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4. Lexical and grammatical aspects of the word. Types of grammatical meanings. The notion of grammatical category. Types of oppositions.

Grammatical categories are made up by the unity of that have the meanings have the same form (e.g. singular::plural). Due to dialectal unity of language and thought, grammatical categories correlate, on the one hand, with the conceptual categories and, on the other hand, with the objective reality.


Number - count nouns have singular and plural forms. In Modern English the singular form of a noun is unmarked (zero). The plural form is marked by the inflexion -(e)s. Irregular plurals: man, tooth, mouse… Invariable nouns: tea, sugar, gold, news, proper nouns. Case - shows relation of the noun with other words in a sentence. It is expressed by the form of the noun. English nouns have two cases: the common case (unmarked, it has no inflexion (zero inflexion) and its meaning is very general) and the genitive case (is marked by ‘s).=possessive. Gender does not find regular morphological expression. The distinction of male, female, and neuter may correspond to the lexical meaning of the noun: boy, girl, table. Correlation - an action expressed by a perfect form, proceeds some moment in time. /perfect, non-perf/ Aspect - shows the way or manner in which an action is performed, that is whether the action is: perfective, imperfective, momentary (однократное), durative. /common, continuous/ Voice - denoting the relationship between the action expressed by the verb and the person or non-person denoted by the subject of the sentence. /active, passive/ Mood - expresses the relation of the action denoted by the verb to reality from the speaker’s point of view. /indicat, imperat, oblique moods (Subj I,II; Suppositional)/ Tense - expresses the relationship between the time of the action and the time of speaking. /past, pres, future/ Person - expresses the relation of the action and its doer to the speaker, showing whether the action is performed by the speaker (the 1st person), someone addressed by the speaker (the 2nd person) or someone/something other than the speaker or the person addressed (the 3rd person).

Paradigmatic correlations are exposed by oppositions of grammatical forms - the member of paradigm. Oppositions are analyzed linguistically with the help of a special methods known as oppositional analysis.

The oppositional method in syntax means correlating different sentence types: they possess common features and differential features. Differential features serve the basis for analysis.

E.g. two member sentence :: one member sentence (John worked:: John! Work! Or: I speak English :: I don’t speak English.

Three main qualitative types of oppositions were established in phonology: privative, gradual, and equipollent. By the number of members contrasted, oppositions were divided into binary and more than binary (ternary, quaternary, etc.).

The binary privative opposition is formed by a contrastive pair of members in which one member is characterized by the presence of a certain differential feature (strong, marked, positive), while the other member is characterized by the absence of the feature (weak, unmarked, negative). Eg. Voiced vs. devoiced consonants. Equipollet oppositions are formed by members, which are distinguished by a member of their own features. The gradual opposition is formed by a contrastive group of members which are distinguished not by the presence or absence of a feature, but by the degree of it. There are two types of oppositional reduction.

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