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                       Марк Яковлевич Блох


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       кафедра  английского  языка  Горьковского  педагогического  института
       иностранных языков им. Н. А. Добролюбова и доктор филол. наук,  проф.
       Л. Л. Нелюбин.

    Блох М. Я.
Б70  Теоретическая грамматика английского языка: Учебник. Для студентов
    филол. фак. ун-тов и фак. англ. яз. педвузов. — М.: Высш. школа, 1983.—
    с. 383 В пер.: 1 р.
      В учебнике рассматриваются важнейшие проблемы морфологии и синтаксиса
    английского языка в  свете  ведущих  принципов  современного  системного
    языкознания. Введение в теоретические проблемы грамматики осуществляется
    на фоне обобщающего описания  основ  грамматического  строя  английского
    языка. Особое внимание уделяется специальным  методам  научного  анализа
    грамматических  явлений  и  демонстрации  исследовательских  приемов  на
    конкретном  текстовом   материале   с   целью   развития   у   студентов
    профессионального  лингвистического   мышления.   Учебник   написан   на
    английском языке.

                   ББК 81.2 Англ-9 [pic]4И (Англ)
                                        © Издательство «Высшая школа», 1983.

Preface          4
Chapter I. Grammar in the Systemic Conception of Language. .        6
Chapter II. Morphemic Structure of the Word        17
Chapter III. Categorial Structure of the Word            26
Chapter IV. Grammatical Classes of Words           37
Chapter V. Noun: General          49
Chapter VI. Noun: Gender          53
Chapter VII. Noun: Number         57
Chapter VIII. Noun: Case          62
Chapter IX. Noun: Article Determination            74
Chapter X. Verb: General          85
Chapter XI. Non-Finite Verbs (Verbids)       102
Chapter XII. Finite Verb: Introduction       123
Chapter XIII. Verb: Person and Number        125
Chapter XIV. Verb; Tense          137
Chapter XV. Verb: Aspect          155
Chapter XVI. Verb: Voice          176
Chapter XVII. Verb: Mood          185
Chapter XVIII. Adjective          203
Chapter XIX. Adverb ...           220
Chapter XX. Syntagmatic Connections of Words             229
Chapter XXI. Sentence: General . . .         236
Chapter XXII. Actual Division of the Sentence            243
Chapter XXIII. Communicative Types of Sentences          251
Chapter XXIV. Simple Sentence: Constituent Structure ...      268
Chapter XXV. Simple Sentence: Paradigmatic Structure . . .          278
Chapter XXVI. Composite Sentence as a Polypredicative Construction
Chapter XXVII. Complex Sentence         303
Chapter XXVIII. Compound Sentence            332
Chapter XXIX. Semi-Complex Sentence          340
Chapter XXX. Semi-Compound Sentence .......        351
Chapter XXXI. Sentence in the Text           361
A List of Selected Bibliography         374
Subject Index          376

   This book, containing  a  theoretical  outline  of  English  grammar,  is
intended as a manual for the departments  of  English  in  Universities  and
Teachers\' Colleges. Its  purpose  is  to  present  an  introduction  to  the
problems of up-to-date grammatical study of English  on  a  systemic  basis,
sustained by demonstrations of  applying  modern  analytical  techniques  to
various grammatical phenomena of living English speech.
   The suggested  description  of  the  grammatical  structure  of  English,
reflecting the author\'s experience as a  lecturer  on  theoretical  English
grammar for students specialising as teachers of English, naturally, cannot
be regarded as exhaustive in any point of detail. While making  no  attempt
whatsoever to depict the grammar of English in terms of the minutiae of its
arrangement and functioning (the  practical  mastery  of  the  elements  of
English grammar is supposed to have been  gained  by  the  student  at  the
earlier stages of tuition), we rather deem it  as  our  immediate  aims  to
supply the student with  such  information  as  will  enable  him  to  form
judgments of his own on questions of diverse  grammatical  intricacies;  to
bring forth in the student a steady habit of trying to see into the  deeper
implications underlying the outward  appearances  of  lingual  correlations
bearing on grammar; to teach him to independently  improve  his  linguistic
qualifications through reading  and  critically  appraising  the  available
works on grammatical language study, including  the  current  materials  in
linguistic  journals;  to  foster  his  competence   in   facing   academic
controversies concerning problems  of  grammar,  which,  unfortunately  but
inevitably,  are  liable  to  be  aggravated  by  polemical  excesses   and
terminological discrepancies.
   In other words, we wish above all to provide for the condition  that,  on
finishing  his  study  of  the  subject  matter  of  the  book,  under  the
corresponding guidance of his College tutor, the student should progress in
developing  a  grammatically-oriented  mode  of  understanding   facts   of
language, viz. in mastering that which, in the long run, should distinguish
a professional linguist from a layman.
   The emphasis laid on cultivating  an  active  element  in  the  student\'s
approach to language and its grammar explains why the book gives prominence
both to the technicalities of grammatical observations and to  the  general
methodology of linguistic knowledge: the due application of the latter will
lend the necessary demonstrative force to any serious consideration of  the
many special points of grammatical analysis. In this connection, throughout
the whole of the book we have tried to point out the progressive  character
of the development of modern grammatical theory, and to show  that  in  the
course of disputes and continued research in  manifold  particular  fields,
the grammatical domain of  linguistic  science  arrives  at  an  ever  more
adequate  presentation  of  the  structure  of  language  in  its  integral
   We firmly believe that this kind of  outlining  the  foundations  of  the
discipline in question is especially important at the present stage of  the
developing linguistic knowledge — the knowledge which, far from having been
by-passed by the general twentieth century advance of  science,  has  found
itself in the midst of it. Suffice it to cite such new ideas and principles
introduced in the grammatical theory of our times,  and  reflected  in  the
suggested presentation, as  the  grammatical  aspects  of  the  correlation
between language and speech; the interpretation of  grammatical  categories
on the  strictly  oppositional  basis;  the  demonstration  of  grammatical
semantics with the help of structural modelling; the functional-perspective
patterning of utterances; the rise of the paradigmatic approach to  syntax;
the expansion of  syntactic  analysis  beyond  the  limits  of  a  separate
sentence into the broad sphere of the continual  text;  and,  finally,  the
systemic principle of description applied to the interpretation of language
in general and its grammatical structure in particular.
   It is by actively mastering the essentials of these developments that the
student will be enabled to cope with the grammatical aspects of his  future
linguistic work as a graduate teacher of English.
   Materials illustrating the analysed elements of English grammar have been
mostly collected from the literary works of British and  American  authors.
Some of the offered examples have  been  subjected  to  slight  alterations
aimed at giving the necessary prominence to  the  lingual  phenomena  under
study. Source references for limited stretches of  text  are  not  supplied
except in cases of special relevance (such as  implications  of  individual
style or involvement of contextual background).
   The author pays tribute to his friends and colleagues — teachers  of  the
Lenin State Pedagogical Institute (Moscow) for encouragement and help  they
extended to him during the years of his work on the presented matters.
   The author\'s  sincere  thanks  are  due  to  the  staff  of  the  English
Department  of  the  Dobrolyubov  State  Pedagogical  Institute  of  Foreign
Languages (Gorky) and to Prof. L. L. Nelyubin for the trouble they  took  in
reviewing  the  manuscript.  Their  valuable  advice  and  criticisms   were
carefully taken into consideration for the final preparation of the text.

                                                                    M. Blokh

                                  CHAPTER I


  § 1. Language is a means of forming and storing ideas as  reflections  of
reality and exchanging them in the process of human  intercourse.  Language
is social by nature; it is inseparably connected with the  people  who  are
its creators and users; it grows and develops together with the development
of society.*
  Language incorporates the three constituent parts ("sides"),  each  being
inherent in it by  virtue  of  its  social  nature.  These  parts  are  the
phonological system, the lexical system, the grammatical system.  Only  the
unity of these three elements forms a language; without  any  one  of  them
there is no human language in the above sense.
  The phonological system is the subfoundation of language;  it  determines
the material  (phonetical)  appearance  of  its  significative  units.  The
lexical system is the whole set of naming means of language, that is, words
and stable  word-groups.  The  grammatical  system  is  the  whole  set  of
regularities determining the combination of naming means in  the  formation
of utterances as the embodiment of thinking process.
   Each of the  three  constituent  parts  of  language  is  studied  by  a
particular linguistic discipline. These disciplines, presenting a series  of
approaches to their particular objects of analysis, give  the  corresponding
"descriptions"  of  language  consisting  in  ordered  expositions  of   the
constituent  parts  in  question.  Thus,  the  phonological  description  of
language is effected by the science of phonology;  the  lexical  description
of language is effected by the science of lexicology; the

   * See: Общее языкознание. Формы существования, функции, история
языка/Отв. ред. Серебренников Б. А. — М., 1970, с. 9 и cл.

grammatical description of language is effected by the science of grammar.
  Any linguistic description may have a practical or theoretical purpose. A
practical description is aimed at providing the student with  a  manual  of
practical mastery of the corresponding part of language (within the  limits
determined by various factors of  educational  destination  and  scientific
possibilities). Since the practice of  lingual  intercourse,  however,  can
only be realised by employing language as a unity of  all  its  constituent
parts, practical linguistic manuals more often than not comprise the  three
types of description presented in a complex. As for theoretical  linguistic
descriptions, they pursue analytical aims and therefore present the studied
parts of language in relative isolation, so as to gain insights into  their
inner structure and expose the intrinsic mechanisms of  their  functioning.
Hence, the aim of theoretical  grammar  of  a  language  is  to  present  a
theoretical description of its grammatical system, i.e.  to  scientifically
analyse and define its grammatical categories and study the  mechanisms  of
grammatical formation of utterances out of words in the process  of  speech

   § 2. In earlier periods  of  the  development  of  linguistic  knowledge,
grammatical scholars believed that the only purpose of grammar was to  give
strict rules of writing and speaking correctly. The rigid  regulations  for
the correct ways of expression, for want of the profound  understanding  of
the social nature of language, were often based on  purely  subjective  and
arbitrary judgements of individual grammar compilers. The  result  of  this
"prescriptive" approach was, that alongside of quite essential  and  useful
information, non-existent "rules"  were  formulated  that  stood  in  sheer
contradiction with the  existing  language  usage,  i.e.  lingual  reality.
Traces of this arbitrary prescriptive approach to the grammatical  teaching
may easily be found even in to-date\'s school practice.
   To refer to some of the numerous examples of this kind, let  us  consider
the well-known rule of the English article  stating  that  the  noun  which
denotes an object "already known" by the listener should be used  with  the
definite article. Observe, however, English sentences taken from  me  works
of distinguished authors directly contradicting
   "I\'ve just read a book of yours about Spain and  I  wanted  to  ask  you
 about it." — "It\'s not a very good book, I\'m afraid" (S. Maugham). I feel a
 good deal of hesitation about telling you this story of my own. You see  it
 is not a story like other stories I have been telling you:  it  is  a  true
 story (J. K. Jerome).

   Or let us take the rule forbidding the use of the continuous  tense-forms
 with the verb be as a link, as well as with verbs of perceptions. Here  are
 examples to the contrary:
   My holiday at Crome isn\'t being a disappointment  (A.  Huxley).  For  the
 first time, Bobby felt, he was really seeing the man (A. Christie).

   The given examples of English articles and tenses,  though  not  agreeing
with the above "prescriptions", contain no grammar mistakes in them.
   The said traditional view of the purpose of grammar has lately  been  re-
stated by some  modern  trends  in  linguistics.  In  particular,  scholars
belonging to these trends pay much attention to  artificially  constructing
and analysing incorrect utterances with the aim of a better formulation  of
the rules for" the construction of correct ones.  But  their  examples  and
deductions, too, are often at variance with real facts of lingual usage.
   Worthy of note are the following two artificial utterances  suggested  as
far back as 1956:
   Colourless green ideas  sleep  furiously.  Furiously  sleep  ideas  green

  According to the idea of their creator, the American scholar N.  Chomsky,
the first of the utterances, although  nonsensical  logically,  was  to  be
classed as grammatically correct, while the second one, consisting  of  the
same  words  placed  in  the  reverse  order,  had  to  be  analysed  as  a
disconnected, "ungrammatical"  enumeration,  a  "non-sentence".  Thus,  the
examples, by way of contrast, were intensely demonstrative (so believed the
scholar) of the fact that grammar as a whole amounted  to  a  set  of  non-
semantic rules of sentence formation.
  However, a couple of years later this assessment of the lingual value  of
the given utterances was disputed  in  an  experimental  investigation  with
informants — natural speakers of English, who could not come to a  unanimous
about the correctness or incorrectness of both of them. In particular, some
of the informants classed the second utterance as "sounding like poetry".
   To understand the contradictions between the bluntly  formulated  "rules"
and reality, as well as to evaluate properly the results of informant tests
like the  one  mentioned  above,  we  must  bear  in  mind  that  the  true
grammatical rules or regularities cannot be separated from  the  expression
of meanings; on the contrary, they are themselves meaningful. Namely,  they
are connected with the most general and abstract parts of content  inherent
in the elements of language. These parts  of  content,  together  with  the
formal means through which they are expressed, are treated  by  grammarians
in  terms  of  "grammatical  categories".  Such  are,  for  instance,   the
categories of number or mood in morphology, the categories of communicative
purpose or emphasis  in  syntax,  etc.  Since  the  grammatical  forms  and
regularities are meaningful, it becomes clear that  the  rules  of  grammar
must be stated semantically, or, more specifically,  they  must  be  worded
functionally. For example, it would be  fallacious  to  state  without  any
further comment that the inverted word order  in  the  English  declarative
sentence  is  grammatically  incorrect.  Word  order  as  an   element   of
grammatical form is  laden  with  its  own  meaningful  functions.  It  can
express, in particular, the difference between  the  central  idea  of  the
utterance and the marginal idea, between emotive  and  unemotive  modes  of
speech, between different types of style. Thus, if the inverted word  order
in a given sentence does express these functions, then its  use  should  be
considered as quite correct. E.g.: In the centre of  the  room,  under  the
chandelier, as became a host, stood the head  of  (he  family,  old  Jolyon
himself (J. Galsworthy).
   The word arrangement in the utterance expresses a narrative  description,
with the central informative  element  placed  in  the  strongest  semantic
position  in  narration,  i.e.  at  the  end.  Compare  the  same  sort  of
arrangement accompanying a plainer presentation of subject  matter:  Inside
on a wooden bunk lay a young Indian woman (E. Hemingway).
  Compare, further, the following:
  And ever did his Soul tempt  him  with  evil,  and  whisper  of  terrible
things. Yet did it not prevail against him, so great was the  power  of  his
love (O. Wilde). (Here  the  inverted  word  order  is  employed  to  render
intense emphasis in a
legend-stylised narration.) One thing and one thing only could she  do  for
him (R. Kipling). (Inversion in this case  is  used  to  express  emotional
intensification of the central idea.)
  Examples of this and similar kinds will be  found  in  plenty  in  Modern
English literary texts of good style repute.

  § 3. The nature of grammar as a constituent part of  language  is  better
understood in the light of explicitly  discriminating  the  two  planes  of
language, namely, the plane of content and the plane of expression.
  The plane of content comprises the purely semantic elements contained  in
language, while the plane of expression  comprises  the  material  (formal)
units of language taken by themselves, apart from the meanings rendered  by
them. The two planes are inseparably connected, so that no meaning  can  be
realised without some material means of expression. Grammatical elements of
language present a unity of content and expression (or,  in  somewhat  more
familiar terms, a unity of form  and  meaning).  In  this  the  grammatical
elements are similar to the lingual lexical elements, though the quality of
grammatical meanings, as we have stated above, is  different  in  principle
from the quality of lexical meanings.
  On the other hand, the correspondence between the planes of  content  and
expression is very complex, and it  is  peculiar  to  each  language.  This
complexity is clearly illustrated by the phenomena of  polysemy,  homonymy,
and synonymy.
   In cases of polysemy and homonymy, two or more  units  of  the  plane  of
content correspond to one unit of the plane of  expression.  For  instance,
the verbal form of the  present  indefinite  (one  unit  in  the  plane  of
expression) polysemantically renders the grammatical meanings  of  habitual
action, action at the present moment,  action  taken  as  a  general  truth
(several units in the plane of content). The morphemic material element -s/-
es (in pronunciation [-s,  -z,  -iz]),  i.e.  one  unit  in  the  plane  of
expression (in so far as the functional semantics of the elements is common
to all of them indiscriminately),  homonymically  renders  the  grammatical
meanings of the third person singular of  the  verbal  present  tense,  the
plural of the noun, the possessive form of the noun, i.e. several units  of
the plane of content.
   In cases of synonymy, conversely, two or  more  units  of  the  plane  of
expression correspond to one unit of the plane
of content. For instance, the forms of the verbal future indefinite, future
continuous,  and  present  continuous  (several  units  in  the  plane   of
expression) can in certain contexts synonymically render the meaning  of  a
future action (one unit in the plane of content).
  Taking into consideration the discrimination between the two  planes,  we
may say that the purpose of grammar as a linguistic discipline is,  in  the
long run, to disclose and formulate the regularities of the  correspondence
between the plane of content and the plane of expression in  the  formation
of utterances out of the stocks of words as part of the process  of  speech

 § 4. Modern linguistics lays a special stress on the systemic character  of
language and all its  constituent  parts.  It  accentuates  the  idea  that
language is  a  system  of  signs  (meaningful  units)  which  are  closely
interconnected and interdependent.  Units  of  immediate  interdependencies
(such as classes and subclasses of words,  various  subtypes  of  syntactic
constructions, etc.) form different microsystems  (subsystems)  within  the
framework of the global macrosystem (supersystem) of the whole of language.
   Each system is a structured set of elements related to one another  by  a
common function. The common function of all the lingual signs  is  to  give
expression to human thoughts.
  The systemic nature of grammar is probably more evident than that of  any
other sphere  of  language,  since  grammar  is  responsible  for  the  very
organisation of the informative content of utterances [Блох, 4, 11  и  сл.].
Due to this fact,  even  the  earliest  grammatical  treatises,  within  the
cognitive limits of their times, disclosed some  systemic  features  of  the
described  material.  But  the  scientifically  sustained   and   consistent
principles  of  systemic  approach  to  language  and   its   grammar   were
essentially developed in the linguistics of the twentieth  century,  namely,
after the publication of the  works  by  the  Russian  scholar  Beaudoin  de
Courtenay and the Swiss scholar Ferdinand de Saussure. These two  great  men
demonstrated  the  difference  between  lingual  synchrony  (coexistence  of
lingual elements) and diachrony (different time-periods in  the  development
of lingual elements, as well as language as a whole)  and  defined  language
as  a  synchronic  system  of  meaningful  elements  at  any  stage  of  its
historical evolution.
  On the basis of discriminating synchrony and  diachrony,  the  difference
between language proper and speech proper
can  be  strictly  defined,  which  is  of  crucial  importance   for   the
identification of the object of linguistic science.
   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
   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  generalising
term "language" is also preserved in  linguistics,  showing  the  unity  of
these two aspects [Блох, 16].
  The sign (meaningful unit) in the system of language has only a potential
meaning.  In  speech,  the  potential  meaning  of  the  lingual  sign   is
"actualised",  i.e.  made  situationally  significant  as   part   of   the
grammatically organised text.
  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). E.g.: The spaceship was  launched  without  the
help of a booster rocket.
   In this sentence syntagmatically connected are the words and  word-groups
"the  spaceship",  "was  launched",  "the  spaceship  was  launched",  "was
launched without the help", "the help of a rocket", "a booster rocket".
  Morphemes within the words  are  also  connected  syntagmatically.  E.g.:
space/ship; launch/ed; with/out; boost/er.
  Phonemes are connected syntagmatically within  morphemes  and  words,  as
well as at various juncture points (cf. the processes of  assimilation  and
  The combination of two words or word-groups one of which is  modified  by
the other forms a unit which is  referred  to  as  a  syntactic  "syntagma".
There  are  four  main  types  of  notional  syntagmas:   predicative   (the
combination of a
subject and a predicate), objective (the combination  of  a  verb  and  its
object), attributive  (the  combination  of  a  noun  and  its  attribute),
adverbial (the combination of a modified notional word,  such  as  a  verb,
adjective, or adverb, with its adverbial modifier).
  Since syntagmatic relations are actually observed in utterances, they are
described by the Latin  formula  as  relations  "in  praesentia"  ("in  the
  The  other  type  of  relations,  opposed  to  syntagmatic   and   called
"paradigmatic", are such as exist between elements of  the  system  outside
the  strings  where  they  co-occur.  These  intra-systemic  relations  and
dependencies find their expression in the fact that each  lingual  unit  is
included in a set or series of connections based on  different  formal  and
functional properties."
   In the sphere of phonology such series are built up by  the  correlations
of phonemes on  the  basis  of  vocality  or  consonantism,  voicedness  or
devoicedness, the factor of nazalisation, the factor of length, etc. In the
sphere of the vocabulary these series are founded on  the  correlations  of
synonymy and antonymy, on various topical connections, on  different  word-
building dependencies. In the domain of grammar  series  of  related  forms
realise grammatical numbers and cases, persons and  tenses,  gradations  of
modalities, sets of sentence-patterns of  various  functional  destination,
   Unlike syntagmatic relations, paradigmatic relations cannot  be  directly
observed in utterances, that is why they are referred to as  relations  "in
absentia"" ("in the absence").
   Paradigmatic relations coexist with syntagmatic relations in such  a  way
that some sort of syntagmatic connection is necessary for  the  realisation
of any paradigmatic series. This is  especially  evident  -in  a  classical
grammatical paradigm which presents  a  productive  series  of  forms  each
consisting of a syntagmatic connection of two elements: one common for  the
whole of the series (stem), the other specific for every individual form in
the series (grammatical  feature  —  inflexion,  suffix,  auxiliary  word).
Grammatical paradigms express various grammatical categories.
   The minimal paradigm consists of two form-stages. This kind  of  paradigm
 we see, for instance, in the expression of the category of  number:  boy  —
 boys. A more complex paradigm can be divided  into  component  paradigmatic
 series,  i.e.  into   the   corresponding   sub-paradigms   (cf.   numerous
 paradigmatic series constituting the system of the finite verb). In


other words, with paradigms,  the  same  as  with  any  other  systemically
organised material, macro- and micro-series are to be discriminated.

   § 5. Units of language are divided  into  segmental  and  suprasegmental.
Segmental units consist of phonemes, they form phonemic strings of  various
status (syllables, morphemes, words, etc.). Supra-segmental  units  do  not
exist by themselves, but are realised together  with  segmental  units  and
express different modificational meanings (functions) which  are  reflected
on the strings of segmental units.  To  the  supra-segmental  units  belong
intonations (intonation contours), accents, pauses, patterns of word-order.
   The segmental  units  of  language  form  a  hierarchy  of  levels.  This
hierarchy is of a kind that units of any higher level are  analysable  into
(i.e. are formed of) units of the immediately lower level. Thus,  morphemes
are decomposed into phonemes, words are decomposed into morphemes,  phrases
are decomposed into words, etc.
   But this hierarchical relation is by no means reduced to  the  mechanical
composition of larger units from smaller ones;  units  of  each  level  are
characterised by their own, specific functional features which provide  for
the very recognition of the corresponding levels of language.
   The lowest level of  lingual  segments  is  phonemic:  it  is  formed  by
phonemes as the material  elements  of  the  higher  -level  segments.  The
phoneme  has  no  meaning,  its  function  is   purely   differential:   it
differentiates morphemes and words as material bodies.  Since  the  phoneme
has no meaning, it is not a sign.
  Phonemes are combined into syllables. The syllable, a rhythmic  segmental
group  of  phonemes,  is  not  a  sign,  either;  it  has  a  purely  formal
significance. Due  to  this  fact,  it  could  hardly  stand  to  reason  to
recognise in language a  separate  syllabic  level;  rather,  the  syllables
should  be  considered  in  the  light  of  the  intra-level   combinability
properties of phonemes.
  Phonemes are represented by letters in writing. Since the  letter  has  a
representative status, it is a sign, though different in principle from the
level-forming signs of language.
  Units of all the higher levels of language are meaningful;  they  may  be
called  "signemes"  as  opposed  to  phonemes  (and  letters  as   phoneme-
  The level located above the phonemic one is the morphemic


level. The morpheme is the elementary meaningful part of the  word.  It  is
built up by phonemes, so that  the  shortest  morphemes  include  only  one
phoneme. E.g.: ros-y [-1]; a-fire [э-]; come-s [-z].
  The morpheme expresses abstract, "significative" meanings which are  used
as constituents for the formation of more concrete,  "nominative"  meanings
of words.
   The third level in the segmental lingual hierarchy is the level of words,
or lexemic level.
  The  word,  as  different  from  the  morpheme,  is  a  directly   naming
(nominative) unit of language: it names things and their  relations.  Since
words are built up by morphemes, the shortest words consist of one explicit
morpheme only. Cf.: man; will; but; I; etc.
  The next higher level is the level of phrases (word-groups), or phrasemic
  To level-forming phrase types belong combinations of two or more notional
words. These combinations, like separate words, have a nominative  function,
but they represent the referent of nomination as a  complicated  phenomenon,
be it a concrete thing, an action, a quality, or  a  whole  situation.  Cf.,
respectively: a  picturesque  village;  to  start  with  a  jerk;  extremely
difficult; the unexpected arrival of the chief.
  This kind of nomination can be called "polynomination", as different from
"mononomination" effected by separate words.
  Notional phrases may be of a stable type and of a free type.  The  stable
phrases (phraseological units) form the phraseological part of the  lexicon,
and are studied by the phraseological division of lexicology.  Free  phrases
are built up in the process of speech on  the  existing  productive  models,
and  are  studied  in  the  lower  division  of  syntax.   The   grammatical
description of phrases is sometimes called "smaller syntax", in  distinction
to "larger syntax" studying the sentence and its textual connections.
  Above the phrasemic level lies the level of  sentences,  or  "proposemic"
  The peculiar character of the sentence ("proposeme") as a  signemic  unit
of language consists in the  fact  that,  naming  a  certain  situation,  or
situational event, it expresses predication, i.e. shows the relation of  the
denoted event to reality. Namely. it shows whether this  event  is  real  or
unreal, desirable or obligatory, stated as a truth or asked about,  etc.  In
this sense, as different from the word and the phrase, the
sentence is a predicative unit. Cf.: to receive — to  receive  a  letter  —
Early in June I received a letter from Peter Mel« rose.
  The sentence is produced by the speaker in the process  of  speech  as  a
concrete, situationally bound utterance. At the  same  time  it  enters  the
system of language by its syntactic pattern which, as all the other  lingual
unit-types, has both syntagmatic and paradigmatic characteristics.
   But the sentence is not the highest unit of language in the hierarchy  of
levels. Above the proposemic level there is still another one, namely,  the
level of sentence-groups, "supra-sentential constructions". For the sake of
unified terminology, this level can be called "supra-proposemic".
  The supra-sentential construction is a combination of separate  sentences
forming a textual unity. Such combinations are subject to  regular  lingual
patterning making them into syntactic elements. The  syntactic  process  by
which sentences are connected into textual unities is  analysed  under  the
heading of "cumulation". Cumulation, the same  as  formation  of  composite
sentences, can be both syndetic and asyndetic. Cf.:
   He went on with his interrupted breakfast.  Lisette  did  not  speak  and
there was silence between  them.  But  his  appetite  satisfied,  his  mood
changed; he began to feel sorry for himself rather than angry with her, and
with a strange ignorance of woman\'s heart he thought  to  arouse  Lisette\'s
remorse by exhibiting himself as an object of pity (S. Maugham).

   In the typed text, the supra-sentential construction  commonly  coincides
with  the  paragraph  (as  in  the  example  above).  However,  unlike  the
paragraph, this type of lingual signeme is realised not only in  a  written
text, but also  in  all  the  varieties  of  oral  speech,  since  separate
sentences, as a rule, are included  in  a  discourse  not  singly,  but  in
combinations,  revealing  the  corresponding  connections  of  thoughts  in
communicative progress.
   We have surveyed six levels of  language,  each  identified  by  its  own
functional type of  segmental  units.  If  now  we  carefully  observe  the
functional status of the level-forming segments, we can distinguish between
them more self-sufficient and less self-sufficient types, the latter  being
defined only in relation to the functions of other level units. Indeed, the
phonemic, lexemic and proposemic levels are most strictly and  exhaustively
identified from the functional point of


view: the function of the phoneme is differential, the function of the word
is nominative, the function of the sentence is  predicative.  As  different
from these, morphemes are identified only as  significative  components  of
words, phrases present polynominative combinations  of  words,  and  supra-
sentential constructions mark the transition from the sentence to the text.
  Furthermore,  bearing  in  mind  that  the  phonemic  level   forms   the
subfoundation of language, i.e.  the  non-meaningful  matter  of  meaningful
expressive means, the  two  notions  of  grammatical  description  shall  be
pointed  out  as  central  even  within  the  framework  of  the  structural
hierarchy of language: these  are,  first,  the  notion  of  the  word  and,
second, the notion of the sentence. The first  is  analysed  by  morphology,
which is the grammatical teaching of the word; the  second  is  analysed  by
syntax, which is the grammatical teaching of the sentence.

                CHAPTER II


  § 1. The morphological system of language reveals its properties  through
the morphemic structure of words. It follows from this that  morphology  as
part of grammatical theory faces the two segmental units: the morpheme  and
the word. But, as  we  have  already  pointed  out,  the  morpheme  is  not
identified otherwise than part of the word; the functions of  the  morpheme
are effected only as the corresponding constituent functions of the word as
a whole.
  For instance, the form of the verbal past tense is built up by  means  of
the dental grammatical suffix: train-ed [-d]; publish-ed [-t]; meditat-ed [-
  However, the past tense as a definite  type  of  grammatical  meaning  is
expressed not by the dental morpheme in isolation, but by  the  verb  (i.e.
word)  taken  in  the  corresponding  form  (realised  by   its   morphemic
composition); the dental suffix is immediately related to the stem  of  the
verb and together with the stem constitutes the temporal correlation in the
paradigmatic system of verbal categories
  Thus, in studying the morpheme we actual study the word in the  necessary
details or us composition and functions.
  § 2. It is very difficult to  give  a  rigorous  and  at  the  same  time
universal  definition  to  the  word,  i.e.  such  a  definition  as   would
unambiguously apply to all the different word-units  of  the  lexicon.  This
difficulty is explained by the fact that the word is  an  extremely  complex
and many-sided phenomenon. Within  the  framework  of  different  linguistic
trends and theories the word is defined as the minimal  potential  sentence,
the minimal free linguistic form, the elementary component of the  sentence,
the articulate  sound-symbol,  the  grammatically  arranged  combination  of
sound with meaning, the meaningfully integral and  immediately  identifiable
lingual unit, the uninterrupted string of  morphemes,  etc.,  etc.  None  of
these definitions, which can be divided into formal, functional, and  mixed,
has the power to precisely  cover  all  the  lexical  segments  of  language
without a residue remaining outside the field of definition.
  The said difficulties compel some linguists to refrain from accepting the
word as the basic element of language. In particular, American  scholars  —
representatives of Descriptive  Linguistics  founded  by  L.  Bloomfield  —
recognised not the word and the sentence, but the phoneme and the  morpheme
as the basic categories of linguistic description, because these units  are
the easiest to be isolated in the continual text due to their  "physically"
minimal, elementary segmental character:  the  phoneme  being  the  minimal
formal segment of language, the morpheme, the minimal  meaningful  segment.
Accordingly, only  two  segmental  levels  were  originally  identified  in
language by Descriptive scholars: the  phonemic  level  and  the  morphemic
level;  later  on  a  third  one  was  added  to  these  —  the  level   of
"constructions", i.e. the level of morphemic combinations.
   In fact, if we take such notional words as, say, water, pass, yellow  and
the like, as  well  as  their  simple  derivatives,  e.g.  watery,  passer,
yellowness, we shall easily see  their  definite  nominative  function  and
unambiguous segmental delimitation,  making  them  beyond  all  doubt  into
"separate words of language". But if we compare  with  the  given  one-stem
words the corresponding composite formations, such as  waterman,  password,
yellowback, we shall immediately note that the identification of the latter
as separate words is much complicated by the fact that they themselves  are
decomposable into separate words. One could point  out  that  the  peculiar
property distinguishing  composite  words  from  phrases  is  their  linear
indivisibility, i.e. the impossibility


tor them to be  divided  by  a  third  word.  But  this  would-be  rigorous
criterion is quite irrelevant for analytical wordforms, e.g.: has met - has
never met; is coming —is not  by  any  means  or  under  any  circumstances
  As for the criterion according to which  the  word  is  identified  as  a
minimal sign capable of  functioning  alone  (the  word  understood  as  the
"smallest free form", or interpreted as the "potential  minimal  sentence"),
it is irrelevant for the bulk of  functional  words  which  cannot  be  used
"independently" even in elliptical responses (to say  nothing  of  the  fact
that the very notion of  ellipsis  is  essentially  the  opposite  of  self-
  In  spite  of  the  shown  difficulties,  however,  there   remains   the
unquestionable fact that each speaker has at his disposal a ready stock  of
naming units (more precisely, units standing to one another  in  nominative
correlation) by which he can build up  an  infinite  number  of  utterances
reflecting the ever changing situations of reality.
  This circumstance urges us to seek the identification of the  word  as  a
lingual  unit-type  on  other  lines   than   the   "strictly   operational
definition". In fact, we do find the clarification of the problem in taking
into  consideration  the  difference  between  the  two  sets  of   lingual
phenomena:  on  the  one  hand,  "polar"  phenomena;  on  the  other  hand,
"intermediary" phenomena.
  Within a complex system of interrelated elements, polar phenomena are the
most clearly  identifiable,  they  stand  to  one  another  in  an  utterly
unambiguous opposition. Intermediary phenomena are located in the system in
between the polar phenomena, making up a gradation of transitions or the so-
called "continuum". By some of their properties intermediary phenomena  are
similar or  near  to  one  of  the  corresponding  poles,  while  by  other
properties they are similar to the other, opposing pole.  The  analysis  of
the intermediary phenomena from the point of view of their relation to  the
polar phenomena reveal their own status in the system.  At  the  same  time
this kind of analysis helps evaluate the definitions of the polar phenomena
between which a continuum is established.
   In this connection, the notional one-stem word and the morpheme should be
described as the opposing polar phenomena among the meaningful segments  of
language; it is these elements that can be  defined  by  their  formal  and
functional features most precisely and unambiguously. As for
functional words, they occupy intermediary positions between  these  poles,
and their very intermediary  status  is  gradational.  In  particular,  the
variability of their status is expressed in the fact that some of them  can
be  used  in  an  isolated  response  position  (for  instance,  words   of
affirmation and negation, interrogative words, demonstrative words,  etc.),
while others cannot (such as prepositions or conjunctions).
   The nature of the element of any system is revealed in the  character  of
its function. The  function  of  words  is  realised  in  their  nominative
correlation with one another. On the basis of this correlation a number  of
functional words are distinguished by  the  "negative  delimitation"  (i.e.
delimitation as a residue after the  identification  of  the  co-positional
textual elements),* e.g.-. the/people; to/speak; by/way/of.
  The "negative delimitation\'\' immediately connects these functional  words
with the directly nominative, notional  words  in  the  system.  Thus,  the
correlation in question (which is to be implied by  the  conventional  term
"nominative function") unites functional  words  with  notional  words,  or
"half-words"  (word-morphemes)  with  "full  words".  On  the  other  hand,
nominative correlation reduces the morpheme as a type of segmental  signeme
to the role of an element in the composition of the word.
  As we see, if the elementary character (indivisibility) of  the  morpheme
(as a significative unit) is established in the  structure  of  words,  the
elementary character of the word (as a nominative unit) is realised in  the
system of lexicon.
  Summing up what has been said in this paragraph, we may point out some of
the properties of the morpheme and the word which are fundamental  from  the
point of view of  their  systemic  status  and  therefore  require  detailed
investigations and descriptions.
  the morpheme is  a  meaningful  segmental  component  of  the  word;  the
morpheme is formed by phonemes; as a meaningful component of the word it  is
elementary  (i.e.  indivisible  into  smaller  segments   as   regards   its
significative function).
  The word is a nominative unit of language; it is formed by morphemes;  it
enters  the  lexicon  of  language  as  its  elementary  component  (i.e.  a
component indivisible  into  smaller  segments  as  regards  its  nominative
function); together with

   * See: Смирницкий А. И. К вопросу о слове (проблема «отдельности слона»).
— В кн.: Вопросы теории и истории языка. М., 1955.


other nominative units the word is used for the formation of the sentence —
a unit of information in the communication process.

  § 3. In traditional grammar the study of the morphemic structure  of  the
word was conducted in the light of the two basic criteria:  positional  (the
location of the marginal morphemes in relation  to  the  central  ones)  and
semantic or functional (the correlative contribution  of  the  morphemes  to
the general meaning of the word). The combination of these two  criteria  in
an integral description has led to the rational classification of  morphemes
that is widely used both  in  research  linguistic  work  and  in  practical
lingual tuition.
  In accord with the traditional classification,  morphemes  on  the  upper
level  are  divided  into  root-morphemes  (roots)  and  affixal   morphemes
(affixes). The roots express the concrete, "material" part  of  the  meaning
of the word, while the affixes  express  the  specificational  part  of  the
meaning of  the  word,  the  specifications  being  of  lexico-semantic  and
grammatico-semantic character.
  The roots of notional words are classical lexical morphemes.
  The affixal morphemes include prefixes, suffixes, and inflexions (in  the
tradition  of  the  English  school  grammatical  inflexions  are  commonly
referred to as "suffixes"). Of these, prefixes and  lexical  suffixes  have
word-building functions, together with the root they form the stem  of  the
word; inflexions (grammatical  suffixes)  express  different  morphological
  The root, according to the positional  content  of  the  term  (i.e.  the
border-area between prefixes and suffixes), is  obligatory  for  any  word,
while affixes are not obligatory. Therefore  one  and  the  same  morphemic
segment of functional (i.e.  non-notional)  status,  depending  on  various
morphemic environments, can in principle be used now as an affix (mostly, a
prefix), now as a root. Cf.:
  out — a root-word (preposition, adverb, verbal  postposition,  adjective,
noun, verb);
   throughout — a composite word, in which -out serves as one of  the  roots
(the categorial status of the meaning of both morphemes is the same);
  outing — a two-morpheme word, in which out is  a  root,  and  -ing  is  a


  outlook, outline, outrage, out-talk, etc. — words, in which  out-  serves
as a prefix;
   look-out, knock-out, shut-out, time-out, etc. — words (nouns),  in  which
-out serves as a suffix.

   The morphemic composition of modern English words has  a  wide  range  of
varieties; in the lexicon of everyday speech the preferable morphemic types
of stems are root-stems (one-root stems or two-root  stems)  and  one-affix
stems.  With  grammatically  changeable  words,  these   stems   take   one
grammatical suffix {two "open" grammatical suffixes are used only with some
plural nouns in the possessive case, cf.: the children\'s toys,  the  oxen\'s
  Thus, the abstract complete morphemic model of the common English word is
the following: prefix + root + lexical suffix+grammatical suffix.
  The syntagmatic connections of the morphemes within the  model  form  two
types of hierarchical structure. The first is characterised by the  original
prefixal stem (e.g. prefabricated),  the  second  is  characterised  by  the
original suffixal stem (e.g. inheritors). If  we  use  the  symbols  St  for
stem, R for root, Pr for prefix, L for lexical suffix,  Gr  for  grammatical
suffix,  and,  besides,  employ  three  graphical  symbols  of  hierarchical
grouping — braces, brackets, and parentheses, then the two  morphemic  word-
structures can be presented as follows:
           W1 = {[Pr + (R + L)] +Gr}; W2 = {[(Pr + R) +L] + Gr}

   In the morphemic composition of more complicated words these  model-types
form different combinations.

  § 4. Further  insights  into  the  correlation  between  the  formal  and
functional aspects of morphemes within the composition of the word  may  be
gained in the light of the so-called  "allo-emic"  theory  put  forward  by
Descriptive  Linguistics  and  broadly  used  in  the  current   linguistic
   In accord with this theory, lingual units are described by means  of  two
types of terms: allo-terms and eme-terms. Eme-terms denote the  generalised
invariant units of language characterised by a certain  functional  status:
phonemes, morphemes. Allo-terms  denote  the  concrete  manifestations,  or
variants of the generalised units dependent on the regular co-location with


other elements of language: allophones, allomorphs. A set of iso-functional
allo-units identified in the text on the basis of their co-occurrence  with
other lingual units (distribution) is considered as the corresponding  eme-
unit with its fixed systemic status.
   The allo-emic identification of lingual elements is achieved by means  of
the  so-called  "distributional  analysis".  The  immediate  aim   of   the
distributional analysis is to fix  and  study  the  units  of  language  in
relation to their textual environments, i.e. the adjoining elements in  the
   The environment of a unit may be either  "right"  or  "left",  e.g.:  un-
   In this word the left environment of the root is the negative prefix un-,
the right  environment  of  the  root  is  the  qualitative  suffix  -able.
Respectively, the root -pardon- is the right environment  for  the  prefix,
and the left environment for the suffix.
  The distribution of a unit may  be  defined  as  the  total  of  all  its
environments; in other words, the distribution of a unit is its environment
in generalised terms of classes or categories.
   In  the  distributional  analysis  on  the  morphemic   level,   phonemic
distribution of morphemes  and  morphemic  distribution  of  morphemes  are
discriminated. The study is conducted in two stages.
  At the first  stage,  the  analysed  text  (i.e.  the  collected  lingual
materials, or "corpus") is divided into recurrent  segments  consisting  of
phonemes.  These  segments  are  called  "morphs",  i.e.  morphemic   units
distributionally uncharacterised, e.g.: the/boat/s/were/gain/ing/speed.
  At the second  stage,  the  environmental  features  of  the  morphs  are
established and the corresponding identifications are effected.
   Three main types of distribution are discriminated in the  distributional
analysis, namely, contrastive  distribution,  non-contrastive  distribution,
and complementary distribution.
  Contrastive   and   non-contrastive   distributions   concern   identical
environments of different morphs. The morphs are said to be  in  contrastive
distribution if  their  meanings  (functions)  are  different.  Such  morphs
constitute different morphemes. Cf. the suffixes -(e)d and -ing in the verb-
forms returned, returning. The morphs are  said  to  be  in  non-contrastive
distribution (or free alternation) if their meaning (function) is the  same.
morphs  constitute  "free  alternants",  or  "free  variants"  of  the  same
morpheme. Cf. the suffixes -(e)d and -t in the verb-forms learned, learnt.
  As  different  from  the  above,  complementary   distribution   concerns
different environments of formally different morphs which are united by  the
same meaning (function). If two or more morphs have  the  same  meaning  and
the difference in (heir form is explained by different  environments,  these
morphs are said to be  in  complementary  distribution  and  considered  the
allomorphs of the same morpheme. Cf. the allomorphs of the  plural  morpheme
/-s/, /-z/, /-iz/ which stand in phonemic  complementary  distribution;  the
plural  allomorph  -en  in  oxen,  children,  which  stands   in   morphemic
complementary  distribution  with  the  other  allomorphs  of   the   plural
  As  we  see,  for  analytical  purposes  the  notion   of   complementary
distribution is the most important, because it helps establish the  identity
of outwardly altogether different elements of language, in  particular,  its
grammatical elements.

   § 5. As a result of the application of  distributional  analysis  to  the
morphemic level, different types of morphemes have been discriminated which
can be called the "distributional morpheme types". It must be stressed that
the distributional classification of morphemes cannot abolish or in any way
depreciate the traditional  morpheme  types.  Rather,  it  supplements  the
traditional classification, showing some essential features of morphemes on
the principles of environmental study.
   We shall survey the distributional morpheme types arranging them in pairs
of immediate correlation.
   On the basis of the  degree  of  self-dependence,  "free"  morphemes  and
"bound" morphemes are distinguished. Bound morphemes cannot form  words  by
themselves, they are identified only as component segmental parts of words.
As different from this, free morphemes can build up  words  by  themselves,
i.e. can be used "freely".
   For instance, in the word handful the root hand is a free morpheme, while
the suffix -ful is a bound morpheme.
   There are very few productive bound morphemes in the morphological system
 of English. Being extremely narrow, the list of them is complicated by  the
 relations of homonymy. These morphemes are the following:
   1) the segments -(e)s [-z, -s, -iz]: the plural of nouns, the possessive
   case of nouns, the third person singular present of verbs;
2) the segments -(e)d [-d, -t, -id]: the past and past participle of verbs;
2) the segments -ing: the gerund and present participle;
3) the segments -er,  -est:  the  comparative  and  superlative  degrees  of
adjectives and adverbs.
  The auxiliary word-morphemes of various standings should  be  interpreted
in this connection as "semi-bound" morphemes, since, being used as separate
elements of  speech  strings,  they  form  categorial  unities  with  their
notional stem-words.
  On the basis of  formal  presentation,  "overt"  morphemes  and  "covert"
morphemes  are  distinguished.  Overt  morphemes  are   genuine,   explicit
morphemes building up  words;  the  covert  morpheme  is  identified  as  a
contrastive absence of morpheme expressing a certain function.  The  notion
of covert morpheme coincides with  the  notion  of  zero  morpheme  in  the
oppositional description of grammatical categories (see further).
   For instance, the word-form clocks consists of two overt  morphemes:  one
lexical (root) and one grammatical expressing the plural. The outwardly one-
morpheme  word-form  clock,  since  it  expresses  the  singular,  is  also
considered as consisting of two morphemes, i.e. of the overt root  and  the
co\\ert (implicit) grammatical suffix of the singular. The usual symbol  for
the covert morpheme employed by linguists is the sign of the empty set: 0.
   On the basis of segmental relation,  "segmental"  morphemes  and  "supra-
segmental" morphemes  are  distinguished.  Interpreted  as  supra-segmental
morphemes in distributional terms are intonation contours, accents, pauses.
   The said elements of language, as we have stated elsewhere, should beyond
dispute  be  considered  signemic  units  of  language,  since   they   are
functionally bound. They form the secondary line  of  speech,  accompanying
its primary phonemic line (phonemic complexes). On  the  other  hand,  from
what has been stated about the morpheme proper, it is not difficult to  see
that the morphemic interpretation of suprasegmental units can hardly  stand
to  reason.  Indeed,  these  units  are  functionally  connected  not  with
morphemes, but  with  larger  elements  of  language:  words,  word-groups,
sentences, supra-sentential constructions.
   On  the  basis  of  grammatical  alternation,  "additive"  morphemes  and
 "replacive" morphemes are distinguished.


Interpreted as additive morphemes are outer grammatical suffixes, since, as
a rule, they are  opposed  to  the  absence  of  morphemes  in  grammatical
alternation. Cf. look+ed; small+er, etc. In distinction to these, the  root
phonemes of grammatical interchange are considered as replacive  morphemes,
since they replace one another in the paradigmatic forms. Cf. dr-i-ve — dr-
o-ve — dr-i-ven; m-a-n — m-e-n; etc.
   It  should  be  remembered  that  the  phonemic  interchange  is  utterly
unproductive in English as in all the Indo-European languages. If  it  were
productive, it might rationally be  interpreted  as  a  sort  of  replacive
"infixation" (correlated with "exfixation" of the  additive  type).  As  it
stands, however, this type of grammatical means can be understood as a kind
of suppletivity (i.e. partial suppletivity).
  On  the  basis  of  linear  characteristic,  "continuous"  (or  "linear")
morphemes and "discontinuous" morphemes are distinguished.
  By  the   discontinuous   morpheme,   opposed   to   the   common,   i.e.
uninterruptedly expressed, continuous morpheme, a  two-element  grammatical
unit is meant which  is  identified  in  the  analytical  grammatical  form
comprising an auxiliary word and a grammatical suffix. These two  elements,
as  it  were,  embed  the  notional  stem;  hence,  they  are  symbolically
represented as follows:
  be ... ing — for the continuous verb forms (e.g. is going); have ... en —
  for the perfect verb forms (e.g. has gone); be ... en — for  the  passive
  verb forms (e.g. is taken)

   It is easy to see that the notion of morpheme applied to  the  analytical
form of the word violates the principle of the  identification  of  morpheme
as an elementary meaningful segment: the analytical  "framing"  consists  of
two meaningful segments, i.e. of  two  different  morphemes.  On  the  other
hand, the general notion "discontinuous constituent",  "discontinuous  unit"
is quite rational and can be helpfully used  in  linguistic  description  in
its proper place.

                 CHAPTER III


  § 1. Notional words, first of all verbs and nouns, possess some morphemic
features expressing grammatical


(morphological) meanings. These features determine the grammatical form  of
the word.
  Grammatical meanings are  very  abstract,  very  general.  Therefore  the
grammatical form is not confined to an individual word, but unites a  whole
class of words, so that each word of the class expresses the  corresponding
grammatical meaning together with its individual, concrete semantics.
  For instance, the meaning of the substantive plural is  rendered  by  the
regular plural suffix -(e)s, and in some  cases  by  other,  more  specific
means, such as phonemic interchange and a few lexeme-bound suffixes. Due to
the generalised character of the plural, we say that  different  groups  of
nouns "take" this form with strictly defined  variations  in  the  mode  of
expression,  the  variations   being   of   more   systemic   (phonological
conditioning) and less systemic (etymological  conditioning)  nature.  Cf.:
faces, branches, matches, judges; books, rockets,  boats,  chiefs,  proofs;
dogs, beads, films, stones, hens; lives,  wives,  thieves,  leaves;  girls,
stars, toys, heroes, pianos, cantos; oxen, children, brethren, kine; swine,
sheep, deer; cod, trout, salmon; men,  women,  feet,  teeth,  geese,  mice,
lice; formulae, antennae; data, errata, strata, addenda, memoranda;  radii,
genii, nuclei, alumni; crises, bases, analyses, axes; phenomena, criteria.
  As we see, the grammatical form presents a division of the  word  on  the
principle of expressing a certain grammatical meaning.

  § 2. The most general notions reflecting the most general  properties  of
phenomena  are  referred  to  in   logic   as   "categorial   notions",   or
"categories". The most general meanings rendered by language  and  expressed
by systemic correlations of word-forms are  interpreted  in  linguistics  as
categorial grammatical meanings. The forms themselves are identified  within
definite paradigmatic series.
  The  categorial  meaning  (e.g.  the  grammatical  number)   unites   the
individual meanings of the correlated paradigmatic forms  (e.g.  singular  —
plural) and is exposed through them; hence, the meaning of  the  grammatical
category and the meaning of the grammatical form are related to  each  other
on the principle of the logical relation between the categorial and  generic
  As for the grammatical category itself, it presents, the


same as the grammatical "form", a unity of form (i.e. material factor)  and
meaning (i.e. ideal factor) and constitutes a certain signemic system.
  More specifically, the grammatical category is a system of  expressing  a
generalised grammatical meaning by means  of  paradigmatic  correlation  of
grammatical forms.
  The ordered set of grammatical forms  expressing  a  categorial  function
constitutes a paradigm.
  The paradigmatic correlations of grammatical  forms  in  a  category  are
exposed by the so-called "grammatical oppositions".
 The opposition (in the linguistic sense) may be defined  as  a  generalised
correlation of lingual forms  by  means  of  which  a  certain  function  is
expressed. The correlated elements (members) of the opposition must  possess
two types of features: common features  and  differential  features.  Common
features serve  as  the  basis  of  contrast,  while  differential  features
immediately express the function in question.
  The oppositional theory was originally formulated  as  a  ;  phonological
theory. 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 (two members)  and
more than binary (ternary, quaternary, etc.).
  The most important type of opposition is the binary privative opposition;
the other types of  oppositions  are  reducible  to  the  binary  privative
   The binary privative opposition  is  formed  by  a  contrastive  pair  of
members in which one member is characterised by the presence of  a  certain
differential feature ("mark"), while the other member is  characterised  by
the absence of this feature. The member in which the feature is present  is
called the "marked", or "strong", or "positive"  member,  and  is  commonly
designated by the symbol + (plus); the  member  in  which  the  feature  is
absent is called the "unmarked", or "weak", or "negative"  member,  and  is
commonly designated by the symbol — (minus).
   For instance,  the  voiced  and  devoiced  consonants  form  a  privative
opposition [b, d, g —p, t, k]. The differential feature of  the  opposition
is "voice". This feature is present in the voiced consonants, so their  set
forms the marked member of the opposition. The devoiced consonants, lacking
the feature, form the unmarked member of  the  opposition.  To  stress  the
marking quality of "voice" for the opposition in


question, the devoiced consonants may be referred to as «nоn-voiced".
  The gradual opposition is formed by a contrastive group of members  which
are distinguished not by the presence or аbsenсе of a feature, but  by  the
degree of it.
   For instance, the front vowels  [i:—i—e—ae]  form  a  quaternary  gradual
opposition, since they are differentiated by the degree of  their  openness
(their length, as is known, is\'  also  relevant,  as  well  as  some  other

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