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IA901 2012 Session Five The English Verb Tense, Aspect, Mood.

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1 IA901 2012 Session Five The English Verb Tense, Aspect, Mood

2 “This is going to sound really stupid, but is a verb a doing word?” (a question asked by an English Literature undergraduate in a writing class, Autumn 2011)

3 Link to last week…

4 Collocations

5 ______ verb

6 subject and verb auxiliary modal main lexical delexical transitive intransitive phrasal multi-word phrasal-prepositional active passive finite non-finite regular irregular linking copular state dynamic nominalized

7 Frequency

8 What do you think?

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10 What’s behind this square?

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12 And this one?

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14 Preparatory task

15 Look at these words for 10 seconds…

16 How many VERBS can you remember?

17 How many VERBS can you see?

18 Identify the verbs in the following sentences: 1.Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper. 2.I just text her five minutes ago. 3.Our father, which art in heaven. 4.Prodromou argues very persuasively that core chunks such as sort of and you know membership speakers within cultural communities and project a ‘deep commonality’ amongst interlocutors which the learner or even the highly successful non-native user may not wish to claim nor has any reason to claim. 5.Closed like confessionals they thread loud noons of cities 6.Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe [5] [5]

19 1.Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper. 2.I just text her five minutes ago. 3.Our father, which art in heaven… 4.Prodromou argues very persuasively that core chunks such as sort of and you know membership speakers within cultural communities and project a ‘deep commonality’ amongst interlocutors which the learner or even the highly successful non-native user may not wish to claim nor has any reason to claim. 5.Closed like confessionals they thread loud noons of cities 6.Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe [5] [5] Culpepper et al (2009 : 115) in classifying a word (as a verb or otherwise), FUNCTION comes before FORM and MEANING.

20 Consider the following examples taken from writing produced by international students on an EAP course. How would you describe the underlined errors? How would explain the problem to the writer? 7.In fact, in my childhood, I enjoyed such trips to the full because I could experience various things I could not do in daily life such as long driving, getting on bullet trains, and seeing scenes I have never seen. 8.For example, in Japan family structure has changed dramatically for 25 years. 9.This problem is existed for many years. 10.Something strange was happened before I could open to door.

21 Finally, how would you explain the difference in meaning between the following pair of sentences? 11.I have lived in Essex for 2 months. I have been living in Essex for 2 months. Can you think of any other tricky questions you’ve been asked relating to English verbs?

22 Tense

23 Tense: True or false? 1.There are only two tenses in English. 2.“Present continuous” is not the name of a tense. 3.In English, there is no relationship between time and tense.

24 a)Melody makes the best soup in Colchester. b)Term ends on the 14 th of December. c)Christie’s train leaves at 4.30. d)Would you mind if I opened the window? e)Have you been beyond the fifth floor in the paternoster lift?

25 Tense and aspect

26 TENSE Briefly, tense is the representation in grammar of the distinction that we make between past, present and future in our view of time. In English we encode the distinction between present and past tense in different forms of verbs. (Jackson, 1990) To the linguist tense is a technical term. It means that there is a morphological change in the base form of the verb. A verb form which is made with an auxiliary is not, in this technical meaning, a “tense”. (Lewis, 1986) ASPECT Aspect, typically, expresses whether actions or events are finished or unfinished, temporary or protracted. (Parrot, 2010) Aspect indicates the speaker’s perspective on time as indicated in a verb phrase, particularly whether an action is treated as finished or is still in progress or still relevant to the moment of speaking. English has two aspects: perfect and progressive (sometimes known as continuous). (Carter and McCarthy, 2006)

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30 In your opinion, does the low frequency of a particular tense/aspect combination mean that we should not teach it?

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33 Describing tense and aspect in context

34 From Thornbury (1997 : 77)

35 1.It’s raining. 2.It was raining. 3.I propose a toast. 4.I live in Oxford. 5.Wood floats on water. 6.I play tennis most weekends. 7.I’m taking the car every day this week. 8.I lived in Cambridge for 4 years. 9.I was living in Cambridge for 4 years. 10.I swear it wasn’t me. 11.I’ve seen him already. 12.I’m going to see him tomorrow. 13.I saw him yesterday. 14.I’d seen him before. 15.I was going to see him in the afternoon. 16.I’ll see him tomorrow. 17.I’ll have seen him before Saturday. 18.I’ll be going to see him when I get to London.

36 from Lewis (1986: 172)

37 from Lewis (1986: 172-173)

38 A1. I swear it wasn’t me. A2. I’ve seen him already. A3. I’m going to see him tomorrow. B1. I saw him yesterday. B2. I’d seen him before. B3. I was going to see him in the afternoon. C1. I’ll see him tomorrow. C2. I’ll have seen him before Saturday. C3. I’ll be going to see him when I get to London from Lewis (1986: 173-4)

39 from Lewis (1986: 175)

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42 A complication… What do the verb tense and aspect combinations tell us about the difference between the following statements? a)I live in Colchester. b)I lived in London for 10 years. c)I’ve lived in Colchester for 2 years. d)I’ve been living in Colchester for 2 years.

43 They’ve painted their house or They’ve been painting their house?

44 But… a)I’ve lived in Colchester for 2 years. b)I’ve been living in Colchester for 2 years. c)They’ve painted their house. d)They’ve been painting their house. Shouldn’t the distinctions be the same?

45 Lexical aspect

46 How useful (or not) is Jackson’s classification of verbs?

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56 Modal verbs

57 Palmer, cited in Lewis (1986): There is no doubt that the overall picture of the modals is extremely “messy” and untidy and that the most the linguist can do is to impose some order, point some regularities, correspondences, parallelisms…This subject is not one that lends itself to any simple explanation. Is this true of your experience, either as a teacher or as a learner (or both)? Can you give examples of any difficulties you have experienced?

58 Think of a context in which you might encounter the following statement: You must be exhausted. Now consider possible contexts for the following: 1.She can’t drive. 2.She could drive when she was 12! 3.She can’t be 50! 4.They’ll be arriving about now. 5.You mustn’t do that to your sister! 6.You should stop smoking. 7.I’ll get it. 8.She just won’t move. 9.May I? 10.Can I leave the table?

59 Modal verbs belong to the larger category of auxiliary verbs, i.e. we don’t use them on their own; we have to use them in conjunction with another (main) verb. They are thus sometimes also called ‘modal auxiliaries’. (Parrot, 2010) Modality refers to a speaker’s or a writer’s attitude towards, or point of view about, a state of the world. It is centrally concerned with the expression of certainty, volition, possibility and obligation. Core modal verbs (can, could, may, might, will, shall, would, should, must) and semi-modals (dare, need, ought to, used to) are the principal way in which modal meanings are expressed. (Carter and McCarthy, 2006)

60 PURE MODALS can could may might must shall should will would MARGINAL MODALS dare need ought to SEMIMODALS be going to be supposed to had better had best have got to have to Are these categories useful?

61 Cowan (2008): Responsible for the categories on the previous slide. Identifies 27 different functions for the pure modals alone!

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63 Jackson (1990): Possibility Necessity Possibility of an AGENTIVE participant may be related to: - ability - permission - willingness

64 Yule (1998): Epistemic Root = deductions from speaker / writer From STRONG conclusion (necessity) to WEAK conclusion (possibility) = requirements from the speaker / writer Obligation (necessity) and Permission (possibility)

65 Lewis (1986): can, could, may, might, shall, should, will, would, must – revealing as a “closed group” (not abnormalities) Omission from this list of HAVE TO and OUGHT TO is significant. “Essentially grounded in the moment of speaking – based on an assessment ‘in the present circumstances’” Express the speaker’s judgement about the non-factual, non-temporal elements in an action.

66 1.She can’t drive. 2.She could drive when she was 12! 3.She can’t be 50! 4.They’ll be arriving about now. 5.You mustn’t do that to your sister! 6.You should stop smoking. 7.I’ll get it. 8.She just won’t move. 9.May I? 10.Can I leave the table?

67 How can I explain: a)The difference between “must” and “have to”? b)The difference between “You didn’t need to” and “You needn’t have”? c)Why “would” can have the same meaning as “used to” (but not always)? d)Why “I could swim when I was five” and “I was able to swim when I was five” have the same meaning, but “I was able to finish my essay before the deadline” and “I could finish my essay before the deadline” have different meanings?

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70 Review

71 Consider the following examples taken from writing produced by international students on an EAP course. How would you describe the underlined errors? How would explain the problem to the writer? 7.In fact, in my childhood, I enjoyed such trips to the full because I could experience various things I could not do in daily life such as long driving, getting on bullet trains, and seeing scenes I have never seen. 8.For example, in Japan family structure has changed dramatically for 25 years. 9.This problem is existed for many years. 10.Something strange was happened before I could open to door.

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74 A Moment In Venice They collided in St Mark’s Square. As they apologized, in their different languages, he sensed that something had passed between them. His heart had been touched. In that second, something magical had occurred. He watched her vanish amongst the gathering of people and pigeons. She had stolen his wallet.

75 There were 9 verbs in the story. Can you remember them all? A Moment In Venice They COLLIDE in St Mark’s Square. As they APOLOGIZE, in their different languages, he SENSE that something PASS between them. His heart TOUCH. In that second, something magical OCCUR. He WATCH her VANISH amongst the gathering of people and pigeons. She STEAL his wallet. They collided in St Mark’s Square. As they apologized, in their different languages, he sensed that something had passed between them. His heart had been touched. In that second, something magical had occurred. He watched her vanish amongst the gathering of people and pigeons. She had stolen his wallet.

76 Revenge is Sweet They ARGUE bitterly the night before. He COME IN from the garage with oil on his shoes. Fed up, desperate, she STAB him. Horrified at what she DO, she DRIVE away from the house along the cliff road. Suddenly she REALISE that the brakes NO WORK. They had been arguing bitterly the night before. He had come in from the garage with oil on his shoes. Fed up, desperate, she stabbed him. Horrified at what she had done, she drove away from the house along the cliff road. Suddenly she realised that the brakes weren’t working.

77 Can you add the grammar to these two stories? Sergeant Boxwell know he catch burglar at last. “You no have say anything at all” he tell him, “but your bootprints find scene eleven burglaries”. Then triumphantly, “you got anything say?” “Only this”, reply suspect. “Yesterday, I steal those boots”. School he be no good maths, but outstanding writing and reading. But who need arithmetic? He enter competition with enthusiasm, and produce brilliant, witty, profound, and paradoxical story. He inspire. It be absolute masterpiece. judges sigh. Another one with 51 words.

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