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1G—1499 241

... → The pilot's steering of the ship out of the harbour. ... → The old pilot's careful steering of the heavily loaded ship through the narrow straits out of the harbour.

In other words, between the sentence and the substantive word-combination of the said full nominative type, direct transformational relations are established: the sentence, interpreted as an element of paradigmatics, is transformed into the substantive phrase, or "nominalised", losing its processual-predicative character. Thus, syntactic nominalisation, while depriving the sentence of its predicative aspect (and thereby, naturally, destroying the sentence as an immediate communicative unit), preserves its nominative aspect intact.

The identification of nominative aspect of the sentence effected on the lines of studying the paradigmatic relations in syntax makes it possible to define more accurately the very notion of predication as the specific function of the sentence.

The functional essence of predication has hitherto been understood in linguistics as the expression of the relation of the utterance (sentence) to reality, or, in more explicit presentation, as the expression of the relation between the content of the sentence and reality. This kind of understanding predication can be seen, for instance, in the well-known "Grammar of the Russian Language" published by the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, where it is stated that "the meaning and purpose of the general category of predication forming the sentence consists in referring the content of the sentence to reality".* Compare with this the definition advanced by A. I. Smirnitsky, according to which predication is understood as "referring the utterance to reality" [Смирницкий, (1), 102].

The essential principles of this interpretation of predication can be expressed even without the term "predication" as such. The latter approach to the exposition of the predicative meaning of the sentence can be seen, for instance, in the course of English grammar by M. A. Ganshina and N. M. Vasilevskaya, who write: "Every sentence shows the relation of the statement to reality from the point of view of the speaker" [Ganshina, Vasilevskaya, 321].

Now, it is easily noticed that the cited and similar

*Грамматика русского языка. M., 1960. T. 2, Ч. I. с. 79.—80.

242

definitions of predication do not explicitly distinguish the two cardinal sides of the sentence content, namely, the nominative side and the predicative side. We may quite plausibly suppose that the non-discrimination of these two sides of sentence meaning gave the ultimate cause to some scholars for their negative attitude towards the notion of predication as the fundamental factor of sentence forming.

Taking into consideration the two-aspective character of the sentence as a signemic unit of language, predication should now be interpreted not simply as referring the content of the sentence to reality, but as referring the nominative content of the sentence to reality. It is this interpretation of the semantic-functional nature of predication that discloses, in one and the same generalised presentation, both the unity of the two identified aspects of the sentence, and also their different, though mutually complementary meaningful roles.

CHAPTER XXII

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