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The Problem of a "Zero" Article

"A word can be found in the sentence or can't be but it can't be expressed by a zero" (Ilyish). Some other linguists are of the opinion that the cases of non-use of the article are subject to no less definite rules than the use of it (Blokh). But are these rules determined by the absence of the article or by the context, by some stylistic purposes or some other extra linguistic factors?

Omission of the article out of stylistic considerations in telegraphic speech, titles, headlines, announcements, etc.: Meeting adjourned until 14; in various combination of fixed type: at hand, day and night, out of the question, on the one hand, have a look.

Article is characterized by the semantic factor: it discloses the informational characteristics that the article conveys to its noun in concrete contextual conditions.

The definite article serves as an indicator of the information which is presented as the "facts already known", i.e. as the starting point of the communication (the theme).

The indefinite article or the meaningful absence of the article the central communicative nounal part of the sentence i.e. the part rendering the immediate informative data (the rheme) to be conveyed from the speaker to the listener. The definite article occupies all the linguistic space which can't be occupied by the indefinite article introducing new information (Katznelson).

Article is a means of referring the notion of the object to a speech situation:

indefinite - something new, not known:

definite - something mentioned or known from the situation (Ivanova).

Abstract and material nouns may be used with the article if there is a limiting attribute:

The light in the window was a kind of warning for me.

We must economize on light.

Proper nouns are sometimes used with the article too: the Browns (the whole family); the Brown I knew (a limiting attribute); a Mr, Brown (certain, unknown, new).

2. Verb.

Verb has the categorial meaning of action or process, dynamic, taking place at some time.

Verb is a word representing phenomena of objective reality as process. We can say that leaning a language is to a very large degree learning how to operate the verbal forms of the language.

Productive verb-building suffixes:

- en: strengthen, shorten

- fy: simplify, terrify

- ize: mobilize, equalize

- ate: facilitate

- er: glimmer

- ish: establish

Compound verbs: microfilm, free-wheel.

Conversion: blackmail.

Grammatical suffixes: - ed (regular, most productive in present day

English): worked;

irregular: unchangeable -put-put-put

mixed keep-kept-kept suppletive - be, am, is/are, was/were, been.

Notional verbs are characterized by full lexical meaning, expressing an action or process, are used independently: The teacher initiated his pupils in the mysteries of grammar.

Functional verbs serve primarily to indicate grammatical functions rather than to bear lexical meaning: The boy was resentful of the remark. They may be classified into:

a) auxiliaries (be, have, do, let, shall, will for making up analytical forms):
Don *t stuff the child with food.

b) link verbs: be, keep (the quality preserved): The news is alarming.

become, get, turn (the change of the quality): The girl got angry.

c) substitute verb: do

- Then I shall take steps to exclude all possibility of doubt.

- Do.


d) representing verbs: do, have, be. I wish I could travel more frequently but
I don't.

e) verb-intensifiers: do, go, go +verb + ing.

Modal Verbs express attitude of the doer to the action that is considered as possible, desirable, necessary, obligatory, etc.

Forms: can could; may might; must, shall, should, will, would, ought to,

need, dare, have/had to.

Can/could express ability (be able to, be capable to, know how to), permission, possibility; could - permission, possibility or ability in unreal conditions: If we had some opportunity we could include you in our group. Could/can you do me a favour? You can go now.

Can - be able to:

/ ran fast and could catch the bus (but didn't manage).

I ran fast and was able to catch the bus (managed to catch it).

To be able' is not the modal equivalent of'can'. This combination has quite different combinability:

1. with other modal verbs: She must have been able to imagine the

2. with 4o be going': He wasn 't going to be able to take.

3. with 'should/would like': I'd like to be able to read.

4. with adverbs: He had never been able to have exclusive privileges.

5. 'feel/seem able to': I feel able to resent his words.

6. in gerundial and infinitival construction: It's rotten not to be able to ski.
May/might express permission (be allowed to), possibility. Might - mostly

possibility and rather rare permission: What you say might be true.

vlust expresses obligation or compulsion, logical necessity: Ҳ must he a

;4 try' io trorc often used now instead of 'must': Do ' have to do it?

Shall expresses intention, willingness, insistence (restricted use), helplessness, perplexity, asks tor instruction: / shall not be long. He shall do as 1 say. Shall I read?

Q1....1 J ........ 1! "Vatf/Mi -..---- .̲-- if-'' X/,-.i ch,■-, -i ilrl ò. ■-,<■ 1,1 C-ViW

Will expresses willingness, polite request, intention, insistence (no contraction!), prediction: Will you open the book at page 25? I will explain to you as soon as I can.

Would expresses willingness, insistence, characteristic activity, probability, violation, preference: Would you excuse me? You would work at it hard. He would make a mess of it (It's typical of him).

Tense the time of the action. On objective reality we deal with present time (the moment of the objective 'now'), past time (the time before 'now'), future time (the time afternow). Processes take place in time:

In the morning the alarm-clock rings up and walks me up.

Yesterday the alarm-clock rang up and woke me up.

Tomorrow the alarm-clock will ring up and wake r,ic up.

The time of the action/process is tense in English. Tense is a verb form that shows the time of an action or event. Any process that takes place in a period of rime including the moment of speaking is considered as belonging to Present Tense: She stuffs her handkerchief into her dress pocket. Any process that took

jjiciK,^ uvxvuw tuv uivmiciii \ji ■speartiiig ccivrsis^cs tw wit t^iisc s. ritz rnuuc urt

f}wtr>Yrrr>v*r*\i Ȳ -/ tnot \1 foVp nla/>p a-ft<=t tn*^ >\<- rff cnoQlrirf
..!.... . . I. . r? j . 'r................. / . ? ?? 7 T 7 û - .. f*. . j

j_, .w ^-_ . ...-,--ctw . vnjv/. ^. tcutacr j r^ttt ^ |/r (^. jl uivvl

and Continuous do not express the time of the action. The time of the action in all languages can be only present, past and future. The category of tense is exnressed in the predicate.

Aspect is the form of the verb that serves to express the manner in which the performed. It shows whether the action is a single accomplished action or a continuous process. Aspect concerns the manner in which a verbal action is nzricneed or regarded:

He gives an account of everything.

He is giving an account of his visit now.

Form-markers of acpect: be + V + ing.

Opposition: Duration: :Non-Duration (Continuous) (Common)

Aspect in English and "" in Russian or Ukrainian have different categorial meaning:

aspect - the manner in which the action is performed;

- the qualitative limit /: /


The category of Mood in the present English verb has been in so many different ways, that it seems hardly possible to arrive at any more or less convincing and universally acceptable conclusion concerning it.

The category of Mood reflects the relations of the action denotes by the verb and reality from the speaker's point of view. We may wish to represent the action/process as follows:

1) a real fact: The institute hires hundreds of young teachers.

2) a command or request: Give an account of the film, please.

3) something that does not exist in reality, something unreal, desired,
hypothetical: I wish they introduced universal vocational training.

Mood is introduced by the opposition: real: -.unreal.

I. Indicative Mood indicates the action as a real fact. It is characterized

by the time of the action, ii. imperative Mood expresses inducement of various degrees of

1 ;=-;-c-vc b-v-ludlng vuiumands, but the action itself is to take place in

(yf this

'' Oblique Moods represent an action as something imaginary, unreal, desired, hypothetical. There is no straightforward mutual relation between meaning and torrn:

1) one and the same form may have diiicrcni meaning; 11 is strange
that he should resent it.

vu,isjyn*j meet him tell him the trulli._ (conditior.)

2) one and the same meaning may be presented by different forms: /
imist that he bring this plan into effect. I insist that he should
bring this plan into effect.

The forms of the Oblique Moods expressing unreality:

1. the archaic synthetic form - be: If it be true.

Be it as you wish.

2. were: If I were young I should take advantage of it.

3. No -s in the 3rd person singular, present tense: / suggest that he propose
to you.

4. In ^idiiiAncii patterns: It is time she attended extra-curricular classes.
In all these sentences there is no time reference at all.

The verbal category of voice shows the relation between the action and its enkj^t nrKcating whether the action is performed by the subject or passes on to it: / accuse you of laziness. You were wrongly accused by me.

The opposition of Voice: active: :passive.

l memoer: oe t V (en).

In colloquial speech: be = get, become. He got struck by a stone. She hticuirie admired by all

But we can't say "Gets she punished regularly?"

"Reflexive Voice": V + self-pronoun. / poured myself a cup of tea (Ukrainian:³ .)

"Middle Voice": The door opened. (Ukrainian: .).

There is no form marker of "middle" Voice. Logically it is very difficult to imagine that the door can perform any action, but the verb "opened" has the form of Active Voice. So we can distinguish only 2 voices in the English grammar: active and passive.

Active Voice: - the subject is the doer of the action: The boy opened the book.

Passive Voice: - the action passes on to the subject: The book was opened by the boy.

Passive Voice is extensively used in English, much more often than in Russian or Ukrainian.

Date: 2015-01-02; view: 1325

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