Presentation on theme: "T H E V E R B: Its Grammatical Categories. P E R S O N AND N U M B E R The categories of person and number must be considered in close connection with."— Presentation transcript:
P E R S O N AND N U M B E R The categories of person and number must be considered in close connection with each other, since in languages of the Indo-European family they are expressed simultaneously, i.e. a morpheme expressing person also expresses number.
The category of person in verbs is represented by the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person, and it expresses the relation between the speaker, the person or persons addressed, and other persons and things. The 1st person expresses the speaker or a group of which the speaker makes a part; the 2nd person, the person or persons spoken to, and the 3rd, that person(s) or thing(s) which are neither the speaker nor the person(s) spoken to. The category of number expresses the quantity of the subjects one or more than one.
The system of personal and numerical categories does not remain effective for the Modern English verb. First, there is no distinction of persons in the plural number. Second, there is no distinction of numbers in the 1st or 2nd person. Third, some verbs do not fit into the system of person and number and they must be mentioned separately: can, may, shall, and some others sharing some of its features, and the verb be, which stands quite apart and is very widely used.
Negative Forms The English language has in its verbal system a peculiarity distinguishing it both from Russian, German, French, and other Indo-European languages. To express the notion that an action did not take place, the English verb does not always simply add a negative particle to the verb form, as in the example has come - has not come. In many cases a special auxiliary verb is used if the negative idea is expressed. Since the negative has its own auxiliary verb, it must be acknowledged as a special morphological category of the English verb.
Academician A. Shakhmatov, comparing the Russian and the English negation, pointing out that there is a special auxiliary for the negative in English, put forward the idea that in English there is a special negative mood. This idea, however, cannot be accepted by modern linguistics, as the negative forms may be found in every mood. Since the negative is compatible with different moods, it cannot itself be a mood.
Interrogative Forms An important question arises concerning the interrogative forms of the English verb. Since the verb do is an auxiliary to form the interrogative, Prof.B.A.Ilyish concludes that the opposition between declarative and interrogative forms (takes – does … take?) is also based on some grammatical category. There was a supposition that the interrogative should be included as a third item in the opposition "affirmative - negative", thus forming a triple grouping "affirmative - interrogative - negative".
But this is rendered impossible by the fact that interrogative and negative can be united in one form, as in does... not take? Since interrogative and negative can be combined in one form, they cannot possibly belong to the same category but have to be assigned to different categories.
Emphatic do-forms Another question arises concerning the emphatic do- forms, such as he does know, she did go, meaning more or less the same as he really knows, she really went, etc. Does the verb do introduce any lexical meaning of its own into the formation? Apparently it does not: it merely emphasizes the meanings expressed by the infinitive following the verb do. Thus, these are analytical verb forms, that is, the verb do is an auxiliary verb here just as it is an auxiliary in the negative and interrogative formations.
This is obvious both from the meaning and the form of each member: does know, did go, etc, are necessarily emphatic and they have an auxiliary as a means of expressing emphasis, that is, they cannot be used unemphatically. The category which lies at the basis of this opposition may perhaps be briefly termed emphasis.