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Herald

of L'viv Polytechnic National University

"Problems of Ukrainian Terminology"

 869


Ginzburg M. About active, passive and resultative construction in Ukrainian professional texts against a background of the other languages //  Website of TC STTS: Herald of L'viv Polynechnic National University "Problems of Ukrainian Terminology". 2017. # 869.


 

Mykhajlo Ginzburg

Gas Transportation Institute, Kharkiv

 

About active, passive and resultative constructions in Ukrainian professional texts against the background of the other languages

 

Ginzburg M. D., 2017

 

The article compares a classic example of syntactic constructions in 5 languages, specifically, English, German, Russian, Polish and Ukrainian. These constructions express 1) terminative transitive action, 2) resulting event and 3) being in a resulting state. Its demonstrated that if a language has the category of voice, active and passive constructions are used to represent the same action or event from two different viewpoints, whereas Ukrainian two-component constructions with passive adjectival represent resulting state, i.e. they are resulting and not passive. The conclusion is made that the Ukrainian language has no passive constructions at all, because neither constructions with passive sia-verbs nor three-component constructions with passive adjectival (both considered to be passive in traditional grammars) comply with the norms of Ukrainian. Nonetheless, the Ukrainian language has means to efficiently translate passive and resulting constructions from foreign languages.

Keywords: Ukrainian, English, German, Russian, Polish, syntactic construction, three-component construction, two-component construction, active, passive, resultative.

 

The appearance of this article was determined by the purely practical need to correctly translate English-language and German-language standards, which abound in passive and resultative constructions. These two types of syntactic constructions are commonly confused; they are both often misinterpreted as passive constructions, as well as they are translated into Ukrainian accordingly.

The article is based on three linguistic concepts:

1) the universal theory of voice in the languages with different structures by prof. Oleksandr Kholodovych and his disciples;

2) aspectual ideas of macro-situation;

3) the ideas of the leading Ukrainian grammarians: I. Vykhovanets and K. Horodenska;

The article is illustrated by a textbook example of macro-situation. It involves three situations: 1) terminative transitive action, 2) resultative event, 3) being in the resultative state. The syntactic constructions that describe these three situations are compared in five languages: English, German, Russian, Polish and Ukrainian.

Its shown that

   if a language has the category of voice, active and passive constructions are used to represent the same action or event from two different viewpoints. Thats why these two constructions are not semantically completely identical. The active construction represents an action//event in relation to and with regard to its actor. I.e,  as an influence made by the actor (whether named or unnamed in the sentence). The passive construction represents the same action//event in relation to and with regard to its patient. I. e. as an influence over the patient necessarily named in the sentence. The grammatical predicates (main members of sentences) of corresponding active and passive constructions are different forms of the same verb. Thats why in these languages the category of voice is considered to be a morphological verbal category.

   the resultative construction conveys a different situation than active and passive ones, and therefore the resultative constructions cannot be opposed to either active or passive one. From the semantic point of view there are cause-and-effect relation between active and passive constructions, on the one hand, and the resultative one, on the other, and therefore the corresponding syntactic constructions can be formally converted one into another, but it is incorrect to call these as voice transformations or "active-to-passive transformation".

   the Ukrainian two-component constructions with passive perfective dieprikmetniks used as a predicate express resultative state. Thats why they are not passive, but resultative ones.

It has been concluded that the Ukrainian language has no passive constructions at all (as opposed to the English, German, Russian and Polish languages), because neither constructions with passive sia-verbs nor three-component constructions with passive dieprikmetniks (both have been considered to be passive in traditional grammars) comply with the norms of the Ukrainian language.

It has been demonstrated, that the Ukrainian language has efficient means to translate both passive and resultative constructions from foreign languages. Thus, the syntax of Slavic languages provides the speaker with the possibility to omit the actor of the action//event in active constructions without transforming them into passive ones. In particular, in Ukrainian there are definite-personal, indefinite-personal generalized-personal sentences and impersonal sentences with verbal forms in ‑no, ‑to. These are efficient means to translate two-component passive constructions from other languages. Whereas Ukrainian two-component constructions with passive perfective dieprikmetniks used as a predicate are the effective means to translate resultative constructions from other languages.

It is proposed to consolidate this fact in the terminology by removing from the grammatical descriptions of the Ukrainian language such concepts and terms as: the verbal category of voice, active voice, passive voice, passive construction, etc. and, instead, concepts and terms as active construction and resultative construction should be kept to allow typological comparisons with other languages.

 

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