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Гос филология / Гос филология / 21. The simple sentence and its essential features

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The simple sentence and its essential features

The sentence belongs to both – language and speech. From the point of its underlying syntactic structure upon which it is built of language. When actualized in real communication and uttered with a certain communicative aim and a certain intonation it becomes a unit of speech and is usually referred to as the utterance.

Thus the sentence can be defined as a group of words based on predicative relation which expresses a complete thought about an event of reality and is used with a certain communicative aim.

The main categories of the sentence are predicaxivity, modality and negation.

a) predicativity is a category which refers the nominative contents of the sentence to reality. Let's take, for example, the words winter and come. Just placed together they express a certain nominative contents but do not become a sentence yet. To refer the nominative contents of the sentence to reality we must place the event in time, present it as real, unreal or desirable and relate it with the doer of the action. - Winter has come. Winter is coming. Winter, come! If only winter came! Now the sentence is actualized. As we can see, predicativity involves establishing subject-predicate relations which is reached through the grammatical categories of tense, mood, number and person.

The expression of predicativity in the sentence is usually referred to as predication. Scholars differentiate types of predication. Primary predication establishes subject-predicate relations and makes the backbone of the sentence. It is expressed by the finite form of the verb. Secondary predication is contained in non-finite form of the verb. Such structures name an event but do not place it in time. Predication expressed by the finite form of the verb and by the structures of secondary predication is explicitly (явно) presented in the sentence. Implicit predication is contained in sentences which are structurally simple and yet name not one but two events of reality.

Modality is the relation between the contens of the sentence and reality stayted by the speaker. (real, unreal, possible, level of sertainty). The means of expressing modality: modal verbs; lexical units (probably, perhaps, hardly); modalized verbs and phrases (to seem, to be sure/certain/uncertain); verbs of mental activity (I think/believe/ consider/suppose); tag question (he is at home, isn’t he?); the word order (до города 10 миль. до города миль 10); grammatical forms of mood (I wish he were at home).

There are 2 type of modality. Primary modality is expressed with the help of gr-cal forms of mood. The secondary modality – all other units. Mood forms are obligatory means of expressing modality. All other means are optional (необязат).

Negation shows that the relations between the components of the sentence do not exist in reality the speaker’s point of view. There are several means of expressive negation. They are called negotors. These are language units, which turn a sentence or its part into negative. Negative sentence are characterized by some picualirities: some words are forbidden in negative sentence: somebody, something, too (->either).

There are several types of negators: gr-cal negators (the negative particle not; no, nobody, nothing; negative constructions – neither …nor); lexical negators (the lexical units, which express the idea of negation: to lack, to refuse, absent, without-preposition, out, away-adverb); wordbuilding negators (prefixes and suffixes with a negative semantics; un, in, it, dis, mis, less). Negation can be full or partial.

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