Genitive case

Functions of genitive case. Consideration of active classes of noun. Description of genitive case. Specification of genitive case: domain, subjective genitive case, genitive case of origin, objective case. Features of classification of genitive case.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
Вид реферат
Язык английский
Дата добавления 28.04.2012
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Introduction

genitive case active classe

Case is the form of the noun which shows the relation of the noun to other words in the sentence. There is no wonder that in the course of linguistic investigation the category of case in English has become one of the vexed problems of theoretical discussion. Four special views advanced at various times by different scholars should be considered as successive stages in the analyses of this problem. The English noun, on the analogy of classical Latin grammar, would distinguish, besides the inflexional genitive case, also the non-inflexional, i.e. purely positional cases: nominative, vocative, dative, and accusative.

As distinct from personal pronouns, English nouns have a two-case system: the unmarked Common case and the marked Genitive case. Since the functions of common case can be seen only in the syntactic relations of the noun phrase (subject, object, etc.), it is the function of genitive that need separate scrutiny. The genitive case is formed by means of the suffix -'s or the apostrophe (-') alone. The aim of my work is to show the types of genitive case.

The Genitive Case

The genitive case is formed by means of the suffix -`s or the apostrophe (-`) alone. The suffix -`s is pronounced [z] after vowels and voiced consonants, e.g. Buck could not penetrate his enemy's guard (Jack London, 49), She was Charles's wife and Hal's sister (Jack London, 67); [s] after voiceless consonants, e.g. Buck's feet were not so compact and hard as the feet of the huskies (Jack London,38), The cry of Life plunging down from Life's apex in the grip of Death (Jack London, 46); [iz] after sibilants, e.g. She was Charles's wife and Hal's sister” (Jack London, 67), “A Blessed Wolf,” amended Judge's wife (Jack London, 277); The -`s is added to singular nouns (see the examples above) and also to irregular plural nouns, e.g. “You have only Weedon's opinion for that,” said the Judge (Jack London, 269); White-man's dogs would have no show against him (Jack London, 246) The apostrophe (-`) alone is added to regular plural nouns, e.g. There were great stables, where a dozen grooms and boys held forth, rows of vine-clad servants' cottages (Jack London, 3), They made Dawson, and should have had a ten days' or a week's rest at least (Jack London, 59); and also to proper names ending in -s, e.g. Tom Briggs' farm was about half a mile away, near the river (Jack London, 30), We must put all the dates based on the era of Cyrus' accession eight years forward (John Burnet, 37). Some other proper names ending in -s may also take the suffix -`s, e.g.:

The common pronunciation with both variants appears to be [….iz], but the common spelling ? with the apostrophe only. The genitive of a singular noun is pronounced exactly like a plural ending. E.g.: She is at the doctor's (Rowena Akinyemi, 2), The master's lips tightened (Jack London, 261), President Franklin Roosevelt's crippled body was not talked about or photographed (Portrait of the USA, 96).With classical names ending in -s, we sometimes pronounce a genitive's even though it is not written. E.g.: The apostrophe which is added to make the genitive of regular plural nouns does not change the pronunciation at all. E.g.: There were great stables, where a dozen grooms and boys held forth, rows of vine-clad servants' cottages (Jack London, 3). Choice of `-s' Genitive

The following four animate noun classes normally take the -s genitive: personal names: President Franklin Roosevelt's crippled body was not talked about or photographed (Portrait of the USA, 96), Judge Miller's place, it was called (Jack London, 1); personal nouns: This is my mother's house (Rowena Akinyemi, 22), I want to prove to them that I saved this girl's life by sending her to Stillman (A. J. Cronin, 117)collective nouns: The government's preferred solution to the Indian “Problem” was to force tribes to inhabit specific plots of land called reservations (Portrait of the USA, 4), Andrew and seven other young doctors went to Aberalaw to be examined by the Society's committee (A. J. Cronin, 27); higher animals: It was Collie that saved the hound's life (Jack London, 254), A scamber across the pasture, a jackrabbit rising suddenly under the horse's feet, a violent sheer, a stumble, a fall to earth, and a broken leg for the master were the cause of it (Jack London, 268); The inflected genitive is also used with certain kind of inanimate nouns: geographical and institutional names: In the 20th century, most of New England's traditional industries have relocated to states or foreign countries (Portrait of the USA, 13), Several well-known people, including one of London's most famous doctors, were at the lunch party (A. J. Cronin, 83) temporal nouns: She never gave him a moment's peace (Jack London, 266), Readers tended to overlook the afternoon paper because they could watch the day's news on TV (Portrait of the USA, 92) nouns of special interest to human activity: Radio could hardly compete with television's visual presentation of drama (Portrait of the USA, 93), A symbol indicating the show's rating appears on the television screen at the beginning of the broadcast (Portrait of the USA, 94). Choice of the `of' Genitive

The of-genitive is chiefly used with nouns that belong to the bottom part of the gender scale, that is, especially with inanimate nouns: That might pounce out upon him from the interior of the house (Jack London, 256), There was a picture of a happy young girl with long brown hair (Rowena Akinyemi, 32). In these two examples, an -s genitive would be fully acceptable, but in many instances this is not so: All this was the manifestation of power (Jack London, 251), The dust of the road arose in a cloud” (Jack London, 265). Related no doubt to the point made about information focus, however, the corresponding personal pronouns would normally have the inflected genitive: He had no way of expressing his love (Jack London, 266), He aroused in them their instinctive fear of the Wild (Jack London, 266). In measure, partitive, and appositive expressions, the of-genitive is the usual form except for temporal measure, e.g.: They should have had a week's rest at least” (Jack London, 59). Again, where the of-genitive would normally be used, instances are found with the inflected form in newspaper headlines, perhaps for reasons of space economy.

The Meanings of Genitive Case

The meanings of the genitive can best be shown by sentential or phrasal analogues such as we present below. For comparison, a corresponding use of the of-genitive is given where this is possible. There are possessive genitive: The master's wife (=the master has a wife) called him the “Blessed Wolf”.(Jack London, 276), In the centre of the field (=the field has a centre) he dragged down (Jack London, 265); subjective genitive: “I'm agreein' with you,” was Matt's answer (=Matt answered), He proved it to everybody's dissatisfaction (=everybody dissatisfied) by measurements (Jack London, 270); objective genitive: Delighted at Freddie's surprise (=someone surprised Freddie), Andrew proudly put his hand on the door of his new car (A. J. Cronin, 79), The other puppies came sprawling toward him, to Collie's great disgust (=something disgusted Collie) (Jack London, 278); genitive of origin: Denny's plan (=Denny made the plan) was too risky ( A. J, Cronin, 10), He decided to look up his qualifications in one of Page's medical book (=Page wrote the medical book) (A. J. Cronin, 9); descriptive genitive: There were great stables, where a dozen grooms and boys held forth, rows of vine-clad servants' cottages (=cottages for servants) (Jack London, 3) genitive of measure and partitive genitive: They have had a ten days' or a week's rest(the rest lasted ten days or a week) at least (Jack London, 59), He slowly learned the intimacy and the degree of favor(the favor is of a certain degree); appositive genitive: It gave Andrew a strange feeling of pleasure (=pleasure is a feeling) to hold her in his arms.(A. J. Cronin, 94)Andrew had a feeling of power (=power is a feeling); he could do nothing wrong. (A. J. Cronin, 98) A noun in the genitive case generally precedes another noun which is its head-word.

This may be called the dependent genitive. The relations between the noun in the genitive case and its head-word may be of two kinds:1. The noun in the genitive case may denote a particular person or thing, e.g.: This is my mother's house” (Rowena Akinyemi, 22), The master's lips tightened (Jack London, 261). This kind of the genitive case is called the specifying genitive. The more common meanings of the specifying genitive are the following:possession: The master's wife (=the master has a wife) called him the “Blessed Wolf” (Jack London, 276), In the centre of the field (=the field has a centre) he dragged down (Jack London, 265); subjective genitive: “I'm agreein' with you,” was Matt's answer (=Matt answered), He proved it to everybody's dissatisfaction (=everybody dissatisfied) by measurements (Jack London, 270); genitive of origin: Denny's plan (=Denny made the plan) was too risky ( A. J, Cronin, 10), He decided to look up his qualifications in one of Page's medical book (=Page wrote the medical book) (A. J. Cronin, 9); objective genitive: Delighted at Freddie's surprise (=someone surprised Freddie), Andrew proudly put his hand on the door of his new car (A. J. Cronin, 79), The other puppies came sprawling toward him, to Collie's great disgust (=something disgusted Collie) (Jack London, 278); The specifying genitive may be replaced if necessary by an of-phrase, e.g.: There was a picture of a happy young girl with long brown hair (Rowena Akinyemi, 32), White Fang had early come to differentiate between the family and the servants of the household (Jack London, 259).With proper names, however, the genitive case is the rule, e.g.: Last year I asked Molly's husband for some money (Rowena Akinyemi, 35), She had saved Dick's life (Jack London, 260). 2. The noun in the genitive case may refer to a whole class of similar objects. This kind of the genitive case is called the classifying (descriptive) genitive, e.g.: There were great stables, where a dozen grooms and boys held forth, rows of vine-clad servants' cottages (=cottages for servants) (Jack London, 3).In some cases such combinations have become set phrases, e.g.: The classifying genitive is generally not replaced by an of-phrase, except for the genitive indicating time and distance, e.g.: a week's rest> a rest of a week, ten days' rest> a rest of ten days. The suffix -`s may be added not only to a single noun but to a whole group of words. It is called the group genitive.

E.g.: Sometimes we find the use of -`s and -of together. This is called a double genitive. E.g.: He did not understand the remainder of the master's language (Jack London, 269), But most potent in his education were the cuff of the master's hand (Jack London, 259). A noun in the genitive case may be used without a head-word. This is called the independent genitive. The independent genitive is used with nouns denoting trade and relationship or with proper names. It serves to denote a building (e.g. a school, a house, a hospital, a church) or a shop. It is mainly found in prepositional phrases. E.g.: She is at the doctor's (Rowena Akinyemi, 2).Suddenly there was a cry from the room next to Roger's (Rowena Akinyemi, 11).According to M. Y. Blokh the following basic semantic types of the genitive can be pointed out. First, the form which can be called the “genitive of possessor”. Its constructional meaning will be defined as “inorganic” possession, i.e. possessional relation of the genitive referent to the object denoted by the head-noun. E.g.: She had saved Dick's life (Jack London, 260), The master's lips tightened (Jack London, 261).The diagnostic test for the genitive of possessor is its transformation into a construction that explicitly expresses the idea of possession (belonging) inherent in the form. Cf.: Dick's life> the life belongs to Dick, the master's lips> the lips belong to the master. Second, the form which can be called the “genitive of integer”. Its constructional meaning will be defined as “organic possession”, i.e. a broad possessional relation of a whole to its part. E.g.: Molly's face was white (Rowena Akinyemi, 7),

But most potent in his education were the cuff of the master's hand (Jack London, 259), etc.Diagnostic test: …> the hand as part of the master's person, > the face as part of Molly's person, etc.A subtype of the integer genitive expresses a qualification received by the genitive referent through the head-word. E.g.: Buck could not penetrate his enemy's guard (Jack London, 49), He proved it to everybody's dissatisfaction by measurements (Jack London,270).This subtype of the genitive can be called the “genitive of received qualification”. Third, the “genitive of agent”. The more traditional name of this genitive is “subjective”. The letter term seems inadequate because of its unjustified narrow application: nearly all the genitive types stand in subjective relation to the referents of the head-nouns. The general meaning of the genitive of agent is explained in its name: this form renders an activity or some broader processual relation with the referent of the genitive as its subject. E.g.: It was not in the master's presence (Jack London, 268), He proved it to everybody's dissatisfaction by measurements” (Jack London ,270), He recognized White Fang's presence and existence (Jack London,259), etc.Diagnostic test: …> the master was present; …> everybody dissatisfied; …>White Fang existed, etc.A subtype of agent genitive expresses the author, or, more broadly considered, the producer of the referent of the head-noun. Hence, it receives the name of the “genitive of author”. E.g.: Denny's plan was too risky (A.J. Cronin, 10), Cronin's stories show the interest that he took in the details of laces and of people's lives (A.J Cronin, 1), etc.Diagnostic test: …> Denny makes the plan; …> Cronin wrote the stories, etc. Fourth, the “genitive of patient. This type of genitive, in contrast to the above, expresses the recipient of the action or process denoted by the head-noun. E.g.: Fifth, the “genitive of destination”. This form denotes the destination, or function of the referent of the head-noun. E.g.: By this time he had become the centre of interest (Jack London, 269), There were a great stables, where a dozen grooms and boys hold forth, rows of vine-clad servants' cottages (Jack London, 3), etc.Diagnostic test: …> centre for interest; …> cottages for servantsSixth, the “genitive of dispensed qualification”. The meaning of this genitive type, as different from the subtype “genitive of received qualification”, is some characteristic or qualification, not received, but given by the genitive noun to the referent of the head-noun. E.g.: A man's voice screamed once in horror and anguish (Jack London, 274), White Fang sprang in a rage at the throat of the offending horse, but was checked by the master's voice (Jack London, 268), etc.Diagnostic test: a voice characteristic of a man, or the master, etc.

Under the heading of this general type comes a very important subtype of the genitive which expresses a comparison. The comparison, as different from a general qualification, is supposed to be of a vivid, descriptive nature. The subtype is called the “genitive of comparison”. This term has been used to cover the whole class. E.g.: Seventh, the “genitive of adverbial”. The form denotes adverbial factors relating to the head-noun, mostly the time and place of the event. Strictly speaking, this genitive may be considered as another subtype of the genitive of dispensed qualification. Due to its adverbial meaning, this type of genitive can be used with adverbialized substantives. E.g.: They joined a homegrown supply of actors- lured west from the New York City stage after the introduction of sound films - to form one of the 20th century's most remarkable growth industries ( 85, Portrait of the USA), In the 20th century, most of New England's traditional industries have relocated to states or foreign countries” (13, Portrait of the USA), etc. Diagnostic test: …> the industries that existed in the 20th century; …> the industries that existed in New England, etc. Eighth, the “genitive of quantity”. This type of genitive denotes the measure or quantity relating to the referent of the head-noun. For the most part, the quantitative meaning expressed concerns units of distance measure, time measure, weight measure. E.g.: They made Dawson, and should have had a ten days' rest or a week's rest at least” (Jack London, 59), Diagnostic test: …> a rest lasting for ten days or a week, The given survey of the semantic types of the genitive is by no means exhaustive in any analytical sense. The identified types are open both to subtype specifications, and intertype generalizations (for instance, on the principle of the differentiation between subject-object relations), and the very set of primary types may be expanded. However, what does emerge out of the survey, is the evidence of a wide functional range of the English particle genitive, making it into a helpful and flexible, if subsidiary, means of expressing relational semantics in the sphere of the noun.

Conclusion

The types of genitive is different for different scholars. They classified it by different ways. For example, there is the dependent genitive, the specifying genitive, which are:

a) possession,

b) subjective genitive,

c) genitive of origin,

d) objective genitive;

the classifying (descriptive) genitive, the double genitive and the independent genitive by E. M. Gordon and I. P. Krylova, genitive of possessor, genitive of integer, genitive of agent, genitive of patient, genitive of destination, genitive of dispensed qualification, genitive of adverbial, genitive of quantity by M.Y. Blokh, possessive genitive, subjective genitive ,objective genitive, genitive of origin, descriptive genitive, genitive of measure and partitive genitive, appositive genitive, the group genitive, double genitive by R. Quirk, S. Greenbaum, G. Leech, J.Svartvik.

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