Semantic final: Some general characteristics of the verb phrase in English and Vietnamese

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THÁI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES FINAL ASSIGNMENT SEMANTICS Topic: Some general characteristics of the verb phrase in English and Vietnamese Supervisor Student Date of birth Course Class : : : : : TS Nguyen Thi Dieu Ha Vu Thi Binh Nguyen 07/09/1979 02 (2017-2019) NNA Thai Nguyen, May 2018 1 ABSTRACT In our globalization, the need for developing the relationship between Vietnam and other countries has resulted in a great demand for language studying, especially English studying throughout the country However, English and Vietnamese are two different languages English has different characteristics from those of Vietnamese, for example the grammar, the vocabulary, the pronunciation, the meaning, etc Anyway, whenever talking about characteristics of any language, we should mention the components forming the sentence of that language They may be word phrases such as noun phrase, verb phrase, adjective phrase and adverb phrase, etc Therefore, in order to have a deep look about the verb phrase of English as well as of Vietnamese, I decide to make a research with the topic “A contrastive analysis of English and Vietnamese verb phrases” In this topic, I will present some general characteristics of the verb phrase in English and Vietnamese The purpose of presenting them is to discuss the similarities and differences between them in two aspects: form and meaning Also, I provide some implications for studying the verb phrase effectively in Vietnam I hope that this research will help you distinguish the similarities as well as the differences between verb phrases of the two languages Above all, I this research with the hope that it can help my readers clearer about all the similarities and differences of the verb phrase in English and Vietnamese so that they can avoid making mistakes in their translation between these two languages INTRODUCTION The scope of contrastive analysis is based on the following principles and aspects: - Contrastive analysis of signs and appearances - Contrastive analysis of meanings of components - Contrastive analysis of forms In studying process I have discussed and decided together some methods such as collecting information and data from the Internet, books, websites and finding document from the library Apart from that, I have done exercises and discussed in group In addition, I also consult suggestions from the teacher and ask for advice from the friends To achieve the above aims, I also used to analyze and contrast a lot of verb phrases in English and Vietnamese LITERARTURE REVIEW 3.1 What is the verb phrase? There are many definitions of verb phrases in every aspect Firstly, it is necessary to understand what is verbs and phrase According to Fundamentals of English Traditional Syntax adapted by Tran Huu Manh indicates “A verb is a word (or a part of speech) used to denote action or state, or, otherwise help to complete the meaning of the verb phrase” (Tran, 2008, p.35) In addition, a phrase is a group of words that have a function in a sentence; however, it does not have a subject and verb If it had a subject and a verb, it would be a clause Phrases can function in the sentence like nouns, adverbs, or adjectives Moreover, as Wikipedia in 2009 defined that in linguistics, a verb phrase is a syntactic structure composed of the predicative elements of a sentence and its function is to provide information about the subject of the sentence In the generative grammar framework, the verb phrase is a phrase headed by a verb A verb phrase may be constructed from a single verb; often, however, the verb phrase will consist of various combinations of the main verb and any auxiliary verbs, plus optional specifiers, complements, and adjuncts Especially, a verb phrase concludes three parts: the main verb, the pre-additive elements and the post-elements that express an action or state of being 3.2 The verb phrase in English 3.2.1 The auxiliary verbs The auxiliary verb is the grammatical morpheme carrying information about mood, tense, modality, and voice The mood system in English is divided into four subcategories + The indicative mood A: When will you stop by? B: Sometime after dinner + The interrogative mood Can Rachel recognize him? Who will dance with Rachel? + The imperative mood Forget that! + The subjunctive mood Had I seen you at the party, I’d have introduced you my boyfriend If I had a lot of money, I’d opened a café - Tense systems mark time Tense is an inflection on the verb that indicates the time reference of the expression She went to school yesterday ( Past tense) She often goes to school by bus ( Present tense) She will go to school tomorrow ( Future tense) - The modality system expresses the speakers’ sense of obligation, volition, probability, permission, and ability must/ should ("Obligation"), will ("Volition"), may/ might ("Probability") can/ may ("Permission"), can/ could ("Ability") - Aspect expresses either the completion or the continuation of the process indicated by the verb in English - The perfect aspect which expresses the speakers' sense of completion Rachel has just finished her homework - The progressive aspect expresses the speakers' sense of continuation Rachel is listening to music at the moment - Voice systems allow speakers to view the action of the sentence in different ways without changing the meaning Rachel has read the book four days (Active voice) The book has been read in four days by Rachel (Passive voice) - English also employs the verb to function as a supporting auxiliary in verb phrases In other words, we need in negation and question formation Rachel loves Joe / Rachel doesn’t love Joe / Does Rachel love Joe? 3.2.2 The main verbs The most important part in a verb phrase is the head word In English, the main verb includes five types: - Intransitive verbs are the verbs used without direct object Rachel has just moved - Intensive verbs are the verbs used with complement or adverb Rachel becomes more attractive than ever - Monotransitive verbs are the verbs used with direct object Rachel has just sold her house - Complex transitive verbs: the verbs are used with direct object and complement or adverb Rachel calls her dog Jack - Distransitive verbs: the verbs are used with indirect object and direct object Rachel gives Joe a piece of cake 3.3 The verb phrase in Vietnamese Verb phrases in Vietnamese include three elements: central element, pre-additive element and post-additive element - The central element of Vietnamese verb phrases is divided into five groups Group 1: This kind of verb usually goes with other verbs, not standing alone It includes many different types: ● Modal verbs: phải, nên, cần, dám, có thể, sẽ, định Anh ta cần mua bàn “Cần” is the central element.(C.E) ● Passive: bị, được, mắc, phải Cô tuyên dương “Được” is the C.E ● Verb phrases with two parallelly existential actions: đứng khóc, nằm ngủ, học, chơi, ngồi nghe Anh ta nằm ngủ ghế sofa (Nằm ngủ is the C.E) ● Verb phrases with two actions described by two verbs but the second verb is an additive element (A.E) in sense: ăn đứng, ngã ngồi, đặt nằm, chết đứng Vấp đá, ngã ngồi (Ngã is the C.E and ngồi is the A.E) Group 2: Verbs always go with additive elements ● Verbs describing sense of moving: mở, dậy, kéo, đến, xuống, đi, bưng… Chị đến câu lạc tiếng Anh.(Đi is the C.E and đến is A.E) ● Verbs describing sense of achieving results: hiểu ra, đọc xong, bay mất, nhặt lấy, thu được, tìm thấy Tơi tìm thấy ví.(Tìm is the C.E and thấy is the A.E.) ● Verbs describing sense of affecting two objects: cho, tặng, biếu, lấy, mượn, vay, cầm, xin, gửi Minh mượn Trí xe đạp (C.E: mượn, Obj 1: Trí,Obj 2: xe đạp) ● Verbs describing sense of governing two objects The subject orders the object: bảo, sai, bắt, cho phép, buộc, khiến Cô bắt tơi nói thật (Bắt is the C.E) ● Verbs describing sense of governing an object and connecting with another object: trộn, pha, nối, chắp, hòa Pha cà phê với sữa (Pha is the C.E, Cà phê and sữa are objects.) ● Verbs describing sense of governing additive elements The structure which is used is “A is B” with the meaning of evaluating: coi, bầu, lấy, xem, cử… Xem anh đối tác Lấy anh làm gương Group 3: Combination verbs: chạy chạy vào, bàn qua bàn lại, ngược xuôi, trèo lên tụt xuống Cô chạy chạy vào phục vụ khách Group 4: Verbs describing sense of the state or a period of an action: bắt đầu học, tiếp tục đi, thơi nói, hết chạy, ngừng học Cơ ngừng học piano 3.4 Contrast between English and Vietnamese verb phrases Through this paper, the author intends to contrast between English and Vietnamese verb phrases in two aspects: form and meaning The first aspect to take into consideration when contrasting between English and Vietnamese verb phrases is their forms Learners can easily recognize that both English and Vietnamese verb phrases have three parts: the central element, the pre-additive element, and the post-additive element Among them, the central element must be a verb and it is obligatory while two parts of additive elements can be optional to go with the head verb However, English has the notion of tense such as present tense, past tense and future tense but Vietnamese not In addition, English verb phrases change their form to mark different tenses For example: I am sitting beside Mary (The present continuous tense) I can sit beside Mary in my evening class (The simple present tense) In contrast, Vietnamese verb phrases always keep the same form in every situation; instead Vietnamese uses subordinate words such as “đã, vừa, mới, đang, sẽ” to denote the time For example: Tôi làm tập (I’m doing my homework.) Tối làm tập (This evening, I will my homework.) Similarly, form of the English verb phrase changes in interrogative and negative sentences while Vietnamese also keeps the same form and adds subordinate words, for example: I didn’t see them Tơi khơng nhìn thấy họ Can you speak French?  Bạn nói tiếng pháp khơng? When the verb phrase functions as a subject of the sentence, its form must change to “V-ing” in English but keep the same in Vietnamese For example, in English we say “ Reading is one of my hobbies” but in Vietnamese it is “ Đọc sách thói quen tôi” Moreover, some English verbs must be followed by a preposition, whereas Vietnamese not need, for example: listen to, believe in, approve of, respond to, compare to, introduce to… In addition, there are similarities and differences in form of each part between two languages In both languages, the central part must contain head verbs, some of which must be followed by objects and some of which may not However, in English verb phrases, it contains only one head verb but not a series of verbs like in Vietnamese In other words, unlike English, Vietnamese have form of one verb goes directly after another verb as a range, for example: (+) Chủ nhật tuần sau tụi coi phim They will go to the movie next Sunday (+) Tơi làm chìa khòa  I have lost my key (+) Nó ngủ  He goes to sleep The pre-element of the verb phrase can’t be an adjective in English but it can be in Vietnamese, for example: nhanh khỏi, lâu mòn, khẽ kêu, nhẹ nhàng khuyên bảo Another aspect to consider about English-Vietnamese verb phrases is the similarities and differences in their meaning In general, the verb phrase provides information about the subject of the sentence The pre-additive element usually functions the grammar while the post-additive element functions the meaning However, sometimes the same English verb can go with different prepositions to show different meanings, such as make up, make from, make of, make for, and make off All of them have different meanings Moreover, the meaning of English auxiliaries is much more diversified Although some auxiliaries such as “must, might, need, ought to, should” have the same meaning of obligation to something, their usage depends on the level of obligation, for example, the meaning of “must” shows the strongest obligation among them In contrast, Vietnamese doesn’t have this term but they use subordinate words such as “nên, phải, cần…” to express those meanings Besides, according to Du (2005), some verbs have different meanings like the verb “có” in Vietnamese have both meanings of possession “have ” and existence “is/ are” in English CONCLUSION In conclusion, the verb phrase is a very important component to form sentences Language is the most effective method of communication of human beings However, to understand the structure, the formation, the origin, especially the characteristics of language is not simple at all Actually, English and Vietnamese are different languages For this reason, it is obvious that each of them has its own characteristics That’s reason why making a comparison between the two languages is very difficult In this research paper, the author offered some general knowledge about the verb phrase in English and Vietnamese as well as the contrast between them in their forms and meanings Moreover, the author also suggested some implications for studying languages in Vietnam In general, every language has its own interesting characteristic The important thing is that we need to know how to use them and distinguish the differences as well as the similarities between these languages To sum up, the author hopes that this study will offer some explorations about English-Vietnamese verb phrases as well as provide some useful ideas for language students 10 REFERENCES Beare, K (2009) Verb Structures and Patterns Retrieved December 15th, 2009, from ESLDESK English Verbs Retrieved December 25th, 2009 from James, Carl (1980) Contrastive Analysis Macquarie University Kies, Daniel (1995) The verb phrase Retrieved December, 22, 2009, from Kies,D.(2009) Modern English Grammar Retrieved December 15th, 2009, from Odlin, Terence (1989) Language Transfer Cambridge: Cambridge University Thomson, A J and Martinet, A V (1989) A practical English grammar Oxford: Oxford University Press Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2009) Verb phrase Retrieved December 13th, 2009, from Ha, V B (1999) Văn Phạm Anh Văn Miêu Tả (Các loại Động từ-Cách dùng thì) Ho Chi Minh City: Tre Publishing House 11
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