Periodization in the history of English.

Periodization in the history of English.

Traditional Periodisation divides English history into three periods: Old English, Middle English and New English.

The first period Old English.

Early Old English (450-700)lasts from the West Germanic invasion of Britain till the beginning of writing. It is the stage of the tribal dialects of the West Germanic invaders. The tribal dialects were used for oral communication, there being no written form of English.

Old English (Anglo-Saxon, Written OE) (700-1066)The relative position of dialects grew, especially West Saxon, had gained supremacy over the other dialects. OE was inflected or synthetic.

The second period Middle English. Early Middle English (1066-1350) , the year of the Norman Conquest. It was the stage of the greatest dialectal divergence caused by foreign influences Scandinavian and French. Local dialects were used for oral communication. Under Norman rule the official language in England was French, or rather its variety called Anglo-French or Anglo-Norman; it was also the dominant language of literature.

Late or Classical Middle English (1350-1475) - the age of Chaucer. It was the time of the restoration of English to the position of the state and literary language and the time of literary flourishing. The main dialect used in writing and literature was the mixed dialect of London.

The third periodNew English.

Early New English (1476-1660). Lasted from the introduction of printing to the age of Shakespeare. The first printed book in English was published by William Caxton in 1475. This period is transition between the age of Chaucer and the age of Shakespeare, also known as Literary Renaissance. This period was also a time of sweeping changes at all levels, in the first place lexical and phonetic, also the growth of the vocabulary.

Normalization period or correctness (1660-1800) The 18th c. has been called the period of fixing the pronunciation. The great sound shifts were over and pronunciation was being stabilized. Word usage and grammatical construction were subjected to restriction and normalization.

Late New English or Modern English. English - national language.

Phonetic expressive means and stylistic devices.

One of the models of combining speech sounds is instrumentation. It can be explained ways of combination of sounds which aim at giving the utterance a certain expressive and emotional colouring.Three types of instrumentation include:

Onomatopoeia is a combination of speech-sounds which aims at imitating sounds produced in nature (wind, sea, thunder, etc), by things (machines), by people (sighing, laughter) and by animals. Combinations of speech sounds of this type will inevitably be associated with whatever produces the natural sound. There are two varieties of onomatopoeia: direct and indirect. Direct: words which imitate natural sounds: buzz, ding-dong, cuckoo. Indirect: combination of sounds which makes the sound of the utterance an echo of its sense: And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain',where the repetition of the sound [s] actually produces the sound of the rustling of the curtain.

Alliteration -the repetition of similar sounds, in particular consonant sounds, in close succession, particularly at the beginning of successive words: sense and sensibility, stands still. Frequently used not only in verse, but in emotive prose, in newspaper headlines, in titles of books.

Assonance - repetition of similar vowel sounds, usually in stressed syllables: Grace, space,pace.

They both may produce the effect of euphony (sense of ease and comfort in producing or hearing, pleasing sounding: Favors unused are favors abused), cacophony(sense in discomfort, unpleasant)

Rhyme is repetition of identical or similar terminal sound combinations or words. Rhyming words are generally placed at the regular distance from each other. In verse they are usually placed at the end of the corresponding lines. There are full-rhyme that supposes identity of the vowel sound and the following consonant sounds in a stressed syllable: might, right. Internal rhyme the rhyming words are placed not at the ends but within the line.
According to the way of rhyme arranging we distinguish: 1. couplets- the last words of two successive lines are rhymed-aa; 2. triple rhymes-aaa; 3. cross rhymes-abab; 4. framing or ring rhymes. There are: male rhymes (final stressed syllable, fact-attract); female rh. (stressed syllable in the last but one, clever - ever).

Rhythm is the alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables more or less regular. The unit that is repeated to give steady rhythm is termed as a poetic foot. Iambic foot consists of an unstressed followed by a stressed syllable. English verse is predominantly iambic. The trochaic foot inverts the iambic order. Spondaic foot consists of two stressed syllables. The anapestic foot consists of two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed one. The amphibrachie foot consists of one stressed syllable framed by 2 unstressed. The dactylic foot consists of one unstressed and two stressed syllables.


The subject matter of phonetics and phonology. Articulatory, acoustic and auditory phonology. Phonisemantic

Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech, orin the case of sign languagesthe equivalent aspects of sign.

Phonetics has three major branches: (1) Articulatory Phonetics (2) Auditory Phonetics (3) Acoustic Phonetics.Articulatory phonetics studies how the outgoing airstream is regulated along the vocal tract to form various speech sounds. Auditory Phonetics studies how speech sounds are heard and perceived. This galls for a close study of the psychology of perception on the one hand, and the mechanism of the neuro-muscular circuitry on the other.Acoustic Phonetics is the study of the physical properties of speech sounds such as frequency and amplitude in their transmission. Acoustic phoneticians analyse the speech waves with the help of instruments, attempt to describe the physical properties of the stream of sound issues forth from the mouth of a speaker.

Phonology is a branch of linguistics concerned with the systematic organization of sounds in languages. It has traditionally focused largely on study of the systems of phonemes in particular languages, but it may also cover any linguistic analysis either at a level beneath the word or at all levels of language where sound is considered to be structured for conveying linguistic meaning. Phonology also includes the study of equivalent organizational systems in sign languages.

The difference between phonetics and phonology is that of generality and particularity. Whereas phonetics is the science of speech sounds, their production, transmission and reception and the signs to represent them in general with no particular reference to any one phonology is the study of vocal sounds and sound changes, phonemes and their variants, in a particular language. The subject-matter of phonology is the selected phonetic material from the total resources available to human beings from phonetics. The human vocal system can produce a very large number of different speech sounds. In Phonology, the central concept is that of phoneme the minimal meaningful sound unit and the intonation and stress patterns of a language. Also phonetics is more theoretical while phonology is more practical.

Phonosemantics is a branch of psycholinguistics. It is based on the assumption that every sound and every letter may be pleasant or unpleasant, round or sharp, hot or cold. The results of the experiments in phonosemantics show how the phonetic forms of brand names or trademarks are correlated with the commercial product they represent.


Parts of speech are the great taxonomic classes into which all the words of a language fall.

It will be more in accord with the nature of language to say that parts of speech must be identified proceeding from:

1) a common categorial meaning of a given class of words abstracted from the lexical meaning of all the words belonging to this class;

2) a common paradigm and

3) identity of syntactic functions.

The attitude of grammarians with regard to parts of speech and the basis of their classification has varied a good deal at different times. Some modern grammarians maintain that the only criterion of their classification should be the form of words.

Grammatical categories identifying the parts of speech are known to be expressed in paradigms. We generally distinguish inflectional and analytical types of the paradigm. In the former the invariable part is the stem, in the latter the lexical element of the paradigm. The so-called interparadigmatic homonymy resulting from the fact that the root, the stem and the grammatical form of the word may be identical in sound, is most frequent. Newspaper headlines very frequently are structurally ambiguous because of the lack of definite part-of-speech or form-class markers. Some typical examples out of many are the following:

(1) "Vandenberg Reports Open Forum". The ambiguity of this heading could be cleared by the use of such markers as the or an, as: 'Vandenberg Reports Open the Forum', 'Vandenberg Reports an Open Forum'. (2) "Unfavourable Surveyor Reports delayed Michigan Settlement". The ambiguity of this heading would be cleared by the use of such markers as have or a 'Unfavourable Surveyor Reports Have delayed Michigan Settlement'; 'Unfavourable Surveyor Reports a Delayed Michigan Settlement' .

The four major parts of speech (noun, verb, adjective, adverb) set up by the process of substitution in h. Fries' recorded material are given no names except numbers: class 1, class 2, class 3, class 4. Assumptions have been made by Ch. Fries that all words which can occupy the same "set of positions" in the patterns of English single free utterances must belong to the same part of speech 2. These four classes make up the "bulk"of functioning units in structural patterns of English. Then come fifteen groups of so-called function words, which have certain characteristic in common. In the mere matter of number of items the fifteen groups differ sharply from the four classes. In the four large classes, Ch. Fries points out, the lexical meanings of the words depend on the arrangement in which these words appear. In function-words it is usually difficult if not impossible to indicate a lexical meaning apart from the structural meaning which these words signal.

The new approach the application of two of the methods of structural linguistics, distributional analysis and substitution makes it possible for Ch. Fries to dispense with the usual eight parts of speech. He classifies words, as may be seen from the extracts into four "form-classes", designated by numbers, and fifteen groups of "function words", designated by letters. The form-classes correspond roughly to what most grammarians call nouns and pronouns, verbs, adjective and adverbs, though Ch. Fries especially warns the reader against the attempt to translate the statements which the latter finds in the book into the old grammatical terms. The group of function words contains not only prepositions and conjunctions, but also certain specific words that most traditional grammarians would class as a particular kind of pronouns, adverbs and verbs.

Other modern grammarians retain the traditional names of parts of speech, though the methods they use to identify the various parts of speech, the number of them and the distribution of words among them are all different from what is found in traditional grammar. They also exclude function words from the classification of parts of speech and give them entirely separate treatment 1.

Setting aside function words and observing the remaining words as they are combined into utterances with clear and unambiguous structural meaning, W. Francis finds it necessary to identify four different parts of speech: noun, verb, adjective and adverb. In his analysis nouns are identified, for instance, by five formal criteria, some more important than others. The most common noun-marking signal is a group of function words called noun-determiners. These precede the nouns they mark, either immediately or with certain types of words between; nouns have inflections; many nouns may be identified as such by various noun-marking derivational suffixes; nouns fill certain characteristic positions in relation to other identified parts of speech in phrases and utterances, etc. Verb-marking criteria as given by W.Francis are the following: inflections, function words, derivational affixes, positions and "superfixes", . e. "morphological" stress in cases like import to import; contract to contract; perfect to perfect, etc.

English school grammars deal extensively with the parts of speech, usually given as eight in number and explained in definitions that have become traditional. It had long been considered that these eight parts of speech noun, pronoun, adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, interjection are basic classifications that can be applied to the words of any language and that the traditional definition furnishes an adequate set of criteria by which the classification can be made.

Teaching Grammar

Teaching grammar may be defined as the study and description of the grammar for forming words (morphology) and combining them into sentences (syntax). The words are arranged into syntagms (segmental level) and combinations of phrases are incorporated into sentences and texts (suprasegmental level).

Virtually all methodologists and teachers of grammar agree that a good command of grammar is a necessary prerequisite to fluent speaking of the language as it affects the learners performance in four linguistic modes: listening, speaking, reading, writing. The reaction to the subject matter from teachers of grammar seems to be varied: from jealous to avertive; some indulge in it, others simply avoid studying or teaching it. Though there are others who enjoy studying English grammar and willingly accept the challenge of presenting it clearly and interestingly to the learners.

Transformational grammar, developed by N. Chomsky, tried to give a mathematically precise description of some of the most striking features of language. Of particular importance in this connection is the ability of children to derive structural regularities of their native language its grammatical rules from the utterances of their parents and others around them, and then to make use of the same regularities in the construction of utterances they have never heard before.


Transformational-generative (T-G grammar) is a grammar in which transformations are included among the rules, by which a set of grammatical items are specified. This approach to grammatical analysis, first published by N. Chomsky in his book Syntactic Structures, has been the main source for ideas about the method of description (cf. R. Scott, E. Morokhovska). Its theory attempted to provide descriptions of many aspects which structural grammar did not touch upon. N. Chomsky states that grammar must be based on two things: observation of language and ability to satisfy the native speakers intuition about his language. For example, it must be explained that active and passive sentences are related to each other; that some pairs of sentences, though alike on the surface, are different at a deeper level. Thus, the following pair of sentences The man was eager to please and The man was easy to please are alike in their surface structure but are different in their deep structure. Consider the rules required to form the sentence The headlights penetrated the darkness. According to T-G analysis, it is a sentence (S) that consists of a noun phrase (NP) followed by a verb phrase (VP); in turn, the (NP) consists of a determiner (D) and a noun (N); the (VP) consists of a transitive verb (Vt) and a noun phrase (NP) and this last (NP) consists of a determiner and a noun. This information can be represented in a tree diagram:

Such analysis becomes generative when it is expressed in the form of rules. The analysis above could be expressed in the following rules:

1. S NP+VP

2. VP Vt+NP

3. NP D+N

Vt penetrated

D the

N headlights, darkness

In these rules the arrow means written as. Rules that allow for a single symbol at a time to be written or replaced by another symbol or string of symbols (e.g. D, N) are known as phrase-structure rules. By adding further words to the right-hand side of rules 4, 5 and 6, they could produce hundreds of sentences.

Transformational grammar has provided much new information about its nature; it is explicitly generative and its rules are arranged in a definite sequence. The rules of a generative grammar are not to be identified with the prescriptive rules that formed a part of traditional grammar. A prescriptive grammatical rule is a statement such as you should never end a sentence with a preposition that tells us whether we are right or wrong to use a particular construction. Generative rules have no such implication of social correctness. They are objective descriptions of the grammatical patterns that occur.

Other types of grammar are historical which trace the development of the structure of a language back to its origins, comparative or descriptive which traces the development of contemporary language forms in a number of different languages, and functional in which meanings are emphasised over forms.

For many years situationally based dialogues have provided students with a corpus of foreign language words and expressions with which to work. The situations, frequently found in present-day textbooks, describe experiences common to the foreign culture, introduce the students to typically American or British way of interacting and reacting.

Dialogue instructions can serve several purposes; some dialogues are designed to demonstrate grammatical rules, and examples of rules in use and the variations of paradigms are introduced systematically in the exchanges.

The aim of grammar-demonstration dialogues is to lead students to inductive recognition of the rule or the paradigm. These dialogues need not be memorized: they can be studied and discussed, dramatized and used as a basis for recombinations. They lead naturally to grammatical explanations and intensive practice exercises through which the operation of the rule or paradigm becomes clear to students, enters their repertoire, and is then used by them in a genuinely communicative interchange.

To sum it up, grammar in its development has traversed the way from observation to elucidation, from didactics to analysis, and from analysis to conceptualisation. Two steps can usually be distinguished in the study of grammar. The first step is to identify units such as word, phrase, and sentence, the second step is to analyse the patterns into which these units fall, and the relationships of meaning that these patterns convey. But no grammar-book has so far registered all multifarious kinds of formal patterning and abstract relationships.




In linguistics, a morpheme is the smallest grammatical unit in a language. The field of study dedicated to morphemes is called morphology. A morpheme is not identical to a word, and the principal difference between the two is that a morpheme may or may not stand alone, whereas a word, by definition, is freestanding. Every word comprises one or more morphemes.

Classification of morphemes

Free vs. bound

Every morpheme can be classified as either free or bound. These categories are mutually exclusive, and as such, a given morpheme will belong to exactly one of them.

  • Free morphemes can function independently as words (e.g. town, dog) and can appear with other lexemes (e.g. town hall, doghouse).
  • Bound morphemes appear only as parts of words, always in conjunction with a root and sometimes with other bound morphemes. For example, un- appears only accompanied by other morphemes to form a word. Most bound morphemes in English are affixes, particularly prefixes and suffixes, examples of suffixes are: tion, ation, ible, ing etc.. Bound morphemes that are not affixes are called cranberry morphemes.

Bound morphemes can be further classified as derivational or inflectional.

  • Derivational morphemes, when combined with a root, change either the semantic meaning or part of speech of the affected word. For example, in the word happiness, the addition of the bound morpheme -ness to the root happy changes the word from an adjective (happy) to a noun (happiness). In the word unkind, un- functions as a derivational morpheme, for it inverts the meaning of the word formed by the root kind.
  • Inflectional morphemesmodify a verb's tense or a noun's number without affecting the word's meaning or class. Examples of applying inflectional morphemes to words are adding -s to the rootdog to form dogs and adding -ed to wait to form waited.

Allomorphsare variants of a morpheme that differ in pronunciation but are semantically identical. For example, in English, the plural marker -(e)s of regular nouns can be pronounced /-z/, /-s/, or /-ɨz/, depending on the final sound of the noun's singular form.

Morphological analysis

In natural language processing for Japanese, Chinese and other languages, morphological analysis is the process of segmenting a sentence into a row of morphemes. Morphological analysis is closely related to part-of-speech tagging, but word segmentation is required for these languages because word boundaries are not indicated by blank spaces

Changing definitions of morpheme

In generative grammar, the definition of a morpheme depends heavily on whether syntactic trees have morphemes as leaves or features as leaves.

  • Direct surface to syntax mapping LFG leaves are words
  • Direct syntax to semantics mapping
    • Leaves in syntactic trees spell out morphemes: Distributed morphology leaves are morphemes
    • Branches in syntactic trees spell out morphemes: Radical Minimalism and Nanosyntax leaves are "nano" morpho-syntactic features

Given the definition of morpheme as "the smallest meaningful unit" Nanosyntax aims to account for idioms where it is often an entire syntactic tree which contributes "the smallest meaningful unit." An example idiom is "Don't let the cat out of the bag" where the idiom is composed of "let the cat out of the bag" and that might be considered a semantic morpheme, which is composed of many syntactic morphemes. Other cases where the "smallest meaningful unit" is larger than a word include some collocations such as "in view of" and "business intelligence" where the words together have a specific meaning.

The definition of morphemes also play a significant role in the interfaces of generative grammar in the following theoretical constructs;

  • Event semantics: the idea that each productive morpheme must have a compositional semantic meaning (a denotation), and if the meaning is there, there must be a morpheme (null or overt).
  • Spell-out: the interface where syntactic/semantic structures are "spelled-out" using words or morphemes with phonological content. This can also be thought of as lexical insertion into the syntactics.


In linguistics, word formation is the creation of a new word. Word formation is sometimes contrasted with semantic change, which is a change in a single word's meaning.The boundary between word formation and semantic change can be difficult to define: a new use of an old word can be seen as a new word derived from an old one and identical to it in form . Word formation can also be contrasted with the formation of idiomatic expressions, although words can be formed from multi-word phrases

Types of word formation

There are a number of methods of word formation.


Heads are the most important category of an XP and must belong to the same category, i.e. every NP must have an N head, every VP must have a V head, etc. In the NP the big red boat, boat is the head, while in the AP most extraordinarily awesome, awesome is the head. Heads (Xs) and phrases (XPs) may be used interchangeably in phrase structures.

Complements have the closest relation with the head and usually must occur adjacent to it and do not allow any category to occur between it and the head. For example, in the sentence They decided on the boat in the kitchen, on the boat is the complement and in the kitchen is an adjunct. This is proved by the fact that They decided in the kitchen on the boat sounds bad (ungrammatical).


The parts of the sentence which are connected by means of the predicative bond are principal parts. These are the core of the communicative unit. The non-predicative bond comprises attributive, completive and copulative relations.

Subject-predicate structure gives the sentence its relative independence and the possibility to function as a complete piece of communication.

Using the terms "subject" and "predicate" we must naturally make distinction between the content of the parts of the sentence and their

linguistic expression, . e.: a) the words as used in a given sentence and b) the thing meant, which are part of the extralinguistic reality.

B. Nominal Predicate

Simple Quite serious all this!

Compound The picture was beautiful.


Predication, with its immediate relevance to the syntactic categories of person, time and modality, is known to be expressed not only morphologically. Syntactic arrangement and intonation may do this duty as well.

Time relations, for instance, may find their expression in syntactic structures without any morphological devices indicating time.

The one-member sentence Fire!, depending on the context, linguistic or situational, may be used as:

1) a stylistic alternative of the imperative sentence meaning: ) ! b) ! ) !

2) a stylistic alternative of a declarative sentence stating a fact: .

Similarly in Russian: ! ) ! b) or ! ) .

The multiplicity of syntactic ways in which modality and time relations as well as the category of person may be expressed in infinitival clauses is also well known. Examples are commonplace.

Run away! Go to the east! (Galsworthy)

To think that he should be tortured so her Frank! (Dreiser)

Cf. , , , , ! ()

! ! ... ()

In the theory of English structure the term "sentence analysis" is open to more than one interpretation.

Structural grammatical studies of some modern linguists have abandoned many of the commonly held views of syntax. With regard to the methodology employed their linguistic approach differs from former treatments in language learning. To begin with, distinction must be made between the mentalistic" and the mechanistic" approach to sentence analysis.

By "mentalistic" approach we mean the"parts of the sentence" analysis based on consideration of semantic relationships between the sentence elements.

The "mechanistic" approach is known to have originated in USA in nineteen forties. It is associated primarily with the names of Bloomfield, Fries, Harris and Gleason. Claimed to be entirely formal, the "mechanistic" approach is based only on the structural relations of sentence elements, i. e. their position in the speech chain. To make the distinction between the two approaches clear consider the following examples: "mentalistically" (i. e. analysing sentences by putting questions) "to invite students" and "invitation of students" are parsed as syntactic structures with objects denoting the person towards whom the action is directed.

The new method of sentence analysis is known as the method of immediate constituents (IC's). As we have already pointed out, the concept of IC was first introduced by L. Bloomfield and later on developed by other linguists.

The structural grouping of sentence elements into IC's has naturally its own system in each language. It has been recognised that English has a dichotomous structure.

The concept of immediate constituents (IC's) is important both in morphology and syntax. An immediate constituent is a group of linguistic elements which functions as a unit in some larger whole.

The study of syntax is greatly facilitated by studying the types of immediate constituents which occur. We have learned to call the direct components of the sentence "groups". In terms of modern linguistics they are immediate constituents.

A basic sentence pattern consists first of all of a subject and a predicate. These are called the immediate constituents of the sentence. They are constituents in the sense that they constitute, or make up, the sentence. They are immediate in the sense that they act immediately on one another: the whole meaning of the one applies to the whole meaning of the other.

The subject of a basic sentence is a noun cluster and the predicate is a verb cluster, we can therefore say that the immediate constituents (IC's) of a sentence are a noun cluster and a verb cluster. Each of the IC's of the sentence can in turn be divided to get IC's at the next lower level. For example, the noun cluster of a sentence may consist of a determiner plus a noun. In this case, the construction may be cut between the determiner and the noun, e. g. the girl. The IC's of this noun cluster are the and girl. The verb cluster of the sentence may be a verb plus a noun cluster (played the piano). This cluster can be cut into IC's as follows: played/the piano.

The IC analysis is, in fact, nothing very startling to traditional grammar. It will always remind us of what we learned as the direct components of the sentence: "subject group" and "predicate group". But it proceeds further down and includes the division of the sentence into its ultimate constituents.

In terms of Ch. Fries' distributional model of syntactic description, the sentence My brother met his friend there is represented by the following scheme:

The basic assumption of this approach to the grammatical analysis of sentences is that all the structural signals in English are strictly formal matters that can be described in physical terms of forms, and arrangements of order. The formal signals of structural meanings operate in a system and this is to say that the items of forms and arrangement have signalling significance only as they are parts of patterns in a structural whole.

In terms of the IC's model prevalent in structural linguistics, the sentence is represented not as a linear succession of words, but as a hierarchy of its immediate constituents. The division is thus made with a view to set off such components as admit, in their turn, a maximum number of further division and this is always done proceeding from the binary principle which means that in each case we set off two IC's.

Thus, for instance, the sentence My younger brother left all his things there will be analysed as follows:

My younger brother left all his things there

My \\ younger brother left all his things \\ there

and so on until we receive the minimum constituents which do not admit further division on the syntactic level

left | all his things || there

My || younger

Brother left || all

His things || there left



Things there The transformational model of the sentence is, in fact, the extension of the linguistic notion of derivation to the syntactic level, which presupposes setting off the so-called basic or "kernel" structures and their transforms, i. e. sentence-structures derived from the basic ones according to the transformational rules.

The second type of non-predicative bond, the completive one, is more loose. It develops the sentence in another way. In this type of bond the secondary parts relate, to the predicative core as a whole.

The same number of the unemployed, winter and summer, in storm or calm , in good times or bad, held this melancholy midnight rendezvous at Fleishmann's bread box. (Dreiser)

The Attribute

The qualificative relationship can be actualised by the attributive bond. The paradigm of these linguistic means is rather manifold. We find here:

1) adjectives: the new house; a valuable thing;

2) nouns in the Possessive Case: my brother's book;

3) noun-adjunct groups (N + N): world peace, spring time;

4) prepositional noun-groups: the daughter of my friend;

5) pronouns (possessive, demonstrative, indefinite): my joy, such flowers, every morning, a friend of his, little time;

6) infinitives and infinitival groups: an example to follow, a thing to do;

7) gerunds and participles: (a) walking distance, swimming suit;

(b) a smiling face, a singing bird;

8) numerals: two friends, the first task;

9) words of the category of state: faces alight with happiness;

10) idiomatic phrases: a love of a child, a jewel of a nature, etc.

The Object

Adverbial Adjuncts

The classification of adverbial sentence-elements has its own difficulties, because adverbials different in their syntactic content can be identical in terms of the formal syntactic bond.

By "syntactic content" we mean the content of the relationships between words in sentence-structure. These are:

a) process relationship, i. e. the relation between the process and the agent of the process;

b) object relationship the relation between the object and the process or between two objects;

c) qualification relationship the relation between the quality and the object or the process;

d) adverbial (or circumstantial) relationship.

e) Syntactic content is naturally understood as abstracted from the pertainance of words to the parts of speech and concrete lexical meaning.

f) In terms of syntactic content, adverbials may reasonably be subdivied into:

g) a) qualificative and b) circumstantial. The former are closely akin to adjectives.

h) Cf. An easy thing to do. He did it easily. A kind answer. He answered kindly.

i) Circumstantial adverbials are modifiers of place, purpose, time, concession, attending circumstances, etc.


The position of words and syntactic structures relative to one another is well known to be a most important part of English syntax. On this level of linguistic analysis distinction must naturally be made between two items: the order of words in phrase-structure and the order of words in sentence structure.

Due to the scarcity of morphological devices English has developed a tolerably fixed word-order which in most cases shows without fail what is the subject of the sentence.

But this is not to say that the grammatical rules of the normal word-order are strictly observed in absolutely all cases. The form of expression may depart from the common word-order for certain logical reasons

or under the stress of emotion, considerations of style, euphonic reasons, etc. The speaker or writer generally has some special emphasis to put on some part of the sentence (rhetorical order).

The following comparison will show the departure from the normal word-order in expressing subject-predicate relations (S→ P P→S);

(a) Came frightful days of snow and frost. (London) Cf. Frightful days of snow and frost came.

(b) Oh! very well. And suddenly she burst into tears of disappointment, shame and overstrain. Followed five minutes of acute misery. (Galsworthy)

Cf. Five minutes of acute misery followed. Further examples are:

(c) He remembered Irene saying to him once: "Never was any one born more loving and lovable than Jon". (Galsworthy)

(d) Then arrived in a group a number of Nicholases, always punctual the fashion up Ladbroke Grove way; and close behind them Eustace and his men, gloomy and smelling rather of smoke. (Galsworthy)

Variations in word-order characterising a word or a phrase as to its thematic and rhematic quality have special communicative functions. Examine also the word-order arrangement in the following sentences with the front-position of objects and adverbial adjuncts:

On the hearth stood an enormous bowl, with bottles beside it, glinting in the firelight. (Ch. Snow)

...At last I turned away. On the pavement, walking towards me, was Sheila. (Ch. Snow)

Thus, dreadfully, was revealed to him the lack of imagination in the human being. (Galsworthy)

Sometimes emphatic front-position of sentence-element is found without inversion of subject and predicate. This is the case, for instance, with objects referring to what immediately precedes in the context.

To the little I told him, he was formally sympathetic; but in his heart he thought it all inexplicable and somewhat effeminate. (Ch. Snow)

, Of these she read to little Jon, till he was allowed to read to himself; whereupon she whisked back to London and left them with him in a heap. (Galsworthy)

To her new fangled dress, frilly about the hips and tight below the knees, June took a sudden liking a charming colour, flax-blue. (Galsworthy)

Her heart he only knew the value of when she said softly: uGo on out, and don't ever come in here again." (Sillitoe)

With regard to the relative positions of subject and verbal predicate there are three possibilities which may be denoted respectively:

(a) the "normal" order S→ P;

(b) the "inverted" order P → S;

(c) the inverted order with P split up into two parts and S coming between them.



13. A sentence is a grammatical unit consisting of one or more words that are grammatically linked. A sentence can include words grouped meaningfully to express a statement, question, exclamation, request, command or suggestion.

There are three types of sentences:
a) Simple Sentence
b) Complex Sentence
c) Compound Sentence
d) Compound-complex Sentence

The type of sentence is determined by the number and type of clauses it contains. It falls into one of the following:

Simple Sentence
In this type of sentence, there is only one independent clause and no dependent clause. The sentence contains a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought. Simple sentences can also contain compound subjects and/or verbs but it doesn't contain any conjunction.

  • Some students (subject) like (verb) to study in the mornings.
  • Juan (subject) plays (verb) football every afternoon.
  • Alicia (subject) goes (verb) to the library and studies (verb) every day.

Compound Sentence
In this type of sentence, there are multiple independent clauses and no dependent clause. All the clauses are joined together by coordinating conjunctions and/or punctuations. Here, the relationship between the two independent clauses can be changed by the proper use of coordinating conjunctions.

  • I (subject) tried (verb) to speak Spanish, and my friend (subject) tried (verb) to speak English.
  • Alejandro (subject) played (verb) football, so Maria (subject) went (verb) shopping.
  • Alejandro (subject) played (verb) football, for Maria (subject) went (verb) shopping.

Complex Sentence
This type of sentence consists of at least one independent clause and one dependent clause. One characteristic of complex sentence is that it has a relative pronoun like 'that', 'who' or 'which' or a subordinator like 'because', 'since', 'when', 'although' or 'after'. If the complex sentence begins with a subordinator then a comma is placed after the dependent clause. When the sentence begins with an independent clause and the subordinators are in the middle, then there is no need to place a comma after the dependent clause.

  • When (subordinator) he (subject) handed (verb) in his homework, he (subject) forgot (verb) to give the teacher the last page.
  • The teacher (subject) returned (verb) the homework after (subordinator) she (subject) noticed (verb) the error.
  • The students (subject) are studying (verb) because (subordinator) they (subject) have (verb) a test tomorrow.
  • After (subordinator) they (subject) finished (verb) studying, Juan (subject) and Maria (subject) went (verb) to the movies.
  • Juan (subject) and Maria (subject) went (verb) to the movies after (subordinator) they (subject) finished (verb) studying.

Compound-Complex Sentence
This type of sentence consists of multiple independent clauses and at least one dependent clause. The clauses are connected by both conjunctions and subordinators.

  • The woman (subject), who (subordinate) my mom (subject) talked to, sells (verb) cosmetics.
  • The book (subject) that (subordinate) Jonathan (subject) read is (verb) on the shelf.
  • The house (subject) which (subordinate) Abraham Lincoln (subject) was born in is (verb) still standing.
  • The town (subject) where (subordinate) I (subject) grew up is (verb) in the United States.

A clause is a question, statement or command. A clause which can stand by itself is called a main clause or principal clause.

A main clause (principal clause) generally is a group of words containing a subject and a predicate. The only exceptions are certain commands (Go to the bathroom!) which contain only a predicate. It does not generally begin with a subordinator (subordinate conjunction) unless it is a question.

1) Jack and Jill went up the hill when they needed water.
2) When Felicity became president of the company, she was happy.
3) No one knew what was wrong after the storm ended.
4) Why did you leave the room?
5) The student who left early will not complete the assignment.

A subordinate clause cannot stand by itself in standard written English. Although a subordinate clause can be part of a question, it cannot be a question by itself.
Subordinate clause-a clause that modifies the principal clause or some part of it or that serves a noun function in the principal clause, as when she arrived in the sentence I was there when she arrived or that she has arrived in the sentence I doubt that she has arrived. When the principal clause is in the past tense
When the principal (main) clause is in the past tense, the verb in the subordinating clause also should be in the past tense.

1) The bird saw the man who sat on the train tracks.

2) While the bird watched, another man crept up behind it.
3) He captured the animal, because it was not paying any attention.
4) It is a sad story, that I am telling.
5) Did you know that you would not enjoy it?

14. Lexicology is a branch of linguistics concerned with the vocabulary of a language and properties of words. This term is composed of two morphemes form the Greek language: lexis (word, phrase) and logos (branch of knowledge, learning). Lexicology studies the vocabulary of a given language at a given stage in history. The task of lexicology is a study and systematic description of vocabulary, its origin, development, and current use. Lexicology is concerned with words, phraseological units, variable word groups, and morphemes which make up words.

The word is a basic unit of any language. Every word serves as a name for things, actions, qualities. It is a two-facet unit possessing both the form and the content.

The morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit, two-facet one, but in contrast to the word it cannot function independently. We deal with them when we speak of word structure and word formation.

Phraseological units are set phrases with transferred meaning which may function as word equivalents, e.g. to lay smb to rest (to bury), monkey business (naughtiness).

Classification of Synonyms

The outstanding Russian philologist A.I. Smirnitsky suggested the classification of synonyms

into 3 types:

1. Ideographic synonyms - words conveying the same notion but differing in shades of

meaning: to understand - to realize

to expect - to anticipate

to look - glance - stare - peep - gaze healthy - wholesome - sound - sane

2. Stylistic - words differing only in stylistic characteristics:

to begin - to commence - to high

to think - to deem

enemy - opponent - foe - adversary

to help - to aid - to assist

courage - valour - dauntlessness - grit - guts

3. Absolute (perfect, complete) - words coinciding in all their shades of meaning and in

all their stylistic characteristics. Absolute synonyms are rare in a language. In Russian, f.e.: - ; ; .

In English: pilot - airman flyer flyingman; screenwriter - scriptwriter - scripter - semasiology semantics.


Teaching Pronunciation

Pronunciation involves far more than individual sounds. Word stress, sentence stress, intonation, and word linking all influence the sound of spoken English, not to mention the way we often slur words and phrases together in casual speech. 'What are you going to do?' becomes 'Whaddaya gonna do?' English pronunciation involves too many complexities for learners to strive for a complete elimination of accent, but improving pronunciation will boost self esteem, facilitate communication, and possibly lead to a better job or a least more respect in the workplace. Effective communication is of greatest importance, so choose first to work on problems that significantly hinder communication and let the rest go. Remember that your students also need to learn strategies for dealing with misunderstandings, since native pronunciation is for most an unrealistic goal.

A student's first language often interferes with English pronunciation. For example, /p/ is aspirated in English but not in Spanish, so when a Spanish speaker pronounces 'pig' without a puff of air on the /p/, an American may hear 'big' instead. Sometimes the students will be able to identify specific problem sounds and sometimes they won't. You can ask them for suggestions, but you will also need to observe them over time and make note of problem sounds. Another challenge resulting from differences in the first language is the inability to hear certain English sounds that the native language does not contain. Here are some ideas for focusing on specific pronunciation features.

  • Voicing
    Voiced sounds will make the throat vibrate. For example, /g/ is a voiced sound while /k/ is not, even though the mouth is in the same position for both sounds. Have your students touch their throats while pronouncing voiced and voiceless sounds. They should feel vibration with the voiced sounds only.
  • Aspiration
    Aspiration refers to a puff of air when a sound is produced. Many languages have far fewer aspirated sounds than English, and students may have trouble hearing the aspiration. The English /p/, /t/, /k/, and /ch/ are some of the more commonly aspirated sounds. Although these are not always aspirated, at the beginning of a word they usually are. To illustrate aspiration, have your students hold up a piece of facial tissue a few inches away from their mouths and push it with a puff of air while pronouncing a word containing the target sound.
  • Mouth Position
    Draw simple diagrams of tongue and lip positions. Make sure all students can clearly see your mouth while you model sounds. Have students use a mirror to see their mouth, lips, and tongue while they imitate you.
  • Intonation
    Word or sentence intonation can be mimicked with a kazoo, or alternatively by humming. This will take the students' attention off of the meaning of a word or sentence and help them focus on the intonation.
  • Linking
    We pronounce phrases and even whole sentences as one smooth sound instead of a series of separate words. 'Will Amy go away,' is rendered 'Willaymeegowaway.' To help learners link words, try starting at the end of a sentence and have them repeat a phrase, adding more of the sentence as they can master it. For example, 'gowaway,' then 'aymeegowaway,' and finally 'Willaymeegowaway' without any pauses between words.
  • Vowel Length
    You can demonstrate varying vowel lengths within a word by stretching rubber bands on the longer vowels and letting them contract on shorter ones. Then let the students try it. For example, the word 'fifteen' would have the rubber band stretched for the 'ee' vowel, but the word 'fifty' would not have the band stretched because both of its vowels are spoken quickly.
  • Syllables
    • Have students count syllables in a word and hold up the correct number of fingers, or place objects on table to represent each syllable.
    • Illustrate syllable stress by clapping softly and loudly corresponding to the syllables of a word. For example, the word 'beautiful' would be loud-soft-soft. Practice with short lists of words with the same syllabic stress pattern ('beautiful,' 'telephone,' 'Florida') and then see if your learners can list other words with that pattern.
  • Specific Sounds
    • Minimal pairs, or words such as 'bit/bat' that differ by only one sound, are useful for helping students distinguish similar sounds. They can be used to illustrate voicing ('curl/girl') or commonly confused sounds ('play/pray'). Remember that it's the sound and not the spelling you are focusing on.
    • Tongue twisters are useful for practicing specific target sounds, plus they're fun. Make sure the vocabulary isn't too difficult.
    • The Sounds of English, American Accent Training, and EnglishClub.com websites below offer guidelines for describing how to produce various English sounds. You can find representative practice words for every English sound on the English is Soup site.

Here are some resources for teaching pronunciation.

  • Sounds of English
    Mouth diagrams and photographs; instructions for producing selected English sounds, word stress, sentence stress, and intonation; many example sound clips to play with audio software such as RealPlayer (free).
  • American Accent Training: Pronunciation
    The most common trouble sounds in English and how to pronounce them.
  • EnglishClub.com English Pronunciation - Pronunciation for ESL learners
    Guides to word and sentence stress, linking, pronunciation of '-ed' and 'the,' and other topics.
  • Some Techniques for Teaching Pronunciation
    Detailed instructions for two pronunciation activities.
  • English is Soup: A Phonics Resource For ESL Adults
    Mouth diagrams and representative words showing various spellings for every English sound; short introduction to rules of pronunciation based on spelling; PDF format.
  • The Tongue Twister Database
    Large collection of tongue twisters to practice specific sounds.

Before Listening

1. Simplify passages to three sentences with a civil question for each of them.

2. Explain difficult vocabulary and cultural allusions in the passage before listening.

3. Give simple clear explanation of what to listen to by asking pre-listening questions.

4. Divide a passage into manageable pieces.

5. Have learners make notes about what they expect to hear (based on the title).

6. Make learners aware of redundancy clues (the multiple signals in sentences for plurality, possession, gender, verb aspect, etc.).

While Listening

1. Give learners a list of facts and items they can check as they are listening (people, dates, plans, forms, pictures, etc.).

2. Give them maps on which they can chart a route being discussed.

3. Tell them to jot down only the key-words as they listen.

4. Have them draw something simple that the passage suggests

After Listening

Depending on their ability the learners may be asked to:

1. Think of suitable title of a passage.

2. Make up a plan of the story.

3. Take a dictation of the passage.

4. Fill in a cloze-test.

5. Answer multiple choice questions.

6. Answer open-ended question.

7. Write a two- or three-line summary.

8. Tell who the speakers are (when listening to a tape), what their attitudes are, what their roles are, where they are, what they are speaking about.

9. Tell what can be inferred from the passage heard.

10. Listen to the story and think of a suitable end.

11. Describe the characters.

12. Heuristics (problem solving) students hear all the information relevant to a particular problem and then set themselves to solve it.

13. Debate, interview, discussion, role-play, dramatisation, etc. associated with the passage heard.

Thus listening comprehension is the ability to identify and understand a verbal message. This involves understanding of speakers pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary, and grasping the meaning. It plays a key role in language learning alongside with teaching speaking, reading and writing.

Lexical Stylistic Devices

Allegory: an extended metaphor - the whole poem or story is representative of another idea. An allegory is intended to teach a moral or lesson.

Allusion: a brief reference to a person, event or thing religious or historical.

Alliteration: repetition of the same sound beginning several words in sequence.

(The possessive instinct never stands still.)

Anaphora: repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses or lines. (Better for him, better for me)

Antonomasia:speaking names (Miss Sharp. Scrooge McDuck. Sponge Bob.)

Assonance: repetition of the same sound in words close to each other.

Cacophony: harsh joining of sounds.

Catachresis: a harsh metaphor involving the use of a word beyond its strict sphere.

Detachment: stylistic device based on singling out a secondary member of sentence with the help of punctuation (intonation). (I have to beg you for money. Daily.)

Epithet: expresses a characteristic of an object, both existing & imaginary. (the sleepless pillow, the tobacco-stained smile, a ghost-like face)

Humour: a smart joke or idea

Hyperbole: exaggeration for emphasis or for rhetorical effect. (I was so embarrassed, I could have died. I would give the whole world to know.)

Irony: expression of smth. which is contrary to the intended meaning; words say 1 thing but mean another. (He smiled the sweet smile of an alligator.)

Metaphor: implied comparison achieved through a figurative use of words; word is used not in its literal sense, but in 1 analogous to it. (New kid in our class is really a squirrel.)

Metonymy: substitution of 1 word for another which it suggests. (To earn one's bread, to live by the pen.)

Onomatopoeia: use of words to imitate natural sounds; accommodation of sound to sense. ("hiss", "bowwow", "murmur", "bump", "grumble", "sizzle")

Oxymoron: apparent paradox achieved by the juxtaposition of words which seem to contradict one another. (adoring hatred, awfully nice, sweet sorrow)

Paronomasia: use of similar sounding words; often etymological word-play.

Personification: attribution of personality to an impersonal thing.

(The long arm of the law will catch him in the end.)

Pleonasm: use of superfluous or redundant words, often enriching the thought.

Pun: stylistic device based on the interaction of 2 well-known meanings of a word or phrase. (Did you hit a woman with a child? - No, I hit her with a brick.)

Sarcasm: type of irony in which a person appears to be praising something but is actually insulting it. Its purpose is to injure or hurt. (As I fell down the stairs headfirst, I heard her say, 'Look at that coordination)

Simile: explicit comparison between 2 things using 'like' or 'as'. (My love is like a red rose. Sly as a fox, busy as a bee.)

Synecdoche: understanding 1 thing with another; the use of a part for the whole, or the whole for the part. (All hands on deck. The hall applauded.)

Understatement (meiosis): opposite of hyperbole. Its a kind of irony that deliberately represents smth. as being much less than it really is. (Id probably manage to survive on a salary of 2 000000 $ per year)

Zeugma: 2 different words linked to a verb or an adjective which is strictly appropriate to only 1 of them. (I like to have a tea with you and with cookies)


Major tropes

A literary trope is the use of figurative language. For example, the sitting United States administration might be referred to as "Washington". Since the 1970s, the word has also come to mean a commonly recurring literary device, motif, or cliché. The term trope had its first known use in English during 1533 and it derives from the Greek τρόπος (tropos), "turn, direction, way", derived from the verb τρέπειν (trepein), "to turn, to direct, to alter, to change


  • Allegory A sustained metaphor continued through whole sentences or even through a whole discourse. For example: "The ship of state has sailed through rougher storms than the tempest of these lobbyists."
  • Antanaclasis is the stylistic trope of repeating a single word, but with a different meaning each time. Antanaclasis is a common type of pun, and like other kinds of pun, it is often found in slogans.
  • Irony creating a trope through implying the opposite of the standard meaning, such as describing a bad situation as "good times".
  • Metaphor an explanation of an object

© 2013 wikipage.com.ua - wikipage.com.ua |