Syntax and semantics of verbals in English (43008)

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I. Introduction

1.1. General characteristics of the work

1.2. Definition of the term «Verbals»

II. Main Part

Chapter 1 Grammatical overview of English verbals

2.1.1. General characteristics of English verbals

2.1.2. The Infinitive

2.1.3. General characteristics of Participles

2.1.4. The Gerund

Chapter 2 Syntax and Semantics of English Verbals

2.2.1. The functions of the Infinitive in the sentence

2.2.2. Infinitive constructions

2.2.3. Syntax and semantics of participles

2.2.4 Predicative constructions with the participles

2.2.5. Syntactical role of the Gerund

2.2.6. Constructions with the Gerund

2.2.7. Control exercises on verbals using


IV. Bibliography

I. Introduction

1.1 General characteristics of the work

The theme of my qualification work sounds as following: “Syntax and Semantics of Verbals in English”. This qualification work can be characterized by the following:

2. Actuality of the theme.

Verbals are the forms of the verb intermediary in many of their lexico-grammatical features between the verb and the non-processual parts of speech. The mixed features of these forms are revealed in the principal spheres of the part-of-speech characterisation, i.e. in their meaning, structural marking, combinability, and syntactic functions. The processual meaning is exposed by them in a substantive or adjectival-adverbial interpretation: they render processes as peculiar kinds of substances and properties. They are formed by special morphemic elements which do not express either grammatical time or mood (the most specific finite verb categories). They can be combined with verbs like non-processual lexemes (performing non-verbal functions in the sentence), and they can be combined with non-processual lexemes like verbs (performing verbal functions in the sentence). This is the very problem of the verbals in English grammar. So, standing on such ground, I consider that this problem is actual enough to be investigated.

3. The tasks and aims of the work.

1. The first task of my work is to give definition to term “verbals”.

2. The second task is to characterize each type of verbals from grammatical point of view.

3. The aim of third is to describe syntactical functions of each verbal.

4. The last task is to describe constructions with this verbals and their semantic meaning.

4. The novelty of the work.

I consider that the novelty of the work is revealed in new materials of the linguists which were published in the Internet. One more novelty is that I will include in this work some control exercises on verbals using, which I had worked out and approbated during my pedagogical practice.

5. Practical significance of the work.

In my opinion the practical significance of my work is hard to be overvalued. This work reflects modern trends in linguistics and I hope it would serve as a good manual for those who wants to master modern English language. Also this work can be used by teachers of English language for teaching English grammar.

6. Ways of scientific investigation used within the work.

The main method for compiling our work is the method of comparative analysis, translation method and the method of statistical research.

7. Fields of amplification.

The present work might find a good way of implying in the following spheres:

1. In High Schools and scientific circles of linguistic kind it can be successfully used by teachers and philologists as modern material for writing research works dealing with English verbals.

2. It can be used by teachers of schools, lyceums and colleges by teachers of English as a practical manual for teaching English grammar.

3. It can be useful for everyone who wants to enlarge his/her knowledge in English.

8. Linguists worked with the theme.

As the base for my qualification work I used the works of such world-known linguists as V. Kaushanskaya, B.I.Rogovskaya, B.A.Ilyish, Gordon E.M., O.Jespersen and others 0.

9. Content of the work.

The present qualification work consists of four parts: introduction, the main part, conclusion and bibliography. It also includes the appendix where some interesting Internet materials, tables, schemes were gathered. Within the introduction part, which includes two items we gave the brief description of my qualification work (the first item) and gave general notion of the term “Verbals”. The main part of our qualification work includes several items. There I discussed such problems as main features of English verbals, their syntactic functions, described their role sentence, and semantical meanings of constructions with verbals. In the conclusion to my qualification work I tried to draw some results from the scientific investigations made within the main part of my qualification work. In bibliography part I mentioned more than 20 sources of which were used while compiling the present work. It includes linguistic books and articles dealing with the theme, a number of used dictionaries and encyclopedias and also some internet sources.

1.2 Definition of the Term “Verbals”

The words of every language fall into classes which are called Parts of Speech. Each part of speech has characteristics of its own. The parts of speech differ from each other in meaning, in form and in function.

One of the parts of speech is the Verb. According to content, the verb can be described as word denoting action, the term “action” embracing the meaning of activity (to walk, to speak, to play, to study, process (to sleep, to wait, to live), state (to be, to like, to know), relation (to consist, to resemble, to lack) and the like. According to form, it can be described as a word that has certain grammatical features that are not shared by other parts of speech; they have the category of tense, aspect, voice. According to the function, verb can be defined as a word making up the predicate of the sentence.

The English Verbs can be divided into two main groups, according to the function they perform in the sentence – the finite forms and non-finite forms.0

The finite forms have the function of the predicate in the sentence and may also be called the predicate forms.

The non-finite or non-predicative forms can have various other functions. These forms are also called the verbals.

The non-finite forms or the verbals, unlike the finite forms of the verbs do not express person, number or mood.0 Therefore, they cannot be used as the predicate of a sentence. Like the finite forms of the verbs the verbals have tense and voice distinctions, but their tense distinctions differ from those of the finite verb.

There are three verbals in English: the participle, the gerund, and the infinitive. In Russian there are also three non-finite forms of the verb, but they do not fully coincide with those in the English language.

In English the verbals have the following characteristic traits:

a) They have a double nature: nominal and verbal. The participle combines the characteristics of a verb with those of an adjective; the gerund and the infinitive combine the characteristics of a verb with those of a known.

b) The tense distinctions of the verbals are not absolute like those of the finite verbs, but relative. The form of a verbal does not show whether the action it denotes refers to the present, past or future. It shows only whether the action expressed by the verbal is simultaneous with the action expressed by the finite verb or prior to it.0

In the sentence a verbal may occur.

a) singling (without accompanying words)

Eg. She went away smiling. – Она ушла, улыбаясь.

Reading is out of question, I cant fix my attention on books. – О чтении не может быть и речи, я не могу сосредоточить свое внимание на книгах.

b) in phrase (i.e. with one or several accompanying words – an object or an adverbial modifier to the verbal). The phrases form syntactic units serving as one part of the sentence. A phrase should not be confused with a predicative construction. Between the elements of a phrase there is no predicate relation as it does not include a noun or pronoun expressed by a verbal.

Eg. Not to disquiet his sister, he had said nothing to her of the matter. – Чтобы не тревожить сестру, он ничего не сказал ей об этом.

c) in predicative constructions.

Eg. She heard him open the door and go out the yard. – Она услышала, как он открыл дверь и вышел во двор.

All the verbals can form predicative constructions. They consist of two elements: a nominal (noun or pronoun) and a verbal (participle, gerund or infinitive). The verbal element stands in predicate relation to the nominal element. That is to say it stands in the subject and the predicate of the sentence. It most cases predicative constructions form syntactic units, serving as one part of the sentence.

Eg. The sat down to supper, Jerry still talking cheerfully. – Они сели ужинать; Джери продолжал весело разговаривать.

Jerry still talking cheerfully” is a predicate relation to the noun Jerry, which denotes the doer of the action expressed by the participle.

II. Main Part

Chapter 1 Grammatical Overview of English Verbals

2.1.1 General Characteristics of English Verbals

The verb has finite and non-finite forms, the latter being also called verbals. The verbals, unlike the finite forms of the verb, do not express person, number or mood. Therefore they cannot be used as the predicate of a sentence.

Like the finite forms of the verb the verbals have tense and voice distinctions, but their tense distinctions differ greatly from those of the finite verb.

There are three verbals in English: the participle, the gerund and the infinitive.

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