Доста отдавна не съм писал в този свой блог. Дойде време да го посетя отново и да го поосвежа.
В голям дълг съм към читателите си, по-точно към читателите на този блог - защото имам и други два. Колкото и да са малко те, може би, не беше редно да заявявам - преди години, когато открих този блог, че ще представя част от основната си работа в областта на езикознанието, и по-конкретно някои основни положения в граматиката и семантиката на английския език (вж. началото на блога).
Не го направих тук, но започнах да го правя в сайта на Google Knol, A Unit of Knowledge. Тогава се предполагаше, че Knol ще стане нещо като конкурент на Wikipedia. Не стана. Постепенно всъщност взе да става ясно, че сайтът Knol просто няма да го бъде. Не се развиваше добре. Затова и аз самият не намерих стимул да продължа първата част на представянето на вида, което направих там.
Предстои Knol скоро да бъде закрит, затова реших, че е добре да прехвърля тук онова, което и понастоящем стои в Knol (но скоро ще изчезне). Това е едно общо представяне на вида в английския език, на английски език. Предоставям го на читателите тук с надеждата, че ще намеря един ден стимул, наистина в близкото бъдеще, да го продължа и завърша.
Следва текстът, директно прехвърлен от Knol.
Първо има нещо кратко за самия мен, после следва първата част на едно обобщение на работата ми върху вида - като общолингвистичен феномен и като факт в структурата на английския език.
I have investigated aspect as a general linguistic category and aspect in particular languages like English, Bulgarian and Russian for more than three decades. For more in-depth information on aspect, please browse my book "Aspect in English: a 'common-sense' view of the interplay between verbal and nominal referents", Series: Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy , Vol. 75
Aspect in English
Aspect as a general language phenomenon is the result of a subtle and complex interplay between the referents of verbs and nouns in the sentence (in any language).
In cross-language terms, a special role for the explication of aspect is played by markers of boundedness in nouns (noun phrases), as in English and similar languages. Furthermore, these markers are in the long run identical (similar) to markers of aspect in verbs (in languages with verbal aspect). In grammatical terms, the marking of aspect is a compensatory phenomenon imposed by language structure and comparisons between Slavic and Germanic (English) data reveal that compositional aspect is a mirror image of verbal aspect.
When explicated compositionally, aspect is also determined by pragmatic factors. Ultimately, it is part of man's cognitive potential.
Aspect in English A `Common-Sense' View of the Interplay between Verbal and Nominal Referents Series: Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy, Vol. 75 Kabakciev, K. 2000, 380 p., Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-7923-6538-9
Studies on aspect in English and many other languages have drawn heavily upon some classifications of verbs and verb phrases which sprang up between the 1940s and 1960s in the writings of some scholars, Vendler (1957) being considered most prominent. Vendler’s classification consists of four groups, also called schemata, viz.:
- states like know, believe, paint, write books (where painting or writing books is seen as someone's typical activity/feature);
- activities like run, paint, being nervous, etc. where there is some ongoing action or process and these are not seen as typical/habitual activities/features of an agent;
- accomplishments like catch a dog, write a letter, read a book, grow up, recover;
- achievements like realize, win the race, get married, start, stop, etc., where there is usually a more or less sudden transition from one state to another.
Vendler's aspect has to do with lexical semantics, viz., the semantics of separate verbs and verb phrases. However, aspect in English can also be analyzed from the point of view of the grammatical categories of the verb, where the progressive forms (is/were/will be playing tennis, etc.) are true aspect forms, displaying a clear meaning of an ongoing process (i.e., an unfinished, non-completed action), and the simple forms (play tennis, play a game of tennis/played tennis, played a game of tennis, etc.) are unmarked with respect to the completedness or non-completedness of an action and the action may be represented as either completed or non-completed - depending on the particular sentence, context, etc.
As noted a long time ago by Vendler and other scholars, the non-bounded nature of an object like apples (non-bounded quantity) tends to influence the meaning of the verb phrase, where eat apples/ate apples is conceived of as non-bounded, non-completed, while eat an apple (ate an apple), as in John ate an apple, is usually (generally) conceived of as bounded, completed. At the the end of the 1950s and throughout the 1960s there were many observations by linguists of this phenomenon, but a generalization failed to be reached.
In 1971, Henl Verkuyl, a Dutch linguist, published his dissertaion entitled On the compositional nature of the aspects (Verkuyl 1971/1972). This work was far from recognized immediately as a cornerstone in the development of aspectology. However, today Verkuyl's compositional aspect is almost universally regarded as a major language phenomenon, and its finding - a major breakthrough in the understanding of aspect as an important language mechanism.
There are enough data from languages around the world justifying a view that aspect should first and foremost be understood in terms of the abstract opposition between perfectivity and imperfectivity (Bybee et al 1994; Comrie 1976; Dahl 1985), where perfectivity is, largely speaking, something completed in time with a result of some kind (a very general and rough definition), as in John ate an apple, and imperfectivity is either an current ongoing activity, as in John is/was eating an apple, or an action without a clear beginning and end, as in John ate apples/John painted, which can also be seen as a habitual action or a feature of the subject.
Verkuyl's compositonal aspect accounted for one very important feature that had previously (until the end of the 1960s) remained unnoticed. It is not only objects to a verb as in John ate an apple (perfective, completed) vs. John ate apples (imperfective, non-completed) that influence and determine the completedness/non-completedness of the action, subjects also play the same important role, bounding or unbounding the action. Thus if A policeman/Two policemen walked from the Mint to the Dam is completed (perfective), a"quantitatively" nonbounded subject like policemen changes the action from a perfective into an imperfective one: Policemen walked from the Mint to the Dam. Cf. also sentence pairs like John visited the village and Tourists visited the village, where the former clearly refers to a single completed event, while the latter refers to a non-bounded, non-completed happening (no beginning and no endpoint are "seen", i.e. referred to).
From the point of view of contrastive linguistics, it must be stressed that:
(1) The article in English (easily seen from the examples, see above) plays a major role in the explication of perfectivity (completedness of an action), while the introduction of the zero article, i.e., the elimination of the article and its substitution by a bare nominal induces imperfectivity (non-completedness of an action). Cf. again John ate an apple vs. John ate apples and John visited the village vs. Tourists visited the village. Of course, the article is an abstract term referring to both the definite and the indefinite article, and the zero article is an abstract term referring to the absence of an article (definite or indefinite) AND the absence of other lexical entities exercising its role (numerals like two in two policemen, demonstrative pronouns like this or that substituting and playing the role of the definite article, proper nouns like John in which a definite article is subsumed, quantitative expressions like some - standing for indefiniteness when the nominal is a mass noun, etc.);
(2) While in English the verb is generally non-marked as a lexical or grammatical entity with respect to aspect (perfective vs. imperfective), with the exception of the rather specific progressive forms, in which the verb is grammatically marked for imperfectivity (current, not habitual, process), there are many languages around the world in which the verb itself is marked (either as a lexical entry or in other ways) for either perfectivity or imperfectivity. These languages are called "aspect languages".
Most well-known "aspect languages" among those more thoroughly analyzed (in the history of linguistics) are the Slavic ones. From the point of view of the generalization (made in Verkyul's work in a very detailed manner - for the first time in linguistics) that the article, along with other items (mainly lexical) exercising its role, and the zero article are two anstract language entities that are directly related to aspect by bounding (the article) and unbounding (the zero article) the action in a verb phrase or a whole sentence, it is especially important to consider these two facts:
(1) Languages like English (the Germanic languages) lack aspect in the verb as a lexical entry but have articles (both an indefinite and a definite article). And, vice versa,
(2) Languages like Russian (and the Slavic languages in general, with minor exceptions) lack articles (have neither the definite, nor the indefinite article) and have aspect in the verbs as lexical entries. The latter is valid for all the Slavic languages with no exception.
How do these two sets of data correlate?
To be continued.
Bybee et al 1994: J.Bybee, R.Perkins, W.Pagliuca. The evolution of grammar. Tense, aspect, and modality in the languages of the world. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
Comrie 1976: B.Comrie. Aspect. An introduction to the study of verbal aspect and related problems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dahl 1985: Ö.Dahl. Tense and aspect systems. Oxford: Blackwell.
Kabakčiev 1984: K.Kabakčiev. The article and the aorist/imperfect distinction in Bulgarian: an analysis based on cross-language ‘aspect’ parallelisms. Linguistics 22, 643-672.
Kabakciev 2000: K.Kabakčiev. Aspect in English: a 'common-sense' view of the interplay between verbal and nominal referents", Series: Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy , Vol. 75 2000: Springer.
Vendler 1957: Z.Vendler. Verbs and times. The Philosophical Review 66, 143-160.
Verkuyl 1971/1972: H.J.Verkuyl. On the compositional nature of the aspects (= Ph.D. dissertation, Amsterdam, 1971): Dordrecht: Reidel.
Verkuyl 1993: H.J.Verkuyl. A theory of aspectuality. The interaction between temporal and atemporal structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.