Студопедия — The subject
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The subject






The subject is the independent member of a two-member predication, containing the person component of predicativity. Both members of the predication he sleeps contain the meaning of “person”. But in sleeps this meaning depends on that of he and is due to grammatical combinability. This accounts for the fact that sleeps cannot make a sentence alone, though it contains all the components of predicativity. Sleeps likewise depends on he as far as the meaning of “number” is concerned. The meanings of “person” and “number” in he are lexico-grammatical an independent.

The subject is usually defined as a word or a group of words denoting the thing we speak about. This traditional definition is rather logical than grammatical. The subject of a simple sentence can be a word, a syntactical word-morpheme (in English – there, it) or a complex. As a word itcan belong to different parts of speech, but it is mostly a noun or a pronoun, e.g.:

Fame is the thirst of youth (G. Byron).

Nothing endures but personal qualities (W. Whitman).

To see is to believe [24; 251–252].

In Ukrainian the subject is most frequently expressed by the nominative case of the noun or personal pronoun. Other parts of speech can be used in the function of the subject only when they are substantivized. The function of the compound subject is performed in Ukrainian usually by the combination of the cardinal numeral with the noun or by the combination of two nouns, joined either by the conjunction or the preposition “ з”. At this the cardinal numeral is used in the form of the nominative predicate: Їхало двоє молодих хлопців.

In English the nominative case is pertaining only to personal and some interrogative or relative pronouns. This nominative case is more specialized than the corresponding form of the noun in Ukrainian. It is gradually being eliminated from the compound predicate. Compare: It’s me instead of It’s I and its meaning is narrowed to the meaning of the subject function.

Subjectless sentences (apart from imperative sentences) are practically not used in the English sentence. The peculiarity of the English language is the existence of the formal subject alongside with the notional one. It is expressed by the word deprived of its lexical meaning and is necessary only to form the sentence from the structural point of view. The notional subject (повнозначний підмет) always expresses a certain acting person (or object) and is used in personal sentences. The formal subject (формальний або службовий підмет) does not express any acting person or object. It is always used in impersonal sentences.

In Ukrainian subjectless sentences are widely used. Especially often the subject is missing in negative sentences, e.g.: Тут немає стола where the center of the construction becomes the word немає. Almost all Ukrainian subjectless sentences correspond to English sentences with the subject. Compare: Кажуть. They say. Сутеніє. It is getting dark.

In English the formal subject it is widely used in English sentences with predicates that have the following meaning:

1) With the simple or compound predicate that points out towards the nature phenomenon: It was cold. Було холодно.

2) With the compound predicate that has modal or evaluating meaning: It was difficult. It was evident. Було важко. Було очевидно.

3) With the compound predicate pointing out towards the time or space: It was nine. It was five miles to the town. Було дев’ять годин. До міста було п’ять миль.

4 ) with the simple predicate, expressed by the passive form of the verb, which points towards the fact that the content of the sentence is some general idea: It is said … Кажуть … [5; 122–125].

In majority of cases the subject in English and Ukrainian sentences is expressed by similar parts of speech. But the peculiarities of the English language in this respect are the following:

1) The role of the subject can be widely performed by the non-verbal part of speech – gerund, e.g.: Smoking is bad for health. In Ukrainian there are no such verb forms and in these cases subordinate sentences are widely used;

2) The role of the subject can be performed by the gerundial construction, e.g.: John’s coming here will spoil everything.

To conclude with, if we compare the subject in English with that in Ukrainian we shall find the following difference between them.

1. In modern Ukrainian the subject is as a rule characterized by a distinct morphological feature – the nominative case, whereas in English it is for the most part (unless it is expressed by a personal pronoun or the pronoun who in the nominative case) indicated by the position it occupies in the sentence.

2. In modern Ukrainian the subject is much less obligatory as a part of the sentence than in English. One-member sentences are numerous and of various types, among them sentences like Прийду. Пише. In English a finite verb (except the 'imperative mood' forms) does not, as a rule, make a sentence without a subject.

3. In English the subject may be a syntactical word-morpheme, a gerund or a complex, which is naturally, alien to Ukrainian.







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Studopedia.info - Студопедия - 2014-2024 год . (0.01 сек.) русская версия | украинская версия