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SEMINAR 3

BASIC ASSUMPTIONS OF THE INTERNAL ANALYSIS

OF LANGUAGE (II)

OUTLINE

Part 1

  1. Language and Speech.

  2. Syntagmatics and Paradigmatics.

  3. Plane of Content and Plane of Expression.

  4. Language type.

Key terms: language, speech, manifestation, actualization, concretization, syntagmatics, paradigmatics, plane of content, plane of expression, language type, analytization

Recommended Reading:

  1. Blokh M.Y. A Course of Theoretical English Grammar. – M: Высшая школа, 1983.

  2. Morokhovskay E.J. Fundamentals of Theoretical English Grammar. – Kiev: Vysca Skola, 1984.

Part 2

Sentence parsing

Part 3

Tasks and study questions

1. Language and Speech

Special attention should be paid to the differentiation of the "lan­guage" and "speech" planes because these analytical procedures of parting language proved essential and efficient for the adequate gram­matical investigations.

The differentiation of the two planes "language" and "speech" is the primary concern of grammar. The problem in general is of philo­sophical relevance since it concerns the ontological status of lingual phenomena, and it has always been one of the most acute in linguistics. The differentiation of the two planes "language" and "speech" in the human language matter seems justified because the essence of the whole is revealed in the unity and opposition of its parts as:

"real" vs "ideal",

"actual" vs "potential",

"general" vs "concrete".

With this assumption in view, the "language—speech" dichotomy can be characterized as the following.

First of all, the relations between these two planes of language are correlative. These are the relations of actualization, manifestation and concretization.

The elements of the "language" plane are constructs which are ideal, abstract and potential. They cannot be described in physical terms of concrete actual lingual phenomena such as sounds, word-forms and utterances. The elements of the plane "language" are given by their generalized abstracted forms. But they do not exist if not actualiz­ed and concreticized by their speech counterparts which appear their speech manifestations, actualizations and concretizations in particular conditions of the language use. Human language exists through its speech manifestation which is actual speech product. It is the speech utterance, in the general meaning of the word, that is actual and perceptible. So the differentiation of the "language" and "speech" planes in human language can be recognized as valid.

The differentiation of the "language" and "speech" planes is essen­tial for grammatical analysis because the orientation of grammatical studies may be different.

Thus, language in the narrow sense of the word is a system of means of expression, while speech in the same narrow sense should be understood as the manifestation of the system of language in the process of intercourse.

The system of language includes, on the one hand, the body of material units—sounds, morphemes, words, word-groups; on the other hand, the regularities or "rules" of the use of these units. Speech comprises both the act of produc­ing utterances, and the utterances themselves, i.e. the text. Language and speech are inseparable, they form together an organic unity. As for grammar (the grammatical system), being an integral part of the lingual macrosystem it dynam­ically connects language with speech, because it categorially determines the lingual process of utterance production.

Thus, we have the broad philosophical concept of language which is analysed by linguistics into two different aspects — the system of signs (language proper) and the use of signs (speech proper).

The sign (meaningful unit) in the system of language has only a potential meaning. In speech, the potential meaning of the lingual sign is "actualized", i.e. made situationally significant as part of the grammatically organized text.

E.g. Text-grammar deals with the grammatical peculiarities of the actual speech product as the text is. Thus, its "speech" orientation cannot be denied. Special terminology is correspondingly used and appropriate methods are implemented by the Text-grammar for the investigation of textual material. On the contrary those grammatical studies which aim at the exposure of the essential regularities in the internal organization of human languages are surely "language" oriented. Such structural grammars should have appropriate terminological apparatus and implement lin­guistic methods satisfying the requirements of structural analysis.

Thus, language can be analyzed in two different aspects – the system of signs, i.e. language proper and the use of signs, i.e. speech proper. The sign in the system of language has only a potential meaning which is actualized, i.e. made situationally significant in a text as the product of speech.

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