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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18454/RULB.2021.27.3.1

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Gavrilova J.V. PERCEPTION OF THE NOTIONS PART OF SPEECH, WORD AND LOCATIVE CONSTRUCTION IN BRITISH LINGUISTIC TRADITION OF THE SECOND HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY / J.V. Gavrilova // Russian Linguistic Bulletin. — 2021. — № 3 (27). — С. 6—8. — URL: https://rulb.org/ru/article/%d0%b2%d0%be%d1%81%d0%bf%d1%80%d0%b8%d1%8f%d1%82%d0%b8%d0%b5-%d0%bf%d0%be%d0%bd%d1%8f%d1%82%d0%b8%d0%b9-%d1%87%d0%b0%d1%81%d1%82%d1%8c-%d1%80%d0%b5%d1%87%d0%b8-%d1%81%d0%bb%d0%be%d0%b2%d0%be-%d0%bb/ (дата обращения: 22.10.2021. ). doi:doi.org/10.18454/RULB.2021.27.3.1
Gavrilova J.V. PERCEPTION OF THE NOTIONS PART OF SPEECH, WORD AND LOCATIVE CONSTRUCTION IN BRITISH LINGUISTIC TRADITION OF THE SECOND HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY / J.V. Gavrilova // Russian Linguistic Bulletin. — 2021. — № 3 (27). — С. 6—8. doi:doi.org/10.18454/RULB.2021.27.3.1

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Гаврилова Ю.В.1
1доцент, кандидат филологических наук, Московский гуманитарный университет, Москва, Россия
ВОСПРИЯТИЕ ПОНЯТИЙ ЧАСТЬ РЕЧИ, СЛОВО, ЛОКАТИВНАЯ КОНСТРУКЦИЯ В БРИТАНСКОЙ ЛИНГВИСТИЧЕСКОЙ ТРАДИЦИИ ВТОРОЙ ПОЛОВИНЫ ХХ ВЕКА
Аннотация
Статья посвящена изучению проблемы оппозиции слово – часть речи в британской лингвистической традиции, а также рассмотрению концепта локативная конструкция в современном языкознании. Если в XIX веке слово определялось с логических и семиотических позиций, то уже в XX веке появилась структурная грамматика и синтаксический критерий вышел на 1 план, чему как раз и уделяет внимание автор. Что касается локативных конструкций, то они рассматриваются с позиций нео-ферсианского подхода. Выделяются два их типа – переменные и постоянные.
Ключевые слова: грамматика, часть речи, слово, локативная конструкция, традиция, системно-функциональная грамматика.
Страницы: 6 - 8

Gavrilova J.V.1
1Associate Professor, PhD in Philology, Moscow University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia
PERCEPTION OF THE NOTIONS PART OF SPEECH, WORD AND LOCATIVE CONSTRUCTION IN BRITISH LINGUISTIC TRADITION OF THE SECOND HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY
Abstract
The article deals with studying the problem of opposition word – part of speech in British linguistic tradition together with studying the concept of locative construction in modern linguistics. While during the 19th century word was defined from logical and semiotic approaches, in the 20th century structural grammar appeared and syntactic criterion became dominant, which is shown in the article. As far as locative constructions are concerned they are seen from the point of view of neo-Firthian approach. Two types of them are identified – alternating and non-alternating.
Keywords: grammar, part of speech, word, locative construction, tradition.
Pages: 6 - 8
Почта авторов / Author Email: march1378[at]yandex.ru

Introduction

The article examines some basic tendencies in the development of British linguistics during the second half of the 20th century taking into account several notions and phenomena that were studied at that time. It is quite possible to evaluate the development of grammar studies and linguistic theory development taking into consideration the way British linguists perceived the above mentioned notions. To be more precise, new kinds of oppositions word/part of speech appeared at that time and deserve carefully looking into [2].

During the 19th century the notion word used to be defined from logical and semiotic approaches as well as using the approach of structure and word building. While defining word several criteria were taken into account including phonetics, semantics, structure, etymology, syntax. But some time later, in the 20th century, structural grammar appeared and syntactic criterion became dominant. English locative constructions are described in the article within the framework of a broad neo-Firthian linguistic approach.  Special attention is paid to the general lexical grammar of them [4].  

Theoretical background

The first thing to do is to identify how verb and its participants are structurally integrated with each other. Both synchronic and diachronic data imply that English locative constructions also manifest a semantic extension into caused possessive relations. It is known that Halliday [6], [7] has developed Firth’s systemic approach to grammar in the theory called Systemic Functional Grammar and Sinclair has continued Firth’s collocational approach and has worked mostly at lexis [3].

Methods

Methods of our analysis include studying works of British scholars critically, basing primarily on examples provided in their papers. At the end of the article conclusions of research are provided and broad definitions of the terms part of speech, word and locative construction as seen by British linguists are offered.

Part of speech and word as they are interpreted

It is important to state that in British systemic grammar with its hierarchy of grammar units and exponent ranking the word is typically seen from the point of view of morphology and syntax. Morphological layer takes into account involvement into its structure of a unit lower in the rank (a morpheme), syntactic layer, on the opposite, implies involvement of the unit into higher in the rank (clause).

In contrast to systemic grammar, words and their borders and functions in descriptive-functional grammar are defined taking into account several criteria that go in line with traditional English grammar in general. Words are characterized by some kind of internal stability and external independence. Their structural integrity cannot be changed. By saying this we mean that there are indeed very rare cases in English when polysyllabic words are divided by expletives (e.g. bloody is changed into abso-bloody-lutely), as in most cases prefixes or suffixes are used.

Word independence is also denoted by phonology (there is usually a pause before or after it), spelling (by using punctuation marks), morphology (by using inflection added to root), syntax (by using a word as an utterance), semantics (by having a meaning).

The criteria described above are by no means completely safe. Thus, as we know, in some compound nouns a plural flection is added to the first element (e.g. notaries public), in other nouns it can be added either to the first or the final element (e.g. mothers-in-law, mother-in-laws) or to both elements (e.g. women-teachers). It is not always possible to identify the difference between a compound noun and a word combination (e.g. for ever/forever, ice cream/ice-cream).

While classifying English vocabulary the followers of descriptive functional grammar take into account semantic and grammar peculiarities of words. For example two types of words are defined: content words (that are ‘complete’ and have vocabulary meaning) and grammatical words. Content words include major word classes such as verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs, while grammatical words include pronouns, determiners, auxiliary verbs, prepositions, conjunctions that are minor word classes.

Moreover, three types of words are defined. They are orthographic words, grammatical words and lexemes. Some grammatical words may make one lexeme, such as is — was and think — thought actually belong to one lexeme. One may come across an even broader classification of words. Taking into account their major functions and grammar behavior words are divided into lexical words, functional words and inserts, and here the first and the second groups are included into grammatical words category. So we may see that the notion ‘grammatical words’ are rather broad and includes practically all classes of words except some conjunctions.

But conjunctions also have some grammar characteristics. But probably the explanation may here be as follows.  So-called vocabulary class of words portrays the basic meaning in any text and are usually stressed in speech. Moreover, they are widely used in telegrams, newspaper headlines. Vocabulary class words include nouns, main verbs, adjectives and adverbs.  Functional class words, on the other hand,   identify the connection between vocabulary words and larger elements of the text and also contribute to understanding of the meaning of a vocabulary word and a broader lexical unit, these words may be stressed in speech. Functional words form closed systems including auxiliary verbs, conjunctions, prepositions. The third class of words is a new one and is defined as insert-word. Interjection and insert-word are not the same. Insert-words are very freely used in the text, they are stressed in speech by intonation, pauses and by punctuation marks in writing.   

Insert-words have important communicative meaning and of course deserve attention. Together with interjections here are also other types of words included into the class of insert-words: greetings (hi, good morning, bye-bye), discourse markers (right, well, yeah), attention signals (hey, look), response elicitors (alright, okay), responses (yeah, alright), hesitators (erm, er), thanking words (thanks), expressing sorry words (excuse, pardon, sorry), expletives (oh, Jesus).

Of course it is evident that the distinction between open word classes and closed word classes is not really definite, as, for example, prepositions may be formed on the basis of verbs (e.g. regarding). But the open word class is generally ‘more willing’ to accept new words.

There are some problems connected to the division of words into classes. One of them is the existence in language of homophones and homographs. Such words as round or like can be given as examples here. Descriptive functional grammar in Britain developed the theory of parts of speech and it became clear that, generally speaking, vocabulary plays a more important role in building correct syntactic constructions, as it was supposed earlier. And the overall tendency is so-called lexicalization of grammar.

In Russian linguistics there are some papers studying the problem, for instance, a thesis paper written and presented by V.A. Gureev [1].

Speaking about the perception of parts of speech we would like to quote the definition of ‘parts of speech’ given in Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics: “a system of word classes, developed first for Ancient Greek and for Latin; thence extended, with modifications, to many other languages. The parts of speech canonical in Latin grammars were noun, pronoun, verb, participle, conjunction, preposition, interjection. The system canonical in Greek grammars included the article. The ancient term means, more precisely, parts of the sentence. A part was thus an element of syntax necessarily related to other parts, noun to verb, adverb to verb, preposition to noun and so on” [10, P. 289]. As we can see, we cannot describe and study parts of speech without looking at their functioning in sentences. And that brings us to the next part of our article, which deals with locative constructions.

English locative constructions

A locative construction is a construction that “depicts the transfer of entities to a specific location” [8, P.171]. Structural functional approach often referred to as ‘neo-Firthian is a tradition in modern British linguistics that dated back to and finds roots in the works by J.R. Firth, the first professor of general linguistics in Great Britain and founder of the London School [4], [5].

A.Laffut and K. Davidse [8], [9] identify 2 types of locative constructions: ‘alternating’ and ‘non-alternating’.

Traditional examples of alternating locative constructions are as follows.

1. A) John sprayed paint on the wall.  B) John sprayed the wall with paint.

2. A) John loaded hay on the wagon. B) John loaded the wagon with hay.

Examples of non-alternating constructions are given below.

1. A) Tamara poured water into the bowl. B) Tamara poured the bowl with water.

2. A) June covered the baby with a blanket. B) June covered the blanket over the baby.

An English locative construction presents a number of general facts relating to its grammatical structure and semantics. The ideational structure of locative constructions is factually their representational layer. The main descriptive problem while studying locative constructions is the structural status of prepositions in them. Structural analysis of locative constructions is based on systemic functional tradition by M. Halliday (Firth’s follower), a multifunctional approach in which the structure is viewed as resulting from integration of separate layers of organization.

Ideational organization of the clause is concerned with representation of human experience of the world.  Interpersonal organization of the clause defines a situation type based on speech exchange between speaker and listener. While textual organization is a message in situational context and can be seen in Theme- Rheme concepts.

Conclusions

As we have seen in our research both the notions of parts of speech, words and locative constructions raise interest in British linguistic science and can be  seen from different perspectives. Firth’s ideas have further been developed and transformed into new theories which later were applied to studies of various notions. Such theories and approaches deserve attention and further study in modern linguistics.

Список литературы / References:
  1. Гуреев В.А. Учение о частях речи в английской грамматической традиции / А.В. Гуреев: Дис. докт. филол. наук, Москва, 2001. – 411 с.
  2. Кубрякова Е.С. Части речи с когнитивной точки зрения / Кубрякова Е.С. – М.: РАН, Институт языкознания, 1997. – 331 с.
  3. Нелюбин Л.Л. История науки о языке: учебник / Нелюбин Л.Л., Хухуни Г.Т. – 3-е издание, испр. и доп. – М.: Флинта: Наука, 2008. – 376 с.
  4. Firth J.R. Papers in Linguistics 1934-1951 / Firth J.R. – London: Oxford University Press, 1957.
  5. Firth J.R. A synopsis of linguistic theory, 1930-1955 // Selected Papers of J.R.Firth 1952-1959, ed. by F.R. Palmer. – London: Longmans. pp. 32-52.
  6. Halliday M.A.K. Introduction to Functional Grammar / Halliday M.A.K. – London: Arnold, 1985. – 387 p.
  7. Halliday M.A.K. Lexis as a Linguistic Level // In memory of J.R. Firth / Halliday M.A.K. ed. by C.E. Bazell: London, Longmans, 1966. – pp. 148-161.
  8. Laffut A. English locative constructions. An exercise in Neo-Firthian description and dialogue with other schools / Laffut A., Davidse K. // Functions of Language, vol. 9, №2. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2002. – pp. 169-207.
  9. Laffut A. Verb meaning and construction sets: the case of caused NP-PrepP relations / Laffut A., Davidse K. // LACUS forum XXVI: The lexicon, ed. by A. Melby, A. Lommel. Fullerton: LACUS. – pp. 293-304.
  10. Matthews P.H. Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics, Second Edition / Matthews P.H. – Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. – 445 p.

Список литературы на английском / References in English:
  1. Gureev V.A. Uchenie o chastyah rechi v anglijskoj grammaticheskoj tradicii [Learning about parts of speech in the English grammatical tradition] / A.V. Gureev: Dis. PhD of Philology, Moscow, 2001. – 411 p. [in Russian]
  2. Kubryakova E.S. Chasti rechi s kognitivnoj tochki zreniya [Parts of speech from a cognitive point of view] / Kubryakova E.S. – M.: RAN, Institut yazykoznaniya, 1997. – 331 p. [in Russian]
  3. Nelyubin L.L. Istoriya nauki o yazyke: uchebnik [History of the science of language: textbook] / Nelyubin L.L., Huhuni G.T. – 3 edit., cor. and ad. – M.: Flinta: Nauka, 2008. – 376 p. [in Russian]
  4. Firth J.R. Papers in Linguistics 1934-1951 / Firth J.R. – London: Oxford University Press, 1957.
  5. Firth J.R. A synopsis of linguistic theory, 1930-1955 // Selected Papers of J.R.Firth 1952-1959, ed. by F.R. Palmer. – London: Longmans. pp. 32-52.
  6. Halliday M.A.K. Introduction to Functional Grammar / Halliday M.A.K. – London: Arnold, 1985. – 387 p.
  7. Halliday M.A.K. Lexis as a Linguistic Level // In memory of J.R. Firth / Halliday M.A.K. ed. by C.E. Bazell: London, Longmans, 1966. – pp. 148-161.
  8. Laffut A. English locative constructions. An exercise in Neo-Firthian description and dialogue with other schools / Laffut A., Davidse K. // Functions of Language, vol. 9, №2. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2002. – pp. 169-207.
  9. Laffut A. Verb meaning and construction sets: the case of caused NP-PrepP relations / Laffut A., Davidse K. // LACUS forum XXVI: The lexicon, ed. by A. Melby, A. Lommel. Fullerton: LACUS. – pp. 293-304.
  10. Matthews P.H. Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics, Second Edition / Matthews P.H. – Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. – 445 p.

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