The predicate as a main part of the sentence

Categorical essence of the predicate is determined by its relation with the subject. The predicate expresses predicative feature, bearer of which is the object, expressed by the subject. The expression of such feature is categorical function of the predicate.

Besides the categorical, i.e. predicative function, the predicate fulfills relative connecting function, coming as mediated link between the subject and the elements of the right verbal encirclement — the object and the modifier. Thus, in the relations between the sentence in active voice and the sentence in passive voice the verb- predicate forms original axis, around which the subject and the object rotate, exchanging their places in the sentences of active and passive. Comp.:

Four doctors arc looking after them.



They are being looked after by four doctors. (Morning Star)[4]

Relative function of the predicate as the name of the relation between the subject and the modifier is less evident, but is carried out in this case too. Because of this fact, that predicate fulfills this function, we have such sentences with the modifiers, expressed by qualitative adverbs, which transform relative existence of the feature of the action as in the sentence: The washing flapped w h i t e l у on the lines over patches of garden. (D. Lessing)- Formally whitely — the feature of the action, in real the substance. Such sentences are easily transformed in the constructions with the appropriate adjective as nominal part of the predicate (The washing was white) or the attribute (The white washing flapped).

The predicate expresses two types of structural meanings: categorical meaning, i.e. the meaning intrinsic to the predicate as a definite part of the sentence (the feature of predicative feature), and the meaning, connected with the grammatical categories of personal form of the verb (the meaning of mode and tense, voice, person and number). Joint expression of two types of meanings in one word is possible only in simple verbal predicate: Не paused. (H. G. Wells)

Though in grammatical descriptions verbal and nominal predicates are presented as isolated, not connected with each other, in general they are connected with each other. Their correlation becomes evident when contrasting the structures, in which these two types of predicates have common lexical- semantic base: verb (in verbal predicate) and nominal part (nominative predicate) are connected by word-formative relations: Andrew reddened. (A. J. Cronin) — Andrew grew red.

In two contrasting predicates – there is common conceptual content of predicted feature, one and the same structural meanings, but the latter are divided differently in each of two types of the predicates.

Thus, two main types of the predicate are the verbal and nominal. They are elementary in the sense that they cannot be transformed, both substantially and formally into simpler structures.

The third type – phraseological type joins to these two types. Phraseological predicate expresses phrasemes, containing a noun with the meaning of action and transitive verb: Не g a v e a gasp. (S. Maugham)

In connection with the last type a question arises how far its allocation is substantial. Because the construction of phraseological character can be met among nominal predicates (comp.., for example, the use of formations like to be under fire, to be at a loss, to be under age and many others as a predicate). Probably these and many formations like them should be distinguished in a separate type or introduce as a sub-type to the marked phraseological predicate? Thus should be done if the essential feature of the predicate like to give a glance were their phraseological meaning. In this case we deal with unsuccessful denomination, oriented to inessential or more precisely, not very essential feature of the phenomenon. The ground for their distinguishing, first of all, is their feature, which was called “grammatical direction” of some stable word combinations. Such word combinations as to have a bath, to take hold, to give a smile and so on, used as a predicate have not only exact semantic correlation with the verb, based on derivational peculiarities of their nominative component, but also, it is main, — simulatedness of relations of the structure and the content, determining the productivity of the construction and plurality of appropriate units and predictability of the meaning of each new units of the plurality, including new formations:: in the structure VNsg they all express single action. Remembering all above mentioned moments we shall keep the denomination “phraseological predicate” as the best.

Constructions like to give a glance find out the tendency to wider use, to the capture of correlation of wider circle of verbal lexemes. G. Kerm sees the reason in concreteness of the noun. According to their grammatical semantics the constructions like to give a glance complimentary in the relation to the system of English verb: in most cases they transform the meaning of single action, verbs do not have grammaticalized means to express such kind of action. General tendency to analytizm, typical to English language become apparent in the development and spreading of the constructions of considered type.

The status of the formations like (The moon) rose red – is problematic too. The group of verbal-copulas is not exhausted with the verb to be, but it includes a wide range of verbs of diverse lexical individuality (to become, to remain, to taste и мн. др.), then one can include rose red in the same group with became tired. Some researchers act this way classifying such kind of predicate as “verbal- nominative” one. If one comes from formal point of view, such kind of unification is rightful. Actually, in this and that case the predicate consists of a verb and a noun. However, pure formal principle of classification in analyzing the parts of the sentence is not acceptable, for in this case obvious and essential substantial differences are not considered (comp., for example: gave a blow and is a blow are the same “verbal- nominal”, though on their content they are essentially different. There are some structural differences, connected with the difference of transformational potentials.

One should, evidently, differentiate verbal copulas, i.e. differentiate such verbs, which like copulas composite belonging of appropriate field of language system (to be, to become, to grow, to seem, to taste и and so on), and others, non-copula verbs, which can be occasionally used as copulas in the speech. In other words, it is important to differentiate connectivity as an integral feature of the verb, forming its (verb)structural essence and connectivity as occasional functional feature of the verb. The following types of transformations allow to differentiate the first from the second The moon rose red → The moon was red when/while it rose, in which genuine copulas are not able to take part, comp.: Не grew old → *He was old when he grew or The milk tastes sour → *The milk is sour when it tastes.

One can come to the conclusion that in the structure (The moon) rose red the predicate is not of elementary type which is typical to the verb and nominal predicate. Actually, this structure is the result of syntactic process of contamination.

As a result of the other syntactical process- complication- arise complicated verbal, nominal, and phraseological predicates.

Thus, putting character of the structure of plan of the content on the base, which is correlative with the structure of the plan of expression, we receive as more general classification of the predicates- their division into simple and complex predicates. Both simple and complex predicates depending on the way of expression, can be verbal, nominal, phraseological and verbal-nominal or contaminated:


According to the way of expression According to the structure     ststructeПо структуре содержания Verbal Nominal Phraseological Verbal-nom-inal, conataminated
Simple + + + +
Complex + + + +


Combination of these features produces:

Simple verbal

Jack spoke. (W. Golding)

Simple nominal

'She is asleep.' (A. Bennett)

Simple phraseological

Mrs. Davidson gave a gasp, [...] (S. Maugham)

Simple contaminated

The screams were still rising иnabated from the swimming pool. (I. Murdoch)

Complex verbal

H His heart stopped beating. (J.Galsworthy)

Complex nominal

It He turned out to be Sam. (P. Abrahams)

Complex phraseological

I I can give you a call as soon as I get home.

Complex contaminated

T Thus he would lie awake for a long time worrying about her mother.



In the table of possible combinations, if we take in general view, as it was done above, all the cells have been filled in. One shouldn’t however forget that this is only the scheme, which is illustrated with the examples of active –verbal complication.


Дата: 2019-05-29, просмотров: 25.