Název: Some thoughts on the so called complex condensation in modern English
- Několik myšlenek o t. zv. komplexní kondensaci v nové angličtině
- Neskol'ko zamečanij po povodu tak naz. kompleksnoj kondenzacii [i.e. kondensacii] v sovremennom anglijskom jazyke
- Несколько замечаний по поводу так наз. комплексной кондензации [i.e. конденсации] в современном английском языке
Zdrojový dokument: Sborník prací Filozofické fakulty brněnské univerzity. A, Řada jazykovědná. 1955, roč. 4, č. A3, s. -77
Licence: Neurčená licence
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One of the most outstanding features characterizing the English sentence is the tendency to word its predications nominally rather than verbally (see, e. g., G. O. Curme, who points out the preference of English for saying The matter is under consideration, After dinner we had a quiet smoke, I got a good,shaking up, etc., instead of The matter is being considered. After dinner we smoked quietly, I was shaken up thoroughly, etc.). The said tendency is brought into particular prominence if the structure of the English sentence is confronted with those found in some other European languages which, in their turn, show preference for verbal predication. A typical example of such a language is Modern Czech whose outspokenly verbal character was often opposed to the nominal character of English by the late V. Mathesius. More than once he pointed out the important part played in good Czech style by the finite verb, and stressed the fact that this style is notoriously averse to complicated nominal constructions, fairly common in the good style of English. Moreover, in his unpublished lectures he duly emphasized the part played in Modem English by what he called complex condensation phenomena. By this term he meant the introduction into a sentence of a nominal element or phrase enabling the said sentence to do without a subordinate clause the use of which would otherwise be indispensable. As a specimen of such a process of complex condensation one may quote the well known English proverb Barking dogs rarely bite. Its comparison with an equivalent Czech proverb Pes, který štěká, nekouše (A dog that barks does not bite) proves that the English present participle acts here as a means of complex condensation, enabling the sentence to do without a dependent adjective-clause, actually found in the Czech equivalent of the proverb. It appears that a more detailed examination of English and Czech materials, undertaken from the indicated angle, may throw some light on the place and importance attaching to nominal (and also verbal) constructions m English and Czech. An attempt at an examination of the kind is given below: it lies in the nature of the subject matter discussed that within the narrow frame of the present paper we shall often have to confine ourselves to pointing out existing problems and to leave their definite solution to further research.