The logico-grammatical nature of the nominative absolute par

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Translation of nominative absolute participial constructions is often connected with considerable difficulties. These are caused by the indistinct semantic and syntactic relations created between the constituent part of the sentence containing secondary predication construction on one hand and the introductory/matrix clause on the other. When the nominative absolute participial constructions express explicitly or implicitly the adverbial, objective or attributive relations/ meanings, they are usually translated, as has been shown already on the foregoing pages, with the help of the corresponding subordi­nate clauses.

The logico-grammatical nature of the nominative absolute par-


ticipial constructions in the sentence, however, is far from always clearly and exactly identifiable. This is because of the implicit mean­ings, which some of the nominative absolute participial constructions may have in a sentence. As a result, more than one Ukrainian ver­sion may be suggested for some of such constructions. For exam­ple, the meaning of the participial construction/syntaxeme Several of his letters being ignored in the sentence Several of his letters be­ing ignored. Martin indited an angry one which drew a reply. (Lon­don) is not quite distinct. It may be considered as causal (Why did Martin indite an angry letter? - Because he did not receive any reply to his previously sent letters). It may also be temporal (When did Martin indite an angry letter? - When he received no reply to his previously sent letters).

More obvious and more contextually substantiated seems to be the causal meaning, though the temporal meaning can not alto­gether be discarded either. Consequently, the translator guided by the requirements of his own presentation, may suggest two versions, giving respectively a stronger preference to causal meaning. Each of the two meanings in Ukrainian is explicitly indicated by the corre­sponding conjunction:

1) Оскільки на попередні 2) Після того, як газета не листи газета відмовчалася, відповіла на попередні листи,

Мартін надіслав їм сердитого листа, на який прийшла відповідь.

Мартін надіслав їм сердитого листа, на який надійшла


One more identical example of the explicit and implicit mean­ing of the nominative absolute participial construction (the NAPC) is given below:

The session drawing towards its close. Senator Dilworthy shook hands with his constituents and let them look at him. (Mark Twain)

1) Оскільки збори наближа- 2) Коли збори наближалися
лися до завершення, сенатор до завершення, сенатор
Ділворзі потиснув руку кожно- Ділворзі потиснув руку кожному
му виборщикові, удостоївши їх виборщикові, удостоївши їх
честі глянути на себе. честі глянути на себе.

Far from all the NAPCs with different implicit meanings have always a more or less clearly distinguishable or transparent logico-grammatical meaning. In some cases the translator may be simply


in dou^t ao m me semantic and functional meaning of the NAPC singled out of a contextual environment.

For example: His try for a smile ignored. Stavros turns to Harry.
(J.Updike) *

The NAPC His try for a smile ignored clearly refers to present tense which can be seen from the simple verbal predicate (turns) in the matrix clause. This makes the choice of the lexico-grammatical meaning between causal and temporal more difficult. The question to the matrix clause includes an alteration - Does Stavros turn to Harry because his smile is ignored or he turns totally when his smile is ignored? Consequently, the NAPC may be translated with the help of the subordinate clause of cause: Оскільки/Тому що на його посмішку не реагують, Ставрос повертається до Гаррі.

Neither can there be objections to this NAPC being translated with the help of a temporal clause: Якщо на його посмішку не реагують, він повертається до Гаррі.

An analysis of the semantic relations between the main immediate constituents of the sentence induced the translator to suggest a third possible Ukrainian variant for this NAPC - a tempo­ral subordinate clause: Коли на його усмішку не реагують. Ставрос повертається до Гаррі.

The conditional meaning of the NAPC in this sentence seems to be the most fitting in the general content of this semi-composite sentence. It can also be proved by the corresponding transformation of the NAPC into a conditional subordinate clause:

If his try for a smile is ignored. Stavros turns to Harry. This was not the last possible way of faithful rendering of the logico-grammatical meaning of this NAPC into Ukrainian. There may be one more, which at first sight may seem doubtful, though only at first sight. And this is by transforming the NAPC into a coordinate clause joined to the matrix clause by means of the copulative con­junction and: His try for a smile is ignored and he turns to Harry. -Його усмішка залишається поза увагою, і він звертається до Гаррі.

Consequently, the NAPC, being a specifically English lexico-syntactic unit, may often be endowed with different meanings which require the employment of various means of rendering them into Ukrainian. The choice of these means may be predetermined, how­ever, not only by the lexico-grammatical meaning of the NAPC, but also by its syntactic interconnection with the part of the matrix clause and also by the means, which are available in the target language to


express their meanings and functions.

Thus, when the secondary subject of the NAPC is in no logical interrelation with the action expressed by the predicate of the matrix clause, i.e., when the secondary subject functions as the agent in the NAPC, the latter is translated as a co-ordinate clause orsas an independent sentence. For example:

There was a pause, Coleman listening. (Hailey)

1) Настала пауза, і Колман прислухався.

2) Настала пауза. Колман прислухався.

Similarly translated into Ukrainian are many other NAPCs which are logically and grammatically not connected with any constitbent part of йіе matrix clause. For example:

The two walked in silence, Обоє йшли мовчки, і Сомз Soames watching him out of the поглядав на нього краєчком corner of his eye. (Galsworthy) ока.

She gritted her teeth, grabbed Вона скреготнула зубами,
the rope and started walking вхопилась за канат і рушила,
across, the bridge swaying with - і місток захитався від
every step. (Sheldon) кожного її кроку.

As can be noticed, the secondary subjects Soames and bridge function as independent subjects in both languages.

Ukrainian co-ordinate clauses, which are equivalents of the NAPCs may often be joined by the conjunctions /, а, причому:

We went out behind the Ми один по одному вийшли
church in a single file, the lieu- за церквою, і вів насосам
tenant leading... (Greene) лейтенант.

The feaction was immediate, Реакція була негайною.
Pearson almost shouting. Причому Пірсон мало не
(Hailey) закричав.

Tony,was staring at him, his Тоні дивився на нього, а
eyes uncomprehending, той, розгубившися, не розумів
(Sheldon) його.

The above-cited NAPCs may be translated into Ukrainian cor­respondingly as independent sentences or as clauses of a compound sentence: Ми один по одному вийшли за церквою. Попереду нас ішов лейтенант. Тоні подивився на нього. Той, розгубившися, не розумів його/Той розгублено дивився, не розуміючи його.

The translator may sometimes transform the English sentence, turning the NAPC of this type into a Ukrainian simple sentence w\th


homogeneous predicates: Він нашвидкуруч закінчив

Matters pressed on. he made справи і пішов обідати на Ґрін-

his way to Green Street for lunch, стріт/відклавши справи, він

(Galsworthy). пішов обідати на Ґрін-стріт.

The lexical and functional meanings of different NAPCs in sim­ple and composite sentences may sometimes be rendered in Ukraifi-ian with the help of some other means too:

1. With the help of the participial (diyepryslivnyk) construction or by means of a single diyepryslivnyk:

The two guards listened, their Обидва вартові слухали, faces turned to the rifle-slit, their пороззявлявши роти і mouths hanging open. (Greene) повернувшись обличчям до

амбразури. \,

«І felt compassion for him,» «Мені стало шкода його/я
said Louisa, her colour deepen- відчула жаль до нього,» -
ing... (Dickens) відповіла, зашарівшись.Луїза...

2. With the help of a prepositional noun, a noun phrase or a participial/diyepryslivnyk construction:

His head lowered, holding to Тримаючись за перила, з,
the banister, Andrew went up- низько похиленою головою.
stairs. (Cronin) Ендрю пішов до себе нагору.

This NAPC may also be translated with the help of the parti­cipial/diyepryslivnyk construction: Потупивши голову і тримаючись за перила, Ендрю почвалав до себе нагору.

3. As a participial (diyepryslivnyk) construction or a subordi­nate (mostly adverbial) clause:

The champagne poured. Наливши шампанського^
Andrew sat back. (Cronin) Ендрю знову сів.

The corresponding temporal clause for the NAPC may be Після того, як/Коли Ендрю налив шампанського, він знову сів.

4. With the help of a prepositional noun: He was watching her, his eyes Він з цікавістю спостерігав

ed. (Sheldon)

за нею.

-• — -J '"'- ' ' ' U01/1

5. By an adverbial substantival word-group or a single adverb:
His voice low. Alexander said, Олександр стиха запитав:
«He died, didn't he?» (Hailey) «Він помер, так?»


This NAPC can also be translated with the help of the adverb притишено: Олександр притишено запитав ... Олександр насторожено/боязко запитав ...

In rare cases the structure and meaning of both the Ukrainian equivalent and the NAPC may be much alike:

And still with his eyes closed. Все ще з заплющеними
he said... (Galsworthy) очима він сказав...

This NAPC may be translated with the help of an antonymic syntaxeme containing a diyepryslivnyk: / есе ще не розплющуючи очей, він сказав...

It should be repeatedly emphasized in conclusion that some NAPCs may have more than one faithful semantic and structural equivalent in Ukrainian. Thus, the underlined below NAPC in the sentence They having the keys, no entrance was possible. (Galsworthy) may have the following two equally faithful versions in Ukrainian:

1) Оскільки ключі були в 2) Ключі були у них, і ввійти них, ввійти було неможливо. (нам) було неможливо.

The second (last) Ukrainian substitute of the above-given NAPC is the co-ordinate clause with an implied causal meaning (Чому ввійти було неможливо? Бо у них не було ключів).

These secondary predication constructions are often used in scientific and technical matter texts in which the translator has also to find equivalents for different terms. The ways and means em­ployed to faithfully convey the meaning and structure of the NAPCs are the same:

1) the temporal subordinate clause;

2) a causal, conditional and other sub-clauses: 1) The job having been sand- Коли деталь обробили blasted, all scale was removed. піскоочисним апаратом, то

вся циндра була знята.

2) The part cooling during this process, it is necessary to reheat it.

3) The induction motor being of high efficiency, the power in­put of the primary would be but slightly more than the rating.

Оскільки деталь при цьому охолоджується, то її треба підігріти.

Якщо асинхронний мотор має високий коефіцієнт корисної дії, то сила використання його лише трохи більша, ніж номінальна.

4) By co-ordinate clauses as in other types of text joined by the conjunctions У. а. причому:

The motor load thus in- Навантаження мотора
creases and a s//p takes place, таким чином збільшується, [
the amount being proportional to відбувається пропориійне
the load. , навантаженню сковзання.

The depth of insert being suf- Глибина насадки була
ficjerii, it was possible to make а достатня, і можна було
large number of regrinds.1 зробити більшу кількість


The existence of some possible ways of faithful rendering of meaning of the NAPCs in Ukrainian provides the translator with some freedom of choice between some ways of expression. This can be illustrated on the following sentence containing two NAPCs: He held on to the bar, his legs wobbling under him. Martin's arm around him and supporting him, while he thought. (London)

1) Хлопець ухопився за 2) Він ухопився за стійку,
стійку, його ноги повисли, і його ноги гойдалися під ним.
Мартін підтримував його, а Мартін охопив його рукою і
охопивши рукою, доки той підтримував, доки той
збирався з думками. збирався з думками.

Exercise I. State the nature of the semantic and syntactic relations existing between the main constituent parts in the sen­tences below. Suggest an appropriate subordinate clause for each NAPC and translate the sentences into Ukrainian.

1. My private station being that of a university professor, I was naturally deeply interested in the system of education in England. 2. But Henry VIII being dead, nothing was done. (Leacock) 3. He had seen Jody with his head slowly moving about... (M; Wilson) 4. After a first session of the Six, with the British .prime Minister waiting out­side, there seemed no reconciling of the French and the Five. (F. News) 5. Patterson, his habit of politeness back in place, inquired, «Do you want to take questions as we go, Alex, or leave them to the end? 6. For an instant, with Mike holding her, she felt the same sol­ace and relief, as when years before she had run, a little girl, into her mother's arms. (Hailey) 7. The message reported, they walked on. 8. The service in the Chapel over, the mourners filed up again to guard the body to the tomb. 9. The men had been sent out to dine at

1 The examples are picked out from Machinery and Production Engineering. Lon­don, 1988.



Eustache's Club, it being felt that they must be fed up. (Galsworthy) 10. The children, with Graham still hanging on to Susan, were being carried relentlessly by the current into the path of the water wheel. (J.Higgins) 11. A police motorcycle escort, engines running noisily, was at the head of the assembling cortege. (Hailey) 12. His door being shut, she softly opened it and spoke to him ... (Dickens) 13. These houses, details settled, Hurstwood visited some of the adver­tised opportunities to purchase an interest in some flourishing down­town bar. 14. Coroner Heith, his official duties completed for the time being, found himself pondering ... how he was to proceed further. 15. And with that thought in mind, he now scanned more briefly, but none the less sharply and critically the various notes, or invitations, or love messages from Saundra ... (Dreiser)
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