Since language is an integral part of the human cognitive system, the organization of which determines the area of interaction between the observer and the environment, the function of language is directly related to human cognitive activity. Accordingly, everything that a person expresses through language is the result of his cognitive activity. The construction of the statement and its implementation are aimed at realizing, mainly, the pragmatic goals of the speaker. Speaking about the choice of the tense form of the verb when constructing an utterance, A.B. Kravchenko notes "the decisive role of the pragmatic perspective, due to the ratio of the observer and the speaker".
The nature of the interaction between the figures of the observer and the speaker, which determines the use of certain structures of knowledge, can be represented as follows: a) the observer and the speaker coincide; b) the observer and the speaker do not match; c) the opposition of the observer to the speaker is neutralized. Building a pragmatic perspective of the statement is always carried out relative to the position of the observer. When the observer and the speaker coincide, we can speak of a simple pragmatic perspective. If the figure of the observer is different from the figure of the speaker, a complex pragmatic perspective is built.
Differentiated interaction between the observer and the speaker can be seen in the example of the functioning of impersonal forms of the verb.
1. Coincidence of the figures of the observer and the speaker (observer = speaker):
I looked out from the window of my room and saw the sun shining on the green lawn.
The statement is made in the first person. The semantics of the verbs look and see contain an indication of the direct perception of the situation by the speaker. In this case, the figures of the observer and the speaker coincide. Here we can talk about a simple pragmatic perspective.
2. Mismatch between the figures of the observer and the speaker (observer = speaker):
Then he saw her: her disreputable car shunting towards him down the lane marked "Buses Only" and Ann at the wheel staring the wrong way.
In this example, the speaker (author of the text) describes a situation seen by another person (he saw). Based on or referring to the experience of another observer, the speakers build a complex pragmatic perspective.
3. Neutralization of opposition of the observer to the speaker:
That call Jim by his nickname was insubordinate, but boys in sick-bay feel free from discipline.
The interaction and correlation of the figures of the observer and the speaker can be represented as the following diagram, where the entire space surrounding the individual is the sphere of interactions of the observer. Any actions or phenomena that fall within the sphere of interactions of the observer constitute the real present of the observer and fill his perceptual space.
"don't see you dying yet awhile", said Dr. Quimper.
"Why did she go so abruptly?" «It wasn't so abrupt. I saw it coming.
She didn't really like me, and she didn't like my business."
Regardless of the tense in which the verb-predicate is used (in the present or past tense), the author of the statement uses the present participle form. In the first statement, the verb see is used in the sense of "to imagine something. based on observation» and serves to express inferential knowledge based on physical observation: «what I see now does not suggest your imminent death»; this is what the form dying indicates in accordance with its categorical meaning. In other words, although the act of dying itself is hypothetical and is not part of the speaker's perceptual space, the present participle, by its grammatical meaning, categorizes the speaker at the same time as an observer of the situation in which the statement I don't see you dying yet awhile is carried out. In the second example, the verb see is used in a similar sense, but already in the past tense, since the speaker (the author of the statement / saw it coming) describes himself as an observer in the past — while the form coming retains its categorical meaning, indicating not the past relative to the speaker, but on the current perception of the observer in the past. In such cases, a simple pragmatic perspective is built: «Present speaker = present/past observer».
In the event that the speaker refers in his statement to another observer (the observer himself may be), their ratio can be represented as follows:
The delimitation of time on this axis will go relative to the sphere of interactions of the speaker, i.e. the speaker sets the time frame of the utterance in terms of how he relates to the situation he is describing.
The pragmatic perspective of the utterance always implies the relation of the observer and the speaker. When the figures of the observer and the speaker coincide, a simple pragmatic perspective of the statement is built, and if they do not match, we are dealing with a complex pragmatic perspective, when the speaker operates with the knowledge of another observer, projecting it onto his own experience. The pragmatic factors Observer and Speaker are always present in a speech situation, therefore they cannot but manifest themselves in the features of the linguistic categorization of reality.
By and large, the solution of the problem of linguistic meaning in general, and the meaning of non-personal forms, in particular, is impossible without considering these factors.
The role of the pragmatic perspective is clearly visible when analyzing/comparing the Present Participle and Past Participle forms, since the opposition of these two forms is based on morphological opposition. The suffixes "-ing" and "ed/en" added to the stem of the verb express their grammatical meaning. They are epistemic indicators pointing to the sensual givenness of a process or a characteristic that has arisen. The words present and past themselves, which define temporal relations, are nothing more than spatial terms.
The term present means «what is in front of the senses», i.e., the name Present Participle has as its referent a process that is present in a particular situation, regardless of the temporal characteristics of the situation as it is categorized by the speaker. The meaning of the word past is «what is behind [feelings]».
Categorization of reality takes place «by phase»: a person perceives successively replacing each other parts of the world (fragments of reality) that are in spatial relations with the subject of perception. Therefore, that fragment of reality, which is directly an object of sensory perception, is
the present, and the fragment of reality that was the object of perception is the past [Kravchenko, 1996]. Whereas the referent of the Present Participle is seen as something directly observed in the given (described) situation, the referent of the Past Participle is something that goes beyond the given (observed and described) situation. In the latter case, the situation described has clear indications that the event has taken place (according to the interpreter's experience and knowledge of the world), but in this case is not part of the situation. When we say or hear the sire is broken, we associate the attribute («broken») with the item «sire» because we know from our experience that the structural integrity of this artifact can only be changed as a result of a certain event («breaking»). Using the Past Participle form of the verb break, we indicate the origin of the feature that characterizes the subject.
In this case, the sacrament (Past Participle) retreats to the process through the name of the state resulting from the commission of this process.
The meaning of the Present Participle form is associated with an indication of the observability of the situation described in the statement, i.e. either the narration is conducted on behalf of the observer / speaker, or the speaker (the author of the text) describes the situation, as if «looking» at it through the eyes of another observer,
In a construction with the Present Participle form, an indication of the observer can be carried out both lexically and grammatically. For example, in the semantics of the verbs of sensory perception, there is initially an indication of the observer and the directly perceived nature of the action.
For example, "Does this seem strange to you? It was a terror to me. But once I stood in the desert, empty and solitary, I was calm. I was even whole. I remember the morning after the crisis when I looked out from the window of my room and saw the sun shining on the green lawn. I said to myself, «I have seen the worst that can happen to me, and I am still here. The rest, whatever it is, I can endure."
In this example, the speaker reports some information about the situation in which he was in the past, while the observer of this situation was himself — an indication of this is carried out both lexically (looked… and saw…), and grammatically — through the participle form shining, in which the attribute "observability" is categorized.
In addition to the actual verbs of sensory perception, the reference to observability (and, therefore, to the observer) is contained in the meaning of many verbs, such as find, detect, discover, appear, onomatopoeic phrasal verbs of motion such as rattle by, screech around, etc. For example:
Not found the Doctor reading in his arm-chair at the window.
Based on the analysis, we identify the following contexts for the use of participles:
1. Coincidence of the figures of the speaker and the observer (speaker = observer):
- statements from the first person (the subject is expressed by a pronoun):
Modern English is characterized by constructions in which the Present Participle form is used after the perception verbs see, hear, watch, look, glance, etc., which are also called «cognitive» verbs. In the semantics of these verbs, there is an indication of a certain source of information, a specific observer, expressed in the same sentence. Their meaning includes a component that refers to a certain spatial localization of the action: the action falls into the sphere (a) visual, (b) auditory, or (c) tactile perception.
I remember the morning after the crisis when I looked out from the window of my room and saw the sun shining on the green lawn.
- statements in which the narration is conducted from a person who is not syntactically expressed in the sentence. Such statements are made on behalf of the author of the text / statement, when he, not being a participant in the described situation, makes the narrative as picturesque as possible so that the reader feels like an accomplice of events, immersed in the described situation:
We crossed the low pass and began the descent into the valley. Above its floor, layers of brown dust were stacked in the air, obscuring the mountains on the far side. [McDonald, p. eighteen]
Directly observed in this example is the dust that has risen into the air in a column and covers the slopes of the mountains. The meaning of the verb obscure is «to close, obscure, obscure», i.e. make invisible; it is impossible to qualify an object as invisible if it was not previously fully or partially visible. The observer (we) perceives the changes resulting from the rising dust.
2. Non-coincidence of the figures of the speaker and the observer (the speaker f the observer)
When the figures of the speaker and the observer do not match, we distinguish two types of contexts in which the figure of the observer can be identified (in this case we are talking about a certain observer), and in which the figure of the observer is unidentifiable (i.e. the observer is not defined); in the latter case, any person, a member of the society to which the speaker belongs, can act as an observer.
The opposition of the simple and perfect forms of the participle is based on the aspectual opposition: the grammatical meaning of the perfect form is to indicate the precedence of an action or process that led to certain observable results in a situation that the speaker represents as the actual present of the observer. The observer's field of vision does not include the action itself, but the observed attribute of an object, situation, state, etc., which allows the observer to associate his experience with one or another action (process) as the cause of the attribute.
The grammatical meaning of the indefinite form of the participle is an indication of the observability of the action itself, the process, the state in the actual present of the observer, which may or may not coincide with the speaker. Thus, the indefinite and perfect participles — in interaction with the personal forms of the verb — participate in the creation of a pragmatic perspective of the sentence (text), introducing the figure of the observer. The observer and the speaker form a kind of axes of cognitive coordinates that allow the addressee of the text (reader) to navigate in who is the source of information in each particular case — the speaker / observer (author of the text), another person whose experience as an observer is referred to by the speaker (actor, character), or an indefinite (abstract) observer as a generalized image of a person who has experience acquired in interactions with the world (and observation is, first of all, the basis of any experience).
As a result of the analysis, we concluded that the system-linguistic meaning of the simple and complex forms of the present participle (Present Participle) lies in the aspect opposition (as it is interpreted in the cognitive theory of time and aspect (Kravchenko et al. 2010), based on a certain the source of information and the nature of the categorization of reality by the subject of perception. The use of a simple or complex form of participle is determined by the pragmatic perspective of the sentence.
Within the framework of this article, we have shown that the grammatical status of the impersonal forms of the English verb is determined by the expression of the opposition of the observer and the speaker, which is important for the language, and which has a systemic character. This opposition reflects two types of knowledge (phenomenological and structural), which constitute the cognitive basis of the grammatical category of aspect. The morphological opposition "participle — infinitive" is a linguistic realization of this cognitive structure. The ratio of the speaker (the author of the text) and the observer (the source of information reported in the text) sets the pragmatic perspective of the statement, in the construction of which simple and complex forms of the participle and the infinitive play an important role. Thus, a more adequate explanation of the meaning of various forms of the participle and the infinitive and the features of their functioning has been proposed, which makes it possible to optimize the method of teaching English grammar in terms of verb forms.