The category of Mood — страница 6

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conspire, etc. It is natural, therefore, that in Modern English the verb is most closely connected with its subject, which may be left out only when the. doer of the action is quite clear from the context. 3. The Subjunctive Mood Probably the only thing linguists are unanimous about with regard to the subjunctive mood is that It represents an action as a 'non-fact', as something imaginary, desirable, problematic, contrary to reality. In all other respects opinions differ. To account for this difference of opinion it is necessary to take into consideration at least two circumstances: 1) The system of the subjunctive mood in Modern English has been and still is in a state of development. There are many elements in it which are rapidly falling into disuse and there are new elements

coming into use. 2) The authors describing the subjunctive mood often make no distinction between language and speech, system and usage. The opposition of the three moods as systems is mixed up with detailed descriptions of the various shades of meaning certain forms express in different environments. The development of the modal verbs and that of the subjunctive mood – the lexical and morphological ways of expressing modality – have much in common. The original 'present tense' forms of the modal verbs were ousted by the 'past tense' forms (may, can). New 'past tense' forms were created (could, might, must, ought). The new 'past tense' forms must and ought have again superseded their 'present tense' opposites and are now the only forms of these verbs. The forms be, have,

write, go, etc., which were originally forms of the 'present tense', 'subjunctive mood' grammemes, have suffered a similar process and are now scarcely used in colloquial English. They have become archaic and are found as survivals in poetry, high prose, official documents and certain set expressions like Long live…, suffice it to say…, etc. The former 'past tense subjunctive' has lost its 'past' meaning, and its forms are mostly used to denote an action not preceding the moment of speech. The new analytical forms with should have replaced the former present subjunctive in popular speech. Compare the archaic Take heed, lest thou fall (Maxwell) and the usual Take heed, lest you should fall. In American English where many archaic features are better preserved (Cf. gotten for

got) the former present tense forms are more common. E. g. She demanded furiously that the old man. be left alone. (Dreiser). Some new elements have come and are still coming into the system of the subjunctive mood. In Old English the subjunctive mood system did not contain any 'person' opposemes. They were introduced later together with should and would, but these distinctions are observed only in a few types of sentences. With the loss of the – en suffix of the plural the subjunctive mood system lost all number opposemes in Middle English. At present such opposemes are being introduced together with the word was as opposed to were. E. g. You'd be glad if I w a s dead. (Bennett). Barring the archaic 'present tense' forms, the' subjunctive mood system of Modern English makes

use of those forms which express a 'past tense' meaning in the indicative mood system. Since they are not opposed to the 'present tense' and 'future tense' grammemes, they have no 'tense' meaning. What unites them is the meaning of 'irreality' as opposed to the meaning of 'reality' common to all the indicative mood grammemes. Having no 'tense' opposemes the subjunctive mood system makes extensive use of 'order' opposemes. The 'perfect' forms are used to express an action imagined as prior to some other action or event. E. g. The Married Woman's Property Act would so have interfered with him if he hadn't mercifully married before it was passed. (Galsworthy). The 'perfect' forms, naturally, express actions imagined as prior to the event of speaking, i. e. actions imagined in the

past. E.g. If I had known that, I s ho u I d have acted differently. It is strange t/iat he s h o u I d have spoken so. The non-perfect forms do not express priority. The action they denote may be thought of as simultaneous with some event or even following it. The order of the action in such cases is expressed not by the form of the verb but by the whole situation or lexically. Cf. I wish he were here now. I wish he were here tomorrow. Even if he c a m e to-morrow that will be too Me. (Ruck). The 'passive voice' and 'continuous aspect' meanings are expressed much in the same way as in the indicative mood system. E. g. In a moment he would have been drowned. (Braddon). She sat not reading, wondering if he were coming in… (Galsworthy). The various shades of meaning subjunctive