CHAPTER XVI VERB: VOICE
§ 1.The verbal category of voice shows the direction of the process as regards the participants of the situation reflected in the syntactic construction.
The voice of the English verb is expressed by the opposition of the passive form of the verb to the active form of the verb. The sign marking the passive form is the combination of the auxiliary be with the past participle of the conjugated verb (in symbolic notation: be ... en — see Ch. II, § 5). The passive form as the strong member of the opposition expresses reception of the action by the subject of the syntactic construction (i.e. the "passive" subject, denoting the object of the action); the active form as the weak member of the opposition leaves this meaning unspecified, i.e. it expresses "non-passivity".
In colloquial speech the role of the passive auxiliary can occasionally be performed by the verb get and, probably, become* Cf.:
Sam got licked for a good reason, though not by me. The young violinist became admired by all.
The category of voice has a much broader representation in the system of the English verb than in the system of the
* For discussion see: [Khaimovich, Rogovskaya, 128-129]. 176
Russian verb, since in English not only transitive, but also intransitive objective verbs including prepositional ones can be used in the passive (the preposition being retained in the absolutive location). Besides, verbs taking not one, but two objects, as a rule, can feature both of them in the position of the passive subject. E.g.:
I've just been rung up by the police. The diplomatwas refused transit facilities through London. Shewas undisturbed by the frown on his face. Have youever been told that you're very good looking? He was said to have been very wild in his youth. The dresshas never been tried on. The childwill be looked after all right. I won't be talked to like this. Etc.
Still, not all the verbs capable of taking an object are actually used in the passive. In particular, the passive form is alien to many verbs of the statal subclass (displaying a weak dynamic force), such as have (direct possessive meaning), belong, cost, resemble, fail, misgive, etc. Thus, in accord with their relation to the passive voice, all the verbs can be divided into two large sets: the set of passivised verbs and the set of non-passivised verbs.
A question then should be posed whether the category of voice is a full-representative verbal category, i.e. represented in the system of the verb as a whole, or a partial-representative category, confined only to the passivised verbal set. Considerations of both form and function tend to interpret voice rather as a full-representative category, the same as person, number, tense, and aspect. Three reasons can be given to back this appraisal.
First, the integral categorial presentation of non-passivised verbs fully coincides with that of passivised verbs used in the active voice (cf. takes — goes, is taking — is going, has taken — has gone, etc.). Second, the active voice as the weak member of the categorial opposition is characterised in general not by the "active" meaning as such (i.e. necessarily featuring the subject as the doer of the action), but by the extensive non-passive meaning of a very wide range of actual significations, some of them approaching by their process-direction characteristics those of non-passivised verbs (cf. The door opens inside the room; The magazine doesn't sell well). Third, the demarcation line between the passivised and non-passivised sets is by no means rigid, and the verbs of the non-passivised order may migrate into the
passivised order in various contextual conditions (cf. The bed has not been slept in; The house seems not to have been lived in for a long time).
Thus, the category of voice should be interpreted as being reflected in the whole system of verbs, the non-passivised verbs presenting the active voice form if not directly, then indirectly.
As a regular categorial form of the verb, the passive voice is combined in the same lexeme with other oppositionally strong forms of the verbal categories of the tense-aspect system, i.e. the past, the future, the continuous, the perfect. But it has a neutralising effect on the category of development in the forms where the auxiliary be must be doubly employed as a verbid (the infinitive, the present participle, the past participle), so that the future continuous passive, as well as the perfect continuous passive are practically not used in speech. As a result, the future continuous active has as its regular counterpart by the voice opposition the future indefinite passive; the perfect continuous active in all the tense-forms has as its regular counterpart the perfect indefinite passive. Cf.:
The police will be keeping an army of reporters at bay. → An army of reporters will be kept at bay by the police. We have been expecting the decision for a long time. —» The decision has been expected for a long time.
§ 2. The category of voice differs radically from all the other hitherto considered categories from the point of view of its referential qualities. Indeed, all the previously described categories reflect various characteristics of processes, both direct and oblique, as certain facts of reality existing irrespective of the speaker's perception. For instance, the verbal category of person expresses the personal relation of the process. The verbal number, together with person, expresses its person-numerical relation. The verbal primary time denotes the absolutive timing of the process, i.e. its timing in reference to the moment of speech. The category of prospect expresses the timing of the process from the point of view of its relation to the plane of posteriority. Finally, the analysed aspects characterise the respective inner qualities of the process. So, each of these categories does disclose some actual property of the process denoted by the verb, adding more and more particulars to the depicted processual situation. But we cannot say the same about the category of voice.
As a matter of fact, the situation reflected by the passive construction does not differ in the least from the situation reflected by the active construction — the nature of the process is preserved intact, the situational participants remain in their places in their unchanged quality. What is changed, then, with the transition from the active voice to the passive voice, is the subjective appraisal of the situation by the speaker, the plane of his presentation of it. It is clearly seen when comparing any pair of constructions one of which is the passive counterpart of the other. Cf.: The guards dispersed the crowd in front of the Presidential Palace. → The crowd in front of the Presidential Palace was dispersed by the guards.
In the two constructions, the guards as the doer of the action, the crowd as the recipient of the action are the same; the same also is the place of action, i.e. the space in front of the Palace. The presentation planes, though, are quite different with the respective constructions, they are in fact mutually reverse. Namely, the first sentence, by its functional destination, features the act of the guards, whereas the second sentence, in accord with its meaningful purpose, features the experience of the crowd.
This property of the category of voice shows its immediate connection with syntax, which finds expression in direct transformational relations between the active and passive constructions.
The said fundamental meaningful difference between the two forms of the verb and the corresponding constructions that are built around them goes with all the concrete connotations specifically expressed by the active and passive presentation of the same event in various situational contexts. In particular, we find the object-experience-featuring achieved by the passive in its typical uses in cases when the subject is unknown or is not to be mentioned for certain reasons, or when the attention of the speaker is centred on the action as such. Cf., respectively:
Another act of terrorism has been committed in Argentina. Dinner was announced, and our conversation stopped. The defeat of the champion was very much regretted.
All the functional distinctions of the passive, both categorial and contextual-connotative, are sustained in its use with verbids.
For instance, in the following passive infinitive phrase the categorial object-experience-featuring is accompanied by
the logical accent of the process characterising the quality of its situational object (expressed by the subject of the passive construction): This is an event never to be forgotten.
Cf. the corresponding sentence-transform: This event will never be forgotten.
The gerundial phrase that is given below, conveying the principal categorial meaning of the passive, suppresses the exposition of the indefinite subject of the process: After being wrongly delivered, the letter found its addressee at last.
Cf. the time-clause transformational equivalent of the gerundial phrase: After the letter had been wrongly delivered, it found its addressee at last.
The following passive participial construction in an absolutive position accentuates the resultative process: The enemy batteries having been put out of action, our troops continued to push on the offensive.
Cf. the clausal equivalent of the construction: When the enemy batteries had been put out of action, our troops continued to push on the offensive.
The past participle of the objective verb is passive in meaning, and phrases built up by it display all the cited characteristics. E. g.: Seen from the valley, the castle on the cliff presented a fantastic sight.
Cf. the clausal equivalent of the past participial phrase: When it was seen from the valley, the castle on the cliff presented a fantastic sight.
§ 3. The big problem in connection with the voice identification in English is the problem of "medial" voices, i.e. the functioning of the voice forms in other than the passive or active meanings. All the medial voice uses are effected within the functional range of the unmarked member of the voice opposition. Let us consider the following examples:
I will shave and wash, and be ready for breakfast in half an hour. I'm afraid Mary hasn't dressed up yet. Now I see your son is thoroughly preparing for the entrance examinations.
The indicated verbs in the given sentences are objective, • transitive, used absolutely, in the form of the active voice. But the real voice meaning rendered by the verb-entries is not active, since the actions expressed are not passed from the subject to any outer object; on the contrary, these actions
are confined to no other participant of the situation than the subject, the latter constituting its own object of the action performance. This kind of verbal meaning of the action performed by the subject upon itself is classed as "reflexive". The same meaning can be rendered explicit by combining the verb with the reflexive "self-pronoun: I will shave myself, wash myself; Mary hasn't dressed herself up yet; your son is thoroughly preparing himself. Let us take examples of another kind:
The friends will be meeting tomorrow. Unfortunately, Nellie and Christopher divorced two years after their magnificent marriage. Are Phil and Glen quarrelling again over their toy cruiser?
The actions expressed by the verbs in the above sentences are also confined to the subject, the same as in the first series of examples, but, as different from them, these actions are performed by the subject constituents reciprocally: the friends will be meeting one another; Nellie divorced Christopher, but Christopher, in his turn, divorced Nellie; Phil is quarrelling with Glen, but Glen, in his turn, is quarrelling with Phil. This verbal meaning of the action performed by the subjects in the subject group on one another is called "reciprocal". As is the case with the reflexive meaning, the reciprocal meaning can be rendered explicit by combining the verbs with special pronouns, namely, the reciprocal pronouns: the friends will be meeting one another; Nellie and Christopher divorced each other; the children are quarrelling with each other.
The cited reflexive and reciprocal uses of verbs are open to consideration as special grammatical voices, called, respectively, "reflexive" and "reciprocal". The reflexive and reciprocal pronouns within the framework of the hypothetical voice identification of the uses in question should be looked upon as the voice auxiliaries.
That the verb-forms in the given collocations do render the idea of the direction of situational action is indisputable, and in this sense the considered verbal meanings are those of voice. On the other hand, the uses in question evidently lack a generalising force necessary for any lingual unit type or combination type to be classed as grammatical. The reflexive and reciprocal pronouns, for their part, are still positional members of the sentence, though phrasemically bound with their notional kernel elements. The inference is that
the forms are not grammatical-categorial; they are phrasal-derivative, though grammatically relevant.
The verbs in reflexive and reciprocal uses in combination with the reflexive and reciprocal pronouns may be called, respectively, "reflexivised" and "reciprocalised". Used absolutively, they are just reflexive and reciprocal variants of their lexemes.
Subject to reflexivisation and reciprocalisation may be not only natively reflexive and reciprocal lexemic variants, but other verbs as well. Cf.:
The professor was arguing with himself,as usual. The parties have been accusing one anothervehemently.
To distinguish between the two cases of the considered phrasal-derivative process, the former can be classed as "organic", the latter as "inorganic" reflexivisation and reciprocalisation.
The derivative, i.e. lexemic expression of voice meanings may be likened, with due alteration of details, to the lexemic expression of aspective meanings. In the domain of aspectuality we also find derivative aspects, having a set of lexical markers (verbal post-positions) and generalised as limitive and non-limitive.
Alongside of the considered two, there is still a third use of the verb in English directly connected with the grammatical voice distinctions. This use can be shown on the following examples:
The new paper-backs are selling excellently. The suggested procedure will hardly apply to all the instances. Large native cigarettes smoked easily and coolly. Perhaps the loin chop will eat better than it looks.
The actions expressed by the otherwise transitive verbs in the cited examples are confined to the subject, though not in a way of active self-transitive subject performance, but as if going on of their own accord. The presentation of the verbal action of this type comes under the heading of the "middle" voice.
However, lacking both regularity and an outer form of expression, it is natural to understand the "middle" voice uses of verbs as cases of neutralising reduction of the voice opposition. The peculiarity of the voice neutralisation of this kind is, that the weak member of opposition used in
the position of neutralisation does not fully coincide in function with the strong member, but rather is located somewhere in between the two functional borders. Hence, its "middle" quality is truly reflected in its name. Compare the shown middle type neutralisation of voice in the infinitive:
She was delightful to look at, witty to talk to — altogether the most charming of companions. You have explained so fully everything there is to explain that there is no need for me to ask questions.
§ 4. Another problem posed by the category of voice and connected with neutralisations concerns the relation between the morphological form of the passive voice and syntactical form of the corresponding complex nominal predicate with the pure link be. As a matter of fact, the outer structure of the two combinations is much the same. Cf.:
You may consider me a coward, but there you are mistaken. They were all seised in their homes.
The first of the two examples presents a case of a nominal predicate, the second, a case of a passive voice form. Though the constructions are outwardly alike, there is no doubt as to their different grammatical status. The question is, why?
As is known, the demarcation between the construction types in question is commonly sought on the lines of the semantic character of the constructions. Namely, if the construction expresses an action, it is taken to refer to the passive voice form; if it expresses a state, it is interpreted as a nominal predicate. Cf. another pair of examples:
The door was closed by the butler as softly as could be. The door on the left was closed.
The predicate of the first sentence displays the "passive of action", i.e. it is expressed by a verb used in the passive voice; the predicate of the second sentence, in accord with the cited semantic interpretation, is understood as displaying the "passive of state", i.e. as consisting of a link-verb and a nominal part expressed by a past participle.
Of course, the factor of semantics as the criterion of the dynamic force of the construction is quite in its place, since the dynamic force itself is a meaningful factor of language.
But the "technically" grammatical quality of the construction is determined not by the meaning in isolation; it is determined by the categorial and functional properties of its constituents, first and foremost, its participial part. Thus, if this part, in principle, expresses processual verbality, however statal it may be in its semantic core, then the whole construction should be understood as a case of the finite passive in the categorial sense. E.g.: The young practitioner was highly esteemed in his district.
If, on the other hand, the participial part of the construction doesn't convey the idea of processual verbality, in other words, if it has ceased to be a participle and is turned into an adjective, then the whole construction is to be taken for a nominal predicate. But in the latter case it is not categorially passive at all.
Proceeding from this criterion, we see that the predicate in the construction "You are mistaken" (the first example in the present paragraph) is nominal simply by virtue of its notional part being an adjective, not a participle. The corresponding non-adjectival participle would be used in quite another type of constructions. Cf.: I was often mistaken for my friend Otto, though I never could tell why.
On the other hand, this very criterion shows us that the categorial status of the predicate in the sentence "The door was closed" is wholly neutralised in so far as it is categorially latent, and only a living context may de-neutralise it both ways. In particular, the context including the by-phrase of the doer (e.g. by the butler) de-neutralises it into the passive form of the verb; but the context in the following example de-neutralises it into the adjectival nominal collocation: The door on the left was closed, and the door on the right was open.
Thus, with the construction in question the context may have both voice-suppressing, "statalising" effect, and voice-stimulating, "processualising" effect. It is very interesting to note that the role of processualising stimulators of the passive can be performed, alongside of action-modifying adverbials, also by some categorial forms of the verb itself, namely, by the future, the continuous, and the perfect — i.e. by the forms of the time-aspect order other than the indefinite imperfect past and present. The said contextual stimulators are especially important for limitive verbs, since their past participles combine the semantics of processual passive with that of resultative perfect. Cf.:
The fence is painted. — The fence is painted light green. — The fence is to be painted. — The fence will be painted. _ The fence has just been painted. —The fence is just being painted.
The fact that the indefinite imperfect past and present are left indifferent to this gradation of dynamism in passive constructions bears one more evidence that the past and present of the English verb constitute a separate grammatical category distinctly different from the expression of the future (see Ch. XIV).
CHAPTER XVII VERB: MOOD
§ 1. The category of mood, undoubtedly, is the most controversial category of the verb. On the face of it, the principles of its analysis, the nomenclature, the relation to other categories, in particular, to tenses, all this has received and is receiving different presentations and appraisals with different authors. Very significant in connection with the theoretical standing of the category are the following words by B. A. Ilyish: "The category of mood in the present English verb has given rise to so many discussions, and has been treated in so many different ways, that it seems hardly possible to arrive at any more or less convincing and universally acceptable conclusion concerning it" [Ilyish, 99].
Needless to say, the only and true cause of the multiplicity of opinion in question lies in the complexity of the category as such, made especially peculiar by the contrast of its meaningful intricacy against the scarcity of the English word inflexion. But, stressing the disputability of so many theoretical points connected with the English mood, the scholars are sometimes apt to forget the positive results already achieved in this domain during scores of years of both textual researches and the controversies accompanying them.
We must always remember that the knowledge of verbal structure, the understanding of its working in the construction of speech utterances have been tellingly deepened by the studies of the mood system within the general framework of modern grammatical theories, especially by the extensive
investigations undertaken by Soviet scholars in the past three decades. The main contributions made in this field concern the more and more precise statement of the significance of the functional plane of any category; the exposition of the subtle paradigmatic correlations that, working on the same unchangeable verbal basis, acquire the status of changeable forms; the demonstration of the sentence-constructional value of the verb and its mood, the meaningful destination of it being realised on the level of the syntactic predicative unit as a whole. Among the scholars we are indebted to for this knowledge and understanding, to be named in the first place is A. I. Smirnitsky, whose theories revolutionised the presentation of English verbal grammar; then B. A. Ilyish, a linguist who skilfully demonstrated the strong and weak points of the possible approaches to the general problem of mood; then G. N. Vorontsova, L. S. Barkhudarov, I. B. Khlebnikova, and a number of others, whose keen observations and theoretical generalisations, throwing a new light on the analysed phenomena and discussed problems, at the same time serve as an incentive to further investigations in this interesting sphere of language study. It is due to the materials gathered and results obtained by these scholars that we venture the present, of necessity schematic, outline of the category under analysis.
§ 2. The category of mood expresses the character of connection between the process denoted by the verb and the actual reality, either presenting the process as a fact that really happened, happens or will happen, or treating it as an imaginary phenomenon, i.e. the subject of a hypothesis, speculation, desire. It follows from this that the functional opposition underlying the category as a whole is constituted by the forms of oblique mood meaning, i.e. those of unreality, contrasted against the forms of direct mood meaning, i.e. those of reality, the former making up the strong member, the latter, the weak member of the opposition. What is, though, the formal sign of this categorial opposition? What kind of morphological change makes up the material basis of the functional semantics of the oppositional contrast of forms? The answer to this question, evidently, can be obtained as a result of an observation of the relevant language data in the light of the two correlated presentations of the category, namely, a formal presentation and a functional presentation.
But before going into details of fact, we must emphasise, that the most general principle of the interpretation of the category of mood within the framework of the two approaches is essentially the same; it is the statement of the semantic content of the. category as determining the reality factor of the verbal action, i.e. showing whether the denoted action is real or unreal.
In this respect, it should be clear that the category of mood, like the category of voice, differs in principle from the immanent verbal categories of time, prospect, development, and retrospective coordination. Indeed, while the enumerated categories characterise the action from the point of view of its various inherent properties, the category of mood expresses the outer interpretation of the action as a whole, namely, the speaker's introduction of it as actual or imaginary. Together with the category of voice, this category, not reconstructing the process by way of reflecting its constituent qualities, gives an integrating appraisal of she process and establishes its lingual representation in a syntactic context.
§ 3. The formal description of the category has its source in the traditional school grammar. It is through the observation of immediate differences in changeable forms that the mood distinctions of the verb were indicated by the forefathers of modern sophisticated descriptions of the English grammatical structure. These differences, similar to the categorial forms of person, number, and time, are most clearly pronounced with the unique verb be.
Namely, it is first and foremost with the verb be that the pure infinitive stem in the construction of the verbal form of desired or hypothetical action is made prominent. "Be it as you wish", "So be it", "Be what may", "The powers that be", "The insistence that the accused be present" — such and like constructions, though characterised by a certain bookish flavour, bear indisputable testimony to the fact that the verb be has a special finite oblique mood form, different from the direct indicative. Together with the isolated, notional be, as well as the linking be, in the capacity of the same mood form come also the passive manifestations of verbs with be in a morphologically bound position, cf.: The stipulation that the deal be made without delay, the demand that the matter be examined carefully, etc.
By way of correlation with the oblique be, the infinitive stem of the other verbs is clearly seen as constituting the same form of the considered verbal mood. Not only constructions featuring the third person singular without its categorial mark -(e)s, but also constructions of other personal forms of the verb are ordered under this heading. Thus, we distinguish the indicated mood form of the verb in sentences like "Happen what may", "God forgive us", "Long live our friendship", "It is important that he arrive here as soon as possible", and also "The agreement stipulates that the goods pass customs free", "It is recommended that the elections start on Monday", "My orders are that the guards draw up", etc.
Semantical observation of the constructions with the analysed verbal form shows that within the general meaning of desired or hypothetical action, it signifies different attitudes towards the process denoted by the verb and the situation denoted by the construction built up around it, namely, besides desire, also supposition, speculation, suggestion, recommendation, inducement of various degrees of insistence including commands.
Thus, the analysed form-type presents the mood of attitudes. Traditionally it is called "subjunctive", or in more modern terminological nomination, "subjunctive one". Since the term "subjunctive" is also used to cover the oblique mood system as a whole, some sort of terminological specification is to be introduced that would give a semantic alternative to the purely formal "subjunctive one" designation. Taking into account the semantics of the form-type in question, we suggest that it should be named the "spective" mood, employing just the Latin base for the notion of "attitudes". So, what we are describing now, is the spective form of the subjunctive mood, or, in keeping with the usual working linguistic parlance, simply the spective mood, in its pure, classical manifestation.
Going on with our analysis, we must consider now the imperative form of the verb, traditionally referred to as a separate, imperative mood.
In accord with the formal principles of analysis, it is easy to see that the verbal imperative morphemically coincides with the spective mood, since it presents the same infinitive stem, though in relation to the second person only. Turning to the semantics of the imperative, we note here as constitutive the meaning of attitudes of the general
spective description. This concerns the forms both of be and the other verbs, cf.: Be on your guard! Be off! Do be careful with the papers! Don't be blue! Do as I ask you! Put down the address, will you? About turn!
As is known, the imperative mood is analysed in certain grammatical treatises as semantically direct mood, in this sense being likened to the indicative [Ganshina, Vasilevskaya, 200]. This kind of interpretation, though, is hardly convincing. The imperative form displays every property of a form of attitudes, which can easily be shown by means of equivalent transformations. Cf.:
Be off! → I demand that you be off. Do be careful with the papers! → My request is that you do be careful with the papers. Do as I ask you! → I insist that you do as I ask you. About turn! → I command that you turn about.
Let us take it for demonstrated, then, that the imperative verbal forms may be looked upon as a variety of the spective, i.e. its particular, if very important, manifestation.*
At this stage of study we must pay attention to how time is expressed with the analysed form. In doing so we should have in mind that, since the expression of verbal time is categorial, a consideration of it does not necessarily break off with the formal principle of observation. In this connection, first, we note that the infinitive stem taken for the building up of the spective is just the present-tense stem of the integral conjugation of the verb. The spective be, the irregular (suppletive) formation, is the only exception from this correlation (though, as we have seen, it does give the general pattern for the mood identification in cases other than the third person singular). Second, we observe that constructions with the spective, though expressed by the present-stem of the verb, can be transferred into the past plane context. Cf.:
It was recommended that the elections start on Monday. My orders were that the guards draw up. The agreement stipulated that the goods pass customs free.
This phenomenon marks something entirely new from the point of view of the categorial status of the verbal time in the indicative. Indeed, in the indicative the category of time
* Cf. L. S. Barkhudarov's consideration of both varieties of forms under the same heading of "imperative".
is essentially absolutive, while in the sphere of the subjunctive (in our case, spective) the present stem, as we see, is used relatively, denoting the past in the context of the past.
Here our purely formal, i.e. morphemic consideration of the present stem of the subjunctive comes to an end. Moreover, remaining on the strictly formal ground in the strictly morphemic sense, we would have to state that the demonstrated system of the spective mood exhausts, or nearly exhausts, the entire English oblique mood morphology. See: [Бархударов, (2), 129]. However, turning to functional considerations of the expression of the oblique mood semantics, we see that the system of the subjunctive, far from being exhausted, rather begins at this point.
§ 4. Observations of the materials undertaken on the comparative functional basis have led linguists to the identification of a number of construction types rendering the same semantics as is expressed by the spective mood forms demonstrated above. These generalised expressions of attitudes may be classed into the following three groups.
The first construction type of attitude series is formed by the combination may/might + Infinitive. It is used to express wish, desire, hope in the contextual syntactic conditions similar to those of the morphemic (native) spective forms. Cf.:
May it be as you wish! May it all happen as you desire! May success attend you. I hope that he may be safe. Let's pray that everything might still turn to the good, after all. May our friendship live long.
The second construction type of attitude series is formed by the combination should + Infinitive. It is used in various subordinate predicative units to express supposition, speculation, suggestion, recommendation, inducements of different kinds and degrees of intensity. Cf.:
Whatever they should say of the project, it must be considered seriously. It has been arranged that the delegation should be received by the President of the Federation. Orders were given that the searching group should start out at once.
The third construction type of the same series is formed by the combination let + Objective Substantive+Infinitive. It is used to express inducement (i.e. an appeal to commit
an action) in relation to all the persons, but preferably to the first person plural and third person both numbers. The notional homonym let, naturally, is not taken into account. Cf.:
Let's agree to end this wait-and-see policy. Now don't let's be hearing any more of this. Let him repeat the accusation in Tim's presence. Let our military forces be capable and ready. Let me try to convince them myself.
All the three types of constructions are characterised by a high frequency occurrence, by uniformity of structure, by regularity of correspondence to the "pure", native morphemic spective form of the verb. For that matter, taken as a whole, they are more universal stylistically than the pure spective form, in so far as they are less bound by conventions of usage and have a wider range of expressive connotations of various kinds. These qualities show that the described constructions may safely be identified as functional equivalents of the pure spective mood. Since they specialise, within the general spective mood meaning, in semantic destination, the specialisation being determined by the semantic type of their modal markers, we propose to unite them under the tentative heading of the "modal" spective mood forms, or, by way of the usual working contraction, the modal spective mood, as contrasted against the "pure" spective expressed by native morphemic means (morphemic zeroing).
The functional varieties of the modal spective, i.e. its specialised forms, as is evident from the given examples, should be classed as, first, the "desiderative" series (may-spective, the form of desire); second, the "considerative" series (should-spective, the form of considerations); third, the "imperative" series (let-spective, the form of commands).
We must stress that by terming the spective constructional forms "modal" we don't mean to bring down their grammatical value. Modality is part and parcel of predication, and the modern paradigmatic interpretation of syntactic constructions has demonstrated that all the combinations of modal verbs as such constitute grammatical means of sentence-forming. On the other hand, the relevance of medial morpho-syntactic factor in the structure of the forms in question can't be altogether excluded from the final estimation of their status. The whole system of the English subjunctive mood is far from stabilised, it is just in the making, and all that we can say about the analysed spective forms
in this connection is that they tend to quickly develop into rigidly "formalised" features of morphology.
Very important for confirming the categorial nature of the modal spective forms is the way they express the timing of the process. The verbal time proper is neutralised with these forms and, considering their relation to the present-order pure spective, they can also be classed as "present" in this sense. As to the actual expression of time, it is rendered relatively, by means of the aspective category of retrospective coordination: the imperfect denotes the relative present (simultaneity and posteriority), while the perfect denotes the relative past (priority in the present and the past). This regularity, common for all the system of the subjunctive mood, is not always clearly seen in the constructions of the spective taken by themselves (i.e. without a comparison with the subjunctive of the past order, which is to be considered further) due to the functional destination of this mood.
The perfect is hardly ever used with the pure spective non-imperative. As far as the imperative is concerned, the natural time-aspect plane is here the present-oriented imperfect strictly relative to the moment of speech, since, by definition, the imperative is addressed to the listener. The occasional perfect with the imperative gives accent to the idea of some time-limit being transgressed, or stresses an urge to fulfil the action in its entirety. Cf.:
Try and have done, it's not so difficult as it seems. Let's have finished with the whole affair!
Still, when it is justified by the context, the regularity of expressing time through aspect is displayed by the specialised modal spective with the proper distinctness. Cf.:
I wish her plans might succeed (the present simultaneity
— posteriority). ---- I wished her plans might succeed (the
past simultaneity — posteriority). I wish her plans might
have succeeded (failure in the present priority). ---- I wished
her plans might have succeeded (failure in the past priority). Whatever the outcome of the conference should be, stalemate cannot be tolerated (the present simultaneity — posteriority). The commentator emphasised that, whatever the
outcome of the conference should be, stalemate could not be tolerated (the past simultaneity — posteriority). Whatever the outcome of the conference should have been, stalemate cannot be tolerated (the present priority, the outcome of
the conference is unknown).-- The commentator emphasised
that, whatever the outcome of the conference should have been, stalemate could not be tolerated (the past priority, the outcome of the conference was unknown).
The perfect of the modal spective makes up for the deficiency of the pure spective which lacks the perfect forms. Cf.:
Be it so or otherwise, I see no purpose in our argument (simultaneity in the present). - Should it have been otherwise, there might have been some purpose in our argument (priority in the present).
§ 5. As the next step of the investigation, we are to consider the forms of the subjunctive referring to the past order of the verb. The approach based on the purely morphemic principles leads us here also to the identification of the specific form of the conjugated be as the only native manifestation of the categorial expression of unreal process. E.g.:
Oh, that he were together with us now! If I were in your place, I'd only be happy. If it were in my power, I wouldn't hesitate to interfere.
As is the case with be in the present subjunctive (spective), the sphere of its past subjunctive use is not confined to its notional and linking functions, but is automatically extended to the broad imperfect system of the passive voice, as well as the imperfect system of the present continuous. Cf.:
If he were given the same advice by an outsider, he would no doubt profit by it; with the relatives it might be the other way about, I'm afraid. I'd repeat that you were right from the start, even though Jim himself were putting down each word I say against him.
Unfortunately, the cited case types practically exhaust the native past subjunctive distinctions of be, since with the past subjunctive, unlike the present, it is only the first and third persons singular that have the suppletive marking feature were. The rest of the forms coincide with the past indicative. Moreover, the discriminate personal finite was more and more penetrates into the subjunctive, thus liquidating the scarce remnants of differences between the
subjunctive and the indicative of the past order as a whole. Cf.: If he was as open-hearted as you are, it would make all the difference.
Thus, from here on we have to go beyond the morphemic principle of analysis and look for other discriminative marks of the subjunctive elsewhere. Luckily, we don't have to wander very far in search of them, but discover them in the explicitly distinctive, strikingly significant correlation of the aspective forms of retrospective coordination. These are clearly taken to signify the time of the imaginary process, namely, imperfect for the absolute and relative present, perfect for the absolute and relative past. Thereby, in union with the past verbal forms as such, the perfect-imperfect retrospective coordination system is made to mark the past subjunctive in universal contradistinction to the past and present indicative. This feature is all the more important, since it is employed not only in the structures patterned by the subjunctive were and those used in similar environmental conditions, but also in the further would — should-structures, in which the feature of the past is complicated by the feature of the posteriority, also reformed semantically. Cf.:
I'm sure if she tried, she would manage to master riding not later than by the autumn, for all her unsporting habits
(simultaneity — posteriority in the present). ------ I was sure
if she tried, she would manage it by the next autumn (simultaneity — posteriority in the past). How much embarrassment should I have been spared if only I had known the truth
before! (priority of the two events in the present).----------- I
couldn't keep from saying that I should have been spared much embarrassment if only I had known the truth before (priority of the two events in the past).
The sought-for universal mark of the subjunctive, the "unknown quantity" which we have undertaken to find is, then, the tense-retrospect shift noted in a preliminary way above, while handling the forms of the present (i.e. spective) subjunctive. The differential mark is unmistakable, both delimiting the present and past subjunctive in their different functional spheres (the present and the past verbal forms as such), and distinguishing the subjunctive as a whole from the indicative as a whole (the tense-retrospect shift taken in its entirety). The mark is explicit not by virtue of the grammatical system being just so many ready-made,
presunmovable sets of units and forms; it is explicit due to something very important existing in addition to the static correlations and interdependencies making up the base of the system. What renders it not only distinct, but absolutely essential, is the paradigmatic relations in dynamics of language functioning. It is this dynamic life of paradigmatic connections in the course of speech production and perception that turns the latent structural differences, if small and insignificant in themselves, into regular and accurate means of expression. The tense-retrospect shift analysed within the framework of the latent system is almost imperceptible, almost entirely hidden under the cover of morphemic identity. But this identity proves ephemeral the very moment the process of speech begins. The paradigmatic connections all come into life as if by magic; the different treatments of absolutive and relative tenses sharply contrast one against the other; the imperfect and perfect indicative antagonise those of the subjunctive; the tense-retrospect shift manifests its working in explicit structural formations of contexts and environments, not allowing grammatical misunderstandings between the participants of lingual communication.
Thus, having abandoned the exhausted formal approach in the traditional sense in order to seek the subjunctive distinctions on the functional lines, we return to formality all the same, though existing on a broader, dynamic, but none the less real basis.
As for the functional side of it, not yet looked into with the past subjunctive, it evidently differs considerably from that which we have seen in the system of the present subjunctive. The present subjunctive is a system of verbal forms expressing a hypothetical action appraised in various attitudes, namely, as an object of desire, wish, consideration, etc. The two parallel sets of manifestations of the present subjunctive, i.e. the pure spective and the modal spective, stand in variant functional inter-relations, conveying essentially identical basic semantics and partially complementing each other on the connotative and structural lines. As different from this, the past subjunctive is not a mood of attitudes. Rather, it is a mood of reasoning by the rule of contraries, the contraries being situations of reality opposed to the corresponding situations of unreality, i.e. opposed to the reflections of the same situations placed by an effort of thinking in different, imaginary connections with one another. Furthermore, the past subjunctive, unlike the
present subjunctive, is not a system of two variant sets of forms, though, incidentally, it does present two sets of forms constituting a system. The difference is, that the systemic sets of the past subjunctive are functional invariants, semantically complementing each other in the construction of complex sentences reflecting the causal-conditional relations of events.
The most characteristic construction in which the two form-types occur in such a way that one constitutes the environment of the other is the complex sentence with a clause of unreal condition. The subjunctive form-type used in the conditional clause is the past unposterior; the subjunctive form-type used in the principal clause is the past posterior. By referring the verbal forms to the past, as well as to the posterior, we don't imply any actual significations effected by the forms either of the past, or of the posterior: the terms are purely technical, describing the outer structure, or morphemic derivation, of the verbal forms in question. The method by which both forms actualise the denotation of the timing of the process has been described above.
The subjunctive past unposterior is called by some grammarians "subjunctive two". Since we have reserved the term "subjunctive" for denoting the mood of unreality as a whole, another functional name should be chosen for this particular form-type of the subjunctive. "Spective" can't be used here for the simple reason that the analysed mood form differs in principle from the spective in so far as its main functions, with the exception of a few construction-types, do not express attitudes. So, to find an appropriate functional name for the mood form in question, we must consider the actual semantic role served by it in syntactic constructions.
We have already stated that the most typical use of the past unposterior subjunctive is connected with the expression of unreal actions in conditional clauses (see examples cited above). Further observations of texts show that, in principle, in all the other cases of its use the idea of unreal condition is, if not directly expressed, then implied by way of "subtext". These are constructions of concession and comparison, expressions of urgency, expressions of wish introduced independently and in object clauses. Let us examine them separately.
The syntactic clause featuring the analysed form in the context nearest to the clause of condition is the clause of concession. E.g.:
Even if he had been a commanding officer himself, he wouldn't have received a more solemn welcome in the mess. Even though it were raining, we'll go boating on the lake.
It is easy to see, that the so-called "concession" in the cited complex sentences presents a variety of condition. Namely, it is unreal or hypothetical condition which is either overcome or neglected. And it is expressed intensely. Thus, the transformational exposition of the respective implications will be the following:
... → In spite of the fact that he was not a commanding officer, he was given the most solemn welcome of the sort commanding officers were given. ... →We don't know whether it will be raining or not, but even in case it is raining we will go boating.
Comparisons with the subjunctive are expressed in adverbial clauses and in predicative clauses. In both cases condition is implied by way of contracted implication. Cf. an adverbial comparative clause: She was talking to Bennie as if he were a grown person.
The inherent condition is exposed by re-constructing the logic of the imaginary situation: →She was talking to Bennie as she would be talking to him if he were a grown person.
A similar transformation applies to the predicative comparative clause: It looks as if it had been snowing all the week. → It looks as it would look if it had been snowing all the week.
In the subjunctive expression of urgency (temporal limit) the implied urgent condition can be exposed by indicating a possible presupposed consequence. Cf.: It is high time the right key to the problem were found. * → * The finding of the right key to the problem is a condition that has long been necessary to realise; those interested would be satisfied in this case.
In clauses and sentences of wish featuring the subjunctive, the implied condition is dependent on the expressed desire of a situation contrary to reality, and on the regret referring jo the existing state of things. This can also be exposed by indicating a possible presupposed consequence. Cf. a complex sentence with an object clause of wish-subjunctive:
* The symbol *→ denotes approximate transformation,
I wish my brain weren't in such a whirl all the time. *→ My brain not being in such a whirl all the time is a condition for my attending to matters more efficiently.
The wish-subjunctive in independent sentences has the same implication: Oh, that the distress signals had only been heard when we could be in time to rescue the crew! *→ Our hearing the distress signals was a condition for the possibility of our being in time to rescue the crew. We are in despair that it was not so.
As is indicated in grammars, modal verbs used in similar constructions display the functional features of the subjunctive, including the verb would which implies some effort of wilful activity. Cf.:
I wish he could have cornel — The implication is that, unfortunately, he had no such possibility. I wish he would have cornel — The implication is that he had not come of his own free will.
As we see, the subjunctive form under analysis in its various uses does express the unreality of an action which constitutes a condition for the corresponding consequence. Provided our observation is true, and the considered subjunctive uses are essentially those of stipulation, the appropriate explanatory term for this form of the subjunctive would be "stipulative". Thus, the subjunctive form-type which is referred to on the structural basis as the past unposterior, on the functional basis will be referred to as stipulative.
Now let us consider the form-type of the subjunctive which structurally presents the past posterior. As we have stated before, its most characteristic use is connected with the principal clause of the complex sentence expressing a situation of unreal condition: the principal clause conveys the idea of its imaginary consequence, thereby also relating to unreal state of events. Cf.: If the peace-keeping force had not been on the alert, the civil war in that area would have resumed anew.
The consequential situation of fact is dependent on the conditional situation of fact as a necessity; and this factual correlation is preserved in reference to the corresponding imaginary situations. This can be shown by a transformation: → For the civil war in that area not to have resumed anew, the peace-keeping force had to be on the alert.
Cf. another example: If two people were found with a great bodily resemblance, the experiment would succeed. →
For the experiment to succeed, it is necessary to find two people with a great bodily resemblance.
In keeping with its functional meaning, this kind of consequence may be named a "consequence of necessity".
A consequence dependent on a "concessive" condition shown above has another implication. Two semantic varieties of clauses of consequence should be pointed out as connected with the said concessive condition and featuring the subjunctive mood. The first variety presents a would-be effected action in consequence of a would-be overcome unfavourable condition as a sort of challenge. E.g.: I know Sam. Even if they had tried to cajole him into acceptance, he would have flatly refused to cooperate.
The second variety of concessive-conditional consequence featuring the subjunctive, as different from the "consequence of challenge", expresses neglect of a hypothetical situation. Cf.: Even though weather-conditions were altogether forbidding, the reconnaissance flight would start as scheduled.
Apart from complex sentences, the past posterior form of the subjunctive can be used in independent sentences. It is easy to see, though, that these sentences are based on the presupposition of some condition, the consequence of which they express. It means that from the point of view of the analysed functions they practically do not differ from the constructions of consequence shown above. Cf: He would be here by now: he may have missed his train. → He may have missed his train, otherwise (i.e. if he hadn't missed it) he would be here by now.
As we see, the subjunctive form-type in question in the bulk of its uses essentially expresses an unreal consequential action dependent on an unreal stipulating action. In grammars which accept the idea of this form being a variety of the verbal mood of unreality, it is commonly called "conditional". However, the cited material tends to show that the term in this use is evidently inadequate and misleading. In keeping with the demonstrated functional nature of the analysed verbal form it would be appropriate, relying on the Latin etymology, to name it "consective". "Consective" in function, "past posterior" in structure — the two names will go together similar to the previously advanced pair "stipulative" — "past unposterior" for the related form of the subjunctive.
Thus, the functions of the two past form-types of the subjunctive are really different from each other on the semantic
lines. On the other hand, this difference is of such a kind that the forms complement each other within one embedding syntactic construction, at the same time being manifestations of the basic integral mood of unreality. This allows us to unite both analysed form-types under one heading, opposed not only structurally, but also functionally to the heading of the spective mood. And the appropriate term for this united system of the past-tense subjunctive will be "conditional". Indeed, the name had to be rejected as the designation of the consequential (consective) form of the subjunctive taken separately, but it will be very helpful in showing the actual unity of the forms not only on the ground of their structure (i.e. the past tense order), but also from the point of view of their semantico-syntactic destination.
The conditional system of the subjunctive having received its characterisation in functional terms, the simplified "numbering" terminology may also be of use for practical teaching purposes. Since the purely formal name for the stipulative mood-form, now in more or less common use, is "subjunctive two", it would stand to reason to introduce the term "subjunctive three" for the consective form of the subjunctive. "Subjunctive three" will then finish the set of numbering names for the three pure forms of the mood of unreality, the "modal spective" being left out of the set due to its non-pure and heterogeneous character.
§ 6. We have surveyed the structure of the category of mood, trying to expose the correlation of its formal and semantic features, and also attempting to choose the appropriate terms of linguistic denotation for this correlation. The system is not a simple one, though its basic scheme is not so cumbersome as it would appear in the estimation of certain academic opinion. The dynamic scheme of the category has been much clarified of late in the diverse researches carried out by Soviet and foreign linguists.
One of the drawbacks of the descriptions of the category of mood in the existing manuals is the confusion of the functional (semantic) terms of analysis with the formal (categorial) terms of analysis.
To begin with, hardly convenient in this respect would appear the shifted nomination of the "oblique" tenses broadly used in grammars, i.e. the renaming of the past imperfect into the "present" and the past perfect into the simple "past". By this shift in terms the authors, naturally, meant to
indicate the tense-shift of the "oblique moods", i.e. the functional difference of the tenses in the subjunctive mood from their counterparts in the indicative mood. But the term "tense" is clearly a categorial name which ought to be consistent with the formal structure of the category common for the whole of the verb. As a result of the terminological shift, the tense-structure of the verb receives a hindering reflection, the confusion being aggravated by the additional difficulty of contrasting the "present" tense of one system of the oblique moods (which is formally past) against the "present" tense of another system of the oblique moods (which is formally present).
Hardly consistent with adequacy would appear the division of the general mood system into several moods on the upper level of presentation. "Imperative", "subjunctive one", "subjunctive two", "conditional", "suppositional" — these are in fact shown in separate contrasts to the indicative, which hinders the observation of the common basis underlying the analysed category.
The notions "synthetical" moods and "analytical" moods, being formal, hardly meet the requirements of clarity in correlation, since, on the one hand, the "synthetical" formation in the English subjunctive is of a purely negative nature (no inflexion), and, on the other hand, the "analytical" oblique formations ("conditional", "suppositional") and the "synthetical" oblique formations ("subjunctive one", "subjunctive two") are asymmetrically related to the analytical and synthetical features of the temporal-aspective forms of the verb ("subjunctive one" plus part of "subjunctive two" against the "analytical moods" plus the other part of "subjunctive two").
Apparently inconsistent with the function of the referent form is the accepted name "conditional" by which the form-type of consequence is designated in contrast to the actual form-type of condition ("subjunctive two").
The attempted survey of the system of the English mood based on the recent extensive study of it (undertaken, first of all, by Soviet scholars) and featuring oppositional interpretations, has been aimed at bringing in appropriate correlation the formal and the functional presentations of its structure.
We have emphasised that, underlying the unity of the whole system, is the one integral form of the subjunctive standing in opposition to the one integral form of the
indicative. The formal mark of the opposition is the tense-retrospect shift in the subjunctive, the latter being the strong member of the opposition. The shift consists in
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