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vocabulary, and as an actual sign, used in speech.
The virtual side of the language sign exists in the sphere of language. It is an
unrealized word, while the actual side of the word belongs to the syntagmatic
sphere of speech.
LECTURE N 5.
Theme : Grammatical categories.
Grammar abstracts itself from particular meanings of words and deals with the
most generalized meanings, that may be proper to big groups of words with
different lexical meanings.
In logic, the most general notions reflecting the most general properties of
some phenomena are called categorial notions ( or categories ) . The most
general meanings in Linguistics are regularly expressed through the system of
the paradigmatically organized word forms and are interpreted as categorial
According to the general methodological law, every content must have a certain
material form of expression. If we take a generalized meaning of plurality we
can find its material implementation in many word forms such as : streets, cars,
houses, girls, students which make up a grammeme. The grammatical phenomena,
like the word in lexicology are also characterized by the 2 planes : the plane
of content ( meaning ) & the plane of form ( expression ).
Since the meaning of plurality is represented in many word forms, we may
interpret it as a grammatical meaning & the word forms, representing it
materially are called grammatical forms.
- Sthe plane of grammatical expression
pluralitythe plane of grammatical meaning
The unity of the grammatical meaning with a grammatical form may testify to the
existence of the grammatical category, but to establish grammatical category, we
must find a system of paradigmatically correlated grammatical forms.
E.g.: boys can be correlated with boy's
Since Within the noun we may come across the following paradigm, expressing the
generalized notion of number.
E.g.: street - streets; ox - oxen ; foot - feet.
If we analyze the opposed forms street - streets, we may observe, that they are
grammatically opposed, for 1 expresses singularity, the other - plurality. The 2
opposed meanings are united by a more abstract meaning of noun. This highly
abstract meaning of noun represented by the paradigmatic correlation of 2
grammatical forms makes up a grammatical category.
Likewise, we may establish the existence of the category of tense of the verb,
but it will be represented by the grammatical opposition of 3 grammatical forms
& grammatical meanings.
E.g. : ask - asked - will ask
present past future
The opposition of grammatical forms always represents the opposition of
The correlated elements of the grammatical opposition must posses common
features & differential ones, i.e. one form must be unmarked, other forms must
be marked by a certain morpheme.
"A grammatical category is a unity of a generalized grammatical meaning, with a
set of paradigmatically correlated grammatical forms ".
Professor Smirnitsky's Postulates
of the Grammatical Category.
Five postulates of the existence of grammatical categories. By this he defines
grammatical category in a very convincing & exhausting way.
Any grammatical category must be represented by, at least, 2 grammatical forms.
There're no languages in which you could find only one case form or one form of
number. The minimal set of paradigmatically correlated forms is 2 forms.
Category of case in English is represented by the opposition of 2 forms ( Common
- Possessive ), Russian - 6 forms ( Падежи ).
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