Verb. The categories of voice mood in English and Armenian

The concept and category values "voice" and "mood" in different languages. Features and comparative description of the use and formation of a voice in English and Armenian. Classification of moods, their characteristics of a grammatical point of view.



The theme of my term paper sounds as following: Verb. The Categories of Voice Mood in English and Armenian. Before beginning of investigation in our theme, I would like to say some words dealt with the theme of my course paper. The verb is characterized by a number of categories: tense, aspect, voice, mood and correlation. In this work we are going to examine the categories of voice and mood in English and Armenian.

Grammatically the verb is the most complex part of speech. First of all it performs the central role in realizing predication - connection between situation in the utterance and reality.

The following presentation of the categorial system of the English verb is based on oppositional criteria worked out in the course of grammatical studies of language by Russian and foreign scholars.

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 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.

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. 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.

Standing on such ground, I would like to point out tasks and aims of my work

1. The first task of my work is to give definition to term voice and mood.

2. The second task is to show the use and formation of voice in English and Armenian.

3. The third task is to give the classification of moods in English and Armenian.

4. The last task of my work is to characterize each mood from grammatical point of view.

In our opinion the practical significance of our work is hard to be overvalued. This work reflects modern trends in linguistics and we hope it would serve as a good manual for those who wants to master modern English language.

After having proved the actuality of our work, I would like to describe the composition of it:

My work consists of four parts: introduction, the main part, conclusion and bibliography. Within the introduction part we gave the brief description of our course paper. The main part of the work includes several items. There we discussed such problems as the voice in English and Armenian, their formation and use, the number of moods in English and Armenian, their classification, and etc. In the conclusion to our work we tried to draw some results from the scientific investigations made within the present course paper. In bibliography part we mentioned some sources which were used while compiling the present work. It includes linguistic books and articles dealing with the theme, a number of used dictionaries and encyclopedias and also some internet sources.

Our task in the objective study of language, as well as in language teaching, is to accurately register these phenomena, to explain their mechanism and systemic implications, to show the relevant tendencies of usage in terms of varying syntactic environments, topical contexts, stylistic preferences.

1. The category of voice

mood languages armenian grammatical

By the category of voice we mean different grammatical ways of expressing the relation between a transitive verb and its subject and object.

The majority of authors of English theoretical grammars seem to recognize only two voices in English: the active and the passive.

H. Sweet, O. Curme recognize two voices. There are such terms, as inverted object, inverted subject and retained object in Sweet's grammar.

The Inverted object is the subject of the passive construction. The Inverted subject is the object of the passive constructions.

The rat was killed by the dog. O. Jespersen calls it converted subject.

But in the active construction like: The examiner asked me three questions either of the object words may be the subject of the passive sentence.

I was asked 3 questions by the examiner.

Three questions were asked by the examiner.

Words me and three questions are called retained objects.

H. Poutsma besides the two voices mentioned above finds one more voice - reflexive. He writes: It has been observed that the meaning of the Greek medium is normally expressed in English by means of reflexive or, less frequently, by reciprocal pronouns. It is because of this H. Poutsma distinguishes in Modern English the third voice. He transfers the system of the Greek grammar into the system of English. He gives the following examples:

He got to bed, covered himself up warm and fell asleep. H. Whitehall

This grammarian the traditional terms indirect and direct objects replaced by inner and outer complements (words of position 3 and 4) consequently. The passive voice from his point of view is the motion of the words of position 3 and 4 to position one. The verb is transformed into a word-group introduced by parts of be, become, get and the original subject is hooked into the end of the sentence by means of the preposition by.

Different treatment of the problem is found in theoretical courses written by Russian grammarians.

The most of them recognize the existence of the category of voice in present-day English.

To this group of scientists we refer A.I. Smirnitsky, L. Barkhudarov, L. Steling, Khaimovich and Rogovskaya's according to their opinion there are two active and passive voices. But some others maintain that there are three voices in English. Besides the two mentioned they consider the reflexive voice which is expressed by the help of semantically weakened selfpronouns as in the sentence:

He cut himself while shaving.

B.A. Ilyish besides the three voices mentioned distinguishes two more: the reciprocal voice expressed with the help of each-other, one another and the neuter (middle) voice in such sentences as: The door opened. The college was filling up.

The conception reminds us Poutsma's view. He writes: A passive meaning may also not seldom be observed in verbs that have thrown off the reflexive pronoun and have, consequently, become intransitive. Thus, we find it more or less distinctly in the verbs used in: Her eyes filled with tears

We cannot agree with arguments against these theories expressed by Khaimovich and Rogovskaya: These theories do not carry much conviction, because:

1) in cases like he washed himself it is not the verb that is reflexive but that pronoun himself used as a direct object;

2) washed and himself are words belonging to different lexemes. They have different lexical and grammatical meanings;

3) if we regard washed himself as an analytical word, it is necessary to admit that the verb has the categories of gender, person, non-person (washed himself-washed itself), that the categories of number and person are expressed twice in the word-group washed himself;

4) similar objection can be raised against regarding washed each-other, washed one another as analytical forms of the reciprocal voice. The difference between each other and one another would become a grammatical category of the verb;

5) A number of verbs express the reflexive meanings without the corresponding pronouns: He always washes in cold water. Kiss and be friends.

The grammatical categories of voice is formed by the opposition of covert and overt morphemes. The active voice is formed by a zero marker: while the passive voice is formed by (be-ed). So the active voice is the unmarked one and the passive-marked.

To ask - to be asked

The morpheme of the marked form we may call a discontinuous morpheme.

From the point of view of some grammarians O. Jespersen, O. Curme, G. Vorontsova verbs get / become + Participle II are passive constructions. Khaimovich and Rogovskaya seem to be right when they say that in such constructions get / become always retain lexical meanings.

Different opinions are observed as to the P II.

G.V. Vorontsova, L. Barkhudarov and D. Steling the combination be + PII in all cases treat as a passive voice if PII is not adjectivized (if particles very, too and adverbs of degree more (most) do not precede PII on the ground that PII first and foremost, a verb, the idea of state not being an evident to this structure but resulting from the lexical meaning of the verb and the context it occurs in).

Khaimovich and Rogovskaya arguing against this conception write that in such cases as: His duty is fulfilled we deal with a link verb +P II since:

1) it does not convey the idea of action, but that of state, the result of an action:

2) The sentence correspond rather He has fulfilled his duty, as the perfective meaning of Participle II is particularly prominent.

1.1 Voice in English and Armenian

In both languages voice is the grammatical category of the verb that shows the direction of the process in regard to the subject: in the active-voice construction, the process issues from the Subject; in the passive-voice construction, the process issues from the Agentive Adjunct.

In languages, voice is used to indicate whether the subject is the doer or the receiver of the action.

a) active voice: ????? ??????????? ???????: The man sold the car.

In sentence (a), the grammatical subject ????? is the doer of the action ??????? while

??????????? the grammatical (direct) object is the receiver of the action ???????.

b) passive voice: ??????????? ???????? ?????? ??????: The car was sold by the man.

In sentence (b), the word order is reversed: the original direct object ??????????? is brought into focus and placed in subject position, while the original subject ????? is removed from focus and shifted to the position of indirect object. In sentence (b), the reallife role of the grammatical subject ??????????? is not an active but a passive one. To express this passivity the active verb ??????? must be transformed into the passive verb ????????.

Issuing from the Subject, the process affects the Objective Complement, and issuing from the Agentive Adjunct, it affects the Subject. To put it otherwise, in the active-voice construction, the Agent is turned into the Subject of the sentence and the Affected into the Objective Compliment while in the passive-voice construction the Affected is turned into the Subject2 and the Agent into the Agentive Adjunct. Cf.

1. The servant (Agent) beats the carpet (Affected) once a week.

2. The carpet (Affected) is beaten by the servant (Agent) once a week.

Example (1) is called active because the Subject is aligned with an active role, the role of the Agent: the servant carries out the process. Example (2) is called passive because the Subject, the carpet, is associated with a passive role, the role of the Affected: the carpet is the entity on which the action is performed.

The question that may arise is: what motivates the process of passivization?

The motives are informational-pragmatic:

1) the speaker's wish to use the Agent as the Theme (the active construction) or the Affected as the Theme (the passive construction). Consider:

Who made this chair? My father did./This chair was made by my father.

2) the speaker's reluctance or inability to use the Agent.

The speaker may not want to mention the Agent for the sake of tact, or he/ she may want to avoid making explicit reference to the Agent and thus give the writing a more objective flavour, or he/she simply may not know who carried out the process. Consider:

A man was killed yesterday.

The room has not been cleaned.

3) the speaker's wish to avoid semantic redundancy, i.e. to avoid non-informative constituents. Consider:

English is spoken in many countries (instead of People speak English in many countries).

As already known, the category of voice is based on transitive verbs, i.e. verbs associated with at least two nouns whose semantic roles are characteristically those of an Agent and an Affected (Patient). The passive voice is an analytic form: it is built up by means of the corresponding tense of the auxiliary verb be and the past participle of the given verb.

Do all active-voice transitive-verb sentences have passive counterparts? In reference grammars we are advised not to passivize the future progressive and perfect progressive forms. Instead of the said forms the learner is advised to use the corresponding non-progressive forms. Cf.

John will be writing the letter. - The letter will be written by John.

John has been writing the letter for an hour. - The letter has been written by John for an hour.

Such constructions as The letter will be being written by John and The letter has been being written by John for an hour, clumsy as they may look, are to be found in spoken and written English.

In Armenian Passive verbs are formed by combining the infinitive or the perfect stem with the suffix -?- + the infinitive ending -??:

??????? to sell - ???????? to be sold

?????? to read - ??????? - ????????? to be read

Passive verbs are conjugated like regular verbs ending in -?? + auxiliary verb

Present: ??????? ??, ??????? ??, ??????? ? etc

Imperfect: ??????? ??, ??????? ???, ??????? ??, etc

Future I: ???????? ??, ???????? ??, ???????? ?, etc

Future II: ?????? ?? ???????, ?????? ?? ???????, ?????? ? ???????, etc.

Perfect: ?????? ??, ?????? ??, ?????? ?, etc.

Only the past (aorist) tence is formed by the stem without an auxiliary verb:

Aorist: ???????, ????????, ??????, etc.

1.2 The problems of Voice

The two constructions have been the subject of many discussions in the linguistic literature. Some linguists are against this interpretation. So, for instance, L.S. Barkhudarov and L.A. Shteling argue that in such cases we have a passive voice; the idea of state is not inherent to the construction as a whole but to the past participle whose actual meaning is determined by the meaning of the verb it derives from. It is only in the context that we can say which is which. The scholars think that it is only when the past participle has been subjected to adjectivization that we can speak of a nominal predicate construction, e.g. I am very interested. B. Khaimovich and B. Rogovskaya are inclined to believe that such constructions as. The door was closed cannot be treated as passive. These are `passive' constructions which have no active counterparts. Consider another example:

His duty is fulfilled. The sentence corresponds rather to He has fulfilled his duty rather than to He fulfills his duty.

M. Blokh thinks that the grammatical status of a construction is determined not by the meaning in isolation; it is determined by the semantic properties of its constituents, its participial part in particular. If the participle expresses a process, then the whole construction is passive and if the participle expresses a result, the whole construction is a nominal predicate. Cf.

You are mistaken. vs. I was often mistaken for my friend.

As for the sentence The door was closed, the participle is wholly neutralized and only a living context may deneutralize it both ways. Cf.

The door was closed by the janitor.

The door is often closed.

The door on the left was closed, and the door on the right was open.

To `voice stimulating' means belong the forms of the future, the progressive and the perfect.

The main differences between the two types of passives are:

1. Get-passives are characteristically used in sentences involving adversity or benefit (e.g. Kim got sacked. vs. Kim got promoted);

2. Get-passives tend to be avoided in formal style.

However, get is not a grammatical word-morpheme; it is not devoid of lexical content. Hence, it is not an analytic construction in this sense (Gregory Ward, Betty Birner, Rodney Huddleston, 2002).

Opinions differ as to the number of voices in Modern English. Most linguists recognize only two voices - active and passive. Some (e.g. B. Ilyish) speak of the reflexive voice which shows that the process passes on to the subject, e.g. John is shaving himself.

Transformationally, John is shaving himself derives from John + pres. be + ing shave + John. The derivation shows that John is both the Subject and the Objective Complement, or, in semantic terms, John is both the Agent and the Affected (patient). This is an explicitly reflexive construction, i.e. a construction in which the Affected is actualized as a reflexive pronoun. This function may not be realized in the surface structure, i.e. reflexivity may not be stated explicitly, e. g.

He never shaves before lunch.

Inexplicit-reflexive constructions are not very common in English.

The analyst is faced with the linguistic status of self-pronouns. The problem is whether self-pronouns used in such sentences as John is shaving himself are auxiliary words (grammatical word-morphemes) used for forming a special voice of the verb, thus making part of an analytic verb form, or words performing the function of a separate part of the sentence, i.e. the Objective Complement.

We can hardly prove that self-pronouns, although weakened semantically, have turned into a kind of grammatical word-morphemes. As is rightly pointed out by B. Khaimovich and B. Rogovskaya, If we regard washed himself as an analytical word, it is necessary to admit that the verb has the categories of gender (washed himself - washed herself), person - non-person (washed himself - washed itself), that the categories of number and person are expressed twice in the word washes himself. The existence of such sentences as She washed herself and the baby clearly demonstrates that self-pronouns function as the Objective Complement of the verb.

The other voices distinguished in English are reciprocal and middle. The reciprocal voice is expressed with the help of reciprocal pronouns added to a verb, e.g.

They kissed each other.

The problem is similar to that of the reflexive voice - are reciprocal pronouns each other or one another grammatical word morphemes or lexical words? Examples such as They kissed each other and the child suggest that the pronouns cannot be treated as grammatical word morphemes.

The so-called `middle' voice1 can be illustrated by such sentences as The door opened. Semantically, this sentence reminds us of the passive sentence proper; yet it cannot be completed with the by-construction: The door opened by the wind, only The door was opened by the wind. Examples of that kind have been treated in the linguistic literature as the notional passive or activo-passive constructions. In semantic syntax, they are related to the corresponding causative sentences:

The wind opened the door. - The door opened.

Transformationally, The door opened is obtained by the deletion of the Agent wind and the rearrangement of the remaining parts. It will be noted that the semantic relation between the verb opened and the noun the door is the same in both sentences. The verb that is in a position to construct such sentences is referred to as ergative, and such sentences are referred to as ergative pairs.

There is one more `middle' voice construction in English which is also mentioned in the literature in connection with the category of voice. Consider:

The play acts well.

The book is selling excellently.

The fabric washes easily.

The door won't open.

Glass breaks easily.

Such sentences express a characteristic property of the entity realized by the adjuncts well, excellently, easily. Semantically, such sentences are similar to the type of sentence discussed above. However, there is a difference: sentences of the type The door opened can be easily rewritten as passive sentences proper The door opened vs. The door was opened. As for the type The play acts well, the passive transformation is not always possible. Cf.

Glass breaks easily. vs. Glass can be broken easily. But:

This novel reads very well vs. This novel can be read very well.

Neither the sentence-type The door opened nor The door won't open can be regarded as passive sentences proper, despite similarity in meaning, for the simple reason that they cannot be completed with the by-agent construction. The suppression of the Agent imparts a new meaning to the sentence: the meaning of a characteristic property. According to Halliday (1967), this type of verb is especially frequent in simple present tense, particularly in negative sentences where the form is don't/won't and not can't; it is not, however, restricted to these verbal forms, and may in fact occur with any tense form, especially with certain - ly adverbs. The scholar calls the type of verbal form process-oriented in contradistinction to the agent-oriented type in The clothes were washed. To process-oriented forms we can also add forms in The door opened, The wheel is turning. However, these `self-acting' processes differ from The door won't open which implies that it is due to some property of the door that I cannot open it. In Armenian and in Russian, the equivalent of the so-called process-oriented forms may take the form of a reflexive. Cf.

The fabric washes easily. vs. ??? ????? ???? ? ????????: o aeua eo cupaec.

Armenian speakers generally avoid using the reflexive verb under the circumstances, giving priority to non-reflexive forms - active or passive, e.g. ??? ????? ???? ? ??????:

The passive voice is extensively used in Modern English. There are many more passive constructions in English than in Russian. We know that in Armenian only the direct object of an active construction may be used as subject of a parallel passive construction.

??????????? ??????? ?? ??? ??????????????? ????: ??? ??????????????? ???? ?? ?????:

In English we may place in the centre of our attention as subject of a passive construction not only such an object (person or thing) which in a parallel active construction would be a direct object, but also an indirect. Moreover, even intransitive verbs with prepositional objects may be used in the passive. Thus we see that with regard to voice the division of verbs into subjective and objective, and not into transitive or intransitive, is the most important division for Modern English, as any objective verb can form a passive construction:

Ac t i v e: The student wrote that exercise yesterday (direct object).

P a s s i v e: That exercise was written yesterday.

A c t i v e: I showed him (indirect object) his mistakes.

P a s s i v e: He was shown his mistakes.

Ac t i v e: People spoke much about that book (prepositional object).

P a s s i v e: The book was much spoken about.

2. The Category of Mood

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].

The category of mood has been given various definitions. One of them reads: The category of mood expresses the relation of the action to reality as stated by the speaker. In other words, 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 (the indicative mood), or treating it as an imaginary phenomenon, i. e. the subject of a hypothesis, speculation, desire (the imperative mood, the subjunctive mood). This system of three moods is typical of practical grammar courses.

The imperative mood in English is represented by the base form of the verb, or the bare infinitive, e. g. Come! There are also lexico-grammatical forms of the imperative with the verb let, e. g.: Let the children do it; Let's go and have some coffee. The imperative mood forms are limited in their use to one type of sentences, namely, imperative sentences. Most British and American scholars do not recognize the verbal category of the imperative mood, they prefer to speak about the imperative sentences as a special type of utterances.

The subjunctive mood has its own problems. It can be expressed by both synthetic forms (infinitive, were, the past indefinite) and analytical forms (should/would + infinitive). The latter are not recognized by many British and American scholars because they are homonymous to the word-combinations of modal verbs with the infinitive.

There are the following moods in English: the direct moods - the indicative and the imperative; the oblique moods-subjunctive I, subjunctive II, the suppositional and the conditional.

2.1 Mood in English and Armenian

The indicative mood

The indicative mood shows that the speaker considers the action or state denoted by the predicate as an actual fact and affirms or negates its existence in the present, past or future:

The forces of the peace camp are growing in numbers and strength from day to day. The Moscow Kremlin was founded in the 12th century. Tomorrow in the small hours we shall be nearing the sea. She has not finished her task yet.

In languages, the indicative is known as the most common mood, since most statements and questions are expressed in this mood. As opposed to English, which has two types of present tense, namely the present indefinite [I go] and the present continuous [I am going], Armenian has only one present tense equivalent to both English present tenses. The Armenian present tense is a complex formation which combines the auxiliary verb ?? I am and the present participle or past participle, which is built from the infinitive stem of the verb and the ending -???.

???? - ????? - ????? ?? (indicative present)

???? -????? -????? ?? (indicative past, imperfect)

?????? ?? (indicative future)

?????? ?? (indicative future imperfect)

The indicative mood is widely used in Modern English. As has already been stated the verb in the indicative mood has three primary tenses and three secondary (perfect) tenses, two aspect forms-common and continuous, and two voice forms-active and passive.

The imperative mood

1. In the imperative mood the speaker urges the person addressed to fulfill an action. This may be expressed in the form of a command, a request, a warning, etc.

The imperative mood has only one simple form for the second person singular and plural, and is the plain base form of the verb:

Hurry! Leave the door open. Give me what help you can.

Spare a little time. Go down the field and tell them to begin.

Mind the whitewash!

In the 1st and 3rd person the combination infinitive, an equivalent of the imperative, is used:

Let him do this work. Let the boys get their boat out. Let her translate the leading article. Let us leave this place.

In Armenian these can be rendered assertively or prohibitively.

Assertive commands are mainly expressed by the imperative mood, which has two second - person forms in Armenian: singular and plural.

1. Imperative Singular:

a) Regular verbs form their singular imperative forms by replacing the infinitive endings -?? with -???, and -?? with -??.

????? - ??????: ?????? -??????:

b) Verbs with the suffixes -?? - -?? -, -? - and -? - form the singular imperative by adding to the aorist stem the ending -???.

??????? -??????-????????

c) Verbs with the causative suffix -?? - add to the aorist stem the ending -???.

????????? -????????-??????????

2. Imperative Plural

a) Regular verbs are derived from the aorist stem and take the ending -???:

????? -?????? -????????

b) Irregular verbs normally use the aorist stem for both singular and plural imperatives:

??? -???-??? or ????/ ?????

2. The subject of an imperative is seldom expressed unless it is emphatic. In Old English the pronoun-subject was generally placed after the verb. This word order is still found in some set phrases: Look you! Mind you! Go you!

In Modern English it is placed before the verb in the usual place of the subject:

You take my place on the bench. You keep up fire. You sit here. You bring my book to-morrow. Never you mind what I came here for. You go, Madeleine said, while Dick and I stay here and make tea.

3. The negative imperative is formed by means of the auxiliary to do even if we have the verb to be which in the indicative mood does not require that auxiliary:

Don't be late. (Compare: I am not late.) Do not forget. Do not make that mistake again. Do not fail to be there. Don't be so noisy. Unless the air is warm do not go out in the open.

Prohibitive commands in Armenian are initiated by the prohibitive particle ??? don't. Most regular verbs derive their prohibitive singular from their assertive forms:

?????? -??? ?????, ??? -??? ???

e) Verbs with the suffixes -??-, -?? - and -?? - form their prohibitive singular by adding to the infinitive stem the ending -? or -?.

??????? -??? ??????

The plural prohibitive uses the infinitive stem by replacing the infinitive endings -?? with -??, and -?? with -??. However, -???? and -???? forms are also possible:

????? - ??? ????? or ??? ???????

4. The emphatic imperative is formed with the help of the auxiliary verb to do, followed by the infinitive:

Do tell me what he said. Do be silent.

5. Will you? very often follows the imperative. In such imperative sentences the order becomes modified by the addition of will you? into a kind of request:

Bring me my spectacles, will you? Just give me some money, will you?

2.2 The oblique moods

The function of the oblique moods is to represent something in the speaker's mind not as a real fact, but as a wish, purpose, supposition, doubt or condition, problematic or contrary to fact. When the speaker expresses his wish by using one of the oblique moods, he merely communicates to the hearer what he considers desirable. This is the main difference between the oblique moods and the imperative. When using the imperative mood the speaker directly urges the person addressed to fulfill his order or request.

Be quiet! - Here I want to produce an immediate effect, to bring about some actual changes in the existing state of things; I want a noisy person to become quiet as the result of my urging him to be so.

I wish you were quiet.-Here I merely inform the hearer of what I consider desirable, indicating at the same time that my wish contradicts the actual state of things (=you are not quiet).

I wish it were spring all the year round.-Here I communicate to the hearer a desire of mine which is a matter of mere imagination and can never be fulfilled.

It is impossible that he should have said such a thing.-Here I express my doubt with regard to his having said such a thing.

If it were not so cold, I should go out.-It is cold and I don't go out; I only imagine the possibility of my going out if the weather were different from what it actually is.

It is necessary that you should go there.-Here I make a statement of what I consider to be indispensable, leaving the question of its realization open.

There are four oblique moods in Modern English, of which two are synthetical and two analytical.

The synthetical moods are: subjunctive I and subjunctive II.

The analytical moods are: the conditional and the suppositional.

The Synthetical Moods

Subjunctive i and subjunctive ii

Historically the forms he be-he were, he have-he had, etc., were tense forms (present and past) of one mood-the subjunctive.

But in the course of time their meaning has changed, they no longer indicate distinctions of time but express different modality.

The form he be is used with reference to a n y t i m e indicating supposition or uncertainty:

It is strange (was, will be) that he be late.

The form he w e r e is often used with regard to the present indicating unreality: If he w e r e at home, he would see her. I wish she w e r e here.

Taking into consideration this historical change of meaning (time distinctions have become modal distinctions) we consider it advisable to regard these two forms (he be-he were, he have-he had, etc.) as two distinct moods. Preserving the traditional name subjunctive, we shall call these two moods subjunctive I (be) and subjunctive II (were).

Subjunctive I and subjunctive II do not only express different modality but also differ in style.

S u b j u n c t i v e I is rather obsolete in Modern English; it may be found as a survival in poetry and high prose:

Be his banner unconquered, resistless his spear. (W. Scott.)

It is also used in the language of official documents (treaties, manifestoes, resolutions, etc.):

Let us unite our efforts and demand that the war now devastating Korea, a war that tomorrow may set the world ablaze, cease now. (Manifesto to Peoples of the World, Second World Congress of Partisans of Peace.)

S u b j u n c t i v e II is a living form which is used in colloquial speech and literary style as well:

If I were not so busy, I should come.

As I heard the waves rushing along the sides of the ship and roaring in my very ear, it seemed as if Death were raging round this floating prison seeking for his prey. (Irving)

In Armenian, the subjunctive mood has two basic paradigms: a) the subjunctive future and b) the subjunctive past.

Subjunctive I

1. S u b j u n c t i v e I represents an action as problematic, but not as contradicting reality. It is used to express order, request, suggestion, supposition.

If the weather be fine tomorrow, we shall go to the country (I am not quite certain what the weather will be like to-morrow but its being fine is not excluded). I suggest that he do the work (I make a statement of my suggestion, the fulfillment of which I consider desirable).

Subjunctive I has also o p t a t i v e meaning (??????? ?????):

Long live the forces of peace! Success attend you!

2. Subjunctive I has not tenses, the same form being used for the present, past and future:

He orders that we be present. He ordered that we be present.

It is necessary that you be present at our meeting tomorrow.

3. The formal difference between subjunctive I and the indicative mood has almost disappeared in Modern English. The remaining forms in which subjunctive I differs from the present indicative are:

a) In the verb to be: I be, he (she, it) be, we be, you be, they be.

b) In all other verbs where the form of the third person singular has no s-inflexion and thus does not differ from the first and second person: he have, he speak, he go.

4. In Modern English subjunctive I is rapidly falling into disuse.

In many cases where it was used in the earlier periods of the language we find now the indicative, subjunctive I being preserved only in elevated prose and poetry or in the language of official documents:

Here will I stand till Caesar pass along. (Shakespeare)

Compare with present day English: J shall stand here till the car passes.

If in this heart a hope be dear,

That sound shall charm it forth again;

If in these eyes there lurk a tear,

'Twill flow and cease to burn my brain. (Byron)

Subjunctive I is used here as a poetic survival, since the indicative mood is now the usual form in complex sentences with a conditional clause of real condition:

If you have time, you must read this book. If she is at home, I shall see her.

In other cases, where modality has to be expressed, the uncolloquial subjunctive I is usually replaced either by the suppositional mood or by free combinations of modal verbs with the infinitive (modal phrases):

He ordered that we be present (subjunctive I). He ordered that we should be present (the suppositional mood). We shall start tomorrow though it rain (subjunctive 1). We shall start tomorrow though it should rain (the suppositional mood). It is necessary that we be present (subjunctive I). It is necessary that we should be present (the suppositional mood). Whoever you be, you have no right to do such a thing (subjunctive I). Whoever you may be, you have no right to do such a thing (modal phrase).

Subjunctive II

1. Subjunctive II represents an action as contrary to reality:

I wish he were with us (my desire contradicts the actual state of things-he is not with us). If he had been in town yesterday, he would have come (the condition stated in the ?/-clause is an unreal condition-he was not in town yesterday).

2. Subjunctive II has two tenses: the present and the past.

The forms of the present subjunctive II do not differ from the forms of the past indicative. The only exception is the verb to be in which some forms of the present subjunctive II differ from the forms of the past indicative:

The present subjunctive II: / were, he (she, it) were.

The past indicative: / was, he (she, it) was.

The difference concerns only the singular; in the plural the forms of both moods coincide:

The present subjunctive II: we were, you were, they were.

The past indicative: we were, you were, they were.

In all the other verbs the forms of the present subjunctive II are homonymous with the forms of the past indicative.

The present subjunctive II: I spoke, I wrote.

The past indicative: I spoke, / wrote.

If it were not so late, I should stay. If I were not preparing for my report, 1 should gladly go with you. If he had lime, he would read this article today. If she understood the rule, she would not make these mistakes.

There is an increasing tendency to substitute the form was for were in the singular of the present subjunctive II on the analogy of all other verbs, in which subjunctive II is homonymous with the past indicative:

If I had time, 1 should go with you (the present subjunctive II).

I had no time yesterday (the past indicative). If I was (instead of were) at home, I should see her (the present subjunctive II). I was at home yesterday (the past indicative).

The past subjunctive II is homonymous with the past perfect indicative in all verbs:

I wish I had not mentioned it at all (the past subjunctive II).

She told me that she had not mentioned those facts in her report (the past perfect indicative).

1. The subjunctive future in Armenian

The subjunctive future represents simple forms consisting of the infinitive stem and personal endings. There are two sets:

1) those containing -? - (1st conjugation): ???? - ????, ???? etc.,

2) those containing -? - (2nd conjugation): ?????? - ??????, ?????? etc.

2. The subjunctive past

The subjunctive past forms are also simple and consist of the infinitive stem and a set of special personal endings. There are two sets:

1) those containing -? - (1st conjugation) ???? ????, ????? etc.

2) those containing -? - (2nd conjugation) ?????? ???????, ???????? etc.

Uses of the subjunctive future

In Armenian, both the future and past subjunctive have a wide range of applications with various meanings. Most commonly, they appear in subordinate clauses.

The subjunctive future has

a) an optative meaning expressing a wish or an urge that can be made in the form of a statement or question:

???? ?????? ???? ??: ?????, ?? ?????:

Let me come and see what's on. Should I say it or not?

b) a mandative meaning used in subordinate clauses starting with the conjunction ?? that to express a command, a suggestion, a blessing or a curse:

?????? ????, ?? ????? ??: ?????? ???? ?? ????????:

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