Synthesis OPTIONAL COURSE Year III, Sem II Applied Grammar in Translations Lect. Univ. Dr.

Filip Bacalu

I. General Issues
This course has the aim of presenting the students a review of specialized grammar (phonetics, morphology, syntax) as well as differences in the discursive style in English and Romanian, applied/applicable in literary translations. Thus, the students shall become familiar, both in a theoretical and practical framework, with recognizing the hypothetically problematic grammatical structures and their translation, with the observance of the stylistic, discursive, pragmatic, cognitive and mentality differences between the two languages/cultures under study. Such knowledge shall be very useful in successfully passing the final graduation exam as well as in better handling, in translation, of the transfer from one system of thought to the other. The course is structured in 12 lectures, as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. The relevance of linguistic layers for translation (1 lecture) The phono-morpho-syntactic level – surface structure (1 lecture) Hierarchy of the grammatical problems (1 lecture) Typical features of the source/target language at the morphological level (1 lecture) Difficulties in translating the noun phrase (2 lectures) Verbal categories of mood, tense and aspect (2 lectures) The predication (2 lectures) Word order difficulties/differences (1 lecture) Contrastive Elements at the Level of the Sentence (1 lecture)

Form of examination Examination. Bibliography
1. Baciu, I. 2004 – Functional Categories in English, Bucharest University Press. 2. Cornilescu, A.1995 – Concepts of Modern Grammar, Bucharest University Press. 3. Crainiceanu I. 2008 – Elements of English Morphology, Editura Fundaţiei România de Mâine. 4. Şerban D. 2006 – The Syntax of English Predications, Editura Fundaţiei România de Mâine.

1. The Structure of the Lexicon
The Lexicon is a global store of the lexical items in the language. It provides all the properties characterising each item/word from a phonological, grammatical (morpho-syntactic) and semantic point of view. These properties, which are specified in the lexical entry of each item, are projected from the Lexicon to all the other levels. Hence the name given to this universal principle: the Projection Principle. It actually secures the link between the Lexicon and the two levels of the Syntax in the overall organization of grammar: D-Structure and S-Structure, The basic features of all lexical items are valid and visible at all these level. We shall demonstrate that this is of particular interest for the major topic of the present study, which is focused on predication. The information about verbs specifies their argument structure made up of the thematic roles they assign to their arguments (e.g. Agent, Patient, Instrument, Goal, etc.). Let us consider as illustration the verb send, which belongs to the class/subcategory of dative verbs. These verbs are specialized, from a semantic point of view, for expressing the change of possession of an entity by its transfer to a Goal, as shown by the sentence: (1) Mark sent the money to Pete. Agent Patient Goal The lexical entry for send specifies three thematic roles forming the “theta grid” / thematic structure of the Verb send: (2) SEND Theta-grid: Agent, Patient, Goal There are three participants involved in the conceptual structure of events like sending smth. to smb.: an Agent which occupies the Subject position, a Patient role, realized syntactically by the NP the money, functioning as Direct Object and the role of Goal, realized syntactically by the Prepositional Phrase to Pete, functioning as Indirect Object (marked by the directional dative preposition to). Actually the whole predication expressed by the Verb Phrase (VP) sent the money to Pete requires as Subject an NP with the role of Agent (at the same time Source) of the transfer. All this information is projected from the Lexicon to D-Structure and then to S-Structure, being preserved up to the end of the derivational process, so that the following alternative of the basic sentence, occurring at S-Structure after reordering of constituents has applied, has the same thematic structure as the one indicated as basic in the Lexicon: (3) Mark sent Pete the money. The two objects are reordered, but they still represent the same correlations between their theta role and the function they discharge: the Indirect Object bears the role of Goal, the Direct Object the role of Patient. Our example above is based on the hypothesis that the two dative alternatives are related derivationally by a movement rule which reorders the two objects. The rule is known as Dative Movement and it applies on the dative configuration with a prepositional Indirect Object, deriving a quasi-synonymous alternative sentence with a non-prepositional double object pattern. In the literature there have been suggested other explanatory analyses as well. But irrespective of whether these theories support the relation between the two constructions or not, one thing is undeniable: the same thematic roles are projected from the Lexicon onto the two S-Structure alternatives, which also share the basic semantic interpretation of most dative constructions: the change of possession by means of a transfer from an Agent to a Goal.

2. The Major Thematic Roles Assigned by Verbs
Here is an inventory of the theta roles that verbs can assign to their arguments in any natural language: (4)

specifying the complements selected by the item. such as. realized by various verb subcategories we would like to supply a systematic presentation of the type of information an ideal Lexicon should include in the lexical entry. such as Patient (Pat) or Theme. be it a person or a thing undergoing the effect/impact of some action: die. Goal (G). Role structures are part of our mental linguistic Lexicon. affective etc. viewed from a syntactic perspective. as well as the thematic roles assigned to the internal arguments. Thus the entry for each item in the Lexicon includes: a) The representation of the phonological form/matrix. The Types of Information in the Lexical Entry of Verbs Before embarking on the description of the major predication types in English. 3. Source — the location or entity from which something moves: (come) from the north Instrument — the medium by which the action or event is carried out: (mix the sauce) with a spoon Locative / Location — the specification of the place where the action / event takes place. as indicated by the frame: [+ _ NP]. [+ / -controlled activity]. The lexical entry is as informative as possible with regard to the properties of lexical items at each level of analysis and representation. the ones that do not enter the respective frame are all intransitive verbs. Experiencer — the participant experiencing a psychological state or process (cognitive. written etc. The V items sharing this feature are considered to be transitive. dislike.: love. which is interpreted by the PF and LF Components.state]. Patient/ Theme – the affected entity. (cook a dish) for smb. e) The subcategory/subclass the V item belongs to. [+ change-of-state/inchoative]. its ‘sisters’ or obligatory terms/neighbours to the right. Benefactive/ Beneficiary — the entity that benefits from the action or event denoted by the predicate: (buy a gift) for smb. Source (S). consisting in the specification of the feature indicating the lexical or syntactic category it belongs to. All the information supplied in the lexical entry is projected to D-Structure and to S-Structure. d) The thematic roles assigned by the V item are indicated by its argument structure. which lists the theta-roles assigned to the external argument the Agent (Ag). i. performer and ‘controller’ of an action: work. Predicates are mainly realized by lexical Vs or by the joint contribution of ‘light’ Vs and Adjectives or Nouns.. Goal — the location or entity in the direction of which something moves: (go )to London.). from the point of view of the syntactic context each V occurs in. fall. Instrument (Ins). Experiencer (Exp). [+ A ]. they represent lexical conceptual structures (LCS). think.. Thus Verbs subcategorize according to their possible co-occurrence with a NP functioning as Direct Object. etc. ( give smth. . [+ N]. thus Verbs can be [+/. For each item participating in the predication the lexical entry will have to specify its categorial appurtenance. for instance: [ + V ]. c) Inherent/ basic semantic features which are relevant from a grammatical point of view.Agent – the animate initiator. [+ causative] etc. Benefactive (Ben) etc. remember etc. build smth. This is specified as the theta-grid of the respective verb. laugh. b) The categorial appertenance of the item.) to smb.e. the object which is eaten. eat smth. Thus the syntactic behaviour of each verb is described by means of the subcategorization frame.

Foreign Office. council. troop. media. ministry. livestock. proportion. the EU. (b) (c) (d) (e) To this list we can add the names of many organizations which also display the behavior of inherently collective nouns: the NATO. Education / Sports: class. They do not evince the singular – plural contrast. data. aristocracy. audience. the BBC. they are countable nouns and their morphological irregular behavior is explained in terms of their historic. minority. They are countable nouns and have count properties. government can be defined as nouns designating a whole class of individuals. majority. sheep and swine have their plural form identical with their singular form. staff. fleet. nobility. air-force. swarm. pack. Distributive and Collective Plurals Collective nouns such as class. They co-occur with cardinals and plural anaphoric pronouns. parish. mob. In fact. money. company. group. sales division. household. people. squadron. ministry. Morphology 1. His reindeer are from Lapland c. though these nouns are usually interpreted as singular terms. since they refer to one unique body. etc Religion: congregation. department. police. union. etc (cf. gang. jury. choir. mass. government. Baciu 2004): (a) Politics: assembly. Fresh-water fish are more valuable for the sport they provide than for the market . mess. proletariat. 2. etc Others: family. The list of collective nouns below reflects the most significant socio-cultural groupings of society as found in the area of politics. club. Morphologically Defective Nouns Other classes of nouns are plural in meaning but are morphologically defective. They consist of individualizable elements but their morphological form is singular. flock. diachronic evolution. They take all the articles and quantifiers (plus cardinals) that characterize bona-fide countable nouns: (5) a. cabinet. In terms of verbal agreement. crowd. army. management. Collective Nouns. clergy. society. trade and industry. except for the lack of plural marker on the noun. the verb is always in the plural: (6) a. religion. school. There are several deer/sheep grazing peacefully in the distance b. Ştefãnescu 1988.II. audience. etc. press. The domestic swine fairly dotes on snakes Nouns that designate wild animals. congress. wild fowl and fish have the unmarked (singular) form used for both singular and plural contexts. opposition. crew. herd. team. senate. public. flight. party. Verb agreement is either in the singular or in the plural. House of Commons. poultry. etc. board. Nouns like deer. etc. Trade / Industry: firm. sports. which is again explained in terms of the diachronic evolution of English. etc. committee.

brother – brethren. carp take the plural marker –s when reference is made to varieties of fish. livestock. woman – women. These cattle belong to John b. You may kill a few antelope b. vermin are morphologically not marked for plural (but are understood as designating sets of individuals) and agree with the verb only in the plural. *four cattle vs. Again. from the singular brother) is nowadays used in religious contexts: (9) The persons least surprised at the Reverend’s deficiencies were his clerical brethren Nouns such as cattle. goose – geese. four cows b. ox – oxen. The plural forms brethren (confraţi. postman – postmen. Did you get many salmon after I left? d. to keep fowls Other countable nouns form their plural by Ablaut (or vowel change): foot – feet. trout. Norman or Roman form the plural according to the general rule by adding the suffix –s: Germans. distinct lexical items must be used when individuation takes place (as in (8a)): (11) a.b)). Between four and five moose are annually eaten at the forts These nouns are also called ‘collective singular’ nouns. Ablaut preservation in plural formation is explained on historical grounds. charwoman – charwomen.b. Moreover. *This cattle belongs to John Another peculiarity of these nouns is that they cannot occur with low numerals but only with high numerals (as in (8a. poultry. The use of the singular form of the noun is the general tendency but there are also exceptions to the rule: (7) a. Romans. Some of these nouns such as fish. louse – lice. folk. two hundred cattle. mouse – mice. The true antelopes you saw are remarkable for the graceful symmetry of their bodies The collective use of the singular form of these nouns is found particularly with the shooting jargon. poultry Instead. people. Other survivals from Old English are a few nouns that form the plural in –en: child – children. These nouns lack the singular – plural contrast: (10) a. to raise ducks to shoot waterfowl vs. Compare: (8) to shoot duck vs. Are these duck or mergansers? c. tooth – teeth. man – men. Compounds of ‘man’ change to ‘men’ as in fireman – firemen. Similarly. the nouns folk and people can be used with low numerals: (12) These seven people/city folk . compounds of ‘woman’ form the plural by using ‘women’ as in house-woman – housewomen. Anglicized foreign derivatives of –man such as German.

Proper names like Murfatlar.regards. novelty .wits. fashion – fashions. the quantifier is a count quantifier (14b) and the anaphoric pronoun is plural in form (14a). coffee – coffees.waters. Malaga.silks. Are your feelings the same for me? As shown by the examples in (16) the recategorized plural nouns evince count properties as they take count quantifiers and the agreement with the verb is done in the plural. mentality . salt .sands. tea – teas. Air is a mixture of gases The newly formed terms in (14) are count terms since they have plural form. the verb agreement is in the plural. snow snows. Bordeaux.novelties. confidence . In this case pluralization and the use of the indefinite article a trigger number recategorization of mass nouns into countable nouns.tins.salts.respects: (16) a. They showed the old lady numerous attentions b. curiosity -curiosities. Consider the following examples: (14) a. tin .confidences. fruit – fruits.. Some mass nouns can be recategorized as count/general terms when they occur in the plural but they mean ‘kinds of x’: wine – wines. wit . sand . There was some gas left in the bag.rubbers. What is peculiar of these newly formed mass nouns is that the sense of the singular mass term includes the sense of the mass plural term. steel –steels. paper . . green fruits and nuts d. He shouted in order to attract attention. etc.attentions. The act / instance / occasion count terms have the quality of the mass term. Four wines were served at dinner. They were dry wines b. all fruit is divided into three parts: dried fruits. represent lexicalizations of ‘kinds’ of wine.When the noun people means popor it displays regular singular – plural forms: (13) a. respect . The two girls were exchanging many confidences b. etc. The people of Romania b. Number Recategorization of Mass Nouns into Countable Nouns We turn now to the description of the classes of uncountable / mass nouns that undergo number recategorization. regard .papers. Many different wines were served at dinner c. Here are some examples: water . which through pluralization denote an act / an instance / an occasion of the mass term.mentalities. usually with a change in meaning. Here are some examples: attention . In the Customs list. There is another class of mass nouns that have a corresponding plural form but this time the newly formed noun is also a mass term. He has lost all feeling in his leg. implication implications. silk . She showed much confidence in life. The peoples of Europe 3. Syntactically and semantically these ‘names’ function as mass terms: (15) He drank too much Bordeaux. rubber . it went straight to his head Another class of mass terms that can be recategorized into count terms contains mass terms. gas – gases.

man/he . The Gender of Animate Entities Nouns that denote human beings and animate entities may or may not contain gender information. the systems of anaphoric pronominal reference by personal pronouns (he.masculine. Water is a liquid.. . le/la in French.g. the distinctions between animate / inanimate and human / non-human cut across the classification of nouns according to gender. Modern English has basically semantic gender. (The description draws on Ştefãnescu 1988). In German das Fräulein and das Mädchen are grammatically neuter. and it). In English. For instance.These plural mass terms differ from their corresponding singular term in that they trigger plural agreement with the verb (due to the plural form of the noun). The snows round the Aiguilles are the least trodden 4. reflexive pronouns (himself/herself) also encode gender information. un/o in Romanian). in Romanian covrig is grammatically masculine. This division reflects the concepts of animacy. she. Indo-European languages distinguish three genders of nouns: masculine.feminine. Much of them make life possible b. plural anaphoric pronouns but mass quantifiers: (17) a. inanimacy and sex manifested in language. woman/she . Grammatical gender distributes gender according to other criteria: there are morpho-syntactic markers of gender such as the quality of the stem of the word (consonant or vowel) and the system of determiners (e. Moreover. The waters of the Nile are essential for the country’s agriculture. They make life possible. feminine and neuter. corn is grammatically neuter while sentinelã is grammatically feminine. Gender information is incorporated in the lexical information of certain words (e. Other languages such as Romanian. determination and case. There is plenty of snow in the Alps. stick/it – neuter). Jespersen (1931) offers the following divisions of gender in Indo-European languages: (18) Nature (sex) male beings female sexless things Grammar (gender) masculine words feminine neuter In what follows. French or German have grammatical gender (given in the dictionaries). General Remarks on the Category of Gender Gender is another functional category of the lexical category noun alongside number.g. possessives (his/her book). Languages that have grammatical gender do not observe gender classification of nouns in terms of the sex distinction animate (male-female) versus inanimate (neuter).. the discussion of gender in English mainly concerns listing nouns that evince semantic gender. Indo-European languages evince roughly two types of gender: semantic gender (where the natural sex of an entity matches grammar) and grammatical gender (where the natural sex of an entity is not necessarily the criterion according to which a noun belongs to a certain gender).

Consider the list below: (19) man husband father boy son lad king bridegroom bachelor brother uncle nephew lord master monk/friar wizard woman wife mother girl daughter lass queen bride spinster/old maid sister aunt niece lady mistress nun witch person/human spouse parent child child youth sovereign/monarch sibling Other nouns that denote human beings bearing gender information form the feminine member by adding specific suffixes: #ess. Consider the list below: (20) prophet – prophetess peer – peeress poet – poetess host – hostess baron – baroness lion – lioness executor – executrix czar – czarina count – countess shepherd – shepherdess heir – heiress prior – prioress god – goddess prince – princess hero – heroine suffragette / usherette Nouns that denote animals are also organized in pairs: one member of the pair designates the male animal and the other the female animal. # (t)rix. Other nouns denoting animals use the male animal to designate either sex (illustrated in the (21b) list below). Several of these nouns have a third member that designates either member of the pair but is unmarked for gender (illustrated in the (21a) list below). #ina. Other nouns use the female animal to designate either sex (as in the (21c) list below) while still other nouns make use of compound nouns with the pronouns she/he. Several of these nouns have a third member that designates either member of the pair but is unmarked for gender. #ette. the adjectives male/female or proper names to indicate sex (as in the (21d) list below): (21a) stallion bull ram boar stag mare cow ewe sow hind horse sheep pig/swine deer .The Gender of Male/Female Beings Nouns that designate human beings that are marked for gender are organized in pairs: one member of the pair designates the male being and the other the female being.

The parcel will be arriving tomorrow Be going to + infinitive: e. ‘Obligation’ and ‘want’ are oriented to a future time sphere. In the course of time these verbs developed into auxiliary verbs that signaled both modality (i.g.. The parcel will arrive tomorrow Will/shall + progressive infinitive: e. c. . in older stages of English...g.e. Exams start tomorrow The present progressive: e. there is a decision taken or plan fixed according to some external authority. I leave early tomorrow morning c. The parcel is going to arrive tomorrow The Simple Present Tense with Future Time Adverbs Consider the following examples: (22)a. Tomorrow is Thursday b. I am under the obligation’ and will meant ‘I want’.g.cock (21b) dog ruff (21c) gander drake (21d) otter fox cat ass goat hare rabbit pheasant pigeon bear hen bitch reeve goose duck dog-otter dog-fox tom-cat jack-ass billy-goat buck-hare/jack-hare buck-rabbit cock-pheasant cock-pigeon he-bear fowl dog ruff goose duck bitch-otter bitch-fox/vixen tabby-cat jenny-ass nanny-goat doe-hare doe-rabbit hen-pheasant hen-pigeon she-bear 5. ET = RT] irrespective of the linguistic means that render it. e. I am off tonight The future time meaning of the simple present tense refers to a future occasion: at the moment of speech the speaker anticipates an event or a state that is to take place at a RT = ET that is after/posterior to ST. full verbs. There are also some differences and nuances of usage that distinguish among these means..g.. i. possibility / probability) and futurity.. these means belong either to the modal system or to the aspectual paradigm. b. The ATR of the future tense is [ST < RT. The present tense with future time adverbs is used in situations when the event is scheduled by external factors.e.g. Shall meant ‘I must.. In Modern English they retain both a temporal and a modal value but many other linguistic means are being used to render future time more explicitly. The parcel is arriving tomorrow Will/shall + infinitive: e. d. Leech (1971) lists the following linguistic means that express futurity in Modern English. Means of Expressing Future Time The auxiliary verbs shall and will used to convey future tense in Modern English were. a. The present tense + future time adverbs: e.

i.e. I start work tomorrow “The first sentence suggests that the speaker now expects or intends to start work – he may perhaps.g. the mixture of modal and temporal values of these modal verbs is due to the diachronic development of English: at the beginning will/shall had only modal values and in time they also developed a future reading when they occur with future time adverbs. Leech (1971) makes the following comments with respect to their usage: “frequently a sentence with will/shall is incomplete without an adverbial of definite time: *It will rain / *The room will be cleaned. by his firm or by the doctor”. the contribution of these modal verbs in sentences as in (27) below (without temporal adverbs) is modal. The second indicates that tomorrow is the time fixed for him to start. John is rising at 5 tomorrow b. *The sun is rising at 5 tomorrow Present progressive sentences with future time adverbs also convey a sense of imminence that is absent from the use of the simple present tense with future time adverbs: (25) a. human agency is involved: (24) a. The Smiths are leaving tomorrow b.. As said above. presumably because of their factual emptiness: we all feel certain that ‘it will rain’ at some time in the future. These sentences are relatively unacceptable on their own.The Present Progressive with Future Time Adverbs Consider the following example: (23) I’m starting work tomorrow The present tense progressive plus future time adverbs is used when an element of human volition is involved and it has the flavor of a planned. Consider first the sentences: (26) a. Tomorrow’s weather will be cold and windy c. . that of making predictions: (27) a. have been ill.. so there is no point in saying ‘it will rain’ unless an actual time can be forecast”. Allan will be in Bucharest b. My aunt is coming to stay with us this Christmas Palmer (1978) contrasts the use of the simple present tense form with the present progressive form with future time adverbs in the following terms. The sentence in (24b) below is ill formed because no conscious. In fact. e. Will and Shall plus the Infinitive Traditional grammars have interpreted modal auxiliaries will and shall as means of expressing future tense. I’m starting work tomorrow b. arranged action that takes place in the future. You will feel better after you take this medicine It is evident that will/shall also refer to future predictions due to their modal nuance.

The basic meaning of be going to is that of “future fulfillment of the present” (Leech. I think I’m going to faint (i. I can see the black clouds gathering) Notice that be going to can also be used when speaking about periods remote from ST: (32) a. The same explanation can be considered for the second sentence. ---the second extension of the general sense of be going to can be stated as ‘future fulfillment of present cause’. If Winterbottom’s calculations are correct. she is already pregnant) b. This sense is common with both agentive and non-agentive verbs: (31) a. In contemporary English. I already feel ill) c. the sentence predicts that this time next week the activity of sailing across the Atlantic will be in progress. Don’t call me at 9 – I’ll be eating my supper In the first sentence in (84a) the verb is in the progressive form and the modal shall contributes its (modal) predictive sense.Will and Shall plus the Progressive Infinitive Consider the following examples: (28) a.000. Jespersen (1931) remarks that the structure is going to derives from the progressive form of the verb to go: “going loses its meaning as a verb of movement and becomes an empty grammatical word”. She is going to have another baby (i. There’s going to be a storm in a minute (i. The prediction is made with such a great degree of certainty that the event is presented as unfolding at a specified future reference time. This time next week I shall be sailing across the Atlantic b. be going to is mainly used in colloquial speech. Therefore.e.. I’m going to be a policeman when I grow up b.. this planet is going to burn itself out 200. The same process occurred in French with the form je vais faire. Leech (1971) identifies two extensions of this general meaning of to be going to: ---the first one is ‘the future fulfillment of the present intention’ that is found with human subjects who consciously exercise their will: (30) What are you going to do today? I am going to stay at home and watch television On this reading the sentence I am going to watch television is felt as stronger than I intend to watch television. but from the adverbial specification in the sentences. the future interpretation of the sentences does not result from will/shall plus progressive infinitive.e.000 years from now .e. Be Going To Consider the following example: (29) I’m going to call him Be going to is a frozen form that cannot be analyzed into two separate verb forms: it is listed as such in the lexicon. 1971).. Thus.

The theta-role assigned by each of the verbs that predicate the sentences above are.NP government relation is altogether ruled out. intransitive predications evince various degrees of semantic and/or syntactic complexity. All the spectators are laughing. as shown by the following sentences predicated by syntactically simple intransitives.The Future of Past Situations In case the sentence has a past time sphere. e. b. His finger was upon the trigger and he was on the point of fire c. Nevertheless. He was going to be a policeman later in his life Palmer (1979:130) remarks that “for future in the past. 1971): (34) a. to be on the point of/on the verge of/on the brink of: (35) a. He was just on the point of proposing to her e. Twenty years later. With intransitives there is no such ‘sister’.: . future in the past): (33) a. while in literary style would is likely to occur (Leech. being placed in Complement position.e. These verbs take a single argument which is assigned one role. be they activity verbs or verbs denoting state or change of state. optional Adverbial Modifiers realized by Adverb Phrases or Prepositional Phrases. Syntax 1. The V . He has been on the brink of marrying her d. to be ready to. Although these verbs do not take Direct Objects they may be modified by Adjuncts. These are cases of what traditional grammarians used to consider as Verbs of complete predication. Dick Whittington would be the richest man in London To the above-mentioned expressions of futurity in English we can also add the following: to be about to (used to express imminent future situations. The Noun Phrase discharging this function is the obligatory ‘sister’ of the transitive verb. to be near to. Agent (36)-a or Patient (36)-b: (36) a. it is less colloquial than to be going to). i. He was leaving town the day after we arrived b. He was about to retrace his steps when he was suddenly transfixed to the spot by a sudden appearance b.e. intuiting correctly that the respective verbal predicators are self-sufficient. all the future time expressions are modified to indicate a future plus past situation (i. Thus if the verb only requires the Subject to form a grammatical sentence it is considered to be syntactically simple. I was very nearly offering a large reward III. therefore: a) Agent (Ag) for the Subject of laugh and b) Patient (Pat)/ Theme (T) for the Subject of happen.. Syntactically Simple versus Syntactically Complex Intransitives Transitivity and intransitivity are properties determined by the presence or absence of a Direct Object in the frame of the verb. Simple intransitive predications 1.g. I was going to say that it looked a bit like a pheasant in flight b. be going to is regularly used”. Accidents will happen.

as in: (40) a. IO followed by PO indicating a Goal) c. (reciprocal act. IO) b. activity verb. kneel to smb. ‘topic’ PO) The most complex structures are the ones including two POs. If the prepositional feature of the respective verbs is the dative to.(37) a.) or verbs indicating human gestures/ motions (bow to smb. i. Syntactic Properties of Unergatives We should also point out that the unergative behaviour of some of the above-mentioned verbal items actually represents their basic and minimal patterning regime. b. (Manner Adverbial) b. The student talked to his colleagues (IO) about the summer exams in physics and chemistry (‘heavy’PO). Some of them may also occur in more extended frames which include fixed/compulsory prepositions that govern NPs.. I have agreed with Mother (PO1) on blue for the kitchen (PO2). talk to smb. Predicative Adjunct/Complement to the Subject) 2. as in the following contexts: (39) a. resulting state verb. it is modified by other phrases. I have talked to the boss about my latest complaint.. He was walking with a stick. as is the case of the complex structures in which the first one is an IO or reciprocal PO and the second one is a PO expressing the topic/issue the activity is focused on: (41) a.g. e. etc. Brian has quarrelled with his next-door neighbour. Lilacs blossom in spring.. the function of the Prepositional Phrase is Prepositional Object. (Pat Subject. Jack was talking to the Dean. reciprocal PO. (gesture.Instrumental PO) b. (human activity. as i: (42) a. (Time Adverbial) c. . etc. She died young. possibly a Preposional one. (linguistic activity. (38) a. He applied to the board for the secretarial job. The young actress bowed to the audience. (reciprocal act. PO) b.e. The members of the committee have agreed on the issue. (Place Adverbial) The Adjunct may also be a free (optional) Prepositional Object or a Predicative Adjunct reduced from a Small Clause. (linguistic activity. The old king died in his bed. the second of which is ‘heavy’. as is the case of verbs of linguistic activities (speak to smb. IO and ‘topic’PO) b. (reciprocal act. John has agreed with his wife on the summer plans. IO) If the Preposition is other than the dative to. The baby was crying bitterly.) the Prepositional Phrase thus formed functions as Indirect Object (IO). PO) Some of the unergatives may take two such Objects. (Ag Subject.

On either side of the street were tall. however. d. It has been noticed that the meaning of basic unaccusative subclasses is related: they denote existence either explicitly or implicitly. I wondered about that alternative. The treatise consisted of 5 sections. Basic unaccusatives include existential and eventive verbs. He lived a miserable life. * In the library were reading periodicals the students. The soldier died a heroic death. which is a lexical copy of the verb: (45) a. There lived an old man in the attic. This also explains why unaccusatives select two internal arguments: minimally a single internal argument . consist (of). * The treatise consisted. The latter comes to occupy the final.. b. * I wondered. Beyond the horizon appeared the red shape of the rising sun.Patient/Theme (which comes to occupy the surface Subject position). post-verbal position in the sentence: (47) a. Unergatives. b. vs. wonder (about) which never occur by themselves. In the attic lived an old couple. The boy ran a long-distance race. f. Basic unaccusatives never shift to the transitive regime. Sheila smiled an ironical smile. Straight ahead was a new bank glass-and-metal building. They are considered to be phrasal verbs which take meaningless obligatory prepositions (governors of Ps) as proved by: (43) a. Syntactic Subcategorization of Unaccusatives Unaccusatives can be basic / prototypical or derived.. They have fought a cruel battle. b. e. slim poplar trees. d. This word order peculiarity triggers the inversion between the verb and the subject. They can all enter ‘there’ constructions like: (44) a. There gushed a fresh spring from the rock. take such Cognate Objects more easily: (46) a. vs. 3. They slept the sleep of the dead. She lived a life of plenty.All the verbs that can take such prepositional completions should be kept distinct from verbs such as abound (in). The only case of recategorization is the rare formation of a Cognate Object. I dreamt a strange dream. and maximally two internal arguments – Patient and Location (as shown by our examples above). Basic unaccusatives can enter constructions in which the Location is topicalized by being placed in initial sentence position. nor transitives enter this inverted structure: (48) a. b. as well as verbs indicating appearance and disappearance. b. (unergative) b.(transitive) . Neither unergatives. c. * In the mine toiled twelve youngsters. c. We waged an absurd war.

among which dress. In order to derive an intransitive configuration. The latter predicate is considered to belong to the subcategory of derived unaccusative. fallen trees. The door banged shut. (unergative) The past participle used as a Noun Modifier acquires an adjectival value. sunken ship etc. 4. The Reflexive Direct Object can also become phonologically null with some transitive Vs. The test is also ‘passed’ by transitive verbs: (51) a. b. The intransitive pattern in (49)-b renders a resulting state. We shall focus below on the possible recategorization of transitive Vs as intransitives. I bought a newly appeared novel. (unaccusative) b. as shown by the examples above. on the means by which the bigger transitive class "feeds" the intransitive one. Jack drinks daily (alcoholic beverages). Because of the inter-relation between the meaning of causation and the meaning of resulting state. The process may be labeled as intransitivization. As we already pointed out. Recategorization of Transitives as Intransitives. transitivity evinces a "floating" phenomenon. A number of transitives allow this deletion if their Object NP is [+generic] and they are easily understood in a given context: (53) a. which is often called ergative. The door opened. shave or wash: (54) a. it can be modified. c. She smokes too much. like any other adjective by an Adverb. He is the habit of shaving (himself ) daily. Have you finished dressing (yourself ) .( AP functioning as Predicative Adjunct to the Subject) b. Basically. The radio broke to pieces. Patient as internal argument) b. ergatives are transitive verbs with a causative meaning which have also developed an intransitive (derived) counterpart expressing a resulting state: (49) a. (Cause or Agent as external argument. b.Derived unaccusatives are the intransitive members of verbs with a two-fold regime. a V which is basically transitive has to "lose" its Direct Object. (Patient as Subject) The transitive configuration in (49)-a expresses an event in which causation is implied. The simpler of the two is Deletion of the DO. ( PP with the same function) Another ‘test’ easily passed by unaccusatives is their possible occurrence in the past participle form with the function of Noun Modifiers. derived unaccusatives can co-occur with resultative phrases expressed by Adjectival Phrases or Prepositional Phrases: (50) a. I bought a newly published novel (transitive) c.e. which goes both ways. rotten apples. from transitives to intransitives and vice versa. (cigarettes ).* The miners were hard worked fellows. Other illustrations include: (52) vanished customs. The wind/ The janitor opened the door. My husband writes for a living (fiction). The verb may become objectless by two important processes. in other words .

Government and Accusative Case Assignment. You must wash (yourself) before going to bed. The deep Object comes to acquire some of the Subject properties (position. 5. This contrasts with the Romanian ‘personal’ Direct Object which is marked by the preposition pe. This play acts successfully. a case of demotion. to which they assign Accusative case. as a result of the absence of their Direct Object from S-structure. being marked by the lack of preposition markers. We shall not comment here on the differences of meaning between these quasi-similar configurations. This metaphorical linguistic term refers to the movement of a Grammatical Function in a higher position in the relational hierarchy. in Relational Grammar terms. transitives are two-argument verbs The correponding thematic roles are almost uniformly an external Agent and an internal Patient/Theme. Compare: (56) a. The two examples below illustrate NP movement to Subject position: (55) a. Transitive verbs are governors of their sister NPs. This occurs in "activopassives"/ “middles” and in all passive constructions. These properties are illustrated below: (57) VP Spec NP V SCH V’ NP chips (Patient) Kids eat (Agent) . It enters the so-called middles. requiring the movement of the Patient/Theme to Subject. The reverse process will be dealt with at the end of the chapter devoted to transitive predications. Transitives can also shift to intransitives by the promotion of their Direct Objects. Simple Transitive Predications Simple Transitives. By this we mean that the respective NP ceases to bear a grammatical relation with the V and no longer takes part in syntactic processes. This play has been acted successfully.c. V is still active) b. This ‘omission’ of the Object is considered to be. mainly in the Subject position. Minimally. Profesorul l-a lăudat pe băiat. Notice as well that the activity verbs in our examples have shifted to the class of unergatives. no passive morphology being integrated. (Passivization) The verb in the first example preserves its active form. case-marking. The second sentence is a complete Passive. agreement). which are agentless verbs. (DO → Su. The teacher has praised the boy. These NPs function as Direct Objects. b.

c. create) concrete entities ( physical objects.).*Kids eat daily/everyday chips./ got his CV typed (by the clerk). events in which humans play an agentive part. or may simply be an external Causer. The cat killed all the mice. The bird flue ^ caused ^ some people’s deaths. b) a Patient which undergoes a change-of-state caused by the Cause. Consider: (58) a.Cause Object: (62) Some people’s deaths were caused by the bird flue. get) are prototypical causatives. They can express mere causation of an event: (59) a. Kids eat chips daily/ everyday. have. The bird flue NP1 .External Argument Internal Argument The ‘fusion’ between the governing verb and its governee is proved by the ban on adverbial insertion in between the two constituents. sometimes acquiring a resultative tinge. This binary nature of events based on causation correlates with their syntactic regime: they are all transitive.Cause [+causative] NP2 -Patient b. b. NP1 . determine. Jim had the technician upgrade his computer. 6. Susan taught the children French (= caused them to learn) c.e. some people to die NP2 -Patient (+resulting state) By Passivization the Patient moves to Subject and the Cause becomes Prepositonal ^ caused [+causative] ^ . The Frequency Adverbial cannot be placed between the transitive verb and its Direct Object. substances etc. The candidate got the clerk to type his CV. (=caused it to melt) Causative meaning presupposes two roles: a) a Cause which can coincide with the Agent or with the Instrument. Typology of Causative Verbs Causative Verbs are transitive verbs inherently marked by [+causative] or intransitive ones recategorized as transitives (occurring contextually as causatives). make. The greatest majority of transitive verbs in English express human activities. The verbs above (cause. Tsunami caused/ determined/ brought about a big disaster. The hot temperature melted the ice. d. (= caused them to die) b. being initiators and controllers of actions or processes which affect or effect (i. b./ had his computer upgraded (by the technician). the Cause functioning as Subject and the Patient as Direct Object: (61) a. His total failure made him give up the old plans. There are as well verbs denoting an event in which causation is implied: (60) a.

e. In what follows we shall tackle first the inherently transitive causatives. [BECOME (y. weep (tears). b. scintillate (glints.g. In order to become transitive they have to ‘acquire’ an Object. flash (fire).g. The lexical conceptual structure of causative. The young man's eyes were flashing fire. 7. e. She put her arms down and cried quiet tears (cried quietly). e. We can identify two subevents: a) causation. sparkles). [DEAD])])] This structure contains three predicates. and the elements x and y which represent the arguments of these predicates. The old servant had blood and water to please his master. The bird flue caused [people to die] The logical structure of causatives in terms of logical predicates and argument structure may be illustrated by the representation of the lexical causative kill: (64) KILL: [ CAUSE (x. Besides there is a third predication indicating the resulting state (that of being DEAD). While it is true that only transitive verb constructions may render causative meanings it is also true that not all causative verbs are inherently transitive. therefore. marked by a hybrid Patient role with a resultative meaning: (65) to cry (tears). occurs in the case of "impersonal" weather verbs: . 7. Recategorization of Intransitives as Transitives Intransitive verbs may float to transitive ones in various ways. We shall supply below the main modalities by which this ‘Object acquisition’ is achieved in English. which indicates the mode or cause of the action / gesture. b) becoming / inchoative. His eyes scintillated an extraordinary light. which may acquire a metaphorical use. CAUSE. He wept hot tears upon his mother's grave.: (66) a. An interesting recategorization. The NP functioning as Direct Object often contains a Noun Modifier expressed by an Adjective. c. sweat (blood and water). mainly contains a causative sub-event. Intransitive Verbs Recategorized as Transitive by Resultative Object Formation Intransitive verbs may recategorize as transitives by taking an affected object.: (63) a.Notice that verbs of the type "cause" may take a non-clausal or a clausal complement as Direct Object. shine (a light). and afterwards the intransitive verbs that behave contextually like transitive causatives. d. b.1. BECOME and DEAD. hence a causative meaning and an inchoative one. The bird flue caused people’s deaths.

roar. The verbs look. The Resultative Object thus obtained is constrained stylistically. It rained a November drizzle. . It rained blood/frogs/invitations. Incorporation of a causative meaning results in a personal use of these verbs (they take a [+human] Subject). in the sense that it does not take part in further syntactic processes. to frown an angry frown. The use of Vi ∩ NPs thus functioning is almost set or frozen. mainly in Passivization. which is a perfect lexical copy of the verb or a merely semantic one. besides two-verb constructions. The peculiarity of the Object NP lies in its consisting of a head-N the nominal (ization) corresponding to the Verb and a Modifier expressed by an adjective which indicates the manner in which the action/process takes place: (71) to dream a wonderful dream. 7.(67) a. She was starting her surprise/discontent. The stylistic advantage is great concision of the surface configuration. The first type is traditionally labelled as object "uniform with the verb" (Poutsma) and includes basically intransitive verbs which recategorize as transitive by means of the copy-object.a răsufla uşurat. c. The object is totally dependent upon the verbal context.2 Recategorization by Cognate Object Formation It is a special type of Resultative Object. e. Syntactically. peer. glare. The gentleman bowed his thanks. to laugh a merry laugh. Focusing is on the attitude expressed by a human gesture or other. stare. b. He said nothing but glanced a question. this object is not a term. a ofta cu căinţă etc. Mother nodded approval. The meaning is always figurative. it cannot be fronted: (70) *Daggers were looked by his foe. b. peep. speakers most frequently resort to V Manner Adverbial (expressed by an adverb proper or by a PP) . He smiled appreciation/approval of the hostess' behaviour. all of which are basically intransitive appear as recategorized when they mean "express by V-ing". The attitude expressed appears as resultative direct object: (69) a. gaze. In Romanian. d. as well as other verbs expressing human features or attitudes: to smile. breathe. laugh. in which two underlying predicates are reduced to one. nod. c. to dance a slow dance. (cf. to live a miserable life. as in: (68) He rained gifts upon his relatives. It rained fire and brimstone. sob. to snow a heavy snow. Romanian: El mulţumi înclinându-se).

The phonological difference between the verb and the noun may by negligible. to speak a speech. a. to draw a drawing. to fight a battle. to pass (by) a building. to dance a waltz a. to swim (across) a river. to talk (about) business. e.Janet smiled a bright smile.3. Some of the Vs that may take a Cognate Object are. to laugh a merrily. nevertheless transitive. Because of the fact that these DOs are regarded by speakers as redundant.Recategorization by Annihilation of the Preposition Applieble on some prepositional Vs may also result in surface V ∩ NP sequences.s. . thus causing the recategorization of the respective intransitives. 7. to skip (over) some pages. to snow heavily. to sing sadly. to smile adorably.g. to tell a tale. as in: (73) to die a death.s. to smile an adorable smile etc. the noun being inter-related derivationally with the verb lexeme. to sleep a quiet sleep. predicated by the respective intransitive verb is of the form: Vi ∩ Manner Adverbial: (72) to live miserable. The simpler synonymous construction. The second possibility concerns combinations such as: (74) to run a race.o. Janet smiled brightly. yielding an intransitive surface string. to sleep quietly. to sing a song etc. DO Deletion often applies. Vt Adj N V1 Adv Manner NP VP The second subtype of Cognate Object is realized by two distinct lexical items (the object is not uniform with the verb: V ≠ N).o. In the following VPs the deletable Prep is indicated between brackets: (75) to jump (over) a fence.to sing a melancholy song. to turn (round) the corner.

5. to catch it a. to make it.to lord it contain a V converted from the corresponding N and a pronominal NP which only evinces the position property of the DO. He walked the horse up and down! b. on the other hand. Hence. to Vi". Idiomatic phrases such as the locatives: (76) to pub it. / smb. work. c. in most cases. . They used to graze the sheep on the neighbouring meadow. etc. they do not participate in syntactic processes like passivization. Although the verbs walk. to taxi it or the behavioural: (78) to lady it . to stand smb. the instrumentals: (77) to foot it.The Prep taken by these basically intransitive Vs is meaningful. to walk smb. Causative Transitives Derived from Intransitives They are derived from basically intransitive V-s also represent important recategorization instances. 7. take as DOs animate or inanimate NPs that commonly occurs as the argument expressed by the Subject of the corresponding Vs.g. relativization etc.o. This type of IT Object. The Subject of the newly formed pattern expressing causation is a Causer of the action or process rendered by the recategorized Vi: (80) a. the direction of the motion rendered by the V (except combinations such as talk about smth. such IT Objects cannot be considered as genuine terms.. sit are inherently intransitive they may be paraphrased by "cause smth. d. to float smth.). they cannot. He worked his men ruthlessly. Dummy IT Direct Objects Dummy IT Direct Objects attached to basically intransitive V-s also bring about their recategorization.) may be said to have a vague situational meaning.. to bus it. to get it hot/in the neck. be left out by deletion.4. graze. You may sit down ten people with ease. 7. it indicating. which also occurs in some idiomatic transitive Vconstructions (e. The combinations being frozen.. to march smb. Constructions such as: (79) to fly smb.s. to inn it.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful