Chapter I.Stative Verbs as a Subcategory of Verbs
1.1.The category of the verb
1.1.1.Basic characteristics of the verb as a part of speech
1.1.2.Principles of classification. Stative and dynamic verbs
1.1.1.General classification of the dynamic verbs
1.2.Subcategory of stative verbs in English. General classification of the stative verbs
1.2.1.Prototypical principle of categorial membership
1.3.Dynamic (functional) categorization of verbs: actualization, re-categorization, polycategorization
Chapter II.The Grammatical Category of Aspect and Stative Verbs.
2.1.The category of aspect
2.2.General characteristics of the indefinite and continuous forms
2.2.1.The Indefinite forms
2.2.2.The Continuous forms
2.3.The category of aspect in English: problema
Показать всеtic issues
Chapter III.English Stative Verbs in the Continuous Aspectual Forms
3.1.The interrelation between grammatical meaning of the form and lexical meaning of the verb
3.2.English stative verbs in the Continuous forms
3.2.1.Verbs of being in the continuous forms
3.2.2.Verbs of possession in the continuous forms
3.2.3.Mental verbs in the continuous forms
3.2.4.Verbs of emotion in the continuous forms
3.2.5.Perception verbs in the continuous forms
1.Акимова Т.Г. Семантические признаки в сфере качественной аспектуальности и функционирования видо-временных форм английского глагола // Теория грамматического значения и аспектологические исследования: Сб. статей / Отв. ред. А.В. Бондарко. – Л., 1984. – С. 71-91.
2.Бархударов Л.С. Cтруктура простого предложения современного английского языка. – М., 1998.
3.Блох М.Я. Теоретическая грамматика английского языка. – М., 1983.
4.Болдырев Н.Н. Категориальное значение глагола: Системный и функциональный аспекты: Монография. – СПб.: РГПУ, 1994. – 171 с.
5.Болдырев Н.Н. Категории как форма репрезентации знаний в языке // Концептуальное пространство языка: Сб. науч. тр., посвященный юбилею проф. Н.Н. Болдырева / Под ред. Е.С. Кубряковой. – Тамбов: Изд-во ТГУ им. Г.Р. Державина, 20
Показать все05а. – C. 16-29.
6.Болдырев Н.Н. Функциональная категоризация английского глагола: Монография. – СПб.; Тамбов: РГПУ/ТГУ, 1995. – 139 с.
7.Бондарко А.В. Принципы функциональной грамматики и вопросы аспектологии. – Л., 1983. – 208 с.
8.Вежбицка А. Восприятие: семантика абстрактного словаря // Новое в зарубежной лингвистике. Вып. 18: Логический анализ естественного языка: Пер. с англ. / Сост., общ. ред. и вступ. ст. В.В. Петрова. – М.: Прогресс, 1986. – С. 336-369.
9.Воронцова Г.Н. Очерки по грамматике английского языка / Под общ. ред. Н.С. Чемоданова. – М.: Изд-во лит-ры на иностр. яз., 1960. – 400 с.
10.Есперсен О. Философия грамматики. – М., 1958. – 404 с.
11.Иванова И.П., Бурлакова В.В., Почепцов Г.Г. Теоретическая грамматика современного английского языка: Уч-к для ин-тов и фак-тов иностр. яз. – М.: Высшая школа, 1981. – 285 с.
12.Ильиш Б.А. Строй современного английского языка. (Теоретический курс). – М.-Л.: Просвещение, 1965. – 378 с.
13.Кобрина Н.А., Болдырев Н.Н., Худяков А.А. Теоретическая грамматика современного английского языка: Учебное пособие / Н.А. Кобрина, Н.Н. Болдырев, А.А. Худяков. – М.: Высшая школа, 2007. – 368 с.
14.Кобрина Н.А., Корнеева Е.А., Оссовская М.И., Гузеева К.А. Грамматика английского языка: Морфология. Синтаксис. Учебное пособие для студентов педагогических институтов и университетов по специальности № 2103 «Иностранные языки» / Н.А. Кобрина, Е.А. Корнеева, М.И. Оссовская, К.А. Гузеева. – СПб.: Союз, 1999. – 496 с.
15.Комарова О.А. О функционально-семантической категории аспектуальности в английском языке // Спорные вопросы английской грамматики / Зернов Б.Е., Варшавская А.И., Чахоян Л.П. и др.; Отв. ред. В.В. Бурлакова. – Л.: Изд-во Ленингр. Ун-та, 1988. – С. 40-53.
16.Маслов Ю.С. Очерки по аспектологии. – Л., 1984. – 263 с.
17.Плоткин В.Я. Грамматические системы в английском языке. – Кишинев, 1975. – 127 с.
18.Слюсарева Н.А. Проблемы функциональной морфологии современного английского языка. – М., 1986. – 215 с.
19.Смирницкий А.И. Морфология английского языка. – М., 1959. – 440 с.
20.Теория функциональной грамматики [Колл. Монография в шести томах] / Отв. ред. А.В. Бондарко. Т.1. Введение. Аспектуальность. Временная локализованность. Таксис. – СПб., 1987.
21.Comrie B. Aspect. – Cambridge, 1976. – x, 142 p.
22.Close R.A. A Reference Grammar for Students of English. – М., 1994.
23.Hopper P.J. Aspect between discourse and grammar // Tense and Aspect between semantics and pragmatics / Ed. by P. J. Hopper. – Amsterdam, 1982. – P. 3-18.
24.Hornby A.S. Guide to Patterns and Usage in English, 2nd ed. – Oxford University Press, 1975. § 2.61.
25.Ilyish B. A. The structure of modern English. – Л., 1971.
26.Jorgensen E. Verbs of physical perception used in progressive tenses // English Studies, 1990. – No. 5. – P. 439-444.
27.Krylova I.P., Gordon E.M. A Grammar of Present-day English. – М., 2005.
28.Leech G., Svartvik J. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. – M., 1989.
29.Palmer F. The English Verb, 2nd ed.(Longman, 1986). § 3.7.
30.Quirk R., Greenbaum S., Leech G., Svartvik S. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. Longman, 1985. §4.30.
31.Quirk R., Greenbaum S., Leech G., Svartvik S. A University Grammar of English. – М., 1982.
32.Sapir E. Language. – New York, 1921. – ix, 242 p.
33.Swan M. Practical English Usage. – Oxford, 2007. – 654 p.
34.Taylor G.R. Linguistic categorization: Prototypes in Linguistic Theory. – Oxford, 1989. – 267 p.
35.Tense and Aspect between semantics and pragmatics / Ed. by P. J. Hopper. – Amsterdam, 1982. – 280 p.
36.Thomson A.J., Martinet A.V. A Practical English grammar. – М., 1986.
37.Verkuyl H.J. On the compositional nature of the aspects. – Dordrecht, 1972.- xiii, 185 p. Скрыть
e.g. You rather hope he does know, don't you?
We shall see that the original text serves to make the idea of hope more emphatic and so the form of the continuous aspect does here serve a useful purpose.
e.g. But I'm hoping she'll come round soon.
Let us again compare the text with a variant:
e.g. But I hope she'll come round soon.
The difference in this case is certainly much less marked than in the preceding example: there is no process going on anyway, and it is clear from the context (especially the adverbial modifier soon) that the feeling spoken of only refers to a very limited space of time. So the extra shade of meaning brought by the continuous form appears to be only that of emphasis.
4) Another exceptional case is the use of the continuous with verbs referring to the forth
Показать всеgroup of stative verbs “verbs denoting mental processes”: to feel, to smell to taste. In many circumstances, one may say that the state verb has been changed into an “activity verb” (referring to an active form of behaviour)
e.g. The doctor is feeling her pulse
We have been tasting the soup
5) Verbs expressing feelings and emotions, e.g. admire (=respect), adore, appreciate (=value), care for (=like), loathe, love, mind (=care), respect, value, want, wish.
But the continuous can be used with admire meaning “look at with admiration”, appreciate meaning “increase in value”, care for meaning “look after”, long for, mind meaning “look after\concern oneself with”, value meaning “enjoy”, and hate meaning the opposite, though it is safer to use the simple tense with like, love and hate:
e.g. He is enjoying his holiday in the Arctic.
I’m minding my own business
How are you liking your new job?
I’m hating it. I just don’t like work, you see.
6) The continuous can be used with appreciate meaning “to increase in value”, and the verb appear meaning “to come before the public”
7) The verbs think and believe can be used in the continuous to talk about actions. But when think means believe we don't use them in the continuous forms
e.g. I think you made a mistake.
think = believe
In this example we observe the verb to think in its primary meaning “to believe”
e.g. I am thinking about my mum now.
think = mental process
This example shows us that the verb to think has nature of mental process.
8) Referring to Geoffrey Leech and Jan Svartvik. There is one more case when the continuous forms used with the stative verbs. Forms of this aspect are occasionally used with the adverbs always, continually, etc., when the action is meant to be unlimited by time. Here are some typical examples of this use: 5
e.g. He was constantly experimenting with new seed.
Rose is always wanting James to retire.
The adverbial modifier always shows that Rose's wish is thought of as something constant, not restricted to any particular moment. So the difference between the sentence as it stands and the possible variant, Rose always wants James to retire does not lie in the character of the action. Obviously the peculiar shade of meaning in the original sentence is emphatic; the action is represented as never ceasing and this gives the sentence a stronger emotional colouring than it would have with the form of the indefinite form: the lexical meaning of always is reinforced by the emphatic colouring of the continuous aspect. It is quite clear that these are exaggerated statements, where the form of the continuous form is used emotionally, to present an action as going on and on without interruption whereas that in the nature of things, is not possible. Such a use is consistent with the basic meaning of the form and illustrates its possible stylistic applications. We shall have to refer to it to elucidate some moot questions concerning these forms. It is the descriptive value of the continuous forms which makes such a use possible at all.
e.g. He is always losing his keys
This form is used, chiefly in the affirmative. For a frequently repeated action, usually when the frequency annoys the speaker or seems unreasonable to him. Stative verbs can be used in the continuous.
e.g. And they were always testifying as to how God or Christ or Divine Grace had rescued them from this or that predicament – never how they had rescued any one else.
9) Some of the verbs from the list of the statives may be used in the continuous forms in order to make the utterance or sentence more polite and to express greater tentativeness and tact.
e.g. Were you wanting to see me?
We are hoping you will support us.
3.2.1. Verbs of being in the continuous forms
He is deliberately being so very kind.
3.2.2. Mental verbs in the continuous forms
3.2.3. Perception verbs in the continuous forms
A.S. Hornby says that verbs of physical perception 'are not as a rule used in the progressive tenses except with a change of meaning...'6. This might seem, at any rate in the case of the two commonest of these verbs, see and hear, to be a qualified truth. Even supposing that these verbs, in common with a good many other English verbs, more often denote momentary acts completed than temporary activities in progress, the material presented below will presumably show clearly that whenever expression of the latter aspect is felt necessary or desirable — and that occurs far more often than Hornby's 'not as a rule' might lead one to suppose — a progressive will quite naturally be used.
F.R. Palmer7 also classes see (about physical perception) as a 'non-progressive verb' and says that the non-progressive is the norm, 'and the progressive forms are used only when there is specific reference to duration or one of the special features indicated by the progressive'. This truism can hardly obliterate the fact that such 'specific reference' is by no means a rare phenomenon.
Quirk et al.,8 seem to reason along the same lines, but in contradistinction to Hornby and Palmer they seem clearly to realize that the fact claimed is rather paradoxical; they say about these verbs (used with the perceiver in subject position) that they cannot normally occur with the progressive aspect, 'even though they are likely to refer to temporary rather than permanent states [my italics]'.
Hornby's assertion that these verbs, like many other, so-called 'non-conclusive verbs', when used in the progressive, undergo a 'change of meaning', is also questionable. Incidentally, a clearer, unambiguous, formulation is found in § 2.68, where the verbs under discussion there (the so-called 'non-conclusive' verbs) are described as verbs 'that are in all or some of their meanings non-conclusive [i.e. non-progressive]'. The progressive itself can have no impact on the content of the verb. The possibility of using the progressive is, reversely, dependent on the semantic content of the verb. And as for see and hear (about real physical perception), no 'change of meaning' takes place in connection with the use of the progressive, as shown below. The purely physical act of seeing (hearing) is exactly the same whether it is viewed as a momentary act completed or as an activity or state temporarily in progress.9
In not a few cases it seems quite natural to view our verbs, especially see and hear, as denoting a process going on for a limited period of time, i.e. to use the progressive tenses.
... with parrots and parakeets from the Indies which men were seeing for the first time. (R. Morton, Stranger in Spain, Methuen & Co., 1960, p. 236).
I could hear the door of the guest room open. He [i.e. the undertaker] was seeing her dead. I had not, but I had no wish to;... (Graham Greene, The End of the Affair, Bantam, 1965, p. 120).
We were seeing new land all the time,... (Winston S. Churchill, Mv Early Life, Macmillan, 1944, p.185).
'I wanted to see the sunrise', she told herself. 'So I'm seeing it now'. (Helen Maclnnes, Rest and Be Thankful, A Fawcett Crest Book, 1949, p. 192).
Of course you're seeing it at the wrong time of the year. (Nevil Shute, A Town like Alice, Pan, 1961, p. 244).
... and he thought this was a copy until he looked at it carefully and realized he was seeing the real thing, (Margery AUingham, Coroner's Pidgin, Penguin, 1952, p. 185).
From only 14 writers, 20 such cases have been registered.
As mentioned in footnote 4, 'always + progressive' gives the statement an emotional tinge (surprise, irritation, etc.)10:
Who is that fellow...; I'm always seeing him about? (John Galsworthy, The Island Pharisees, Heinemann, 1927, p. 72).
When she went on a picnic she was always seeing the perfect spot just beyond the place where everybody had settled. (Monica Dickens, Mariana, Penguin, 1951, p. 15).
Another special case where the progressive seems to be the norm .is the one where see means 'to visualize', 'to see in one's mind's eye' (mostly, apparently, without the phrase 'in one's mind's eye'). Of 16 cases with this meaning only two have the verb in a simple tense, and here the phrase is expressly used. Why this should be so may not be quite clear. Mostly, however, the mental process described no doubt presupposes duration, and the above-mentioned 'dynamic', intensifying, effect of the progressive may also be at play when 'inner vision' is to be expressed11:
...what was she seeing among those white camellias? (John Galsworthy, The Forsyte Saga, 111,Heinemann, 1933, p. 328).
I was seeing myself in the Prisoner's box going through all the nerve-racking routine of a trial for murder... (Mary Robertson Rinehart, The Man in Lower Ten, Dell, p. 39).
In looking at the Australopithecines, then, we are seeing creatures that must have resembled our still missing Pliocene forebears. (Jacquetta Hawkes, in The History of Mankind, Vol I, Unesco, George Allen & Unwin, 1963, p. 38).
Tommy was seeing in his mind's eye the docks,... (Edward Weeks, in Introduction to Joseph Conrad, Three Short Novels, Bantam, 1963, p. VIII).12
Thus also about hallucinations (mostly, though not always, in the set phrase 'to be seeing things'):
'What does Mrs. Dacres say?' – 'Says I was imagining it. Says I was seeing things'. (Agatha Christie, Three Act Tragedy, Fontana, 1957, p. 136).
Morgan turned on her. 'It makes a lot of difference and you know it. I wasn't seeing things'. (John Dickson Carr, The Hollow Man, Penguin, 1974, p. 183).
I told myself that I was jealous, that the work was going to my head, that I was seeing treachery behind every tree,... (John le Carre, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Pan, 1964, p. 139).
He heard nothing, nothing, Suddenly he noticed his mistake. He was hearing dozens of things. Little grasses stirring, little things moving. (Jefferson Farjeon, The Z' Murders, Collins, 1933, p. 167).
Jack Woltz listened to this as if he was hearing the boasting of a child. (Mario Puzo, The Godfather,A Fawcett Crest Book, 1969, p. 56).
Watching the two men, Roger's attention had gradually been riveted on what he was seeing, what he was hearing. (John Creasey, Send Superintendent West, Pan, 1965, p. 77).
Bells. Ringing. I've been hearing bells. (Edward Albee, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Giants Cardinal Ed., Pocket Books, 1962, p. 174).
He had told her nothing about his political plans. She was hearing about them for the first time. (Iris Murdoch, The Sandcastle, Penguin, 1964, p. 294).
Mostly, as is clearly the case in the example last quoted, the purely physical, auditive, experience is just the necessary vehicle, as it were, for some definite information; often the past progressive will then indicate that the information is not complete, that some further details may be felt desirable;
'I was hearing of you', Mrs. Ran volunteered,...'from my young friends Radha and Ranga', (Aldous Huxley, Island, Penguin, 1964, p. 182).
A compound progressive tense will very often indicate 'recent happening';
He has lately been hearing news about your convent,... (Agatha Christie, The Hound of Death,Fontana, 1964, p. 12).
...the fuss he's made. I've been hearing about it from Tredwell. (id., The Seven Dials Mystery, Pan, 1962, p. 29).
I've been hearing about Mrs. Silver. (Patricia Wentworth, The Fingerprint, Penguin, 1965, p. 68).
16 such cases, from 12 writers, have been registered here.
Combined with always, with the usual emotional connotation of the statement as a whole:
I'm always hearing and reading about Miami, Florida,... (Erskine Caldwell, Close to Home, A Signet Book, 1965, p. 30).
I'm always hearing from my father that he wants me... (Nancy Mitford, The Blessing, Penguin, 1965, p. 297).
About 'inner hearing', corresponding to see about 'inner vision'; only three cases have been found, but all of them with the verb in a progressive tense, as in:
'Minlow comes around here quite a lot, doesn't he?' Sylvia looked sharply at Clark. She was hearing Jan's voice, talking about Minlow. (Helen Maclnnes, I and My True Love, Fontana, 1971, p. 158).
About hallucinations ('to be hearing things'):
Delirium is a disease of the night, he remembered. He was hearing things. (Charles Jackson, The Lost Weekend, Zephyr Books, Stockholm, 1944, p. 188).
So far the two commonest of the verbs of physical perception. Unfortunately, very little documentation has come to hand concerning the other verbs of this category, feel, smell, and taste. They are altogether of much lower frequency than see and hear and must in consequence be expected to occur extremely seldom in the progressive. But the possibility can hardly be totally excluded. A case like e.g. 'He was still feeling the bitter cold in all his limbs' would seem quite acceptable.
In the following two examples feel and smell are used metaphorically, but apart from this the cases must be considered relevant: the verbs express the meaning 'to have the sensation', not 'to act to achieve the sensation' (in the latter sense corresponding to 'to look at', 'to listen to', see Palmer, op. cit., § 3.7.4).
Like all defectors, Golitsin was feeling the cold. (Peter Wright, Spy-catcher, Viking Penguin, 1987, p. 319).
... the clever Claude Dancer was perhaps smelling a rat. (Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Murder, Dell Books, 1965, p. 267).
Taste in the following example is also used metaphorically, but it seems impossible to decide whether it means 'to have the sensation' or 'to act to achieve the sensation':
I am tasting, in absolute peace and a fully occupied leisure, the sweets of friendship and study with one who, unique among women, can read Ovid and Euclid... (Nancy Mitford, Voltaire in Love, Penguin, 1967, p. 63).
Equally ambivalent is smell (used literally) in:
... (she) had her nose in Rumbelow's picture — so much in Rumbelow's picture that she might be smelling whatever oily smell... (Michael Innes, Money from Holme, Penguin, 1966, p. 100).
It seems a matter of discretion whether or not to consider these verbs of physical perception as constituting one homogeneous group with regard to the use of the progressive tenses. Anyhow, as we have seen above, see and hear seem to be so used much more frequently than suggested by grammarians at large, so much so that it seems far-fetched and artificial to describe them as 'non-progressive verbs'. No doubt they occur more often in the simple tenses, but in this respect they hardly differ from a good many other English verbs which probably nobody would think of characterizing as 'non-progressive' for that reason. Nor does it make any sense to speak of an almost necessary 'change of meaning' in the verb in connection with the use of the progressive.
With the meaning 'to realize', 'to understand', see can only with difficulty be imagined as denoting a mental process in progress for a shorter or longer period of time, and a simple tense is decidedly the norm. When it is used in the sense of 'to visualize', "to see in one's mind's eye', reversely, it may not often be understood as a mental process completed here and now, as it were; anyhow, as we have seen, the progressive tenses are mostly used, and mostly without the use of the phrase 'in one's mind's eye'. Finally, when, as is of course mostly the case, it functions as a real verb of physical perception, both possibilities are at hand, and actually a progressive tense is pretty often felt as a natural way of expression, as also appears from the above documentation. Incidentally, the same goes no doubt for see in some of its other, rarer, uses:
I saw him to the station at ten o'clock.
I was seeing him to the station when...
Have you seen your doctor about it?
Yesterday, when I was seeing my doctor about it, he said,...
They saw a lot of each other then.
'They are seeing a lot of each other these days.
OTHER EXAMPLES TO BE ANALYZED
1. The wives were sympathizing with each other in slightly raised voices (D.Francis)
The underlying principle for the use or non-use of the progressive of English verbs in general is of course the semantic content of each individual verb, its special meaning (shade of meaning) in any given context. It is the lexical semantics of a verb that determines its structural possibilities including the possibility to take the continuous aspectual form. If a verb can be used with several meanings (shades of meaning), as is conspicuously the case with see, these structural possibilities may quite naturally vary according to the (shade of) meaning which is intended in the given context. As a consequence, there appears a possibility for the verb to be used in the continuous aspectual form. Polysemy in many cases makes the category switching (from stative to dynamic) possible.
Thus, the approach suggested here, simple enough, is to let a fairly thoroughgoing scrutiny of actual usage go hand in hand with a careful assessment of the various possible meanings (shades of meaning) of each individual verb in any given context, consequent upon which the structural possibilities of the verb can be ascertained with reasonable certainty.
Relying on the material above, we may come to the conclusion that stative verbs in the continuous aspect have several cases of usage. And though from the point of grammatical view appearance of these forms is quite reasonable and has its own point in the grammatical category of aspect and tense. It conveys particular language semantic actualities.
Semantically, while progressive stative verbs emphasize the episodic nature of an activity, they also convey greater vividness, intensity, and involvement. Syntactically, global patterns are observable with respect to tense, aspect, and modal use. Individual usage patterns are more common with respect to adverbial co-occurrence and the use of pseudo-cleft constructions. Pragmatically, progressive stative verbs convey politeness in the form of tentativeness, softening, and a desire for harmony. Discourse patterns show that when non-stative verbs form a progressive pattern, stative verbs are included. Some progressive stative verbs even form their own discourse patterns (e.g. like, love).
Progressive stative verbs are not errors. Analysis shows that when a choice between simple and progressive forms is possible, native speakers choose the progressive for reason listed above. More compelling, however, is that in many contexts, the progressive appears to be the only acceptable form. This implies that the traditional definition of a stative verb as unable to take the “be+ing” progressive is correct. Finally use of the progressive stative verbs may represent a language change in progress, not only of a syntactic nature, but also semantically as a change in the conceptualization of these verbs from stative to more dynamic.
1. Бархударов Л.С. Cтруктура простого предложения современного английского языка. – М., 1998.
2. Блох М.Я. Теоретическая грамматика английского языка. – М., 1983.
3. Болдырев Н.Н. Категориальное значение глагола: Системный и функциональный аспекты: Монография. – СПб.: РГПУ, 1994. – 171 с.
4. Болдырев Н.Н. Категории как форма репрезентации знаний в языке // Концептуальное пространство языка: Сб. науч. тр., посвященный юбилею проф. Н.Н. Болдырева / Под ред. Е.С. Кубряковой. – Тамбов: Изд-во ТГУ им. Г.Р. Державина, 2005а. – C. 16-29. Скрыть
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