Теоретическая грамматика английского языка (Theoretical Grammar of the English language)

М. Науменко

Учебное пособие предназначено для студентов Южного федерального университета направления «Лингвистика», профиль «Перевод и переводо-ведение», в качестве руководства для практических занятий по курсу теоретической грамматики английского языка, входящего в блок «Основы теории 1-го иностранного языка». Разработано на модульной основе с диагностико-квалиметрическим обеспечением. Содержит тезисное изложение теоретического материала, разбитое на модули, систему рейтинговой оценки по темам каждого модуля, практические задания, вопросы и задания к семинарским занятиям, тестовые задания для самопроверки, глоссарий.


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Theoretical part

Module 1

Grammar as a science. Relationship between normative and theoretical grammar. The connection of grammar with other sciences. Morphology and syntax.

Grammar in general is a branch of linguistics which deals with the grammatical structure of the language. Grammar rules organize a chain of words into a phrase and a sentence. Practical (normative, prescriptive) grammar prescribes, gives rules for practical use, teaches how to speak or write, but it doesn’t explain the rules theoretically and scientifically.

Theoretical grammar analyzes the facts of the language, tries to explain them without giving any prescriptions. Unlike practical grammar, theoretical grammar does not in all cases give a ready-made solution. It gives the analysis of the structure on the basis of general principles of linguistics. It outlines the main problems on which there are different opinions expressed by different linguists. In the language there are a number of phenomena interpreted differently by different linguists. To a large extent, these discrepancies are due to the fact that in linguistics there are different linguistic schools with their methods of analysis and approach to the material. But in a number of cases this is due to the fact that some facts of the language cause difficulties in analysis and then only a possible but not conclusively proven way of solving them is suggested. It is this circumstance that determines the existence of different theories on the same language phenomenon of language, whereas in practical grammar there are no such discrepancies. Thus, the tasks of theoretical grammar are to show the structure of the language as a system, to provide an adequate and systematic description of linguistic factors; to acquaint the students with various interpretations and theories on the same linguistic factors; The aim of theoretical grammar is not only to transfer certain knowledge, but also to try to teach how to critically treat different interpretations of the same problems, to evaluate the correctness and accuracy of existing theories.

Grammar is connected with other branches of linguistics: phonetics, as every word and sentence is a combination of phonemes; stylistics, which studies many problems treated in grammar: grammati-cal synonymy, for example; lexicology (both lexicology and theoretical grammar study words, but from different aspects). For example, there are different opinions concerning word-building.The first states that word-building is a part of lexicology, the second states it’s partly a matter of grammar to study words; and the third one claims that word-building is a special sphere intermediate between lexicology and grammar.

Grammar consists of two parts: morphology and syntax. Morphology is a part of grammar which deals with the forms of words. Syntax deals with phrases and sentences and units which are higher than a sentence. These parts of grammar are connected with each other. The connection is shown in the fact that words don’t change when taken separately. They change only when they are connected in sentences.

The systemic nature of grammar. Language and speech. Synchrony and diachrony. Paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations. Plane of content and plane of expression. Levels of language units.

Human language is a verbal means of communication; its function consists in forming, storing and exchanging ideas as reflections of reality. Being inseparably connected with the people who create and use it, language is social and psychological by nature (Blokh, 2000).

Language incorporates three constituent parts. They are the phonological system, the lexical system, and the grammatical system. The phonological system determines the material (phonetic) form of its significative units; the lexical system comprises the whole set of nominative means of language (words and stable word-groups); the grammatical system presents the whole set of regularities determining the combination of nominative units in the formation of utterances (Blokh, 2000).

Modern linguistics is essentially based on the systemic conception of language. System in general is defined as a structured set of elements related to one another by a common function.

The interpretation of language as a system develops a number of notions, namely: the notions of language levels and language units, paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations, the notions of form and meaning (function), of synchrony and diachrony, of analysis and synthesis, and some others.

The discrimination of language and speech is the fundamental principle of linguistics. This principle has sustained throughout the whole history of the study of language. With a special demonstrative force it was confirmed by I.A. Beaudoin de Courtenay (end of the XIX c.) and F. de Saussure (beginning of the XX c.) who analyzed the language-speech dichotomy in connection with the problem of identifying the subject of linguistics. The two great scholars emphatically pointed out the difference between synchrony and diachrony stressing the fact that at any stage of its historical evolution language is a synchronic system of meaningful elements, i.e. a system of special signs (Blokh, 2000).

Language vs Speech (verbal behaviour)

Saussure made what became a famous distinction between langue (language) and parole (speech, or verbal behaviour). Language, for Saussure, is the symbolic system through which we communicate. Speech refers to actual utterances. Since we can communicate an infinite number of utterances, it is the system behind them that is important, this is the primary object of study for the linguist. According to F. de Saussure, there is langue versus parole. Bylangue, best translated in its technical Saussurean sense as language system, is meant the totality of regularities and patterns of formation that underlie the utterances of a language; by parole, which can be translated as language behaviour, is meant the actual utterances themselves (URL: ht-tps://www.britannica.com/science/linguistics/The-20th-century).

The impact of Saussure's ideas on the development of linguistic theory in the first half of the twentieth century cannot be understated. Two currents of thought emerged independently of each other, one in Europe, and the other in America. The results of each incorporated the basic notions of Saussurian thought in forming the central tenets of structural linguistics.

The most important of the various schools of structural linguistics to be found in Europe in the first half of the 20th century included the Prague school, most notably represented by Nikolay Sergeyevich Trubetskoy and Roman Jakobson, both Russian émigrés, and the Copenhagen (or glossematic) school, centred around Louis Hjelmslev (URL: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ferdinand_de_Saussure).

Syntagmatic vs paradigmatic relations

Lingual units stand to one another in two fundamental types of relations: syntagmatic and paradigmatic. Syntagmatic relations are immediate linear relations between units in a segmental sequence (string). One of the basic notions in the syntagmatic analysis is the notion of syntactic syntagma. A"syntactic syntagma"is the combination of two words or word-groups one of which is modified by the other. To syntagmatic relations are opposed paradigmatic relations. They exist between elements of the system outside the strings in which they cooccur. The function of a grammatical paradigm is to express a categorial meaning (Blokh, 2000).

Plane of Content and Plane of Expression

This dichotomy was first studied by Louis Hjelmslev (1899-1965) — Danish linguist, the founder of the Copenhagen School of linguistics. Together with Hans Uldall he developed a structural theory of language which he called glossematics. The main interest of glosssematics was describing the formal characteristics of the language. L. Hjelmslev’s sign model

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Приведённый ознакомительный фрагмент книги Теоретическая грамматика английского языка (Theoretical Grammar of the English language) предоставлен нашим книжным партнёром — компанией ЛитРес.

Купить и скачать полную версию книги в форматах FB2, ePub, MOBI, TXT, HTML, RTF и других

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