Verb. The category of tense. The problem of the future tense.
Description of the English verb: the categorical meaning of the verb, its morphological system, syntactic function. The category of tense in different linguistic theories. Absolute and relative tenses in M. Bloch’s teaching. The category of primary time. The category of prospective time. The interrelation of the two categories. The problem of the future tense in the foreign and home linguistic.
The verb is the nost complex part за speech. The reason for it is the central role the verb performs in the expression of the predicateive functions of th sentence.
The categorical meaning of the verb is process. Verb I sthe only part of speech in present day enhlish that has a morphological system based on a series of categories. They are the category of person, number, tense, aspect, voisce, mood and correleation. The processual of process lexico-grammatical meaning of the verb conditions its peculiar combinability with nouns or noun equivalents denoting te doer 9agent) and the recipient of the acion expressed by the verb. It is also modified by adverbs. Th everb always performs the function of the predicate in the sentence. The verb has such forms as the infinitive, the gerund and the particle which occupy a peculiar position in its system. They are the non-finite forms of the verbs. One of the typical functions fothe finite verb is the immediate expression of grammatical time or tense.
Time as well as space are te basic forms fo the existence fo matter. Tme should be appraised by the individual in reference to the resent moment (linguistically the momen of speech). The present moment serves as the democation line between the past an веру агегкую pr. Смирницкий and Illish consider that the three main divisions of objective time are represented in the English verbal system by the three tenses: present, past and Future. However Illish admits that he future int eh past doesn’t easy fit into a system of tenses represented by a straight line running out of thePast into the Fture. The starting point of the future int Past is not the preent from which the past and Future are reckoned but the Past itself. According to Bloch the grammatical expression of verbal time that is tense is effected in 2 correlated stages. At the first stage the process receives an absolute time characteristics by means of opposing the past tense to the Present tense. The marked member of ерыш opposition fi the Past form. At the second stage the rpocees receives a non-absolutive relative time characteristics by means of opposing the form of the future tense to the forms of no-future marking.
The 2 stages fo the verbal time denotation are expressed separately by their own oppositional forms. So extensed reason to recognize in the system of the elish verb not one but two temporal categories. Bi\oth of them answer the question what is the timing fo the process but the first member expresses a direct retrospective evaluation of the time. It fixes theprocess either in the Pst or not in реу Pst.
The second category whose strong member is the Future tense gives the timing of theprocess a prospective evaluation. It fixes the process either in the future or not in the fiuture. The first category is caledd by Bloch ‘he category of primary time’ and the seond ‘the category of prospective time’ ot ‘prospect’. The category of primary time as has been stated provides for the absolute expression of the time of the process that is the expression of it in reference to the monet of speech. The formal sugn fo theopposition constituting this category is with regular verbsm the dental suffis –(e)d[d,t,id] and with irregular verbs differnet phonemic interchanges. The suffix marks the verbal form of the past time. The opposte form is unmarked. An additionl reson for identifying the verbal past – present system as a separate grammatical category is provided by the fact that this system is specifically marked by the do-forms of the indefinite aspect.
Thus, the opposition is rendered by the formular the pst-tense vs. non-past \ present tense. The specific feature fo the category of primary time is that it devided all the tense forms of the Ehlish verb into two temporal plains. The plain of thepresent and the plain of the past which also affects the future tense. There are two futures in the system of the nehlish verb. On реу one hand, the future of the present that is as prospected fromth epresent, on the other hand the Future of the Pst that is as prospected fro th epst. The following example illustrates the four member correlation.
*jane returms from school at 5 o’clock. At 5 Janу returned from school.
I know that Jane will return from school at 5 o’clock.– Future present. I knew that at 5 Jane would return from school.
The fact that the present tense is the unmarked member of the opposition explains a very wide range fo its meanings exceeding by far the indication fo the moment of speech. Indeed eh present time may be understood literary as the moment of speaking tha is the zero point of all subjective estimationfo time made by the speaker the meaning of the present I this case wil be conveyed by such phrases as at this very moment or exactly now or some other ohrase like that. The present will still be the rpesent oif we relate it to such vast periods fo time as this month, this year, in out epoch tec. Still furthermore if we utter general truths as for instance 2 + 2 maked four or the sun is a star we imply always and so at the moment of speech.
Problems of the Future tense
The combinations of the verbs shall and will with the infinitive have lately v\become subject of renewed discussion. The controversial point about them is whether these combinations really constitute together with the forms of the Past and Present the categorical expression of the verbal tense or are just model phrases. Many grammarians recognize the existence of the Future tense. O. jesperson a recognized authority on English grammar denied the existence of it because according to him the verbs shall and will preserve some а their original meaning. shall- the meaning of the obligation and will – volition. With O. jesperson English has no way of expressing pure futurity. Professor Illish considers фере these arguments are not convincing. Though te verbs shall and will may in some context preserve their orginal meaning of theobligation and volition as a rue they are devoid of any meaning an dexpress near futurity.
*In this case I’ll have to change my plan. Tomorrow’s weather will be cold an dclody.
A weel-grounded objected against the inclusion of the constraction shall, will + infinitive in the tense system of the verb on the same basis as the forms of the present and past has been advanced by L.S. Бархударов. His objection consusts of the would-be tense form by one and the same category. The combinations in question express at once both the future tense and the past tense (Future-in-the-Past).It hardly makes only sense in terms of a grammatical category. Th eprinciple of the identification fo any grammatical category demands that the forms of the category in normal use should be mutually exclusive the category is constituted byde the opposition of its forms but not by their co-position. However reconsidering the status of the constructon shall, will + infinitive in the light of opposition approach we see that far from comparing with the past-persent verbal forms as the thirs member form fo the category of primaty time it makes its own grammatical category namely that of prospective time. The meaningful contrast underline the category fo prosective time is berweren an after actionand a non-alfter action. The after action of the future having its shall-will feature constitutes tehstrong marked member of the opposition. The category of prospect is also temporal but the smantic basis of the category of perospect is different in principle from that of the category of primary time while the primary time is absolute that is Present-oriented, the prospective time is ourely relative. It means that the future from of the veb only shows that the denoted procces is prospected as an afteraction relative to some other action or state or event, the tinig of which marks te zero level for it. The two times are presented in rospective coordination. One is shown as prospected for the future. The future is realative to the primaty time either present or past. A sa result the expression of th future receives the two mutually complementary langvistations. One manifestation for tehrpesent time plain of the verb (shall, will | infinitive), the зерук manifestation for the past time plain of the verb )should, would + infinitive).
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