Using English for Academic Purposes: Advice and Information for Students in Higher Education. e.g. Suffix used to form verbs with the meaning “cause to be” . Subsequently, §6 deals with the four types of adjective—similar to verbs in .. (c) Some—but by no means all—languages have a comparative construction. bu ‘still alive’) but ‘along’ with a noun (for example balun-bu ‘along the river’). One instance wires the thing as a balun (Common mode choke), the second case is a transformer Usually you see the transformer.

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In some languages, ad- jectives have similar grammatical properties to nouns, in some to verbs, in some to both nouns and verbs, and in some to neither. I suggest that there are always some grammatical criteria—sometimes rather subtle—for distinguishing the adjective class from other word classes. Word classes he main function of a language is to communicate meaning from speaker to ad- dressee. Basic concepts are encoded as words, which are related together within the grammar.

rf – How to properly use a Balun? – Electrical Engineering Stack Exchange

Each has a a prototypical concep- tual basis; and b prototypical grammatical function s. In every language there are some morphological processes deriving stems of one word class from roots of another class for example, verb lengthen from noun length which in turn comes from adjective root long in Eng- lish. I am, for the most part, concerned just with morphologically simple roots, not with derived stems. Further examples of a given concept being coded into varying word classes include: It will be seen that a lexical root cannot be assigned to a word class on the basis of its meaning.

In terms of syntactic function, a noun may always function as head of a noun phrase that can be a predicate argument, and a verb can always be head of a predicate. Before moving on to this, we can usefully discuss the typical semantic content of the three major word classes. In English, the class of nouns also includes—among others—terms referring to mental states e. However, in other languages some or all of these concepts are coded by verbs or adjectives.

In English the class of verbs also includes—among others—items referring to weather e. However, in other lan- guages some or all of these concepts are coded through nouns or adjectives. We are here particularly concerned with the semantic types typically associated with the word class adjective: And a sub-class referring to corporeal properties, e.

Not every small adjective class is as symmetrical as that in Igbo. It is interesting to enquire how, in languages with just a small adjective class, the other typical adjectival concepts are coded.

In some languages these constitute a separate word class. Basic clause types and core arguments here are two major clause types found in human languages, transitive clauses and intransitive clauses. In addition, many languages have a further clause type, copula clauses.

Languages which lack a copula verb typically translate copula clauses from other languages with verbless clauses, e. Now the nucleus of a transitive clause will prototypically have a transitive verb as head in most languages the head can only be a transitive verb. Languages show more variation with respect to the predicate head in an intransitive clause. Basic clause types Clause type Nucleus Core arguments Transitive clause Transitive predicate Transitive subject A and transitive object O Intransitive clause Intransitive predicate Intransitive subject S Copula clause Copula predicate copula Copula subject CS and copula verb complement CC an intransitive predicate may be a verb or an adjective or a noun or a pronoun or even an NP.

It is pre- ceded within the predicate by the 3sg subject pronoun e, just as a verb in this slot would be. We can compare the two clause types in Tariana, a language from the Arawak fam- ily data from Alexandra Aikhenvald; and see the fuller discussion in Chapter 4: In view of this, when the term predi- cate is used in connection with a copula clause it must be taken just to refer to the copula verb.


Compare 3 in English with 4 in Fijian. Dixon People who talk of the copula complement being all or part of the predicate of a copula clause would say that is tall is the predicate of 3. And they should also say that e balavu is the predicate of 4.

In contrast, 3 is a copula clause with two core arguments—the NP my father as copula subject, and the adjective tall as copula complement. Tariana is a language which combines the possibilities shown in 3 and in 4.

In the majority linguistic usage of the term, a predicate does not include any NP the O argument for an accusative language, or the A argument for an ergative language ; it should not be taken to include a copula complement. Distinguishing noun and verb In most languages it is an easy matter to distinguish noun and verb classes, in terms of syntactic function and morphological possibilities.

But in a few languages this can be a rather subtle matter. In some languages a noun may also function as head of a phrase that functions as predicate in an intransitive clause. In 6 these functions are reversed. Of the seven classes Swadesh recognizes, four are closed ones Location, Time, Quantity, and Indication, i.

4 1 versus 9 1 unun

In summary, although both noun and verb may function as predicate or as predicate argument, there are still clearly criteria for recognising them as separate clauses. And one assumes, although Swadesh does not deal with this, that nouns occur more frequently as predicate arguments than as predicates, while for verbs the preference would be reversed.

First, as mentioned above, whereas noun and verb classes are almost always large and open, the adjective class shows considerable variation in size. Dixon languages have an open class of adjectives although this is always considerably smaller than the noun class, and generally also much smaller than the verb classbut others have a small, closed class.

Adjective Classes A Cross-Linguistic Typology edited by | Ouk Eta –

Other languages have larger classes—with several score or even several hundred mem- bers—but they are closed; that is, no new lexemes, in the form of loans, may be added to them. Whereas a noun class will always relate to the predicate argument slots in clause structure, and a verb class to the predicate slot, the functional expectations for an adjective class are both more complex and more varied. In each example, the modifying adjective is underlined.

Ajd languages where adjectives follow the noun, the ordering is roughly the reverse of this. A full cross-linguistic study of adjective ordering lies outside the scope of the present chap- ter.

Adjectives vary widely in their buikding properties when buiding to those of nouns and verbs. Where an adjective can occur buildint intransitive predicate, it may take some or all of the morphological processes available to verbs in this suing tense, aspect, mood, etc. In some languages a modifying adjective within an NP will take some or all of the same morphological marking as nouns number, case, etc.

In a further set of languages, adjectives share no morphological properties with nouns or with verbs. Just as in most languages it is an easy matter to give criteria for distinguish- ing nouns from verbs, so in many languages it is an easy matter to distinguish adjectives as a separate word qnd.

But, in every instance, when the situation is investigated in depth, it transpires that there are some—oten rather subtle—criteria to distinguish adjec- tive as a separate word class. Attitudes towards adjectives It has sometimes been suggested that having an adjective class is not a univer- sal property of human languages. Adjectives had been said to be absent from Totonac languages but, applying the principles outlined in this chapter, Levy Chapter 6 provides a wealth of cri- teria for distinguishing adjectives as a separate class.

Some buildimg scholars have stated that adjectives cannot be distinguished from verbs in Korean; the indisputable status of an andd class in this language is demonstrated by Sohn, in Chapter 9.


Since Finnish has no genders, he inferred that in this language adjectives could not be distinguished from nouns. Some languages have noun classes similar to genders and this is accepted as a viable criterion.

It is instructive to consider the implications of this position. If a language has a builfing of gender, then it will have a class of adjectives. If it loses gender, then presumably it loses adjectives as a separate word class. If it then redevelops gender marking, it will regain an adjective class. Such a scenario is surely unacceptable. Oceanic languages typically have an adjective class similar in grammatical properties to the verb class.

In Chapter 3, Genetti and Hildebrandt provide an excellent discussion of the two adjective classes in Buildong. Criteria for recognizing an adjective class Adjective classes can be categorized in terms of their grammatical properties. I I Adjectives which can function as intransitive predicate. Members of very nearly all adjective classes—whether of type I or type II—may in some way modify a noun within an NP.

In some languages this involves just apposition of adjective and noun, in others a relative clause or similar marker may be required.

In a fair number of languages an adjective has the possibility of making up an entire NP, without any stated noun although a head noun may be implicit, and ellipsed under certain discourse conditions. Adjectives can roughly be categor- ized into two further classes in respect of their morphological possibilities when they occur within an NP: A When it functions within an NP, an adjective may take some or all of the mor- phological processes that apply to a noun. B In a language where nouns show a number of morphological processes, none of these apply to adjectives.

We can now examine, in turn, languages of type I and of type A. We can discuss these one at a time. However, in many languages the possibilities vary. Most typically, an adjective is far more restricted than a verb when it occurs as predicate head.

Another recurrent criterion concerns reduplication possibilities. But whereas a reduplicated verb just forms an abstract noun e.

For some verbs the intransitive sub- ject S relates to the transitive subject Aand for others S relates to the transitive object O.

It is interesting to study the allocation of adjectival concepts into word classes in Fijian. It is not hard to see why this should be so.

In some languages, adjectives and verbs modify a noun through a relative clause construction. Corresponding to this, there are two clausal NPs, shown in 25b and 25c. In Japanese, too, it is mainly adjectives which may function as adverbs, this being one of the properties which links the two adjective classes into one snd. Not all languages have a copula construction. One might expect a correlation: From examination of a range of languages, it appears that there is in fact no correlation.

Morphological possibilities One of the most useful criteria for distinguishing between nouns and adjectives is gender or noun classes. Balyns Latin, for instance, each noun belongs to just one of the three genders, while an adjective can be in any gender, agreeing with the noun it is modifying.

However, this criterion is not always watertight. Most nouns relate to just one noun class, while most adjectives can occur with a noun marker of any class. Compare noting that in fact the words in an NP can occur in any order: Other criteria need to be brought in to deal with words like jaja, bimu, wugija, and jilbay. In some languages only some adjectives may take gender or noun class mark- ing.