The research :"The dynamics of functioning of predicative constructions in English prose."
The graduation paper is a comparative study of predicative constructions with non-finite forms in modern and classical literature.
The overall objective of the present research paper is to analyze and to compare the use of the predicative constructions with the infinitive, participle and gerund in classical English literature and in modern English.
The objective of the graduation paper presupposes the following tasks:
1) to investigate into the notion of predication and provide an overview of literature concerning predicative constructions with the infinitive, participle and gerund;
2) to reveal the frequency of predicative constructions in classical English literature and in modern English;
3) to reveal changes in the use of predicative constructions and identify typical patterns of their use.
Chapter 1 deals with the notion of "secondary predication" and classifications of predicative constructions. Chapter 2 is devoted to the use of Objective and Subjective predicative constructions and "for-to-infinitive" constructions in classical and modern English. Chapter 3 is concerned with comparative analysis of Absolute Participial Constructions in classical and modern English literature. Chapter 4 deals with the differences in the use of gerundial predicative constructions in classical and modern English
For our analysis we studied 984 pages, all in all, written by 6 well known authors of modern English literature, 5 famous authors, the representatives of classical English Literature of the 19th century.
The overall number of the examples of predicative constructions under analysis is 1497, including 900 examples of Complex Object constructions. 265 examples of Complex Subject, 121 examples of gerundial constructions,154 samples of Absolute Participial constructions and 57 examples of "for-to-infinitive" constructions.
According to our research, the frequency of each construction has increased in modern English .The number of such predicative constructions as Complex Object, Absolute Nominative Participial constructions has increased dramatically. That may be a sign of syntactic condensation as reflection of the modern tendency to express ideas as shortly as possible in the fields of lexis, grammar and phonetics. Predicative constructions offer a chance to use at least one more pair of subject and predicate within a simple sentence.
The dramatically increased frequency of such verbs as have , get , find, make in Complex Object in modern English is related to the polysemy of meanings of these verbs, that developed in modern English. The verb "have" among them is the most semantically diverse. This verb appears in Complex Object constructions in modern English 3 times as often as in classical English literature. The constructions "have something done" in modern English mostly mean a completed action, whereas in classical English literature-the action mostly supposed to be done by somebody else.
A peculiar thing was discovered about the verb "find" - modern literature offers a new pattern of its use - "find somebody do" - which was not registered in the 19th century.
As for Absolute Participial Constructions, our findings proved to be most interesting.We found that in modern English literature these predicative constructions prove to appear 4 times as often as in the samples of the classical literature (133 and 21, consequently). All the constructions are placed mostly at the end of the sentence, functioning as an adverbial modifier of attendant circumstances or manner. They often give additional information describing physical actions related to parts of the body or location of the objects. Very often there are no articles before the Nominative Parts of these Constructions in the singular. The omission of the article makes us suppose that in this way the construction manifests explicitly its adverbial character. Its nominal elements seem to lose their nominal features (articles or pronouns), which contributes to the semantic homogenization of the construction. Thus, the construction is seen as a dependent unit with a pronounced focus on the idea of manner or attendant circumstances.
We conclude that predicative constructions are a grammatical phenomenon that has been developing dynamically over the last two centuries. Their status is changing and they become more and more common because of their concise structure.