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Follow-Up Work. Comment on the form classification takes in the extracts below:

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Comment on the form classification takes in the extracts below:

a) There was a fish jumping and a star shining and the lights around the lake were gleaming. Dexter sat beside Judy Jones and she explained how her boat was driven. Then she was in the water, swimming to the floating surf-board with a sinuous crawl. Watching her was without effort to the eye, watching a branch waving or a sea-gull flying. Her arms, burnt to butter-nut, moved sinuously among the dull platinum ripples, elbow appearing first, casting the forearm back with a cadence of falling water, then reaching out and down, stabbing a path ahead. (S.F. Fitzgerald)

b)“I do not mind Mr Darcy’s not talking to Mrs Long, said Mrs Lucas, “but I wish he had danced with Eliza.”

“I believe, ma’am, I may safely promise you never to dance with him.”

“His pride,” said Miss Lucas, “does not offend me so much as pride often does, because there is an excuse for it. One cannot wonder that so very fine young man, with family, fortune, everything in his favour, should think highly of himself. If I may so express, he has a right to be proud.”

“That is very true,” replied Elizabeth, “and I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.”

“If I were as rich as Mr Darcy,” cried a young Lucas, who came with his sisters, “I should not care how proud I was. I would keep a pack of foxhounds, and drink a bottle of wine every day.” (J. Austen)


c)“What’s your first memory?” someone would ask. And she would reply, “I don’t remember.”

“There’s always a memory just behind your first memory, and you can’t quite get at it?”

A memory was by definition not a thing, it was… a memory. A memory now of a memory a bit earlier of a memory before that of a memory way back when.

Martha Cockrane was to live a long time, and in all her years she was never to come across a first memory which was not in her opinion a lie.

This was a true memory, but Martha was suspicious; it was true, but it wasn’t processed. She knew it happened, because it happened several times… (J. Barnes)


d) There had been nothing distinctive in the letter she had written. It had been a mere request for an appointment, with no limit of what lay behind that request. <…> Only the firmness of the handwriting had indicated that Carla Lemarchant was a young woman.

And now here she was in her flesh – a tall, slender young woman in the earlier twenties. (A. Christie)


e) “My dear, you flatter me. I certainly have had my share of beauty, but I do not pretend to be anything extraordinary now. When a woman has five grown-up daughters, she ought to give over thinking of her own beauty.’

“In such cases, a woman has not often much beauty to think of.” (J. Austen)



§ 7. The structure “definite article + noun” and the process of individualisation (specification)

Individualisation (or identification) as a thought process is the final stage of cognizance. It involves taking concepts in the narrowest, i.e. most concrete form, as the reference to them is based on the facts and information either shared by the participants of a communicative act or being introduced in it. Formally, individualisation is expressed by means of nominal forms with the definite article or pronouns of various types (possessive, defining, demonstrative), the latter not being discussed in this paper. (See note 5)

Depending on the type of reference, individualisation may take various forms. Very often nouns with the definite article signal the individualisation of a concept after it has been introduced before either in its abstract or classified form. This type of reference is called anaphoric: [19]


“Yes in factin the fact of the world’s view – how little was there to remember!” (E. Poe)


“How long are you staying in Relkirk?”

“Just tonight. Tomorrow morning I’m hiring a car, and driving on north. I have to go to aparty.”

“And where is the party?” (R. Pilcher)


On a damp afternoon in September of the following year a young man with his face burned to a deep copper glow got off a train at a city in Tennessee. He looked around anxiously, and seemed relieved when he found that there was no one in the station to meet him. He taxied to the best hotel in the city where he registered with some satisfaction as George O’Kelly, Cuzco, Peru. (F.S. Fitzgerald)


Thrown by accident into her society many years ago, my soul from our first meeting, burned with fires it had never before known; but the fires were not of Eros… (E. Poe)


When I first met Don he had a cat called just ‘The Cat’. I was jealous of her. (F. Weldon)


In most cases anaphoric reference involves repetition of nouns, as has just been shown. However, sometimes a concept can be introduced by other parts of speech: adjectives, verbs, etc. Compare:

After dark on Saturday night one could stand on the first tee of the golf-course and see the country-club windows as a yellow expanse over a very black and wavy ocean. The waves of this ocean, so to speak, were the heads of many curious caddies, a few of the more ingenious chauffeurs, the golf professional’s deaf sister… (F. S. Fitzgerald)


This is mainly a matter of regional accent – a way of pronouncing the words and sentences of the language that identifies the speaker’s geographical origin. Everyone has an accent. Theidentification is often a very general one: ‘American’, ‘Australian’, ‘British’, ‘Irish’, ‘Welsh’, ‘north-country’, ‘west-country’, ‘east-coast’. (J.C.Wells)


Anaphoric reference can be often indirect, when the knowledge of a concept is inferred rather than shown by repetition: [20]


At Kennedy the cab dropped him at the BA terminal. He duly queued, checked in, rid himself of his holdall, queued again for Security, and at last made his way to the departure lounge. He bought a bottle of Scotch in the duty-free, a Newsweek and Advertising Age from the newsstand. Finding a chair he sat, slumped with tiredness, waiting for his flight to be called. (R. Pilcher)


Once an airport has been introduced, it is possible to refer to its lounges, shops, etc. placed in its area as contextually given.

The use of the definite article can also be accounted for by cataphoric reference to a concept, i.e. facts given further in the text, in a limiting clause or a limiting attribute in postposition: [21]


It is very difficult to know people and I don’t think one can ever really know any but one’s own countrymen. For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in whichthey were born, the city apartment or the farm in which they learnt to walk, the games theyplayed as children, the old wives’ tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poets they read, and the God they believed in. (W.S. Maugham)

The Paris of the 1980s is nothing compared to the Paris of 1968.


I remember that the curtains Holly clawed her way up and ruined that first morning, <…> were particularly ordinary themselves. It embarrasses me even to think about them. They were of the dusky-rose velvet kind, totally unimaginative. But I daresay they suited the clutter we lived with then; the chaos of books and papers and children’s homework… (F. Weldon)


Individualisation may also take the form of situational reference, when the definite article reflects the situational context shared by the participants of a communicative act or situation. The examples are nouns like sun, moon, sky, etc., used with the definite article. (See Note 12, § 4) Very often it specifies the only person or thing in a particular situation: the door, window or lamp (of a room), the captain (of a ship or team), the conductor (of an orchestra or bus), etc.

Situational reference is typical of dialogues:

‘I heard what you said about me to your mother last night.’

Marjory was startled, but she showed only a faintly heightened colour and her voice was quite even when she spoke.

‘Where were you?’

‘In the hall. I didn’t mean to listen – at first.’ (F.S. Fitzgerald)


The interpretation of the definite article denoting situational reference may not be so easy to the addressee when information is given indirectly. The example below shows how the author sums up the content of the two paragraphs by means of the word disadvantages with the definite article. This requires extensive inferencing on the part of the reader:


The arguments in favour of spelling reform are easy to state. Children and foreign learners of English would save much time and emotional effort in learning to read and write. People using the language would save time and money, because they would be able to write English more rapidly, and with fewer letters - as many as 15 per cent fewer, according to some estimates. Over the years, the saving in terms of paper, ink, storage, and so on would be very great.

The arguments against spelling reform are just as easy to state. How could a programme of spelling reform be introduced in a practical or realistic way? How does one persuade people who have learned the old system to adopt a new one? How does one avoid the problems of representing different regional accents in the spelling – for example, accents which pronounce an r after vowels, and those which do not?

So far, the disadvantages have proved overwhelming.


Individualisation of a whole class or family rather than that of an individual person or thing takes place when a concept is represented by a singular noun. These are cases of generic reference taken in the narrow sense of the term: it does not include the use of the zero article or the indefinite article. (See Notes 5, 6) Examples are as follows:


The cicadas sang their grating song with frenzied energy; it was continual and monotonous as the rustling of a brook over the stones; but on a sudden it was drowned by the loud singing of a bird, mellifluous and rich; and for an instant, with a catch at her heart, she thought of the Englishblackbird. (W.S. Maugham)


The whole of Venice was in those two lines. He remembered the autumn that he had passed there, and a wonderful love that had stirred him to mad delightful follies. There was romance in every place. But Venice, like Oxford, had kept the background for romance, and, to the trueromantic, background was everything, or almost everything. (O. Wilde)


He had always loved space, solitude. That is why he loved the sea, and no doubt why he came to hate being cramped aboard a ship, in the grease and clangour of an engine-room. (J. Fowles)


Similarly, individualisation of a class can be represented by the form with the definite article before substantivized (nominalized) adjectives, which may denote both a group of people or a quality, state, phenomenon, etc.:


The tomb became a shrine, pilgrims came from distant destinations, miraculous wonders occurred, the sick threw off their crutches, the mad grew wise, the dumb began to speak. (M. Bradbury)


There was a wide space in front of it, facing the sea, where grew huge old trees, planted it was said by the Portuguese, casuarinas, kanaris, and wild figs…(S. Maugham)


To be innocent is to be in touch with the infinite and unafraid. And we can never go back to where we were, but must go on, however grievous that may be. (F. Weldon)


As has already been shown, attributes supporting individualisation are limiting, as they help to narrow down a concept to a minimum. Naturally, they are much more concrete than descriptive attributes introducing classified concepts. Depending on the speaker’s/writer’s intention, the same words, in fact, may function as both descriptive and limiting attributes. Compare:

You’ll be given the unique opportunity to study with one of Europe’s top chefs.

The preview offers a unique opportunity to see the show without the crowds.


Yet, there are a number of attributive words, which can be only limiting. They are, first and foremost, adjectives in the superlative degree and, close to them in meaning some adjectives in the positive degree: the best chance, the ultimate decision, the real thing, the right time, the wrong number, etc.

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