SYNTACTIC-STYLISTIC ASPECT OF TEACHING ENGLISH NARRATIVE TEXTS AT HIGHER SCHOOLS
One of the linguistic peculiarities of the genre-stylistic typicality of English literary narrative texts which turns their teaching into a problematic task is the abundant use of so called “absolute constructions” that makes the narration expressive and emotional. Besides this, the analysis of empirical data has shown that these constructions are of paramount importance in textbuilding, since, due to their specific sign nature, they can be used successively in a sequential order within the structure of one sentence which results in converting this sentence into a microtext, marked stylistically with syntactic parallelism.
However, in linguistic literature the study of absolute constructions has been limited so far to determining their grammatical (syntactic) functions in a sentence. As a result, a number of interesting problems have been left beyond the interest scopes of scholars. For instance, the linguistic status of absolute constructions has not been defined yet as, due to their specific structure, some linguists consider them as word combinations which perform the functions of a complex adverbial member within the syntactic structure of a sentence, others treat them as subordinate clauses in a complex sentence; and there are only very few scholars who regard these constructions as independent sentences.
The critical review of linguistic literature on the problem and the application of transformational analysis of empirical data have enabled us to determine the linguistic status of absolute constructions and define them as language-in-use constructs created by the act of nominalization. As a result, the predicate in absolute constructions loses modal and temporal characteristics of the finite form of the verb that brings about the loss of communicative autonomy (i.e., the ability of transmitting information independently), though the constructions retain the subject-predicate binary semantic structure that of the proposition with appropriate intonation contour, reflecting in its structure the core semantic relations of target situation or event. Therefore, we consider absolute constructions as complex adverbial members of the syntactic structure of a sentence with the help of which the author either qualifies one of the components of the target situation reflected in the subject-predicate kernel of the sentence or expands the target situation itself making it more precise by creating panoramic background of events and situations against which the plot of the story develops.
Another aspect that calls for immediate attention is the functional-stylistic aspect of absolute constructions in literary narrative texts. We analyse syntactic stylistics of absolute constructions via anthropocentristic-communicative paradigm of linguistic thought as a means of expressing the author’s communicative competence and strategy as well as his/her subjective modality in creating syntactically and intonationally marked expressiveness of the text.