The basic notions of grammar.

The grammatical category

The notion of the grammatical category is central in grammar. At the base of the science of grammar lie certain grammatical categories i.e. Грамматическая категория – одно из наиболее общих свойств лингвистических единиц вообще или некоторого их класса, получившее в языке грамматическое выражение (напр.: Грамматическая категория падежа в рус языке, Грамматическая категория рода у прилагательныхв рус языке). Grammatical category – is one of the most general properties of linguistic units or of their certain class, which received grammatical expression in the language (According to O. Akhmanova).

Grammatical categories are the most generalized concepts and notions, e.g.: the categories of tense, case etc.

3.According to Khaimovich:

Morphological category is the system of such oppositions whose members differ in form (=ПВ) to express only (and all) the particular manifestations of the general meaning of the category (p.24)

 (P.11-12 Kharitonov): Every grammatical category must necessarily be based on an opposition of at least two grammatical forms, otherwise the category cannot exist i.e. 2 categorial grammatical forms: 2– 1 = 0. (cf. with the notion “family”).The menbers of an opposition are referred to as opposemes. The minimal opposition is a binary (=two-member) opposition, there also exist three-member (=ternary) oppositions and (four member) quaternary & polynomic (=multimember) oppositions.

The binary privative opposition is formed by a contrastive pair of members in which one member is characterized by the presence of a certain differential feature (=mark), while the other member is characterized by the absence of this feature.

Usually one member of a binary privative opposition inwhich the feature is present is called the marked or strong or positive member, while the other inwhich the feature is absent is called the unmarked or weak or negative member (Blokh, p. 28). The marked member is usually more complicated in its form and more concrete in its meaning than the unmarked one.

E.g. in the binary opposition between the Common and the Continuous aspect forms, the Continuous aspect form is the marked member of the opposition, while the Common aspect form is the unmarked member, because its form is simpler and its meaning is less concrete. It is more abstract, more vague.

The whole set of the members (opposemes) constituting a grammatical category make up the paradigm of the category (e.g.: the past, present, the future tense opposimes make up the tense paradigm in E.).

Besides the explicit grammatical categories considered above there exist also the implicit lexico-grammatical (= semantic) categories. Here belong the general implicit lexico-grammatical meanings of parts of speech (e.g.: the meaning of thingness (substace) in nouns, process, transitivity/non-transitivity in verbs).

The implicit lexico-grammatical (= semantic) categories have no formal outer expression, but they influence the realization of some explicit (formal) grammatical categories. E.g. The implicit lexico-grammatical (= semantic) categoryof countability/non-countability of nouns restricts the sphere of use of the explicit (formal) grammatical categoryof number: uncountable nouns usually cannot be used in the plural.


2.According to O . Akhmanova :

Категориальная форма – флективная разновидность слова, являющаяся выражением грамматической категории данного разряда слов (т.е. слов, принадлежащих к данной части речи), например:1) Категориальные формы Pr , Past и Fut Ind ., которыми конституируется категория времени.

Categorial form is an inflectional variety of a word expressing the grammatical category of a given set of words (i.e. words belonging to a given part of speech). E.g. Categorial forms of the Pr, Past & Fut Ind., which constitute the category of tense.

1.According to Khaimovich:

A Morphological opposition is a minimum set of words revealing (by the difference in their forms) only (and all) the particular manifestations of some general grammatical meaning (p.23-24).

2..According to O . Akhmanova :

Оппозиция – различие двух или более однородных единиц языка, способные выполнять семиологическую (=смыслоразличительную)функцию т.е. быть семиологически релевантными ().

3. According to I.I.Pribytok:

3. A morphological opposition is a contrast of two morphological units possessing a ground for comparison and a basis for distinction.


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