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The category of tense, its correlation with the objective category of time




The category of tense is a system of 3-member opposites, such as does-did-will do, is doing-was doing-will be doing which shows the relation of the action denoted by the V to the moment of speech. Unlike the category of order, aspect & voice found in the verbals, the category of tense is characteristic only of finite form. |The difference between the lexical & grammatical expression of time is as follows: a) lexically it is possible to name a definite moment, period or point of time (in 1985, currently); gram. meaning is abstract & is related only to 3 particular tenses (the present, the past & the future); b) lexically a period of time is named directly (at 7 o’clock); the gram. meaning of time is indirect; c) gram. meaning of time isn’t absolute but related. There are some words which may be conveyed as present & past (can-could) or only present (must). |The correlation of time & tense is connected with the problem of absolute and relative use of gram. tenses. Some tenses may be not only absolute (showing the time of the action in relation to the present moment). That’s reflecting time and action not with regard of the moment of speech but with some other tense of the V. Therefore, a present tense V in Eng. may be used only if the time of the action it expresses includes the moment of speech. It occurs, for instance, in the subordinate clauses expressing general statements. |Similarly, a future tense V may be used if the action it expresses refers to some time following the moment of speech: Yesterday I heard some remarks about the plan we shall discuss tomorrow.

 

19. The problem of «perfect" in English. Category of order. Meanings rendered by perfect forms

The category of order is a system of binary, privative opposemes such as write-have written, writes-has written, writing-having written, to be written-to have been written showing whether the action is viewed as prior to, perfect or irrespective of other actions or situations. Some authors like Ilysh regard perfect & non-perfect as part of the aspect system, resultative aspect, others treat the perfect as belonging to the system of tense. E.g. Ivanova regards the perfect as part of tense-0aspect system. Smirnitsky calls it the category of time correlation. But the most widespread name is category of order. Expresses the order of events-perfect, non-perfect. There is a point of view shared by some authors according to which a form like had given expresses priority, has given-result. In case of Past Perfect we have priority of the past action in relation to some past moment indicated by other action or some phrase. Present Perfect, this moment to which the action is prior the moment is indicated by the action itself. The meanings of Present Perfect: 1. resultative Perfect-denotes a past action connected through its result with the present moment 2. continuative Perf.-often corresponds to Present tense in other languages. We have lived here for 10 years. 3. the perf. of experience-shows the experience of the speaker. I’ve always been treated well in this family. Sometimes we observe the neutralization of the primary meaning of the Present Perfect tense in subordinate clauses(time & condition)-it comes to mean future action. Wait till I’ve finished my work. The meanings of Past Perfect: 1. in great many cases PPT serves to connect grammatically 2 past actions one of which is prior in time. I had studied French before I started learning English. 2. Intention or hope which wasn’t fulfilled-acquires additional connotative value & modal force. I had hoped to come in time but unfortunately failed to do so.

 

20. The category of aspect. Aspect & manner of action. Neutralization of continuous forms

The category of aspect is system of binary, privative oppositions like works-is working, worked-was working, to work-to be working shows the character of the action whether the action is taking its progress, development or it is simply stated, its nature being unspecified, non-continuous. The theory propagating the manner of action, this approach is based on exclusively semantic principles → types of manner: 1. terminate manner representing the action as a whole. He went to town. 2. Ingressive manner pointing to the beginning of the action. They began to work. 3. effective manner showing the conclusion of the action. They ceased speaking. 4. durative manner presenting an action as continuous. He is walking along the street. Wheat grows in Canada.5.iterate manner showing repetition. Each night the old man would walk to town./The phenomenon of neutralization of continuous forms-continuous forms aren’t used where they are supposed to be used, i9nstead of it we use Present Simple-stative verbs:1.verbs of relations-belong, contain, date, refer, have, posses, want, wish, desire.2. verbs of mental activities & feelings-see, hear, like, detest.3.link verbs-be, taste, look, smell, happen, prove.4.point action group denoting momentary instantaneous action at a given moment stressing its temporality transient character, often occur with verbs of sense perception.

 







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