The category of Mood — страница 4

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regard to a moment in the past, as in he works at a factory. He said that he worked at a factory. he will work at a factory. Instead of that an Englishman uses: he worked at a factory. He said that he had worked at a factory. he would work at a factory. Why is the first version impossible, or at least uncommon? Because the tenses of works, worked, will work cannot be used relatively with regard to the past moment indicated by the verb said (as it would be in Russian, for instance). In English they are, as a rule, used absolutely, i.e. with regard to the moment of speech. Therefore a 'present tense' verb may be used here only if the time of the action it expresses includes the moment of speech, which occurs, for instance, in clauses expressing general statements (He said that

water boils at 100o C), in clauses of comparison (Last year he spoke much worse than he does now), and in some other cases. Similarly, a 'future tense' verb may be used here if the action it expresses refers to some time following the moment of speech. E. g. Yesterday I heard some remarks about the plan we shall discuss tomorrow. The past tense of worked in the sentence He said that he worked at a factory also shows the past time not with regard to the time of the action of saying (as would be the case in the Russian sentence он сказал, что работает на заводе), but with regard to the moment of speech. Since English has special forms of the verb to express 'precedence' or 'priority' – the perfect forms – the past perfect is used to indicate that an

action preceded some other action (or event) in the past. He said that he ha d worked at a factory. But both in the principal and in the subordinate clause the tense of the verb is the same – the past tense used absolutely. Summing up, we» may say that a 'past tense' verb is used in an English subordinate clause not because there is a 'past tense' verb in the principal clause, i.e. as a result of the so-called sequence of tenses, but simply in accordance with its meaning of 'past tense'. The category of posteriority is the system of two-member opposemes, like shall come – should come, will be writing – would be writing, showing whether an action is posterior with regard to the moment of speech or to some moment in the past. As we know, a 'past tense' verb denotes an action

prior to the moment of speech and a 'future tense' verb names a posterior action with regard to the moment of speech. When priority or posteriority is expressed in relation to the moment of speech, we call it absolute. But there may be relative priority or posteriority, with regard to some other moment. A form like had written, for instance, expresses an action prior to some moment in the past, i.e. it expresses relative priority. The form should enter expresses posteriority with regard to so Tie past moment, i.e. relative posteriority. The first, member of the opposeme shall enter – should enter has, the meaning of 'absolute posteriority', and the second member possesses the meaning of 'relative posteriority'. These two meanings are the particular manifestations of the general

meaning of the – category, that of 'posteriority'. The grammemes represented by should come, would come are traditionally called the future in the past, a name which reflects their meaning of 'relative posteriority'. But there is no agreement as to the place these grammemes occupy in the system of the English verb. Some linguists 1 regard them as isolated grammemes, outside the system of morphological categories. Others 3 treat them as some kind of 'dependent future tense' and classify them with those 'finite verb forms' which depend on the nature of the sentence. A.I. Smirnitsky tries to prove that they are not 'tense forms' but 'mood forms', since they are homonymous with the so-called 'conditional mood forms'. Cf. I thought it would rain. I think it would rain if it

were not so windy. In our opinion none of these theories are convincing. 1. The grammemes discussed are not isolated. As shown above they belong to the morphological category of posteriority. 2. They are not «tense forms». In the sentences I know she will come. I knew she would come. I had Mown she would come. neither will come – would come, nor knew – had known is a tense opposeme, because the difference between the members of the opposemes is not that of tense. The members of the first opposeme share the meaning of 'future' tense, those of the second opposeme – the meaning of 'past tense'. The only meanings the members of the first opposeme distinguish are those of 'absolute' and 'relative' posteriority. The members of the second opposeme distinguish only the meanings