English Theoretical Grammar. Exam Answers

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  • Topic: Noun, Verb, Syntax
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1. The status of TG.
Language is a means of forming and storing ideas as reflections of reality and exchanging them in the process of human intercourse. It’s social by nature and inseparably connected with people. It develops with the development of society. The language consists of 3 parts: the phonological system (i.e. sound system), the lexical system (set of naming means of language) and the grammatical system. (The principles of systemic approach to language and its grammar were developed in the linguistics of the 20th century after the publication of the works by Beaudoin de Courtenay and Ferdinand de Saussure (they demonstrated the difference between lingual synchrony and diachrony). The 1st characteristic feature of Grammar is its abstract character (it abstracts itself from particular & concrete and builds its rules & laws, taking into consideration only common features of groups and words). The 2nd characteristic feature of Grammar is stability (laws & categories of Grammar exist through ages without considerable changes). The main object of Grammar is the grammatical structure of language (i.e. the system of the laws of word changing & sentence building). There’re 2 types of Grammar: Normative and Theoretical.

Normative Grammar is the collection of rules of the given language, manual of practical mastering the Grammar. It’s of a prescriptive character.

Theoretical Grammar is the branch of linguistics, which studies the forms of the words & their relations in sentences in more abstract way, giving the profound description of existing grammatical laws & tendencies; looks inside into the structure of parts of language & expose the mechanisms of their functioning, i.e. the mechanism of the formation of utterances out of words in the process of speaking. The aim of TG is to present a scientific description of a certain language. It’s of a descriptive character. “The aim of TG is to present a theoretical description of its grammatical system, i.e. to analyze scientifically and to define its grammatical categories and study the mechanisms of grammatical formation of utterances out of words in the process of speech making.” (Блох)

2. Essential notions of morphology: morph, allomorph, morpheme, word-form. Traditionally, the course of Grammar is divided into two parts: Morphology and Syntax. Syntax includes the sentence & the parts of the sentence; it makes the study of ways of connection words & word combinations in the sentences. Morphology deals with forms of words. It includes: parts of speech & their morphological categories. Morphological categories are represented in word forms. It studies the system of forms of word change. E.g.: the case & the number of the noun; person, number, mood of the verb etc. I. P. Ivanova says that the word is the basic unit of morphology. The word - is a nominative unit of language; it is formed by morphemes; it enters the lexicon of language as its elementary component (i.e. a component indivisible into smaller segments as regards its nominative function); together with other nominative units the word is used for the formation of the sentence - a unit of information in the communication process”. (M. Y. Blokh).

The morph is a minimal sequence of sounds, possessing certain meaning and regularly occurs in some environments. The morph is a minimal meaningful textual unit, the textual representative of a morpheme, i.e. a morph is a variety of a morpheme: e.g. the variant in- of the negative prefix un- is its morph.

The morpheme is the elementary meaningful lingual unit built up from phonemes and used to make words. It has meaning, but its meaning is abstract, significative, not concrete, or nominative, as is that of the word. Morphemes constitute the words; they do not exist outside the words. The morpheme is a group of one more morphs united by the same meaning and complementary distribution. Allomorphs are speech variants of morphemes (the plural morpheme -(e)s [s], [z],...
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