. Thus, the
oppositional reduction is here nulliIied in a peculiarly
lexicalising way, and the Iull oppositional Iorce oI the
category oI number is rehabilitated.
Common number with uncountable singular nouns can
also be expressed by means oI combining them with words
showing discreteness, such as bit, piece, item, sort. &f.:
The last two items of news were quite sensational. Now I'd
like to add one more bit of information. ou might as well
dispense with one or two pieces of furniture in the hall.
This kind oI rendering the grammatical meaning oI
common number with uncountable nouns is, in due
situational conditions, so regular that it can be regarded as
special suppletivity in the categorial system oI number (see
Ch. III, 4).
On the other hand, the absolute singular, by way oI
Iunctional oppositional reduction, can be used with countable
nouns. In such cases the nouns are taken to express either the
corresponding abstract ideas, or else the meaning oI some
mass-material correlated with its countable reIerent. &f.:
RaltS is a lovely dance. There was dead desert all around
them. The reIugees needed shelter. Have we got chic(en Ior
the second course
Under this heading (namely, the Iirst oI the above two
subpoints) comes also the generic use oI the singular. &f.:
4an's immortality lies in his deeds. Wild elephant in the
ungle can be very dangerous.
In the sphere oI the plural, likewise, we must recognise the
common plural Iorm as the regular Ieature oI countability, and
the absolute plural Iorm peculiar to the uncountable subclass
oI pluralia tantum nouns. The absolute plural, as diIIerent
Irom the common plural, cannot directly combine with
numerals, and only occasionally does it combine with discrete
quantiIiers (many, few, etc.).
The absolute plural is characteristic oI the uncountable
nouns which denote objects consisting oI two halves
(trousers, scissors, tongs, spectacles, etc.), the nouns
expressing some sort oI collective meaning, i.e. rendering the
idea oI indeIinite plurality, both concrete and abstract
(supplies, outs(irts, clothes, parings5 tidings, earnings,
contents, politics5 police, cattle, poultry, etc.), the nouns
denoting some diseases as well as some abnormal states oI the
body and mind (measles, ric(ets, mumps, creeps, hysterics,
etc.). As is seen Irom the examples, Irom the point oI view oI
number as such, the absolute plural Iorms can be divided into
set absolute plural (objects oI two halves) and non-set
absolute plural (the rest).
The set plural can also be distinguished among the
common plural Iorms, namely, with nouns denoting Iixed sets
oI objects, such as eyes oI the Iace, legs oI the body, legs oI
the table, wheels oI the vehicle, funnels oI the steamboat,
windows oI the room, etc.
The necessity oI expressing deIinite numbers in cases oI
uncountable pluralia tantum nouns, as well as in cases oI
countable nouns denoting objects in Iixed sets, has brought
about diIIerent suppletive combinations speciIic to the plural
Iorm oI the noun, which exist alongside oI the suppletive
combinations speciIic to the singular Iorm oI the noun shown
above. Here belong collocations with such words as pair, set,
group, bunch and some others. &f.: a pair oI pincers; three
pairs oI bathing trunks; a Iew groups oI police; two sets oI
dice; several cases oI measles; etc.
The absolute plural, by way oI Iunctional oppositional
reduction, can be represented in countable nouns having the
Iorm oI the singular, in uncountable nouns having the Iorm oI
the plural, and also in countable nouns having the Iorm oI the
The Iirst type oI reduction, consisting in the use oI the
absolute plural with countable nouns in the singular Iorm,
concerns collective nouns, which are thereby changed into
"nouns oI multitude". &f.:
Che family were gathered round the table. Che government
are unanimous in disapproving the move oI the opposition.
This Iorm oI the absolute plural may be called "multitude
The second type oI the described oppositional reduction,
consisting in the use oI the absolute plural with uncountable
nouns in the plural Iorm, concerns cases oI stylistic marking
oI nouns. Thus, the oppositional reduction results in
expressive transposition. CI.: the sands oI the desert; the
snows oI the Arctic; the waters oI the ocean; the Iruits oI the
toil; etc,
This variety oI the absolute plural may be called
"descriptive uncountable plural".
The third type oI oppositional reduction concerns common
countable nouns used in repetition groups. The acquired
implication is indeIinitely large quantity intensely presented.
The nouns in repetition groups may themselves be used either
in the plural ("Ieatured" Iorm) or in the singular ("unIeatured"
Iorm). CI.:
There were trees and trees all around us. I lit cigarette
after cigarette.
This variety oI the absolute plural may be called
"repetition plural". It can be considered as a peculiar
analytical Iorm in the marginal sphere oI the category oI
number (see Ch. III, 4).
1. Case is the immanent morphological category oI the
noun maniIested in the Iorms oI noun declension and showing
the relations oI the nounal reIerent to other objects and
phenomena. Thus, the case Iorm oI the noun, or contractedly
its "case" (in the narrow sense oI the word), is a
morphological-declensional Iorm.
This category is expressed in English by the opposition oI
the Iorm in 's -z, -s, -iz, usually called the "possessive"
case, or more traditionally, the "genitive" case (to which term
we will stick in the Iollowing presentation*), to the
unIeatured Iorm oI the noun, usually called the "common"
case. The apostrophised -s serves to distinguish in writing the
singular noun in the genitive case Irom the plural noun in the
common case. E.g.: the man's duty, the President's decision,
Max's letter; the boy's ball, the clerk's promotion, the
Empress's jewels.
* The traditional term "genitive case" seems preIerable on
the ground that not all the meanings oI the genitive case are
The genitive oI the bulk oI plural nouns remains
phonetically unexpressed: the Iew exceptions concern only
some oI the irregular plurals. Thereby the apostrophe as the
graphic sign oI the genitive acquires the Iorce oI a sort oI
grammatical hieroglyph. &f.: the carpenters' tools, the mates'
skates, the actresses' dresses.
Functionally, the Iorms oI the English nouns designated as
"case Iorms" relate to one another in an extremely peculiar
way. The peculiarity is, that the common Iorm is absolutely
indeIinite Irom the semantic point oI view, whereas the
genitive Iorm in its productive uses is restricted to the
Iunctions which have a parallel expression by prepositional
constructions. Thus, the common Iorm, as appears Irom the
presentation, is also capable oI rendering the genitive
semantics (namely, in contact and prepositional collocation),
which makes the whole oI the genitive case into a kind oI
subsidiary element in the grammatical system oI the English
noun. This Ieature stamps the English noun declension as
something utterly diIIerent Irom every conceivable declension
in principle. In Iact, the inIlexional oblique case Iorms as
normally and imperatively expressing the immediate
Iunctional parts oI the ordinary sentence in "noun-
declensional" languages do not exist in English at all. SuIIice
it to compare a German sentence taken at random with its
English rendering:
Erhebung der Anklage gegen die Witwe Capet scheint
wnschenswert aus Rucksicht auI die Stimmung der Stadt
Paris (L. Feuchtwanger). Eng.: (The bringing oI) the
accusation against the Widow Capet appears desirable, taking
into consideration the mood oI the City oI Paris.
As we see, the Iive entries oI nounal oblique cases in the
German utterance (rendered through article inIlexion), oI
which two are genitives, all correspond to one and the same
indiscriminate common case Iorm oI nouns in the English
version oI the text. By way oI Iurther comparison, we may
also observe the Russian translation oI the same sentence
with its Iour genitive entries: Btx x
t a xaxx xnantt, n ut
a ra axa.
Under the described circumstances oI Iact, there is no
wonder that in the course oI linguistic investigation the
category oI case in English has become one oI the vexed
problems oI theoretical discussion.
2. Four special views advanced at various times by
diIIerent scholars should be considered as successive stages
in the analysis oI this problem.
The Iirst view may be called the "theory oI positional
cases". This theory is directly connected with the old
grammatical tradition, and its traces can be seen in many
contemporary text-books Ior school in the English-speaking
countries. Linguistic Iormulations oI the theory, with various
individual variations (the number oI cases recognised, the
terms used, the reasoning cited), may be Iound in the works oI
. C. NesIield, M. Deutschbein, M. Bryant and other scholars.
In accord with the theory oI positional cases, the
unchangeable Iorms oI the noun are diIIerentiated as diIIerent
cases by virtue oI the Iunctional positions occupied by the
noun in the sentence. Thus, the English noun, on the analogy
oI classical Latin grammar, would distinguish, besides the
inIlexional genitive case, also the non-inIlexional, i.e. purely
positional cases: nominative, vocative, dative, and accusative.
The uninIlexional cases oI the noun are taken to be supported
by the parallel inIlexional cases oI the personal pronouns. The
would-be cases in question can be exempliIied as Iollows.*
The nominative case (subject to a verb): Tain Ialls. The
vocative case (address): Are you coming, my friendB The
dative case (indirect object to a verb): I gave John a penny.
The accusative case (direct object, and also object to a
preposition): The man killed a rat. The earth is moistened by
In the light oI all that has been stated in this book in
connection with the general notions oI morphology, the
Iallacy oI the positional case theory is quite obvious. The
cardinal blunder oI this view is, that it substitutes the
Iunctional characteristics oI the part oI the sentence Ior the
morphological Ieatures oI the word class, since the case Iorm,
by deIinition, is the variable morphological Iorm oI the noun.
In reality, the case Iorms as such serve as means oI
expressing the Iunctions oI the noun in the sentence, and not
vice versa. Thus, what the described view does do on the
positive lines,
* The examples are taken Irom the book: Uesfield J. )
Manual oI English Grammar and Composition. Lnd., 1942, p.
is that within the conIused conceptions oI Iorm and meaning,
it still rightly illustrates the Iact that the Iunctional meanings
rendered by cases can be expressed in language by other
grammatical means, in particular, by word-order.
The second view may be called the "theory oI
prepositional cases". Like the theory oI positional cases, it is
also connected with the old school grammar teaching, and
was advanced as a logical supplement to the positional view
oI the case.
In accord with the prepositional theory, combinations oI
nouns with prepositions in certain object and attributive
collocations should be understood as morphological case
Iorms. To these belong Iirst oI all the "dative" case (toNoun,
forNoun) and the "genitive" case (ofNoun). These
prepositions, according to G. Curme, are "inIlexional
prepositions", i.e. grammatical elements equivalent to case-
Iorms. The would-be prepositional cases are generally taken
(by the scholars who recognise them) as coexisting with
positional cases, together with the classical inIlexional
genitive completing the case system oI the English noun.
The prepositional theory, though somewhat better
grounded than the positional theory, nevertheless can hardly
pass a serious linguistic trial. As is well known Irom noun-
declensional languages, all their prepositions, and not only
some oI them, do require deIinite cases oI nouns
(prepositional case-government); this Iact, together with a
mere semantic observation oI the role oI prepositions in the
phrase, shows that any preposition by virtue oI its Iunctional
nature stands in essentially the same general grammatical
relations to nouns. It should Iollow Irom this that not only the
of, to, and for-phrases, but also all the other prepositional
phrases in English must be regarded as "analytical cases". As
a result oI such an approach illogical redundancy in
terminology would arise: each prepositional phrase would
bear then another, additional name oI "prepositional case",
the total number oI the said "cases" running into dozens upon
dozens without any gain either to theory or practice Ilyish,
The third view oI the English noun case recognises a
limited inIlexional system oI two cases in English, one oI
them Ieatured and the other one unIeatured. This view may
be called the "limited case theory".
The limited case theory is at present most broadly
accepted among linguists both in this country and abroad. It
was Iormulated by such scholars as H. Sweet, O. espersen,
51499 65
and has since been radically developed by the Soviet scholars
A. I. Smirnitsky, L. S. Barkhudarov and others.
The limited case theory in its modern presentation is based
on the explicit oppositional approach to the recognition oI
grammatical categories. In the system oI the English case the
Iunctional mark is deIined, which diIIerentiates the two case
Iorms: the possessive or genitive Iorm as the strong member
oI the categorial opposition and the common, or "non-
genitive" Iorm as the weak member oI the categorial
opposition. The opposition is shown as being eIIected in Iull
with animate nouns, though a restricted use with inanimate
nouns is also taken into account. The detailed Iunctions oI the
genitive are speciIied with the help oI semantic
transIormational correlations Faxa, (2), 89 n..
3. We have considered the three theories which, iI at
basically diIIerent angles, proceed Irom the assumption that
the English noun does distinguish the grammatical case in its
Iunctional structure. However, another view oI the problem oI
the English noun cases has been put Iorward which sharply
counters the theories hitherto observed. This view approaches
the English noun as having completely lost the category oI
case in the course oI its historical development. All the nounal
cases, including the much spoken oI genitive, are considered
as extinct, and the lingual unit that is named the "genitive
case" by Iorce oI tradition, would be in reality a combination
oI a noun with a postposition (i.e. a relational postpositional
word with preposition-like Iunctions). This view, advanced in
an explicit Iorm by G. N. Vorontsova Bna, 168 n.,
may be called the "theory oI the possessive postposition"
("postpositional theory"). &f.: Ilyish, 44 II.; Faxa,
nr, 42 n..
OI the various reasons substantiating the postpositional
theory the Iollowing two should be considered as the main
First, the postpositional element 's is but loosely
connected with the noun, which Iinds the clearest expression
in its use not only with single nouns, but also with whole
word-groups oI various status. Compare some examples cited
by G. N. Vorontsova in her work: somebody else's daughter;
another stage-struck girl's stage Iinish; the man who had
hauled him out to dinner's head.
Second, there is an indisputable parallelism oI Iunctions
between the possessive postpositional constructions and the
prepositional constructions, resulting in the optional use oI
the Iormer. This can be shown by transIormational reshuIIles
oI the above examples: ... the daughter oI somebody else;
... the stage Iinish oI another stage-struck girl; . .. the
head oI the man who had hauled him out to dinner.
One cannot but acknowledge the rational character oI the
cited reasoning. Its strong point consists in the Iact that it is
based on a careIul observation oI the lingual data. For all that,
however, the theory oI the possessive postposition Iails to
take into due account the consistent insight into the nature oI
the noun Iorm in 's achieved by the limited case theory. The
latter has demonstrated beyond any doubt that the noun Iorm
in -'s is systemically, i.e. on strictly structural-Iunctional basis,
contrasted against the unIeatured Iorm oI the noun, which
does make the whole correlation oI the nounal Iorms into a
grammatical category oI case-like order, however speciIic it
might be.
As the basic arguments Ior the recognition oI the noun
Iorm in 's in the capacity oI grammatical case, besides the
oppositional nature oI the general Iunctional correlation oI the
Ieatured and unIeatured Iorms oI the noun, we will name the
Iollowing two.
First, the broader phrasal uses oI the postpositional -'s like
those shown on the above examples, display a clearly
expressed stylistic colouring; they are, as linguists put it,
stylistically marked, which Iact proves their transpositional
nature. In this connection we may Iormulate the Iollowing
regularity: the more selI-dependent the construction covered
by the case-sign -'s, the stronger the stylistic mark (colouring)
oI the resulting genitive phrase. This Iunctional analysis is
corroborated by the statistical observation oI the Iorms in
question in the living English texts. According to the data
obtained by B. S. haimovich and B. I. Rogovskaya, the 's
sign is attached to individual nouns in as many as 96 per cent
oI its total textual occurrences haimovich, Rogovskaya,
64. Thus, the immediate casal relations are realised by
individual nouns, the phrasal, as well as some non-nounal
uses oI the 's sign being on the whole oI a secondary
grammatical order.
Second, the -'s sign Irom the point oI view oI its segmental
status in language diIIers Irom ordinary Iunctional words. It is
morpheme-like by its phonetical properties; it is strictly
postpositional unlike the prepositions; it is semantically by Iar
a more bound element than a preposition, which, among
.+ /0
other things, has hitherto prevented it Irom being entered into
dictionaries as a separate word.
As Ior the Iact that the "possessive postpositional
construction" is correlated with a parallel prepositional
construction, it only shows the Iunctional peculiarity oI the
Iorm, but cannot disprove its case-like nature, since cases oI
nouns in general render much the same Iunctional semantics
as prepositional phrases (reIlecting a wide range oI situational
relations oI noun reIerents).
4. The solution oI the problem, then, is to be sought on
the ground oI a critical synthesis oI the positive statements oI
the two theories: the limited case theory and the possessive
postposition theory.
A two case declension oI nouns should be recognised in
English, with its common case as a "direct" case, and its
genitive case as the only oblique case. But, unlike the case
system in ordinary noun-declensional languages based on
inIlexional word change, the case system in English is
Iounded on a particle expression. The particle nature oI 's is
evident Irom the Iact that it is added in post-position both to
individual nouns and to nounal word-groups oI various status,
rendering the same essential semantics oI appurtenance in the
broad sense oI the term. Thus, within the expression oI the
genitive in English, two subtypes are to be recognised: the
Iirst (principal) is the word genitive; the second (oI a minor
order) is the phrase genitive. Both oI them are not inIlexional,
but particle case-Iorms.
The described particle expression oI case may to a certain
extent be likened to the particle expression oI the subjunctive
mood in Russian ta, 40. As is known, the Russian
subjunctive particle LV not only can be distanced Irom the
verb it reIers to, but it can also relate to a lexical unit oI non-
verb-like nature without losing its basic subjunctive-
Iunctional quality. CI.: n LV . LV axax
sxt. ax LV ax.
From the Iunctional point oI view the English genitive
case, on the whole, may be regarded as subsidiary to the
syntactic system oI prepositional phrases. However, it still
displays some diIIerential points in its Iunctional meaning,
which, though neutralised in isolated use, are revealed in
broader syntagmatic collocations with prepositional phrases.
One oI such diIIerential points may be deIined as
"animate appurtenance" against "inanimate appurtenance"
rendered by a prepositional phrase in contrastive use. CI.:
The people's voices drowned in the roar oI the started
engines. The tiger's leap proved quicker than the click oI the
Another diIIerential point expressed in cases oI textual co-
occurrence oI the units compared consists in the subjective
use oI the genitive noun (subject oI action) against the
objective use oI the prepositional noun (object oI action). &f.:
My Lord's choice oI the butler; the partisans' rescue oI the
prisoners; the treaty's denunciation oI mutual threats.
Furthermore, the genitive is used in combination with the
oI-phrase on a complementary basis expressing the Iunctional
semantics which may roughly be called "appurtenance rank
gradation": a diIIerence in construction (i.e. the use oI the
genitive against the use oI the oI-phrase) signals a diIIerence
in correlated ranks oI semantic domination. &f.: the country's
strain oI wartime (lower rank: the strain oI wartime; higher
rank: the country's strain); the sight oI Satispy's Iace (higher
rank: the sight oI the Iace; lower rank: Satispy's Iace).
It is certainly these and other diIIerential points and
complementary uses that sustain the particle genitive as part
oI the systemic expression oI nounal relations in spite oI the
disintegration oI the inIlexional case in the course oI
historical development oI English.
5. Within the general Iunctional semantics oI
appurtenance, the English genitive expresses a wide range oI
relational meanings speciIied in the regular interaction oI the
semantics oI the subordinating and subordinated elements in
the genitive phrase. Summarising the results oI extensive
investigations in this Iield, the Iollowing basic semantic types
oI the genitive can be pointed out.
First, the Iorm which can be called the "genitive oI
possessor" (Aat. "genetivus possessori"). Its constructional
meaning will be deIined as "inorganic" possession, i.e.
possessional relation (in the broad sense) oI the genitive
reIerent to the object denoted by the head-noun. E.g.:
Christine's living-room; the assistant manager's desk; Dad's
earnings; ate and erry's grandparents; the Steel
Corporation's hired slaves.
The diagnostic test Ior the genitive oI possessor is its
transIormation into a construction that explicitly expresses
the idea oI possession (belonging) inherent in the Iorm. CI.:
Christine's living-room the living-room belongs to
Christine; the Steel Corporation's hired slaves the Steel
Corporation possesses hired slaves.*
Second, the Iorm which can be called the "genitive oI
integer" (Aat. "genetivus integri"). Its constructional meaning
will be deIined as "organic possession", i.e. a broad
possessional relation oI a whole to its part. E.g.: ane's busy
hands; Patrick's voice; the patient's health; the hotel's lobby.
Diagnostic test: ... the busy hands as part oI ane's
person; ... the health as part oI the patient's state; ... the
lobby as a component part oI the hotel, etc.
A subtype oI the integer genitive expresses a qualiIication
received by the genitive reIerent through the headword. E.g.:
Mr. Dodson's vanity; the computer's reliability.
This subtype oI the genitive can be called the "genitive oI
received qualiIication" (Aat. "genetivus qualiIicationis
Third, the "genitive oI agent" (Aat. "genetivus agentis").
The more traditional name oI this genitive is "subjective"
(Aat. "genetivus subjectivus"). The latter term seems
inadequate because oI its unjustiIied narrow application:
nearly all the genitive types stand in subjective relation to the
reIerents oI the head-nouns. The general meaning oI the
genitive oI agent is explained in its name: this Iorm renders an
activity or some broader processual relation with the reIerent
oI the genitive as its subject. E.g.: the great man's arrival;
Peter's insistence; the councillor's attitude; Campbell Clark's
gaze; the hotel's competitive position.
Diagnostic test: ... the great man arrives; ... Peter
insists; ... the hotel occupies a competitive position, etc.
A subtype oI the agent genitive expresses the author, or,
more broadly considered, the producer oI the reIerent oI the
head-noun. Hence, it receives the name oI the "genitive oI
author" (Aat. "genetivus auctori"). E.g.: Beethoven's sonatas;
ohn Galsworthy's "A Man oI Property"; the committee's
progress report.
Diagnostic test: ... Beethoven has composed (is the
author oI) the sonatas; ... the committee has compiled (is
the compiler oI) the progress report, etc.
Fourth, the "genitive oI patient" (Aat. "genetivus
* We avoid the use oI the verb have in diagnostic
constructions, because have itselI, due to its polysemantism,
wants diagnostic contextual speciIications
This type oI genitive, in contrast to the above, expresses the
recipient oI the action or process denoted by the head-noun.
E.g.: the champion's sensational deIeat; Erick's Iinal
expulsion; the meeting's chairman; the St Gregory's
proprietor; the city's business leaders; the Titanic's tragedy.
Diagnostic test: ... the champion is deIeated (i.e. his
opponent deIeated him); ... Erick is expelled; ... the
meeting is chaired by its chairman; ... the St Gregory is
owned by its proprietor, etc.
FiIth, the "genitive oI destination" (Aat. "genetivus
destinationis"). This Iorm denotes the destination, or Iunction
oI the reIerent oI the head-noun. E.g.: women's Iootwear;
children's verses; a Iishers' tent.
Diagnostic test: ... Iootwear Ior women; ... a tent Ior
Iishers, etc.
Sixth, the "genitive oI dispensed qualiIication" (Aat.
"genetivus qualiIicationis dispensatae"). The meaning oI this
genitive type, as diIIerent Irom the subtype "genitive oI
received qualiIication", is some characteristic or qualiIication,
not received, but given by the genitive noun to the reIerent oI
the head-noun. E.g.: a girl's voice; a book-keeper's statistics;
Curtis O'eeIe's kind (oI hotels 4.'.3.
Diagnostic test: ... a voice characteristic oI a girl; ...
statistics peculiar to a book-keeper's report; ... the kind (oI
hotels) characteristic oI those owned by Curtis O'eeIe.
Under the heading oI this general type comes a very
important subtype oI the genitive which expresses a
comparison. The comparison, as diIIerent Irom a general
qualiIication, is supposed to be oI a vivid, descriptive nature.
The subtype is called the "genitive oI comparison" (Aat.
"genetivus comparationis"). This term has been used to cover
the whole class. E.g.: the cock's selI-conIidence oI the man;
his perky sparrow's smile.
Diagnostic test: ... the selI-conIidence like that oI a
cock; ... the smile making the man resemble a perky
Seventh, the "genitive oI adverbial" (Aat. "genetivus
adverbii"). The Iorm denotes adverbial Iactors relating to the
reIerent oI the head-noun, mostly the time and place oI the
event. Strictly speaking, this genitive may be considered as
another subtype oI the genitive oI dispensed qualiIication.
Due to its adverbial meaning, this type oI genitive can be used
adverbialised substantives. E.g.: the evening's newspaper;
yesterday's encounter; Moscow's talks.
Diagnostic test: ... the newspaper issued in the evening;
... the encounter which took place yesterday; ...the talks
that were held in Moscow.
Eighth, the "genitive oI quantity" (Aat. "genetivus
quantitatis"). This type oI genitive denotes the measure or
quantity relating to the reIerent oI the head-noun. For the
most part, the quantitative meaning expressed concerns units
oI distance measure, time measure, weight measure. E.g.:
three miles' distance; an hour's delay; two months' time; a
hundred tons' load.
Diagnostic test: ... a distance the measure oI which is
three miles; ... a time lasting Ior two months; ... a load
weighing a hundred tons.
The given survey oI the semantic types oI the genitive is
by no means exhaustive in any analytical sense. The identiIied
types are open both to subtype speciIications, and inter-type
generalisations (Ior instance, on the principle oI the
diIIerentiation between subject-object relations), and the very
set oI primary types may be expanded.
However, what does emerge out oI the survey, is the
evidence oI a wide Iunctional range oI the English particle
genitive, making it into a helpIul and Ilexible, iI subsidiary,
means oI expressing relational semantics in the sphere oI the
6. We have considered theoretical aspects oI the problem
oI case oI the English noun, and have also observed the
relevant lingual data instrumental in substantiating the
suggested interpretations. As a result oI the analysis, we have
come to the conclusion that the inIlexional case oI nouns in
English has ceased to exist. In its place a new, peculiar two
case system has developed based on the particle expression oI
the genitive Ialling into two segmental types: the word-
genitive and the phrase-genitive.
The undertaken study oI the case in the domain oI the
noun, as the next step, calls upon the observer to re-Iormulate
the accepted interpretation oI the Iorm-types oI the English
personal pronouns.
The personal pronouns are commonly interpreted as
having a case system oI their own, diIIering in principle Irom
the case system oI the noun. The two cases traditionally
recognised here are the nominative case (I, you, he, etc.) and
objective case (me, you, him, etc.). To these Iorms the two
series oI Iorms oI the possessive pronouns are added
respectively, the conjoint series (my, your, his, etc.) and the
absolute series (mine, yours, his, etc.). A question now arises,
iI it is rational at all to recognise the type oI case in the words
oI substitutional nature which is absolutely incompatible with
the type oI case in the correlated notional words Attempts
have been made in linguistics to transIer the accepted view oI
pronominal cases to the unchangeable Iorms oI the nouns (by
way oI the logical procedure oI back substitution), thereby
supporting the positional theory oI case (M. Bryant). In the
light oI the present study, however, it is clear that these
attempts lack an adequate linguistic Ioundation.
As a matter oI Iact, the categories oI the substitute have to
reIlect the categories oI the antecedent, not vice versa. As an
example we may reIer to the category oI gender (see Ch. VI):
the English gender is expressed through the correlation oI
nouns with their pronominal substitutes by no other means
than the reIlection oI the corresponding semantics oI the
antecedent in the substitute. But the proclaimed correlation
between the case Iorms oI the noun and the would-be case
Iorms oI the personal pronouns is oI quite another nature: the
nominative "case" oI the pronoun has no antecedent case in the
noun; nor has the objective "case" oI the pronoun any
antecedent case in the noun. On the other hand, the only
oblique case oI the English noun, the genitive, does have its
substitutive reIlection in the pronoun, though not in the case
Iorm, but in the lexical Iorm oI possession (possessive
pronouns). And this latter relation oI the antecedent to its
substitute gives us a clue to the whole problem oI pronominal
"case": the inevitable conclusion is that there is at present no
case in the English personal pronouns; the personal
pronominal system oI cases has completely disintegrated, and
in its place the Iour individual word-types oI pronouns have
appeared: the nominative Iorm, the objective Iorm, and the
possessive Iorm in its two versions, conjoint and absolute.
An analysis oI the pronouns based on more Iormal
considerations can only corroborate the suggested approach
proceeding Irom the principle oI Iunctional evaluation. In Iact,
what is traditionally accepted as case-Iorms oI the pronouns
are not the regular Iorms oI productive morphological change
implied by the very idea oI case declension, but individual
Iorms sustained by suppletivity and given to the speaker as a
ready-made set. The set is naturally completed by the
possessive Iorms oI pronouns, so that actually we are Iaced by
a lexical paradigmatic series oI Iour subsets oI personal
pronouns, to which the relative who is also added: I $ me $
my $ mine, you $ you $ your $ yours,... who $ whom $
whose $ whose. Whichever oI the Iormer case correlations
are still traceable in this system (as, Ior example, in the sub-
series hehimhis3, they exist as mere relicts, i.e. as a
petriIied evidence oI the old productive system that has long
ceased to Iunction in the morphology oI English.
Thus, what should Iinally be meant by the suggested
terminological name "particle case" in English, is that the
Iormer system oI the English inIlexional declension has
completely and irrevocably disintegrated, both in the sphere
oI nouns and their substitute pronouns; in its place a new,
limited case system has arisen based on a particle oppositional
Ieature and subsidiary to the prepositional expression oI the
syntactic relations oI the noun.
( 1. Article is a determining unit oI speciIic nature
accompanying the noun in communicative collocation. Its
special character is clearly seen against the background oI
determining words oI halI-notional semantics. Whereas the
Iunction oI the determiners such as this, any, some is to
explicitly interpret the reIerent oI the noun in relation to other
objects or phenomena oI a like kind, the semantic purpose oI
the article is to speciIy the nounal reIerent, as it were,
altogether unostentatiously, to deIine it in the most general
way, without any explicitly expressed contrasts.
This becomes obvious when we take the simplest
examples ready at hand. &f.:
Will you give me this pen, Willy (I.e. the pen that I am
pointing out, not one oI your choice.) Will you give me the
pen, please (I.e. simply the pen Irom the desk, you
understand which.) 8ny blade will do, I only want it Ior
scratching out the wrong word Irom the type-script. (I.e. any
blade oI the stock, however blunt it may be.) Have
you got something sharp I need a penkniIe or a blade. (I.e.
simply a blade, iI not a kniIe, without additional
implications.) Some woman called in your absence, she didn't
give her name. (I.e. a woman strange to me.) 8 woman
called while you were out, she leIt a message. (I.e. simply a
woman, without a Iurther connotation.)
Another peculiarity oI the article, as diIIerent Irom the
determiners in question, is that, in the absence oI a
determiner, the use oI the article with the noun is quite
obligatory, in so Iar as the cases oI non-use oI the article are
subject to no less deIinite rules than the use oI it.
Taking into consideration these peculiar Ieatures oI the
article, the linguist is called upon to make a sound statement
about its segmental status in the system oI morphology.
Namely, his task is to decide whether the article is a purely
auxiliary element oI a special grammatical Iorm oI the noun
which Iunctions as a component oI a deIinite morphological
category, or it is a separate word, i.e. a lexical unit in the
determiner word set, iI oI a more abstract meaning than other
The problem is a vexed one; it has inspired intensive
research activity in the Iield, as well as animated discussion
with various pros and cons aIIirmed, reIuted and re-
aIIirmed.* In the course oI these investigations, however,
many positive Iacts about articles have been established,
which at present enables an observer, proceeding Irom the
systemic principle in its paradigmatic interpretation, to expose
the status oI the article with an attempt at demonstrative
To arrive at a deIinite decision, we propose to consider the
properties oI the English articles in Iour successive stages,
beginning with their semantic evaluation as such, then adding
to the obtained data a situational estimation oI their uses,
thereaIter analysing their categorial Ieatures in the light oI the
oppositional theory, and Iinally concluding the investigation
by a paradigmatic generalisation.
2. A mere semantic observation oI the articles in
English, i.e. the deIinite article the and the indeIinite article
a!an, at once discloses not two, but three meaningIul
* DiIIerent aspects oI the discussion about the English
article are very well shown by B. A. Ilyish in the cited book
(p. 49 II.).
characterisations oI the nounal reIerent achieved by their
correlative Iunctioning, namely: one rendered by the deIinite
article, one rendered by the indeIinite article, and one
rendered by the absence (or non-use) oI the article. Let us
examine them separately.
The deIinite article expresses the identiIication or
individualisation oI the reIerent oI the noun: the use oI this
article shows that the object denoted is taken in its concrete,
individual quality. This meaning can be brought to explicit
exposition by a substitution test. The test consists in replacing
the article used in a construction by a demonstrative word,
e.g. a demonstrative determiner, without causing a principal
change in the general implication oI the construction. OI
course, such an "equivalent" substitution should be
understood in Iact as nothing else but analogy: the diIIerence
in meaning between a determiner and an article admits oI no
argument, and we pointed it out in the above passages. Still,
the replacements oI words as a special diagnostic procedure,
which is applied with the necessary reservations and
according to a planned scheme oI research, is quite
permissible. In our case it undoubtedly shows a direct
relationship in the meanings oI the determiner and the article,
the relationship in which the determiner is semantically the
more explicit element oI the two. &f.:
But look at the apple-tree But look at this apple-tree
Che town lay still in the Indian summer sun. Chat town
lay still in the Indian summer sun. Che water is horribly
hot. Chis water is horribly hot. It's the girls who are to
blame. It's those girls who are to blame.
The justiIication oI the applied substitution, as well as its
explanatory character, may be proved by a counter-test,
namely, by the change oI the deIinite article into the
indeIinite article, or by omitting the article altogether. The
replacement either produces a radical, i.e. "non-equivalent"
shiIt in the meaning oI the construction, or else results in a
grammatically unacceptable construction. &f.: ... Look at
an apple-tree *Look at apple-tree ... W8 water is
horribly hot. *Water is horribly hot.
The indeIinite article, as diIIerent Irom the deIinite article,
is commonly interpreted as reIerring the object denoted by
the noun to a certain class oI similar objects; in other words,
the indeIinite article expresses a classiIying generalisation oI
the nounal reIerent, or takes it in a relatively
general sense. To prove its relatively generalising Iunctional
meaning, we may use the diagnostic insertions oI speciIying-
classiIying phrases into the construction in question; we may
also employ the transIormation oI implicit comparative
constructions with the indeIinite article into the corresponding
explicit comparative constructions. &f.:
We passed a water-mill. We passed a certain water-mill.
It is a very young country, isn't it It is a very young (ind
of country, isn't it What an arrangement What sort of
arrangement This child is a positive nightmare. This child
is positively li(e a nightmare.
The procedure oI a classiIying contrast employed in
practical text-books exposes the generalising nature oI the
indeIinite article most clearly in many cases oI its use. E.g.:
8 door opened in the wall. A door (not a window)
opened in the wall. We saw a Ilower under the bush. We
saw a Ilower (not a strawberry) under the bush.
As Ior the various uses oI nouns without an article, Irom
the semantic point oI view they all should be divided into two
types. In the Iirst place, there are uses where the articles are
deliberately omitted out oI stylistic considerations. We see
such uses, Ior instance, in telegraphic speech, in titles and
headlines, in various notices. E.g.:
Celegram received room reserved Ior wee( end. (The text
oI a telegram.) &onference adjourned until Iurther notice.
(The text oI an announcement.) 'ig red bus rushes Iood to
stri(ers. (The title oI a newspaper article.)
The purposeIul elliptical omission oI the article in cases
like that is quite obvious, and the omitted articles may easily
be restored in the constructions in the simplest "back-
directed" reIilling procedures. &f.:
... Che telegram is received, a room is reserved Ior the
wee(end. ... Che conference is adjourned until Iurther
notice. ... 8 big red bus rushes Iood to the stri(ers.
Alongside oI Iree elliptical constructions, there are cases
oI the semantically unspeciIied non-use oI the article in
various combinations oI Iixed type, such as prepositional
phrases (on fire, at hand, in debt, etc.), Iixed verbal
collocations (ta(e place, ma(e use, cast anchor, etc.),
descriptive coordinative groups and repetition groups (man
and wife, dog and gun, day by day, etc.), and the like. These
cases oI
traditionally Iixed absence oI the article are quite similar to
the cases oI traditionally Iixed uses oI both indeIinite and
deIinite articles (cf.: in a hurry, at a loss, have a loo(, give a
start, etc.; in the main, out of the Question, on the loo(out,
Outside the elliptical constructions and Iixed uses,
however, we know a really semantic absence oI the article
with the noun. It is this semantic absence oI the article that
stands in immediate meaningIul correlation with the deIinite
and indeIinite articles as such.
As is widely acknowledged, the meaningIul non-uses oI
the article are not homogeneous; nevertheless, they admit oI a
very explicit classiIication Iounded on the countability
characteristics oI the noun. Why countability characteristics
For the two reasons. The Iirst reason is inherent in the nature
oI the noun itselI: the abstract generalisation reIlected through
the meaningIul non-use oI the article is connected with the
suppression oI the idea oI the number in the noun. The second
reason is inherent in the nature oI the article: the indeIinite
article which plays the crucial role in the semantic correlation
in question reveals the meaning oI oneness within its semantic
base, having originated Irom the indeIinite pronoun one, and
that is why the abstract use oI the noun naturally goes with the
absence oI the article.
The essential points oI the said classiIication are three in
7irst. The meaningIul absence oI the article beIore the
countable noun in the singular signiIies that the noun is taken
in an abstract sense, expressing the most general idea oI the
object denoted. This meaning, which may be called the
meaning oI "absolute generalisation", can be demonstrated by
inserting in the tested construction a chosen generalising
modiIier (such as in general, in the abstract, in the broadest
sense3. &f.:
Aaw (in general) begins with the beginning oI human
society. Steamengine (in general) introduced Ior locomotion
a couple oI centuries ago has now become obsolete.
Second. The absence oI the article beIore the uncountable
noun corresponds to the two kinds oI generalisation: both
relative and absolute. To decide which oI the two meanings is
realised in any particular case, the described tests should be
carried out alternately. &f.:
ohn laughed with great bitterness (that sort oI bitterness:
relative generalisation). The subject oI health (in general:
absolute generalisation) was careIully avoided by everybody.
&offee (a kind oI beverage served at the table: relative
generalisation) or tea, please &offee (in general: absolute
generalisation) stimulates the Iunction oI the heart.
Chird. The absence oI the article beIore the countable
noun in the plural, likewise, corresponds to both kinds oI
generalisation, and the exposition oI the meaning in each case
can be achieved by the same semantic tests. &f.:
Stars, planets and comets (these kinds oI objects: relative
generalisation) are diIIerent celestial bodies (not terrestrial
bodies: relative generalisation). Rars (in general: absolute
generalisation) should be eliminated as means oI deciding
international disputes.
To distinguish the demonstrated semantic Iunctions oI the
non-uses oI the article by deIinition, we may say that the
absence oI the article with uncountable nouns, as well as with
countable nouns in the plural, renders the meaning oI
"uncharacterised generalisation", as diIIerent Irom the
meaning oI "absolute generalisation", achieved by the
absence oI the article with countable nouns in the singular.
So much Ior the semantic evaluation oI the articles as the
Iirst stage oI our study.
3. Passing to the situational estimation oI the article uses,
we must point out that the basic principle oI their
diIIerentiation here is not a direct consideration oI their
meanings, but disclosing the inIormational characteristics that
the article conveys to its noun in concrete contextual
conditions. Examined Irom this angle, the deIinite article
serves as an indicator oI the type oI nounal inIormation which
is presented as the "Iacts already known", i.e. as the starting
point oI the communication. In contrast to this, the indeIinite
article or the meaningIul absence oI the article introduces the
central communicative nounal part oI the sentence, i.e. the
part rendering the immediate inIormative data to be conveyed
Irom the speaker to the listener. In the situational study oI
syntax (see Ch. XXII) the starting point oI the communication
is called its "theme", while the central inIormative part is
called its "rheme".
In accord with the said situational Iunctions, the typical
syntactic position oI the noun modiIied by the deIinite article
is the "thematic" subject, while the typical syntactic position
oI the noun modiIied by the indeIinite article or by the
meaningIul absence oI the article is the "rhematic"
predicative. &f.:
Che day (subject) was drawing to a close, the busy noises
of the city (subject) were dying down. How to handle the
situation was a big Question (predicative). The sky was pure
gold (predicative) above the setting sun.
It should be noted that in many other cases oI syntactic
use, i.e. non-subjective or non-predicative, the articles reIlect
the same situational Iunctions. This can be probed by
reducing the constructions in question on re-arrangement
lines to the logically "canonised" link-type constructions. CI.:
II you would care to veriIy the incident (object), pray do
so. II you would care the incident (subject) to be veriIied,
pray have it veriIied. I am going to make a rather strange
reQuest (object) to you. What I am going to make is a
rather strange reQuest (predicative) to you. ou are talking
nonsense (object), lad. What you are talking, lad, is
nonsense (predicative).
Another essential contextual-situational characteristic oI
the articles is their immediate connection with the two types
oI attributes to the noun. The Iirst type is a "limiting"
attribute, which requires the deIinite article beIore the noun;
the second type is a "descriptive" attribute, which requires the
indeIinite article or the meaningIul absence oI the article
beIore the noun. &f.:
The events chronicled in this narrative took place some
Iour years ago. (A limiting attribute) She was a person oI
strong will and iron selfcontrol. (A descriptive attribute) He
listened to her story with grave and (indly attention. (A
descriptive attribute)
The role oI descriptive attributes in the situational aspect
oI articles is particularly worthy oI note in the constructions
oI syntactic "convergencies", i.e. chained attributive-
repetitional phrases modiIying the same reIerent Irom
diIIerent angles. &f.: My longing Ior a house, a fine and
beautiful house, such a house I could never hope to have,
Ilowered into liIe again.
4. We have now come to the third stage oI the
undertaken analysis oI the English articles, namely, to their
consideration in the light oI the oppositional theory. The
oppositional examination oI any grammatically relevant set oI
lingual objects is oI especial importance Irom the point oI
view oI the systemic conception oI language, since
oppositions constitute the basis oI the structure oI
grammatical paradigms.
Bearing in mind the Iacts established at the two previous
stages oI observation, it is easy to see that oppositionally, the
article determination oI the noun should be divided into two
binary correlations connected with each other hierarchically.
The opposition oI the higher level operates in the whole
system oI articles. It contrasts the deIinite article with the
noun against the two other Iorms oI article determination oI
the noun, i.e. the indeIinite article and the meaningIul absence
oI the article. In this opposition the deIinite article should be
interpreted as the strong member by virtue oI its identiIying
and individualising Iunction, while the other Iorms oI article
determination should be interpreted as the weak member, i.e.
the member that leaves the Ieature in question
("identiIication") unmarked.
The opposition oI the lower level operates within the
article subsystem that Iorms the weak member oI the upper
opposition. This opposition contrasts the two types oI
generalisation, i.e. the relative generalisation distinguishing
its strong member (the indeIinite article plus the meaningIul
absence oI the article as its analogue with uncountable nouns
and nouns in the plural) and the absolute, or "abstract"
generalisation distinguishing the weak member oI the
opposition (the meaningIul absence oI the article).
The described oppositional system can be shown on the
Iollowing diagram (see Fig. 2).
It is the oppositional description oI the English articles
that involves the interpretation oI the article non-use as the
zero Iorm oI the article, since the opposition oI the positive
exponent oI the Ieature to the negative exponent oI the Ieature
(i.e. its absence) realises an important part oI the integral
article determination semantics. As Ior the heterogeneity oI
Iunctions displayed by the absence oI the article, it by no
means can be taken as a ground Ior denying the relevance or
expediency oI introducing the notion oI zero in the article
system. As a matter oI Iact, each oI the two essential
Relative Generalisation Absolute
("ClassiIication") ("Abstraction")
Fig. 2
oI this dialectically complex Iorm is clearly revealed in its
special oppositional correlation and, consequently,
corresponds to the really existing lingual Iacts irrespective oI
the name given to the Iorm by the observer.
The best way oI demonstrating the actual oppositional
value oI the articles on the immediate textual material is to
contrast them in syntactically equivalent conditions in pairs.
&f. the examples given below.
Identical nounal positions Ior the pair "the deIinite
article the indeIinite article": Che train hooted (that
train). 8 train hooted (some train).
Correlative nounal positions Ior the pair "the deIinite
article the absence oI the article": I'm aIraid the o%ygen is
out (our supply oI oxygen). @%ygen is necessary Ior liIe
(oxygen in general, liIe in general).
Correlative nounal positions Ior the pair "the indeIinite
article the absence oI the article": Be careIul, there is a
puddle under your Ieet (a kind oI puddle). Be careIul, there
is mud on the ground (as diIIerent Irom clean space).
Finally, correlative nounal positions Ior the easily
neutralised pair "the zero article oI relative generalisation
the zero article oI absolute generalisation": Uew information
should be gathered on this subject (some inIormation).
Scientific information should be gathered systematically in all
Iields oI human knowledge (inIormation in general).
On the basis oI the oppositional deIinition oI the article it
becomes possible to explicate the semantic Iunction oI the
article determination oI nouns Ior cases where the inherent
value oI the article is contrasted against the contrary semantic
value oI the noun or the nounal collocation.
In particular, the indeIinite article may occasionally be
used with a nounal collocation oI normally individualising
meaning, e.g.:
Rodney Harrington laughed out loud as he caught a last
glimpse of 8llison 4ac(enSie and Uorman Eage in his rear-
vision mirror (Gr. Metalious). AIter all, you've got a best
side and a worst side of yourself and it's no good showing the
worst side and harping on it (A. Christie).
Conversely, the deIinite article may occasionally be used
with a nounal collocation oI normally descriptive meaning,
e.g.: Ethel still went in the evenings to bathe in the silent
pool (S. Maugham).
The indeIinite article may occasionally be used with a
unique reIerent noun, e.g.: Ted Latimer Irom beyond her
murmured: "The sun here isn't a real sun# (A. Christie).
The zero article may occasionally be used with an
ordinary concrete noun the semantic nature oI which stands,
as it were, in sharp contradiction to the idea oI uncountable
generalisation, e.g.:
The glasses had a habit oI slipping down her button nose
which did not have enough bridge to hold them up (S. M.
Disney). He went up a well-kept drive to a modern house
with a square rooI and a good deal oI window (A. Christie).
In all these and similar cases, by virtue oI being
correlated with semantic elements oI contrary nature, the
inherent categorial meanings oI the articles appear, as it
were, in their original, pure quality. Having no
environmental support, the articles become intensely selI-
dependent in the expression oI their categorial semantics,
and, against the alien contextual background, traces oI
transposition can be seen in their use.
5. Having established the Iunctional value oI articles in
oppositional estimation, we can now, in broader systemic
contraposition, probe the correlation oI the meanings oI
articles with the meanings oI Iunctional determiners. As a
result oI this observation, within the system oI the determiners
two separate subsets can be deIined, one oI which is centred
around the deIinite article with its individualising semantics
(this $ these, that $ those, my, our, your, his, her, its, their3,
and the other one around the indeIinite article with its
generalising semantics (another, some, any,
But unhappily the wife wasn't listening. But unhappily
his wife wasn't listening. Che whispering voices caught the
attention oI the guards. Chose whispering voices caught
their attention. What could a woman do in a situation like
that What could any woman do in that sort oI situation
At least I saw interest in her eyes. At least I saw some
interest in her eyes. Uot a word had been pronounced about
the terms oI the document. Uo word had been pronounced
about those terms.
The demonstration oI the organic connection between the
articles and semi-notional determiners, in its turn, makes it
possible to disclose the true Iunction oI the grammatical use
oI articles with proper nouns. E.g.:
"This," said Froelich, "is the James Ral(er who wrote 'The
Last oI the Old Lords'" (M. Bradbury). &f.: This is the same
James Ral(er. I came out to Iraq with a 4rs. Xelsey (A.
Christie). CI.: The woman was a certain 4rs. Xelsey. It was
like seeing a Yesuvius at the height oI its eruption. &f.: The
sight looked to us like another Yesuvius. "I prophesy a wet
8ugust,# said Old Moore Abinger (M. Dickens). CI.: Next
August will be a wet month, unlike some other 8ugusts in
In the exempliIied grammatical uses transpositional
Ieatures are revealed similar to those the article acquires
when used with a noun characterised by a contrary semantic
base. On the other hand, the analysis oI these cases clearly
stamps the traditional proper name combinations with
embedded articles, both oI the onomastic set =8le%ander the
Dreat, etc.) and the toponymic set =Che 6ague, etc.) as
lexicalised collocations that only come into contact with the
periphery oI grammar.
6. The essential grammatical Ieatures oI the articles
exposed in the above considerations and tests leave no room
Ior misinterpretation at the Iinal, generalising stage oI
The data obtained show that the English noun, besides the
variable categories oI number and case, distinguishes also the
category oI determination expressed by the article paradigm
oI three grammatical Iorms: the deIinite, the indeIinite, the
zero. The paradigm is generalised Ior the whole system oI the
common nouns, being transpositionally outstretched also into
the system oI proper nouns. Various cases oI asymmetry in
the realisation oI this paradigm (such as the article
determination oI certain nouns oI the types singularia tantum
and pluralia tantum), similar to, and in connection with the
expression oI the category oI number, are balanced by
suppletive collocations. &f.: 0 progress a kind oI progress,
some progress the progress; news an item oI news
the news, etc.
The semi-notional determiners used with nouns in the
absence oI articles, expose the essential article meanings as
in-built in their semantic structure.
Thus, the status oI the combination oI the article with the
noun should be deIined as basically analytical, the article
construction as such being localised by its segmental
properties between the Iree syntactic combination oI words
(the upper bordering level) and the combination oI a
grammatical aIIix with a notional stem in the morphological
composition oI an indivisible word (the lower bordering
level). The article itselI is a special type oI grammatical
1. Grammatically the verb is the most complex part oI
speech. This is due to the central role it perIorms in the
expression oI the predicative Iunctions oI the sentence, i.e.
the Iunctions establishing the connection between the
situation (situational event) named in the utterance and
reality. The complexity oI the verb is inherent not only in the
intricate structure oI its grammatical categories, but also in its
various subclass divisions, as well as in its Ialling into two
sets oI Iorms proIoundly diIIerent Irom each other: the Iinite
set and the non-Iinite set. '
The complicated character oI the grammatical and lexico-
grammatical structure oI the verb has given rise to much
dispute and controversy. However, the application oI the
principles oI systemic linguistic analysis to the study oI this
interesting sphere oI language helps overcome many
essential-diIIiculties in its theoretical description, and also a
number oI terminological disagreements among the scholars.
This reIers in particular to the Iundamental relations between
the categories oI tense and aspect, which have aroused oI late
very heated disputes.
2. The general categorial meaning oI the verb is process
presented dynamically, i.e. developing in time. This general
processual meaning is embedded in the semantics oI all the
verbs, including those that denote states, Iorms oI existence,
types oI attitude, evaluations, etc., rather than actions. &f.:
Edgar's room led out oI the wall without a door. She had
herselI a liking Ior richness and excess. It was all over the
morning papers. That's what I'm aIraid oI. I do love you,
really I do.
And this holds true not only about the Iinite verb, but also
about the non-Iinite verb. The processual semantic character
oI the verbal lexeme even in the non-Iinite Iorm is proved by
the Iact that in all its Iorms it is modiIied by the adverb and,
with the transitive verb, it takes a direct object. C9.7
Mr. Brown received the visitor instantly, which was
unusual. Mr. Brown's receiving the visitor instantly was
unusual. It was unusual Ior Mr. Brown to receive the
visitor instantly. But: An instant reception of the visitor was
unusual Ior Mr. Brown.
The processual categorial meaning oI the notional verb
determines its characteristic combination with a noun
expressing both the doer oI the action (its subject) and, in
cases oI the objective verb, the recipient oI the action (its
object); it also determines its combination with an adverb as
the modiIier oI the action.
In the sentence the Iinite verb invariably perIorms the
Iunction oI the verb-predicate, expressing the processual
categorial Ieatures oI predication, i.e. time, aspect, voice, and
The non-Iinite verb perIorms diIIerent Iunctions according
to its intermediary nature (those oI the syntactic subject,
object, adverbial modiIier, attribute), but its non-processual
Iunctions are always actualised in close combination with its
processual semantic Ieatures. This is especially evident in
demonstrative correlations oI the "sentence phrase" type.
His rejecting the proposal surprised us. That he had
re"ected the proposal surprised us. Ca(ing this into
consideration, her attitude can be understood. II one ta(es
this into consideration, her attitude can be understood.
In other words, the non-Iinite Iorms oI the verb in selI-
dependent use (i.e. iI they are used not as parts oI the
analytical verb-Iorms) perIorm a potentially predicative
Iunction, constituting secondary predicative centres in the
sentence. In each case oI such use they reIer to some subject
which is expressed either explicitly or implicitly. &f.:
Roddy cared enough about his mother to want to ma(e
amends Ior Arabella. Roddy wanted to ma(e amends...?
Roddy will ma(e amends... &hanging gear, the taxi turned the
sharp corner. The taxi changed gear and turned the corner.
8cting as mate is oIten more diIIicult than acting as captain.
One acts as mate; one acts as captain.
3. From the point oI view oI their outward structure,
verbs are characterised by speciIic Iorms oI word-building, as
well as by the Iormal Ieatures expressing the corresponding
grammatical categories.
The verb stems may be simple, sound-replacive, stress-
replacive, expanded, composite, and phrasal.
The original simple verb stems are not numerous. CI. such
verbs as go, ta(e, read, etc. But conversion (zero-suIIixation)
as means oI derivation, especially conversion oI the "noun
verb" type, greatly enlarges the simple stem set oI verbs,
since it is one oI the most productive ways oI Iorming verb
lexemes in modern English. &f.: a cloud to cloud, a
house to house; a man to man; a park to park, etc.
The sound-replacive type oI derivation and the stress-
replacive type oI derivation are unproductive. CI.: Iood
to Ieed, blood to bleed; 'import to im'port, 'transport
to trans'port.
The typical suIIixes expanding the stem oI the verb are:
ate (cultivate3, en (broaden3, ifZ (clarify3, ise(iSe3
(normalise3. The verb-deriving preIixes oI the inter-class type
are: be (belittle, befriend, bemoan3 and en!em (engulf,
embed3. Some other characteristic verbal preIixes are: re
(rema(e3, under (undergo3, over (overestimate3, sub
(submerge3, mis(misunderstand3, un (undo3, etc.
The composite (compound) verb stems correspond to the
composite non-verb stems Irom which they are
etymologically derived. Here belong the compounds oI the
conversion type (blac(mail n. $ blac(mail v.3 and oI the
reduction type (proofreader n.proofread v.3.
The phrasal verb stems occupy an intermediary position
between analytical Iorms oI the verb and syntactic word
combinations. Among such stems two speciIic constructions
should be mentioned. The Iirst is a combination oI the head-
verb have, give, ta(e, and occasionally some others with a
noun; the combination has as its equivalent an ordinary verb.
&f.: to have a smoke to smoke; to give a smile to smile;
to take a stroll to stroll.
The second is a combination oI a head-verb with a verbal
postposition that has a speciIicational value. &f.: stand up, go
on, give in, be oII, get along, etc.
4. The grammatical categories which Iind Iormal
expression in the outward structure oI the verb and which will
be analysed Iurther are, Iirst, the category oI Iinitude dividing
the verb into Iinite and non-Iinite Iorms (the corresponding
contracted names are "Iinites" and "verbids"*; this category
has a lexico-grammatical Iorce); second, the categories oI
person, number, tense, aspect, voice, and mood, whose
complete set is revealed in every word-Iorm oI the notional
Iinite verb.
Each oI the identiIied categories constitutes a whole
system oI its own presenting its maniIold problems to the
scholar. However, the comparative analysis oI the categorial
properties oI all the Iorms oI the verb, including the
* The term "verbids" Ior the non-Iinite Iorms oI the verb
was introduced by O. espersen. Its merit lies in the Iact that,
unlike the more traditional term "verbals", it is devoid oI
dubious connotations as well as homonymic correlations.
properties oI verbids, shows the unquestionable unity oI the
class, in spite oI some inter-class Ieatures oI verbids.
Among the various Iorms oI the verb the inIinitive
occupies a unique position. Its status is that oI the principal
representative oI the verb-lexeme as a whole. This head-Iorm
status oI the inIinitive is determined by the two Iactors. The
Iirst Iactor consists in the verbal-nominative nature oI the
inIinitive, i.e. in its Iunction oI giving the most general
dynamic name to the process which is denoted by all the other
Iorms oI the verb-lexeme in a more speciIic way, conditioned
by their respective semantico-grammatical specialisations.
The second Iactor determining the representative status oI the
inIinitive consists in the inIinitive serving as the actual
derivative base Ior all the other regular Iorms oI the verb.
5. The class oI verbs Ialls into a number oI subclasses
distinguished by diIIerent semantic and lexico-grammatical
On the upper level oI division two unequal sets are
identiIied: the set oI verbs oI full nominative value (notional
verbs), and the set oI verbs oI partial nominative value (semi-
notional and Iunctional verbs). The Iirst set is derivationally
open, it includes the bulk oI the verbal lexicon. The second set
is derivationally closed, it includes limited subsets oI verbs
characterised by individual relational properties.
6. Semi-notional and Iunctional verbs serve as markers
oI predication in the proper sense, since they show the
connection between the nominative content oI the sentence
and reality in a strictly specialised way. These "predicators"
include auxiliary verbs, modal verbs, semi-notional verbid
introducer verbs, and link-verbs.
Auxiliary verbs constitute grammatical elements oI the
categorial Iorms oI the verb. These are the verbs be, have, do,
shall, will, should, would, may, might.
Modal verbs are used with the inIinitive as predicative
markers expressing relational meanings oI the subject attitude
type, i.e. ability, obligation, permission, advisability, etc. By
way oI extension oI meaning, they also express relational
probability, serving as probability predicators. These two
types oI Iunctional semantics can be tested by means oI
correlating pure modal verb collocations with the
corresponding two sets oI stative collocations oI equivalent
on the one hand, the groups be obliged, be permitted, etc.; on
the other hand, the groups be li(ely, be probable, etc. &f.:
Tom may stay Ior the teleview iI he will. Tom is
permitted to stay. The storm may come any minute, you had
better leave the deck. The storm is li(ely to come any
The modal verbs can, may, must, shall, will, ought, need,
used (to3, dare are deIective in Iorms, and are suppletively
supplemented by stative groups similar to those shown above
(cI. Ch. III, 4). The supplementation is eIIected both Ior the
lacking Iinite Iorms and the lacking non-Iinite Iorms. Cf.:
The boys can prepare the play-ground themselves. The
boys will be able to prepare the play-ground themselves.
The boys' being able to prepare the play-ground themselves.
The verbs be and have in the modal meanings "be
planned", "be obliged" and the like are considered by many
modern grammarians as modal verbs and by right are included
in the general modal verb list.
Semi-notional verbid introducer verbs are distributed
among the verbal sets oI discriminatory relational semantics
(seem, happen, turn out, etc.), oI subject-action relational
semantics (try, fail, manage, etc.), oI phasal semantics (begin,
continue, stop, etc.). The predicator verbs should be strictly
distinguished Irom their grammatical homonyms in the
subclasses oI notional verbs. As a matter oI Iact, there is a
Iundamental grammatical diIIerence between the verbal
constituents in such sentences as, say, "They began to Iight"
and "They began the Iight". Whereas the verb in the Iirst
sentence is a semi-notional predicator, the verb in the second
sentence is a notional transitive verb normally related to its
direct object. The phasal predicator begin (the Iirst sentence)
is grammatically inseparable Irom the inIinitive oI the
notional verb fight, the two lexemes making one verbal-part
unit in the sentence. The transitive verb begin (the second
sentence), on the contrary, is selI-dependent in the lexico-
grammatical sense, it Iorms the predicate oI the sentence by
itselI and as such can be used in the passive voice, the whole
construction oI the sentence in this case being presented as the
regular passive counterpart oI its active version. &f.:
They began the Iight. The Iight was begun (by them). They
began to Iight. (*)* Co fight was begun (by them).
Link-verbs introduce the nominal part oI the predicate (the
predicative) which is commonly expressed by a noun, an
adjective, or a phrase oI a similar semantic-grammatical
character. It should be noted that link-verbs, although they are
named so, are not devoid oI meaningIul content. PerIorming
their Iunction oI connecting ("linking") the subject and the
predicative oI the sentence, they express the actual semantics
oI this connection, i.e. expose the relational aspect oI the
characteristics ascribed by the predicative to the subject.
The linking predicator Iunction in the purest Iorm is
eIIected by the verb be5 thereIore be as a link-verb can be
reIerred to as the "pure link-verb". It is clear Irom the above
that even this pure link-verb has its own relational semantics,
which can be identiIied as "linking predicative ascription". All
the link-verbs other than the pure link be express some
speciIication oI this general predicative-linking semantics, so
that they should be reIerred to as "speciIying" link-verbs. The
common speciIying link-verbs Iall into two main groups:
those that express perceptions and those that express
nonperceptional, or "Iactual" link-verb connection. The main
perceptional link-verbs are seem, appear, loo(, feel, taste5 the
main Iactual link-verbs are become, get, grow, remain, (eep.
As is to be seen Irom the comparison oI the speciIying
link-verbs with the verbid introducer predicators described
above, the respective Iunctions oI these two verbal subsets are
cognate, though not altogether identical. The diIIerence lies in
the Iact that the speciIying link-verbs combine the pure
linking Iunction with the predicator Iunction. Furthermore,
separate Iunctions oI the two types oI predicators are evident
Irom the Iact that speciIying link-verbs, the same as the pure
link, can be used in the text in combination with verbid
introducer predicators. E.g.:
The letter seemed to have remained unnoticed. I began to
feel better. ou shouldn't try to loo( cleverer than you are.
* The transIormation is unacceptable.
&f. the use oI verbid introducer predicators with the pure
The news has proved to be true. The girl's look ceased to
be Iriendly. The address shown to us seemed to be just the one
we needed.
Besides the link-verbs proper hitherto presented, there are
some notional verbs in language that have the power to
perIorm the Iunction oI link-verbs without losing their lexical
nominative value. In other words, they perIorm two Iunctions
simultaneously, combining the role oI a Iull notional verb
with that oI a link-verb. &f.:
Fred lay awake all through the night. Robbie ran in out oI
breath. The moon rose red.
Notional link-verb Iunction is mostly perIormed by
intransitive verbs oI motion and position. Due to the double
syntactic character oI the notional link-verb, the whole
predicate Iormed by it is reIerred to as a "double predicate"
(see Ch. XXIX).
7. Notional verbs undergo the three main grammatically
relevant categorisations. The Iirst is based on the relation oI
the subject oI the verb to the process denoted by the verb. The
second is based on the aspective characteristics oI the process
denoted by the verb, i.e. on the inner properties oI the process
as reIlected in the verbal meaning. The third is based on the
combining power oI the verb in relation to other notional
words in the utterance.
8. On the basis oI the subject-process relation, all the
notional verbs can be divided into actional and statal.
Actional verbs express the action perIormed by the
subject, i.e. they present the subject as an active doer (in the
broadest sense oI the word). To this subclass belong such
verbs as do, act, perform, ma(e, go, read, learn, discover, etc.
Statal verbs, unlike their subclass counterparts, denote the
state oI their subject. That is, they either give the subject the
characteristic oI the inactive recipient oI some outward
activity, or else express the mode oI its existence. To this
subclass belong such verbs as be, live, survive, worry, suffer,
re"oice, stand, see, (now, etc.
Alongside oI the two verbal sets, a third one could be
distinguished which is made up oI verbs expressing neither
actions, nor states, but "processes". As representatives oI the
"purely processual" subclass one might point out the verbs
thaw, ripen, deteriorate, consider, neglect, support, display,
and the like. On closer observation, however, it becomes clear
that the units oI this medial subclass are subject to the same
division into actional and statal sets as were established at the
primary stage oI classiIication. For instance, the "purely
processual" verb thaw reIerring to an inactive substance
should be deIined, more precisely, as "processual-statal",
whereas the "processual" verb consider relating to an active
doer should be looked upon, more precisely, as "processual-
actional". This can be shown by transIormational tests:
The snow is thawing. The snow is in the state of
thawing. The designer is considering another possibility.
The action oI the designer is that he is considering another
Thus, the primary binary division oI the verbs upon the
basis oI the subject-process relation is sustained.
Similar criteria apply to some more speciIic subsets oI
verbs permitting the binary actional-statal distribution.
Among these oI a special signiIicance are the verbal sets oI
mental processes and sensual processes. Within the Iirst oI
them we recognise the correlation between the verbs oI
mental perception and mental activity. E.g.: know think;
understand construe; notice note; admire assess;
Iorget reject; etc.
Within the second set we recognise the correlation
between the verbs oI physical perception as such and physical
perceptional activity. E.g.: see look; hear listen; Ieel
(inactive) Ieel (active), touch; taste (inactive) taste
(active); smell (inactive) smell (active); etc.
The initial member oI each correlation pair given above
presents a case oI a statal verb, while the succeeding member,
respectively, oI an actional verb. &f. the corresponding
transIormational tests:
The explorers knew only one answer to the dilemma.
The mental state oI the explorers was such that they knew
only one answer to the dilemma. I am thinking about the
Iuture oI the village. My mental activity consists in
thinking about the Iuture oI the village. Etc.
The grammatical relevance oI the classiIication in
question, apart Irom its reIlecting the syntactically generalised
relation oI the subject oI the verb to the process denoted by it,
is disclosed in the diIIerence between the two subclasses in
their aspectual behaviour. While the actional verbs take the
Iorm oI the continuous aspect quite Ireely, i.e. according to the
general rules oI its use, the statal verbs, in the same contextual
conditions, are mainly used in the indeIinite Iorm. -The
continuous with the statal verbs, which can be characterised as
a more or less occasional occurrence, will normally express
some sort oI intensity or emphasis (see Iurther).
9. Aspective verbal semantics exposes the inner
character oI the process denoted by the verb. It represents the
process as durative (continual), iterative (repeated), terminate
(concluded), interminate (not concluded), instantaneous
(momentary), ingressive (starting), supercompleted
(developed to the extent oI superIluity), undercompleted (not
developed to its Iull extent), and the like.
Some oI these aspectual meanings are inherent in the basic
semantics oI certain subsets oI English verbs. Compare, Ior
instance, verbs oI ingression (begin, start, resume, set out, get
down3, verbs oI instantaneity (burst, clic(, (noc(, bang, "ump,
drop3, verbs oI termination (terminate, finish, end, conclude,
close, solve, resolve, sum up, stop3, verbs oI duration
(continue, prolong, last, linger, live, e%ist3. The aspectual
meanings oI supercompletion, undercompletion, repetition,
and the like can be rendered by means oI lexical derivation, in
particular, preIixation (oversimplify, outdo, underestimate,
reconsider3. Such aspectual meanings as ingression, duration,
termination, and iteration are regularly expressed by aspective
verbal collocations, in particular, by combinations oI
aspective predicators with verbids (begin, start, continue,
finish, used to, would, etc., plus the corresponding verbid
In terms oI the most general subclass division related to
the grammatical structure oI language, two aspective
subclasses oI verbs should be recognised in English. These
will comprise numerous minor aspective groups oI the types
shown above as their microcomponent sets.
The basis oI this division is constituted by the relation oI
the verbal semantics to the idea oI a processual limit, i. e.
some border point beyond which the process expressed by the
verb or implied in its semantics is discontinued or
simply does not exist. For instance, the verb arrive expresses
an action which evidently can only develop up to the point oI
arriving; on reaching this limit, the action ceases. The verb
start denotes a transition Irom some preliminary state to some
kind oI subsequent activity, thereby implying a border point
between the two. As diIIerent Irom these cases, the verb move
expresses a process that in itselI is alien to any idea oI a limit,
either terminal or initial.
The verbs oI the Iirst order, presenting a process as
potentially limited, can be called "limitive". In the published
courses oI English grammar where they are mentioned, these
verbs are called "terminative",* but the latter term seems
inadequate. As a matter oI Iact, the word suggests the idea oI
a completed action, i.e. oI a limit attained, not only the
implication oI a potential limit existing as such. To the
subclass oI limitive belong such verbs as arrive, come, leave,
find, start, stop, conclude, aim, drop, catch, etc. Here also
belong phrasal verbs with limitive postpositions, e.g. stand
up, sit down, get out, be off, etc.
The verbs oI the second order presenting a process as not
limited by any border point, should be called,
correspondingly, "unlimitive" (in the existing grammar books
they are called either "non-terminative", or else "durative", or
"cursive"). To this subclass belong such verbs as move,
continue, live, sleep, wor(, behave, hope, stand, etc.
Alongside oI the two aspective subclasses oI verbs, some
authors recognise also a third subclass, namely, verbs oI
double aspective nature (oI "double", or "mixed" lexical
character). These, according to the said authors, are capable
oI expressing either a "terminative" or "non-terminative"
("durative") meaning depending on the context.
However, applying the principle oI oppositions, these
cases can be interpreted as natural and easy reductions
(mostly neutralisations) oI the lexical aspective opposition.
Mary and Robert wal(ed through the park pausing at
variegated Ilower-beds. (Unlimitive use, basic Iunction) In
the scorching heat, the party wal(ed the whole way to the
ravine bareheaded. (Limitive use, neutralisation) He turned
* See the cited books on English grammar by M. A.
Ganshina and N. M. Vasilevskaya, B. A. Ilyish, B. S.
haimovich and B. I. Rogovskaya.
the corner and Iound himselI among a busy crowd oI people.
(Limitive use, basic Iunction) It took not only endless
scientiIic eIIort, but also an enormous courage to prove that
the earth turns round the sun. (Unlimitive use, neutralisation)
Observing the given examples, we must admit that the
demarcation line between the two aspective verbal subclasses
is not rigidly Iixed, the actual diIIerentiation between them
being in Iact rather loose. Still, the opposition between
limitive and unlimitive verbal sets does exist in English,
however indeIinitely deIined it may be. Moreover, the
described subclass division has an unquestionable
grammatical relevance, which is expressed, among other
things, in its peculiar correlation with the categorial aspective
Iorms oI the verbs (indeIinite, continuous, perIect); this
correlation is to be treated Iurther (see Ch. XV).
10. From the given description oI the aspective subclass
division oI English verbs, it is evident that the English lexical
aspect diIIers radically Irom the Russian aspect. In terms oI
semantic properties, the English lexical aspect expresses a
potentially limited or unlimited process, whereas the Russian
aspect expresses the actual conclusion (the perIective, or
terminative aspect) or non-conclusion (the imperIective, or
non-terminative aspect) oI the process in question. In terms oI
systemic properties, the two English lexical aspect varieties,
unlike their Russian absolutely rigid counterparts, are but
loosely distinguished and easily reducible.
In accord with these characteristics, both the English
limitive verbs and unlimitive verbs may correspond
alternately either to the Russian perIective verbs or
imperIective verbs, depending on the contextual uses.
For instance, the limitive verb arrive expressing an
instantaneous action that took place in the past will be
translated by its perIective Russian equivalent:
The exploratory party arrived at the Ioot oI the mountain.
Tuss.: xnx [,+LVMH x xm rt.
But iI the same verb expresses a habitual, interminately
repeated action, the imperIective Russian equivalent is to be
chosen Ior its translation:
In those years trains seldom arrived on time. Tuss.: B
rt sa x [,+\IO+M+ x.
&f. the two possible versions oI the Russian translation oI
the Iollowing sentence:
The liner ta(es off tomorrow at ten. Tuss.: an
]VMPG+G saa xt (the Ilight in question is looked
upon as an individual occurrence). an ]VMPGHPG
saa xt (the Ilight is considered as part oI the traIIic
schedule, or some other kind oI general plan).
Conversely, the English unlimitive verb gaSe when
expressing a continual action will be translated into Russian
by its imperIective equivalent:
The children gaSed at the animals holding their breaths.
Tuss.: ^M_OPM+ a xtx, saa txa.
But when the same verb renders the idea oI an aspectually
limited, e. g. started action, its perIective Russian equivalent
should be used in the translation:
The boy turned his head and gaSed at the horseman with
wide-open eyes. Tuss.: antux n rn
ZFGH]+MF_ a axa mx xtt rnasa.
Naturally, the unlimitive English verbs in strictly unlimtive
contextual use correspond, by deIinition, only to the
imperIective verbs in Russian.
11. The inner qualities oI any signemic lingual unit are
maniIested not only in its immediate inIormative signiIicance
in an utterance, but also in its combinability with other units,
in particular with units oI the same segmental order. These
syntagmatic properties are oI especial importance Ior verbs,
which is due to the unique role perIormed by the verb in the
sentence. As a matter oI Iact, the Iinite verb, being the centre
oI predication, organises all the other sentence constituents.
Thus, the organisational Iunction oI the verb, immediately
exposed in its syntagmatic combinability, is inseparable Irom
(and dependent on) its semantic value. The morphological
relevance oI the combining power oI the verb is seen Irom the
Iact that directly dependent on this power are the categorial
voice distinctions.
The combining power oI words in relation to other words
in syntactically subordinate positions (the positions oI
"adjuncts" see Ch. XX) is called their syntactic "valency".
The valency oI a word is said to be "realised" when the word
in question is actually combined in an utterance with its
corresponding valency partner, i. e. its valency adjunct. II,
71499 97
on the other hand, the word is used without its valency
adjunct, the valency conditioning the position oI this adjunct
(or "directed" to it) is said to be "not realised".
The syntactic valency Ialls into two cardinal types:
obligatory and optional.
The obligatory valency is such as must necessarily be
realised Ior the sake oI the grammatical completion oI the
syntactic construction. For instance, the subject and the direct
object are obligatory parts oI the sentence, and, Irom the point
oI view oI sentence structure, they are obligatory valency
partners oI the verb. Consequently, we say that the subjective
and the direct objective valencies oI the verb are obligatory.
E.g.: Re saw a house in the distance.
This sentence presents a case oI a complete English
syntactic construction. II we eliminate either its subject or
object, the remaining part oI the construction will be
structurally incomplete, i.e. it will be structurally "gaping".
CI.: * We saw in the distance. * Saw a house in the distance.
The optional valency, as diIIerent Irom the obligatory
valency, is such as is not necessarily realised in grammatically
complete constructions: this type oI valency may or may not
be realised depending on the concrete inIormation to be
conveyed by the utterance. Most oI the adverbial modiIiers
are optional parts oI the sentence, so in terms oI valency we
say that the adverbial valency oI the verb is mostly optional.
For instance, the adverbial part in the above sentence may be
Ireely eliminated without causing the remainder oI the
sentence to be structurally incomplete: We saw a house (in the
Link-verbs, although their classical representatives are
only halI-notional, should also be included into the general
valency characterisation oI verbs. This is due to their
syntactically essential position in the sentence. The
predicative valency oI the link-verbs proper is obligatory. &f.:
The reporters seemed pleased with the results oI the press
conIerence. That young scapegrace made a good husband,
aIter all.
The obligatory adjuncts oI the verb, with the exception oI
the subject (whose connection with the verb cannot be likened
to the other valency partners), may be called its
"complements"; the optional adjuncts oI the verb, its
"supplements". The distinction between the two valency types
oI adjuncts is highly essential, since not all the objects or
predicatives are obligatory, while, conversely, not all the
adverbial modiIiers are optional. Thus, we may have both
objective complements and objective supplements; both
predicative complements and predicative supplements; both
adverbial supplements and adverbial complements.
Namely, the object oI addressee, i. e. a person or thing Ior
whom or which the action is perIormed, may sometimes be
optional, as in the Iollowing example: We did it for you.
The predicative to a notional link-verb is mostly optional,
as in the example: The night came dar( and stormy.
The adverbials oI place, time, and manner (quality) may
sometimes be obligatory, as in the examples below:
Mr. Torrence was staying in the 8storia 6otel. The
described events took place at the beginning of the century.
The patient is doing fine.
Thus, according as they have or have not the power to take
complements, the notional verbs should be classed as
"complementive" or "uncomplementive", with Iurther
subcategorisations on the semantico-syntagmatic principles.
In connection with this upper division, the notions oI
verbal transitivity and objectivity should be considered.
Verbal transitivity, as one oI the speciIic qualities oI the
general "completivity", is the ability oI the verb to take a
direct object, i.e. an object which is immediately aIIected by
the denoted process. The direct object is joined to the verb
"directly", without a preposition. Verbal objectivity is the
ability oI the verb to take any object, be it direct, or oblique
(prepositional), or that oI addressee. Transitive verbs are
opposed to intransitive verbs; objective verbs are opposed to
non-objective verbs (the latter are commonly called
"subjective" verbs, but the term contradicts the underlying
syntactic notion, since all the English Iinite verbs reIer to
their textual subjects).
As is known, the general division oI verbs into transitive
and intransitive is morphologically more relevant Ior Russian
than English, because the verbal passive Iorm is conIined in
Russian to transitive verbs only. The general division oI verbs
into objective and non-objective, being oI relatively minor
signiIicance Ior the morphology oI Russian, is highly relevant
Ior English morphology, since in English all the three
Iundamental types oI objects can be made into the subjects oI
the corresponding passive constructions.
On the other hand, the term "transitive" is Ireely used
in English grammatical treatises in relation to all the objective
verbs, not only to those oI them that take a direct object. This
use is due to the close association oI the notion oI transitivity
not only with the type oI verbal object as such, but also with
the ability oI the verb to be used in the passive voice. We do
not propose to call Ior the terminological corrective in this
domain; rather, we wish to draw the attention oI the reader to
the accepted linguistic usage in order to avoid unIortunate
misunderstandings based on the diIIerences in terminology.
Uncomplementive verbs Iall into two unequal subclasses
oI "personal" and "impersonal" verbs.
The personal uncomplementive verbs, i. e.
uncomplementive verbs normally reIerring to the real subject
oI the denoted process (which subject may be either an actual
human being, or a non-human being, or else an inanimate
substance or an abstract notion), Iorm a large set oI lexemes
oI various semantic properties. Here are some oI them: wor(,
start, pause, hesitate, act, function, materialise, laugh, cough,
grow, scatter, etc.
The subclass oI impersonal verbs is small and strictly
limited. Here belong verbs mostly expressing natural
phenomena oI the selI-processual type, i. e. natural processes
going on without a reIerence to a real subject. &f.: rain, snow,
freeSe, driSSle, thaw, etc.
Complementive verbs, as Iollows Irom the above, are
divided into the predicative, objective and adverbial sets.
The predicative complementive verbs, i.e. link-verbs, have
been discussed as part oI the predicator verbs. The main link-
verb subsets are, Iirst, the pure link be5 second, the speciIying
links become, grow, seem, appear, loo(, taste, etc.; third, the
notional links.
The objective complementive verbs are divided into
several important subclasses, depending on the kinds oI
complements they combine with. On the upper level oI
division they Iall into monocomplementive verbs (taking one
object-complement) and bicomplementive verbs (taking two
The monocomplementive objective verbs Iall into Iive
main subclasses. The Iirst subclass is the possession objective
verb have Iorming diIIerent semantic varieties oI
constructions. This verb is normally not passivised. The
second subclass includes direct objective verbs, e. g. ta(e,
grasp, forget, en"oy, li(e. The third subclass is Iormed by the
objective verbs e.g. loo( at, point to, send for, approve of,
thin( about. The Iourth subclass includes non-passivised
direct objective verbs, e.g. cost, weigh, fail, become, suit. The
IiIth subclass includes non-passivised prepositional objective
verbs, e. g. belong to, relate to, merge with, confer with,
abound in.
The bicomplementive objective verbs Iall into Iive main
subclasses. The Iirst subclass is Iormed by addressee-direct
objective verbs, i.e. verbs taking a direct object and an
addressee object, e.g. a) give, bring, pay, hand, show (the
addressee object with these verbs may be both non-
prepositional and prepositional); b) e%plain, introduce,
mention, say, devote (the addressee object with these verbs is
only prepositional). The second subclass includes double
direct objective verbs, i.e. verbs taking two direct objects, e.g.
teach, as(, e%cuse, forgive, envy, fine. The third subclass
includes double prepositional objective verbs, i.e. verbs
taking two prepositional objects, e.g. argue, consult,
cooperate, agree. The Iourth subclass is Iormed by addressee
prepositional objective verbs, i.e. verbs taking a prepositional
object and an addressee object, e.g. remind of, tell about,
apologise for, write of, pay for. The IiIth subclass includes
adverbial objective verbs, i.e. verbs taking an object and an
adverbial modiIier (oI place or oI time), e.g. put, place, lay,
bring, send, (eep.
Adverbial complementive verbs include two main
subclasses. The Iirst is Iormed by verbs taking an adverbial
complement oI place or oI time, e.g. be, live, stay, go, ride,
arrive. The second is Iormed by verbs taking an adverbial
complement oI manner, e.g. act, do, (eep, behave, get on.
12. Observing the syntagmatic subclasses oI verbs, we
see that the same verb lexeme, or lexic-phonemic unit
(phonetical word), can enter more than one oI the outlined
classiIication sets. This phenomenon oI the "subclass
migration" oI verbs is not conIined to cognate lexemic
subsets oI the larger subclasses, but, as is widely known,
aIIects the principal distinctions between the English
complementive and uncomplementive verbs, between the
English objective and non-objective verbs. SuIIice it to give a
couple oI examples taken at random:
Who runs Iaster, ohn or Uic(B(run $
uncomplementive). The man ran aIter the bus. (run $
adverbial complementive, non-objective). I ran my eyes over
the uneven lines. (run $ adverbial objective, transitive). And
is the Iellow
still running the show (run $ monocomplementive, transitive).
The railings felt cold. (feel $ link-verb, predicative
complementive). We felt Iine aIter the swim. (feel $ adverbial
complementive, non-objective). ou shouldn't feel your own pulse
like that. (feel $ monocomplementive, transitive).
The problem arises, how to interpret these diIIerent subclass
entries as cases oI grammatical or lexico-grammatical
homonymy, or some kind oI Iunctional variation, or merely
variation in usage. The problem is vexed, since each oI the
interpretations has its strong points.
To reach a convincing decision, one should take into
consideration the actual diIIerences between various cases oI the
"subclass migration" in question. Namely, one must careIully
analyse the comparative characteristics oI the corresponding
subclasses as such, as well as the regularity Iactor Ior an individual
lexeme subclass occurrence.
In the domain oI notional subclasses proper, with regular inter-
class occurrences oI the analysed lexemes, probably the most
plausible solution will be to interpret the "migration Iorms" as cases
oI speciIic syntactic variation, i.e. to consider the diIIerent subclass
entries oI migrating units as syntactic variants oI the same lexemes
un, (2), 87 n.. In the light oI this interpretation, the very
Iormula oI "lexemic subclass migration" will be vindicated and
On the other hand, Ior more cardinally diIIering lexemic sets, as,
Ior instance, Iunctional versus notional, the syntactic variation
principle is hardly acceptable. This kind oI diIIerentiation should be
analysed as lexico-grammatical homonymy, since it underlies the
expression oI categorially diIIerent grammatical Iunctions.
!$!-%I!ITE 1ER:" (1ER:I*")
1. Verbids are the Iorms oI the verb intermediary in many oI their
lexico-grammatical Ieatures between the verb and the non-
processual parts oI speech. The mixed Ieatures oI these Iorms are
revealed in the principal spheres oI the part-oI-speech
characterisation, i.e. in their meaning, structural marking,
combinability, and syntactic Iunctions. The processual meaning is
exposed by
them in a substantive or adjectival-adverbial interpretation: they
render processes as peculiar kinds oI substances and properties.
They are Iormed by special morphemic elements which do not
express either grammatical time or mood (the most speciIic Iinite
verb categories). They can be combined with verbs like non-
processual lexemes (perIorming non-verbal Iunctions in the
sentence), and they can be combined with non-processual lexemes
like verbs (perIorming verbal Iunctions in the sentence) .
From these characteristics, one might call in question the very
justiIication oI including the verbids in the system oI the verb. As a
matter oI Iact, one can ask oneselI whether it wouldn't stand to
reason to consider the verbids as a special lexemic class, a separate
part oI speech, rather than an inherent component oI the class oI
On closer consideration, however, we can't but see that such an
approach would be utterly ungrounded. The verbids do betray
intermediary Ieatures. Still, their Iundamental grammatical meaning
is processual (though modiIied in accord with the nature oI the
inter-class reIerence oI each verbid). Their essential syntactic
Iunctions, directed by this relational semantics, unquestionably
reveal the property which may be called, in a manner oI
explanation, "verbality", and the statement oI which is corroborated
by the peculiar combinability character oI verbid collocations,
namely, by the ability oI verbids to take adjuncts expressing the
immediate recipients, attendants, and addressees oI the process
inherently conveyed by each verbid denotation.
One might likewise ask oneselI, granted the verbids are part oI
the system oI the verb, whether they do not constitute within this
system a special subsystem oI purely lexemic nature, i.e. Iorm some
sort oI a speciIic verbal subclass. This counter-approach, though,
would evidently be devoid oI any substantiality, since a subclass oI
a lexemic class, by deIinition, should share the essential categorial
structure, as well as primary syntactic Iunctions with other
subclasses, and in case oI verbids the situation is altogether
diIIerent. In Iact, it is every verb stem (except a Iew deIective
verbs) that by means oI morphemic change takes both Iinite and
non-Iinite Iorms, the Iunctions oI the two sets being strictly
diIIerentiated: while the Iinite Iorms serve in the sentence only one
syntactic Iunction, namely, that oI the Iinite predicate, the non-
Iinite Iorms serve various syntactic Iunctions other than that oI the
Iinite predicate.
The strict, unintersecting division oI Iunctions (the Iunctions
themselves being oI a Iundamental nature in terms oI the
grammatical structure oI language as a whole) clearly shows that the
opposition between the Iinite and non-Iinite Iorms oI the verb creates
a special grammatical category. The diIIerential Ieature oI the
opposition is constituted by the expression oI verbal time and mood:
while the time-mood grammatical signiIication characterises the
Iinite verb in a way that it underlies its Iinite predicative Iunction,
the verbid has no immediate means oI expressing time-mood
categorial semantics and thereIore presents the weak member oI the
opposition. The category expressed by this opposition can be called
the category oI "Iinitude" Strang, 143; Faxa, (2), 106. The
syntactic content oI the category oI Iinitude is the expression oI
predication (more precisely, the expression' oI verbal predication).
As is known, the verbids, unable to express the predicative
meanings oI time and mood, still do express the so-called
"secondary" or "potential" predication, Iorming syntactic complexes
directly related to certain types oI subordinate clauses. &f.:
Have you ever had anything caught in your headB Have you
ever had anything that was caught in your headB $ He said it halI
under his breath for the others not to hear it. $ He said it halI
under his breath, so that the others couldn't hear it.
The verbid complexes anything caught in your head, or for the
others not to hear it, or the like, while expressing secondary
predication, are not selI-dependent in a predicative sense. They
normally exist only as part oI sentences built up by genuine,
primary predicative constructions that have a Iinite verb as their
core. And it is through the reIerence to the Iinite verb-predicate that
these complexes set up the situations denoted by them in the
corresponding time and mood perspective.
In other words, we may say that the opposition oI the Iinite
verbs and the verbids is based on the expression oI the Iunctions oI
Iull predication and semi-predication. While the Iinite verbs express
predication in its genuine and complete Iorm, the Iunction oI the
verbids is to express semi-predication, building up semi-predicative
complexes within diIIerent sentence constructions,
The English verbids include Iour Iorms distinctly diIIering
Irom one another within the general verbid system: the inIinitive,
the gerund, the present participle, and the past participle. In
compliance with this diIIerence, the verbid semi-predicative
complexes are distinguished by the corresponding diIIerential
properties both in Iorm and in syntactic-contextual Iunction.
2. Che infinitive is the non-Iinite Iorm oI the verb which
combines the properties oI the verb with those oI the noun, serving
as the verbal name oI a process. By virtue oI its general process-
naming Iunction, the inIinitive should be considered as the head-
Iorm oI the whole paradigm oI the verb. In this quality it can be
likened to the nominative case oI the noun in languages having a
normally developed noun declension, as, Ior instance, Russian. It is
not by chance that A. A. Shakhmatov called the inIinitive the
"verbal nominative". With the English inIinitive, its role oI the
verbal paradigmatic head-Iorm is supported by the Iact that, as has
been stated beIore, it represents the actual derivation base Ior all the
Iorms oI regular verbs.
The inIinitive is used in three Iundamentally diIIerent types oI
Iunctions: Iirst, as a notional, selI-positional syntactic part oI the
sentence; second, as the notional constituent oI a complex verbal
predicate built up around a predicator verb; third, as the notional
constituent oI a Iinite conjugation Iorm oI the verb. The Iirst use is
grammatically "Iree", the second is grammatically "halI-Iree", the
third is grammatically "bound".
The dual verbal-nominal meaning oI the inIinitive is expressed
in Iull measure in its Iree, independent use. It is in this use that the
inIinitive denotes the corresponding process in an abstract,
substance-like presentation. This can easily be tested by question-
transIormations. CI.:
Do you really mean to go away and leave me here alone
Rhat do you really mean It made her proud sometimes to toy with
the idea. Rhat made her proud sometimes
The combinability oI the inIinitive also reIlects its dual
semantic nature, in accord with which we distinguish between its
verb-type and noun-type connections. The verb-type combinability
oI the inIinitive is displayed in its combining, Iirst, with nouns
expressing the object oI the action; second, with nouns expressing
the subject oI the action; third, with modiIying adverbs; Iourth,
with predicator verbs oI
semi-Iunctional nature Iorming a verbal predicate; IiIth, with
auxiliary Iinite verbs (word-morphemes) in the analytical Iorms oI
the verb. The noun-type combinability oI the inIinitive is displayed in
its combining, Iirst, with Iinite notional verbs as the object oI the
action; second, with Iinite notional verbs as the subject oI the action.
The selI-positional inIinitive, in due syntactic arrangements,
perIorms the Iunctions oI all types oI notional sentence-parts, i. e. the
subject, the object, the predicative, the attribute, the adverbial
modiIier. &f.:
Co meet the head oI the administration and not to spea( to him
about your predicament was unwise, to say the least oI it. (InIinitive
subject position) The chieI arranged to receive the Ioreign delegation
in the aIternoon. (InIinitive object position) The parents' wish had
always been to see their eldest son the continuator oI their joint
scientiIic work. (InIinitive predicative position) Here again we are
Iaced with a plot to overthrow the legitimately elected government oI
the republic. (InIinitive attributive position) Helen was Iar too worried
to listen to the remonstrances. (InIinitive adverbial position)
II the inIinitive in Iree use has its own subject, diIIerent Irom that
oI the governing construction, it is introduced by the preposition-
particle Ior. The whole inIinitive construction oI this type is
traditionally called the "Ior-to inIinitive phrase". CI.: 7or that shy
loo(ing young man to have stated his purpose so boldly $ incredible
The prepositional introduction oI the inner subject in the English
inIinitive phrase is analogous to the prepositional-casal introduction
oI the same in the Russian inIinitive phrase (i.e. either with the help
oI the genitive-governing preposition OM_, or with the help oI the
dative case oI the noun). CI.: `M_ -HF IJP-a ]Hb-I [I-_Ga
tx .
With some transitive verbs (oI physical perceptions, mental
activity, declaration, compulsion, permission, etc.) the inIinitive is
used in the semi-predicative constructions oI the complex object and
complex subject, the latter being the passive counterparts oI the
Iormer. C9.7
We have never heard &harlie play his violin. &harlie has never
been heard to plan his violin. The members oI the committee
expected him to spea( against the suggested resolution. 6e was
expected by the members oI the committee to spea( against the
suggested resolution.
Due to the intersecting character oI joining with the governing
predicative construction, the subject oI the inIinitive in such
complexes, naturally, has no introductory preposition-particle.
The English inIinitive exists in two presentation Iorms. One oI
them, characteristic oI the Iree uses oI the inIinitive, is distinguished
by the pre-positional marker to. This Iorm is called traditionally the
"to-inIinitive", or in more recent linguistic works, the "marked
inIinitive". The other Iorm, characteristic oI the bound uses oI the
inIinitive, does not employ the marker to, thereby presenting the
inIinitive in the shape oI the pure verb stem, which in modern
interpretation is understood as the zero-suIIixed Iorm. This Iorm is
called traditionally the "bare inIinitive", or in more recent linguistic
works, respectively, the "unmarked inIinitive".
The inIinitive marker to is a word-morpheme, i.e. a special
Iormal particle analogous, mutatis mutandis, to other auxiliary
elements in the English grammatical structure. Its only Iunction is to
build up and identiIy the inIinitive Iorm as such. As is the case with
the other analytical markers, the particle to can be used in an isolated
position to represent the whole corresponding construction
syntagmatically zeroed in the text. CI.: ou are welcome to acquaint
yourselI with any oI the documents iI you want to.
Like other analytical markers, it can also be separated Irom its
notional, i.e. inIinitive part by a word or a phrase, usually oI
adverbial nature, Iorming the so-called "split inIinitive". CI.: My task
is not to accuse or acquit; my task it to thoroughly investigate, to
clearly define, and to consistently systematise the Iacts.
Thus, the marked inIinitive presents just another case oI an
analytical grammatical Iorm. The use or non-use oI the inIinitive
marker depends on the verbal environment oI the inIinitive. Namely,
the unmarked inIinitive is used, besides the various analytical Iorms,
with modal verbs (except the modals ought and used3, with verbs oI
physical perceptions, with the verbs let, bid, ma(e, help (with the
latter optionally), with the verb (now in the sense oI "experience",
with a Iew verbal phrases oI modal nature (had better, would rather,
would have, etc.), with the relative-inducive why. All these uses are
detailed in practical grammar books.
The inIinitive is a categorially changeable Iorm. It distinguishes
the three grammatical categories sharing them with the Iinite verb,
namely, the aspective category oI development (continuous in
opposition), the aspective category oI retrospective coordination
(perIect in opposition), the category oI voice (passive in opposition).
Consequently, the categorial paradigm oI the inIinitive oI the objective
verb includes eight Iorms: the indeIinite active, the continuous active,
the perIect active, the perIect continuous active; the indeIinite passive,
the continuous passive, the perIect passive, the perIect continuous
passive. E.g.: to take to be taking
to have taken to have been taking; to be taken to be being
taken to have been taken to have been being taken.
The inIinitive paradigm oI the non-objective verb,
correspondingly, includes Iour Iorms. E.g.: to go to be going
to have gone to have been going.
The continuous and perIect continuous passive can only be used
occasionally, with a strong stylistic colouring. But they underlie the
corresponding Iinite verb Iorms. It is the indeIinite inIinitive that
constitues the head-Iorm oI the verbal paradigm.
3. Che gerund is the non-Iinite Iorm oI the verb which, like the
inIinitive, combines the properties oI the verb with those oI the noun.
Similar to the inIinitive, the gerund serves as the verbal name oI a
process, but its substantive quality is more strongly pronounced than
that oI the inIinitive. Namely, as diIIerent Irom the inIinitive, and
similar to the noun, the gerund can be modiIied by a noun in the
possessive case or its pronominal equivalents (expressing the subject
oI the verbal process), and it can be used with prepositions.
Since the gerund, like the inIinitive, is an abstract name oI the
process denoted by the verbal lexeme, a question might arise, why the
inIinitive, and not the gerund is taken as the head-Iorm oI the verbal
lexeme as a whole, its accepted representative in the lexicon.
As a matter oI Iact, the gerund cannot perIorm the Iunction oI the
paradigmatic verbal head-Iorm Ior a number oI reasons. In the Iirst
place, it is more detached Irom the Iinite verb than the inIinitive
semantically, tending to be a Iar more substantival unit categorially.
Then, as diIIerent Irom the inIinitive, it does not join in the
conjugation oI the Iinite verb. Unlike the inIinitive, it is a suIIixal
Iorm, which
makes it less generalised than the inIinitive in terms oI the Iormal
properties oI the verbal lexeme (although it is more abstract in the
purely semantic sense). Finally, it is less deIinite than the inIinitive
Irom the lexico-grammatical point oI view, being subject to easy
neutralisations in its opposition with the verbal noun in ing, as well
as with the present participle. Hence, the gerund is no rival oI the
inIinitive in the paradigmatic head-Iorm Iunction.
The general combinability oI the gerund, like that oI the inIinitive,
is dual, sharing some Ieatures with the verb, and some Ieatures with
the noun. The verb-type combinability oI the gerund is displayed in its
combining, Iirst, with nouns expressing the object oI the action;
second, with modiIying adverbs; third, with certain semi-Iunctional
predicator verbs, but other than modal. OI the noun-type is the
combinability oI the gerund, Iirst, with Iinite notional verbs as the
object oI the action; second, with Iinite notional verbs as the
prepositional adjunct oI various Iunctions; third, with Iinite notional
verbs as the subject oI the action; Iourth, with nouns as the
prepositional adjunct oI various Iunctions.
The gerund, in the corresponding positional patterns, perIorms the
Iunctions oI all the types oI notional sentence-parts, i.e. the subject,
the object, the predicative, the attribute, the adverbial modiIier. CI.:
Tepeating your accusations over and over again doesn't make
them more convincing. (Gerund subject position) No wonder he
delayed brea(ing the news to Uncle im. (Gerund direct object
position) She could not give her mind to pressing wild Ilowers in
Pauline's botany book. (Gerund addressee object position) oe Ielt
annoyed at being shied by his roommates. (Gerund prepositional
object position) ou know what luck is Luck is believing you're
lucky. (Gerund predicative position) Fancy the pleasant prospect oI
listening to all the gossip they've in store Ior you (Gerund attributive
position) He could not push against the Iurniture without bringing the
whole lot down. (Gerund adverbial oI manner position)
One oI the speciIic gerund patterns is its combination with the
noun in the possessive case or its possessive pronominal equivalent
expressing the subject oI the action. This gerundial construction is
used in cases when the subject oI the gerundial process diIIers Irom
the subject oI the governing
sentence-situation, i.e. when the gerundial sentence-part has its own,
separate subject. E.g.:
Eowell's being rude like that was disgusting. How can she know
about the 4orions' being connected with this unaccountable aIIair
Will he ever excuse our having interferedB
The possessive with the gerund displays one oI the distinctive
categorial properties oI the gerund as such, establishing it in the
English lexemic system as the Iorm oI the verb with nounal
characteristics. As a matter oI Iact, Irom the point oI view oI the inner
semantic relations, this combination is oI a verbal type, while Irom the
point oI view oI the Iormal categorial Ieatures, this combination is oI a
nounal type. It can be clearly demonstrated by the appropriate
transIormations, i.e. verb-related and noun-related re-constructions.
CI.: I can't stand his criticising artistic works that are beyond his
competence. (T-verbal He is criticising artistic works. T-nounal
His criticism oI artistic works.)
Besides combining with the possessive noun-subject, the verbal
ingform con also combine with the noun-subject in the common case
or its objective pronominal equivalent. E.g.: I read in yesterday's paper
about the hostages having been released.
This gerundial use as presenting very peculiar Ieatures oI
categorial mediality will be discussed aIter the treatment oI the
The Iormal sign oI the gerund is wholly homonymous with that oI
the present participle: it is the suIIix ing added to its grammatically
(categorially) leading element.
Like the inIinitive, the gerund is a categorially changeable
(variable, demutative) Iorm; it distinguishes the two grammatical
categories, sharing them with the Iinite verb and the present participle,
namely, the aspective category oI retrospective coordination (perIect
in opposition), and the category oI voice (passive in opposition).
Consequently, the categorial paradigm oI the gerund oI the objective
verb includes Iour Iorms: the simple active, the perIect active; the
simple passive, the perIect passive. E.g.: taking having taken
being taken having been taken.
The gerundial paradigm oI the non-objective verb, correspondingly,
includes two Iorms. E.g.: going having gone. The perIect Iorms oI
the gerund are used, as a rule, only in semantically strong positions,
laying special emphasis on the meaningIul categorial content oI the
4. Che present participle is the non-Iinite Iorm oI the verb which
combines the properties oI the verb with those oI the adjective and
adverb, serving as the qualiIying-processual name. In its outer Iorm
the present participle is wholly homonymous with the gerund, ending
in the suIIix ing and distinguishing the same grammatical categories
oI retrospective coordination and voice.
Like all the verbids, the present participle has no categorial time
distinctions, and the attribute "present" in its conventional name is not
immediately explanatory; it is used in this book Irom Iorce oI
tradition. Still, both terms "present participle" and "past participle" are
not altogether devoid oI elucidative signiIication, iI not in the
categorial sense, then in the derivational-etymological sense, and are
none the worse in their quality than their doublet-substitutes
"participle I" and "participle II".
The present participle has its own place in the general paradigm oI
the verb, diIIerent Irom that oI the past participle, being distinguished
by the corresponding set oI characterisation Ieatures.
Since it possesses some traits both oI adjective and adverb, the
present participle is not only dual, but triple by its lexico-grammatical
properties, which is displayed in its combinability, as well as in its
syntactic Iunctions.
The verb-type combinability oI the present participle is revealed,
Iirst, in its being combined, in various uses, with nouns expressing the
object oI the action; second, with nouns expressing the subject oI the
action (in semi-predicative complexes); third, with modiIying adverbs;
Iourth, with auxiliary Iinite verbs (word-morphemes) in the analytical
Iorms oI the verb. The adjective-type combinability oI the present
participle is revealed in its association with the modiIied nouns, as
well as with some modiIying adverbs, such as adverbs oI degree. The
adverb-type combinability oI the present participle is revealed in its
association with the modiIied verbs.
The selI-positional present participle, in the proper syntactic
arrangements, perIorms the Iunctions oI the predicative (occasional
use, and not with the pure link be3, the attribute, the adverbial
modiIier oI various types. CI.:
The questions became more and more irritating. (Present
participle predicative position) She had thrust the cruciIix on to the
surviving baby. (Present participle attributive
Iront-position) Norman stood on the pavement like a man watching
his loved one go aboard an ocean liner. (Present participle attributive
back-position) He was no longer the cocky, pugnacious boy, always
sQuaring up Ior a Iight. (Present participle attributive back-position,
detached) She went up the steps, swinging her hips and tossing her Iur
with bravado. (Present participle manner adverbial back-position) And
having read in the papers about truth drugs, oI course Gladys would
believe it absolutely. (Present participle cause adverbial Iront-position)
The present participle, similar to the inIinitive, can build up semi-
predicative complexes oI objective and subjective types. The two
groups oI complexes, i.e. inIinitival and present participial, may exist
in parallel (e.g. when used with some verbs oI physical perceptions),
the diIIerence between them lying in the aspective presentation oI the
process. &f.:
Nobody noticed the scouts approach the enemy trench. $ Nobody
noticed the scouts approaching the enemy trench with slow, cautious,
e%pertly calculated movements. Suddenly a telephone was heard to
buSS, breaking the spell. Che telephone was heard vainly buSSing in
the study.
A peculiar use oI the present participle is seen in the absolute
participial constructions oI various types, Iorming complexes oI
detached semi-predication. CI.:
Che messenger waiting in the hall, we had only a couple oI
minutes to make a decision. The dean sat at his desk, with an electric
fire glowing warmly behind the fender at the opposite wall.
These complexes oI descriptive and narrative stylistic nature seem
to be gaining ground in present-day English.
5. Che past participle is the non-Iinite Iorm oI the verb which
combines the properties oI the verb with those oI the adjective,
serving as the qualiIying-processual name. The past participle is a
single Iorm, having no paradigm oI its own. By way oI the
paradigmatic correlation with the present participle, it conveys
implicitly the categorial meaning oI the perIect and the passive. As
diIIerent Irom the present participle, it has no distinct combinability
Ieatures or syntactic Iunction Ieatures specially characteristic oI the
adverb. Thus, the main selI-positional Iunctions oI the past
1 12
participle in the sentence are those oI the attribute and the predicative.
Moyra's softened look gave him a new hope. (Past participle
attributive Iront-position) The cleverly chosen timing oI the attack
determined the outcome oI the battle. (Past participle attributive Iront-
position) It is a Iace devastated by passion. (Past participle attributive
back-position) His was a victory gained against all rules and
predictions. (Past participle attributive back-position) Aoo(ed upon in
this light, the wording oI the will didn't appear so odious. (Past
participle attributive detached position) The light is bright and
inconveniently placed Ior reading. (Past participle predicative
The past participle is included in the structural Iormation oI the
present participle (perIect, passive), which, together with the other
diIIerential properties, vindicates the treatment oI this Iorm as a
separate verbid.
In the attributive use, the past participial meanings oI the perIect
and the passive are expressed in dynamic correlation with the
aspective lexico-grammatical character oI the verb. As a result oI this
correlation, the attributive past participle oI limitive verbs in a neutral
context expresses priority, while the past participle oI unlimitive verbs
expresses simultaneity. E.g.:
A tree bro(en by the storm blocked the narrow passage between
the cliIIs and the water. (Priority in the passive; the implication is "a
tree that had been broken by the storm") I saw that the picture
admired by the general public hardly had a Iair chance with the
judges. (Simultaneity in the passive; the implication is "the picture
which was being admired by the public")
Like the present participle, the past participle is capable oI making
up semi-predicative constructions oI complex object, complex subject,
as well as oI absolute complex.
The past participial complex object is speciIically characteristic
with verbs oI wish and oblique causality (have, get3. &f.:
I want the document prepared Ior signing by 4 p.m. Will you have
my coat brushed up, please
Compare the use oI the past; participial complex object
and the complex subject as its passive transIorm with a perception
We could hear a shot or two fired Irom a Iield mortar. e shot
or two could be heard fired Irom a Iield mortar.
The complex subject oI this type, whose participle is included in
the double predicate oI the sentence, is used but occasionally. A more
common type oI the participial complex subject can be seen with
notional links oI motion and position. &f.: Re sank down and Ior a
while lay there stretched out and e%hausted.
The absolute past participial complex as a rule expresses priority
in the correlation oI two events. CI.: Che preliminary tal(s completed,
it became possible to concentrate on the central point oI the agenda.
The past participles oI non-objective verbs are rarely used in
independent sentence-part positions; they are mostly included in
phraseological or cliche combinations like faded photographs, fallen
leaves, a retired officer, a withered flower, dream come true, etc. In
these and similar cases the idea oI pure quality rather than that oI
processual quality is expressed, the modiIying participles showing the
Ieatures oI adjectivisation.
As is known, the past participle is traditionally interpreted as being
capable oI adverbial-related use (like the present participle), notably in
detached syntactical positions, aIter the introductory subordinative
conjunctions. CI.:
&alled up by the conservative minority, the convention Iailed to
pass a satisIactory resolution. Though welcomed heartily by his host,
Frederick Ielt at once that something was wrong.
Approached Irom the paradigmatic point oI view in the
constructional sense, this interpretation is to be re-considered. As a
matter oI Iact, past participial constructions oI the type in question
display clear cases oI syntactic compression. The true categorial nature
oI the participial Iorms employed by them is exposed by the
corresponding transIormational correlations ("back transIormations")
as being not oI adverbial, but oI deIinitely adjectival relation. CI.:
... The convention, which was called up by the conservative
minority, Iailed to pass a satisIactory resolution. ... Though he was
welcomed heartily by his host, Frederick Ielt at once that something
was wrong.
&f. a more radical diagnostic transIormational change oI the latter
construction: ... Frederick, who was welcomed heartily by his host,
nevertheless Ielt at once that something was wrong.
As is seen Irom the analysis, the adjectival relation oI the past
participle in the quoted examples is proved by the near-predicative
Iunction oI the participle in the derived transIorms, be it even within
the composition oI the Iinite passive verb Iorm. The adverbial uses oI
the present participle react to similar tests in a diIIerent way. CI.:
Eassing on to the library, he Iound Mabel entertaining her guests.
8s he passed on to the library, he Iound Mabel entertaining her guests.
The adverbial Iorce oI the present participle in constructions like
that is shown simply as resulting Irom the absence oI obligatory
mediation oI be between the participle and its subject (in the
derivationally underlying units).
As an additional prooI oI our point, we may take an adjectival
construction Ior a similar diagnostic testing. CI.: Though red in the
Iace, the boy kept denying his guilt. Though he was red in the Iace,
the boy kept denying his guilt.
As we see, the word red, being used in the diagnostic concessive
clause oI complete composition, does not change its adjectival quality
Ior an adverbial quality. 'eing red in the face would again present
another categorial case. 'eing, as a present participial Iorm, is in the
observed syntactic conditions neither solely adjectival-related, nor
solely adverbial-related; it is by nature adjectival-adverbial, the whole
composite unity in question automatically belonging to the same
categorial class, i.e. the class oI present participial constructions oI
diIIerent subtypes.
6. The consideration oI the English verbids in their mutual
comparison, supported and supplemented by comparing them with
their non-verbal counterparts, puts Iorward some points oI structure
and Iunction worthy oI special notice.
In this connection, the inIinitive-gerund correlation should Iirst be
brought under observation.
Both Iorms are substance-processual, and the natural question that
one has to ask about them is, whether the two do not repeat each other
by their inIormative destination and employment. This question was
partly answered in the
paragraph devoted to the general outline oI the gerund.
Observations oI the actual uses oI the gerund and the
inIinitive in texts do show the clear-cut semantic diIIerence
between the Iorms, which consists in the gerund being, on the
one hand, oI a more substantive nature than the inIinitive, i.e.
oI a nature nearer to the thingness-signiIication type; on the
other hand, oI a more abstract nature in the logical sense
proper. Hence, the Iorms do not repeat, but complement each
other, being both oI them inalienable components oI the
English verbal system.
The diIIerence between the Iorms in question may be
demonstrated by the Iollowing examples:
Seeing and tal(ing to people made him tired. (As
characteristic oI a period oI his liIe; as a general Ieature oI his
disposition) - - -It made him tired to see and tal( to so many
people. (All at a time, on that particular occasion); Spending
an aIternoon in the company oI that gentle soul was always a
wonderIul pleasure. (Repeated action, general characteristic)
----------Co spend an aIternoon on the grass lovely (A
response utterance oI enthusiastic agreement); Who doesn't
like singingB (In a general reIerence) ----Who doesn't like
to sing (In reIerence to the subject)
Comparing examples like these, we easily notice the more
dynamic, more actional character oI the inIinitive as well as oI
the whole collocations built up around it, and the less dynamic
character oI the corresponding gerundial collocations.
Furthermore, beyond the boundaries oI the verb, but within
the boundaries oI the same inter-class paradigmatic derivation
(see above, Ch. IV, 8), we Iind the cognate verbal noun
which is devoid oI processual dynamics altogether, though it
denotes, Irom a diIIerent angle, the same reIerential process,
situation, event. &f.:
For them to have arrived so early Such a surprise
Cheir having arrived so early was indeed a great surprise.
- - - -Cheir early arrival was a great surprise, really.
The triple correlation, being oI an indisputably systemic
nature and covering a vast proportion oI the lexicon, enables
us to interpret it in terms oI a special lexico-grammatical
category oI processual representation. The three stages oI this
category represent the reIerential processual entity oI the
lexemic series, respectively, as dynamic (the inIinitive and its
phrase), semi-dynamic (the gerund and its phrase), and
static (the verbal noun and its phrase). The category oI
processual representation underlies the predicative diIIerences
between various situation-naming constructions in the sphere
oI syntactic nominalisation (see Iurther, Ch. XXV).
Another category speciIically identiIied within the
Iramework oI substantival verbids and relevant Ior syntactic
analysis is the category oI modal representation. This
category, pointed out by L. S. Barkhudarov Faxa, (2),
151152, marks the inIinitive in contrast to the gerund, and
it is revealed in the inIinitive having a modal Iorce, in
particular, in its attributive uses, but also elsewhere. &f.:
This is a kind oI peace to be desired by all. (A kind oI
peace that should be desired) Is there any hope Ior us to meet
this great violinist in our town (A hope that we may meet
this violinist) It was arranged Ior the mountaineers to have a
rest in tents beIore climbing the peak. (It was arranged so that
they could have a rest in tents)
When speaking about the Iunctional diIIerence between
lingual Iorms, we must bear in mind that this diIIerence might
become subject to neutralisation in various systemic or
contextual conditions. But however vast the corresponding
Iield oI neutralisation might be, the rational basis oI
correlations oI the Iorms in question still lies in their
diIIerence, not in neutralising equivalence. Indeed, the
diIIerence is linguistically so valuable that one well-
established occurrence oI a diIIerential correlation oI
meaningIul Iorms outweighs by its signiIicance dozens oI
their textual neutralisations. Why so For the simple reason
that language is a means oI Iorming and exchanging ideas
that is, ideas diIIering Irom one another, not coinciding with
one another. And this simple truth should thoroughly be taken
into consideration when tackling certain cases oI inIinitive-
gerund equivalence in syntactic constructions as, Ior
instance, the Ireely alternating gerunds and inIinitives with
some phasal predicators (begin, start, continue, cease, etc.).
The Iunctional equivalence oI the inIinitive and the gerund in
the composition oI the phasal predicate by no means can be
held as testiIying to their Iunctional equivalence in other
spheres oI expression.
As Ior the preIerable or exclusive use oI the gerund with a
set oI transitive verbs (e.g. avoid, delay, deny, forgive, mind,
postpone3 and especially prepositional-complementive verbs
and word-groups (e.g. accuse of, agree to, depend on, prevent
from, thin( of, succeed in, than( for5 be aware of,
be busy in, be indignant at, be sure of3, we clearly see here the
tendency oI mutual diIIerentiation and complementation oI
the substantive verbid Iorms based on the demonstrated
category oI processual representation. In Iact, it is the gerund,
not the inIinitive, that denotes the processual reIerent oI the
lexeme not in a dynamic, but in a halI-dynamic
representation, which is more appropriate to be associated
with a substantive-related part oI the sentence.
7. Within the gerund-participle correlation, the central
point oI our analysis will be the very lexico-grammatical
identiIication oI the two verbid Iorms in ing in their
reIerence to each other. Do they constitute two diIIerent
verbids, or do they present one and the same Iorm with a
somewhat broader range oI Iunctions than either oI the two
taken separately
The ground Ior raising this problem is quite substantial,
since the outer structure oI the two elements oI the verbal
system is absolutely identical: they are outwardly the same
when viewed in isolation. It is not by chance that in the
American linguistic tradition which can be traced back to the
school oI Descriptive Linguistics the two Iorms are
recognised as one integral Ying.
In treating the ing-Iorms as constituting one integral
verbid entity, opposed, on the one hand, to the inIinitive (Y
to3, on the other hand, to the past participle (Yen3, appeal is
naturally made to the alternating use oI the possessive and the
common-objective nounal element in the role oI the subject
oI the ingform (mostly observed in various object positions
oI the sentence). &f.:
I Ielt annoyed at his failing to see my point at once. I
Ielt annoyed at him failing to see my point at once. He was
not, however, averse to Elaine 7ortescue's entertaining the
hypothesis.He was not, however, averse to Elaine
7ortescue entertaining the hypothesis.
This use presents a case known in linguistics as "halI-
gerund". So, in terms oI the general ing-Iorm problem, we
have to choose between the two possible interpretations oI the
halI-gerund: either as an actually intermediary Iorm with
double Ieatures, whose linguistic semi-status is truly reIlected
in its conventional name, or as an element oI a non-existent
categorial speciIication, i.e. just another variant oI the same
indiscriminate Ying.
In this connection, the reasoning oI those who support the
idea oI the integral Ying Iorm can roughly be presented thus:
iI the two uses oI Ying are Iunctionally identical, and iI the
"halI-gerund" Ying occurs with approximately the same
Irequency as the "Iull-gerund" Ying, both Iorms presenting
an ordinary Ieature oI an ordinary English text, then there is
no point in discriminating the "participle" Ying and the
"gerund" Ying.
In compliance with the general principle oI approach to
any set oI elements Iorming a categorial or Iunctional
continuum, let us Iirst consider the correlation between the
polar elements oI the continuum, i.e. the correlation between
the pure present participle and the pure gerund, setting aside
the halI-gerund Ior a Iurther discussion.
The comparative evaluations oI the actually diIIerent uses
oI the ingforms can't Iail to show their distinct categorial
diIIerentiation: one range oI uses is deIinitely noun-related,
deIinitely oI process-substance signiIication; the other range
oI uses is deIinitely adjective-adverb related, deIinitely oI
process-quality signiIication. This diIIerentiation can easily
be illustrated by specialised gerund-testing and participle-
testing, as well as by careIul textual observations oI the
The gerund-testing, partly employed while giving a
general outline oI the gerund, includes the noun-substitution
procedure backed by the question-procedure. &f.:
My chance oI getting, or achieving, anything that I long
Ior will always be gravely reduced by the interminable
existence oI that block. My chance oI whatB My
chance oI success.
He insisted on giving us some coconuts. Rhat did he
insist onB ? He insisted on our acceptance oI the giIt.
All his relatives somehow disapproved oI his writing
poetry. ? Rhat did all his relatives disapprove ofB? His
relatives disapproved oI his poetical wor(.
The other no less convincing evidence oI the nounal
Ieaturing oI the Iorm in question is its natural occurrence in
coordinative connections with the noun. &f.:
I didn't stop to think oI an answer; it came immediately
oII my tongue without any pause or planning. our husband
isn't ill, no. What he does need is rela%ation and simply
cheering a bit, iI you know what I mean. He carried out
rigorously all
the precepts concerning food, bathing, meditation and so on
oI the orthodox Hindu.
The participle-testing, Ior its part, includes the adjective-
adverb substitution procedure backed by the corresponding
question-procedure, as well as some other analogies. &f.:
He was in a terrifying condition. In what (ind oI
condition was heHe was in an awful condition. (Adjective
substitution procedure) Eursuing this; course oI Iree
association, I suddenly remembered a dinner date I once had
with a distinguished colleague ? Rhen did I suddenly
remember a dinner date Chen I suddenly remembered a
dinner date. (Adverb-substitution procedure) She sits up
gasping and staring wild-eyed about her. ? 6ow does she sit
up She sits up so. (Adverb-substitution procedure)
The participle also enters into easy coordinative and
parallel associations with qualitative and stative adjectives.
That was a false, but convincing show oI aIIection. The
ears are large, protruding, with the heavy lobes oI the
sensualist. On the great bed are two Iigures, a sleeping
woman, and a young man awa(e.
Very important in this respect will be analogies between
the present participle qualitative Iunction and the past
participle qualitative Iunction, since the separate categorial
standing oI the past participle remains unchallenged. &f.: an
unmailed letter a coming letter; the fallen monarchy the
falling monarchy; thinned hair thinning hair.
OI especial signiIicance Ior the diIIerential verbid
identiIication purposes are the two diIIerent types oI
conversion the compared Iorms are subject to, namely, the
nounal conversion oI the gerund and, correspondingly, the
adjectival conversion oI the participle.
Compare the gerund-noun conversional pairs: your airing
the room - - -to take an airing beIore going to bed; his
breeding his son to the proIession - a person oI
breeding5 their calling him a liar -- - -the youth's choice oI
a calling in liIe.
Compare the participle-adjective conversional pairs:
animals living in the jungle -living languages; a man never
daring an open argument -- a daring inventor; a car passing
by ----a passing passion.
Having recourse to the evidence oI the analogy type, as a
counter-thesis against the attempted demonstration, one might
point out cases oI categorial ambiguity, where the category oI
the qualiIying element remains open to either interpretation,
such as the "typing instructor", the "boiling kettle", or the
like. However, cases like these present a trivial homonymy
which, being resolved, can itselI be taken as evidence in
Iavour oI, not against, the two ing-Iorms diIIering Irom each
other on the categorial lines. &f.:
the typing instructor the instructor oI typing5 the
instructor who is typing; the boiling kettle the kettle Ior
boiling5 the kettle that is boiling
At this point, the analysis oI the cases presenting the clear-
cut gerund versus present participle diIIerence can be
considered as IulIilled. The two ing-Iorms in question are
shown as possessing categorially diIIerential properties
establishing them as two diIIerent verbids in the system oI the
English verb.
And this casts a light on the categorial nature oI the halI-
gerund, since it is essentially based on the positional verbid
neutralisation. As a matter oI Iact, let us examine the
Iollowing examples:
ou may count on my doing all that is necessary on such
occasions. - -ou may count on me doing all that is necessary
on such occasions.
The possessive subject oI the ingIorm in the Iirst oI the
two sentences is clearly disclosed as a structural adjunct oI a
nounal collocation. But the objective subject oI the ingform
in the second sentence, by virtue oI its morphological
constitution, cannot be associated with a noun: this would
contradict the established regularities oI the categorial
compatibility. The casal-type government (direct, or
representative-pronominal) in the collocation being lost (or,
more precisely, being non-existent), the ing-Iorm oI the
collocation can only be understood as a participle. This
interpretation is strongly supported by comparing halI-gerund
constructions with clear-cut participial constructions
governed by perception verbs:
To think oI him turning sides ------To see him turning
sides I don't like 4rs. Chomson complaining oI her
loneliness. - I can't listen to 4rs. Chomson complaining oI
loneliness. Did you ever hear oI a girl playing a trombone
Did you ever hear a girl playing a trombone
On the other hand, the position oI the participle in the
collocation is syntactically peculiar, since semantic accent in
such constructions is made on the Iact or event described, i.e.
on the situational content oI it, with the processual substance
as its core. This can be demonstrated by question-tests:
(The Iirst halI-gerund construction in the above series)
To think oI what in connection with him (The second halI-
gerund construction) What don't you like about Mrs.
Thomson (The third halI-gerund construction) Which
accomplishment oI a girl presents a surprise Ior the speaker
Hence, the verbid under examination is rather to be
interpreted as a transIerred participle, or a gerundial
participle, the latter term seeming to relevantly disclose the
essence oI the nature oI this Iorm; though the existing name
"halI-gerund" is as good as any other, provided the true
character oI the denoted element oI the system is understood.
Our Iinal remark in connection with the undertaken
observation will be addressed to linguists who, while
recognising the categorial diIIerence between the gerund and
the present participle, will be inclined to analyse the halI-
gerund (the gerundial participle) on exactly the same basis as
the Iull gerund, reIusing to draw a demarcation line between
the latter two Iorms and simply ascribing the occurrence oI
the common case subject in this construction to the limited
use oI the possessive case in modern English in general. As
regards this interpretation, we should like to say that an
appeal to the limited sphere oI the English noun possessive in
an attempt to prove the wholly gerundial character oI the
intermediary construction in question can hardly be
considered oI any serious consequence. True, a vast
proportion oI English nouns do not admit oI the possessive
case Iorm, or, iI they do, their possessive in the construction
would create contextual ambiguity, or else some sort oI
stylistic ineptitude. &f.:
The headlines bore a Ilaring announcement oI the strike
being called oII by the Amalgamated Union. (No normal
possessive with the noun stri(e35 I can't Iancy their daughter
entering a University college. (Ambiguity in the oral
possessive: daughter's $ daughters'35 They were surprised at
the head
oI the Iamily rejecting the services oI the old servant.
(Evading the undesirable shiIt oI the possessive particle 's
Irom the head-noun to its adjunct); The notion oI this woman
who had had the world at her Ieet paying a man halI a dollar
to dance with her Iilled me with shame. (Semantic and
stylistic incongruity oI the clause possessive with the
However, these Iacts are but Iacts in themselves, since
they only present instances when a complete gerundial
construction Ior this or that reason either cannot exist at all, or
else should be avoided on diverse reasons oI usage. So, the
quoted instances oI gerundial participle phrases are not more
demonstrative oI the thesis in question than, say, the
attributive uses oI nouns in the common Iorm (e.g. the
inQuisitor "udgement, the Sha(espeare 7und, a Chompson
way of refusing, etc.) would be demonstrative oI the
possessive case "tendency" to coincide with the bare stem oI
the noun: the absence oI the possessive nounal Iorm as such
can't be taken to testiIy that the "possessive case" may exist
without its Ieature sign.
%I!ITE 1ER:7 I!TR$*'CTI$!
( 1. The Iinite Iorms oI the verb express the processual
relations oI substances and phenomena making up the
situation reIlected in the sentence. These Iorms are associated
with one another in an extremely complex and intricate
system. The peculiar aspect oI the complexity oI this system
lies in the Iact that, as we have stated beIore, the Iinite verb is
directly connected with the structure oI the sentence as a
whole. Indeed, the Iinite verb, through the working oI its
categories, is immediately related to such sentence-
constitutive Iactors as morphological Iorms oI predication,
communication purposes, subjective modality, subject-object
relation, gradation oI probabilities, and quite a Iew other
Iactors oI no lesser importance..
As has been mentioned elsewhere, the complicated
character oI the system in question has given rise to a lot oI
controversies about the structural Iormation oI the Iinite verb
categories, as well as the bases oI their Iunctional semantics.
It would be not an exaggeration to say that each Iundamental
type oI grammatical expression capable oI being approached
in terms oI generalised categories in the domain oI the Iinite
verb has created a subject Ior a scholarly dispute. For
instance, taking as an example the sphere oI the categorial
person and number oI the verb, we are Iaced with the
argument among grammarians about the existence or non-
existence oI the verbal-pronominal Iorms oI these categories.
In connection with the study oI the verbal expression oI time
and aspect, the great controversy is going on as to the
temporal or aspective nature oI the verbal Iorms oI the
indeIinite, continuous, perIect, and perIect-continuous series.
Grammatical expression oI the Iuture tense in English is
stated by some scholars as a matter-oI-Iact truth, while other
linguists are eagerly negating any possibility oI its existence
as an element oI grammar. The verbal voice invites its
investigators to exchange mutually opposing views
regarding both the content and the number oI its Iorms. The
problem oI the subjunctive mood may justly be called one oI
the most vexed in the theory oI grammar: the exposition oI
its structural properties, its inner divisions, as well as its
correlation with the indicative mood vary literally Irom one
linguistic author to another.
On the Iace oI it, one might get an impression that the
morphological study oI the English Iinite verb has amounted
to interminable aimless exchange oI arguments, ceaseless
advances oI opposing "points oI view", the actual aim oI
which has nothing to do with the practical application oI
linguistic theory to liIe. However, the Iallacy oI such an
impression should be brought to light immediately and
As a matter oI Iact, it is the verb system that, oI all the
spheres oI morphology, has come under the most intensive
and IruitIul analysis undertaken by contemporary linguistics.
In the course oI these studies the oppositional nature oI the
categorial structure oI the verb was disclosed and explicitly
Iormulated; the paradigmatic system oI the expression oI
verbal Iunctional semantics was described competently,
though in varying technical terms, and the correlation oI
Iorm and meaning in the composition oI Iunctionally
relevant parts oI this system was demonstrated explicitly on
the copious material gathered.
Theoretical discussions have not ceased, nor subsided.
On the contrary, they continue and develop, though on an
ever more solid scientiIic Ioundation; and the cumulative
descriptions oI the English verb provide now an integral
picture oI its nature which the grammatical theory has never
possessed beIore. Indeed, it is due to this advanced types oI
study that the structural and semantic patterning oI verbal
constructions successIully applied to teaching practices on all
the stages oI tuition has achieved so wide a scope.
2. The Iollowing presentation oI the categorial system oI
the English verb is based on oppositional criteria worked out
in the course oI grammatical studies oI language by Soviet
and Ioreign scholars. We do not propose to develop a
description in which the many points oI discussion would
receive an exposition in terms oI anything like detailed
analysis. Our aim will rather be only to demonstrate some
general principles oI approach such principles as would
stimulate the student's desire to see into the inner meaningIul
workings oI any grammatical construction which are more
oIten than not hidden under the outer connections oI its
textual elements; such principles as would develop the
student's ability to rely on his own resources when coming
across concrete dubious cases oI grammatical structure and
use; such principles as, Iinally, would provide the student
with a competence enabling him to bring his personal eIIorts
oI grammatical understanding to relevant correlation with the
recognised theories, steering open-eyed among the
diIIerences oI expert opinion.
The categorial spheres to be considered in this book are
known Irom every topical description oI English grammar.
They include the systems oI expressing verbal person,
number, time, aspect, voice, and mood. But the identiIication
and the distribution oI the actual grammatical categories oI
the verb recognised in our survey will not necessarily
coincide with the given enumeration, which will be exposed
and deIended with the presentation oI each particular
category that is to come under study.
1. The categories oI person and number are closely
connected with each other. Their immediate connection is
conditioned by the two Iactors: Iirst, by their situational
semantics, reIerring the process denoted by the verb to the
subject oI the situation, i.e. to its central substance (which
exists in inseparable unity oI "quality" reIlected in the
personal denotation, and "quantity" reIlected in the numerical
denotation); second, by their direct and immediate relation to
the syntactic unit expressing the subject as the Iunctional part
oI the sentence.
Both categories are diIIerent in principle Irom the other
categories oI the Iinite verb, in so Iar as they do not convey
any inherently "verbal" semantics, any constituents oI
meaning realised and conIined strictly within the boundaries
oI the verbal lexeme. The nature oI both oI them is purely
"reIlective" (see Ch. III, 5).
Indeed, the process itselI, by its inner quality and logical
status, cannot be "person-setting" in any consistent sense, the
same as it cannot be either "singular" or "plural"; and this
stands in contrast with the other properties oI the process,
such as its development in time, its being momentary or
repeated, its being completed or incompleted, etc. Thus, both
the personal and numerical semantics, though categorially
expressed by the verb, cannot be characterised as process-
relational, similar to the other aspects oI the verbal categorial
semantics. These aspects oI semantics are to be understood
only as substance-relational, reIlected in the verb Irom the
interpretation and grammatical Ieaturing oI the subject.
2. Approached Irom the strictly morphemic angle, the
analysis oI the verbal person and number leads the
grammarian to the statement oI the Iollowing converging and
diverging Ieatures oI their Iorms.
The expression oI the category oI person is essentially
conIined to the singular Iorm oI the verb in the present tense
oI the indicative mood and, besides, is very singularly
presented in the Iuture tense. As Ior the past tense, the person
is alien to it, except Ior a trace oI personal distinction in the
archaic conjugation.
In the present tense the expression oI the category oI
person is divided into three peculiar subsystems.
The Iirst subsystem includes the modal verbs that have no
personal inIlexions: can, may, must, shall, will, ought, need,
dare. So, in the Iormal sense, the category oI person is wholly
neutralised with these verbs, or, in plainer words, it is leIt
The second subsystem is made up by the unique verbal
lexeme be. The expression oI person by this lexeme is the
direct opposite to its expression by modal verbs: iI the latter
do not convey the indication oI person in any morphemic
sense at all, the verb be has three diIIerent suppletive
personal Iorms, namely: am Ior the Iirst person singular, is
Ior the third person singular, and are as a Ieature marking the
Iinite Iorm negatively: neither the Iirst, nor the third person
singular. It can't be taken Ior the speciIic positive mark oI the
second person Ior the simple reason that it coincides with the
plural all-person (equal to none-person) marking.
The third subsystem presents just the regular, normal
expression oI person with the remaining multitude oI the
English verbs, with each morphemic variety oI them. From
the Iormal point oI view, this subsystem occupies the medial
position between the Iirst two: iI the verb be is at least two-
personal, the normal personal type oI the verb conjugation is
one-personal. Indeed, the personal mark is conIined here to
the third person singular (e3s -z, -s, -iz, the other two
persons (the Iirst and the second) remaining unmarked, e.g.
comes $ come, blows $ blow, slops $ stop, chooses $
As is known, alongside oI this universal system oI three
sets oI personal verb Iorms, modern English possesses
another system oI person-conjugation characterising elevated
modes oI speech (solemn addresses, sermons, poetry, etc.)
and stamped with a Ilavour oI archaism. The archaic person-
conjugation has one extra Ieature in comparison with the
common conjugation, namely, a special inIlexion Ior the
second person singular. The three described subsystems oI the
personal verb Iorms receive the Iollowing Ieaturing:
The modal person-conjugation is distinguished by one
morphemic mark, namely, the second person: canst, may(e3st,
wilt, shalt, shouldst, wouldst, ought(e3st, need(e3st, durst.
The personal be-conjugation is complete in three explicitly
marked Iorms, having a separate suppletive presentation Ior
each separate person: am, art, is.
The archaic person-conjugation oI the rest oI the verbs,
though richer than the common system oI person Iorms, still
occupies the medial position between the modal and be-
conjugation. Two oI the three oI its Iorms, the third and
second persons, are positively marked, while the Iirst person
remains unmarked, e.g. comes $ comestcome, blows $
blowest $ blow, stops $ stoppest stop, chooses $
choosest $ choose.
As regards the Iuture tense, the person Iinds here quite
another mode oI expression. The Ieatures distinguishing it
Irom the present-tense person conjugation are, Iirst, that it
marks not the third, but the Iirst person in distinction to the
remaining two; and second, that it includes in its sphere also
the plural. The very principle oI the person Ieaturing is again
very peculiar in the Iuture tense as compared with the present
tense, consisting not in morphemic inIlexion, nor even in the
simple choice oI person-identiIying auxiliaries, but in the
oppositional use oI shall $ will speciIically marking the Iirst
person (expressing, respectively, voluntary and non-voluntary
Iuture), which is contrasted against the oppositional use oI
will $ shall speciIically marking the second and third persons
together (expressing, respectively, mere Iuture and modal
Iuture). These distinctions, which will be described at more
length Iurther on, are characteristic only oI British English.
A trace oI person distinction is presented in the past tense
with the archaic Iorm oI the second person singular. The
Iorm is used but very occasionally, still it goes with the
pronoun thou, being obligatory with it. Here is an example oI
its individualising occurrence taken Irom E. Hemingway:
Chyself and thy horses. Until thou hadst horses thou wert
with us. Now thou art another capitalist more.
Thus, the peculiarity oI the archaic past tense person-
conjugation is that its only marked Iorm is not the third
person as in the present tense, nor the Iirst person as in the
British Iuture tense, but the second person. This is what
might be called "little whims oI grammar"
3. Passing on to the expression oI grammatical number
by the English Iinite verb, we are Iaced with the interesting
Iact that, Irom the Iormally morphemic point oI view, it is
hardly Ieatured at all.
As a matter oI Iact, the more or less distinct morphemic
Ieaturing oI the category oI number can be seen only with the
archaic Iorms oI the unique be, both in the present tense and
in the past tense. But even with this verb the Ieaturing cannot
be called quite explicit, since the opposition oI the category
consists in the unmarked plural Iorm Ior all the persons being
contrasted against the marked singular Iorm Ior each separate
person, each singular person thereby being distinguished by
its own, speciIic Iorm. It means that the expressions oI
person and number by the archaic conjugation oI be in terms
oI the lexeme as a whole are Iormally not strictly
separated Irom each other, each singular mark conveying at
once a double grammatical sense, both oI person and number.
&f.: am are; art are; was (the Iirst and the third persons,
i.e. non-second person) were; wast (second person)
In the common conjugation oI be, the blending oI the
person and number Iorms is more proIound, since the
suppletive are, the same as its past tense counterpart were,
not being conIined to the plural sphere, penetrate the singular
sphere, namely, the expression oI the second person (which
actually becomes non-expression because oI the Iormal
As Ior the rest oI the verbs, the blending oI the morphemic
expression oI the two categories is complete, Ior the only
explicit morphemic opposition in the integral categorial
sphere oI person and number is reduced with these verbs to
the third person singular (present tense, indicative mood)
being contrasted against the unmarked Iinite Iorm oI the verb.
4. The treatment oI the analysed categories on a Iormal
basis, though Iairly consistent in the technical sense, is,
however, lacking an explicit Iunctional appraisal. To Iill the
gap, we must take into due account not only the meaningIul
aspect oI the described verbal Iorms in terms oI their
reIerence to the person-number Iorms oI the subject, but also
the Iunctional content oI the subject-substantival categories oI
person and number themselves.
The semantic core oI the substantival (or pronominal, Ior
that matter) category oI person is understood nowadays in
terms oI deictic, or indicative signiIication.
The deictic Iunction oI lingual units, which has come
under careIul linguistic investigation oI late, consists not in
their expressing selI-dependent and selI-suIIicient elements oI
meaning, but in pointing out entities oI reality in their spatial
and temporal relation to the participants oI speech
communication. In this light, the semantic content oI the Iirst
person is the indication oI the person who is speaking, but
such an indication as is eIIected by no other individual than
himselI. This selI-indicative role is perIormed lexically by the
personal pronoun I. The semantic content oI the second
person is the indication oI the individual who is listening to
the Iirst person speaking but again such an indication as
viewed and eIIected by the speaker. This listener-indicative
Iunction is perIormed by the personal pronoun you. Now,
91499 129
the semantic content oI the third person is quite diIIerent Irom
that oI either the Iirst or second person. Whereas the latter two
express the immediate participants oI the communication, the
third person indicates all the other entities oI reality, i.e.
beings, things, and phenomena not immediately included in
the communicative situation, though also as viewed by the
speaker, at the moment oI speech. This latter kind oI
indication may be eIIected in the two alternative ways. The
Iirst is a direct one, by using words oI a Iull meaning
Iunction, either proper, or common, with the corresponding
speciIications achieved with the help oI indicators-
determiners (articles and pronominal words oI diverse
linguistic standings). The second is an oblique one, by using
the personal pronouns he, she, or it, depending on the gender
properties oI the reIerents. It is the second way, i.e. the
personal pronominal indication oI the third person reIerent,
that immediately answers the essence oI the grammatical
category oI person as such, i.e. the three-stage location oI the
reIerent in relation to the speaker: Iirst, the speaker himselI;
second, his listener; third, the non-participant oI the
communication, be it a human non-participant or otherwise.
As we see, the category oI person taken as a whole is, as it
were, inherently linguistic, the signiIicative purpose oI it
being conIined to indications centering around the production
oI speech.
Let us now appraise the category oI number represented in
the Iorms oI personal pronouns, i.e. the lexemic units oI
language specially destined to serve the speaker-listener
lingual relation.
One does not have to make great exploratory eIIorts in
order to realise that the grammatical number oI the personal
pronouns is extremely peculiar, in no wise resembling the
number oI ordinary substantive words. As a matter oI Iact, the
number oI a substantive normally expresses either the
singularity or plurality oI its reIerent ("one more than
one", or, in oppositional appraisal, "plural non-plural"), the
quality oI the reIerents, as a rule, not being re-interpreted with
the change oI the number (the many exceptions to this rule lie
beyond the purpose oI our present discussion). For instance,
when speaking about a Iew powder-compacts, I have in mind
just several pieces oI them oI absolutely the same nature. Or
when reIerring to a team oI eleven Iootball-players, I mean
exactly so many members oI this sporting group. With the
personal pronouns, though, it is "diIIerent,
and the cardinal Ieature oI the diIIerence is the heterogeneity
oI the plural personal pronominal meaning.
Indeed, the Iirst person plural does not indicate the
plurality oI the "ego", it can't mean several I's. What it
denotes in Iact, is the speaker plus some other person or
persons belonging, Irom the point oI view oI the utterance
content, to the same background. The second person plural is
essentially diIIerent Irom the Iirst person plural in so Iar as it
does not necessarily express, but is only capable oI
expressing similar semantics. Thus, it denotes either more
than one listener (and this is the ordinary, general meaning oI
the plural as such, not represented in the Iirst person); or,
similar to the Iirst person, one actual listener plus some other
person or persons belonging to the same background in the
speaker's situational estimation; or, again speciIically
diIIerent Irom the Iirst person, more than one actual listener
plus some other person or persons oI the corresponding
interpretation. Turning to the third person plural, one might
Ieel inclined to think that it would wholly coincide with the
plural oI an ordinary substantive name. On closer
observation, however, we note a Iundamental diIIerence here
also. Indeed, the plural oI the third person is not the
substantive plural proper, but the deictic, indicative,
pronominal plural; it is expressed through the intermediary
reIerence to the direct name oI the denoted entity, and so may
either be related to the singular hepronoun, or the she-
rnun, or the it-pronoun, or to any possible combination oI
them according to the nature oI the plural object oI
The only inIerence that can be made Irom the given
description is that in the personal pronouns the expression oI
the plural is very much blended with the expression oI the
person, and what is taken to be three persons in the singular
and plural, essentially presents a set oI six diIIerent Iorms oI
blended person-number nature, each distinguished by its own
individuality. ThereIore, in the strictly categorial light, we
have here a system not oI three, but oI six persons.
Returning now to the analysed personal and numerical
Iorms oI the Iinite verb, the Iirst conclusion to be drawn on
the ground oI the undertaken analysis is, that their intermixed
character, determined on the Iormal basis, answers in general
the mixed character oI the expression oI person and number
by the pronominal subject name oI the predicative
construction. The second conclusion to be drawn, however, is
that the described Iormal person-number system oI
* 131
the Iinite verb is extremely and very singularly deIicient. In
Iact, what in this connection the regular verb-Iorm does
express morphemically, is only the oppositional identiIication
oI the third person singular (to leave alone the particular
British English mode oI expressing the person in the Iuture).
A question naturally arises: What is the actual relevance oI
this deIicient system in terms oI the English language Can
one point out any Iunctional, rational signiIicance oI it, iI
taken by itselI
The answer to this question can evidently be only in the
negative: in no wise. There cannot be any Iunctional
relevance in such a system, iI taken by itselI. But in language
it does not exist by itselI.
5. As soon as we take into consideration the Iunctional
side oI the analysed Iorms, we discover at once that these
Iorms exist in unity with the personal-numerical Iorms oI the
subject. This unity is oI such a nature that the universal and
true indicator oI person and number oI the subject oI the verb
will be the subject itselI, however trivial this statement may
sound. Essentially, though, there is not a trace oI triviality in
the Iormula, bearing in mind, on the one hand, the substantive
character oI the expressed categorial meanings, and on the
other, the analytical basis oI the English grammatical
structure. The combination oI the English Iinite verb with the
subject is obligatory not only in the general syntactic sense,
but also in the categorial sense oI expressing the subject-
person oI the process.
An objection to this thesis can be made on the ground that
in the text the actual occurrence oI the subject with the Iinite
verb is not always observed. Moreover, the absence oI the
subject in constructions oI living colloquial English is, in
general, not an unusual Ieature. Observing textual materials,
we may come across cases oI subject-wanting predicative
units used not only singly, as part oI curt question-response
exchange, but also in a continual chain oI speech. Here is an
example oI a chain oI this type taken Irom E. Hemingway:
"No one shot Irom cars," said Wilson coldly. "I
mean chase them Irom cars."
#Rouldn't ordinarily," Wilson said. #Seemed sporting
enough to me though while we were doing it. Ca(ing more
chance driving that way across the plain Iull oI holes and one
thing and another than hunting on Ioot. BuIIalo could have
charged us each time we shot iI he liked. Dave him every
chance. Rouldn't mention it to any one though. It's illegal iI
that's what you mean."
However, examples like this cannot be taken Ior a disprooI
oI the obligatory connection between the verb and its subject,
because the corresponding subject-nouns, possibly together
with some other accompanying words, are zeroed on certain
syntactico-stylistical principles (brevity oI expression in
Iamiliar style, concentration on the main inIormative parts oI
the communication, individual speech habits, etc.). Thus, the
distinct zero-representation oI the subject does give
expression to the verbal person-number category even in
conditions oI an outwardly gaping void in place oI the subject
in this or that concrete syntactic construction used in the text.
Due to the said zero-representation, we can easily reconstruct
the implied person indications in the cited passage: "I
wouldn't ordinarily"; "It seemed sporting enough"; "It was
taking more chance driving that way"; "We gave him every
chance"; "I wouldn't mention it to any one".
uite naturally, the non-use oI the subject in an actual
utterance may occasionally lead to a reIerential
misunderstanding or lack oI understanding, and such
situations are reIlected in literary works by writers
observers oI human speech as well as oI human nature. A
vivid illustration oI this type oI speech inIormative deIiciency
can be seen in one oI . MansIield's stories:
#7ried or boiledB# asked the bold voice.
7ried or boiledB osephine and Constantia were quite
bewildered Ior the moment. They could hardly take it in.
#7ried or boiled what, ate" asked osephine, trying to
begin to concentrate.
ate gave a loud sniII. "Fish."
"Well, why didn't you say so immediately" osephine
reproached her gently. "How could you expect us to
understand, ate There are a great many things in this world,
you know, which are Iried or boiled."
The reIerential gap in ate's utterance gave cause to her
bewildered listener Ior a just reproach. But such lack oI
positive inIormation in an utterance is not to be conIused with
the non-expression oI a grammatical category. In this
connection, the textual zeroing oI the subject-pronoun may be
likened to the textual zeroing oI diIIerent constituents oI
classical analytical verb-Iorms, such as the continuous, the
perIect, and others: no zeroing can deprive these Iorms ;9
2<=>? grammatical, categorial status.
Now, it would be too strong to state that the combination
oI the subject-pronoun with the Iinite verb in English has
become an analytical person-number Iorm in the Iull sense oI
this notion. The English subject-pronoun, unlike the French
conjoint subject-pronoun (e.g. Je vous remercie $ #I thank
you"; but: mon mari et moi $ "my husband and I#3, still
retains its selI-positional syntactic character, and the personal
pronominal words, without a change oI their nominative
Iorm, are used in various notional Iunctions in sentences,
building up diIIerent positional sentence-parts both in the role
oI head-word and in the role oI adjunct-word. What we do
see in this combination is, probably, a very speciIic semi-
analytical expression oI a reIlective grammatical category
through an obligatory syntagmatic relation oI the two
lexemes: the lexeme-reIlector oI the category and the lexeme-
originator oI the category. This mode oI grammatical
expression can be called "junctional". Its opposite, i.e. the
expression oI the categorial content by means oI a normal
morphemic or word-morphemic procedure, can be, by way oI
contrast, tentatively called "native". Thus, Irom the point oI
view oI the expression oI a category either through the actual
morphemic composition oI a word, or through its being
obligatorily reIerred to another word in a syntagmatic string,
the corresponding grammatical Iorms will be classed into
native and junctional. About the person-numerical Iorms oI
the Iinite verb in question we shall say that in the ordinary
case oI the third person singular present indicative, the person
and number oI the verb are expressed natively, while in most
oI the other paradigmatic locations they are expressed
junctionally, through the obligatory reIerence oI the verb-
Iorm to its subject.
This truth, not incapable oI inviting an objection on the
part oI the learned, noteworthily has been exposed Irom time
immemorial in practical grammar books, where the actual
conjugation oI the verb is commonly given in the Iorm oI
pronoun-verb combinations: I read, you read, he reads, we
read, you read, they read.
In point oI Iact, the English Iinite verb presented without
its person-subject is grammatically almost meaningless. The
presence oI the two you's in practical tables oI examples like
the one above, in our opinion, is also justiIied by the inner
structure oI language. Indeed, since you is part oI the person-
number system, and not only oI the person system, it should
be but natural to take it in the two diIIerent, though mutually
complementing interpretations one Ior each oI the two
series oI pronouns in question, i.e. the singular series and the
plural series. In the light oI this approach, the archaic Iorm
thou plus the verb should be understood as a speciIic variant
oI the second person singular with its respective stylistic
6. The exposition oI the verbal categories oI person and
number presented here helps conveniently explain some
special cases oI the subject-verb categorial relations. The bulk
oI these cases have been treated by traditional grammar in
terms oI "agreement in sense", or "notional concord". We
reIer to the grammatical agreement oI the verb not with the
categorial Iorm oI the subject expressed morphemically, but
with the actual personal-numerical interpretation oI the
denoted reIerent.
Here belong, in the Iirst place, combinations oI the Iinite
verb with collective nouns. According as they are meant by
the speaker either to reIlect the plural composition oI the
subject, or, on the contrary, to render its integral, single-unit
quality, the verb is used either in the plural, or in the singular.
The government were deIinitely against the bill introduced
by the opposing liberal party.--------The newly appointed
government has gathered Ior its Iirst session.
In the second place, we see here predicative constructions
whose subject is made imperatively plural by a numeral
attribute. Still, the corresponding verb-Iorm is used to treat it
both ways: either as an ordinary plural which IulIils its
Iunction in immediate keeping with its Iactual plural reIerent,
or as an integrating name, whose plural grammatical Iorm and
constituent composition give only a measure to the subject-
matter oI denotation. &f.:
Three years have elapsed since we saw him last.
Three years is a long time to wait.'
In the third place, under the considered heading come
constructions whose subject is expressed by a coordinative
group oI nouns, the verb being given an option oI treating it
either as a plural or as a singular. E.g.:
My heart and soul belongs to this small nation in its
desperate struggle Ior survival.- My emotional selI and
rational selI have been at variance about the attitude adopted
by ane.
The same rule oI "agreement in sense" is operative in
relative clauses, where the Iinite verb directly reIlects the
categories oI the nounal antecedent oI the clause-introductory
relative pronoun-subject. &f.:
I who am practically unacquainted with the Iormal theory
oI games can hardly suggest an alternative solution.-- our
words show the courage and the truth that I have always Ielt
was in your heart.
On the Iace oI it, the cited examples might seem to testiIy
to the analysed verbal categories being altogether selI-
suIIicient, capable, as it were, even oI "bossing" the subject as
to its reIerential content. However, the inner regularities
underlying the outer arrangement oI grammatical connections
are necessarily oI a contrary nature: it is the subject that
induces the verb, through its inIlexion, however scanty it may
be, to help express the substantival meaning not represented
in the immediate substantival Iorm. That this is so and not
otherwise, can be seen on examples where the subject seeks
the needed Iormal assistance Irom other quarters than the
verbal, in particular, having recourse to determiners. CI.: 8
Iull thirty miles was covered in less than halI an hour; the car
could be saIely relied on.
Thus, the role oI the verb in such and like cases comes at
most to that oI a grammatical intermediary.
From the Iunctional point oI view, the direct opposite to
the shown categorial connections is represented by instances
oI dialectal and colloquial person-number neutralisation. &f.:
"Ah It's pity you never was trained to use your reason,
miss" (B. Shaw). "He's been in his room all day," the landlady
said downstairs. "I guess he don't feel well" (E. Hemingway).
"What are they going to do to me" ohnny said.
"Nothing," I said. #Chey ain't going to do nothing to you" (W.
Such and similar oppositional neutralisations oI the
surviving verbal person-number indicators, on their part,
clearly emphasise the signiIicance oI the junctional aspect oI
the two inter-connected categories reIlected in the verbal
lexeme Irom the substantival subject.
1. The immediate expression oI grammatical time, or
"tense" (Aat. tempus), is one oI the typical Iunctions oI the
Iinite verb. It is typical because the meaning oI process,
inherently embedded in the verbal lexeme, Iinds its complete
realisation only iI presented in certain time conditions. That is
why the expression or non-expression oI grammatical time,
together with the expression or non-expression oI
grammatical mood in person-Iorm presentation, constitutes
the basis oI the verbal category oI Iinitude, i.e. the basis oI the
division oI all the Iorms oI the verb into Iinite and non-Iinite.
When speaking oI the expression oI time by the verb, it is
necessary to strictly distinguish between the general notion oI
time, the lexical denotation oI time, and the grammatical time
proper, or grammatical temporality.
The dialectical-materialist notion oI time exposes it as the
universal Iorm oI the continual consecutive change oI
phenomena. Time, as well as space are the basic Iorms oI the
existence oI matter, they both are inalienable properties oI
reality and as such are absolutely independent oI human
perception. On the other hand, like other objective Iactors oI
the universe, time is reIlected by man through his perceptions
and intellect, and Iinds its expression in his language.
It is but natural that time as the universal Iorm oI
consecutive change oI things should be appraised by the
individual in reIerence to the moment oI his immediate
perception oI the outward reality. This moment oI immediate
perception, or "present moment", which is continually shiIting
in time, and the linguistic content oI which is the "moment oI
speech", serves as the demarcation line between the past and
the Iuture. All the lexical expressions oI time, according as
they reIer or do not reIer the denoted points or periods oI time,
directly or obliquely, to this moment, are divided into
"present-oriented", or "absolutive" expressions oI time, and
"non-present-oriented", "non-absolutive" expressions oI time.
The absolutive time denotation, in compliance with the
experience gained by man in the course oI his cognitive
activity, distributes the intellective perception oI time among
three spheres: the sphere oI the present, with the present
moment included within its Iramework; the sphere oI the past,
which precedes the sphere oI the present by way oI retrospect;
the sphere oI the Iuture, which Iollows the sphere oI the
present by way oI prospect.
Thus, words and phrases like now, last wee(, in our
century, in the past, in the years to come, very soon,
yesterday, in a couple of days, giving a temporal characteristic
to an event Irom the point oI view oI its orientation in
reIerence to the present moment, are absolutive names oI
The non-absolutive time denotation does not characterise
an event in terms oI orientation towards the present. This kind
oI denotation may be either "relative" or "Iactual".
The relative expression oI time correlates two or more
events showing some oI them either as preceding the others,
or Iollowing the others, or happening at one and the same
time with them. Here belong such words and phrases as after
that, before that, at one and the same time with, some time
later, at an interval of a day or two, at different times, etc.
The Iactual expression oI time either directly states the
astronomical time oI an event, or else conveys this meaning in
terms oI historical landmarks. Under this heading should be
listed such words and phrases as in the year 9cdd, during the
time of the 7irst Rorld Rar, at the epoch of Uapoleon, at the
early period of civilisation, etc.
In the context oI real speech the above types oI time
naming are used in combination with one another, so that the
denoted event receives many-sided and very exact
characterisation regarding its temporal status.
OI all the temporal meanings conveyed by such detailing
lexical denotation oI time, the Iinite verb generalises in its
categorial Iorms only the most abstract signiIications, taking
them as dynamic characteristics oI the reIlected process. The
Iundamental divisions both oI absolutive time and oI non-
absolutive relative time Iind in the verb a speciIic
presentation, idiomatically diIIerent Irom one language to
another. The Iorm oI this presentation is dependent, the same
as with the expression oI other grammatical meanings, on the
concrete semantic Ieatures chosen by a language as a basis
Ior the Iunctional diIIerentiation within the verb lexeme. And
it is the verbal expression oI abstract, grammatical time that
Iorms the necessary background Ior the adverbial contextual
time denotation in an utterance; without the verbal
background serving as a universal temporal "polariser" and
"leader", this marking oI time would be utterly inadequate.
Indeed, what inIormative content should the Iollowing
passage convey with all its lexical indications oI time =in the
morning, in the afternoon, as usual, never, ever3, iI it were
deprived oI the general indications oI time achieved through
the Iorms oI the verb the unit oI the lexicon which the
German grammarians very signiIicantly call "eitwort"
the "time-word":
My own birthday @5AA=6 without ceremony. I B;?C=6 as
usual in the morning and in the afternoon B=32 Ior a walk in
the solitary woods behind my house. I <54= never D==3 able
to discover what it is that gives these woods their mysterious
attractiveness. They are like no woods I <54= ever known (S.
In Modern English, the grammatical expression oI verbal
time, i.e. tense, is eIIected in two correlated stages. At the Iirst
stage, the process receives an absolutive time characteristic
by means oI opposing the past tense to the present tense. The
marked member oI this opposition is the past Iorm. At the
second stage, the process receives a non-absolutive relative
time characteristic by means oI opposing the Iorms oI the
Iuture tense to the Iorms oI no Iuture marking. Since the two
stages oI the verbal time denotation are expressed separately,
by their own oppositional Iorms, and, besides, have
essentially diIIerent orientation characteristics (the Iirst stage
being absolutive, the second stage, relative), it stands to
reason to recognise in the system oI the English verb not one,
but two temporal categories. Both oI them answer the
question: "What is the timing oI the process" But the Iirst
category, having the past tense as its strong member,
expresses a direct retrospective evaluation oI the time oI the
process, Iixing the process either in the past or not in the past;
the second category, whose strong member is the Iuture tense,
gives the timing oI the process a prospective evaluation,
Iixing it either in the Iuture (i.e. in the prospective posterior),
or not in the Iuture. As a result oI the combined working oI
the two categories, the time oI the event reIlected in the
utterance Iinds its adequate location in the
temporal context, showing all the distinctive properties oI the
lingual presentation oI time mentioned above.
In accord with the oppositional marking oI the two
temporal categories under analysis, we shall call the Iirst oI
them the category oI "primary time", and the second, the
category oI "prospective time", or, contractedly, "prospect".
2. The category oI primary time, as has just been stated,
provides Ior the absolutive expression oI the time oI the
process denoted by the verb, i.e. such an expression oI it as
gives its evaluation, in the long run, in reIerence to the
moment oI speech. The Iormal sign oI the opposition
constituting this category is, with regular verbs, the dental
suIIix (e3d -d, -t, -id, and with irregular verbs, phonemic
interchanges oI more or less individual speciIications. The
suIIix marks the verbal Iorm oI the past time (the past tense),
leaving the opposite Iorm unmarked. Thus, the opposition is
to be rendered by the Iormula "the past tense the present
tense", the latter member representing the non-past tense,
according to the accepted oppositional interpretation.
The speciIic Ieature oI the category oI primary time is, that
it divides all the tense Iorms oI the English verb into two
temporal planes: the plane oI the present and the plane oI the
past, which aIIects also the Iuture Iorms. Very important in
this respect is the structural nature oI the expression oI the
category: the category oI primary time is the only verbal
category oI immanent order which is expressed by inIlexional
Iorms. These inIlexional Iorms oI the past and present coexist
in the same verb-entry oI speech with the other, analytical
modes oI various categorial expression, including the Iuture.
Hence, the English verb acquires the two Iutures: on the one
hand, the Iuture oI the present, i.e. as prospected Irom the
present; on the other hand, the Iuture oI the past, i.e. as
prospected Irom the past. The Iollowing example will be
illustrative oI the whole Iour-member correlation:
ill returns Irom her driving class at Iive o'clock.
At Iive ill returned Irom her driving class. I know that
ill will return Irom her driving class at Iive o'clock.
I knew that at Iive ill would return Irom her driving class.
An additional reason Ior identiIying the verbal past-present
time system as a separate grammatical category is provided by
the Iact that this system is speciIically marked by the do-
Iorms oI the indeIinite aspect with their various,
but inherently correlated Iunctions. These Iorms, Iound in the
interrogative constructions (>oes he believe the whole
story), in the negative constructions (He doesn't believe the
story), in the elliptical response constructions and elsewhere,
are conIined only to the category oI primary time, i.e. the
verbal past and present, not coming into contact with the
expression oI the Iuture.
3. The Iact that the present tense is the unmarked
member oI the opposition explains a very wide range oI its
meanings exceeding by Iar the indication oI the "moment oI
speech" chosen Ior the identiIication oI primary temporality.
Indeed, the present time may be understood as literally the
moment oI speaking, the zero-point oI all subjective
estimation oI time made by the speaker. The meaning oI the
present with this connotation will be conveyed by such
phrases as at this very moment, or this instant, or e%actly now,
or some other phrase like that. But an utterance like "now
while I am spea(ing# breaks the notion oI the zero time
proper, since the speaking process is not a momentary, but a
durative event. Furthermore, the present will still be the
present iI we relate it to such vast periods oI time as this
month, this year, in our epoch, in the present millennium, etc.
The denoted stretch oI time may be prolonged by a
collocation like that beyond any deIinite limit. Still
Iurthermore, in utterances oI general truths as, Ior instance,
"Two plus two ma(es Iour", or "The sun is a star", or
"Handsome is that handsome does#, the idea oI time as such
is almost suppressed, the implication oI constancy,
unchangeability oI the truth at all times being made
prominent. The present tense as the verbal Iorm oI
generalised meaning covers all these denotations, showing
the present time in relation to the process as inclusive oI the
moment oI speech, incorporating this moment within its
deIinite or indeIinite stretch and opposed to the past time.
Thus, iI we say, "Two plus two ma(es Iour", the linguistic
implication oI it is "always, and so at the moment oI speech".
II we say, "I never ta(e his advice", we mean linguistically "at
no time in terms oI the current state oI my attitude towards
him, and so at the present moment". II we say, #In our
millennium social Iormations change quicker than in the
previous periods oI man's history", the linguistic temporal
content oI it is "in our millennium, that is, in the millennium
including the moment oI speech". This meaning is the
invariant oI the present, developed Irom its categorial
opposition to the past, and it penetrates the uses oI the Iinite
verb in all its Iorms, including the perIect, the Iuture, the
Indeed, iI the Radio carries the news, "The two suspected
terrorists have been ta(en into custody by the police", the
implication oI the moment oI speech reIers to the direct
inIluence or aIter-eIIects oI the event announced. Similarly,
the statement "ou will be informed about the decision later
in the day" describes the event, which, although it has not yet
happened, is prospected into the Iuture Irom the present, i.e.
the prospection itselI incorporates the moment oI speech. As
Ior the present continuous, its relevance Ior the present
moment is selI-evident.
Thus, the analysed meaning oI the verbal present arises as
a result oI its immediate contrast with the past Iorm which
shows the exclusion oI the action Irom the plane oI the
present and so the action itselI as capable oI being perceived
only in temporal retrospect. Again, this latter meaning oI the
disconnection Irom the present penetrates all the verbal Iorms
oI the past, including the perIect, the Iuture, the continuous.
Due to the marked character oI the past verbal Iorm, the said
quality oI its meaning does not require special demonstration.
Worthy oI note, however, are utterances where the
meaning oI the past tense stands in contrast with the meaning
oI some adverbial phrase reIerring the event to the present
moment. &f.: Coday again I spo(e to Mr. ones on the matter,
and again he failed to see the urgency oI it.
The seeming linguistic paradox oI such cases consists
exactly in the Iact that their two-type indications oI time, one
verbal-grammatical, and one adverbial-lexical, approach the
same event Irom two opposite angles. But there is nothing
irrational here. As a matter oI Iact, the utterances present
instances oI two-plane temporal evaluation oI the event
described: the verb-Iorm shows the process as past and gone,
i.e. physically disconnected Irom the present; as Ior the
adverbial modiIier, it presents the past event as a particular
happening, belonging to a more general time situation which
is stretched out up to the present moment inclusive, and
possibly past the present moment into the Iuture.
A case directly opposite to the one shown above is seen in
the transpositional use oI the present tense oI the verb with
the past adverbials, either included in the utterance as such, or
else expressed in its contextual environment. E.g.:
Chen he turned the corner, and what do you think happens
next He faces nobody else than Mr. Greggs accompanied by
his private secretary
The stylistic purpose oI this transposition, known under
the name oI the "historic present" (Aat. praesens historicum)
is to create a vivid picture oI the event reIlected in the
utterance. This is achieved in strict accord with the Iunctional
meaning oI the verbal present, sharply contrasted against the
general background oI the past plane oI the utterance content.
4. The combinations oI the verbs shall and will with the
inIinitive have oI late become subject oI renewed discussion.
The controversial point about them is, whether these
combinations really constitute, together with the Iorms oI the
past and present, the categorial expression oI verbal tense, or
are just modal phrases, whose expression oI the Iuture time
does not diIIer in essence Irom the general Iuture orientation
oI other combinations oI modal verbs with the inIinitive. The
view that shall and will retain their modal meanings in all
their uses was deIended by such a recognised authority on
English grammar oI the older generation oI the twentieth
century linguists as O. espersen. In our times, quite a Iew
scholars, among them the successors oI Descriptive
Linguistics, consider these verbs as part oI the general set oI
modal verbs, "modal auxiliaries", expressing the meanings oI
capability, probability, permission, obligation, and the like.
A well-grounded objection against the inclusion oI the
construction shall!will InIinitive in the tense system oI the
verb on the same basis as the Iorms oI the present and past
has been advanced by L. S. Barkhudarov Faxa, (2),
126 n.. His objection consists in the demonstration oI the
double marking oI this would-be tense Iorm by one and the
same category: the combinations in question can express at
once both the Iuture time and the past time (the Iorm "Iuture-
in-the-past"), which hardly makes any sense in terms oI a
grammatical category. Indeed, the principle oI the
identiIication oI any grammatical category demands that the
Iorms oI the category in normal use should be mutually
exclusive. The category is constituted by the opposition oI its
Iorms, not by their co-position
However, reconsidering the status oI the construction
shall!will InIinitive in the light oI oppositional approach,
we see that, Iar Irom comparing with the past-present verbal
Iorms as the third member-Iorm oI the category oI primary
time, it marks its own grammatical category, namely, that oI
prospective time (prospect). The meaningIul contrast
underlying the category oI prospective time is between an
aIter-action and a non-aIter-action. The aIter-action, or the
"Iuture", having its shall!willIeature, constitutes the marked
member oI the opposition.
The category oI prospect is also temporal, in so Iar as it is
immediately connected with the expression oI processual
time, like the category oI primary time. But the semantic
basis oI the category oI prospect is diIIerent in principle Irom
that oI the category oI primary time: while the primary time is
absolutive, i. e. present-oriented, the prospective time is
purely relative; it means that the Iuture Iorm oI the verb only
shows that the denoted process is prospected as an aIter-
action relative to some other action or state or event, the
timing oI which marks the zero-level Ior it. The two times are
presented, as it were, in prospective coordination: one is
shown as prospected Ior the Iuture, the Iuture being relative
to the primary time, either present or past. As a result, the
expression oI the Iuture receives the two mutually
complementary maniIestations: one maniIestation Ior the
present time-plane oI the verb, the other maniIestation Ior the
past time-plane oI the verb. In other words, the process oI the
verb is characterised by the category oI prospect irrespective
oI its primary time characteristic, or rather, as an addition to
this characteristic, and this is quite similar to all the other
categories capable oI entering the sphere oI verbal time, e.g.
the category oI development (continuous in opposition), the
category oI retrospective coordination (perIect in opposition),
the category oI voice (passive in opposition): the respective
Iorms oI all these categories also have the past and present
versions, to which, in due course, are added the Iuture and
non-Iuture versions. Consider the Iollowing examples:
(1) I was ma(ing a road and all the coolies struck. (2)
None oI us doubted in the least that Aunt Emma would soon
be marvelling again at Eustace's challenging success. (3) The
next thing she wrote she sent to a magazine, and Ior many
weeks worried about what would happen to it. (4) She did not
protest, Ior she had given up the struggle. (5) Felix knew that
they would have settled the dispute by the time he could be
ready to have his say. (6) He was being watched, shadowed,
chased by that despicable gang oI hirelings. (7) But would
little onny be Wbeing loo(ed aIter properly The nurse was
so young and inexperienced
The oppositional content oI the exempliIied cases oI Iinite
verb-Iorms will, in the chosen order oI sequence, be
presented as Iollows: the past non-Iuture continuous non-
perIect non-passive (1); the past Iuture continuous non-
perIect non-passive (2) the past Iuture non-continuous non-
perIect non-passive (3); the past non-Iuture non-continuous
perIect non-passive (4); the past Iuture non-continuous
perIect non-passive (5); the past non-Iuture continuous non-
perIect passive (6); the past Iuture continuous non-perIect
passive (7) the latter Iorm not in practical use.
As we have already stated beIore, the Iuture tenses reject
the do-Iorms oI the indeIinite aspect, which are conIined to
the expression oI the present and past verbal times only. This
Iact serves as a supplementary ground Ior the identiIication oI
the expression oI prospect as a separate grammatical
OI course, it would be an ill turn to grammar iI one tried to
introduce the above circumstantial terminology with all its
pedantic strings oI "non's" into the elementary teaching oI
language. The stringed categorial "non"-terms are apparently
too redundant to be recommended Ior ordinary use even at an
advanced level oI linguistic training. What is achieved by this
kind oI terminology, however, is a comprehensive indication
oI the categorial status oI verb-Iorms under analysis in a
compact, terse presentation. Thus, whenever a presentation
like that is called Ior, the terms will be quite in their place.
5. In analysing the English Iuture tenses, the modal
Iactor, naturally, should be thoroughly taken into
consideration. A certain modal colouring oI the meaning oI
the English Iuture cannot be denied, especially in the verbal
Iorm oI the Iirst person. But then, as is widely known, the
expression oI the Iuture in other languages is not
disconnected Irom modal semantics either; and this is
conditioned by the mere Iact that the Iuture action, as
diIIerent Irom the present or past action, cannot be looked
upon as a genuine Ieature oI reality. Indeed, it is only
Ioreseen, or anticipated, or planned, or desired, or otherwise
prospected Ior the time to come. In this quality, the Russian
Iuture tense does not diIIer in principle
Irom the verbal Iuture oI other languages, including English,
SuIIice it to give a couple oI examples chosen at random:
gHFF/HbZ amtx xax, smtx
xan, rn xa at r.
-P LZOPG xu nmt x (. n).
n a r. hH0OPKa rana nma,
F/HbPKa: t . t r nx
ann (F. Bant).
The Iuture Iorms oI the verbs in the Iirst oI the above
Russian examples clearly express promise (i. e. a Iuture
action conveyed as a promise); those in the second example
render a command.
Moreover, in the system oI the Russian tenses there is a
specialised modal Iorm oI analytical Iuture expressing
intention (the combination oI the verb FGHGa with the
imperIective inIinitive). E. g.: x t t x
nat x xaax, u x FGH-Z OPMHGa.
na tam. (. n).
Within the Iramework oI the universal meaningIul Ieatures
oI the verbal Iuture, the Iuture oI the English verb is highly
speciIic in so Iar as its auxiliaries in their very immediate
etymology are words oI obligation and volition, and the
survival oI the respective connotations in them is backed by
the inherent quality oI the Iuture as such. Still, on the whole,
the English categorial Iuture diIIers distinctly Irom the modal
constructions with the same predicator verbs.
6. In the clear-cut modal uses oI the verbs shall and will
the idea oI the Iuture either is not expressed at all, or else is
only rendered by way oI textual connotation, the central
semantic accent being laid on the expression oI obligation,
necessity, inevitability, promise, intention, desire. These
meanings may be easily seen both on the examples oI ready
phraseological citation, and genuine everyday conversation
exchanges. &f.:
He who does not work neither shall he eat (phraseological
citation). "I want a nice hot curry, do you hear" "All right,
Mr. Crackenthorpe, you shall have it" (everyday speech).
None are so deaI as those who will not hear (phraseological
citation). Nobody's allowed to touch a thing I won't have a
woman near the place (everyday speech).
The modal nature oI the shall!will InIinitive 146
combinations in the cited examples can be shown by means
oI equivalent substitutions:
... He who does not work must not eat, either. ... All
right, Mr. Crackenthorpe, I promise to have it cooked. ...
None are so deaI as those who do not want to hear. ... I
intend not to allow a woman to come near the
Accounting Ior the modal meanings oI the combinations
under analysis, traditional grammar gives the Iollowing rules:
shall i InIinitive with the Iirst person, will i InIinitive with
the second and third persons express pure Iuture; the reverse
combinations express modal meanings, the most typical oI
which are intention or desire Ior I will and promise or
command on the part oI the speaker Ior you shall, he shall.
Both rules apply to reIined British English. In American
English will is described as expressing pure Iuture with all the
persons, shall as expressing modality.
However, the cited description, though distinguished by
elegant simplicity, cannot be taken as Iully agreeing with the
existing lingual practice. The main Ieature oI this description
contradicted by practice is the British use oI will with the Iirst
person without distinctly pronounced modal connotations
(making due allowance Ior the general connection oI the
Iuture tense with modality, oI which we have spoken beIore).
I will call Ior you and your young man at seven o'clock (.
Galsworthy). When we wake I will ta(e him up and carry him
back (R. ipling). I will let you know on Wednesday what
expenses have been necessary (A. Christie). II you wait there
on Thursday evening between seven and eight I will come iI I
can (H. Merriman).
That the combinations oI will with the inIinitive in the
above examples do express the Iuture time, admits oI no
dispute. Furthermore, these combinations, seemingly, are
charged with modal connotations in no higher degree than the
corresponding combinations oI shall with the inIinitive. &f.:
Haven't time; I shall miss my train (A. Bennett). I shall be
happy to carry it to the House oI Lords, iI necessary (.
Galsworthy). ou never know what may happen. I shan't
have a minute's peace (M. Dickens).
Granted our semantic intuitions about the exempliIied
uses are true, the question then arises: what is the real
diIIerence, iI any, between the two British Iirst person
expressions oI the Iuture, one with shall, the other one with
willB Or are they actually just semantic doublets, i.e. units oI
complete synonymy, bound by the paradigmatic relation oI
Iree alternation
A solution to this problem is to be Iound on the basis oI
syntactic distributional and transIormational analysis backed
by a consideration oI the original meanings oI both
7. Observing combinations with will in stylistically
neutral collocations, as the Iirst step oI our study we note the
adverbials oI time used with this construction. The
environmental expressions, as well as implications, oI Iuture
time do testiIy that Irom this point oI view there is no
diIIerence between will and shall, both oI them equally
conveying the idea oI the Iuture action expressed by the
adjoining inIinitive.
As our next step oI inIerences, noting the types oI the
inIinitive-environmental semantics oI will in contrast to the
contextual background oI shall, we state that the Iirst person
will-Iuture expresses an action which is to be perIormed by
the speaker Ior choice, oI his own accord. But this meaning oI
Iree option does not at all imply that the speaker actually
wishes to perIorm the action, or else that he is determined to
perIorm it, possibly in deIiance oI some contrary Iorce. The
exposition oI the action shows it as being not bound by any
extraneous circumstances or by any special inIluence except
the speaker's option; this is its exhaustive characteristic. In
keeping with this, the Iorm oI the willIuture in question may
be tentatively called the "voluntary Iuture".
On the other hand, comparing the environmental
characteristics oI shall with the corresponding environmental
background oI will, it is easy to see that, as diIIerent Irom
will, the Iirst person shall expresses a Iuture process that will
be realised without the will oI the speaker, irrespective oI his
choice. In accord with the exposed meaning, the shallIorm
oI the Iirst person Iuture should be reIerred to as the "non-
voluntary", i.e. as the weak member oI the corresponding
Further observations oI the relevant textual data show that
some verbs constituting a typical environment oI the
non-voluntary shallIuture (i.e. verbs inherently alien to the
expression oI voluntary actions) occur also with the voluntary
will, but in a diIIerent meaning, namely, in the meaning oI an
active action the perIormance oI which is Ireely chosen by
the speaker. &f.: our arrival cannot have been announced to
his Majesty. I will see about it (B. Shaw).
In the given example the verb see has the active meaning
oI ensuring something, oI intentionally arranging matters
connected with something, etc.
Likewise, a number oI verbs oI the voluntary will-
environmental Ieatures (i.e. verbs presupposing the actor's
Iree will in perIorming the action) combine also with the non-
voluntary shall, but in the meaning oI an action that will take
place irrespective oI the will oI the speaker. &f.: I'm very
sorry, madam, but I'm going to Iaint. I shall go off, madam, iI
I don't have something (. MansIield).
Thus, the would-be same verbs are in Iact either
homonyms, or else lexico-semantic variants oI the
corresponding lexemes oI the maximally diIIering
At the Iinal stage oI our study the disclosed characteristics
oI the two Iirst-person Iutures are checked on the lines oI
transIormational analysis. The method will consist not in Iree
structural manipulations with the analysed constructions, but
in the textual search Ior the respective changes oI the
auxiliaries depending on the changes in the inIinitival
Applying these procedures to the texts, we note that when
the construction oI the voluntary willIuture is expanded
(complicated) by a syntactic part re-modelling the whole
collocation into one expressing an involuntary action, the
auxiliary will is automatically replaced by shall. In particular,
it happens when the expanding elements convey the meaning
oI supposition or Uncertainty. &f.:
Give me a goddess's work to do; and I will do it (B. Shaw).
I don't know what I shall do with Barbara (B. Shaw). Oh,
very well, very well: I will write another prescription (B.
Shaw). I shall perhaps write to your mother (.
Thus, we conclude that within'the system oI the English
Iuture tense a peculiar minor category is expressed which
aIIects only the Iorms oI the Iirst person. The category is
constituted by the opposition oI the Iorms will i InIinitive
and shall i InIinitive expressing, respectively, the voluntary
Iuture and the non-voluntary Iuture. Accordingly, this
category may tentatively be called the "category oI Iuturity
The Iuture in the second and third persons, Iormed by the
indiscriminate auxiliary will, does not express this category,
which is dependent on the semantics oI the persons: normally
it would be irrelevant to indicate in an obligatory way the
aspect oI Iuturity option otherwise than with the Iirst person,
i.e. the person oI selI.
This category is neutralised in the contracted Iorm 'll,
which is oI necessity indiIIerent to the expression oI Iuturity
option. As is known, the traditional analysis oI the contracted
Iuture states that 'll stands Ior will, not Ior shall. However,
this view is not supported by textual data. Indeed, bearing in
mind the results oI our study, it is easy to demonstrate that the
contracted Iorms oI the Iuture may be traced both to will and
to shall. &f.:
I'll marry you then, Archie, iI you really want it (M.
Dickens). I will marry you. I'll have to think about it (M.
Dickens). I shall have to think about it.
From the evidence aIIorded by the historical studies oI the
language we know that the English contracted Iorm oI the
Iuture 'll has actually originated Irom the auxiliary will. So,
in Modern English an interesting process oI redistribution oI
the Iuture Iorms has taken place, based apparently on the
contamination will 'll j shall. As a result, the Iorm 'll
in the Iirst person expresses not the same "pure" Iuture as is
expressed by the indiscriminate will in the second and third
The described system oI the British Iuture is by Iar more
complicated than the expression oI the Iuture tense in the
other national variants oI English, in particular, in American
English, where the Iuture Iorm oI the Iirst person is
Iunctionally equal with the other persons. In British English a
possible tendency to a similar levelled expression oI the
Iuture is actively counteracted by the two structural Iactors.
The Iirst is the existence oI the two Iunctionally diIIering
contractions oI the Iuture auxiliaries in the negative Iorm, i. e.
shan't and won't, which imperatively support the survival oI
shall in the Iirst person against the levelled positive
(aIIirmative) contraction -'ll. The second is the use oI the
Iuture tense in interrogative sentences, where with the Iirst
person only shall is normally used. Indeed, it is quite natural
that a genuine question directed by the speaker to
himselI, i.e. a question showing doubt or speculation, is to be
asked about an action oI non-wilIul, involuntary order, and
not otherwise. &f.:
What shall we be shown next Shall I be able to master
shorthand proIessionally The question was, should I see
Beatrice again beIore her departure
The semantics oI the Iirst person Iuturity question is such
that even the inIinitives oI essentially volition-governed
actions are transIerred here to the plane oI non-volition,
subordinating themselves to the general implication oI doubt,
hesitation, uncertainty. &f.:
What shall I answer to an oIIer like that How shall we
tac(le the matter iI we are leIt to rely on our own judgment
Thus, the vitality oI the discriminate shall!will Iuture,
characteristic oI careIul English speech, is supported by
logically vindicated intra-lingual Iactors. Moreover, the
whole system oI Modern British Iuture with its mobile inter-
action oI the two auxiliaries is a product oI recent language
development, not a relict oI the older periods oI its history. It
is this subtly regulated and still unIinished system that gave
cause to H. W. Fowler Ior his signiIicant statement: ".. oI the
English oI the English shall and will are the shibboleth."*
8. Apart Irom shall!will InIinitive construction, there is
another construction in English which has a potent appeal Ior
being analysed within the Iramework oI the general problem
oI the Iuture tense. This is the combination oI the predicator
be going with the inIinitive. Indeed, the high Irequency
occurrence oI this construction in contexts conveying the idea
oI an immediate Iuture action can't but draw a very close
attention on the part oI a linguistic observer.
The combination may denote a sheer intention (either the
speaker's or some other person's) to perIorm the action
expressed by the inIinitive, thus entering into the vast set oI
"classical" modal constructions. E.g.:
I am going to as( you a Iew more questions about the
mysterious disappearance oI the document, Mr. Gregg. He
looked across at my desk and I thought Ior a moment he was
going to give me the treatment, too.
* 7owler 6. R. Dictionary oI Modern English Usage.
Ldn., 1941, p. 729,
But these simple modal uses oI be going are countered by
cases where the direct meaning oI intention rendered by the
predicator stands in contradiction with its environmental
implications and is subdued by them. &f.:
ou are trying to Irighten me. But you are not going to
frighten me any more (L. Hellman). I did not know how I
was going to get out oI the room (D. du Maurier).
Moreover, the construction, despite its primary meaning oI
intention, presupposing a human subject, is not inIrequently
used with non-human subjects and even in impersonal
sentences. &f.:
She knew what she was doing, and she was sure it was
going to be worth doing (W. Saroyan). There's going to be a
contest over Ezra Grolley's estate (E. Gardner).
Because oI these properties it would appear tempting to
class the construction in question as a speciIic tense Iorm,
namely, the tense Iorm oI "immediate Iuture", analogous to
the French Iutur immdiat (e.g. Le spectacle va
cornmencer $ The show is going to begin3.
Still, on closer consideration, we notice that the non-
intention uses oI the predicator be going are not indiIIerent
stylistically. Far Irom being neutral, they more oIten than not
display emotional colouring mixed with semantic
connotations oI oblique modality.
For instance, when the girl Irom the Iirst oI the above
examples appreciates something as "going to be worth doing",
she is expressing her assurance oI its being so. When one
labels the rain as "never going to stop", one clearly expresses
one's annoyance at the bad state oI the weather. When a Iuture
event is introduced by the Iormula "there to be going to be",
as is the case in the second oI the cited examples, the speaker
clearly implies his Ioresight oI it, or his anticipation oI it, or,
possibly, a warning to beware oI it, or else some other modal
connotation oI a like nature. Thus, on the whole, the non-
intention uses oI the construction be going InIinitive cannot
be rationally divided into modal and non-modal, on the
analogy oI the construction shall!will i InIinitive. Its broader
combinability is based on semantic transposition and can be
likened to broader uses oI the modal collocation be about,
5EA; ;9 D5A>F5EEG >32=32>;3 A=H532>FA.
9. The oppositional basis oI the category oI prospective
time is neutralised in certain uses, in keeping with the general
regularities oI oppositional reductions. The process oI
neutralisation is connected with the shiIting oI the Iorms oI
primary time (present and past) Irom the sphere oI absolute
tenses into the sphere oI relative tenses.
One oI the typical cases oI the neutralisation in question
consists in using a non-Iuture temporal Iorm to express a
Iuture action which is to take place according to some plan or
arrangement. &f.:
The government meets in emergency session today over
the question oI continued violations oI the cease-Iire. I hear
your sister is soon arriving Irom Paris Naturally I would like
to know when he's coming. Etc.
This case oI oppositional reduction is optional, the
equivalent reconstruction oI the correlated member oI the
opposition is nearly always possible (with the respective
changes oI connotations and style). &f.:
... ? The government will meet in emergency session. ...
our sister will soon arrive Irom Paris ... When will he
be coming#B
Another type oI neutralisation oI the prospective time
opposition is observed in modal verbs and modal word
combinations. The basic peculiarity oI these units bearing on
(he expression oI time is, that the prospective implication is
inherently in-built in their semantics, which reIlects not the
action as such, but the attitude towards the action expressed
by the inIinitive. For that reason, the present verb-Iorm oI
these units actually renders the idea oI the Iuture (and,
respectively, the past verb-Iorm, the idea oI the Iuture-in-the-
past). &f.:
There's no saying what may happen next. At any rate, the
woman was sure to come later in the day. But you have to
present the report beIore Sunday, there's no alternative.
Sometimes the explicit expression oI the Iuture is
necessary even with modal collocations. To make up Ior the
lacking categorial Iorms, special modal substitutes have been
developed in language, some oI which have received the
status oI suppletive units (see above, Ch. III). &f.:
But do not make plans with David. ou will not be able to
carry them out. Things will have to go ;3= way ;? 2<= ;2<=?.
Alongside oI the above and very diIIerent Irom them, there
is still another typical case oI neutralisation oI the analysed
categorial opposition, which is strictly obligatory. It occurs in
clauses oI time and condition whose verb-predicate expresses
a Iuture action. &f.:
II things turn out as has been arranged, the triumph will be
all ours. I repeated my request to notiIy me at once whenever
the messenger arrived.
The latter type oI neutralisation is syntactically
conditioned. In point oI Iact, the neutralisation consists here
in the primary tenses shiIting Irom the sphere oI absolutive
time into the sphere oI relative time, since they become
dependent not on their immediate orientation towards the
moment oI speech, but on the relation to another time level,
namely, the time level presented in the governing clause oI
the corresponding complex sentence.
This kind oI neutralising relative use oI absolutive tense
Iorms occupies a restricted position in the integral tense
system oI English. In Russian, the syntactic relative use oI
tenses is, on the contrary, widely spread. In particular, this
reIers to the presentation oI reported speech in the plane oI the
past, where the Russian present tense is changed into the tense
oI simultaneity, the past tense is changed into the tense oI
priority, and the Iuture tense is changed into the tense oI
prospected posteriority. &f.:
(1) F/HfHM, u +fZJHPG nx xstx. (2)
F/HfHM, u +fZJHM nx xstx. (3) F/HfHM, u
LZOPG +fZJHGa nx xstx.
In English, the primary tenses in similar syntactic
conditions retain their absolutive nature and are used in
keeping with their direct, unchangeable meanings. Compare
the respective translations oI the examples cited above:
(1) He said that he was learning German (then). (2) He
said that he had learned German (beIore). (3) He said that he
would learn German (in the time to come).
It doesn't Iollow Irom this that the rule oI sequence oI
tenses in English complex sentences Iormulated by traditional
grammar should be rejected as Ialse. Sequence oI tenses is an
important Ieature oI all narration, Ior, depending on the
continual consecutive course oI actual events in reality, they
are presented in the text in deIinite successions ordered
against a common general background. However, what
should be stressed here, is that the tense-shiIt involved in the
translation oI the present-plane direct inIormation into the
past-plane reported inIormation is not a Iormal, but
essentially a meaningIul procedure.
1. The aspective meaning oI the verb, as diIIerent Irom
its temporal meaning, reIlects the inherent mode oI the
realisation oI the process irrespective oI its timing.
As we have already seen, the aspective meaning can be in-
built in the semantic structure oI the verb, Iorming an
invariable, derivative category. In English, the various lexical
aspective meanings have been generalised by the verb in its
subclass division into limitive and unlimitive sets. On the
whole, this division is loose, the demarcation line between the
sets is easily trespassed both ways. In spite oI their want oI
rigour, however, the aspective verbal subclasses are
grammatically relevant in so Iar as they are not indiIIerent to
the choice oI the aspective grammatical Iorms oI the verb. In
Russian, the aspective division oI verbs into perIective and
imperIective is, on the contrary, very strict. Although the
Russian category oI aspect is derivative, it presents one oI the
most typical Ieatures oI the grammatical structure oI the verb,
governing its tense system both Iormally and semantically.
On the other hand, the aspective meaning can also be
represented in variable grammatical categories. Aspective
grammatical change is wholly alien to the Russian language,
but it Iorms one oI the basic Ieatures oI the categorial
structure oI the English verb.
Two systems oI verbal Iorms, in the past grammatical
tradition analysed under the indiscriminate heading oI the
"temporal inIlexion", i. e. synthetic inIlexion proper and
analytical composition as its equivalent, should be evaluated
in this light: the continuous Iorms and the perIect Iorms.
The aspective or non-aspective identiIication oI the Iorms
in question will, in the long run, be dependent on whether or
not they express the direct, immediate time oI the action
denoted by the verb, since a general connection between the
aspective and temporal verbal semantics is indisputable.
The continuous verbal Iorms analysed on the principles oI
oppositional approach admit oI only one interpretation, and
that is aspective. The continuous Iorms are aspective because,
reIlecting the inherent character oI the process perIormed by
the verb, they do not, and cannot, denote the timing oI the
process. The opposition constituting the corresponding
category is eIIected between the continuous and the non-
continuous (indeIinite) verbal Iorms. The categorial meaning
discloses the nature oI development oI the verbal action, on
which ground the suggested name Ior the category as a whole
will be "development". As is the case with the other
categories, its expression is combined with other categorial
expressions in one and the same verb-Iorm, involving also the
category that Ieatures the perIect. Thus, to be consistent in our
judgments, we must identiIy, within the Iramework oI the
maniIestations oI the category oI development, not only the
perIect continuous Iorms, but also the perIect indeIinite Iorms
(i.e. non-continuous).
The perIect, as diIIerent Irom the continuous, does reIlect a
kind oI timing, though in a purely relative way. Namely, it
coordinates two times, locating one oI them in retrospect
towards the other. Should the grammatical meaning oI the
perIect have been exhausted by this Iunction, it ought to have
been placed into one and the same categorial system with the
Iuture, Iorming the integral category oI time coordination
(correspondingly, prospective and retrospective). In reality,
though, it cannot be done, because the perIect expresses not
only time in relative retrospect, but also the very connection
oI a prior process with a time-limit reIlected in a subsequent
event. Thus, the perIect Iorms oI the verb display a mixed,
intermediary character, which places them apart both Irom the
relative posterior tense and the aspective development. The
true nature oI the perIect is temporal aspect reIlected in its
own opposition, which cannot be reduced to any other
opposition oI the otherwise recognised verbal categories. The
suggested name Ior this category will be "retrospective
coordination", or, contractedly, "retrospect". The categorial
member opposed to the perIect, Ior the sake oI terminological
consistency, will be named "imperIect" (non-perIect). As an
independent category, the retrospective coordination is
maniIested in the integral verb-Iorm together with the
maniIestations oI other categories, among them the
aspective category oI development. Thus, alongside oI the
Iorms oI perIect continuous and perIect indeIinite, the verb
distinguishes also the Iorms oI imperIect continuous and
imperIect indeIinite.
2. At this point oI our considerations, we should like
once again to call the reader's attention to the diIIerence
between the categorial terminology and the deIinitions oI
A category, in normal use, cannot be represented twice in
one and the same word-Iorm. It Iollows Irom this that the
integral verb-Iorm cannot display at once more than one
expression oI each oI the recognised verbal categories,
though it does give a representative expression to all the
verbal categories taken together through the corresponding
obligatory Ieaturing (which can be, as we know, either
positive or negative). And this Iact provides us with a saIe
criterion oI categorial identiIication Ior cases where the Iorms
under analysis display related semantic Iunctions.
We have recognised in the verbal system oI English two
temporal categories (plus one "minor" category oI Iuturity
option) and two aspective categories. But does this mean that
the English verb is "doubly" (or "triply", Ior that matter)
inIlected by the "grammatical category" oI tense and the
"grammatical category" oI aspect In no wise.
The course oI our deductions has been quite the contrary.
It is just because the verb, in its one and the same, at each
time uniquely given integral Iorm oI use, maniIests not one,
but two expressions oI time (Ior instance, past and Iuture); it
is because it maniIests not one, but two expressions oI aspect
(Ior instance, continuous and perIect), that we have to
recognise these expressions as categorially diIIerent. In other
words, such universal grammatical notions as "time", "tense",
"aspect", "mood" and others, taken by themselves, do not
automatically presuppose any unique categorial systems. It is
only the actual correlation oI the corresponding grammatical
Iorms in a concrete, separate language that makes up a
grammatical category. In particular, when certain Iorms that
come under the same meaningIul grammatical heading are
mutually exclusive, it means that they together make up a
grammatical category. This is the case with the three Russian
verbal tenses. Indeed, the Russian verbal Iorm oI the Iuture
cannot syntagmatically coexist with the present or past
Iorms these Iorms are mutually exclusive, thereby
one uniIied category oI time (tense), existing in the three
categorial Iorms: the present, the past, the Iuture. In English,
on the contrary, the Iuture Iorm oI the verb can Ireely re-
occur with the strongly marked past Iorm, thereby making up
a category radically diIIerent Irom the category maniIested by
the system oI "present past" discrimination. And it is the
same case with the Iorms oI the continuous and the perIect.
ust because they can Ireely coexist in one and the same
syntagmatic maniIestation oI the verb, we have to inIer that
they enter (in the capacity oI oppositional markers)
essentially diIIerent categories, though related to each other
by their general aspective character.
3. Che aspective category of development is constituted
by the opposition oI the continuous Iorms oI the verb to the
non-continuous, or indeIinite Iorms oI the verb. The marked
member oI the opposition is the continuous, which is built up
by the auxiliary be plus the present participle oI the
conjugated verb. In symbolic notation it is represented by the
Iormula be...ing. The categorial meaning oI the continuous is
"action in progress"; the unmarked member oI the opposition,
the indeIinite, leaves this meaning unspeciIied, i.e. expresses
the non-continuous.
The evolution oI views in connection with the
interpretation oI the continuous Iorms has undergone three
The traditional analysis placed them among the tense-
Iorms oI the verb, deIining them as expressing an action
going on simultaneously with some other action. This
temporal interpretation oI the continuous was most
consistently developed in the works oI H. Sweet and O.
espersen. In point oI Iact, the continuous usually goes with a
verb which expresses a simultaneous action, but, as we have
stated beIore, the timing oI the action is not expressed by the
continuous as such rather, the immediate time-meaning is
conveyed by the syntactic constructions, as well as the
broader semantic context in which the Iorm is used, since
action in progress, by deIinition, implies that it is developing
at a certain time point.
The correlation oI the continuous with contextual
indications oI time is well illustrated on examples oI complex
sentences with while-clauses. Four combinations oI the
continuous and the indeIinite are possible in principle in these
constructions (Ior two verbs are used here, one in the
principal clause and one in the subordinate clause, each
oI taking both Iorms in question), and all the Iour
possibilities are realised in contexts oI Modern English. &f.:
While I was typing, Mary and Tom were chatting in the
adjoining room.----While I typed, Mary and Tom were
chatting in the adjoining room.-------While I was typing,
they chatted in the adjoining room.----While I typed, they
chatted in the adjoining room.
Clearly, the diIIerence in meaning between the verb-
entries in the cited examples cannot lie in their time
denotations, either absolutive, or relative. The time is shown
by their tense-signals oI the past (the past Iorm oI the
auxiliary be in the continuous, or the suIIix =e3d in the
indeIinite). The meaningIul diIIerence consists exactly in the
categorial semantics oI the indeIinite and continuous: while
the latter shows the action in the very process oI its
realisation, the Iormer points it out as a mere Iact.
On the other hand, by virtue oI its categorial semantics oI
action in progress (oI necessity, at a deIinite point oI time),
the continuous is usually employed in descriptions oI scenes
correlating a number oI actions going on simultaneously
since all oI them are actually shown in progress, at the time
implied by the narration. &f.:
Standing on the chair, I could see in through the barred
window into the hall oI the Ayuntamiento and in there it was
as it had been beIore. The priest was standing, and those who
were leIt were (neeling in a halI circle around him and they
were all praying. Pablo was sitting on the big table in Iront oI
the Mayor's chair with his shotgun slung over his back. His
legs were hanging down Irom the table and he was rolling a
cigarette. Cuatro Dedos was sitting in the Mayor's chair with
his Ieet on the table and he was smo(ing a cigarette. All the
guards were sitting in diIIerent chairs oI the administration,
holding their guns. The key to the big door was on the table
beside Pablo (E. Hemingway).
But iI the actions are not progressive by themselves (i.e. iI
they are not shown as progressive), the description, naturally,
will go without the continuous Iorms oI the corresponding
verbs. E. g.:
Inland, the prospect alters. There is an oval Maidan, and a
long sallow hospital. Houses belonging to Eurasians stand on
the high ground by the railway station. Beyond the railway
which runs parallel to the river the land sin(s,
then rises again rather steeply. On the second rise is laid out
the little civil station, and viewed hence Chandrapore appears
to be a totally diIIerent place (E. M. Forster ).
A Iurther demonstration oI the essentially non-temporal
meaning oI the continuous is its regular use in combination
with the perIect, i.e. its use in the verb-Iorm perIect
continuous. Surely, the very idea oI perIect is alien to
simultaneity, so the continuous combined with the perIect in
one and the same maniIestation oI the verb can only be
understood as expressing aspectuality, i.e. action in progress.
Thus, the consideration oI the temporal element in the
continuous shows that its reIerring an action to a deIinite
time-point, or its expressing simultaneity irrespective oI
absolutive time, is in itselI an aspective, not a temporal Iactor.
At the second stage oI the interpretation oI the continuous,
the Iorm was understood as rendering a blend oI temporal and
aspective meanings the same as the other Iorms oI the verb
obliquely connected with the Iactor oI time, i.e. the indeIinite
and the perIect. This view was developed by I. P. Ivanova.
The combined temporal-aspective interpretation oI the
continuous, in general, should be appraised as an essential
step Iorward, because, Iirst, it introduced on an explicit,
comprehensively grounded basis the idea oI aspective
meanings in the grammatical system oI English; second, it
demonstrated the actual connection oI time and aspect in the
integral categorial semantics oI the verb. In Iact, it presented a
thesis that proved to be crucial Ior the subsequent
demonstration, at the next stage oI analysis, oI the essence oI
the Iorm on a strictly oppositional Ioundation.
This latter phase oI study, initiated in the works oI A.
I.Smirnitsky, V. N. artseva and B. A. Ilyish, was developed
Iurther by B. S. haimovich and B. I. Rogovskaya and
exposed in its most comprehensive Iorm by L. S.
Probably the Iinal touch contributing to the presentation oI
the category oI development at this third stage oI study
should be still more explicit demonstration oI its opposition
working beyond the correlation oI the continuous non-perIect
Iorm with the indeIinite non-perIect Iorm. In the expositions
hitherto advanced the two series oI Iorms continuous and
perIect have been shown, as it were, too emphatically in
the light oI their mutual contrast against the
primitive indeIinite, the perIect continuous Iorm, which has
been placed somewhat separately, being rather interpreted as
a "peculiarly modiIied" perIect than a "peculiarly modiIied''
continuous. In reality, though, the perIect continuous is
equally both perIect and continuous, the respective markings
belonging to diIIerent, though related, categorial
4. The category oI development, unlike the categories oI
person, number, and time, has a verbid representation,
namely, it is represented in the inIinitive. This Iact, Ior its
part, testiIies to another than temporal nature oI the
With the inIinitive, the category oI development, naturally,
expresses the same meaningIul contrast between action in
progress and action not in progress as with the Iinite Iorms oI
the verb. &f.:
ezia and her grandmother were ta(ing their siesta
together.- -It was but natural Ior ezia and her grandmother
to be ta(ing their siesta together. What are you complaining
aboutIs there really anything Ior you to be complaining
But in addition to this purely categorial distinction, the
Iorm oI the continuous inIinitive has a tendency to acquire
quite a special meaning in combination with modal verbs,
namely that oI probability. This meaning is aspectual in a
broader sense than the "inner character" oI action: the
aspectuality amounts here to an outer appraisal oI the denoted
process. &f.:
Paul must wait Ior you, you needn't be in a hurry. Paul
must be waiting Ior us, so let's hurry up.
The Iirst oI the two sentences expresses Paul's obligation
to wait, whereas the second sentence renders the speaker's
supposition oI the Iact.
The general meaning oI probability is varied by diIIerent
additional shades depending on the semantic type oI the
modal verb and the corresponding contextual conditions, such
as uncertainty, incredulity, surprise, etc. &f.:
But can she be ta(ing Moyra's words so personally II the
Ilight went smoothly, they may be approaching the West
Coast. ou must be losing money over this job.
The action oI the continuous inIinitive oI probability,
11-1499 161
in accord with the type oI the modal verb and the context,
may reIer not only to the plane oI the present, but also to the
plane oI the Iuture. &f.: Ann must be coming soon, you'd
better have things put in order.
The gerund and the participle do not distinguish the
category oI development as such, but the traces oI progressive
meaning are inherent in these Iorms, especially in the present
participle, which itselI is one oI the markers oI the category
(in combination with the categorial auxiliary). In particular,
these traces are easily disclosed in various syntactic
participial complexes. &f.:
The girl looked straight into my Iace, smiling
enigmatically. The girl was smiling enigmatically as she
looked straight into my Iace. We heard the leaves above our
heads rustling in the wind. We heard how the leaves above
our heads were rustling in the wind.
However, it should be noted, that the said traces oI
meaning are still traces, and they are more oIten than not
subdued and neutralised.
5. The opposition oI the category oI development
undergoes various reductions, in keeping with the general
regularities oI the grammatical Iorms Iunctioning in speech,
as well as oI their paradigmatic combinability.
The easiest and most regular neutralisational relations in
the sphere continuous indeIinite are observed in
connection with the subclass division oI verbs into limitive
and unlimitive, and within the unlimitive into actional and
Namely, the unlimitive verbs are very easily neutralised in
cases where the continuity oI action is rendered by means
other than aspective. &f.:
The night is wonderIully silent. The stars shine with a
Iierce brilliancy, the Southern Cross and Canopus; there is not
a breath oI wind. The Duke's Iace seemed Ilushed, and more
lined than some oI his recent photographs showed. He held a
glass in his hand.
As to the statal verbs, their development neutralisation
amounts to a grammatical rule. It is under this heading that
the "never-used-in-the-continuous" verbs go, i. e. the uniques
be and have, verbs oI possession other than have, verbs oI
relation, oI physical perceptions, oI mental perceptions. The
opposition oI development is also neutralised easily with
verbs in the passive voice, as well as with the inIinitive, the
only explicit verbid exposer oI the category.
Worthy oI note is the regular neutralisation oI the
development opposition with the introductory verb supporting
the participial construction oI parallel action. E. g.: The man
stood smo(ing a pipe. (Not normally: The man was standing
smo(ing a pipe.)
On the other hand, the continuous can be used
transpositionally to denote habitual, recurrent actions in
emphatic collocations. &f.: Miss Tillings said you were
always tal(ing as iI there had been some Iunny business about
me (M. Dickens).
In this connection, special note should be made oI the
broadening use oI the continuous with unlimitive verbs,
including verbs oI statal existence. Here are some very
typical examples:
I only heard a rumour that a certain member here present
has been seeing the prisoner this aIternoon (E. M. Forster). I
had a horrid Ieeling she was seeing right through me and
(nowing all about me (A. Christie). What matters is, you' re
being damn Iools, both oI you (A. Hailey).
Compare similar transpositions in the expressions oI
anticipated Iuture:
Dr Aarons will be seeing the patient this morning, and I
wish to be ready Ior him (A. Hailey). Soon we shall be
hearing the news about the docking oI the spaceships having
gone through.
The linguistic implication oI these uses oI the continuous
is indeed very peculiar. Technically it amounts to de-
neutralising the usually neutralised continuous. However,
since the neutralisation oI the continuous with these verbs is
quite regular, we have here essentially the phenomenon oI
reverse transposition an emphatic reduction oI the second
order, serving the purpose oI speech expressiveness.
We have considered the relation oI unlimitive verbs to the
continuous Iorm in the light oI reductional processes.
As Ior the limitive verbs, their standing with the category
oI development and its oppositional reductions is quite the
reverse. Due to the very aspective quality oI limitiveness,
these verbs, Iirst, are not oIten used in the continuous Iorm
in general, Iinding no Irequent cause Ior it; but second, in
cases when the inIormative purpose does demand the
expression oI an action in progress, the continuous with these
verbs is quite obligatory and normally cannot undergo
reduction under any conditions. It cannot be reduced, Ior
otherwise the limitive meaning oI the verb would prevail, and
the inIormative purpose would not be realised. &f.:
The plane was just touching down when we arrived at the
airIield. The patient was sitting up in his bed, his eyes riveted
on the trees beyond the window.
The linguistic paradox oI these uses is that the continuous
aspect with limitive verbs neutralises the expression oI their
lexical aspect, turning them Ior the nonce into unlimitive
verbs. And this is one oI the many maniIestations oI
grammatical relevance oI lexemic categories.
6. In connection with the problem oI the aspective
category oI development, we must consider the Iorms oI the
verb built up with the help oI the auxiliary do. These Iorms,
entering the verbal system oI the indeIinite, have been
described under diIIerent headings.
Namely, the auxiliary do, Iirst, is presented in grammars
as a means oI building up interrogative constructions when
the verb is used in the indeIinite aspect. Second, the auxiliary
do is described as a means oI building up negative
constructions with the indeIinite Iorm oI the verb. Third, it is
shown as a means oI Iorming emphatic constructions oI both
aIIirmative declarative and aIIirmative imperative
communicative types, with the indeIinite Iorm oI the verb.
Fourth, it is interpreted as a means oI Iorming elliptical
constructions with the indeIinite Iorm oI the verb.
L. S. Barkhudarov was the Iirst scholar who paid attention
to the lack oI accuracy, and probably linguistic adequacy, in
these deIinitions. Indeed, the misinterpretation oI the deIined
phenomena consists here in the Iact that the do-Iorms are
presented immediately as parts oI the corresponding syntactic
constructions, whereas actually they are parts oI the
corresponding verb-Iorms oI the indeIinite aspect. Let us
compare the Iollowing sentences in pairs:
Fred pulled her hand to his heart.----->id Fred pull her
hand to his heart ou want me to hold a smile.--------ou
don't want me to hold a smile. In dreams people change
into somebody else. --- -In dreams people do change into
somebody else. 8s( him into the drawing-room. -------->o
as( him into the drawing-room. Mike li(ed the show
immensely, and itty li(ed it too. -Mike liked the show
immensely, and so did itty.
On the Iace oI the comparison, we see only the
construction-Iorming Iunction oI the analysed auxiliary, the
cited Iormulations being seemingly vindicated both by the
structural and the Iunctional diIIerence between the
sentences: the right-hand constituent utterances in each oI the
given pairs has its respective do-addition. However, let us
relate these right-hand utterances to another kind oI
categorial counterparts:
>id Fred pull her hand to his heart -----Rill Fred pull
her hand to his heart ou don't want me to hold a smile.
ou won't want me to hold a smile. In dreams people do
change into somebody else. --In dreams people will change
into somebody else. Mike liked the show immensely, and
so did itty. -----Mike will like the show immensely, and
so will itty.
Observing the structure oI the latter series oI
constructional pairs, we see at once that their constituent
sentences are built up on one and the same syntactic principle
oI a special treatment oI the morphological auxiliary element.
And here lies the necessary correction oI the interpretation oI
o-Iorms. As a matter oI Iact, do-Iorms should be Iirst oI all
described as the variant analytical indeIinite Iorms oI the verb
that are eIIected to share the various constructional Iunctions
with the other analytical Iorms oI the verb placing their
respective auxiliaries in accented and otherwise
individualised positions. This presentation, while meeting the
demands oI adequate description, at the same time is very
convenient Ior explaining the Iormation oI the syntactic
constructional categories on the uniIied basis oI the role oI
analytical Iorms oI the verb. Namely, the Iormation oI
interrogative constructions will be explained simply as a
universal word-order procedure oI partial inversion (placing
the auxiliary beIore the subject Ior all the categorial Iorms oI
the verb); the Iormation oI the corresponding negative will be
described as the use oI the negative particle with the
analytical auxiliary Ior all the categorial Iorms oI the verb;
the Iormation oI the corresponding emphatic constructions
will be described as the accent oI the analytical auxiliaries,
including the indeIinite auxiliary; the Iormation oI the
corresponding reduced constructions will be explained on the
lines oI the representative use oI the auxiliaries in general
(which won't mar the substitute role oI do3.
For the sake oI terminological consistency the analytical
Iorm in question might be called the "marked indeIinite", on
the analogy oI the term "marked inIinitive". Thus, the
indeIinite Iorms oI the non-perIect order will be divided into
the pure, or unmarked present and past indeIinite, and the
marked present and past indeIinite. As we have pointed out
above, the existence oI the speciIically marked present and
past indeIinite serves as one oI the grounds Ior identiIying the
verbal primary time and the verbal prospect as diIIerent
grammatical categories.
7. Che category of retrospective coordination
(retrospect3 is constituted by the opposition oI the perIect
Iorms oI the verb to the non-perIect, or imperIect Iorms. The
marked member oI the opposition is the perIect, which is
built up by the auxiliary have in combination with the past
participle oI the conjugated verb. In symbolic notation it is
expressed by the Iormula have ... en.
The Iunctional meaning oI the category has been
interpreted in linguistic literature in Iour diIIerent ways, each
contributing to the evolution oI the general theory oI
retrospective coordination.
The Iirst comprehensively represented grammatical
exposition oI the perIect verbal Iorm was the "tense view": by
this view the perIect is approached as a peculiar tense Iorm.
The tense view oI the perIect is presented in the works oI H.
Sweet, G. Curme, M. Bryant and . R. Aiken, and some other
Ioreign scholars. In the Soviet linguistic literature this view
was consistently developed by N. F. Irtenyeva. The tense
interpretation oI the perIect was also endorsed by the well-
known course oI English Grammar by M. A. Ganshina and N.
M. Vasilevskaya.
The diIIerence between the perIect and non-perIect Iorms
oI the verb, according to the tense interpretation oI the
perIect, consists in the Iact that the perIect denotes a
secondary temporal characteristic oI the action. Namely, it
shows that the denoted action precedes some other action or
situation in the present, past, or Iuture. This secondary tense
quality oI the perIect, in the context oI the "tense view", is
naturally contrasted against the secondary tense quality oI the
cantinuous, which latter, according to N. F. Irtenyeva,
intensely expresses simultaneity oI the denoted action with
some other action in the present, past, or Iuture.
The idea oI the perIect conveying a secondary time
characteristic oI the action is quite a sound one, because it
shows that the perIect, in Iact, coexists with the other,
primary expression oI time. What else, iI not a secondary
time meaning oI priority, is rendered by the perIect Iorms in
the Iollowing example: GrandIather has ta(en his morning
stroll and now is having a rest on the veranda.
The situation is easily translated into the past with the time
correlation intact: GrandIather had ta(en his morning
stroll and was having a rest on the veranda.
With the Iuture, the correlation is not so clearly
pronounced. However, the reason Ior it lies not in the
deIiciency oI the perIect as a secondary tense, but in the
nature oI the Iuture time plane, which exists only as a
prospective plane, thereby to a degree levelling the
expression oI diIIering timings oI actions. Making allowance
Ior the unavoidable prospective temporal neutralisations, the
perIective priority expressed in the given situation can be
clearly conveyed even in its Iuture translations, extended by
the exposition oI the corresponding connotations:
By the time he will be having a rest on the veranda,
GrandIather will surely have ta(en his morning stroll.
GrandIather will have a rest on the veranda only aIter he has
ta(en his morning stroll.
Laying emphasis on the temporal Iunction oI the perIect,
the "tense view", though, Iails to expose with the necessary
distinctness its aspective Iunction, by which the action is
shown as successively or "transmissively" connected with a
certain time limit. Besides, the purely oppositional nature oI
the Iorm is not disclosed by this approach either, thus leaving
the categorial status oI the perIect undeIined.
The second grammatical interpretation oI the perIect was
the "aspect view": according to this interpretation the perIect
is approached as an aspective Iorm oI the verb. The aspect
view is presented in the works oI M. Deutschbein, E.A.
Sonnenschein, A. S. West, and other Ioreign scholars. In the
Soviet linguistic literature the aspective interpretation oI the
perIect was comprehensively developed by G. N. Vorontsova.
This subtle observer oI intricate interdependencies oI
language masterly demonstrated the idea oI the
successive connection oI two events expressed by the perIect,
prominence given by the Iorm to the transIerence or
"transmission" oI the accessories oI a pre-situation to a post-
situation. The great merit oI G. N. Vorontsova's explanation
oI the aspective nature oI the perIect lies in the Iact that the
resultative meaning ascribed by some scholars to the perIect
as its determining grammatical Iunction is understood in her
conception within a more general destination oI this Iorm,
namely as a particular maniIestation oI its transmissive
Iunctional semantics.
Indeed, iI we compare the two Iollowing verbal situations,
we shall easily notice that the Iirst oI them expresses result,
while the second presents a connection oI a past event with a
later one in a broad sense, the general inclusion oI the
posterior situation in the sphere oI inIluence oI the anterior
The wind has dropped, and the sun burns more Iiercely
than ever.
#6ave you really never been to a ball beIore, Leila But,
my child, how too weird " cried the Sheridan girls.
The resultative implication oI the perIect in the Iirst oI the
above examples can be graphically shown by the diagnostic
transIormation, which is not applicable to the second
example: The sun burns more Iiercely than ever as a result
oI the wind having dropped.
At the same time, the plain resultative semantics quite
evidently appears as a particular variety oI the general
transmissive meaning, by which a posterior event is treated as
a successor oI an anterior event on very broad lines oI
Recognising all the merits oI the aspect approach in
question, however, we clearly see its two serious drawbacks.
The Iirst oI them is that, while emphasising the aspective side
oI the Iunction oI the perIect, it underestimates its temporal
side, convincingly demonstrated by the tense view oI the
perIect described above. The second drawback, though, is just
the one characteristic oI the tense view, repeated on the
respectively diIIerent material: the described aspective
interpretation oI the perIect Iails to strictly Iormulate its
oppositional nature, the categorial status oI the perIect being
leIt undeIined.
The third grammatical interpretation oI the perIect was the
"tense-aspect blend view"; in accord with this
interpretation the perIect is recognised as a Iorm oI double
temporal-aspective character, similar to the continuous. The
tense-aspect interpretation oI the perIect was developed in the
works oI I. P. Ivanova. According to I. P. Ivanova, the two
verbal Iorms expressing temporal and aspective Iunctions in a
blend are contrasted against the indeIinite Iorm as their
common counterpart oI neutralised aspective properties.
The achievement oI the tense-aspect view oI the perIect is
the Iact that it demonstrates the actual double nature oI the
analysed verbal Iorm, its inherent connection with both
temporal and aspective spheres oI verbal semantics. Thus, as
Iar as the perIect is concerned, the tense-aspect view
overcomes the one-sided approach to it peculiar both to the
Iirst and the second oI the noted conceptions.
Indeed, the temporal meaning oI the perIect is quite
apparent in constructions like the Iollowing: I have lived in
this city long enough. I haven't met Charlie Ior years.
The actual time expressed by the perIect verbal Iorms used
in the examples can be made explicit by time-test questions:
How long have you lived in this city For how long haven't
you met Charlie
Now, the purely aspective semantic component oI the
perIect Iorm will immediately be made prominent iI the
sentences were continued like that: I have lived in this city
long enough to show you all that is worth seeing here. I
haven't met Charlie Ior years, and can hardly recognise him in
a crowd.
The aspective Iunction oI the perIect verbal Iorms in both
sentences, in its turn, can easily be revealed by aspect-test
questions: What can you do as a result oI your having lived in
this city Ior years What is the consequence oI your not
having met Charlie Ior years
However, comprehensively exposing the two diIIerent
sides oI the integral semantics oI the perIect, the tense-aspect
conception loses sight oI its categorial nature altogether, since
it leaves undisclosed how the grammatical Iunction oI the
perIect is eIIected in contrast with the continuous or
indeIinite, as well as how the "categorial blend" oI the
perIect-continuous is contrasted against its three counterparts,
i.e. the perIect, the continuous, the indeIinite.
As we see, the three described interpretations oI the
perIect, actually complementing one another, have given in
combination a broad and proIound picture oI the semantical
content oI the perIect verbal Iorms, though all oI them have
Iailed to explicitly explain the grammatical category within
the structure oI which the perIect is enabled to IulIil its
distinctive Iunction.
The categorial individuality oI the perIect was shown as a
result oI study conducted by the eminent Soviet linguist A. I.
Smirnitsky. His conception oI the perIect, the Iourth in our
enumeration, may be called the "time correlation view", to use
the explanatory name he gave to the identiIied category. What
was achieved by this brilliant thinker, is an explicit
demonstration oI the Iact that the perIect Iorm, by means oI its
oppositional mark, builds up its own category, diIIerent Irom
both the "tense" (present past Iuture) and the "aspect"
(continuous indeIinite), and not reducible to either oI them.
The Iunctional content oI the category oI "time correlation"
(ax t) was deIined as priority
expressed by the perIect Iorms in the present, past or Iuture
contrasted against the non-expression oI priority by the non-
perIect Iorms. The immediate Iactor that gave cause to A. I.
Smirnitsky to advance the new interpretation oI the perIect
was the peculiar structure oI the perIect continuous Iorm in
which the perIect, the Iorm oI precedence, i.e. the Iorm giving
prominence to the idea oI two times brought in contrast,
coexists syntagmatically with the continuous, the Iorm oI
simultaneity, i.e. the Iorm expressing one time Ior two events,
according to the "tense view" conception oI it. The gist oI
reasoning here is that, since the two expressions oI the same
categorial semantics are impossible in one and the same
verbal Iorm, the perIect cannot be either an aspective Iorm,
granted the continuous expresses the category oI aspect, or a
temporal Iorm, granted the continuous expresses the category
oI tense. The inIerence is that the category in question, the
determining part oI which is embodied in the perIect, is
diIIerent Irom both the tense and the aspect, this diIIerence
being Iixed by the special categorial term "time correlation".
The analysis undertaken by A. I. Smirnitsky is oI
outstanding signiIicance not only Ior identiIying the categorial
status oI the perIect, but also Ior speciIying Iurther the general
notion oI a grammatical category. It develops the very
technique oI this kind oI identiIication.
Still, the "time correlation view" is not devoid oI certain
limitations. First, it somehow underestimates the aspective
plane oI the categorial semantics oI the perIect, very
convincingly demonstrated by G. N. Vorontsova in the context
oI the "aspect view" oI the perIect, as well as by I. P. Ivanova
in the context oI the "tense-aspect blend view" oI the perIect.
Second, and this is Iar more important, the reasoning by which
the category is identiIied, is not altogether complete in so Iar
as it conIuses the general grammatical notions oI time and
aspect with the categorial status oI concrete word-Iorms in
each particular language conveying the corresponding
meanings. Some languages may convey temporal or aspective
meanings within the Iunctioning oI one integral category Ior
each (as, Ior instance, the Russian language), while other
languages may convey the same or similar kind oI meanings
in two or even more categories Ior each (as, Ior instance, the
English language). The only true criterion oI this is the
character oI the representation oI the respective categorial
Iorms in the actual speech maniIestation oI a lexeme. II a
lexeme normally displays the syntagmatic coexistence oI
several Iorms distinctly identiIiable by their own peculiar
marks, as, Ior example, the Iorms oI person, number, time,
etc., it means that these Iorms in the system oI language make
up diIIerent grammatical categories. The integral grammatical
meaning oI any word-Iorm (the concrete speech entry oI a
lexeme) is determined by the whole combination ("bunch") oI
the categories peculiar to the part oI speech the lexeme
belongs to. For instance, the verb-Iorm "has been speaking" in
the sentence "The Red ChieI has just been spea(ing#
expresses, in terms oI immediately (positively) presented
grammatical Iorms, the third person oI the category oI person,
the singular oI the category oI number, the present oI the
category oI time, the continuous oI the category oI
development, the perIect oI the category under analysis. As Ior
the character oI the determining meaning oI any category, it
may either be related to the meaning oI some adjoining
category, or may not it depends on the actual categorial
correlations that have shaped in a language in the course oI its
historical development. In particular, in Modern English, in
accord with our knowledge oI its structure, two major purely
temporal categories are to be identiIied, i.e. primary time and
prospective time, as well as two major aspective categories.
One oI the latter is the category oI development. The other, as
has been decided above, is the category oI retrospective
coordination Ieaturing the perIect as the marked component
Iorm and the imperIect as its unmarked counterpart. We have
considered it advisable
to re-name the indicated category in order, Iirst, to stress its
actual retrospective property (in Iact, what is strongly
expressed in the temporal plane oI the category, is priority oI
action, not any other relative time signiIication), and second,
to reserve such a general term as "correlation" Ior more
unrestricted, Iree manipulations in non-speciIied uses
connected with grammatical analysis.
8. Thus, we have arrived at the "strict categorial view" oI
the perIect, disclosing it as the marking Iorm oI a separate
verbal category, semantically intermediate between aspective
and temporal, but quite selI-dependent in the general
categorial system oI the English verb. It is this interpretation
oI the perIect that gives a natural explanation to the
"enigmatic" verbal Iorm oI the perIect continuous, showing
that each categorial marker both perIect and continuous
being separately expressed in the speech entry oI the verbal
lexeme, conveys its own part in the integral grammatical
meaning oI the entry. Namely, the perIect interprets the action
in the light oI priority and aspective transmission, while the
continuous presents the same action as progressive. As a
result, Iar Irom displaying any kind oI semantic contradiction
or discrepancy, the grammatical characterisation oI the action
gains both in precision and vividness. The latter quality
explains why this verbal Iorm is gaining more and more
ground in present-day colloquial English.
As a matter oI Iact, the speciIic semantic Ieatures oI the
perIect and the continuous in each integrating use can be
distinctly exposed by separate diagnostic tests. &f.: A week or
two ago someone related an incident to me with the
suggestion that I should write a story on it, and since then I
have been thin(ing it over (S. Maugham).
Testing Ior the perIect giving prominence to the expression
oI priority in retrospective coordination will be represented as
Iollows: I have been thin(ing over the suggestion Ior a
week or two now.
Testing Ior the perIect giving prominence to the expression
oI succession in retrospective coordination will be made thus:
Since the time the suggestion was made I have been
thin(ing it over.
Finally, testing Ior the continuous giving prominence to
the expression oI action in progress will include expansion:
Since the suggestion was made I have been thin(ing it over
Naturally, both perIect indeIinite and perIect continuous,
being categorially characterised by their respective Ieatures,
in normal use are not strictly dependent on a Iavourable
contextual environment and can express their semantics in
isolation Irom adverbial time indicators. CI.:
Surprisingly, she did not protest, Ior she had given up the
struggle (M. Dickens). "What have you been doing down
there" Miss Peel asked him. #I've been loo(ing Ior you all
over the play-ground" (M. Dickens).
The exception is the Iuture perIect that practically always
requires a contextual indicator oI time due to the prospective
character oI posteriority, oI which we have already spoken.
It should be noted that with the past perIect the priority
principle is more distinct than with the present perIect, which
again is explained semantically. In many cases the past
perIect goes with the lexical indicators oI time introducing
the past plane as such in the microcontext. On the other hand,
the transmissive semantics oI the perIect can so radically take
an upper hand over its priority semantics even in the past
plane that the Iorm is placed in a peculiar expressive
contradiction with a lexical introduction oI priority. In
particular, it concerns constructions introduced by the
subordinative conjunction before. &f.:
It was his habit to Iind a girl who suited him and live with
her as long as he was ashore. But he had Iorgotten her beIore
the anchor had come dripping out oI the water and been made
Iast. The sea was his home (. Tey).
9. In keeping with the general tendency, the category oI
retrospective coordination can be contextually neutralised, the
imperIect as the weak member oI the opposition Iilling in the
position oI neutralisation. &f.:
"I Ieel exactly like you," she said, "only diIIerent, because
aIter all I didn't produce him; but, Mother, darling, it's all
right..." (. Galsworthy). Christine nibbled on Oyster
Bienville. "I always thought it was because they spawned in
summer" (A. Hailey).
In this connection, the treatment oI the lexemic aspective
division oI verbs by the perIect is, correspondingly, the
reverse, iI less distinctly pronounced, oI their treatment by the
continuous. Namely, the expression oI retrospective
coordination is neutralised most naturally and Ireely with
limitive verbs. As Ior the unlimitive verbs, these, by being
used in the perIect, are rather turned into "limitive Ior the
nonce". &f.:
"I'm no beaten rug. I don't need to Ieel like one. I've been a
teacher all my liIe, with plenty to show Ior it" (A. Hailey).
Very peculiar neutralisations take place between the Iorms
oI the present perIect imperIect. Essentially these
neutralisations signal instantaneous subclass migrations oI the
verb Irom a limitive to an unlimitive one. &f.:
Where do you come Irom (I.e. What is the place oI your
origin) I put all my investment in London. (I.e. I keep all my
money there).
Characteristic colloquial neutralisations aIIect also some
verbs oI physical and mental perceptions. &f.:
I forget what you've told me about Nick. I hear the
management has soItened their stand aIter all the hurly-burly
The perIect Iorms in these contexts are always possible,
being the appropriate ones Ior a mode oI expression devoid oI
tinges oI colloquialism.
10 The categorial opposition "perIect versus imperIect"
is broadly represented in verbids. The verbid representation oI
the opposition, though, is governed by a distinct restrictive
regularity which may be Iormulated as Iollows: the perIect is
used with verbids only in semantically strong positions, i.e.
when its categorial meaning is made prominent. Otherwise
the opposition is neutralised, the imperIect being used in the
position oI neutralisation. uite evidently this regularity is
brought about by the intermediary lexico-grammatical
Ieatures oI verbids, since the category oI retrospective
coordination is utterly alien to the non-verbal parts oI speech.
The structural neutralisation oI the opposition is especially
distinct with the present participle oI the limitive verbs, its
indeIinite Iorm very naturally expressing priority in the
perIective sense. &f.: She came to Victoria to see oy oII, and
Freddy Rigby came too, bringing a crowd oI the kind oI
young people Rodney did not care Ior (M. Dickens).
But the rule oI the strong position is valid here also. &f.:
Her Auntie Phyll had too many children. 6aving
brought up six in a messy, undisciplined way, she had started
all over again with another baby late in liIe (M. Dickens).
With the gerund introduced by a preposition oI time the
perIect is more oIten than not neutralised. E.g.: He was at
Cambridge and aIter ta(ing his degree decided to be a planter
(S. Maugham).
CI. the perIect gerund in a strong position: The memory oI
having met the Iamous writer in his young days made him
Ieel proud even now.
Less liable to neutralisation is the inIinitive. The category
oI retrospective coordination is Ior the most part consistently
represented in its independent constructions, used as concise
semi-predicative equivalents oI syntactic units oI Iull
predication. CI.:
It was utterly unbelievable Ior the man to have no
competence whatsoever (simultaneity expressed by the
imperIect). It was utterly unbelievable Ior the man to have
had no competence whatsoever (priority expressed by the
The perIect inIinitive oI notional verbs used with modal
predicators, similar to the continuous, perIorms the two types
oI Iunctions. First, it expresses priority and transmission in
retrospective coordination, in keeping with its categorial
destination. Second, dependent on the concrete Iunction oI
each modal verb and its equivalent, it helps convey gradations
oI probabilities in suppositions. E.g.:
He may have warned Christine, or again, he may not have
warned her. Who can tell Things must have been easier IiIty
years ago. ou needn't worry, Miss Nickolson. The children
are sure to have been following our instructions, it can't have
been otherwise.
In addition, as its third type oI Iunction, also dependent on
the individual character oI diIIerent modal verbs, the perIect
can render the idea oI non-compliance with certain rule,
advice, recommendation, etc. The modal verbs in these cases
serve as signals oI remonstrance (mostly the verbs ought to
and should3. &f.: Mary ought to have thought oI the possible
consequences. Now the situation can't be mended, I'm aIraid.
The modal will used with a perIect in a speciIic
collocation renders a polite, but oIIicially worded statement
oI the presupposed hearer's knowledge oI an indicated Iact.
"ou will no doubt have heard, Admiral Morgan, that
Lord Vaughan is going to replace Sir Thomas Lynch as
Governor oI amaica," Charles said, and cast a glance oI
secret amusement at the strong countenance oI his most
Iamous sailor (. Tey). It will not have escaped your attention,
Inspector, that the visit oI the nuns was the same day that
poisoned wedding cake Iound its way into that cottage (A.
Evident relation between the perIect and the continuous in
their speciIic modal Iunctions (i.e. in the use under modal
government) can be pointed out as a testimony to the
category oI retrospective coordination being related to the
category oI development on the broad semantic basis oI
1ER:7 1$ICE
( 1. The verbal category oI voice shows the direction oI
the process as regards the participants oI the situation
reIlected in the syntactic construction.
The voice oI the English verb is expressed by the
opposition oI the passive Iorm oI the verb to the active Iorm
oI the verb. The sign marking the passive Iorm is the
combination oI the auxiliary be with the past participle oI the
conjugated verb (in symbolic notation: be ... en $ see Ch. II,
5). The passive Iorm as the strong member oI the opposition
expresses reception oI the action by the subject oI the
syntactic construction (i.e. the "passive" subject, denoting the
object oI the action); the active Iorm as the weak member oI
the opposition leaves this meaning unspeciIied, i.e. it
expresses "non-passivity".
In colloquial speech the role oI the passive auxiliary can
occasionally be perIormed by the verb get and, probably,
becomeW &f.:
Sam got lic(ed Ior a good reason, though not by me. The
young violinist became admired by all.
The category oI voice has a much broader representation
in the system oI the English verb than in the system oI the
* For discussion see: haimovich, Rogovskaya,
128-129. 176
Russian verb, since in English not only transitive, but also
intransitive objective verbs including prepositional ones can
be used in the passive (the preposition being retained in the
absolutive location). Besides, verbs taking not one, but two
objects, as a rule, can Ieature both oI them in the position oI
the passive subject. E.g.:
I've just been rung up by the police. T<= 6>@E;H52 was
refused transit Iacilities through London. "<= was
undisturbed by the Irown on his Iace. 6ave G;I ever been
told that you're very good looking He was said to have been
very wild in his youth. T<= 6?=AA has never been tried on.
T<= F<>E6 will be loo(ed after all right. I won't be tal(ed to
like this. Etc.
Still, not all the verbs capable oI taking an object are
actually used in the passive. In particular, the passive Iorm is
alien to many verbs oI the statal subclass (displaying a weak
dynamic Iorce), such as have (direct possessive meaning),
belong, cost, resemble, fail, misgive, etc. Thus, in accord with
their relation to the passive voice, all the verbs can be divided
into two large sets: the set oI passivised verbs and the set oI
non-passivised verbs.
A question then should be posed whether the category oI
voice is a Iull-representative verbal category, i.e. represented
in the system oI the verb as a whole, or a partial-
representative category, conIined only to the passivised verbal
set. Considerations oI both Iorm and Iunction tend to interpret
voice rather as a Iull-representative category, the same as
person, number, tense, and aspect. Three reasons can be given
to back this appraisal.
First, the integral categorial presentation oI non-passivised
verbs Iully coincides with that oI passivised verbs used in the
active voice (cf. ta(es $ goes, is ta(ing $ is going, has
ta(en $ has gone, etc.). Second, the active voice as the weak
member oI the categorial opposition is characterised in
general not by the "active" meaning as such (i.e. necessarily
Ieaturing the subject as the doer oI the action), but by the
extensive non-passive meaning oI a very wide range oI actual
signiIications, some oI them approaching by their process-
direction characteristics those oI non-passivised verbs (cf. The
door opens inside the room; The magazine doesn't sell well).
Third, the demarcation line between the passivised and non-
passivised sets is by no means rigid, and the verbs oI the non-
passivised order may migrate into the
121499 177
passivised order in various contextual conditions (cf. The bed
has not been slept in; The house seems not to have been lived
in Ior a long time).
Thus, the category oI voice should be interpreted as being
reIlected in the whole system oI verbs, the non-passivised
verbs presenting the active voice Iorm iI not directly, then
As a regular categorial Iorm oI the verb, the passive voice
is combined in the same lexeme with other oppositionally
strong Iorms oI the verbal categories oI the tense-aspect
system, i.e. the past, the Iuture, the continuous, the perIect.
But it has a neutralising eIIect on the category oI development
in the Iorms where the auxiliary be must be doubly employed
as a verbid (the inIinitive, the present participle, the past
participle), so that the Iuture continuous passive, as well as
the perIect continuous passive are practically not used in
speech. As a result, the Iuture continuous active has as its
regular counterpart by the voice opposition the Iuture
indeIinite passive; the perIect continuous active in all the
tense-Iorms has as its regular counterpart the perIect
indeIinite passive. &f.:
The police will be (eeping an army oI reporters at bay.
An army oI reporters will be (ept at bay by the police. We
have been e%pecting the decision Ior a long time. The
decision has been e%pected Ior a long time.
2. The category oI voice diIIers radically Irom all the
other hitherto considered categories Irom the point oI view oI
its reIerential qualities. Indeed, all the previously described
categories reIlect various characteristics oI processes, both
direct and oblique, as certain Iacts oI reality existing
irrespective oI the speaker's perception. For instance, the
verbal category oI person expresses the personal relation oI
the process. The verbal number, together with person,
expresses its person-numerical relation. The verbal primary
time denotes the absolutive timing oI the process, i.e. its
timing in reIerence to the moment oI speech. The category oI
prospect expresses the timing oI the process Irom the point oI
view oI its relation to the plane oI posteriority. Finally, the
analysed aspects characterise the respective inner qualities oI
the process. So, each oI these categories does disclose some
actual property oI the process denoted by the verb, adding
more and more particulars to the depicted processual situation.
But we cannot say the same about the category oI voice.
As a matter oI Iact, the situation reIlected by the passive
construction does not diIIer in the least Irom the situation
reIlected by the active construction the nature oI the
process is preserved intact, the situational participants remain
in their places in their unchanged quality. What is changed,
then, with the transition Irom the active voice to the passive
voice, is the subjective appraisal oI the situation by the
speaker, the plane oI his presentation oI it. It is clearly seen
when comparing any pair oI constructions one oI which is the
passive counterpart oI the other. &f.: The guards dispersed
the crowd in Iront oI the Presidential Palace. The crowd in
Iront oI the Presidential Palace was dispersed by the guards.
In the two constructions, the guards as the doer oI the
action, the crowd as the recipient oI the action are the same;
the same also is the place oI action, i.e. the space in Iront oI
the Palace. The presentation planes, though, are quite
diIIerent with the respective constructions, they are in Iact
mutually reverse. Namely, the Iirst sentence, by its Iunctional
destination, Ieatures the act oI the guards, whereas the second
sentence, in accord with its meaningIul purpose, Ieatures the
experience oI the crowd.
This property oI the category oI voice shows its immediate
connection with syntax, which Iinds expression in direct
transIormational relations between the active and passive
The said Iundamental meaningIul diIIerence between the
two Iorms oI the verb and the corresponding constructions
that are built around them goes with all the concrete
connotations speciIically expressed by the active and passive
presentation oI the same event in various situational contexts.
In particular, we Iind the object-experience-Ieaturing
achieved by the passive in its typical uses in cases when the
subject is unknown or is not to be mentioned Ior certain
reasons, or when the attention oI the speaker is centred on the
action as such. &f., respectively:
Another act oI terrorism has been committed in Argentina.
Dinner was announced, and our conversation stopped. The
deIeat oI the champion was very much regretted.
All the Iunctional distinctions oI the passive, both
categorial and contextual-connotative, are sustained in its use
with verbids.
For instance, in the Iollowing passive inIinitive phrase the
categorial object-experience-Ieaturing is accompanied by
the logical accent oI the process characterising the quality oI
its situational object (expressed by the subject oI the passive
construction): This is an event never to be forgotten.
&f. the corresponding sentence-transIorm: This event will
never be forgotten.
The gerundial phrase that is given below, conveying the
principal categorial meaning oI the passive, suppresses the
exposition oI the indeIinite subject oI the process: AIter being
wrongly delivered, the letter Iound its addressee at last.
&f. the time-clause transIormational equivalent oI the
gerundial phrase: AIter the letter had been wrongly delivered,
it Iound its addressee at last.
The Iollowing passive participial construction in an
absolutive position accentuates the resultative process: The
enemy batteries having been put out oI action, our troops
continued to push on the oIIensive.
&f. the clausal equivalent oI the construction: When the
enemy batteries had been put out oI action, our troops
continued to push on the oIIensive.
The past participle oI the objective verb is passive in
meaning, and phrases built up by it display all the cited
characteristics. E. g.: Seen Irom the valley, the castle on the
cliII presented a Iantastic sight.
&f. the clausal equivalent oI the past participial phrase:
When it was seen Irom the valley, the castle on the cliII
presented a Iantastic sight.
3. The big problem in connection with the voice
identiIication in English is the problem oI "medial" voices,
i.e. the Iunctioning oI the voice Iorms in other than the
passive or active meanings. All the medial voice uses are
eIIected within the Iunctional range oI the unmarked member
oI the voice opposition. Let us consider the Iollowing
I will shave and wash, and be ready Ior breakIast in halI
an hour. I'm aIraid Mary hasn't dressed up yet. Now I see
your son is thoroughly preparing Ior the entrance
The indicated verbs in the given sentences are objective,
transitive, used absolutely, in the Iorm oI the active voice. But
the real voice meaning rendered by the verb-entries is not
active, since the actions expressed are not passed Irom the
subject to any outer object; on the contrary, these actions
are conIined to no other participant oI the situation than the
subject, the latter constituting its own object oI the action
perIormance. This kind oI verbal meaning oI the action
perIormed by the subject upon itselI is classed as "reIlexive".
The same meaning can be rendered explicit by combining the
verb with the reIlexive "selI-pronoun: I will shave myself,
wash myself5 Mary hasn't dressed herself up yet; your son is
thoroughly preparing himself. Let us take examples oI
another kind:
The Iriends will be meeting tomorrow. UnIortunately,
Nellie and Christopher divorced two years aIter their
magniIicent marriage. 8re Phil and Glen Quarrelling again
over their toy cruiser
The actions expressed by the verbs in the above sentences
are also conIined to the subject, the same as in the Iirst series
oI examples, but, as diIIerent Irom them, these actions are
perIormed by the subject constituents reciprocally: the Iriends
will be meeting one another; Nellie divorced Christopher, but
Christopher, in his turn, divorced Nellie; Phil is quarrelling
with Glen, but Glen, in his turn, is quarrelling with Phil. This
verbal meaning oI the action perIormed by the subjects in the
subject group on one another is called "reciprocal". As is the
case with the reIlexive meaning, the reciprocal meaning can
be rendered explicit by combining the verbs with special
pronouns, namely, the reciprocal pronouns: the Iriends will be
meeting one another; Nellie and Christopher divorced each
other; the children are quarrelling with each other.
The cited reIlexive and reciprocal uses oI verbs are open
to consideration as special grammatical voices, called,
respectively, "reIlexive" and "reciprocal". The reIlexive and
reciprocal pronouns within the Iramework oI the hypothetical
voice identiIication oI the uses in question should be looked
upon as the voice auxiliaries.
That the verb-Iorms in the given collocations do render the
idea oI the direction oI situational action is indisputable, and
in this sense the considered verbal meanings are those oI
voice. On the other hand, the uses in question evidently lack a
generalising Iorce necessary Ior any lingual unit type or
combination type to be classed as grammatical. The reIlexive
and reciprocal pronouns, Ior their part, are still positional
members oI the sentence, though phrasemically bound with
their notional kernel elements. The inIerence is that
the Iorms are not grammatical-categorial; they are phrasal-
derivative, though grammatically relevant.
The verbs in reIlexive and reciprocal uses in combination
with the reIlexive and reciprocal pronouns may be called,
respectively, "reIlexivised" and "reciprocalised". Used
absolutively, they are just reIlexive and reciprocal variants oI
their lexemes.
Subject to reIlexivisation and reciprocalisation may be not
only natively reIlexive and reciprocal lexemic variants, but
other verbs as well. &f.:
The proIessor was arguing with <>HA=E9J as usual. The
parties have been accusing ;3= 53;2<=? vehemently.
To distinguish between the two cases oI the considered
phrasal-derivative process, the Iormer can be classed as
"organic", the latter as "inorganic" reIlexivisation and
The derivative, i.e. lexemic expression oI voice meanings
may be likened, with due alteration oI details, to the lexemic
expression oI aspective meanings. In the domain oI
aspectuality we also Iind derivative aspects, having a set oI
lexical markers (verbal post-positions) and generalised as
limitive and non-limitive.
Alongside oI the considered two, there is still a third use
oI the verb in English directly connected with the
grammatical voice distinctions. This use can be shown on the
Iollowing examples:
The new paper-backs are selling excellently. The
suggested procedure will hardly apply to all the instances.
Large native cigarettes smo(ed easily and coolly. Perhaps the
loin chop will eat better than it looks.
The actions expressed by the otherwise transitive verbs in
the cited examples are conIined to the subject, though not in a
way oI active selI-transitive subject perIormance, but as iI
going on oI their own accord. The presentation oI the verbal
action oI this type comes under the heading oI the "middle"
However, lacking both regularity and an outer Iorm oI
expression, it is natural to understand the "middle" voice uses
oI verbs as cases oI neutralising reduction oI the voice
opposition. The peculiarity oI the voice neutralisation oI this
kind is, that the weak member oI opposition used in
the position oI neutralisation does not Iully coincide in
Iunction with the strong member, but rather is located
somewhere in between the two Iunctional borders. Hence, its
"middle" quality is truly reIlected in its name. Compare the
shown middle type neutralisation oI voice in the inIinitive:
She was delightIul to loo( at, witty to tal( to $ altogether
the most charming oI companions. ou have explained so
Iully everything there is to e%plain that there is no need Ior
me to ask questions.
4. Another problem posed by the category oI voice and
connected with neutralisations concerns the relation between
the morphological Iorm oI the passive voice and syntactical
Iorm oI the corresponding complex nominal predicate with
the pure link be. As a matter oI Iact, the outer structure oI the
two combinations is much the same. &f.:
ou may consider me a coward, but there you are
mista(en. They were all seised in their homes.
The Iirst oI the two examples presents a case oI a nominal
predicate, the second, a case oI a passive voice Iorm. Though
the constructions are outwardly alike, there is no doubt as to
their diIIerent grammatical status. The question is, why
As is known, the demarcation between the construction
types in question is commonly sought on the lines oI the
semantic character oI the constructions. Namely, iI the
construction expresses an action, it is taken to reIer to the
passive voice Iorm; iI it expresses a state, it is interpreted as a
nominal predicate. &f. another pair oI examples:
The door was closed by the butler as soItly as could be.
The door on the leIt was closed.
The predicate oI the Iirst sentence displays the "passive oI
action", i.e. it is expressed by a verb used in the passive
voice; the predicate oI the second sentence, in accord with the
cited semantic interpretation, is understood as displaying the
"passive oI state", i.e. as consisting oI a link-verb and a
nominal part expressed by a past participle.
OI course, the Iactor oI semantics as the criterion oI the
dynamic Iorce oI the construction is quite in its place, since
the dynamic Iorce itselI is a meaningIul Iactor oI language.
But the "technically" grammatical quality oI the construction
is determined not by the meaning in isolation; it is determined
by the categorial and Iunctional properties oI its constituents,
Iirst and Ioremost, its participial part. Thus, iI this part, in
principle, expresses processual verbality, however statal it
may be in its semantic core, then the whole construction
should be understood as a case oI the Iinite passive in the
categorial sense. E.g.: The young practitioner was highly
esteemed in his district.
II, on the other hand, the participial part oI the
construction doesn't convey the idea oI processual verbality,
in other words, iI it has ceased to be a participle and is turned
into an adjective, then the whole construction is to be taken
Ior a nominal predicate. But in the latter case it is not
categorially passive at all.
Proceeding Irom this criterion, we see that the predicate in
the construction "ou are mistaken" (the Iirst example in the
present paragraph) is nominal simply by virtue oI its notional
part being an adjective, not a participle. The corresponding
non-adjectival participle would be used in quite another type
oI constructions. &f.: I was oIten mista(en Ior my Iriend Otto,
though I never could tell why.
On the other hand, this very criterion shows us that the
categorial status oI the predicate in the sentence "The door
was closed# is wholly neutralised in so Iar as it is categorially
latent, and only a living context may de-neutralise it both
ways. In particular, the context including the byphrase oI the
doer (e.g. by the butler) de-neutralises it into the passive Iorm
oI the verb; but the context in the Iollowing example de-
neutralises it into the adjectival nominal collocation: The door
on the leIt was closed, and the door on the right was open.
Thus, with the construction in question the context may
have both voice-suppressing, "statalising" eIIect, and voice-
stimulating, "processualising" eIIect. It is very interesting to
note that the role oI processualising stimulators oI the passive
can be perIormed, alongside oI action-modiIying adverbials,
also by some categorial Iorms oI the verb itselI, namely, by
the Iuture, the continuous, and the perIect i.e. by the Iorms
oI the time-aspect order other than the indeIinite imperIect
past and present. The said contextual stimulators are
especially important Ior limitive verbs, since their past
participles combine the semantics oI processual passive with
that oI resultative perIect. &f.:
The Ience is painted. $ The Ience is painted light
green. The Ience is to be painted. $ The Ience will be
painted. The Ience has just been painted. The Ience is
just being painted.
The Iact that the indeIinite imperIect past and present are
leIt indiIIerent to this gradation oI dynamism in passive
constructions bears one more evidence that the past and
present oI the English verb constitute a separate grammatical
category distinctly diIIerent Irom the expression oI the Iuture
(see Ch. XIV).
1. The category oI mood, undoubtedly, is the most
controversial category oI the verb. On the Iace oI it, the
principles oI its analysis, the nomenclature, the relation to
other categories, in particular, to tenses, all this has received
and is receiving diIIerent presentations and appraisals with
diIIerent authors. Very signiIicant in connection with the
theoretical standing oI the category are the Iollowing words
by B. A. Ilyish: "The category oI mood in the present English
verb has given rise to so many discussions, and has been
treated in so many diIIerent ways, that it seems hardly
possible to arrive at any more or less convincing and
universally acceptable conclusion concerning it" Ilyish, 99.
Needless to say, the only and true cause oI the multiplicity
oI opinion in question lies in the complexity oI the category
as such, made especially peculiar by the contrast oI its
meaningIul intricacy against the scarcity oI the English word
inIlexion. But, stressing the disputability oI so many
theoretical points connected with the English mood, the
scholars are sometimes apt to Iorget the positive results
already achieved in this domain during scores oI years oI
both textual researches and the controversies accompanying
We must always remember that the knowledge oI verbal
structure, the understanding oI its working in the construction
oI speech utterances have been tellingly deepened by the
studies oI the mood system within the general Iramework oI
modern grammatical theories, especially by the extensive
investigations undertaken by Soviet scholars in the past three
decades. The main contributions made in this Iield concern the
more and more precise statement oI the signiIicance oI the
Iunctional plane oI any category; the exposition oI the subtle
paradigmatic correlations that, working on the same
unchangeable verbal basis, acquire the status oI changeable
Iorms; the demonstration oI the sentence-constructional value
oI the verb and its mood, the meaningIul destination oI it
being realised on the level oI the syntactic predicative unit as
a whole. Among the scholars we are indebted to Ior this
knowledge and understanding, to be named in the Iirst place is
A. I. Smirnitsky, whose theories revolutionised the
presentation oI English verbal grammar; then B. A. Ilyish, a
linguist who skilIully demonstrated the strong and weak
points oI the possible approaches to the general problem oI
mood; then G. N. Vorontsova, L. S. Barkhudarov, I. B.
hlebnikova, and a number oI others, whose keen
observations and theoretical generalisations, throwing a new
light on the analysed phenomena and discussed problems, at
the same time serve as an incentive to Iurther investigations in
this interesting sphere oI language study. It is due to the
materials gathered and results obtained by these scholars that
we venture the present, oI necessity schematic, outline oI the
category under analysis.
2. The category oI mood expresses the character oI
connection between the process denoted by the verb and the
actual reality, either presenting the process as a Iact that really
happened, happens or will happen, or treating it as an
imaginary phenomenon, i.e. the subject oI a hypothesis,
speculation, desire. It Iollows Irom this that the Iunctional
opposition underlying the category as a whole is constituted
by the Iorms oI oblique mood meaning, i.e. those oI unreality,
contrasted against the Iorms oI direct mood meaning, i.e.
those oI reality, the Iormer making up the strong member, the
latter, the weak member oI the opposition. What is, though,
the Iormal sign oI this categorial opposition What kind oI
morphological change makes up the material basis oI the
Iunctional semantics oI the oppositional contrast oI Iorms
The answer to this question, evidently, can be obtained as a
result oI an observation oI the relevant language data in the
light oI the two correlated presentations oI the category,
namely, a Iormal presentation and a Iunctional presentation.
But beIore going into details oI Iact, we must emphasise,
that the most general principle oI the interpretation oI the
category oI mood within the Iramework oI the two
approaches is essentially the same; it is the statement oI the
semantic content oI the. category as determining the reality
Iactor oI the verbal action, i.e. showing whether the denoted
action is real or unreal.
In this respect, it should be clear that the category oI
mood, like the category oI voice, diIIers in principle Irom the
immanent verbal categories oI time, prospect, development,
and retrospective coordination. Indeed, while the enumerated
categories characterise the action Irom the point oI view oI its
various inherent properties, the category oI mood expresses
the outer interpretation oI the action as a whole, namely, the
speaker's introduction oI it as actual or imaginary. Together
with the category oI voice, this category, not reconstructing
the process by way oI reIlecting its constituent qualities, gives
an integrating appraisal oI she process and establishes its
lingual representation in a syntactic context.
3. The Iormal description oI the category has its source
in the traditional school grammar. It is through the
observation oI immediate diIIerences in changeable Iorms
that the mood distinctions oI the verb were indicated by the
IoreIathers oI modern sophisticated descriptions oI the
English grammatical structure. These diIIerences, similar to
the categorial Iorms oI person, number, and time, are most
clearly pronounced with the unique verb be.
Namely, it is Iirst and Ioremost with the verb be that the
pure inIinitive stem in the construction oI the verbal Iorm oI
desired or hypothetical action is made prominent. #'e it as
you wish", "So be it", "Be what may", "The powers that be#,
"The insistence that the accused be present# $ such and like
constructions, though characterised by a certain bookish
Ilavour, bear indisputable testimony to the Iact that the verb
be has a special Iinite oblique mood Iorm, diIIerent Irom the
direct indicative. Together with the isolated, notional be, as
well as the linking be, in the capacity oI the same mood Iorm
come also the passive maniIestations oI verbs with be in a
morphologically bound position, cf.: The stipulation that the
deal be made without delay, the demand that the matter be
e%amined careIully, etc.
By way oI correlation with the oblique be, the inIinitive
stem oI the other verbs is clearly seen as constituting the same
Iorm oI the considered verbal mood. Not only constructions
Ieaturing the third person singular without its categorial mark
(e3s, but also constructions oI other personal Iorms oI the
verb are ordered under this heading. Thus, we distinguish the
indicated mood Iorm oI the verb in sentences like #6appen
what may", "God forgive us", "Long live our Iriendship", "It
is important that he arrive here as soon as possible", and also
"The agreement stipulates that the goods pass customs Iree",
"It is recommended that the elections start on Monday", "My
orders are that the guards draw up#, etc.
Semantical observation oI the constructions with the
analysed verbal Iorm shows that within the general meaning
oI desired or hypothetical action, it signiIies diIIerent attitudes
towards the process denoted by the verb and the situation
denoted by the construction built up around it, namely,
besides desire, also supposition, speculation, suggestion,
recommendation, inducement oI various degrees oI insistence
including commands.
Thus, the analysed Iorm-type presents the mood of
attitudes. Traditionally it is called "subjunctive", or in more
modern terminological nomination, "subjunctive one". Since
the term "subjunctive" is also used to cover the oblique mood
system as a whole, some sort oI terminological speciIication
is to be introduced that would give a semantic alternative to
the purely Iormal "subjunctive one" designation. Taking into
account the semantics oI the Iorm-type in question, we
suggest that it should be named the "spective" mood,
employing just the Latin base Ior the notion oI "attitudes". So,
what we are describing now, is the spective Iorm oI the
subjunctive mood, or, in keeping with the usual working
linguistic parlance, simply the spective mood, in its pure,
classical maniIestation.
Going on with our analysis, we must consider now the
imperative Iorm oI the verb, traditionally reIerred to as a
separate, imperative mood.
In accord with the Iormal principles oI analysis, it is easy
to see that the verbal imperative morphemically coincides
with the spective mood, since it presents the same inIinitive
stem, though in relation to the second person only. Turning to
the semantics oI the imperative, we note here as constitutive
the meaning oI attitudes oI the general
spective description. This concerns the Iorms both oI be and
the other verbs, cf.: 'e on your guard 'e offl >o be careIul
with the papers >on't be blue >o as I ask you Eut down the
address, will you About turnl
As is known, the imperative mood is analysed in certain
grammatical treatises as semantically direct mood, in this
sense being likened to the indicative Ganshina, Vasilevskaya,
200. This kind oI interpretation, though, is hardly
convincing. The imperative Iorm displays every property oI a
Iorm oI attitudes, which can easily be shown by means oI
equivalent transIormations. &f.:
'e oII I demand that you be oII. >o be careIul with the
papers My request is that you do be careIul with the
papers. >o as I ask you I insist that you do as I ask you.
About turnl ? I command that you turn about.
Let us take it Ior demonstrated, then, that the imperative
verbal Iorms may be looked upon as a variety oI the spective,
i.e. its particular, iI very important, maniIestation.*
At this stage oI study we must pay attention to how time is
expressed with the analysed Iorm. In doing so we should have
in mind that, since the expression oI verbal time is categorial,
a consideration oI it does not necessarily break oII with the
Iormal principle oI observation. In this connection, Iirst, we
note that the inIinitive stem taken Ior the building up oI the
spective is just the present-tense stem oI the integral
conjugation oI the verb. The spective be, the irregular
(suppletive) Iormation, is the only exception Irom this
correlation (though, as we have seen, it does give the general
pattern Ior the mood identiIication in cases other than the
third person singular). Second, we observe that constructions
with the spective, though expressed by the present-stem oI the
verb, can be transIerred into the past plane context. &f.:
It was recommended that the elections start on Monday.
My orders were that the guards draw up. The agreement
stipulated that the goods pass customs Iree.
This phenomenon marks something entirely new Irom the
point oI view oI the categorial status oI the verbal time in the
indicative. Indeed, in the indicative the category oI time
* &f. L. S. Barkhudarov's consideration oI both varieties
oI Iorms under the same heading oI "imperative".
is essentially absolutive, while in the sphere oI the
subjunctive (in our case, spective) the present stem, as we
see, is used relatively, denoting the past in the context oI the
Here our purely Iormal, i.e. morphemic consideration oI
the present stem oI the subjunctive comes to an end.
Moreover, remaining on the strictly Iormal ground in the
strictly morphemic sense, we would have to state that the
demonstrated system oI the spective mood exhausts, or nearly
exhausts, the entire English oblique mood morphology. See:
Faxa, (2), 129. However, turning to Iunctional
considerations oI the expression oI the oblique mood
semantics, we see that the system oI the subjunctive, Iar Irom
being exhausted, rather begins at this point.
4. Observations oI the materials undertaken on the
comparative Iunctional basis have led linguists to the
identiIication oI a number oI construction types rendering the
same semantics as is expressed by the spective mood Iorms
demonstrated above. These generalised expressions oI
attitudes may be classed into the Iollowing three groups.
The Iirst construction type oI attitude series is Iormed by
the combination may!might i InIinitive. It is used to express
wish, desire, hope in the contextual syntactic conditions
similar to those oI the morphemic (native) spective Iorms.
4ay it be as you wish 4ay it all happen as you desire
4ay success attend you. I hope that he may be saIe. Let's pray
that everything might still turn to the good, aIter all. 4ay our
Iriendship live long.
The second construction type oI attitude series is Iormed
by the combination should i InIinitive. It is used in various
subordinate predicative units to express supposition,
speculation, suggestion, recommendation, inducements oI
diIIerent kinds and degrees oI intensity. &f.:
Whatever they should say oI the project, it must be
considered seriously. It has been arranged that the delegation
should be received by the President oI the Federation. Orders
were given that the searching group should start out at once.
The third construction type oI the same series is Iormed by
the combination let Objective SubstantiveInIinitive. It is
used to express inducement (i.e. an appeal to commit
an action) in relation to all the persons, but preIerably to the
Iirst person plural and third person both numbers. The
notional homonym let, naturally, is not taken into account.
Aet's agree to end this wait-and-see policy. Now don't let's
be hearing any more oI this. Aet him repeat the accusation in
Tim's presence. Aet our military forces be capable and ready.
Aet me try to convince them myselI.
All the three types oI constructions are characterised by a
high Irequency occurrence, by uniIormity oI structure, by
regularity oI correspondence to the "pure", native morphemic
spective Iorm oI the verb. For that matter, taken as a whole,
they are more universal stylistically than the pure spective
Iorm, in so Iar as they are less bound by conventions oI usage
and have a wider range oI expressive connotations oI various
kinds. These qualities show that the described constructions
may saIely be identiIied as Iunctional equivalents oI the pure
spective mood. Since they specialise, within the general
spective mood meaning, in semantic destination, the
specialisation being determined by the semantic type oI their
modal markers, we propose to unite them under the tentative
heading oI the "modal" spective mood Iorms, or, by way oI
the usual working contraction, the modal spective mood, as
contrasted against the "pure" spective expressed by native
morphemic means (morphemic zeroing).
The Iunctional varieties oI the modal spective, i.e. its
specialised Iorms, as is evident Irom the given examples,
should be classed as, Iirst, the "desiderative" series (may-
spective, the Iorm oI desire); second, the "considerative"
series (shouldspective, the Iorm oI considerations); third, the
"imperative" series (let-spective, the Iorm oI commands).
We must stress that by terming the spective constructional
Iorms "modal" we don't mean to bring down their
grammatical value. Modality is part and parcel oI predication,
and the modern paradigmatic interpretation oI syntactic
constructions has demonstrated that all the combinations oI
modal verbs as such constitute grammatical means oI
sentence-Iorming. On the other hand, the relevance oI medial
morpho-syntactic Iactor in the structure oI the Iorms in
question can't be altogether excluded Irom the Iinal
estimation oI their status. The whole system oI the English
subjunctive mood is Iar Irom stabilised, it is just in the
making, and all that we can say about the analysed spective
in this connection is that they tend to quickly develop into
rigidly "Iormalised" Ieatures oI morphology.
Very important Ior conIirming the categorial nature oI the
modal spective Iorms is the way they express the timing oI
the process. The verbal time proper is neutralised with these
Iorms and, considering their relation to the present-order pure
spective, they can also be classed as "present" in this sense.
As to the actual expression oI time, it is rendered relatively,
by means oI the aspective category oI retrospective
coordination: the imperIect denotes the relative present
(simultaneity and posteriority), while the perIect denotes the
relative past (priority in the present and the past). This
regularity, common Ior all the system oI the subjunctive
mood, is not always clearly seen in the constructions oI the
spective taken by themselves (i.e. without a comparison with
the subjunctive oI the past order, which is to be considered
Iurther) due to the Iunctional destination oI this mood.
The perIect is hardly ever used with the pure spective non-
imperative. As Iar as the imperative is concerned, the natural
time-aspect plane is here the present-oriented imperIect
strictly relative to the moment oI speech, since, by deIinition,
the imperative is addressed to the listener. The occasional
perIect with the imperative gives accent to the idea oI some
time-limit being transgressed, or stresses an urge to IulIil the
action in its entirety. &f.:
Cry and have done, it's not so diIIicult as it seems. Aet's
have finished with the whole aIIair
Still, when it is justiIied by the context, the regularity oI
expressing time through aspect is displayed by the specialised
modal spective with the proper distinctness. &f.:
I wish her plans might succeed (the present simultaneity
posteriority). ---I wished her plans might succeed (the
past simultaneity posteriority). I wish her plans might
have succeeded (Iailure in the present priority). ---I wished
her plans might have succeeded (Iailure in the past priority).
Whatever the outcome oI the conIerence should be, stalemate
cannot be tolerated (the present simultaneity posteriority).
----------The commentator emphasised that, whatever the
outcome oI the conIerence should be, stalemate could not be
tolerated (the past simultaneity posteriority). Whatever the
outcome oI the conIerence should have been, stalemate
cannot be tolerated (the present priority, the outcome oI
the conIerence is unknown).- -The commentator emphasised
that, whatever the outcome oI the conIerence should have
been, stalemate could not be tolerated (the past priority, the
outcome oI the conIerence was unknown).
The perIect oI the modal spective makes up Ior the
deIiciency oI the pure spective which lacks the perIect Iorms.
'e it so or otherwise, I see no purpose in our argument
(simultaneity in the present). ----Should it have been
otherwise, there might have been some purpose in our
argument (priority in the present).
5. As the next step oI the investigation, we are to
consider the Iorms oI the subjunctive reIerring to the past
order oI the verb. The approach based on the purely
morphemic principles leads us here also to the identiIication
oI the speciIic Iorm oI the conjugated be as the only native
maniIestation oI the categorial expression oI unreal process.
Oh, that he were together with us now II I were in your
place, I'd only be happy. II it were in my power, I wouldn't
hesitate to interIere.
As is the case with be in the present subjunctive
(spective), the sphere oI its past subjunctive use is not
conIined to its notional and linking Iunctions, but is
automatically extended to the broad imperIect system oI the
passive voice, as well as the imperIect system oI the present
continuous. &f.:
II he were given the same advice by an outsider, he would
no doubt proIit by it; with the relatives it might be the other
way about, I'm aIraid. I'd repeat that you were right Irom the
start, even though im himselI were putting down each word I
say against him.
UnIortunately, the cited case types practically exhaust the
native past subjunctive distinctions oI be, since with the past
subjunctive, unlike the present, it is only the Iirst and third
persons singular that have the suppletive marking Ieature
were. The rest oI the Iorms coincide with the past indicative.
Moreover, the discriminate personal Iinite was more and
more penetrates into the subjunctive, thus liquidating the
scarce remnants oI diIIerences between the
13-1499 193
subjunctive and the indicative oI the past order as a whole.
&f.: II he was as open-hearted as you are, it would make all
the diIIerence.
Thus, Irom here on we have to go beyond the morphemic
principle oI analysis and look Ior other discriminative marks
oI the subjunctive elsewhere. Luckily, we don't have to
wander very Iar in search oI them, but discover them in the
explicitly distinctive, strikingly signiIicant correlation oI the
aspective Iorms oI retrospective coordination. These are
clearly taken to signiIy the time oI the imaginary process,
namely, imperIect Ior the absolute and relative present,
perIect Ior the absolute and relative past. Thereby, in union
with the past verbal Iorms as such, the perIect-imperIect
retrospective coordination system is made to mark the past
subjunctive in universal contradistinction to the past and
present indicative. This Ieature is all the more important,
since it is employed not only in the structures patterned by
the subjunctive were and those used in similar environmental
conditions, but also in the Iurther would $ shouldstructures,
in which the Ieature oI the past is complicated by the Ieature
oI the posteriority, also reIormed semantically. &f.:
I'm sure iI she tried, she would manage to master riding
not later than by the autumn, Ior all her unsporting habits
(simultaneity posteriority in the present). ----I was sure
iI she tried, she would manage it by the next autumn
(simultaneity posteriority in the past). How much
embarrassment should I have been spared iI only I had
(nown the truth
beIore (priority oI the two events in the present).---------I
couldn't (eep Irom saying that I should have been spared
much embarrassment iI only I had (nown the truth beIore
(priority oI the two events in the past).
The sought-Ior universal mark oI the subjunctive, the
"unknown quantity" which we have undertaken to Iind is,
then, the tense-retrospect shiIt noted in a preliminary way
above, while handling the Iorms oI the present (i.e. spective)
subjunctive. The diIIerential mark is unmistakable, both
delimiting the present and past subjunctive in their diIIerent
Iunctional spheres (the present and the past verbal Iorms as
such), and distinguishing the subjunctive as a whole Irom the
indicative as a whole (the tense-retrospect shiIt taken in its
entirety). The mark is explicit not by virtue oI the
grammatical system being just so many ready-made,
presunmovable sets oI units and Iorms; it is explicit due to
something very important existing in addition to the static
correlations and interdependencies making up the base oI the
system. What renders it not only distinct, but absolutely
essential, is the paradigmatic relations in dynamics oI
language Iunctioning. It is this dynamic liIe oI paradigmatic
connections in the course oI speech production and
perception that turns the latent structural diIIerences, iI small
and insigniIicant in themselves, into regular and accurate
means oI expression. The tense-retrospect shiIt analysed
within the Iramework oI the latent system is almost
imperceptible, almost entirely hidden under the cover oI
morphemic identity. But this identity proves ephemeral the
very moment the process oI speech begins. The paradigmatic
connections all come into liIe as iI by magic; the diIIerent
treatments oI absolutive and relative tenses sharply contrast
one against the other; the imperIect and perIect indicative
antagonise those oI the subjunctive; the tense-retrospect shiIt
maniIests its working in explicit structural Iormations oI
contexts and environments, not allowing grammatical
misunderstandings between the participants oI lingual
Thus, having abandoned the exhausted Iormal approach in
the traditional sense in order to seek the subjunctive
distinctions on the Iunctional lines, we return to Iormality all
the same, though existing on a broader, dynamic, but none
the less real basis.
As Ior the Iunctional side oI it, not yet looked into with the
past subjunctive, it evidently diIIers considerably Irom that
which we have seen in the system oI the present subjunctive.
The present subjunctive is a system oI verbal Iorms
expressing a hypothetical action appraised in various
attitudes, namely, as an object oI desire, wish, consideration,
etc. The two parallel sets oI maniIestations oI the present
subjunctive, i.e. the pure spective and the modal spective,
stand in variant Iunctional inter-relations, conveying
essentially identical basic semantics and partially
complementing each other on the connotative and structural
lines. As diIIerent Irom this, the past subjunctive is not a
mood oI attitudes. Rather, it is a mood oI reasoning by the
rule oI contraries, the contraries being situations oI reality
opposed to the corresponding situations oI unreality, i.e.
opposed to the reIlections oI the same situations placed by an
eIIort oI thinking in diIIerent, imaginary connections with one
another. Furthermore, the past subjunctive, unlike the
present subjunctive, is not a system oI two variant sets oI
Iorms, though, incidentally, it does present two sets oI Iorms
constituting a system. The diIIerence is, that the systemic sets
oI the past subjunctive are Iunctional invariants, semantically
complementing each other in the construction oI complex
sentences reIlecting the causal-conditional relations oI events.
The most characteristic construction in which the two
Iorm-types occur in such a way that one constitutes the
environment oI the other is the complex sentence with a
clause oI unreal condition. The subjunctive Iorm-type used in
the conditional clause is the past unposterior; the subjunctive
Iorm-type used in the principal clause is the past posterior. By
reIerring the verbal Iorms to the past, as well as to the
posterior, we don't imply any actual signiIications eIIected by
the Iorms either oI the past, or oI the posterior: the terms are
purely technical, describing the outer structure, or morphemic
derivation, oI the verbal Iorms in question. The method by
which both Iorms actualise the denotation oI the timing oI the
process has been described above.
The subjunctive past unposterior is called by some
grammarians "subjunctive two". Since we have reserved the
term "subjunctive" Ior denoting the mood oI unreality as a
whole, another Iunctional name should be chosen Ior this
particular Iorm-type oI the subjunctive. "Spective" can't be
used here Ior the simple reason that the analysed mood Iorm
diIIers in principle Irom the spective in so Iar as its main
Iunctions, with the exception oI a Iew construction-types, do
not express attitudes. So, to Iind an appropriate Iunctional
name Ior the mood Iorm in question, we must consider the
actual semantic role served by it in syntactic constructions.
We have already stated that the most typical use oI the
past unposterior subjunctive is connected with the expression
oI unreal actions in conditional clauses (see examples cited
above). Further observations oI texts show that, in principle,
in all the other cases oI its use the idea oI unreal condition is,
iI not directly expressed, then implied by way oI "subtext".
These are constructions oI concession and comparison,
expressions oI urgency, expressions oI wish introduced
independently and in object clauses. Let us examine them
The syntactic clause Ieaturing the analysed Iorm in the
context nearest to the clause oI condition is the clause oI
concession. E.g.:
Even iI he had been a commanding oIIicer himselI, he
wouldn't have received a more solemn welcome in the mess.
Even though it were raining, we'll go boating on the lake.
It is easy to see, that the so-called "concession" in the
cited complex sentences presents a variety oI condition.
Namely, it is unreal or hypothetical condition which is either
overcome or neglected. And it is expressed intensely. Thus,
the transIormational exposition oI the respective implications
will be the Iollowing:
... In spite oI the Iact that he was not a commanding
oIIicer, he was given the most solemn welcome oI the sort
commanding oIIicers were given. ... We don't know
whether it will be raining or not, but even in case it is raining
we will go boating.
Comparisons with the subjunctive are expressed in
adverbial clauses and in predicative clauses. In both cases
condition is implied by way oI contracted implication. &f. an
adverbial comparative clause: She was talking to Bennie as iI
he were a grown person.
The inherent condition is exposed by re-constructing the
logic oI the imaginary situation: She was talking to
Bennie as she would be talking to him iI he were a grown
A similar transIormation applies to the predicative
comparative clause: It looks as iI it had been snowing all the
week. It looks as it would look iI it had been snowing all
the week.
In the subjunctive expression oI urgency (temporal limit)
the implied urgent condition can be exposed by indicating a
possible presupposed consequence. &f.: It is high time the
right key to the problem were found. * * The Iinding oI
the right key to the problem is a condition that has long been
necessary to realise; those interested would be satisIied in this
In clauses and sentences oI wish Ieaturing the subjunctive,
the implied condition is dependent on the expressed desire oI
a situation contrary to reality, and on the regret reIerring jo
the existing state oI things. This can also be exposed by
indicating a possible presupposed consequence. &f. a
complex sentence with an object clause oI wish-subjunctive:
* The symbol * denotes approximate transIormation,
I wish my brain weren't in such a whirl all the time. * My
brain not being in such a whirl all the time is a condition Ior
my attending to matters more eIIiciently.
The wish-subjunctive in independent sentences has the
same implication: Oh, that the distress signals had only been
heard when we could be in time to rescue the crew * Our
hearing the distress signals was a condition Ior the possibility
oI our being in time to rescue the crew. We are in despair that
it was not so.
As is indicated in grammars, modal verbs used in similar
constructions display the Iunctional Ieatures oI the
subjunctive, including the verb would which implies some
eIIort oI wilIul activity. &f.:
I wish he could have cornel $ The implication is that,
unIortunately, he had no such possibility. I wish he would
have cornel $ The implication is that he had not come oI his
own Iree will.
As we see, the subjunctive Iorm under analysis in its
various uses does express the unreality oI an action which
constitutes a condition Ior the corresponding consequence.
Provided our observation is true, and the considered
subjunctive uses are essentially those oI stipulation, the
appropriate explanatory term Ior this Iorm oI the subjunctive
would be "stipulative". Thus, the subjunctive Iorm-type
which is reIerred to on the structural basis as the past
unposterior, on the Iunctional basis will be reIerred to as
Now let us consider the Iorm-type oI the subjunctive
which structurally presents the past posterior. As we have
stated beIore, its most characteristic use is connected with the
principal clause oI the complex sentence expressing a
situation oI unreal condition: the principal clause conveys the
idea oI its imaginary consequence, thereby also relating to
unreal state oI events. &f.: II the peace-keeping Iorce had not
been on the alert, the civil war in that area would have
resumed anew.
The consequential situation oI Iact is dependent on the
conditional situation oI Iact as a necessity; and this Iactual
correlation is preserved in reIerence to the corresponding
imaginary situations. This can be shown by a transIormation:
For the civil war in that area not to have resumed anew,
the peace-keeping Iorce had to be on the alert.
&f. another example: II two people were Iound with a
great bodily resemblance, the experiment would succeed.
For the experiment to succeed, it is necessary to find two
people with a great bodily resemblance.
In keeping with its Iunctional meaning, this kind oI
consequence may be named a "consequence oI necessity".
A consequence dependent on a "concessive" condition
shown above has another implication. Two semantic varieties
oI clauses oI consequence should be pointed out as connected
with the said concessive condition and Ieaturing the
subjunctive mood. The Iirst variety presents a would-be
eIIected action in consequence oI a would-be overcome
unIavourable condition as a sort oI challenge. E.g.: I know
Sam. Even iI they had tried to cajole him into acceptance, he
would have Ilatly refused to cooperate.
The second variety oI concessive-conditional consequence
Ieaturing the subjunctive, as diIIerent Irom the "consequence
oI challenge", expresses neglect oI a hypothetical situation.
&f.: Even though weather-conditions were altogether
Iorbidding, the reconnaissance Ilight would start as
Apart Irom complex sentences, the past posterior Iorm oI
the subjunctive can be used in independent sentences. It is
easy to see, though, that these sentences are based on the
presupposition oI some condition, the consequence oI which
they express. It means that Irom the point oI view oI the
analysed Iunctions they practically do not diIIer Irom the
constructions oI consequence shown above. &f: He would be
here by now: he may have missed his train. ? He may have
missed his train, otherwise (i.e. iI he hadn't missed it) he
would be here by now.
As we see, the subjunctive Iorm-type in question in the
bulk oI its uses essentially expresses an unreal consequential
action dependent on an unreal stipulating action. In grammars
which accept the idea oI this Iorm being a variety oI the
verbal mood oI unreality, it is commonly called "conditional".
However, the cited material tends to show that the term in this
use is evidently inadequate and misleading. In keeping with
the demonstrated Iunctional nature oI the analysed verbal
Iorm it would be appropriate, relying on the Latin etymology,
to name it "consective". "Consective" in Iunction, "past
posterior" in structure the two names will go together
similar to the previously advanced pair "stipulative" "past
unposterior" Ior the related Iorm oI the subjunctive.
Thus, the Iunctions oI the two past Iorm-types oI the
subjunctive are really diIIerent Irom each other on the
lines. On the other hand, this diIIerence is oI such a kind that
the Iorms complement each other within one embedding
syntactic construction, at the same time being maniIestations
oI the basic integral mood oI unreality. This allows us to unite
both analysed Iorm-types under one heading, opposed not
only structurally, but also Iunctionally to the heading oI the
spective mood. And the appropriate term Ior this united
system oI the past-tense subjunctive will be "conditional".
Indeed, the name had to be rejected as the designation oI the
consequential (consective) Iorm oI the subjunctive taken
separately, but it will be very helpIul in showing the actual
unity oI the Iorms not only on the ground oI their structure
(i.e. the past tense order), but also Irom the point oI view oI
their semantico-syntactic destination.
The conditional system oI the subjunctive having received
its characterisation in Iunctional terms, the simpliIied
"numbering" terminology may also be oI use Ior practical
teaching purposes. Since the purely Iormal name Ior the
stipulative mood-Iorm, now in more or less common use, is
"subjunctive two", it would stand to reason to introduce the
term "subjunctive three" Ior the consective Iorm oI the
subjunctive. "Subjunctive three" will then Iinish the set oI
numbering names Ior the three pure Iorms oI the mood oI
unreality, the "modal spective" being leIt out oI the set due to
its non-pure and heterogeneous character.
6. We have surveyed the structure oI the category oI
mood, trying to expose the correlation oI its Iormal and
semantic Ieatures, and also attempting to choose the
appropriate terms oI linguistic denotation Ior this correlation.
The system is not a simple one, though its basic scheme is not
so cumbersome as it would appear in the estimation oI certain
academic opinion. The dynamic scheme oI the category has
been much clariIied oI late in the diverse researches carried
out by Soviet and Ioreign linguists.
One oI the drawbacks oI the descriptions oI the category
oI mood in the existing manuals is the conIusion oI the
Iunctional (semantic) terms oI analysis with the Iormal
(categorial) terms oI analysis.
To begin with, hardly convenient in this respect would
appear the shiIted nomination oI the "oblique" tenses broadly
used in grammars, i.e. the renaming oI the past imperIect into
the "present" and the past perIect into the simple "past". By
this shiIt in terms the authors, naturally, meant to
indicate the tense-shiIt oI the "oblique moods", i.e. the
Iunctional diIIerence oI the tenses in the subjunctive mood
Irom their counterparts in the indicative mood. But the term
"tense" is clearly a categorial name which ought to be
consistent with the Iormal structure oI the category common
Ior the whole oI the verb. As a result oI the terminological
shiIt, the tense-structure oI the verb receives a hindering
reIlection, the conIusion being aggravated by the additional
diIIiculty oI contrasting the "present" tense oI one system oI
the oblique moods (which is Iormally past) against the
"present" tense oI another system oI the oblique moods
(which is Iormally present).
Hardly consistent with adequacy would appear the
division oI the general mood system into several moods on
the upper level oI presentation. "Imperative", "subjunctive
one", "subjunctive two", "conditional", "suppositional"
these are in Iact shown in separate contrasts to the indicative,
which hinders the observation oI the common basis
underlying the analysed category.
The notions "synthetical" moods and "analytical" moods,
being Iormal, hardly meet the requirements oI clarity in
correlation, since, on the one hand, the "synthetical"
Iormation in the English subjunctive is oI a purely negative
nature (no inIlexion), and, on the other hand, the "analytical"
oblique Iormations ("conditional", "suppositional") and the
"synthetical" oblique Iormations ("subjunctive one",
"subjunctive two") are asymmetrically related to the
analytical and synthetical Ieatures oI the temporal-aspective
Iorms oI the verb ("subjunctive one" plus part oI "subjunctive
two" against the "analytical moods" plus the other part oI
"subjunctive two").
Apparently inconsistent with the Iunction oI the reIerent
Iorm is the accepted name "conditional" by which the Iorm-
type oI consequence is designated in contrast to the actual
Iorm-type oI condition ("subjunctive two").
The attempted survey oI the system oI the English mood
based on the recent extensive study oI it (undertaken, Iirst oI
all, by Soviet scholars) and Ieaturing oppositional
interpretations, has been aimed at bringing in appropriate
correlation the Iormal and the Iunctional presentations oI its
We have emphasised that, underlying the unity oI the
whole system, is the one integral Iorm oI the subjunctive
standing in opposition to the one integral Iorm oI the
indicative. The Iormal mark oI the opposition is the tense-
retrospect shiIt in the subjunctive, the latter being the strong
member oI the opposition. The shiIt consists in the perIect
aspect being opposed to the imperIect aspect, both turned into
the relative substitutes Ior the absolutive past and present
tenses oI the indicative. The shiIt has been brought about
historically, as has been rightly demonstrated by scholars, due
to the semantic nature oI the subjunctive, since, Irom the
point oI view oI semantics, it is rather a mood oI meditation
and imagination.
The term "subjunctive" itselI cannot be called a very lucky
one: its actual motivation by the reIerent phenomena has long
been lost so that at present it is neither Iormal, nor Iunctional.
The mood system oI unreality designated by the name
"subjunctive" might as well be called "conjunctive", another
meaningless term, but stressing the unity oI English with
other Germanic languages. We have chosen the name
"subjunctive", though, as a tribute to the purely English
grammatical tradition. As Ior its unmotivated character, with
a name oI the most general order it might be considered as its
asset, aIter all.
The subjunctive, the integral mood oI unreality, presents
the two sets oI Iorms according to the structural division oI
verbal tenses into the present and the past. These Iorm-sets
constitute the two corresponding Iunctional subsystems oI the
subjunctive, namely, the spective, the mood oI attitudes, and
the conditional, the mood oI appraising causal-conditional
relations oI processes. Each oI these, in its turn, Ialls into two
systemic sub-sets, so that on the immediately working level oI
presentation we have the Iour subjunctive Iorm-types
identiIied on the basis oI the strict correlation between their
structure and their Iunction: the pure spective, the modal
spective, the stipulative conditional, the consective
For the sake oI simpliIying the working terminology and
bearing in mind the existing practice, the non-modal Iorms oI
the subjunctive can be called, respectively, subjunctive one
(spective), subjunctive two (stipulative), subjunctive three
(consective); against this background, the modal spective can
simply be reIerred to as the modal subjunctive, which will
exactly correspond to its Iunctional nature in distinction to the
three "pure" subjunctive Iorms.
The described system is not Iinished in terms oI the
historical development oI language; on the contrary, it is in
state oI making and change. Its actual maniIestations are
complicated by neutralisations oI Iormal contrasts (such as,
Ior instance, between the past indicative and the past
subjunctive in reported speech); by neutralisations oI
semantic contrasts (such as, Ior instance, between the
considerative modal spective and the desiderative modal
spective); by Iluctuating uses oI the auxiliaries (would $
should35 by Iluctuating uses oI the Iinite be in the singular
(were $ was35 etc. Our task in the objective study oI
language, as well as in language teaching, is to accurately
register these phenomena, to explain their mechanism and
systemic implications, to show the relevant tendencies oI
usage in terms oI varying syntactic environments, topical
contexts, stylistic preIerences.
As we see, the category oI mood, Ior all the positive
linguistic work perIormed upon it, continues to be a
tremendously interesting Iield oI analytical observation.
There is no doubt that its numerous particular properties, as
well as its Iundamental qualities as a whole, will be Iurther
exposed, clariIied, and paradigmatically ordered in the course
oI continued linguistic research.
1. The adjective expresses the categorial semantics oI
property oI a substance. It means that each adjective used in
the text presupposes relation to some noun the property oI
whose reIerent it denotes, such as its material, colour,
dimensions, position, state, and other characteristics both
permanent and temporary. It Iollows Irom this that, unlike
nouns, adjectives do not possess a Iull nominative value.
Indeed, words like long, hospitable, fragrant cannot eIIect
any selI-dependent nominations; as units oI inIormative
sequences they exist only in collocations showing what is
long, who is hospitable, what is Iragrant.
The semantically bound character oI the adjective is
emphasised in English by the use oI the prop-substitute one in
the absence oI the notional head-noun oI the phrase. E.g.: I
don't want a yellow balloon, let me have the green one over
On the other hand, iI the adjective is placed in a
nominatively selI-dependent position, this leads to its
substantivisation. E.g.: Outside it was a beautiIul day, and the
sun tinged the snow with red. &f.: The sun tinged the snow
with the red colour.
Adjectives are distinguished by a speciIic combinability
with nouns, which they modiIy, iI not accompanied by
adjuncts, usually in pre-position, and occasionally in
postposition; by a combinability with link-verbs, both
Iunctional and notional; by a combinability with modiIying
In the sentence the adjective perIorms the Iunctions oI an
attribute and a predicative. OI the two, the more speciIic
Iunction oI the adjective is that oI an attribute, since the
Iunction oI a predicative can be perIormed by the noun as
well. There is, though, a proIound diIIerence between the
predicative uses oI the adjective and the noun which is
determined by their native categorial Ieatures. Namely, the
predicative adjective expresses some attributive property oI
its noun-reIerent, whereas the predicative noun expresses
various substantival characteristics oI its reIerent, such as its
identiIication or classiIication oI diIIerent types. This can be
shown on examples analysed by deIinitional and
transIormational procedures. &f.:
ou talk to people as iI they were a group. ? ou talk to
people as iI they formed a group. uite obviously, he was a
friend. His behaviour was li(e that of a friend.
CI., as against the above:
I will be silent as a grave. I will be like a silent grave.
Walker Ielt healthy. ? Walker Ielt a healthy man. It was
sensational. ? That Iact was a sensational fact.
When used as predicatives or post-positional attributes, a
considerable number oI adjectives, in addition to the general
combinability characteristics oI the whole class, are
distinguished by a complementive combinability with nouns.
The complement-expansions oI adjectives are eIIected by
means oI prepositions. E.g. fond of, "ealous of, curious of,
suspicious of5 angry with, sic( with5 serious about, certain
about, happy about5 grateful to, than(ful to, etc. Many such
adjectival collocations render essentially verbal meanings and
some oI them have direct or indirect parallels among verbs.
&f.: be fond of $ love, like; be envious of $ envy; be angry
with $ resent; be mad for, about $ covet; be than(ful to $
Alongside oI other complementive relations expressed
with the help oI prepositions and corresponding to direct and
prepositional object-relations oI verbs, some oI these
adjectives may render relations oI addressee. CI.: grateful to,
indebted to, partial to, useful for.
To the derivational Ieatures oI adjectives, belong a number
oI suIIixes and preIixes oI which the most important are: ful
(hopeIul), less (Ilawless), ish (bluish), ous (Iamous), ive
(decorative), ic (basic); un (unprecedented), in (inaccurate),
pre (premature). Among the adjectival aIIixes should also be
named the preIix a, constitutive Ior the stative subclass
which is to be discussed below.
As Ior the variable (demutative) morphological Ieatures,
the English adjective, having lost in the course oI the history
oI English all its Iorms oI grammatical agreement with the
noun, is distinguished only by the hybrid category oI
comparison, which will Iorm a special subject oI our study.
2. All the adjectives are traditionally divided into two
large subclasses: Qualitative and relative.
Telative adjectives express such properties oI a substance
as are determined by the direct relation oI the substance to
some other substance. E.g.: wood a wooden hut;
mathematics mathematical precision; history a
historical event; table tabular presentation; colour
coloured postcards; surgery surgical treatment; the Middle
Ages mediaeval rites.
The nature oI this "relationship" in adjectives is best
revealed by deIinitional correlations. &f.: a wooden hut a
hut made oI wood; a historical event an event reIerring to
a certain period oI history; surgical treatment treatment
consisting in the implementation oI surgery; etc.
mualitative adjectives, as diIIerent Irom relative ones,
denote various qualities oI substances which admit oI a
quantitative estimation, i.e. oI establishing their correlative
quantitative measure. The measure oI a quality can be
estimated as high or low, adequate or inadequate, suIIicient or
insuIIicient, optimal or excessive. &f.: an aw(ward
situation a very aw(ward situation; a difficult task too
difficult a task; an enthusiastic reception rather an
enthusiastic reception; a hearty welcome not a very hearty
welcome; etc.
In this connection, the ability oI an adjective to Iorm
degrees oI comparison is usually taken as a Iormal sign oI
its qualitative character, in opposition to a relative adjective
which is understood as incapable oI Iorming degrees oI
comparison by deIinition. &f.: a pretty girl a prettier girl; a
Quic( look a Quic(er look; a hearty welcome the
heartiest oI welcomes; a bombastic speech the most
bombastic speech.
Mow ever, in actual speech the described principle oI
distinction is not at all strictly observed, which is noted in the
very grammar treatises putting it Iorward. Two typical cases
oI contradiction should be pointed out here.
In the Iirst place, substances can possess such qualities as
are incompatible with the idea oI degrees oI comparison.
Accordingly, adjectives denoting these qualities, while
belonging to the qualitative subclass, are in the ordinary use
incapable oI Iorming degrees oI comparison. Here reIer
adjectives like e%tinct, immobile, deaf, final, fi%ed, etc.
In the second place, many adjectives considered under the
heading oI relative still can Iorm degrees oI comparison,
thereby, as it were, transIorming the denoted relative property
oI a substance into such as can be graded quantitatively. &f.: a
mediaeval approachrather a mediaeval approach a far
more mediaeval approach; oI a military design oI a less
military design oI a more military design; a grammatical
topic a purely grammatical topic the most grammatical
oI the suggested topics.
In order to overcome the demonstrated lack oI rigour in
the deIinitions in question, we may introduce an additional
linguistic distinction which is more adaptable to the chances
oI usage. The suggested distinction is based on the evaluative
Iunction oI adjectives. According as they actually give some
qualitative evaluation to the substance reIerent or only point
out its corresponding native property, all the adjective
Iunctions may be grammatically divided into "evaluative" and
"speciIicative". In particular, one and the same adjective,
irrespective oI its being basically (i.e. in the sense oI the
Iundamental semantic property oI its root constituent)
"relative" or "qualitative", can be used either in the evaluative
Iunction or in the speciIicative Iunction.
For instance, the adjective good is basically qualitative. On
the other hand, when employed as a grading term in teaching,
i.e. a term Iorming part oI the marking scale together with the
grading terms bad, satisfactory, e%cellent, it acquires the said
speciIicative value; in other words, it becomes a speciIicative,
not an evaluative unit in the grammatical sense
(though, dialectically, it does signiIy in this case a lexical
evaluation oI the pupil's progress). Conversely, the adjective
wooden is basically relative, but when used in the broader
meaning "expressionless" or "awkward" it acquires an
evaluative Iorce and, consequently, can presuppose a greater
or lesser degree ("amount") oI the denoted properly in the
corresponding reIerent. E.g.:
Bundle Iound herselI looking into the expressionless,
wooden Iace oI Superintendent Battle (A. Christie). The
superintendent was sitting behind a table and looking more
wooden than ever (Ibid).
The degrees oI comparison are essentially evaluative
Iormulas, thereIore any adjective used in a higher comparison
degree (comparative, superlative) is thereby made into an
evaluative adjective, iI only Ior the nonce (see the examples
Thus, the introduced distinction between the evaluative
and speciIicative uses oI adjectives, in the long run,
emphasises the Iact that the morphological category oI
comparison (comparison degrees) is potentially represented in
the whole class oI adjectives and is constitutive Ior it.
3. Among the words signiIying properties oI a nounal
reIerent there is a lexemic set which claims to be recognised
as a separate part oI speech, i.e. as a class oI words diIIerent
Irom the adjectives in its class-Iorming Ieatures. These are
words built up by the preIix a and denoting diIIerent states,
mostly oI temporary duration. Here belong lexemes like
afraid, agog, adrift, ablaSe. In traditional grammar these
words were generally considered under the heading oI
"predicative adjectives" (some oI them also under the heading
oI adverbs), since their most typical position in the sentence is
that oI a predicative and they are but occasionally used as pre-
positional attributes to nouns.
Notional words signiIying states and speciIically used as
predicatives were Iirst identiIied as a separate part oI speech
in the Russian language by L. V. Shcherba and V. V.
Vinogradov. The two scholars called the newly identiIied part
oI speech the "category oI state" (and, correspondingly,
separate words making up this category, "words oI the
category oI state"). Here belong the Russian words mostly
ending in -o, but also having other suIIixes: GP[MI, f_L/I,
IO+-I/I, ,HOIFG-I, bHMa, MP-a, etc. Traditionally the
words oI the category oI state were considered as constituents
oI the class oI adverbs, and they are still considered as such
by many Russian scholars.
On the analogy oI the Russian "category oI state", the
English qualiIying a-words oI the corresponding meanings
were subjected to a lexico-grammatical analysis and given the
part-oI-speech heading "category oI state". This analysis was
Iirst conducted by B. A. Ilyish and later continued by other
linguists. The term "words oI the category oI state", being
rather cumbersome Irom the technical point oI view, was later
changed into "stative words", or "statives".
The part-oI-speech interpretation oI the statives is not
shared by all linguists working in the domain oI English, and
has Iound both its proponents and opponents.
Probably the most consistent and explicit exposition oI the
part-oI-speech interpretation oI statives has been given by B.
S. haimovich and B. I. Rogovskaya haimovich,
Rogovskaya, 199 II. Their theses supporting the view in
question can be summarised as Iollows.
First, the statives, called by the quoted authors "ad-links"
(by virtue oI their connection with link-verbs and on the
analogy oI the term "adverbs"), are allegedly opposed to
adjectives on a purely semantic basis, since adjectives denote
"qualities", and statives-adlinks denote "states". Second, as
diIIerent Irom adjectives, statives-adlinks are characterised by
the speciIic preIix a. Third, they allegedly do not possess the
category oI the degrees oI comparison. Fourth, the
combinability oI statives-adlinks is diIIerent Irom that oI
adjectives in so Iar as they are not used in the pre-positional
attributive Iunction, i.e. are characterised by the absence oI
the right-hand combinability with nouns.
The advanced reasons, presupposing many-sided
categorial estimation oI statives, are undoubtedly serious and
worthy oI note. Still, a closer consideration oI the properties
oI the analysed lexemic set cannot but show that, on the
whole, the said reasons are hardly instrumental in proving the
main idea, i.e. in establishing the English stative as a separate
part oI speech. The re-consideration oI the stative on the basis
oI comparison with the classical adjective inevitably discloses
the Iundamental relationship between the two, such
relationship as should be interpreted in no other terms than
identity on the part-oI-speech level, though, naturally,
providing Ior their distinct diIIerentiation on the subclass
The Iirst scholar who undertook this kind oI re-
consideration oI the lexemic status oI English statives was L.
S. Barkhudarov, and in our estimation oI them we essentially
Iollow his principles, pointing out some additional criteria oI
First, considering the basic meaning expressed by the
stative, we Iormulate it as "stative property", i.e. a kind oI
property oI a nounal reIerent. As we already know, the
adjective as a whole signiIies not "quality" in the narrow
sense, but "property", which is categorially divided into
"substantive quality as such" and "substantive relation". In
this respect, statives do not Iundamentally diIIer Irom
classical adjectives. Moreover, common adjectives and
participles in adjective-type Iunctions can express the same,
or, more speciIically, typologically the same properties (or
"qualities" in a broader sense) as are expressed by statives.
Indeed, the main meaning types conveyed by statives are:
the psychic state oI a person (afraid, ashamed, aware35 the
physical state oI a person (astir, afoot35 the physical state oI
an object (afire, ablaSe, aglow35 the state oI an object in space
(as(ew, awry, aslant3. Meanings oI the same order are
rendered by pre-positional adjectives. &f.:
the living predecessor the predecessor alive5 eager
curiosity curiosity agog5 the burning house the house
afire5 a floating raIt a raIt afloat5 a halfopen door a
door ad"ar5 slanting ropes ropes aslant5 a vigilant man
a man awa(e5 similar cases cases ali(e5 an e%cited
a crowd astir.
It goes without saying that many other adjectives and
participles convey the meanings oI various states irrespective
oI their analogy with statives. CI. such words oI the order oI
psychic state as despondent, curious, happy, "oyful5 such
words oI the order oI human physical state as sound,
refreshed, healthy, hungry5 such words oI the order oI activity
state as busy, functioning, active, employed, etc.
Second, turning to the combinability characteristics oI
statives, we see that, though diIIering Irom those oI the
common adjectives in one point negatively, they basically
coincide with them in the other points. As a matter oI Iact,
statives are not used in attributive pre-position, but, like
adjectives, they are distinguished by the leIt-hand categorial
combinability both with nouns and link-verbs. &f.:
141499 209
The household was all astir. The household was all
e%citedIt was strange to see the
household astir at this hour oI the day. It was strange to
see the household active at this hour oI the day.
Third, analysing the Iunctions oI the stative corresponding
to its combinability patterns, we see that essentially they do
not diIIer Irom the Iunctions oI the common adjective.
Namely, the two basic Iunctions oI the stative are the
predicative and the attribute. The similarity oI Iunctions leads
to the possibility oI the use oI a stative and a common
adjective in a homogeneous group. E.g.: Launches and barges
moored to the dock were ablaSe and loud with wild sound.
True, the predominant Iunction oI the stative, as diIIerent
Irom the common adjective, is that oI the predicative. But
then, the important structural and Iunctional peculiarities oI
statives uniting them in a distinctly separate set oI lexemes
cannot be disputed. What is disputed is the status oI this set in
relation to the notional parts oI speech, not its existence or
identiIication as such.
Fourth, Irom our point oI view, it would not be quite
consistent with the actual lingual data to place the stative
strictly out oI the category oI comparison. As we have shown
above, the category oI comparison is connected with the
Iunctional division oI adjectives into evaluative and
speciIicative. Like common adjectives, statives are subject to
this Ilexible division, and so in principle they are included
into the expression oI the quantitative estimation oI the
corresponding properties conveyed by them. True, statives do
not take the synthetical Iorms oI the degrees oI comparison,
but they are capable oI expressing comparison analytically, in
cases where it is to be expressed. CI.:
OI us all, ack was the one most aware oI the delicate
situation in which we Iound ourselves. I saw that the
adjusting lever stood far more as(ew than was allowed by the
FiIth, quantitative considerations, though being a
subsidiary Iactor oI reasoning, tend to support the conjoint
part-oI-speech interpretation oI statives and common
adjectives. Indeed, the total number oI statives does not
exceed several dozen (a couple oI dozen basic, "stable" units
and, probably,
thrice as many "unstable" words oI the nature oI coinages Ior
the nonce (ran, aa, ]x, 170). This number is
negligible in comparison with the number oI words oI the
otherwise identiIied notional parts oI speech, each oI them
counting thousands oI units. Why, then, an honour oI the part-
oI-speech status to be granted to a small group oI words not
diIIering in their Iundamental lexico-grammatical Ieatures
Irom one oI the established large word-classes
As Ior the set-Iorming preIix a, it hardly deserves a
serious consideration as a Iormal basis oI the part-oI-speech
identiIication oI statives simply because Iormal Ieatures
cannot be taken in isolation Irom Iunctional Ieatures.
Moreover, as is known, there are words oI property not
distinguished by this preIix, which display essential
Iunctional characteristics inherent in the stative set. In
particular, here belong such adjectives as ill, well, glad, sorry,
worth =while3, sub"ect (to3, due (to3, underway, and some
others. On the other hand, among the basic statives we Iind
such as can hardly be analysed into a genuine combination oI
the type "preIixroot", because their morphemic parts have
become Iused into one indivisible unit in the course oI
language history, e.g. aware, afraid, aloof.
Thus, the undertaken semantic and Iunctional analysis
shows that statives, though Iorming a uniIied set oI words, do
not constitute a separate lexemic class existing in language on
exactly the same Iooting as the noun, the verb, the adjective,
the adverb; rather it should be looked upon as a subclass
within the general class oI adjectives. It is essentially an
adjectival subclass, because, due to their peculiar Ieatures,
statives are not directly opposed to the notional parts oI
speech taken together, but are quite particularly opposed to
the rest oI adjectives. It means that the general
subcategorisation oI the class oI adjectives should be eIIected
on the two levels: on the upper level the class will be divided
into the subclass oI stative adjectives and common adjectives;
on the lower level the common adjectives Iall into qualitative
and relative, which division has been discussed in the
Ioregoing paragraph.
As we see, our Iinal conclusion about the lexico-
grammatical nature oI statives appears to have returned them
into the lexemic domain in which they were placed by
traditional grammar and Irom which they were alienated in
the course oI subsequent linguistic investigations. A question
then arises, whether these investigations, as well as the
accompanying thorn, have served any rational purpose at all.
The answer to this question, though, can only be given in
the energetic aIIirmative. Indeed, all the detailed studies oI
statives undertaken by quite a Iew scholars, all the
discussions concerning their systemic location and other
related matters have produced very useIul results, both
theoretical and practical.
The traditional view oI the stative was not supported by
any special analysis, it was Iormed on the grounds oI mere
surIace analogies and outer correlations. The later study oI
statives resulted in the exposition oI their inner properties, in
the discovery oI their historical productivity as a subclass, in
their systemic description on the lines oI competent inter-
class and inter-level comparisons. And it is due to the
undertaken investigations (which certainly will be continued)
that we are now in a position, though having rejected the
Iundamental separation oI the stative Irom the adjective, to
name the subclass oI statives as one oI the peculiar, idiomatic
lexemic Ieatures oI Modern English.
4. As is widely known, adjectives display the ability to
be easily substantivised by conversion, i.e. by zero-
derivation. Among the noun-converted adjectives we Iind
both old units, well-established in the system oI lexicon, and
also new ones, whose adjectival etymology conveys to the
lexeme the vivid colouring oI a new coinage.
For instance, the words a relative or a white or a dear bear
an unquestionable mark oI established tradition, while such a
noun as a sensitive used in the Iollowing sentence Ieatures a
distinct Ilavour oI purposeIul conversion: He was a regional
man, a man who wrote about sensitives who live away Irom
the places where things happen (M. Bradbury).
Compare this with the noun a high in the Iollowing
example: The weather report promises a new high in heat and
humidity (Ibid.).
From the purely categorial point oI view, however, there is
no diIIerence between the adjectives cited in the examples
and the ones given in the Ioregoing enumeration, since both
groups equally express constitutive categories oI the noun,
i.e. the number, the case, the gender, the article determination,
and they likewise equally perIorm normal nounal Iunctions.
On the other hand, among the substantivised adjectives
there is a set characterised by hybrid lexico-grammatical
Ieatures, as in the Iollowing examples:
The new bill concerning the wage-Ireeze introduced by the
Labour Government cannot satisIy either the poor, or the rich
(Radio Broadcast). A monster. The word conveyed the
ultimate in inIamy and debasement inconceivable to one not
native to the times (. Vance). The train, indulging all his
English nostalgia Ior the plushy and the genteel, seemed to
him a deceit (M. Bradbury).
The mixed categorial nature oI the exempliIied words is
evident Irom their incomplete presentation oI the part-oI
speech characteristics oI either nouns or adjectives. Like
nouns, the words are used in the article Iorm; like nouns, they
express the category oI number (in a relational way); but their
article and number Iorms are rigid, being no subject to the
regular structural change inherent in the normal expression oI
these categories. Moreover, being categorially unchangeable,
the words convey the mixed adjectival-nounal semantics oI
The adjectival-nounal words in question are very speciIic.
They are distinguished by a high productivity and, like
statives, are idiomatically characteristic oI Modern English.
On the analogy oI verbids these words might be called
"adjectivids", since they are rather nounal Iorms oI adjectives
than nouns as such.
The adjectivids Iall into two main grammatical subgroups,
namely, the subgroup pluralia tantum (the English, the rich,
the unemployed, the uninitiated, etc.), and the subgroup
singularia tantum (the invisible, the abstract, the tangible,
etc.). Semantically, the words oI the Iirst subgroup express
sets oI people (personal multitudes), while the words oI the
second group express abstract ideas oI various types and
5. The category oI adjectival comparison expresses the
quantitative characteristic oI the quality oI a nounal reIerent,
i.e. it gives a relative evaluation oI the quantity oI a quality.
The purely relative nature oI the categorial semantics oI
comparison is reIlected in its name.
The category is constituted by the opposition oI the three
Iorms known under the heading oI degrees oI comparison; the
basic Iorm (positive degree3, having no Ieatures oI
comparison; the comparative degree Iorm, having the Ieature
oI restricted superiority (which limits the comparison to two
elements only); the superlative degree Iorm, having the
Ieature oI unrestricted superiority.
It should be noted that the meaning oI unrestricted
superiority is in-built in the superlative degree as such,
though in practice this Iorm is used in collocations imposing
certain restrictions on the eIIected comparison; thus, the Iorm
in question may be used to signiIy restricted superiority,
namely, in cases where a limited number oI reIerents are
compared. &f.: ohnny was the strongest boy in the company.
As is evident Irom the example, superiority restriction is
shown here not by the native meaning oI the superlative, but
by the particular contextual construction oI comparison where
the physical strength oI one boy is estimated in relation to
that oI his companions.
Some linguists approach the number oI the degrees oI
comparison as problematic on the grounds that the basic Iorm
oI the adjective does not express any comparison by itselI and
thereIore should be excluded Irom the category. This
exclusion would reduce the category to two members only,
i.e. the comparative and superlative degrees.
However, the oppositional interpretation oI grammatical
categories underlying our considerations does not admit oI
such an exclusion; on the contrary, the non-expression oI
superiority by the basic Iorm is understood in the oppositional
presentation oI comparison as a pre-requisite Ior the
expression oI the category as such. In this expression oI the
category the basic Iorm is the unmarked member, not
distinguished by any comparison suIIix or comparison
auxiliary, while the superiority Iorms (i.e. the comparative
and superlative) are the marked members, distinguished by
the comparison suIIixes or comparison auxiliaries.
That the basic Iorm as the positive degree oI comparison
does express this categorial idea, being included in one and
the same categorial series with the superiority degrees, is
clearly shown by its actual uses in comparative syntactic
constructions oI equality, as well as comparative syntactic
constructions oI negated equality. &f.: The remark was as
bitter as could be. The Rockies are not so high as the
These constructions are directly correlative with
comparative constructions oI inequality built around the
comparative and superlative degree Iorms. CI.: That was the
remark I have ever heard Irom the man. The Caucasus is
higher than the Rockies.
Thus, both Iormally and semantically, the oppositional
basis oI the category oI comparison displays a binary nature.
In terms oI the three degrees oI comparison, on the upper
level oI presentation the superiority degrees as the marked
member oI the opposition are contrasted against the positive
degree as its unmarked member. The superiority degrees, in
their turn, Iorm the opposition oI the lower level oI
presentation, where the comparative degree Ieatures the
Iunctionally weak member, and the superlative degree,
respectively, the strong member. The whole oI the double
oppositional unity, considered Irom the semantic angle,
constitutes a gradual ternary opposition.
6. The synthetical Iorms oI comparison in er and (e3st
coexist with the analytical Iorms oI comparison eIIected by
the auxiliaries more and most. The analytical Iorms oI
comparison perIorm a double Iunction. On the one hand, they
are used with the evaluative adjectives that, due to their
phonemic structure (two-syllable words with the stress on the
Iirst syllable ending in other grapho-phonemic complexes
than er, y, le, ow or words oI more than two-syllable
composition) cannot normally take the synthetical Iorms oI
comparison. In this respect, the analytical comparison Iorms
are in categorial complementary distribution with the
synthetical comparison Iorms. On the other hand, the
analytical Iorms oI comparison, as diIIerent Irom the
synthetical Iorms, are used to express emphasis, thus
complementing the synthetical Iorms in the sphere oI this
important stylistic connotation. CI.: The audience became
more and more noisy, and soon the speaker's words were
drowned in the general hum oI voices.
The structure oI the analytical degrees oI comparison is
meaningIully overt; these Iorms are devoid oI the Ieature oI
"semantic idiomatism" characteristic oI some other categorial
analytical Iorms, such as, Ior instance, the Iorms oI the verbal
perIect. For this reason the analytical degrees oI comparison
invite some linguists to call in question their claim to a
categorial status in English grammar.
In particular, scholars point out the Iollowing two Iactors
in support oI the view that the combinations oI more!most
with the basic Iorm oI the adjective are not the analytical
expressions oI the morphological category oI comparison, but
Iree syntactic constructions: Iirst, the more!most
combinations are semantically analogous to combinations oI
less!least with the adjective which, in the general opinion, are
syntactic combinations oI notional words; second, the most-
combination, unlike the synthetic superlative, can take the
indeIinite article, expressing not the superlative, but the
elative meaning (i.e. a high, not the highest degree oI the
respective quality).
The reasons advanced, though claiming to be based on an
analysis oI actual lingual data, can hardly be called
convincing as regards their immediate negative purpose.
Let us Iirst consider the use oI the most-combination with
the indeIinite article.
This combination is a common means oI expressing
elative evaluations oI substance properties. The Iunction oI
the elative most-construction in distinction to the Iunction oI
the superlative most-construction will be seen Irom the
Iollowing examples:
The speaker launched a most significant personal attack on
the Prime Minister. Che most significant oI the arguments in a
dispute is not necessarily the most spectacular one.
While the phrase "a most signiIicant (personal) attack" in
the Iirst oI the two examples gives the idea oI rather a high
degree oI the quality expressed irrespective oI any directly
introduced or implied comparison with other attacks on the
Prime Minister, the phrase "the most signiIicant oI the
arguments" expresses exactly the superlative degree oI the
quality in relation to the immediately introduced comparison
with all the rest oI the arguments in a dispute; the same holds
true oI the phrase "the most spectacular one". It is this
exclusion oI the outwardly superlative adjective Irom a
comparison that makes it into a simple elative, with its most-
constituent turned Irom the superlative auxiliary into a kind oI
a lexical intensiIier.
The deIinite article with the elative most-construction is
also possible, iI leaving the elative Iunction less distinctly
recognisable (in oral speech the elative most is commonly leIt
unstressed, the absence oI stress serving as a negative mark oI
the elative). &f.: I Iound myselI in the most aw(ward
situation, Ior I couldn't give a satisIactory answer to any
question asked by the visitors.
Now, the synthetical superlative degree, as is known,
can be used in the elative Iunction as well, the distinguishing
Ieature oI the latter being its exclusion Irom a comparison.
UnIortunately, our cooperation with Danny proved the
worst experience Ior both oI us. No doubt Mr. Snider will
show you his collection oI minerals with the greatest
And this Iact gives us a clue Ior understanding the
expressive nature oI the elative superlative as such the
nature that provides it with a permanent grammatico-stylistic
status in the language. Indeed, the expressive peculiarity oI
the Iorm consists exactly in the immediate combination oI the
two Ieatures which outwardly contradict each other: the
categorial Iorm oI the superlative on the one hand, and the
absence oI a comparison on the other.
That the categorial Iorm oI the superlative (i.e. the
superlative with its general Iunctional speciIication) is
essential also Ior the expression oI the elative semantics can,
however paradoxical it might appear, be very well illustrated
by the elative use oI the comparative degree. Indeed, the
comparative combination Ieaturing the elative comparative
degree is constructed in such a way as to place it in the
Iunctional position oI unrestricted superiority, i.e. in the
position speciIically characteristic oI the superlative. E.g.:
Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to greet you as our
guest oI honour. There is nothing more refreshing than a good
The parallelism oI Iunctions between the two Iorms oI
comparison (the comparative degree and the superlative
degree) in such and like examples is unquestionable.
As we see, the elative superlative, though it is not the
regular superlative in the grammatical sense, is still a kind oI
a speciIic, grammatically Ieatured construction. This
grammatical speciIication distinguishes it Irom common
elative constructions which may be generally deIined as
syntactic combinations oI an intensely high estimation. E.g.:
an e%tremely important amendment; a matter oI e%ceeding
urgency; quite an unparalleled beauty; etc.
Thus, Irom a grammatical point oI view, the elative
superlative, though semantically it is "elevated", is nothing
else but a degraded superlative, and its distinct Ieaturing mark
with the analytical superlative degree is the indeIinite
article: the two Iorms oI the superlative oI diIIerent Iunctional
purposes receive the two diIIerent marks (iI not quite
rigorously separated in actual uses) by the article
determination treatment.
It Iollows Irom the above that the possibility oI the most
combination to be used with the indeIinite article cannot in
any way be demonstrative oI its non-grammatical character,
since the Iunctions oI the two superlative combinations in
question, the elative superlative and the genuine superlative,
are diIIerent.
Moreover, the use oI the indeIinite article with the
synthetical superlative in the degraded, elative Iunction is not
altogether impossible, though somehow such a possibility is
bluntly denied by certain grammatical manuals. &f.: He made
a last lame eIIort to delay the experiment; but Basil was
impervious to suggestion (. Vance).
But there is one more possibility to Iormally diIIerentiate
the direct and elative Iunctions oI the synthetical superlative,
namely, by using the zero article with the superlative. This
latter possibility is noted in some grammar books Ganshina,
Vasilevskaya, 85. &f.: Suddenly I was seised with a sensation
oI deepest regret.
However, the general tendency oI expressing the
superlative elative meaning is by using the analytical Iorm.
Incidentally, in the Russian language the tendency oI usage is
reverse: it is the synthetical Iorm oI the Russian superlative
that is preIerred in rendering the elative Iunction. &f.:
nman b+]P0K+* ; xnat
F/ZJ-P0KH_ x; an ^MZ[P0KPP nx ..
7. Let us examine now the combinations oI less!least
with the basic Iorm oI the adjective.
As is well known, the general view oI these combinations
deIinitely excludes them Irom any connection with categorial
analytical Iorms. Strangely enough, this rejectionist view oI
the "negative degrees oI comparison" is even taken to support,
not to reject the morphological interpretation oI the
The corresponding argument in Iavour oI the rejectionist
interpretation consists in pointing out the Iunctional
parallelism existing between the synthetical degrees oI
comparison and the more/most-combinations accompanied by
their complementary distribution, iI not rigorously
pronounced (the diIIerent choice oI the Iorms by diIIerent
Iorms oI adjectives). The less/least-combinations, according
to this view, are absolutely incompatible with the synthetical
degrees oI comparison, since they express not only diIIerent,
but opposite meanings haimovich, Rogovskaya, 77-78.
Now, it does not require a proIound analysis to see that,
Irom the grammatical point oI view, the Iormula "opposite
meaning" amounts to ascertaining the categorial equality oI
the Iorms compared. Indeed, iI two Iorms express the opposite
meanings, then they can only belong to units oI the same
general order. And we cannot but agree with B. A. Ilyish's
thesis that "there seems to be no suIIicient reason Ior treating
the two sets oI phrases in diIIerent ways, saying that 'more
diIIicult' is an analytical Iorm, while 'less diIIicult' is not"
Ilyish, 60. True, the cited author takes this Iact rather as
demonstration that both types oI constructions should equally
be excluded Irom the domain oI analytical Iorms, but the
problem oI the categorial status oI the more!most-
combinations has been analysed above.
Thus, the less/least-combinations, similar to the morel
most-combinations, constitute speciIic Iorms oI comparison,
which may be called Iorms oI "reverse comparison". The two
types oI Iorms cannot be syntagmatically combined in one and
the same Iorm oI the word, which shows the unity oI the
category oI comparison. The whole category includes not
three, but Iive diIIerent Iorms, making up the two series
respectively, direct and reverse. OI these, the reverse series oI
comparison (the reverse superiority degrees) is oI Iar lesser
importance than the direct one, which evidently can be
explained by semantic reasons. As a matter oI Iact, it is more
natural to Iollow the direct model oI comparison based on the
principle oI addition oI qualitative quantities than on the
reverse model oI comparison based on the principle oI
subtraction oI qualitative quantities, since subtraction in
general is a Iar more abstract process oI mental activity than
addition. And, probably, exactly Ior the same reason the
reverse comparatives and superlatives are rivalled in speech
by the corresponding negative syntactic constructions.
8. Having considered the characteristics oI the category
oI comparison, we can see more clearly the relation to this
category oI some usually non-comparable evaluative
Outside the immediate comparative grammatical change
oI the adjective stand such evaluative adjectives as contain
certain comparative sememic elements in their semantic
structures. In particular, as we have mentioned above, here
belong adjectives that are themselves grading marks oI
evaluation. Another group oI evaluative non-comparables is
Iormed by adjectives oI indeIinitely moderated quality, or,
tentatively, "moderating qualiIiers", such as whitish, tepid,
halfironical, semidetached, etc. But the most peculiar
lexemic group oI non-comparables is made up by adjectives
expressing the highest degree oI a respective quality, which
words can tentatively be called "adjectives oI extreme
quality", or "extreme qualiIiers", or simply "extremals".
The inherent superlative semantics oI extremals is
emphasised by the deIinite article normally introducing their
nounal combinations, exactly similar to the deIinite article
used with regular collocations oI the superlative degree. &f.:
Che ultimate outcome oI the talks was encouraging. Che final
decision has not yet been made public.
On the other hand, due to the tendency oI colloquial speech
to contrastive variation, such extreme qualiIiers can
sometimes be modiIied by intensiIying elements. Thus, "the
Iinal decision" becomes "a very Iinal decision"; "the ultimate
rejection" turns into "rather an ultimate rejection"; "the crucial
role" is made into "quite a crucial role", etc. As a result oI this
kind oI modiIication, the highest grade evaluative Iorce oI
these words is not strengthened, but, on the contrary,
weakened; the outwardly extreme qualiIiers become degraded
extreme qualiIiers, even in this status similar to the regular
categorial superlatives degraded in their elative use.
1. The adverb is usually deIined as a word expressing
either property oI an action, or property oI another property,
or circumstances in which an action occurs. This deIinition,
though certainly inIormative and instructive, Iails to directly
point out the relation between the adverb and the adjective as
the primary qualiIying part oI speech.
In an attempt to overcome this drawback, let us deIine the
adverb as a notional word expressing a non-substantive
property, that is, a property oI a non-substantive reIerent. This
Iormula immediately shows the actual correlation between
the adverb and the adjective, since the adjective is a word
expressing a substantive property.
Properties may be oI a more particular, "organic" order,
and a more general and detached, "inorganic" order. OI the
organic properties, the adverb denotes those characterising
processes and other properties. OI the inorganic properties,
the adverb denotes various circumstantial characteristics oI
processes or whole situations built around processes.
The above deIinition, approaching the adverb as a word oI
the secondary qualiIying order, presents the entire class oI
adverbial words as the least selI-dependent oI all the Iour
notional parts oI speech. Indeed, as has been repeatedly
pointed out, the truly complete nominative value is inherent
only in the noun, which is the name oI substances. The verb
comes next in its selI-dependent nominative Iorce, expressing
processes as dynamic relations oI substances, i.e. their
dynamic relational properties in the broad sense. AIter that
Iollow qualiIying parts oI speech Iirst the adjective
denoting qualiIications oI substances, and then the adverb
denoting qualiIications oI non-substantive phenomena which
Iind themselves within the range oI notional signiIication.
As we see, the adverb is characterised by its own, speciIic
nominative value, providing Ior its inalienable status in the
system oI the parts oI speech. Hence, the complaints oI some
linguists that the adverb is not rigorously deIined and in Iact
presents something like a "dump" Ior those words which have
been rejected by other parts oI speech can hardly be taken as
Iully justiIied. On the other hand, since the adverb does
denote qualiIications oI the second order, not oI the Iirst one
like the adjective, it includes a great number oI semantically
weakened words which are in Iact intermediate between
notional and Iunctional lexemes by their status and oIten
display Ieatures oI pronominal nature.
2. In accord with their categorial meaning, adverbs are
characterised by a combinability with verbs, adjectives and
words oI adverbial nature. The Iunctions oI adverbs in these
combinations consist in expressing diIIerent adverbial
modiIiers. Adverbs can also reIer to whole situations; in this
Iunction they are considered under the heading oI
situation-"determinants". &f.:
The woman was crying hysterically. (an adverbial modiIier
oI manner, in leIt-hand contact combination with the verb-
predicate) Wilson looked at him appraisingly. (an adverbial
modiIier oI manner, in leIt-hand distant combination with the
verb-predicate) Without undressing she sat down to the
poems, nervously anxious to like them... (an adverbial
modiIier oI property qualiIication, in right-hand combination
with a post-positional stative attribute-adjective) ou've
gotten awIully brave, awfully suddenly. (an adverbial
modiIier oI intensity, in right-hand combination with an
adverb-aspective determinant oI the situation) Chen he stamps
his boots again and advances into the room. (two adverbial
determinants oI the situation: the Iirst oI time, in right-
hand combination with the modiIied predicative construction;
the second oI recurrence, in leIt-hand combination with the
modiIied predicative construction)
Adverbs can also combine with nouns acquiring in such
cases a very peculiar adverbial-attributive Iunction,
essentially in post-position, but in some cases also in pre-
position. E.g.:
The world today presents a picture radically diIIerent Irom
what it was beIore the Second World War. Our vigil overnight
was rewarded by good news: the operation seemed to have
succeeded. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the then President oI the
United States, proclaimed the "New Deal" a new
Government economic policy.
The use oI adverbs in outwardly attributive positions in
such and like examples appears to be in contradiction with the
Iunctional destination oI the adverb a word that is intended
to qualiIy a non-nounal syntactic element by deIinition.
However, this seeming inconsistence oI the theoretical
interpretation oI adverbs with their actual uses can be
clariIied and resolved in the light oI the syntactic principle oI
nominalisation elaborated within the Iramework oI the theory
oI paradigmatic syntax (see Iurther). In accord with this
principle, each predicative syntactic construction
paradigmatically correlates with a noun-phrase displaying
basically the same semantic relations between its notional
constituents. A predicative construction can be actually
changed into a noun-phrase, by which change the dynamic
situation expressed by the predicative construction receives a
name. Now, adverbs-determinants modiIying in constructions
oI this kind the situation as a whole, are preserved in the
corresponding nominalised phrases without a change in their
inherent Iunctional status. &f.:
The world that exists today. The world today. We kept
vigil overnight. Our vigil overnight. Chen he was the
President. The then President.
These paradigmatic transIormational correlations explain
the type oI connection between the noun and its adverbial
attribute even in cases where direct transIormational changes
would not be quite consistent with the concrete contextual
Ieatures oI constructions. What is important here, is the Iact
that the adverb used to modiIy a noun actually relates to the
whole corresponding situation underlying the nounphrase.
3. In accord with their word-building structure adverbs
may be simple and derived.
Simple adverbs are rather Iew, and nearly all oI them
display Iunctional semantics, mostly oI pronominal character:
here, there, now, then, so, Quite, why, how, where, when.
The typical adverbial aIIixes in aIIixal derivation are, Iirst
and Ioremost, the basic and only productive adverbial suIIix
ly (slowly, tiredly, rightly, firstly3, and then a couple oI others
oI limited distribution, such as ways (sideways, crossways3,
wise (cloc(wise3, ward(s3 (homewards, seawards,
afterwards3. The characteristic adverbial preIix is a (away,
ahead, apart, across3.
Among the adverbs there are also peculiar composite
Iormations and phrasal Iormations oI prepositional,
conjunctional and other types: sometimes, nowhere, anyhow5
at least, at most, at last5 to and fro5 upside down5 etc.
Some authors include in the word-building sets oI adverbs
also Iormations oI the type from outside, till now, before then,
etc. However, it is not diIIicult to see that such Iormations
diIIer in principle Irom the ones cited above. The diIIerence
consists in the Iact that their parts are semantically not
blended into an indivisible lexemic unity and present
combinations oI a preposition with a peculiar adverbial
substantive a word occupying an intermediary lexico-
grammatical status between the noun and the adverb. This is
most clearly seen on ready examples liberally oIIered by
English texts oI every stylistic standing. E. g.:
The pale moon looked at me from above. 'y now Sophie
must have received the letter and very soon we shall hear
Irom her. The departure oI the delegation is planned for later
this week.
The Ireely converted adverbial substantives in
prepositional collocations belong to one oI the idiomatic
characteristics oI English, and may be likened, with due
alteration oI details, to partially substantivised adjectives oI
the adjectivid type (see Ch. XVIII, 4). On this analogy the
adverbial substantives in question may be called "adverbids".
Furthermore, there are in English some other peculiar
structural types oI adverbs which are derivationally connected
with the words oI non-adverbial lexemic classes by
conversion. To these belong both adverbs oI Iull notional
value and adverbs oI halI-notional value.
A peculiar set oI converted notional adverbs is Iormed by
adjective-stem conversives, such as fast, late, hard, high,
close, loud, tight, etc. The peculiar Ieature oI these adverbs
consists in the Iact that practically all oI them have a parallel
Iorm in ly, the two component units oI each pair oIten
diIIerentiated in meaning or connotation. &f.: to work hard $
hardly to work at all; to Iall flat into the water to reIuse
flatly5 to speak loud $ to criticise loudly5 to Ily high over the
lake to raise a highly theoretical question; etc.
Among the adjective-stem converted adverbs there are a
Iew words with the non-speciIic ly originally in-built in the
adjective: daily, wee(ly, lively, timely, etc.
The purely positional nature oI the conversion in question,
i.e. its having no support in any diIIerentiated categorial
paradigms, can be reIlected by the term "Iluctuant
conversives" which we propose to use as the name oI such
As Ior the Iluctuant conversives oI weakened pronominal
semantics, very characteristic oI English are the adverbs that
positionally interchange with prepositions and conjunctive
words: before, after, round, within, etc. &f.: never before $
never before our meeting; somewhere round $ round the
corner; not to be Iound within $ within a minute; etc.
OI quite a diIIerent nature are preposition-adverb-like
elements which, placed in post-position to the verb, Iorm a
semantical blend with it. By combining with these elements,
verbs oI broader meaning are subjected to a regular,
systematic multiplication oI their semantic Iunctions.
E. g.: to give to give up, to give in, to give out, to give
away, to give over, etc.; to set to set up, to set in, to set
forth, to set off, to set down, etc.; to get to get on, to get
off, to get up, to get through, to get about, etc.; to work to
work up, to work in, to work out, to work away, to work over,
etc.; to bring to bring about, to bring up, to bring through,
to bring forward, to bring down, etc.
The Iunction oI these post-positional elements is either to
impart an additional aspective meaning to the verb-base, or to
introduce a lexical modiIication to its Iundamental semantics.
E.g.: to bring about $ to cause to happen; to reverse; to bring
up $ to call attention to; to rear and educate; to bring
through $ to help overcome a diIIiculty or danger; to save (a
sick person); to bring forward $ to introduce Ior discussion;
to carry to the next page (the sum oI Iigures); to bring
down $ to kill or wound; to destroy; to lower (as prices, etc.).
The lexico-grammatical standing oI the elements in
question has been interpreted in diIIerent ways. Some
scholars have treated them as a variety oI adverbs (H. Palmer,
A. Smirnitsky); others, as preposition-like Iunctional words
(I. Anichkov, N. Amosova); still others, as peculiar preIix-like
suIIixes similar to the German separable preIixes (.
hluktenko); Iinally, some scholars have treated these words
as a special set oI lexical elements Iunctionally intermediate
between words and morphemes (B. A. Ilyish; B. S.
haimovich and B. I. Rogovskaya). The cited variety oI
interpretations, naturally, testiIies to the complexity oI the
problem. Still, we can't Iail to see that one Iundamental idea
is common to all the various theories advanced, and that is,
the idea oI the Iunctional character oI the analysed elements.
Proceeding Irom this idea, we may class these words as a
special Iunctional set oI particles, i.e. words oI semi-
morphemic nature, correlative with prepositions and
As Ior the name to be given to the words Ior their
descriptive identiIication, out oI the variety oI the ones
already existing ("postpositions", "adverbial word-
morphemes", "adverbial postpositions", etc.) we would preIer
the term "post-positives" introduced by N. Amosova. While
evading the conIusion with classical "postpositions"
developed in some languages oI non-Indo-European types
(i.e. post-nounal analogues oI prepositions), this term is Iairly
convenient Ior descriptive purposes and at the same time is
neutral categorially, i.e. it easily admits oI additional
speciIications oI
151499 225
the nature oI the units in question in the course oI their
Iurther linguistic study.
4. Adverbs are commonly divided into Qualitative,
Quantitative and circumstantial.
By qualitative such adverbs are meant as express
immediate, inherently non-graded qualities oI actions and
other qualities. The typical adverbs oI this kind are qualitative
adverbs in ly. E. g.:
The little boy was crying bitterly over his broken toy. The
plainly embarrassed Department oI Industry conIirmed the
Iact oI the controversial deal.
The adverbs interpreted as "quantitative" include words oI
degree. These are speciIic lexical units oI semi-Iunctional
nature expressing quality measure, or gradational evaluation
oI qualities. They may be subdivided into several very clearly
pronounced sets.
The Iirst set is Iormed by adverbs oI high degree. These
adverbs are sometimes classed as "intensiIiers": very, Quite,
entirely, utterly, highly, greatly, perfectly, absolutely, strongly,
considerably, pretty, much. The second set includes adverbs oI
excessive degree (direct and reverse) also belonging to the
broader subclass oI intensiIiers: too, awfully, tremendously,
dreadfully, terrifically. The third set is made up oI adverbs oI
unexpected degree: surprisingly, astonishingly, amaSingly.
The Iourth set is Iormed by adverbs oI moderate degree:
fairly, comparatively, relatively, moderately, rather. The IiIth
set includes adverbs oI low degree: slightly, a little, a bit. The
sixth set is constituted by adverbs oI approximate degree:
almost, nearly. The seventh set includes adverbs oI optimal
degree: enough, sufficiently, adeQuately. The eighth set is
Iormed by adverbs oI inadequate degree: insufficiently,
intolerably, unbearably, ridiculously. The ninth set is made up
oI adverbs oI under-degree: hardly, scarcely.
As we see, the degree adverbs, though usually described
under the heading oI "quantitative", in reality constitute a
speciIic variety oI qualitative words, or rather some sort oI
intermediate qualitative-quantitative words, in so Iar as they
are used as quality evaluators. In this Iunction they are
distinctly diIIerent Irom genuine quantitative adverbs which
are directly related to numerals and thereby Iorm sets oI
words oI pronominal order. Such are numerical-pronominal
adverbs like twice, thrice, four times, etc.; twofold, threefold,
many fold, etc.
Thus, we will agree that the Iirst general subclass oI
adverbs is Iormed by qualitative adverbs which are
subdivided into qualitative adverbs oI Iull notional value and
degree adverbs speciIic Iunctional words.
Circumstantial adverbs are also divided into notional and
The Iunctional circumstantial adverbs are words oI
pronominal nature. Besides quantitative (numerical) adverbs
mentioned above, they include adverbs oI time, place,
manner, cause, consequence. Many oI these words are used as
syntactic connectives and question-Iorming Iunctionals. Here
belong such words as now, here, when, where, so, thus, how,
why, etc.
As Ior circumstantial adverbs oI more selI-dependent
nature, they include two basic sets: Iirst, adverbs oI time;
second, adverbs oI place: today, tomorrow, already, ever,
never, shortly, recently, seldom, early, late5 homeward,
eastward, near, far, outside, ashore, etc. The two varieties
express a general idea oI temporal and spatial orientation and
essentially perIorm deictic (indicative) Iunctions in the
broader sense. Bearing this in mind, we may unite them under
the general heading oI "orientative" adverbs, reserving the
term "circumstantial" to syntactic analysis oI utterances.
Thus, the whole class oI adverbs will be divided, Iirst, into
nominal and pronominal, and the nominal adverbs will be
subdivided into qualitative and orientative, the Iormer
including genuine qualitative adverbs and degree adverbs, the
latter Ialling into temporal and local adverbs, with Iurther
possible subdivisions oI more detailed speciIications.
As is the case with adjectives, this lexemic
subcategorisation oI adverbs should be accompanied by a
more Iunctional and Ilexible division into evaluative and
speciIicative, connected with the categorial expression oI
comparison. Each adverb subject to evaluation grading by
degree words expresses the category oI comparison, much in
the same way as, mutatis mutandis, adjectives do. Thus, not
only qualitative, but also orientative adverbs, providing they
come under the heading oI evaluative, are included into the
categorial system oI comparison. &f.: quickly quicker
quickest less quickly least quickly; Irequently more
Irequently most Irequently less Irequently least
15* 227
Irequently; ashore more ashore most ashore less
ashore least ashore, etc.
Barring the question oI the uses oI articles in
comparative superlative collocations, all the problems
connected with the adjectival degrees oI comparison retain
their Iorce Ior the adverbial degrees oI comparison, including
the problem oI elative superlative.
5. Among the various types oI adverbs, those Iormed
Irom adjectives by means oI the suIIix ly occupy the most
representative place and pose a special problem.
The problem is introduced by the very regularity oI their
derivation, the rule oI which can be Iormulated quite simply:
each qualitative adjective has a parallel adverb in ly. E. g.:
silent silently, slow slowly, tolerable tolerably,
pious piously, suIIicient suIIiciently, tired tiredly,
explosive explosively, etc.
This regularity oI Iormation accompanied by the general
qualitative character oI semantics gave cause to A. I.
Smirnitsky to advance the view that both sets oI words belong
to the same part oI speech, the qualitative adverbs in ly being
in Iact adjectives oI speciIic combinability nx,
(2), 174-175.
The strong point oI the adjectival interpretation oI
qualitative adverbs in ly is the demonstration oI the actual
similarity between the two lexemic sets in their broader
evaluative Iunction, which Iact provides Ior the near-identity
oI the adjectival and adverbial grammatical categories oI
comparison. On the whole, however, the theory in question is
hardly acceptable Ior the mere reason that derivative relations
in general are not at all relations oI lexico-grammatical
identity; Ior that matter, they are rather relations oI non-
identity, since they actually constitute a system oI production
oI one type oI lexical units Irom another type oI lexical units.
As Ior the types oI units belonging to the same or diIIerent
lexemic classes, this is a question oI their actual status in the
system oI lexicon, i. e. in the lexemic paradigm oI nomination
reIlecting the Iundamental correlations between the lexemic
sets oI language (see Ch. IV, 8). Since the English lexicon
does distinguish adjectives and adverbs; since adjectives are
substantive-qualiIying words in distinction to adverbs, which
are non-substantive qualiIying words; since, Iinally, adverbs
in ly do preserve this Iundamental nonsubstantive-
qualiIication character there can't be any
question oI their being "adjectives" in any rationally
conceivable way. As Ior the regularity or irregularity oI
derivation, it is absolutely irrelevant to the identiIication oI
their class-lexemic nature.
Thus, the whole problem is not a problem oI part-oI-
speech identity; it is a problem oI inter-class connections, in
particular, oI inter-class systemic division oI Iunctions, and,
certainly, oI the correlative status oI the compared units in the
lexical paradigm oI nomination.
But worthy oI attention is the relation oI the adverbs in
question to adverbs oI other types and varieties, i. e. their
intra-class correlations. As a matter oI Iact, the derivational
Ieatures oI other adverbs, in sharp contrast to the lyadverbs,
are devoid oI uniIormity to such an extent that practically all
oI them Iall into a multitude oI minor non-productive
derivational groups. Besides, the bulk oI notional qualitative
adverbs oI other than ly-derivation have ly-correlatives (both
oI similar and dissimilar meanings and connotations'. These
Iacts cannot but show that adverbs in ly should be looked
upon as the standard type oI the English adverb as a whole.
"#!TAGATIC C$!!ECTI$!" $% )$R*"
1. PerIorming their semantic Iunctions, words in an
utterance Iorm various syntagmatic connections with one
One should distinguish between syntagmatic groupings oI
notional words alone, syntagmatic groupings oI notional
words with Iunctional words, and syntagmatic groupings oI
Iunctional words alone.
DiIIerent combinations oI notional words (notional
phrases) have a clearly pronounced selI-dependent nominative
destination, they denote complex phenomena and their
properties in their inter-connections, including dynamic
interconnections (semi-predicative combinations). &f.: a
sudden trembling; a soul in pain; hurrying along the stream; to
lead to a cross-road; strangely Iamiliar; so sure oI their aims.
Combinations oI a notional word with a Iunctional word
are equivalent to separate words by their nominative Iunction.
Since a Iunctional word expresses some abstract
relation, such combinations, as a rule, are quite obviously
non-selI-dependent; they are, as it were, stamped as
artiIicially isolated Irom the context. &f.: in a low voice; with
diIIiculty; must Iinish; but a moment; and immy; too cold; so
We call these combinations "Iormative" ones. Their
contextual dependence ("synsemantism") is quite natural;
Iunctionally they may be compared to separate notional words
used in various marked grammatical Iorms (such as, Ior
instance, indirect cases oI nouns). &f.: Eng. Mr. Snow's oI
Mr. Snow; him to him; Tuss. a x a;
n us n.
Expanding the cited Iormative phrases with the
corresponding notional words one can obtain notional phrases
oI contextually selI-dependent value ("autosemantic" on their
level oI Iunctioning). &f.: Eng. Mr. Snow's considerations
the considerations oI Mr. Snow; gave it him gave it to him;
Tuss. sn a sn x a; mn
n mn us n.
In this connection we should remember that among the
notional word-classes only the noun has a Iull nominative
Iorce, Ior it directly names a substance. Similarly, we may
assert that among various phrase-types it is the noun-phrase
that has a Iull phrasal nominative Iorce (see Iurther).
As Ior syntagmatic groupings oI Iunctional words, they are
essentially analogous to separate Iunctional words and are
used as connectors and speciIiers oI notional elements oI
various status. &f.: Irom out oI; up to; so that; such as; must
be able; don't let's.
Functional phrases oI such and like character constitute
limited groups supplementing the corresponding subsets oI
regular one-item Iunctional words, as diIIerent Irom notional
phrases which, as Iree combinations, Iorm essentially open
subsets oI various semantic destinations.
2. Groupings oI notional words Iall into two mutually
opposite types by their grammatical and semantic properties.
Groupings oI the Iirst type are constituted by words related
to one another on an equal rank, so that, Ior a case oI a two-
word combination, neither oI them serves as a modiIier oI the
other. Depending on this Ieature, these combinations can be
called "equipotent".
Groupings oI the second type are Iormed by words which
are syntactically unequal in the sense that, Ior a case oI a
two-word combination, one oI them plays the role oI a
modiIier oI the other. Due to this Ieature, combinations oI the
latter type can be called "dominational".
3. Equipotent connection in groupings oI notional words
is realised either with the help oI conjunctions (syndetically),
or without the help oI conjunctions (asyndetically). &f.: prose
and poetry; came and went; on the beach or in the water;
quick but not careless; no sun, no moon; playing, chatting,
laughing; silent, immovable, gloomy; Mary's, not ohn's.
In the cited examples, the constituents oI the combinations
Iorm logically consecutive connections that are classed as
coordinative. Alongside oI these, there exist equipotent
connections oI a non-consecutive type, by which a sequential
element, although equal to the Ioregoing element by its
Iormal introduction (coordinative conjunction), is unequal to
it as to the character oI nomination. The latter type oI
equipotent connections is classed as "cumulative".
The term "cumulation" is commonly used to mean
connections between separate sentences. By way oI
restrictive indications, we may speak about "inner
cumulation", i. e. cumulation within the sentence, and,
respectively, "outer cumulation".
Cumulative connection in writing is usually signalled by
some intermediary punctuation stop, such as a comma or a
hyphen. &f: Eng. agreed, but reluctantly; quick and
careless; satisIied, or nearly so. Tuss. t, ut;
rna, n u rna; an a x.
Syndetic connection in a word-combination can alternate
with asyndetic connection, as a result oI which the whole
combination can undergo a semantically motivated sub-
grouping. &f.: He is a little man with irregular features, soft
dar( eyes and a soft voice, very shy, with a gift of mimicry
and a love of music (S. Maugham).
In enumerative combinations the last element, in
distinction to the Ioregoing elements, can be introduced by a
conjunction, which underlines the close oI the syntagmatic
series. &f.: All about them happy persons were enjoying the
good things oI liIe, talking, laughing, and making merry (S.
The same is true about combinations Iormed by repetition.
E. g.: There were rows oI books, books and books
4. Dominational connection, as diIIerent Irom equipotent
connection, is eIIected in such a way that one oI the
constituents oI the combination is principal (dominating) and
the other is subordinate (dominated). The principal element is
commonly called the "kernel", "kernel element", or
"headword"; the subordinate element, respectively, the
"adjunct", "adjunct-word", "expansion".
Dominational connection is achieved by diIIerent Iorms oI
the word (categorial agreement, government), connective
words (prepositions, i. e. prepositional government), word-
Dominational connection, like equipotent connection, can
be both consecutive and cumulative. &f.: a careIul observer
----------an observer, seemingly careIul; deIinitely out oI the
point out oI the point, deIinitely; will be helpIul in any
case-----will be helpIul at least, in some cases.
The two basic types oI dominational connection are
bilateral (reciprocal, two-way) domination and monolateral
(one-way) domination. Bilateral domination is realised in
predicative connection oI words, while monolateral
domination is realised in completive connection oI words.
5. The predicative connection oI words, uniting the
subject and the predicate, builds up the basis oI the sentence.
The reciprocal nature oI this connection consists in the Iact
that the subject dominates the predicate determining the
person oI predication, while the predicate dominates the
subject, determining the event oI predication, i. e. ascribing to
the predicative person some action, or state, or quality. This
diIIerence in meaning between the elements oI predication,
underlying the mutually opposite directions oI domination,
explains the seeming paradox oI the notion oI reciprocal
domination, exposing its dialectic essence. Both directions oI
domination in a predicative group can be demonstrated by a
Iormal test.
The domination oI the subject over the predicate is
exposed by the reIlective character oI the verbal category oI
person and also the verbal category oI number which is
closely connected with the Iormer.
The English grammatical Iorms oI explicit subject-verb
agreement (concord) are very scarce (the inIlexion marking
the Third person singular present, and some special Iorms oI
the verb be3. Still, these scarce Iorms are dynamically
with the other, grammatically non-agreed Iorms. &f.: he
went he goes-------------I went I go.
But apart Irom the grammatical Iorms oI agreement, the
predicative person is directly reIlected upon the verb-
predicate as such; the very semantics oI the person
determines the subject reIerence oI the predicative event
(action, state, quality). Thus, the subject unconditionally
dominates over the predicate by its speciIic substantive
categories in both agreed, and non-agreed Iorms oI
predicative connection.
As Ior the predicate dominating the subject in its own
sphere oI grammatical Iunctions, this Iact is clearly
demonstrated by the correlation oI the sentence and the
corresponding noun-phrase. Namely, the transIormation oI
the sentence into the noun-phrase places the predicate in the
position oI the head-word, and the subject, in the position oI
the adjunct. &f.: The train arrived. The arrival oI the train.
Alongside oI Iully predicative groupings oI the subject
and the Iinite verb-predicate, there exist in language partially
predicative groupings Iormed by a combination oI a non-
Iinite verbal Iorm (verbid) with a substantive element. Such
are inIinitival, gerundial, and participial constructions.
The predicative person is expressed in the inIinitival
construction by the prepositional for-phrase, in the gerundial
construction by the possessive or objective Iorm oI the
substantive, in the participial construction by the nominative
(common) Iorm oI the substantive. &f.: Che pupil understands
his mistake for the pupil to understand his mistake
the pupil('s3 understanding his mistake the pupil
understanding his mistake.
In the cited semi-predicative (or potentially-predicative)
combinations the "event"-expressing element is devoid oI the
Iormal agreement with the "person"-expressing element, but
the two directions oI domination remain valid by virtue oI the
very predicative nature oI the syntactic connection in question
(although presented in an incomplete Iorm).
Thus, among the syntagmatic connections oI the reciprocal
domination the two basic subtypes are distinguished: Iirst,
complete predicative connections, second, incomplete
predicative connections (semi-predicative, potentially-
predicative connections).
6. The completive, one-way connection oI words
(monolateral domination) is considered as subordinative on
ground that the outer syntactic status oI the whole
combination is determined by the kernel element (head-
word). &f.:
She would be reduced to a nervous wreck. She would
be reduced to a wreck. She would be reduced. That
woman was astonishingly beautiIul. That woman was
In the cited examples the head-word can simply be
isolated through the deletion oI the adjunct, the remaining
construction being structurally complete, though schematic.
In other cases, the head-word cannot be directly isolated, and
its representative nature is to be exposed, Ior instance, by
diagnostic questions. CI.: Larry greeted the girl heartily.
Whom did Larry greet How did Larry greet the girl
The questions help demonstrate that the verb is
presupposed as the kernel in its lines oI connections, i. e.
objective and adverbial ones.
All the completive connections Iall into two main
divisions: objective connections and qualiIying connections.
Objective connections reIlect the relation oI the object to
the process and are characterised as, on the whole, very close.
By their Iorm these connections are subdivided into non-
prepositional (word-order, the objective Iorm oI the adjunct
substantive) and prepositional, while Irom the semantico-
syntactic point oI view they are classed as direct (the
immediate transition oI the action to the object) and indirect
or oblique (the indirect relation oI the object to the process).
Direct objective connections are non-prepositional, the
preposition serving as an intermediary oI combining words by
its Iunctional nature. Indirect objective connections may be
both prepositional and non-prepositional. Since, on the other
hand, some prepositional objective connections, in spite oI
their being indirect, still come very near to direct ones in
terms oI closeness oI the process-substance relation
expressed, all the objective connections may be divided into
"narrow" and "broader". Semantically, narrow prepositional
objective connections are then to be classed together with
direct objective connections, the two types Iorming the
corresponding subclasses oI non-prepositional (direct) and
prepositional (indirect) narrow objective connections oI
words. CI.:
He remembered the man. I won't stand any more
nonsense. I sympathised with the child. They were working
on the problem. Etc.
CI. examples oI broader indirect objective connections,
both non-prepositional and prepositional:
Will you show me the picture Rhom did he buy it forB
Tom peeped into the hall. Etc.
Further subdivision oI objective connections is realised on
the basis oI subcategorising the elements oI objective
combinations, and Iirst oI all the verbs; thus, we recognise
objects oI immediate action, oI perception, oI speaking, etc.
Objective connection may also combine an adjunct
substance word with a kernel word oI non-verbal semantics
(such as a state or a property word), but the meaning oI some
processual relation is still implied in the deep semantic base
oI such combinations all the same. &f.: aware oI ohn's
presence am aware5 craSy about her got craSy about
her; full oI spite is full oI spite; etc.
ualiIying completive connections are divided into
attributive and adverbial. Both are expressed in English by
word-order and prepositions.
Attributive connection unites a substance with its attribute
expressed by an adjective or a noun. E. g.: an enormous
appetite; an emerald ring; a woman oI strong character, the
case for the prosecution5 etc.
Adverbial connection is subdivided into primary and
The primary adverbial connection is established between
the verb and its adverbial modiIiers oI various standings.
E.g.: to talk glibly, to come nowhere5 to receive (a letter) with
surprise5 to throw (one's arms) round a person's nec(5 etc.
The secondary adverbial connection is established between
the non-verbal kernel expressing a quality and its adverbial
modiIiers oI various standings. E.g.: marvellously becoming;
very much at ease; stri(ingly alike; no longer oppressive;
unpleasantly querulous; etc.
7. DiIIerent completive noun combinations are
distinguished by a Ieature that makes them into quite special
units on the phrasemic level oI language. Namely, in
distinction to all the other combinations' oI words they are
directly related to whole sentences, i. e. predicative
combinations oI words. This Iact was illustrated above when
we described the verbal domination over the subject in a
predicative grouping oI words
(see 5). Compare some more examples given in the reverse order:
The arrival oI the train The train arrived. The baked potatoes
The potatoes are baked. The giIted pupil The pupil has a giIt.
Completive combinations oI adjectives and adverbs (adjective-
phrases and adverb-phrases), as diIIerent Irom noun combinations
(noun-phrases), are related to predicative constructions but
indirectly, through the intermediary stage oI the corresponding
noun-phrase. CI.: utterly neglected utter neglect The neglect
is utter; very careIully great careIulness The careIulness is
great; speechlessly reproachIul speechless reproach The
reproach is speechless.
These distinctions oI completive word combinations are very
important to understand Ior analysing paradigmatic relations in
syntax (see Iurther).
1. The sentence is the immediate integral unit oI speech built
up oI words according to a deIinite syntactic pattern and
distinguished by a contextually relevant communicative purpose.
Any coherent connection oI words having an inIormative
destination is eIIected within the Iramework oI the sentence.
ThereIore the sentence is the main object oI syntax as part oI the
grammatical theory.
The sentence, being composed oI words, may in certain cases
include only one word oI various lexico-grammatical standing. &f.:
Night. Congratulations. Away Why Certainly.
The actual existence oI one-word sentences, however,
does not contradict the general idea oI the sentence as a special
syntactic combination oI words, the same as the notion oI one-
element set in mathematics does not contradict the general idea oI
the set as a combination oI certain elements. Moreover, this Iact
cannot lead even to the inIerence that under some circumstances the
sentence and the word may wholly coincide: a word-sentence as a
unit oI the text is radically diIIerent Irom a word-lexeme as a unit oI
lexicon, the diIIerentiation being inherent in the respective places
occupied by the sentence and the word in the hierarchy oI language
levels. While the word is a component element oI the word-stock
and as such is a nominative unit oI language, the sentence,
linguistically, is a predicative utterance-unit. It means that the
sentence not only names some reIerents with the help oI its word-
constituents, but also, Iirst, presents these reIerents as making up a
certain situation, or, more speciIically, a situational event, and
second, reIlects the connection between the nominal denotation oI
the event on the one hand, and objective reality on the other,
showing the time oI the event, its being real or unreal, desirable or
undesirable, necessary or unnecessary, etc. &f.:
I am satisIied, the experiment has succeeded. I would have been
satisIied iI the experiment had succeeded. The experiment seems to
have succeeded why then am I not satisIied
Thus, even one uninIlected word making up a sentence is
thereby turned into an utterance-unit expressing the said semantic
complex through its concrete contextual and consituational
connections. By way oI example, compare the diIIerent connections
oI the word-sentence "night" in the Iollowing passages:
1) Night. Night and the boundless sea, under the eternal star-
eyes shining with promise. Was it a dream oI Ireedom coining true
2) Night Oh no. No night Ior me until 1 have worked through the
case. 3) Night. It pays all the day's debts. No cause Ior worry now, I
tell you.
Whereas the utterance "night" in the Iirst oI the given passages
reIers the event to the plane oI reminiscences, the "night" oI the
second passage presents a question in argument connected with the
situation wherein the interlocutors are immediately involved, while
the latter passage Ieatures its "night" in the Iorm oI a proposition oI
reason in the Ilow oI admonitions.
It Iollows Irom this that there is another diIIerence between the
sentence and the word. Namely, unlike the word, the sentence does
not exist in the system oI language as a ready-made unit; with the
exception oI a limited number oI utterances oI phraseological
citation, it is created by the speaker in the course oI
communication. Stressing this Iact, linguists point out that the
sentence, as diIIerent Irom the word, is not a unit oI language
proper; it is a chunk oI text
built up as a result oI speech-making process, out oI diIIerent units
oI language, Iirst oI all words, which are immediate means Ior
making up contextually bound sentences, i. e. complete units oI
It should be noted that this approach to the sentence, very
consistently exposed in the works oI the prominent Soviet scholar A.
I. Smirnitsky, corresponds to the spirit oI traditional grammar Irom
the early epoch oI its development. Traditional grammar has never
regarded the sentence as part oI the system oI means oI expression;
it has always interpreted the sentence not as an implement Ior
constructing speech, but as speech itselI, i. e. a portion oI coherent
Ilow oI words oI one speaker containing a complete thought.
Being a unit oI speech, the sentence is intonationally delimited.
Intonation separates one sentence Irom another in the continual Ilow
oI uttered segments and, together with various segmental means oI
expression, participates in rendering essential communicative-
predicative meanings (such as, Ior instance, the syntactic meaning
oI interrogation in distinction to the meaning oI declaration). The
role oI intonation as a delimiting Iactor is especially important Ior
sentences which have more than one predicative centre, in particular
more than one Iinite verb. CI.:
1) The class was over, the noisy children fitted the corridors. 2)
The class was over. The noisy children filled the corridors.
Special intonation contours, including pauses, represent the
given speech sequence in the Iirst case as one compound sentence,
in the second case as two diIIerent sentences (though, certainly,
connected both logically and syntactically).
On the other hand, as we have stated elsewhere, the system oI
language proper taken separately, and the immediate Iunctioning oI
this system in the process oI intercourse, i.e. speech proper, present
an actual unity and should be looked upon as the two sides oI one
dialectically complicated substance the human language in the
broad sense oI the term. Within the Iramework oI this unity the
sentence itselI, as a unit oI communication, also presents the two
diIIerent sides, inseparably connected with each other. Namely,
within each sentence as an immediate speech element oI the
communication process, deIinite standard syntactic-semantic
Ieatures are revealed which make up a typical model, a generalised
pattern repeated in an indeIinite number oI actual utterances.
This complicated predicative pattern does enter the system oI
language. It exists on its own level in the hierarchy oI lingual
segmental units in the capacity oI a "linguistic sentence" and as
such is studied by grammatical theory,
Thus, the sentence is characterised by its speciIic category oI
predication which establishes the relation oI the named phenomena
to actual liIe. The general semantic category oI modality is also
deIined by linguists as exposing the connection between the named
objects and surrounding reality. However, modality, as diIIerent
Irom predication, is not speciIically conIined to the sentence; this is
a broader category revealed both in the grammatical elements oI
language and its lexical, purely nominative elements. In this sense,
every word expressing a deIinite correlation between the named
substance and objective reality should be recognised as modal. Here
belong such lexemes oI Iull notional standing as "probability",
"desirability", "necessity" and the like, together with all the
derivationally relevant words making up the corresponding series oI
the lexical paradigm oI nomination; here belong semi-Iunctional
words and phrases oI probability and existential evaluation, such as
perhaps, may be, by all means, etc.; here belong Iurther, word-
particles oI speciIying modal semantics, such as "ust, even, would
be, etc.; here belong, Iinally, modal verbs expressing a broad range
oI modal meanings which are actually turned into elements oI
predicative semantics in concrete, contextually-bound utterances.
As Ior predication proper, it embodies not any kind oI modality,
but only syntactic modality as the Iundamental distinguishing
Ieature oI the sentence. It is the Ieature oI predication, Iully and
explicitly expressed by a contextually relevant grammatical
complex, that identiIies the sentence in distinction to any other
combination oI words having a situational reIerent.
The centre oI predication in a sentence oI verbal type (which is
the predominant type oI sentence-structure in English) is a Iinite
verb. The Iinite verb expresses essential predicative meanings by its
categorial Iorms, Iirst oI all, the categories oI tense and mood (the
category oI person, as we have seen beIore, reIlects the
corresponding category oI the subject). However, proceeding Irom
the principles oI sentence analysis worked out in the Russian school
oI theoretical syntax, in particular, in the classical treatises oI V.V.
Vinogradov, we insist that predication is eIIected not only by the
Iorms oI the Iinite verb connecting it with the subject, but also by
all the other Iorms and elements oI the sentence establishing the
connection between the named objects and reality, including such
means oI expression as intonation, word order, diIIerent Iunctional
words. Besides the purely verbal categories, in the predicative
semantics are included such syntactic sentence meanings as
purposes oI communication (declaration interrogation
inducement), modal probability, aIIirmation and negation, and
others, which, taken together, provide Ior the sentence to be
identiIied on its own, proposemic level oI lingual hierarchy.
2. From what has been said about the category oI predication,
we see quite clearly that the general semantic content oI the
sentence is not at all reduced to predicative meanings only. Indeed,
in order to establish the connection between some substance and
reality, it is Iirst necessary to name the substance itselI. This latter
task is eIIected in the sentence with the help oI its nominative
means. Hence, the sentence as a lingual unit perIorms not one, but
two essential signemic (meaningIul) Iunctions: Iirst, substance-
naming, or nominative Iunction; second, reality-evaluating, or
predicative Iunction.
The terminological deIinition oI the sentence as a predicative
unit gives prominence to the main Ieature distinguishing the
sentence Irom the word among the meaningIul lingual units
(signernes). However, since every predication is eIIected upon a
certain nomination as its material semantic base, we gain a more
proIound insight into the diIIerence between the sentence and the
word by pointing out the two-aspective meaningIul nature oI the
sentence. The semantics oI the sentence presents a unity oI its
nominative and predicative aspects, while the semantics oI the
word, in this sense, is monoaspective.
Some linguists do not accept the deIinition oI the sentence
through predication, considering it to contain tautology, since,
allegedly, it equates the sentence with predication ("the sentence is
predication, predication is the sentence"). However, the
identiIication oI the two aspects oI the sentence pointed out above
shows that this negative attitude is wholly unjustiIied; the real
content oI the predicative interpretation oI the sentence has nothing
to do with deIinitions oI the "vicious circle" type. In point oI Iact
as Iollows Irom the given exposition oI predication, predicative
do not exhaust the semantics oI the sentence; on the contrary, they
presuppose the presence in the sentence oI meanings oI quite
another nature, which Iorm its deeper nominative basis. Predicative
Iunctions work upon this deep nominative basis, and as a result the
actual utterance-sentence is Iinally produced.
On the other hand, we must also note a proIound diIIerence
between the nominative Iunction oI the sentence and the
nominative Iunction oI the word. The nominative meaning oI the
syntagmatically complete average sentence (an ordinary
proposemic nomination) reIlects a processual situation or event that
includes a certain process (actional or statal) as its dynamic centre,
the agent oI the process, the objects oI the process, and also the
various conditions and circumstances oI the realisation oI the
process. This content oI the proposemic event, as is known Irom
school grammar, Iorms the basis oI the traditional syntactic division
oI the sentence into its Iunctional parts. In other words, the
identiIication oI traditional syntactic parts oI the sentence is
nothing else than the nominative division oI the sentence. &f.:
The pilot was steering the ship out oI the harbour.
The old pilot was careIully steering the heavily loaded ship through
the narrow straits out oI the harbour.
As is easily seen, no separate word, be it composed oI so many
stems, can express the described situation-nominative semantics oI
the proposition. Even hyperbolically complicated artiIicial words
such as are sometimes coined Ior various expressive purposes by
authors oI Iiction cannot have means oI organising their root
components analogous to the means oI arranging the nominative
elements oI the sentence.
uite diIIerent in this respect is a nominal phrase a
compound signemic unit made up oI words and denoting a complex
phenomenon oI reality analysable into its component elements
together with various relations between them. Comparative
observations oI predicative and non-predicative combinations oI
words have unmistakably shown that among the latter there are
quite deIinite constructions which are actually capable oI realising
nominations oI proposemic situations. These are word-
combinations oI Iull nominative value represented by expanded
substantive phrases. It is these combinations that, by their
nominative potential, directly correspond to sentences expressing
typical proposemic situations. CI.:
1GL1499 241
... The pilot's steering oI the ship out oI the harbour. ...
The old pilot's careIul steering oI the heavily loaded ship through
the narrow straits out oI the harbour.
In other words, between the sentence and the substantive word-
combination oI the said Iull nominative type, direct
transIormational relations are established: the sentence, interpreted
as an element oI paradigmatics, is transIormed into the substantive
phrase, or "nominalised", losing its processual-predicative character.
Thus, syntactic nominalisation, while depriving the sentence oI its
predicative aspect (and thereby, naturally, destroying the sentence as
an immediate communicative unit), preserves its nominative aspect
The identiIication oI nominative aspect oI the sentence eIIected
on the lines oI studying the paradigmatic relations in syntax makes
it possible to deIine more accurately the very notion oI predication
as the speciIic Iunction oI the sentence.
The Iunctional essence oI predication has hitherto been
understood in linguistics as the expression oI the relation oI the
utterance (sentence) to reality, or, in more explicit presentation, as
the expression oI the relation between the content oI the sentence
and reality. This kind oI understanding predication can be seen, Ior
instance, in the well-known "Grammar oI the Russian Language"
published by the Academy oI Sciences oI the USSR, where it is
stated that "the meaning and purpose oI the general category oI
predication Iorming the sentence consists in reIerring the content oI
the sentence to reality".* Compare with this the deIinition advanced
by A. I. Smirnitsky, according to which predication is understood as
"reIerring the utterance to reality" nx, (1), 102.
The essential principles oI this interpretation oI predication can
be expressed even without the term "predication" as such. The latter
approach to the exposition oI the predicative meaning oI the
sentence can be seen, Ior instance, in the course oI English grammar
by M. A. Ganshina and N. M. Vasilevskaya, who write: "Every
sentence shows the relation oI the statement to reality Irom the
point oI view oI the speaker" Ganshina, Vasilevskaya, 321.
Now, it is easily noticed that the cited and similar
* aaxa xr xstxa. M., 1960. T. 2, . I. . 79.80.
deIinitions oI predication do not explicitly distinguish the two
cardinal sides oI the sentence content, namely, the nominative side
and the predicative side. We may quite plausibly suppose that the
non-discrimination oI these two sides oI sentence meaning gave the
ultimate cause to some scholars Ior their negative attitude towards
the notion oI predication as the Iundamental Iactor oI sentence
Taking into consideration the two-aspective character oI the
sentence as a signemic unit oI language, predication should now be
interpreted not simply as reIerring the content oI the sentence to
reality, but as reIerring the nominative content oI the sentence to
reality. It is this interpretation oI the semantic-Iunctional nature oI
predication that discloses, in one and the same generalised
presentation, both the unity oI the two identiIied aspects oI the
sentence, and also their diIIerent, though mutually complementary
meaningIul roles.
ACT'A& *I1I"I$! $% THE "E!TE!CE
1. The notional parts oI the sentence reIerring to the basic
elements oI the reIlected situation Iorm, taken together, the
nominative meaning oI the sentence. For the sake oI terminological
consistency, the division oI the sentence into notional parts can be
just so called the "nominative division" (its existing names are
the "grammatical division" and the "syntactic division"). The
discrimination oI the nominative division oI the sentence is
traditional; it is this type oI division that can conveniently be shown
by a syntagmatic model, in particular, by a model oI immediate
constituents based on the traditional syntactic analysis (see Ch.
Alongside oI the nominative division oI the sentence, the idea
oI the so-called "actual division" oI the sentence has been put
Iorward in theoretical linguistics. The purpose oI the actual division
oI the sentence, called also the "Iunctional sentence perspective", is
to reveal the correlative signiIicance oI the sentence parts Irom the
point oI view oI their actual inIormative role in an utterance, i.e.
Irom the point oI view oI the immediate semantic contribution they
make to the total inIormation conveyed by the sentence in the
context oI connected speech. In other words,
the actual division oI the sentence in Iact exposes its inIormative
The main components oI the actual division oI the sentence are
the theme and the rheme. The theme expresses the starting point oI
the communication, i.e. it denotes an object or a phenomenon about
which something is reported. The rheme expresses the basic
inIormative part oI the communication, its contextually relevant
centre. Between the theme and the rheme are positioned
intermediary, transitional parts oI the actual division oI various
degrees oI inIormative value (these parts are sometimes called
The theme oI the actual division oI the sentence may or may not
coincide with the subject oI the sentence. The rheme oI the actual
division, in its turn, may or may not coincide with the predicate oI
the sentence either with the whole predicate group or its part,
such as the predicative, the object, the adverbial.
Thus, in the Iollowing sentences oI various emotional character
the theme is expressed by the subject, while the rheme is expressed
by the predicate:
Max bounded Iorward. Again Charlie is being too clever Her
advice can't be oI any help to us.
In the Iirst oI the above sentences the rheme coincides with the
whole predicate group. In the second sentence the adverbial
introducer again can be characterised as a transitional element, i.e.
an element inIormationally intermediary between the theme and the
rheme, the latter being expressed by the rest oI the predicate group,
The main part oI the rheme the "peak" oI inIormative perspective
- is rendered in this sentence by the intensiIied predicative too
clever. In the third sentence the addressee object to us is more or
less transitional, while the inIormative peak, as in the previous
example, is expressed by the predicative of any help.
In the Iollowing sentences the correlation between the
nominative and actual divisions is the reverse: the theme is
expressed by the predicate or its part, while the rheme is rendered
by the subject:
Through the open window came the purr oI an approaching
motor car. Who is coming late but ohn There is a diIIerence oI
opinion between the parties.
Historically the theory oI actual division oI the sentence is
connected with the logical analysis oI the proposition. The
principal parts oI the proposition, as is known, are the logical
subject and the logical predicate. These, like the theme and the
rheme, may or may not coincide, respectively, with the subject and
the predicate oI the sentence. The logical categories oI subject and
predicate are prototypes oI the linguistic categories oI theme and
rheme. However, iI logic analyses its categories oI subject and
predicate as the meaningIul components oI certain Iorms oI
thinking, linguistics analyses the categories oI theme and rheme as
the corresponding means oI expression used by the speaker Ior the
sake oI rendering the inIormative content oI his communications.
2. The actual division oI the sentence Iinds its Iull expression
only in a concrete context oI speech, thereIore it is sometimes
reIerred to as the "contextual" division oI the sentence. This can be
illustrated by the Iollowing example: Mary is Iond oI poetry.
In the cited sentence, iI we approach it as a stylistically neutral
construction devoid oI any speciIic connotations, the theme is
expressed by the subject, and the rheme, by the predicate. This kind
oI actual division is "direct". On the other hand, a certain context
may be built around the given sentence in the conditions oI which
the order oI actual division will be changed into the reverse: the
subject will turn into the exposer oI the rheme, while the predicate,
accordingly, into the exposer oI the theme. CI.: "Isn't it surprising
that Tim is so Iond oI poetry" "But you are wrong. Mary is Iond
oI poetry, not Tim."
The actual division in which the rheme is expressed by the
subject is to be reIerred to as "inverted".
3, The close connection oI the actual division oI the sentence
with the context in the conditions oI which it is possible to divide
the inIormative parts oI the communication into those "already
known" by the listener and those "not yet known" by him, gave
cause to the recognised Iounder oI the linguistic theory oI actual
division . Mathesius to consider this kind oI sentence division as a
purely semantic Iactor sharply opposed to the "Iormally
grammatical" or "purely syntactic" division oI the sentence (in our
terminology called its "nominative" division).
One will agree that the actual division oI the sentence will really
lose all connection with syntax iI its components are to be
identiIied solely on the principle oI their being
"known" or "unknown" to the listener. However, we must bear in
mind that the inIormative value oI developing speech consists not
only in introducing new words that denote things and phenomena
not mentioned beIore; the inIormative value oI communications lies
also in their disclosing various new relations between the elements
oI reIlected events, though the elements themselves may be quite
Iamiliar to the listener. The expression oI a certain aspect oI these
relations, namely, the correlation oI the said elements Irom the point
oI view oI their immediate signiIicance in a given utterance
produced as a predicative item oI a continual speech, does enter the
structural plane oI language. This expression becomes part and
parcel oI the structural system oI language by the mere Iact that the
correlative inIormative signiIicance oI utterance components are
rendered by quite deIinite, generalised and standardised lingual
constructions. The Iunctional purpose oI such constructions is to
reveal the meaningIul centre oI the utterance (i.e. its rheme) in
distinction to the starting point oI its content (i.e. its theme).
These constructions do not present any "absolutely Iormal",
"purely diIIerential" objects oI language which are Iilled with
semantic content only in the act oI speech communication. On the
contrary, they are bilateral signemic units in exactly the same sense
as other meaningIul constructions oI language, i.e. they are
distinguished both by their material Iorm and their semantics. It
Iollows Irom this that the constructional, or immediately systemic
side oI the phenomenon which is called the "actual division oI the
sentence" belongs to no other sphere oI language than syntax. And
the crucial syntactic destination oI the whole aspect oI the actual
division is its rheme-identiIying Iunction, since an utterance is
produced just Ior the sake oI conveying the meaningIul content
expressed by its central inIormative part, i.e. by the rheme.
4. Among the Iormal means oI expressing the distinction
between the theme and the rheme investigators name such structural
elements oI language as word-order patterns, intonation contours,
constructions with introducers, syntactic patterns oI contrastive
complexes, constructions with articles and other determiners,
constructions with intensiIying particles.
The diIIerence between the actual division oI sentences
signalled by the diIIerence in their word-order patterns can
be most graphically illustrated by the simplest type oI
transIormations. CI.:
The winner oI the competition stood on the platIorm in the
middle oI the hall. On the platIorm in the middle oI the hall
stood the winner oI the competition. Fred didn't notice the Ilying
balloon. The one who didn't notice the Ilying balloon was Fred.
Helen should be the Iirst to receive her diploma. The Iirst to
receive her diploma should be Helen.
In all the cited examples, i.e. both base sentences and their
transIorms, the rheme (expressed either by the subject or by an
element oI the predicate group) is placed towards the end oI the
sentence, while the theme is positioned at the beginning oI it. This
kind oI positioning the components oI the actual division
corresponds to the natural development oI thought Irom the starting
point oI communication to its semantic centre, or, in common
parlance, Irom the "known data" to the "unknown (new) data". Still,
in other contextual conditions, the reversed order oI positioning the
actual division components is used, which can be shown by the
Iollowing illustrative transIormations:
It was unbelievable to all oI them. Utterly unbelievable it
was to all oI them. Now you are speaking magic words, Nancy.
Magic words you are speaking now, Nancy. ou look so well
How well you look
It is easily seen Irom the given examples that the reversed order
oI the actual division, i.e. the positioning oI the rheme at the
beginning oI the sentence, is connected with emphatic speech.
Among constructions with introducers, the therepattern
provides Ior the rhematic identiIication oI the subject without
emotive connotations. CI.:
Tall birches surrounded the lake. There were tall birches
surrounding the lake. A loud hoot came Irom the railroad. There
came a loud hoot Irom the railroad.
Emphatic discrimination oI the rheme expressed by various
parts oI the sentence is achieved by constructions with the
anticipatory it. &f.:
Grandma gave them a moment's deep consideration. It was a
moment's deep consideration that Grandma gave
them. She had just escaped something simply awful. nW It was
something simply awIul that she had just escaped. At that moment
Aaura joined them. It was Laura who joined them at that
Syntactic patterns oI contrastive complexes are used to expose
the rheme oI the utterance in cases when special accuracy oI
distinction is needed. This is explained by the Iact that the actual
division as such is always based on some sort oI antithesis or
"contraposition" (see Iurther), which in an ordinary speech remains
implicit. Thus, a syntactic contrastive complex is employed to make
explicative the inner contrast inherent in the actual division by
virtue oI its Iunctional nature. This can be shown on pairs oI
nominatively cognate examples oI antithetic constructions where
each member-construction will expose its own contrastively
presented element. &f.:
The costume is meant not for your cousin, but for you.
-----Che costume, not the froc(, is meant Ior you, my dear.
The strain told not so much on my visitor than on myself.
-----Che strain of the situation, not the rela%ation of it, was
what surprised me.
Determiners, among them the articles, used as means oI Iorming
certain patterns oI actual division, divide their Iunctions so that the
deIinite determiners serve as identiIiers oI the theme while the
indeIinite determiners serve as identiIiers oI the rheme. &f.:
Che man walked up and down the platIorm. 8 man walked
up and down the platIorm. Che whole boo( was devoted to the
description oI a tiny island on the PaciIic.
8 whole boo( is needed to describe that tiny island on the PaciIic.
I'm sure Uora's (nitting needles will suit you. I'm sure any
(nitting needles will suit you.
IntensiIying particles identiIy the rheme, commonly imparting
emotional colouring to the whole oI the utterance. &f.:
Mr. Stores had a part in the general debate. Even 4r. Stores
had a part in the general debate. Then he sat down in one oI the
armchairs. @nly then did he sit down in one oI the armchairs. We
were impressed by what we heard and saw. We were so
impressed by what we heard and saw.
As Ior intonation as a means oI realising the actual division, it
might appear that its sphere is relatively limited, being conIined to
oral speech only. On closer consideration, however, this view oI
rheme-identiIying role oI intonation proves inadequate. To
appreciate the true status oI intonation in the actual division oI the
sentence, one should abstract oneselI Irom "paper syntax"
(description oI written texts) and remember that it is phonetical
speech, i.e. articulately pronounced utterances that Iorm the basis
oI human language as a whole. As soon as the phonetical nature oI
language is duly taken account oI, intonation with its accent-
patterns presents itselI not as a limited, but as a universal and
indisputable means oI expressing the actual division in all types
and varieties oI lingual contexts. This universal rheme-identiIying
Iunction oI intonation has been described in treatises on logic, as
well as in traditional philological literature, in terms oI "logical
accent". The "logical accent", which amounts linguistically to the
"rhematic accent", is inseparable Irom the other rheme-identiIying
means described above, especially Irom the word-order patterns.
Moreover, all such means in written texts in Iact represent the
logical accent, i.e. they indicate its position either directly or
indirectly. This can be seen on all the examples hitherto cited in the
present chapter.
5. While recognising the logical accent as a means oI
eIIecting the actual division, we must strictly distinguish between
the elements immediately placed under the phonetical, "technical"
stress, and the sentence segments which are identiIied as the
inIormative centre oI communication in the true sense oI the term.
Technically, not only notional, but Iunctional units as well can
be phrasally stressed in an utterance, which in modern printed texts
is shown by special graphical ways oI identiIication, such as italics,
bold type, etc. CI.:
"I can't bring along someone who isn't invited." "But I am
invited" said Miss Casement (I. Murdoch). Moreover, being a
highly intelligent young woman, she'd be careIul not to be the only
one aIIected (. Christie).
However, it would be utterly incorrect to think that in such
instances only those word-units are logically, i.e. rhematically,
marked out as are stressed phonetically. As a matter oI Iact,
Iunctional elements cannot express any selI-dependent nomination;
do not exist by themselves, but make up units oI nomination
together with the notional elements oI utterances whose meanings
they speciIy. Thus, the phrasal phonetical stress, technically making
prominent some Iunctional element, thereby identiIies as rhematic
the corresponding notional part ("knot") oI the utterance as a whole.
It is such notional parts that are real members oI the opposition
"theme rheme", not their Iunctional constituents taken separately.
As Ior the said Iunctional constituents themselves, these only set up
speciIic semantic bases on which the relevant rhematic antitheses
are built up.
6. The actual division, since it is eIIected upon the already
produced nominative sentence base providing Ior its contextually
relevant maniIestation, enters the predicative aspect oI the sentence.
It makes up part oI syntactic predication, because it strictly meets
the Iunctional purpose oI predication as such, which is to relate the
nominative content oI the sentence to reality (see Ch. XXI). This
predicative role oI the actual division shows that its contextual
relevance is not reduced to that oI a passive, concomitant Iactor oI
expression. On the contrary, the actual division is an active means oI
expressing Iunctional meanings, and, being organically connected
with the context, it is not so much context-governed as it is context-
governing: in Iact, it does build up concrete contexts out oI
constructional sentence-models chosen to reIlect diIIerent situations
and events.
One oI the most important maniIestations oI the immediate
contextual relevance oI the actual division is the regular deletion
(ellipsis) oI the thematic parts oI utterances in dialogue speech. By
this syntactic process, the rheme oI the utterance or its most
inIormative part (peak oI inIormative perspective) is placed in
isolation, thereby being very graphically presented to the listener.
"ou've got the letters" "In my bag# (G. W. Target). "How
did you receive him" #&oldly# (. Galsworthy).
In other words, the thematic reduction oI sentences in the
context, resulting in a constructional economy oI speech, perIorms
an inIormative Iunction in parallel with the logical accent: it serves
to accurately identiIy the rheme oI the utterance.
C$'!ICATI1E T#PE" $% "E!TE!CE"
1. The sentence is a communicative unit, thereIore the
primary classiIication oI sentences must be based on the
communicative principle. This principle is Iormulated in traditional
grammar as the "purpose oI communication".
The purpose oI communication, by deIinition, reIers to the
sentence as a whole, and the structural Ieatures connected with the
expression oI this sentential Iunction belong to the Iundamental,
constitutive qualities oI the sentence as a lingual unit.
In accord with the purpose oI communication three cardinal
sentence-types have long been recognised in linguistic tradition:
Iirst, the declarative sentence; second, the imperative (inducive)
sentence; third, the interrogative sentence. These communicative
sentence-types stand in strict opposition to one another, and their
inner properties oI Iorm and meaning are immediately correlated
with the corresponding Ieatures oI the listener's responses.
Thus, the declarative sentence expresses a statement, either
aIIirmative or negative, and as such stands in systemic syntagmatic
correlation with the listener's responding signals oI attention, oI
appraisal (including agreement or disagreement), oI Iellow-Ieeling.
"I think," he said, "that Mr. Desert should be asked to give us
his reasons Ior publishing that poem." "Hear, hear" said the .
. (. Galsworthy). "We live very quietly here, indeed we do; my
niece here will tell you the same." "Oh, come, I'm not such a
Iool as that," answered the squire (D. du Maurier).
The imperative sentence expresses inducement, either
aIIirmative or negative. That is, it urges the listener, in the Iorm oI
request or command, to perIorm or not to perIorm a certain action.
As such, the imperative sentence is situationally connected with the
corresponding "action response" (Ch. Fries), and lingually is
systemically correlated with a verbal response showing that the
inducement is either complied with, or else rejected. &f.:
"Let's go and sit down up there, Dinny." "Very well" (.
Galsworthy). "Then marry me." "Really, Alan, I never met
anyone with so Iew ideas" (. Galsworthy). "Send him back" he
said again. "Nonsense, old chap" (. Aldridge).
Since the communicative purpose oI the imperative sentence is
to make the listener act as requested, silence on the part oI the latter
(when the request is IulIilled), strictly speaking, is also
linguistically relevant. This gap in speech, which situationally is
Iilled in by the listener's action, is set oII in literary narration by
special comments and descriptions. CI.:
"nock on the wood." Retan's man leaned Iorward and
knocked three times on the barrera (E. Hemingway). "Shut the
piano," whispered Dinny; "let's go up." Diana closed the piano
without noise and rose (. Galsworthy).
The interrogative sentence expresses a question, i.e. a request
Ior inIormation wanted by the speaker Irom the listener. By virtue
oI this communicative purpose, the interrogative sentence is
naturally connected with an answer, Iorming together with it a
question-answer dialogue unity. &f.:
"What do you suggest I should do, then" said Mary
helplessly. "II I were you I should play a waiting game," he
replied (D. du Maurier).
Naturally, in the process oI actual communication the
interrogative communicative purpose, like any other communicative
task, may sporadically not be IulIilled. In case it is not IulIilled, the
question-answer unity proves to be broken; instead oI a needed
answer the speaker is Iaced by silence on the part oI the listener, or
else he receives the latter's verbal rejection to answer. &f.:
"Why can't you lay oII" I said to her. But she didn't even notice
me (R. P. Warren). "Did he know about her" "ou'd better ask
him" (S. Maugham).
Evidently, such and like reactions to interrogative sentences are
not immediately relevant in terms oI environmental syntactic
2. An attempt to revise the traditional communicative
classiIication oI sentences was made by the American scholar Ch.
Fries who classed them, as a deliberate challenge to the
"accepted routine", not in accord with the purposes oI
communication, but according to the responses they elicit Fries,
In Fries's system, as a universal speech unit subjected to
communicative analysis was chosen not immediately a sentence,
but an utterance unit (a "Iree" utterance, i.e. capable oI isolation)
understood as a continuous chunk oI talk by one speaker in a
dialogue. The sentence was then deIined as a minimum Iree
Utterances collected Irom the tape-recorded corpus oI dialogues
(mostly telephone conversations) were Iirst classed into "situation
utterances" (eliciting a response), and "response utterances".
Situation single Iree utterances (i.e. sentences) were Iurther divided
into three groups:
1) Utterances that are regularly Iollowed by oral responses only.
These are greetings, calls, questions. E.g.:
Hello Good-bye See you soon ... Dad Say, dear Colonel
Howard ... Have you got moved in What are you going to do Ior
the summer ...
2) Utterances regularly eliciting action responses. These are
requests or commands. E.g.:
Read that again, will you Oh, wait a minute Please have him
call Operator Six when he comes in Will you see just exactly what
his status is
3) Utterances regularly eliciting conventional signals oI
attention to continuous discourse. These are statements. E.g.:
I've been talking with Mr. D in the purchasing department
about our type-writer. (es). That order went in March seventh.
However it seems that we are about eighth on the list. ( I see).
Alongside oI the described "communicative" utterances, i.e.
utterances directed to a deIinite listener, another, minor type oI
utterances were recognised as not directed to any listener but, as
Ch. Fries puts it, "characteristic oI situations such as surprise,
sudden pain, disgust, anger, laughter, sorrow" Fries, 53. E.g.: Oh,
oh Goodness My God Darn Gosh Etc.
Such and like interjectional units were classed by Ch. Fries as
"noncommunicative" utterances.
Observing the given classiIication, it is not diIIicult to
see that, Iar Irom reIuting or discarding the traditional classiIication
oI sentences built up on the principle oI the "purpose oI
communication", it rather conIirms and speciIies it. Indeed, the very
purpose oI communication inherent in the addressing sentence is
reIlected in the listener's response. The second and third groups oI
Ch, Fries's "communicative" sentences-utterances are just identical
imperative and declarative types both by the employed names and
deIinition. As Ior the Iirst group, it is essentially heterogeneous,
which is recognised by the investigator himselI, who distinguishes
in its composition three communicatively diIIerent subgroups. One
oI these ("C") is constituted by "questions", i.e. classical
interrogative sentences. The other two, viz. greetings ("A") and calls
("B"), are syntactically not cardinal, but, rather, minor intermediary
types, making up the periphery oI declarative sentences
(greetings statements oI conventional goodwill at meeting and
parting) and imperative sentences (calls requests Ior attention).
As regards "non-communicative" utterances interjectional units,
they are devoid oI any immediately expressed intellective semantics,
which excludes them Irom the general category oI sentence as such
(see Iurther).
Thus, the undertaken analysis should, in point oI Iact, be looked
upon as an actual application oI the notions oI communicative
sentence-types to the study oI oral speech, resulting in Iurther
speciIications and development oI these notions.
3. Alongside oI the three cardinal communicative sentence-
types, another type oI sentences is recognised in the theory oI
syntax, namely, the so-called exclamatory sentence. In modern
linguistics it has been demonstrated that exclamatory sentences do
not possess any complete set oI qualities that could place them on
one and the same level with the three cardinal communicative types
oI sentences. The property oI exclamation should be considered as
an accompanying Ieature which is eIIected within the system oI the
three cardinal communicative types oI sentences.* In other words,
each oI the cardinal communicative sentence types can be
represented in the two variants, viz. non-exclamatory and
exclamatory. For instance, with the Iollowing
* See: aaxa xr xstxa. ., 1960. , 2.
ax, u. I, . 353; 365 n.
exclamatory sentences-statements it is easy to identiIy their non-
exclamatory declarative prototypes:
What a very small cabin it was (. MansIield) It was a very
small cabin. How utterly she had lost count oI events (.
Galsworthy) She had lost count oI events. Why, iI it isn't my
lady (. Erskine) It is my lady.
Similarly, exclamatory questions are immediately related in the
syntactic system to the corresponding non-exclamatory
interrogative sentences. E.g.:
Whatever do you mean, Mr. Critchlow (A. Bennett) -What do
you mean Then why in God's name did you come (. MansIield)
- Why did you come
Imperative sentences, naturally, are characterised by a higher
general degree oI emotive intensity than the other two cardinal
communicative sentence-types. Still, they Iorm analogous pairs,
whose constituent units are distinguished Irom each other by no
other Ieature than the presence or absence oI exclamation as such.
Francis, will you please try to speak sensibly (E. Hemingway)
- Try to speak sensibly. Don't you dare to compare me to common
people (B. Shaw) Don't compare me to common people.
Never so long as you live say I made you do that (. Erskine)
Don't say I made you do that.
As is seen Irom the given examples, all the three pairs oI variant
communicative types oI sentences (non-exclamatory
exclamatory Ior each cardinal division) make up distinct semantico-
syntactic oppositions eIIected by regular grammatical means oI
language, such as intonation, word-order and special constructions
with Iunctional-auxiliary lexemic elements. It Iollows Irom this that
the Iunctional-communicative classiIication oI sentences specially
distinguishing emotive Iactor should discriminate, on the lower
level oI analysis, between the six sentence-types Iorming,
respectively, three groups (pairs) oI cardinal communicative
4. The communicative properties oI sentences can Iurther be
exposed in the light oI the theory oI actual division oI the sentence.
The actual division provides Ior the inIormative content oI the
utterance to be expressed with the due gradation oI
its parts according to the signiIicance oI their respective role in the
context. But any utterance is Iormed within the Iramework oI the
system oI communicative types oI sentences. And as soon as we
compare the communication-purpose aspect oI the utterance with its
actual division aspect we shall Iind that each communicative
sentence type is distinguished by its speciIic actual division
Ieatures, which are revealed Iirst and Ioremost in the nature oI the
rheme as the meaningIul nucleus oI the utterance.
The strictly declarative sentence immediately expresses a
certain proposition. By virtue oI this, the actual division oI the
declarative sentence presents itselI in the most developed and
complete Iorm. The rheme oI the declarative sentence makes up the
centre oI some statement as such. This can be distinctly
demonstrated by a question-test directly revealing the rhematic part
oI an utterance. CI.: The next instant she had recognised him.
What had she done the next instant
The pronominal what-question clearly exposes in the example
the part "(had) recognised him" as the declarative rheme, Ior this
part is placed within the interrogative-pronominal reIerence. In
other words, the tested utterance with its completed actual division
is the only answer to the cited potential question; the utterance has
been produced by the speaker just to express the Iact oI "his being
Another transIormational test Ior the declarative rheme is the
logical superposition. The logical superposition consists in
transIorming the tested construction into the one where the rheme is
placed in the position oI the logically emphasised predicate. By
way oI example let us take the second sentence in the Iollowing
sequence: And I was very uneasy. All sorts oI Iorebodings assailed
The logical superposition oI the utterance is eIIected thus:
What assailed me was all sorts oI Iorebodings.
This test marks out the subject oI the utterance "all sorts oI
Iorebodings" as the rheme, because it is just this part oI the
utterance that is placed in the emphatic position oI the predicate in
the superpositional transIorm.
Similar diagnostic procedures expose the layer-structure oI the
actual division in composite syntactic constructions. For instance,
in the Iollowing complex sentence rhematic question-tests easily
reveal the three declarative rhemes on the three consecutive
syntactic layers: I knew that Mr, Wade had been very excited by
something that he had Iound out.
Test Ior the Iirst syntactic layer: What did I know
Test Ior the second syntactic layer: What state was Mr. Wade
Test Ior the third syntactic layer: What made him excited (By
what was he excited)
The strictly imperative sentence, as diIIerent Irom the strictly
declarative sentence, does not express by its immediate destination
any statement oI Iact, i.e. any proposition proper. It is only based
on a proposition, without Iormulating it directly. Namely, the
proposition underlying the imperative sentence is reversely
contrasted against the content oI the expressed inducement, since
an urge to do something (aIIirmative inducement) is Iounded on the
premise that something is not done or is otherwise not aIIected by
the wanted action, and, conversely, an urge not to do something
(negative inducement) is Iounded on the directly opposite premise.
Let's go out at once (The premise: We are in.) Never again take
that horrible woman into your conIidence, erry (The premise:
erry has taken that horrible woman into his conIidence.)
Thus, the rheme oI the imperative utterance expresses the
inIormative nucleus not oI an explicit proposition, but oI an
inducement a wanted (or unwanted) action together with its
reIerential attending elements (objects, qualities, circumstances).
Due to the communicative nature oI the inducement addressed
to the listener, its thematic subject is usually zeroed, though it can
be represented in the Iorm oI direct address. &f.:
Don't try to sidetrack me (. Braine). Put that dam* dog down,
Fleur; I can't see your Iace (. Galsworthy). indly tell me what
you meant, WilIrid (. Galsworthy).
Inducements that include in the address also the speaker
himselI, or are directed, through the second person medium, to a
third person (persons) present their thematic subjects explicit in the
construction. E.g.:
I say, Bob, let's try to reconstruct the scene as it developed.
Please don't let's quarrel over the speeds now. Let her produce the
document iI she has it.
The whole composition oI an ordinary imperative utterance is
usually characterised by a high inIormative value,
10L1499 2.0
so that the rheme proper, or the inIormative peak, may stand here
not so distinctly against the background inIormation as in the
declarative utterance. Still, rhematic testing oI imperative
utterances does disclose the communicative stratiIication oI their
constituents. Compare the question-tests oI a couple oI the cited
Put that dam' dog down, Fleur. What is Fleur to do with the
dog indly tell me what you meant, WilIrid. What is WilIrid to
tell the speaker
As Ior the thematic, and especially the subrhematic
(transitional) elements oI the imperative utterance, they oIten are
Iunctionally charged with the type-grading oI inducement itselI,
i.e.-with making it into a command, prohibition, request,
admonition, entreaty, etc. Compare, in addition to the cited, some
more examples to this eIIect:
Let us at least remember to admire each other (L. Hellman).
Oh, please stop it... Please, please stop it (E. Hemingway). Get out
beIore I break your dirty little neck (A. Hailey).
The second-person inducement may include the explicit
pronominal subject, but such kind oI constructions should be
deIined as oI secondary derivation. They are connected with a
complicated inIormative content to be conveyed to the listener-
perIormer, expressing, on the one hand, the choice oI the subject
out oI several persons-participants oI the situation, and on the other
hand, appraisals rendering various ethical connotations (in
particular, the type-grading oI inducement mentioned above). &f.:
"What about me" she asked. "Nothing doing. ou go to bed
and sleep" (A. Christie). Don't you worry about me, sir. I shall be
all right (B... Seymour).
At a Iurther stage oI complication, the subject oI the inducement
may be shiIted to the position oI the rheme. E.g.:
"...We have to do everything we can." "ou do it," he said.
"I'm tired" (E. Hemingway).
The essentially diIIerent identiIications oI the rheme in the two
imperative utterances oI the cited example can be proved by
transIormational testing: ... What we have to do is (to do)
everything we can. ... The person who should do it is you.
The inducement with the rhematic subject oI the latter
type may be classed as the #(informatively3 shiIted inducement".
5. As Iar as the strictly interrogative sentence is concerned, its
actual division is uniquely diIIerent Irom the actual division oI both
the declarative and the imperative sentence-types.
The unique quality oI the interrogative actual division is
determined by the Iact that the interrogative sentence, instead oI
conveying some relatively selI-dependent content, expresses an
inquiry about inIormation which the speaker (as a participant oI a
typical question-answer situation) does not possess. ThereIore the
rheme oI the interrogative sentence, as the nucleus oI the inquiry, is
inIormationally open (gaping); its Iunction consists only in marking
the rhematic position in the response sentence and programming
the content oI its Iiller in accord with the nature oI the inquiry.
DiIIerent types oI questions present diIIerent types oI open
In the pronominal ("special") question, the nucleus oI inquiry is
expressed by an interrogative pronoun. The pronoun is immediately
connected with the part oI the sentence denoting the object or
phenomenon about which the inquiry ("condensed" in the pronoun)
is made. The gaping pronominal meaning is to be replaced in the
answer by the wanted actual inIormation. Thus, the rheme oI the
answer is the reverse substitute oI the interrogative pronoun: the
two make up a rhematic unity in the broader question-answer
construction. As Ior the thematic part oI the answer, it is already
expressed in the question, thereIore in common speech it is usually
zeroed. E.g.:
"Why do you think so" "Because mostly I keep my eyes
open, miss, and I talk to people" (A. Hailey).
The superpositional rhematic test Ior the pronominal question
may be eIIected in the Iollowing periphrastic-deIinitional Iorm:
The question about your thinking so is: why
For the sake oI analytical convenience this kind oI
superposition may be reduced as Iollows: ou think so why
Compare some more pronominal interrogative superpositions:
What happens to a man like Hawk Harrap as the years go by
(W. Saroyan). To a man like Hawk Harrap, as
the years go by what happens How do you make that out,
mother (E. M. Forster) ou make that out, mother, how
How's the weather in the north (D. du Maurier) The weather in
the north how is it What's behind all this (A. Hailey)
Behind all this is what
The rheme oI non-pronominal questions is quite diIIerent Irom
the one described. It is also open, but its openness consists in at
least two semantic suggestions presented Ior choice to the listener.
The choice is eIIected in the response; in other words, the answer
closes the suggested alternative according to the interrogative-
rhematic program inherent in it. This is clearly seen in the structure
oI ordinary, explicit alternative questions. E.g.: Will you take it
away or open it here (Th. Dreiser)
The superposition oI the utterance may be presented as Iollows:
ou in relation to it will take (it) away, will open (it) here
The alternative question may have a pronominal introduction,
emphasising the open character oI its rheme. &f.: In which cave is
the oIIence alleged, the Buddhist or the ain (E. M. Forster)
The superposition: The oIIence is alleged in the Buddhist
cave, in the ain cave
Thus, in terms oI rhematic reverse substitution, the pronominal
question is a question oI unlimited substitution choice, while the
alternative question is a question oI a limited substitution choice,
the substitution oI the latter kind being, as a rule, expressed
implicitly. This can be demonstrated by a transIormation applied to
the Iirst oI the two cited examples oI alternative questions: Will you
take it away or open it here Where will you handle it take it
away or open it here
The non-pronominal question requiring either conIirmation or
negation ("general" question oI yesno response type) is thereby
implicitly alternative, though the inquiry inherent in it concerns not
the choice between some suggested Iacts, but the choice between
the existence or non-existence oI an indicated Iact. In other words,
it is a question oI realised rhematic substitution (or oI "no
substitution choice"), but with an open existence Iactor (true to liIe
or not true to liIe), which makes up its implicitly expressed
alternative. This can be easily shown by a superposition; Are they
going to stay long They are going to stay long, not long
The implicit alternative question can be made into an explicit
one, which as a rule is very emphatic, i.e. stylistically "Iorced". The
negation in the implied alternative part is usually reIerred to the
verb. &f.: Are they going to stay long, or are they not going to
stay long
The cited relation oI this kind oI question to interrogative
reverse substitution (and, together with it, the open character oI its
rheme) is best demonstrated by the corresponding pronominal
transIormation: How long are they going to stay long (or not
As we see, the essential diIIerence between the two types oI
alternative questions, the explicit one and the implicit one, remains
valid even iI the latter is changed into an explicit alternative
question (i.e. into a stylistically Iorced explicit alternative
question). This diIIerence is determined by the diIIerence in the
inIormative composition oI the interrogative constructions
In general terms oI meaning, the question oI the Iirst type (the
normal explicit alternative question) should be classed as the
alternative question oI Iact, since a choice between two or more
Iacts is required by it; the question oI the second type (the implicit
alternative question) should be classed as the alternative question
oI truth, since it requires the statement oI truth or non-truth oI the
indicated Iact. In terms oI actual division, the question oI the Iirst
type should be classed as the polyperspective alternative question
(biperspective, triperspective, etc.), because it presents more than
one inIormative perspectives (more than one actual divisions) Ior
the listener's choice; the question oI the second type, as opposed to
the polyperspective, should be classed as the monoperspective
alternative question, because its both varieties (implicit and
explicit) express only one inIormative perspective, which is
presented to the listener Ior the existential yesno appraisal.
6. The exposition oI the Iundamental role oI actual division in
the Iormation oI the communicative sentence types involves,
among other things, the unequivocal reIutation oI recognising by
some linguists the would-be "purely exclamatory sentence" that
cannot be reduced to any oI the three demonstrated cardinal
communicative types.*
* The existence oI the "purely exclamatory sentence" is
deIended, in particular, by B. A. Ilyish in his cited book (pp. 186-
Indeed, by "purely exclamatory sentences" are meant no other
things than interjectional exclamations oI ready-made order such as
"Great Heavens", "Good Lord", "For God's sake" "Fiddle-dee-
dee", "Oh, I say" and the like, which, due to various situational
conditions, Iind themselves in selI-dependent, proposemically
isolated positions in the text. &f.:
"Oh, Ior God's sake" "Oh, Ior God's sake" the boy had
repeated (W. Saroyan). "Ah" said Lady Mont. "That reminds me"
(. Galsworthy).
As is seen Irom the examples, the isolated positions oI the
interjectional utterances do not make them into any meaningIully
articulate, grammatically predicated sentences with their own
inIormative perspective (either explicit, or implicit). They remain
not signals oI proposemically complete thoughts, not
"communicative utterances" (see above), but mere symptoms oI
emotions, consciously or unconsciously produced shouts oI strong
Ieelings. ThereIore the highest rank that they deserve in any
relevant linguistic classiIication oI "single Iree units oI speech" is
"non-sentential utterances" (which is just another name Ior Ch.
Fries's "noncommunicative utterances").
OI quite another nature are exclamatory sentences with
emphatic introducers derived on special productive syntactic
patterns. &f.:
Oh, that Mr. Thornspell hadn't been so reserved How silly oI
you II only I could raise the necessary sum Etc.
These constructions also express emotions, but they are
meaningIully articulate and proposemically complete. They clearly
display a deIinite nominative composition which is predicated, i.e.
related to reality according to the necessary grammatical
regularities. And they inevitably belong to quite a deIinite
communicative type oI sentences, namely, to the declarative type.
7. The vast set oI constructional sentence models possessed by
language is Iormed not only by cardinal, mono-Iunctional
communicative types; besides these, it includes also intermediary
predicative constructions distinguished by mixed communicative
Ieatures. The true nature oI such intermediary constructions can be
disclosed in the light oI the
actual division theory combined with the general theory oI
paradigmatic oppositions.
Observations conducted on the said principles show that
intermediary communicative sentence models may be identiIied
between all the three cardinal communicative correlations (viz.,
statement question, statement inducement, inducement
question); they have grown and are sustained in language as a
result oI the transIerence oI certain characteristic Ieatures Irom one
communicative type oI sentences to another.
8. In the Iollowing dialogue sequence the utterance which is
declarative by its Iormal Ieatures, at the same time contains a
distinct pronominal question:
"I wonder why they come to me about it. That's your job,
sweetheart." I looked up Irom asper, my Iace red as Iire.
"Darling," I said, "I meant to tell you beIore, but but I Iorgot"
(D. du Maurier).
Semantic-syntactic comparison oI the two utterances produced
by the participants oI the cited dialogue clearly shows in the initial
utterance the Ieatures inherently peculiar to the interrogative
communicative type, namely, its open rhematic part ("why they
come to me about it") and the general programming character oI its
actual division in relation to the required response.
Compare some more examples oI a similar nature:
"But surely I may treat him as a human being." "Most
certainly not" (B. Shaw), "I don't disturb you, I hope, Mr
Cokane." "By no means" (B. Shaw). "Wait a second, you
haven't told me your address." "Oh, I'm staying at the Hotel du
Phare" (A. Christie), "I should like to hear your views on that,"
replied Utterson (R. L. Stevenson).
As is seen Irom the examples, utterances intermediary between
statements and questions convey meanings and connotations that
supplement the direct programming oI the answer eIIected by
strictly monoIunctional, cardinal interrogative constructions.
Namely, they render the connotation oI insistency in asking Ior
inIormation, they express a more deIinite or lass deIinite
supposition oI the nature oI inIormation possessed by the listener,
they present a suggestion to
the listener to perIorm a certain action or imply a request Ior
permission to perIorm an action, etc.
On the other hand, in the structural Iramework oI the
interrogative sentence one can express a statement. This type oI
utterance is classed as the "rhetorical question" an expressive
construction that has been attracting the closest attention oI
linguistic observers since ancient times.
A high intensity oI declarative Iunctional meaning expressed by
rhetorical questions is best seen in various proverbs and maxims
based on this speciIically emphatic predicative unit. &f.:
Can a leopard change his spots Can man be Iree iI woman be a
slave O shame Where is thy blush Why ask the Bishop when the
Pope's around Who shall decide when the doctors disagree
Compare rhetorical questions in stylistically Ireer, more
common Iorms oI speech:
That was my mission, you imagined. It was not, but where was I
to go (O. Wilde) That was all right; I meant what I said. Why
should I Ieel guilty about it (. Braine) How could I have ever
thought I could get away with it (. Osborne)
It should be noted that in living speech responses to rhetorical
questions exactly correspond to responses elicited by declarative
sentences: they include signals oI attention, appraisals, expressions
oI Iellow Ieeling, etc. &f.:
"How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who
insists on treating her as iI she were a perIectly rational being"
"My dear" (O. Wilde)
A rhetorical question in principle can be Iollowed by a direct
answer, too. However, such an answer does not Iill up the rheme oI
the rhetorical question (which, as diIIerent Irom the rheme oI a
genuine question, is not at all open), but emphatically accentuates
its intensely declarative semantic nature. An answer to a rhetorical
question also emphasises its aIIirmative or negative implication
which is opposite to the Iormal expression oI aIIirmation or
negation in the outer structure oI the question. &f.: "What more can
a gentleman desire in this world" "Nothing more, I am quite
sure" (O. Wilde).
Due to these connotations, the answer to a rhetorical
question can quite naturally be given by the speaker himselI: Who,
being in love, is poor Oh, no one (O. Wilde).
The declarative nature oI the rhetorical question is revealed also
in the Iact that it is not inIrequently used as an answer to a genuine
question namely, in cases when an expressive, emphatic answer
is needed. &f.: "Do you expect to save the country, Mr
Mangan" "Well, who else will" (B. Shaw)
Rhetorical questions as constructions oI intermediary
communicative nature should be distinguished Irom such genuine
questions as are addressed by the speaker to himselI in the process
oI deliberation and reasoning. The genuine quality oI the latter kind
oI questions is easily exposed by observing the character oI their
rhematic elements. E.g.: Had she had what was called a complex all
this time Or was love always sudden like this A wild Ilower
seeding on a wild wind (. Galsworthy)
The cited string oI questions belongs to the inner speech oI a
literary personage presented in the Iorm oI non-personal direct
speech. The rhemes oI the questions are deIinitely open, i.e. they
are typical oI ordinary questions in a dialogue produced by the
speaker with an aim to obtain inIormation Irom his interlocutor.
This is clearly seen Irom the Iact that the second question presents
an alternative in relation to the Iirst question; as regards the third
question, it is not a selI-dependent utterance, but a speciIication,
cumulatively attached to the Ioregoing construction.
Genuine questions to oneselI as part oI monologue deliberations
can quite naturally be Iollowed by corresponding responses,
Iorming various kinds oI dialogue within monologue. &f.:
Was she tipsy, week-minded, or merely in love Perhaps all
three (. Galsworthy). My God What shall I do I dare not tell her
who this woman really is. The shame would kill her (O. Wilde).
9. The next pair oI correlated communicative sentence types
between which are identiIied predicative constructions oI
intermediary nature are declarative and imperative sentences.
The expression oI inducement within the Iramework oI a
declarative sentence is regularly achieved by means oI
constructions with modal verbs. E.g.:
ou ought to get rid oI it, you know (C. P. Snow). "ou can't
come in," he said. "ou mustn't get what I have" (E. Hemingway).
Well, you must come to me now Ior anything you want, or I shall
be quite cut up (. Galsworthy). "ou might as well sit down," said
avotte (. Erskine).
Compare semantically more complex constructions in which the
meaning oI inducement is expressed as a result oI interaction oI
diIIerent grammatical elements oI an utterance with its notional
lexical elements:
"And iI you'll excuse me, Lady Eileen, I think it's time you
were going back to bed." The Iirmness oI his tone admitted oI no
parley (A. Christie). II you have anything to say to me, Dr Trench, I
will listen to you patiently. ou will then allow me to say what I
have to say on my part (B. Shaw).
Inducive constructions, according to the described general
tendency, can be used to express a declarative meaning complicated
by corresponding connotations. Such utterances are distinguished
by especially high expressiveness and intensity. E.g.: The Forsyte
in him said: "Think, Ieel, and you're done Ior" (. Galsworthy)
Due to its expressiveness this kind oI declarative inducement,
similar to rhetorical questions, is used in maxims and proverbs.
Talk oI the devil and he will appear. Roll my log and I will roll
yours. Live and learn. Live and let live.
Compare also corresponding negative statements oI the Iormal
imperative order: Don't count your chickens beIore they are
hatched. Don't cross the bridge till you get to it.
10. Imperative and interrogative sentences make up the third
pair oI opposed cardinal communicative sentence types serving as a
Irame Ior intermediary communicative patterns.
Imperative sentences perIorming the essential Iunction oI
interrogative sentences are such as induce the listener not to action,
but to speech. They may contain indirect questions. E.g.:
"Tell me about your upbringing." "I should like to hear about
yours" (E. . Howard). "Please tell me what I can do. There must be
something I can do." "ou can take the leg oII and that might
stop it..." (E. Hemingway).
The reverse intermediary construction, i.e. inducement eIIected
in the Iorm oI question, is employed in order to convey such
additional shades oI meaning as request, invitation, suggestion,
soItening oI a command, etc. E.g.:
"Why don't you get Aunt Em to sit instead, Uncle She's
younger than I am any day, aren't you, Auntie" (. Galsworthy)
"Would would you like to come" "I would," said immy
heartily. "Thanks ever so much, Lady Coote" (A. Christie).
Additional connotations in inducive utterances having the Iorm
oI questions may be expressed by various modal constructions.
Can I take you home in a cab (W. Saroyan) "Could you tell
me," said Dinny, "oI any place close by where I could get
something to eat" (. Galsworthy) I am really quite all right.
Perhaps you will help me up the stairs (A. Christie)
In common use is the expression oI inducement eIIected in the
Iorm oI a disjunctive question. The post-positional interrogative tag
imparts to the whole inducive utterance a more pronounced or less
pronounced shade oI a polite request or even makes it into a
pleading appeal. &f.:
Find out tactIully what he wants, will you (. Tey) And you
will come too, Basil, won't you (O. Wilde)
11. The undertaken survey oI lingual Iacts shows that the
combination oI opposite cardinal communicative Ieatures displayed
by communicatively intermediary sentence patterns is structurally
systemic and Iunctionally justiIied. It is justiIied because it meets
quite deIinite expressive requirements. And it is symmetrical in so
Iar as each cardinal communicative sentence type is characterised
by the same tendency oI Iunctional transposition in relation to the
two other communicative types opposing it. It means that within
each oI the three cardinal communicative oppositions two diIIerent
intermediary communicative sentence models are established, so
that at a Iurther level oI speciIication, the communicative
classiIication oI sentences should be expanded by six subtypes oI
sentences oI mixed communicative Ieatures. These are, Iirst, mixed
sentence patterns oI declaration (interrogative-declarative,
imperative-declarative); second, mixed sentence patterns oI
interrogation (declarative-interrogative, imperative-interrogative);
mixed sentence-patterns oI inducement (declarative-
imperative, interrogative-imperative). All the cited
intermediary communicative types oI sentences belong to
living, productive syntactic means oI language and should
Iind the due reIlection both in theoretical linguistic
description and in practical language teaching.
( 1. The basic predicative meanings oI the typical English
sentence, as has already been pointed out, are expressed by
the Iinite verb which is immediately connected with the
subject oI the sentence. This predicative connection is
commonly reIerred to as the "predicative line" oI the
sentence. Depending on their predicative complexity,
sentences can Ieature one predicative line or several (more
than one) predicative lines; in other words, sentences may be,
respectively, "monopredicative" and "polypredicative". Using
this distinction, we must say that the simple sentence is a
sentence in which only one predicative line is expressed.
Bob has never left the stadium. Opinions differ. This may
happen any time. The oIIer might have been quite Iair. Etc.
According to this deIinition, sentences with several
predicates reIerring to one and the same subject cannot be
considered as simple. E.g.: I too( the child in my arms and
held him.
It is quite evident that the cited sentence, although it
includes only one subject, expresses two diIIerent predicative
lines, since its two predicates are separately connected with
the subject. The content oI the sentence reIlects two closely
connected events that happened in immediate succession: the
Iirst "my taking the child in my arms"; the second "my
holding him".
Sentences having one verb-predicate and more than one
subject to it, iI the subjects Iorm actually separate (though
interdependent) predicative connections, cannot be considered
as simple, either. E.g.: Che door was open, and also the front
Thus, the syntactic Ieature oI strict monopredication should
serve as the basic diagnostic criterion Ior identiIying the
simple sentence in distinction to sentences oI composite
structures oI various systemic standings.
2. The simple sentence, as any sentence in general, is
organised as a system oI Iunction-expressing positions, the
content oI the Iunctions being the reIlection oI a situational
event. The nominative parts oI the simple sentence, each
occupying a notional position in it, are subject, predicate,
object, adverbial, attribute, parenthetical enclosure,
addressing enclosure; a special, semi-notional position is
occupied by an interjectional enclosure. The parts are
arranged in a hierarchy, wherein all oI them perIorm some
modiIying role. The ultimate and highest object oI this
integral modiIication is the sentence as a whole, and through
the sentence, the reIlection oI the situation (situational event).
Thus, the subject is a person-modiIier oI the predicate.
The predicate is a process-modiIier oI the subject-person. The
object is a substance-modiIier oI a processual part (actional or
statal). The adverbial is a quality-modiIier (in a broad sense)
oI a processual part or the whole oI the sentence (as
expressing an integral process inherent in the reIlected event).
The attribute is a quality-modiIier oI a substantive part. The
parenthetical enclosure is a detached speaker-bound modiIier
oI any sentence-part or the whole oI the sentence. The
addressing enclosure (address) is a substantive modiIier oI
the destination oI the sentence and hence, Irom its angle, a
modiIier oI the sentence as a whole. The interjectional
enclosure is a speaker-bound emotional modiIier oI the
All the said modiIiers may be expressed either singly
(single modiIiers) or collectively, i.e. in a coordinative
combination (co-modiIiers, in particular, homogeneous ones).
The traditional scheme oI sentence parsing shows many
essential traits oI the said Iunctional hierarchy. On the scheme
presented graphically, sentence-parts connected by bonds oI
immediate domination are placed one under the other in a
successive order oI subordination, while sentence-parts
related to one another equipotently are placed in a horizontal
order. Direct connections between the sentence-parts are
represented by horizontal and vertical lines.
By way oI example, let us take an ordinary English
sentence Ieaturing the basic modiIier connections, and see its
Fig. 3
The scheme clearly shows the basic logical-grammatical
connections oI the notional constituents oI the sentence. II
necessary, it can easily be supplemented with speciIying
linguistic inIormation, such as indications oI lexico-
grammatical Ieatures oI the sentence-parts the same as their
syntactic sub-Iunctions.
However, observing the given scheme careIully, we must
note its one serious Ilaw. As a matter oI Iact, while distinctly
exposing the subordination ran(s oI the parts oI the sentence,
it Iails to consistently present their genuine linear order in
This drawback is overcome in another scheme oI analysis
called the "model oI immediate constituents" (contractedly,
the "IC-model").
The model oI immediate constituents is based on the
group-parsing oI the sentence which has been developed by
traditional grammar together with the sentence-part parsing
scheme. It consists in dividing the whole oI the sentence into
two groups: that oI the subject and that oI the predicate,
which, in their turn, are divided into their sub-group
constituents according to the successive subordinative order
oI the latter. ProIiting by this type oI analysis, the IC-model
explicitly exposes the binary hierarchical principle oI
subordinative connections, showing the whole structure oI the
sentence as made up by binary immediate constituents. As Ior
equipotent (coordinative) connections, these are, naturally,
non-binary, but, being oI a more primitive character than
subordinative connections, they are included in the
traditional parsing presentation (Fig. 3): The small lady
listened to me attentively.
analysis as possible inner subdivisions oI subordinative
Thus, structured by the IC-model, the cited sentence on the
upper level oI analysis is looked upon as a united whole (the
accepted symbol S); on the next lower level it is divided into
two maximal constituents the subject noun-phrase (NP-
subj) and the predicate verb-phrase (VP-pred); on the next
lower level the subject noun-phrase is divided into the
determiner (det) and the rest oI the phrase to which it
semantically reIers (NP), while the predicate noun-phrase is
divided into the adverbial (DP, in this case simply D) and the
rest oI the verb-phrase to which it semantically reIers; the
next level-stages oI analysis include the division oI the Iirst
noun-phrase into its adjective-attribute constituent (AP, in this
case A) and the noun constituent (N), and correspondingly,
the division oI the verb-phrase into its verb constituent (V or
VI Iinite verb) and object noun-phrase constituent (NP-
obj), the latter being, Iinally, divided into the preposition
constituent (prp) and noun constituent (N). As we see, the
process oI syntactic IC-analysis continues until the word-level
oI the sentence is reached, the words being looked upon as the
"ultimate" constituents oI the sentence.
The described model oI immediate constituents has two
basic versions. The Iirst is known as the "analytical IC-
diagrarn", the second, as the "I-derivation tree". The
analytical IC-diagram commonly shows the groupings oI
sentence constituents by means oI vertical and horizontal
lines (see Fig. 4). The IC-derivation tree shows the groupings
det NP VP D
Fig. 4
sentence constituents by means oI branching nodes: the nodes
symbolise phrase-categories as unities, while the branches
mark their division into constituents oI the corresponding
sub-categorial standings (see Fig. 5).
3. When analysing sentences in terms oI syntagmatic
connections oI their parts, two types oI subordinative
relations are exposed: on the one hand, obligatory relations,
i.e. such as are indispensable Ior the existence oI the syntactic
unit as such; on the other hand, optional relations, i.e. such as
may or may not be actually represented in the syntactic unit.
These relations, as we have pointed out elsewhere, are at
present interpreted in terms oI syntactic valency (combining
power oI the word) and are oI especial importance Ior the
characteristic oI the verb as the central predicative organiser
oI the notional stock oI sentence constituents. Comparing the
IC-representation oI the sentence with the pattern oI
obligatory syntactic positions directly determined by the
valency oI the verb-predicate, it is easy to see that this pattern
reveals the essential generalised model oI the sentence, its
semantico-syntactic backbone. For instance, in the cited
sentence this pattern will be expressed by the string "The lady
listened to me", the attribute "small" and the adverbial
"attentively" being the optional parts oI the sentence. The IC-
model oI this key-string oI the sentence is logically
transparent and easily grasped by the mind (see Fig. 6).
Thus, the idea oI verbal valency, answering the principle
oI dividing all the notional sentence-parts into obligatory and
optional, proves helpIul in gaining a Iurther insight into the
structure oI the simple sentence; moreover, it is oI crucial
importance Ior the modern deIinition oI the simple sentence.
In terms oI valencies and obligatory positions Iirst oI all
the category oI "elementary sentence" is to be recognised; this
is a sentence all the positions oI which are obligatory. In other
words, this is a sentence which, besides the principal parts,
includes only complementive modiIiers; as Ior supplementive
modiIiers, they Iind no place in this type oI predicative
AIter that the types oI expansion should be determined
which do not violate the syntactic status oI the simple
sentence, i.e. do not change the simple sentence into a
composite one. Taking into consideration the strict
monopredicative character oI the simple sentence as its basic
identiIication predicative Ieature, we inIer that such
expansions should not complicate the predicative line oI the
sentence by any additional predicative positions.
Finally, bearing in mind that the general identiIication oI
obligatory syntactic position aIIects not only the principal
parts oI the sentence but is extended to the complementive
secondary parts, we deIine the une%panded simple sentence as
a monopredicative sentence Iormed only by obligatory
notional parts. The e%panded simple sentence will,
accordingly, be deIined as a monopredicative sentence which
includes, besides the obligatory parts, also some optional
parts, i.e. some supplementive modiIiers which do not
constitute a predicative enlargement oI the sentence.
Proceeding Irom the given description oI the elementary
sentence, it must be stressed that the pattern oI this
construction presents a workable means oI semantico-
syntactic analysis oI sentences in general. Since all the parts
oI the elementary sentence are obligatory, each real sentence
oI speech should be considered as categorially reducible to
one or more elementary sentences, which expose in an
explicit Iorm its logical scheme oI Iormation. As Ior the
simple sentence, however intricate and expanded its structure
might be, it is Iormed, oI necessity, upon a single-elementary
sentence-base exposing its structural key-model. E.g.: The tall
trees by the island shore were shaking violently in the gusty
This is an expanded simple sentence including a number
oI optional parts, and its complete analysis in terms oI a
syntagmatic parsing is rather intricate. On the other hand,
applying the idea oI the elementary sentence, we immediately
reveal that the sentence is built upon the key-string "The trees
were shaking", i.e. on the syntagmatic pattern oI an
intransitive verb.
As we see, the notions "elementary sentence" and
"sentence model" do not exclude each other, but, on the
contrary, supplement each other: a model is always an
abstraction, whereas an elementary sentence can and should
be taken both as an abstract category (in the capacity oI the
"model oI an elementary sentence") and as an actual utterance
oI real speech.
4. The subject-group and the predicate-group oI the
sentence are its two constitutive "members", or, to choose a
somewhat more speciIic term, its "axes" (in the Russian
grammatical tradition at nxx).
According as both members are present in the composition oI
the sentence or only one oI them, sentences are classed into
"two-member" and "one-member" ones.
Scholars point out that "genuine" one-member sentences
are characterised not only as expressing one member in their
outer structure; in addition, as an essential Ieature, they do not
imply the other member on the contextual lines. In other
words, in accord with this view, elliptical sentences in which
the subject or the predicate is contextually omitted, are
analysed as "two-member" sentences Ilyish, 190, 252.
We cannot accept the cited approach because, in our
opinion, it is based on an inadequate presupposition that in
the system oI language there is a strictly deIined, "absolute"
demarcation line between the two types oI constructions. In
reality, though, each one-member sentence, however pure it
might appear Irom the point oI view oI non-association with
an ellipsis, still, on closer observation, does expose traits oI
this association.
For instance, the sentence "Come on" exempliIying one
oI the classical one-member sentence varieties, implies a
situational person (persons) stimulated to perIorm an action,
i.e. the subject oI the event. Similarly, the construction "All
right" rendering agreement on the part oI the speaker, is a
representative unit standing Ior a normal two-member
utterance in its contextual-bound implication plane, otherwise
it would be senseless.
Bearing in mind the advanced objection, our approach to
the syntactic category oI axis part oI the sentence is as
All simple sentences oI English should be divided into
twoa%is constructions and onea%is constructions.
In a two-axis sentence, the subject axis and the predicate
axis are directly and explicitly expressed in the outer
structure. This concerns all the three cardinal communicative
types oI sentences. E.g.:
The books come out oI the experiences. What has been
happening here ou better go back to bed.
In a one-axis sentence only one axis or its part is explicitly
expressed, the other one being non-presented in the outer
structure oI the sentence. &f.:
"Who will meet us at the airport" "Mary." The
response utterance is a one-axis sentence with the subject-axis
expressed and the predicate-axis implied: *Mary will meet
us at the airport. Both the non-expression oI the predicate and
its actual implication in the sub-text are obligatory, since the
complete two-axis construction renders its own connotations.
"And what is your opinion oI me" "Hard as nails,
absolutely ruthless, a born intriguer, and as selI-centred as
they make 'em." The response utterance is a one-axis sentence
with the predicate-axis expressed (partially, by its predicative
unit) and the subject-axis (together with the link-verb oI the
predicate) implied: ? *ou are hard as nails, etc.
"I thought he might have said something to you about
it." "Not a word." The response utterance is a one-axis
sentence with the predicate-axis partially expressed (by the
object) and the subject-axis together with the verbal part oI
the predicate-axis implied: *He said not a word to me.
"Glad to see you aIter all these years" The sentence is a
one-axis unit with the predicate-axis expressed and the
subject-axis implied as a Iorm oI Iamiliarity: *I am glad to
see you ...
All the cited examples belong to "elliptical" types oI
utterances in so Iar as they possess quite deIinite "vacant"
positions or zero-positions capable cI being supplied with the
corresponding Iillers implicit in the situational contexts. Since
the restoration oI the absent axis in such sentences is,
So to speak, "Iree oI avail", we class them as Iree one-axis
sentences. The term "elliptical" one-axis sentences can also be
used, though it is not very lucky here; indeed, "ellipsis" as a
sentence-curtailing process can in principle aIIect both two-
axis and one-axis sentences, so the term might be misleading.
Alongside oI the demonstrated Iree one-axis sentences, i.e.
sentences with a direct contextual axis-implication, there are
one-axis sentences without a contextual implication oI this
kind; in other words, their absent axis cannot be restored with
the same ease and, above all, semantic accuracy.
By way oI example, let us read the Iollowing passage Irom S.
Maugham's short story "Appearance and Reality";
Monsieur Le Sueur was a man oI action. He went straight up
to Lisette and smacked her hard on her right cheek with his
leIt hand and then smacked her hard on the leIt cheek with his
right hand. "Brute," screamed Lisette.
The one-axis sentence used by the heroine does imply the
you-subject and can, by association, be expanded into the
two-axis one "ou are a brute" or "ou brute", but then the
spontaneous "scream-style" oI the utterance in the context (a
cry oI indignation and revolt) will be utterly distorted.
Compare another context, taken Irom R. ipling's "The Light
that Failed":
"...I'm quite miserable enough already." "Why Because
you're going away Irom Mrs ennett" "No." "From
me, then" No answer Ior a long time. Dick dared not look
at her.
The one-axis sentence "No answer Ior a long time" in the
narrative is associated by variant lingua relations with the
two-axis sentence "There was no answer...". But on similar
grounds the association can be extended to the construction
"He received no answer Ior a long time" or "No answer was
given Ior a long time" or some other sentence supplementing
the given utterance and rendering a like meaning. On the other
hand, the peculiar position in the text clearly makes all these
associations into remote ones: the two-axis version oI the
construction instead oI the existing one-axis one would
destroy the expressive property oI the remark conveying
Dick's strain by means oI combining the author's line oI
narration with the hero's inner perception oI events.
Furthermore, compare the psychologically tense description
oI packing up beIore departure given in short, deliberately
disconnected nominative phrase-sentences exposing the
heroine's disillusions (Irom D. du Maurier's "Rebecca"):
Packing up. The nagging worry oI departure. Lost keys,
unwritten labels, tissue paper lying on the Iloor. I hate it all.
Associations reIerring to the absent axes in the cited sentences
are indeed very vague. The only unquestionable Iact about the
relevant implications is that they should be oI demonstrative-
introductory character making the presented nominals into
predicative names.
As we see, there is a continuum between the one-axis
sentences oI the Iree type and the most rigid ones exempliIied
above. Still, since all the constructions oI the second order
diIIer Irom those oI the Iirst order just in that they are not Iree,
we choose to class them as "Iixed" one-axis sentences.
Among the Iixed one-axis sentences quite a Iew subclasses
are to be recognised, including nominative (nominal)
constructions, greeting Iormulas, introduction Iormulas,
incentives, excuses, etc. Many oI such constructions are
related to the corresponding two-axis sentences not by the
mentioned "vague" implication, but by representation; indeed,
such one-axis sentence-Iormulas as aIIirmations, negations,
certain ready-made excuses, etc., are by themselves not word-
sentences, but rather sentence-representatives that exist only
in combination with the Iull-sense antecedent predicative
constructions. &f.:
"ou can't move any Iarther back" "No." (I.e. "I can't
move any Iarther back"). "D'you want me to pay Ior your
drink" "es, old boy." (I.e. "es, I want you to pay Ior my
drink, old boy"). Etc.
As Ior the isolated exclamations oI interjectional type ("Good
Lord", "Dear me" and the like), these are not sentences by
virtue oI their not possessing the inner structure oI actual
division even through associative implications (see Ch.
Summing up what has been said about the one-axis sentences
we must stress the two things: Iirst, however varied, they
Iorm a minor set within the general system oI English
sentence patterns; second, they all are related to two-axis
sentences either by direct or by indirect association.
5. The semantic classiIication oI simple sentences
should be eIIected at least on the three bases: Iirst, on the
basis oI the sub"ect categorial meanings5 second, on the basis
oI the predicate categorial meanings5 third, on the basis oI
the sub"ectob"ect relation.
ReIlecting the categories oI the subject, simple sentences
are divided into personal and impersonal. The Iurther
division oI the personal sentences is into human and non
human5 human into definite and indefinite5 non-human
into animate and inanimate. The Iurther essential division oI
impersonal sentences is into factual (It rains, It is Iive
o'clock) and perceptional (It smells oI hay here).
The diIIerences in subject categorial meanings are
sustained by the obvious diIIerences in subject-predicate
ReIlecting the categories oI the predicate, simple
sentences are divided into processfeaturing ("verbal") and, in
the broad sense, substancefeaturing (including substance as
such and substantive quality "nominal"). Among the
process-Ieaturing sentences actional and statal ones are to be
discriminated (The window is opening The window is
glistening in the sun); among the substance-Ieaturing
sentences factual and perceptional ones are to be
discriminated (The sea is rough The place seems quiet).
Finally, reIlecting the subject-object relation, simple
sentences should be divided into sub"ective (ohn lives in
London), ob"ective (ohn reads a book) and neutral or
#potentially# ob"ective (ohn reads), capable oI implying both
the transitive action oI the syntactic person and the syntactic
person's intransitive characteristic.
( 1. Traditional grammar studied the sentence Irom the
point oI view oI its syntagmatic structure: the sentence was
approached as a string oI certain parts IulIilling the
corresponding syntactic Iunctions. As Ior paradigmatic
relations, which, as we know, are inseparable Irom
syntagmatic relations, they were explicitly revealed only as
part oI morphological descriptions, because, up to recent
times, the idea oI the sentence-model with its Iunctional
variations was not
developed. Moreover, some representatives oI early modern
linguistics, among them F. de Saussure, specially noted that it
was quite natural Ior morphology to develop paradigmatic
(associative) observations, while syntax "by its very essence"
should concern itselI with the linear connections oI words.
Thus, the sentence was traditionally taken at its Iace value
as a ready unit oI speech, and systemic connections between
sentences were Iormulated in terms oI classiIications.
Sentences were studied and classiIied according to the
purpose oI communication, according to the types oI the
subject and the predicate, according to whether they are
simple or composite, expanded or unexpanded, compound or
complex, etc.
In contemporary modern linguistics paradigmatic
structuring oI lingual connections and dependencies has
penetrated into the would-be "purely syntagmatic" sphere oI
the sentence. The paradigmatic approach to this element oI
rendering communicative inIormation, as we have mentioned
beIore, marked a new stage in the development oI the science
oI language; indeed, it is nothing else than paradigmatic
approach that has provided a comprehensive theoretical
ground Ior treating the sentence not only as a ready unit oI
speech, but also and above all as a meaningIul lingual unit
existing in a pattern Iorm.
2. Paradigmatics Iinds its essential expression in a
system oI oppositions making the corresponding meaningIul
(Iunctional) categories. Syntactic oppositions are realised by
correlated sentence patterns, the observable relations between
which can be described as "transIormations", i.e, as
transitions Irom one pattern oI certain notional parts to
another pattern oI the same notional parts. These transitions,
being oppositional, at the same time disclose derivational
connections oI sentence-patterns. In other words, some oI the
patterns are to be approached as base patterns, while others,
as their transIorms.
For instance, a question can be described as
transIormationally produced Irom a statement; a negation,
likewise, can be presented as transIormationally produced
Irom an aIIirmation. E.g.:
ou are Iond oI the kid. Are you Iond oI the kid ou
are Iond oI the kid. ou are not Iond oI the kid.
Why are the directions oI transitions given in this way
and not vice versa Simply because the ordinary
aIIirmative statement presents a positive expression oI a Iact
in its purest Iorm, maximally Iree oI the speaker's connotative
Similarly, a composite sentence, Ior still more evident
reasons, is to be presented as derived Irom two or more
simple sentences. E.g.:
He turned to the waiter.The waiter stood in the door.
He turned to the waiter who stood in the door.
These transitional relations are implicitly inherent in the
syntagmatic classiIicational study oI sentences. But modern
theory, exposing them explicitly, has made a cardinal step
Iorward in so Iar as it has interpreted them as regular
derivation stages comparable to categorial Iorm-making
processes in morphology and word-building.
And it is on these lines that the initial, basic element oI
syntactic derivation has been Iound, i.e. a syntactic unit
serving as a "sentence-root" and providing an objective
ground Ior identiIying syntactic categorial oppositions. This
element is known by diIIerent names, such as the "basic
syntactic pattern", the "structural sentence scheme", the
"elementary sentence model", the "base sentence", though as
the handiest in linguistic use should be considered the #(ernel
sentence# due to its terminological Ilexibility combined with
a natural individualising Iorce.
Structurally the kernel sentence coincides with the
elementary sentence described in the previous chapter. The
diIIerence is, that the pattern oI the kernel sentence is
interpreted as Iorming the base oI a paradigmatic derivation
in the corresponding sentence-pattern series.
Thus, syntactic derivation should not be understood as an
immediate change oI one sentence into another one; a
pronounced or written sentence is a Iinished utterance that
thereby cannot undergo any changes. Syntactic derivation is
to be understood as paradigmatic production oI more complex
pattern-constructions out oI kernel pattern-constructions as
their structural bases. The description oI this production
("generation") may be more detailed and less detailed, i.e. it
can be eIIected in more generalised and less generalised
terms, depending on the aim oI the scholar. The most concrete
presentation concerns a given speech-utterance analysed into
its derivation history on the level oI the word-Iorms.
By way oI example let us take the Iollowing English
sentence: I saw him come.
This sentence is described in school grammar as a
sentence with a complex object, which is syntagmatically
adequate, though incomplete Irom the systemic point oI view.
The syntagmatic description is supplemented and re-
interpreted within the Iramework oI the paradigmatic
description presenting the sentence in question as produced
Irom the two kernel sentences: I saw him. He came. I
saw him come.
In a more generalised, categorial-oriented paradigmatic
presentation the sentence will be shown as a transIormational
combination oI the two kernel pattern-Iormulas:
bols can vary in accord with the concrete needs oI analysis
and demonstration.
3. The derivation oI genuine sentences lying on the
"surIace" oI speech out oI kernel sentences lying in the "deep
base" oI speech can be analysed as a process Ialling into sets
oI elementary transIormational steps or procedures. These
procedures make up six major classes.
The Iirst class includes steps oI #morphological
arrangement# oI the sentence, i.e. morphological changes
expressing syntactically relevant categories, above all, the
predicative categories oI the Iinite verb: tense, aspect, voice,
mood. The syntactic role oI these Iorms oI morphological
change (systematised into morphological paradigms) consists
in the Iact
The same may be given in terms oI the IC-derivation
tree diagrams (see Fig. 7). The indices speciIying the
that they make up parts oI the more general syntactico-
paradigmatic series. E.g.:
ohnstart (the kernel base string) ohn starts. ohn will
be starting. ohn would be starting. ohn has started. Etc.
The second class oI the described procedures includes
various uses oI Iunctional words (functional e%pansion3.
From the syntactic point oI view these words are transIormers
oI syntactic constructions in the same sense as the categorial
morphemes =e.g. inIlexions) are transIormers oI lexemes, i.e.
morphological constructions. E.g.:
He understood my request. He seemed to understand
my request. Now they consider the suggestion. Now they
do consider the suggestion.
The third class oI syntactic derivational procedures
includes the processes oI substitution. Among the substitutes
we Iind personal pronouns, demonstrative-substitute
pronouns, indeIinite-substitute pronouns, as well as
substitutive combinations oI halI-notional words. &f.:
The pupils ran out oI the classroom. ? They ran out oI
the classroom. I want another pen, please. I want another
one, please.
The Iourth class oI the procedures in question is Iormed by
processes oI deletion, i.e. elimination oI some elements oI the
sentence in various contextual conditions. As a result oI
deletion the corresponding reduced constructions are
produced. E.g.:
Would you like a cup oI tea A cup oI tea It's a
pleasure Pleasure
The IiIth class oI syntactic derivational procedures
includes processes oI positional arrangement, in particular,
permutations (changes oI the word-order into the reverse
patterns). E.g.:
The man is here. Is the man here im ran in with an
excited cry. In ran im with an excited cry.
The sixth class oI syntactic derivational procedures is
Iormed by processes oI intonational arrangement, i.e.
application oI various Iunctional tones and accents. This
arrangement is represented in written and typed speech by
punctuation marks, the use oI diIIerent varieties oI print, the
use oI various modes oI underlining and other graphical
means. E.g.:
We must go. We must go We Must go ou care
nothing about what I Ieel. ou care nothing about what I
The described procedures are all Iunctionally relevant, i.e.
they serve as syntactically meaningIul dynamic Ieatures oI
the sentence. For various expressive purposes they may be
applied either singly or, more oIten than not, in combination
with one another. E.g.: We Iinish the work. We are not
going to Iinish it.
For the production oI the cited sentence-transIorm the
Iollowing procedures are used: morphological change,
introduction oI Iunctional words, substitution, intonational
arrangement. The Iunctional (meaningIul) outcome oI the
whole process is the expression oI the modal Iuture combined
with a negation in a dialogue response. &f.:
Are we ever going to Iinish the work Anyway, we are
not going to Iinish it today
4. The derivational procedures applied to the kernel
sentence introduce it into two types oI derivational relations
in the sentential paradigmatic system: Iirst, the
"constructional" relations; second, the "predicative" relations.
The constructional derivation eIIects the Iormation oI more
complex clausal structures out oI simpler ones; in other
words, it provides Ior the expression oI the nominative-
notional syntactic semantics oI the sentence. The predicative
derivation realises the Iormation oI predicatively diIIerent
units not aIIecting the constructional volume oI the base; in
other words, it is responsible Ior the expression oI the
predicative syntactic semantics oI the sentence. Both types oI
derivational procedures Iorm the two subsystems within the
general system oI syntactic paradigmatics.
5. As part oI the constructional system oI syntactic
paradigmatics, kernel sentences, as well as other, expanded
base-sentences undergo derivational changes into clauses and
The transIormation oI a base sentence into a clause can
be called "clausalisation". By way oI clausalisation a
sentence is changed into a subordinate or coordinate clause in
the process oI subordinative or coordinative combination oI
sentences. The main clausalising procedures involve the use
oI conjunctive words subordinators and coordinators.
Since a composite sentence is produced Irom minimum two
base sentences, the derivational processes oI composite
sentence production are sometimes called "two-base
transIormations". For example, two kernel sentences "They
arrived" and "They relieved me oI my Iears" ( I was
relieved oI my Iears), combined by subordinative and
coordinative clausalising, produce the Iollowing
When they arrived I was relieved oI my Iears. II
they arrive, I shall be relieved oI my Iears. Even though
they arrive, I shan't be relieved oI my Iears. Etc. They
arrived, and I was relieved oI my Iears. They arrived, but I
was not relieved oI my Iears. Etc.
The transIormation oI a base sentence into a phrase can be
called "phrasalisation". By phrasalisation a sentence is
transIormed either into a semi-predicative construction (a
semi-clause), or into a nominal phrase.
Nominal phrases are produced by the process oI
nominalisation, i.e. nominalising phrasalisation which we
have analyzed beIore (see Ch. XX). Nominalisation may be
complete, consisting in completely depriving the sentence oI
its predicative aspect, or partial, consisting in partially
depriving the sentence oI its predicative aspect. Partial
nominalisation in English produces inIinitive and gerundial
phrases. By other types oI phrasalisation such semi-clauses
are derived as complex objects oI inIinitive and participial
types, various participial constructions oI adverbial status and
some other, minor complexes. The resulting constructions
produced by the application oI the cited phrasalising
procedures in the process oI derivational combination oI base
sentences will be both simple expanded sentences (in case oI
complete nominalisation) and semi-composite sentences (in
case oI various partial nominalisations and other
phrasalisations). &f.:
On their arrival I was relieved oI my Iears. They
arrived to relieve me oI my Iears. They arrived relieving
me oI my Iears. Having arrived, they did relieve me oI my
Iears. Etc.
As is seen Irom the examples, each variety oI derivational
combination oI concrete sentences has its own semantic
purpose expressed by the procedures employed.
6. As part oI the predicative system oI syntactic
paradigmatics, kernel sentences, as well as expanded base-
sentences, undergo such structural modiIications as
immediately express the predicative Iunctions oI the sentence,
i.e. the Iunctions relating the nominative meanings oI the
sentence to reality. OI especial importance in this respect is
the expression oI predicative Iunctions by sentences which
are elementary as regards the set oI their notional
constituents: being elementary Irom the point oI view oI
nominative semantics, these sentences can be used as
genuine, ordinary utterances oI speech. Bearing in mind the
elementary nominative nature oI its constructional units, we
call the system oI sentences so identiIied the "Primary
Syntactic System" (Aat. "Prima Systema Syntactica").
To recognise a primary sentence in the text, one must use
the criteria oI elementary sentence-structure identiIication
applied to the notional constituents oI the sentence,
irrespective oI the Iunctional meanings rendered by it. For
instance, the notionally minimal negative sentence should be
classed as primary, though not quite elementary (kernel) in
the paradigmatic sense, negation being not a notional, but a
Iunctional sentence Iactor. &f.:
I have met the man. I have not met the man. I have
never met the man.
Any composite (or semi-composite) sentence is analysable
into two or more primary sentences (i.e. sentences elementary
in the notional sense). E.g.:
Is it a matter oI no consequence that I should Iind you
with a young man wearing my pyjamas - Is it a matter oI
no consequenceI should Iind you with a (young) man.
The (young) man is wearing my pyjamas.
The kernel sentence can also have its representation in
speech, being embodied by the simplest sentential
construction not only in the notional, but also in the
Iunctional sense. In other words, it is an elementary sentence
which is non-interrogative, non-imperative, non-negative,
non-modal, etc. In short, in terms oI syntactic oppositions,
this is the "weakest"
construction in the predicative oppositional space oI the
primary syntactic system.
7. The predicative Iunctions expressed by primary
sentence patterns should be divided into the two types: Iirst,
lower Iunctions; second, higher Iunctions. The lower
Iunctions include the expression oI such morphological
categories as tenses and aspects; these are oI "Iactual", "truth-
stating" semantic character. The higher Iunctions are
"evaluative" in the broad sense oI the word; they immediately
express the Iunctional semantics oI relating the nominative
content oI the sentence to reality.
The principal predicative Iunctions expressed by syntactic
categorial oppositions are the Iollowing.
First, question as opposed to statement. Second,
inducement as opposed to statement. Third, negation as
opposed to aIIirmation. Fourth, unreality as opposed to reality.
FiIth, probability as opposed to Iact. Sixth, modal identity
(seem to do, happen to do, prove to do, etc.) as opposed to
Iact. Seventh, modal subject-action relation as opposed to Iact
(can do, may do, etc.). Eighth, speciIied actual subject-action
relation as opposed to Iact. Ninth, phase oI action as opposed
to Iact. Tenth, passive action as opposed to active action.
Eleventh, specialised actual division (specialised perspective)
as opposed to non-specialised actual division (non-specialised
perspective). TwelIth, emphasis (emotiveness) as opposed to
emotional neutrality (unemotiveness).
Each opposition oI the cited list Iorms a categorial set
which is rather complex. For instance, within the Iramework
oI the question-statement opposition, pronominal and
alternative questions are identiIied with their maniIold
varieties; within the system oI phase oI action, specialised
subsets are identiIied rendering the phase oI beginning, the
phase oI duration, the phase oI end, etc. The total supersystem
oI all the pattern-Iorms oI a given sentence base constitutes its
general syntactic paradigm oI predicative Iunctions. This
paradigm is, naturally, extremely complicated so that it is
hardly observable iI presented on a diagram. This Iact shows
that the volume oI Iunctional meanings rendered by a
sentence even on a very high level oI syntactic generalisation
is tremendous. At the same time the derivation oI each
Iunctional sentence-Iorm in its paradigmatically determined
position in the system is simple enough in the sense that it is
quite explicit. This shows the dynamic essence oI the
in question; the paradigm exactly answers the needs oI
expression at every given juncture oI actual communication.
8. All the cited oppositions-categories may or may not
be represented in a given utterance by their strong Iunction-
members. In accord with this oppositional regularity, we
advance the notion oI the "predicative load" oI the sentence.
The predicative load is determined by the total volume oI the
strong members oI predicative oppositions (i.e. by the sum oI
positive values oI the corresponding diIIerential Ieatures)
actually represented in the sentence.
The sentence, by deIinition, always expresses predication,
being a predicative unit oI language. But, Irom the point oI
view oI the comparative volume oI the predicative meanings
actually expressed, the sentence may be predicatively "loaded"
or "non-loaded". II the sentence is predicatively "non-loaded",
it means that its construction is kernel elementary on the
accepted level oI categorial generalisation. Consequently, such
a sentence will be characterised in oppositional terms as non-
interrogative, non-inducive, non-negative, non-real, non-
probable, non-modal-identiIying, etc., down to the last oI the
recognised predicative oppositions. II, on the other hand, the
sentence is predicatively "loaded", it means that it renders at
least one oI the strong oppositional meanings inherent in the
described categorial system. Textual observations show that
predicative loads amounting to one or two positive Ieature
values (strong oppositional members) may be characterised as
more or less common; hence, we consider such a load as
"light" and, correspondingly, say that the sentence in this case
is predicatively "lightly" loaded. As Ior sentences whose
predicative load exceeds two positive Ieature values, they
stand out oI the common, their Iunctional semantics showing
clear signs oI intricacy. Accordingly, we consider such loads
as "heavy", and oI sentences characterised by these loads we
say that they are "heavily" loaded. Predicative loads
amounting to Iour Ieature values occur but occasionally, they
are too complicated to be naturally grasped by the mind.
To exempliIy the cited theses, let us take as a derivation
sentence-base the construction "The thing bothers me". This
sentence, in the above oppositional sense, is predicatively
"non-loaded", or has the "zero predicative load". The
predicative structure oI the sentence can be expanded by the
expression oI the modal subject-action relation, Ior instance,
the ability relation. The result is: "The thing can bother
me"; the predicative load oI the sentence has grown to 1. This
construction, in its turn, can be used as a derivation base Ior a
sentence oI a higher predicative complexity; Ior instance, the
Ieature oI unreality can be added to it: "The thing could
bother me (now)". The predicative load oI the sentence has
grown to 2. Though Iunctionally not simple, the sentence still
presents a more or less ordinary English construction. To
continue with our complicating it, we may introduce in the
sentence the Ieature oI passivity: "I could be bothered (by
the thing now)". The predicative semantics expressed has
quite clearly changed into something beyond the ordinary;
the sentence requires a special context to sound natural.
Finally, to complicate the primary construction still Iurther,
we may introduce a negation in it: "I could not be
bothered (by the thing now)". As a result we are Iaced by a
construction that, in the contextual conditions oI real speech,
expresses an intricate set oI Iunctional meanings and stylistic
connotations. &f.:
"...Wilmet and Henrietta Bentworth have agreed to diIIer
already." "What about" "Well, I couldn't be bothered,
but I think it was about the P.M., or was it Portulaca they
diIIer about everything" (. Galsworthy).
The construction is indeed semantically complicated; but
all its meaningIul complexity is linguistically resolved by the
demonstrated semantico-syntactic oppositional analysis
showing the stage-to-stage growth oI the total Iunctional
meaning oI the sentence in the course oI its paradigmatic
( 1. The composite sentence, as diIIerent Irom the simple
sentence, is Iormed by two or more predicative lines. Being a
polypredicative construction, it expresses a complicated act oI
thought, i.e. an act oI mental activity which Ialls into two or
more intellectual eIIorts closely combined with one another.
In terms oI situations and events this means that 2<=
composite sentence reIlects two or more elementary
situational events viewed as making up a unity; the
constitutive connections oI the events are expressed by the
constitutive connections oI the predicative lines oI the
sentence, i.e. by the sentential polypredication.
Each predicative unit in a composite sentence makes up a
clause in it, so that a clause as part oI a composite sentence
corresponds to a separate sentence as part oI a contextual
sequence. E.g.:
When I sat down to dinner I looked Ior an opportunity to
slip in casually the inIormation that I had by accident run
across the DriIIields; but news travelled Iast in Blackstable
(S. Maugham).
The cited composite sentence includes Iour clauses which
are related to one another on diIIerent semantic grounds. The
sentences underlying the clauses are the Iollowing:
I sat down to dinner. I looked Ior an opportunity to slip in
casually the inIormation. I had by accident run across the
DriIIields. News travelled Iast in Blackstable.
The correspondence oI a predicative clause to a separate
sentence is selI-evident. On the other hand, the
correspondence oI a composite sentence to a genuine,
logically connected sequence oI simple sentences (underlying
its clauses) is not evident at all; moreover, such kind oI
correspondence is in Iact not obligatory, which is the very
cause oI the existence oI the composite sentence in a
language. Indeed, in the given example the independent
sentences reconstructed Irom the predicative clauses do not
make up any coherently presented situational unity; they are
just so many utterances each expressing an event oI selI-
suIIicient signiIicance. By way oI rearrangement and the use
oI semantic connectors we may make them into a more or
less explanatory situational sequence, but the exposition oI
the genuine logic oI events, i.e. their presentation as natural
parts oI a unity, achieved by the composite sentence will not
be, and is not to be replaced in principle. &f.:
I ran by accident across the DriIIields. At some time later
on I sat down to dinner. While participating in the general
conversation, I looked Ior an opportunity to slip in casually
the inIormation about my meeting them. But news travelled
Iast in Blackstable.
The logical diIIerence between the given composite
sentence and its contextually coherent de-compositional
19-1499 289
presentation is, that whereas the composite sentence exposes
as its logical centre, i.e. the core oI its purpose oI
communication, the intention oI the speaker to inIorm his
table-companions oI a certain Iact (which turns out to be
already known to them), the sentential sequence expresses the
events in their natural temporal succession, which actually
destroys the original purpose oI communication. Any
Iormation oI a sentential sequence more equivalent to the
given composite sentence by its semantic status than the one
shown above has to be expanded by additional elucidative
prop-utterances with back-reIerences; and all the same, the
resulting contextual string, iI it is intended as a real
inIormational substitute Ior the initial composite, will hardly
be eIIected without the help oI some kind oI essentially
composite sentence constructions included in it (let the reader
himselI try to construct an equivalent textual sequence
meeting the described semantic requirements).
As we see, the composite sentence in its quality oI a
structural unit oI language is indispensable Ior language by its
own purely semantic merits, let alone its terseness, as well as
intellectual elegance oI expression.
2. As is well known, the use oI composite sentences,
especially long and logically intricate ones, is characteristic oI
literary written speech rather than colloquial oral speech. This
unquestionable Iact is explained by the three reasons: one
relating to the actual needs of e%pression5 one relating to the
possibilities of production5 and one relating to the conditions
of perception.
That the composite sentence structure answers the special
needs oI written mode oI lingual expression is quite evident. It
is this type oI speech that deals with lengthy reasonings,
descriptions, narrations, all presenting abundant details oI
intricate correlations oI logical premises and inIerences, oI
situational Ioreground and background, oI sequences oI
events interrupted by cross-reIerences and parenthetical
comments. Only a composite sentence can adequately and
within reasonable bounds oI textual space IulIil these
semantic requirements.
Now, the said requirements, Iortunately, go together with
the Iact that in writing it is actually possible to produce long
composite sentences oI complicated, but logically Ilawless
structure (the second oI the advanced reasons). This is
possible here because the written sentence, while in the
process oI being
produced, is open to various alterations: it allows corrections
oI slips and errors; it can be subjected to curtailing or
expanding; it admits oI rearranging and reIormulating one's
ideas; in short, it can be prepared. This latter Iactor is oI
crucial importance, so that when considering the properties oI
literary written speech we must always bear it in mind.
Indeed, Irom the linguistic point oI view written speech is
above all prepared, or "edited" speech: it is due to no other
quality than being prepared beIore its presentation to the
addressee that this mode oI speech is structurally so tellingly
diIIerent Irom colloquial oral speech. Employing the words in
their broader sense, we may say that literary written speech is
not just uttered and gone, but is always more careIully or less
careIully composed in advance, being meant Ior a Iuture use
oI the reader, oIten Ior his repeated use. In distinction to this,
genuine colloquial oral speech is uttered each time in an
irretrievably complete and Iinal Iorm, each time Ior one
immediate and Ileeting occasion.
We have covered the Iirst two reasons explaining the
composite sentence oI increased complexity as a speciIic
Ieature oI written speech. The third reason, reIerring to the
conditions oI perception, is inseparable Irom the Iormer two.
Namely, iI written text provides Ior the possibility Ior its
producer to return to the beginning oI each sentence with the
aim oI assessing its Iorm and content, oI rearranging or re-
composing it altogether, it also enables the reader, aIter he
has run through the text Ior the Iirst time, to go back to its
starting line and re-read it with as much care as will be
required Ior the Iinal understanding oI each item and logical
connection expressed by its wording or implied by its
construction. Thus, the length limit imposed on the sentence
by the recipient's immediate (operative) memory can in
writing be practically neglected; the volume oI the written
sentence is regulated not by memory limitations as such, but
by the considerations oI optimum logical -balance and
stylistic well-Iormedness.
3. Logic and style being the true limiters oI the written
sentence volume, two dialectically contrasted active
tendencies can be observed in the sentence-construction oI
modern printed texts. According to the Iirst tendency, a given
unity oI reasons in meditation, a natural sequence oI
descriptive situations or narrative events is to be reIlected in
one composite sentence, however long and structurally
19 291
it might prove. According to the second, directly opposite
tendency, Ior a given unity oI reIlected events or reasons,
each oI them is to be presented by one separate simple
sentence, the whole complex oI reIlections Iorming a
multisentential paragraph. The two tendencies are always in a
state oI conIrontation, and which oI them will take an upper
hand in this or that concrete case oI text production has to be
decided out oI various considerations oI Iorm and meaning
relating to both contextual and con-situational conditions
(including, among other things, the general purpose oI the
work in question, as well as the preIerences and
idiosyncrasies oI its users).
Observe, Ior instance, the Iollowing complex sentence oI
mixed narrative-reasoning nature:
Once Mary waved her hand as she recognised her driver,
but he took no notice oI her, only whipping his horses the
harder, and she realised with a rather helpless sense oI Iutility
that so Iar as other people were concerned she must be
considered in the same light as her uncle, and that even iI she
tried to walk to Boduin or Launceston no one would receive
her, and the door would be shut in her Iace (D. du Maurier).
The sentence has its established status in the expressive
context oI the novel, and in this sense it is unrearrangeable.
On the other hand, its reIerential plane can be rendered by a
multisentential paragraph, plainer in Iorm, but somewhat
more natural to the unsophisticated perceptions:
Once Mary recognised her driver. She waved her hand to
him. But he took no notice oI her. He only whipped his horses
the harder. And she realised that so Iar as other people were
concerned she must be considered in the same light as her
uncle. This gave her a rather helpless sense oI Iutility. Even iI
she tried to walk to Boduin or Launceston no one would
receive her. uite the contrary, the door would be shut in her
One long composite sentence has been divided into eight
short sentences. Characteristically, though, in our
simpliIication we could not do without the composite
sentence structure as such: two oI the sentential units in the
adaptation (respectively, the Iourth and the sixth) have
retained their compositive Ieatures, and these structural
properties seem
to be indispensable Ior the Iunctional adequacy oI the
rearranged passage.
The cited example oI syntactic re-Iormation oI text will
help us Iormulate the Iollowing composition rule oI good
non-Iiction (neutral) prose style: in neutral written speech
each sentence construction should be as simple as can be
permitted by the semantic context.
4. We have emphatically pointed out in due course (see
Ch. I) the oral basis oI human language: the primary lingual
matter is phonetical, so that each and every lingual utterance
given in a graphic Iorm has essentially a representative
character, its speech reIerent being constructed oI so many
phones organised in a rhythmo-melodical sequence. On the
other hand, and this has also been noted beIore, writing in a
literary language acquires a relatively selI-suIIicient status in
so Iar as a tremendous proportion oI what is actually written
in society is not meant Ior an oral reproduction at all: though
read and re-read by those to whom it has been addressed, it is
destined to remain "silent" Ior ever. The "silent" nature oI
written speech with all its peculiarities leads to the
development oI speciIically written Ieatures oI language,
among which, as we have just seen, the composite sentence
oI increased complexity occupies one oI the most prominent
places. Now, as a natural consequence oI this development,
the peculiar Ieatures oI written speech begin to inIluence oral
speech, whose syntax becomes liable to display ever more
syntactic properties directly borrowed Irom writing.
Moreover, as a result oI active interaction between oral
and written Iorms oI language, a new variety oI speech has
arisen that has an intermediary status. This type oI speech,
being explicitly oral, is at the same time prepared and edited,
and more oIten than not it is directly reproduced Irom the
written text, or else Irom its epitomised version (theses). This
intermediary written-oral speech should be given a special
linguistic name, Ior which we suggest the term "scripted
speech", i.e. speech read Irom the script. Here belong such
Iorms oI lingual communication as public report speech,
lecturer speech, preacher speech, radio- and television-
broadcast speech, each oI them existing in a variety oI
By way oI example let us take the Iollowing passage Irom
President Woodrow Wilson's address to the Congress urging
it to authorise the United States' entering the World War
But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall
Iight Ior the things which we have always carried nearest our
hearts, Ior democracy, Ior the right oI those who submit to
authority to have a voice in their own governments, Ior the
rights and liberties oI small nations, Ior a universal dominion
oI right by such a concert oI Iree peoples as shall bring peace
and saIety to all nations and make the world itselI at last Iree.
The text presents a typical case oI political scripted speech
with a clear tinge oI solemnity, its Iive predicative units being
complicated by parallel constructions oI homogeneous
objects (for-phrases) adding to its high style emphasis.
Compare the above with a passage Irom President
Franklin D. Roosevelt's second inaugural address (1937):
In this nation I see tens oI millions oI its citizens a
substantial part oI its whole population who at this very
moment are denied the greater part oI what the very lowest
standards oI today call the necessities oI liIe.
The sentence is not a long one, but its bookish
background, although meant Ior oral uttering beIore an