Noun: Grammatical meaning →  March 6, 2012

The noun as a part of speech has the categorical meaning of “substance” or “thingness”. “Thingness” is a grammatical meaning that permits names of abstract notions, actions, and qualities to function in the same way with names of objects and living beings. Nouns may be derived from verbs and adjectives by various derivational means and […]

Lexical and functional parts of speech →  March 3, 2012

The problem of different values of certain word classes is one of the is­sues widely discussed in linguistics. Emilia Morokhovskaya suggests divid­ing words (or parts of speech) into lexical and functional. In this book, we will stick to these terms and use the terms “lexical words” and “function-words” alongside of “lexical parts of speech” and […]

Field structure of parts of speech – Parts of speech as discourse-cognitive classes →  March 2, 2012

One cannot but notice that there is no rigid boundary between parts of speech. For example, if one takes numerals, one will arrive at the conclusion that cardinal numerals are similar to adjectives in their syntactic functions, whereas ordinal numerals obviously have much in common with nouns: they may appear in a sentence as subjects […]

Field structure of parts of speech – Parts of speech as discourse-cognitive classes – Part 2 →  March 2, 2012

Field structure of parts of speech – Parts of speech as discourse-cognitive classes – Part 1 The modern state of cognitive science has resulted in the hypothesis put forward by Russian linguist Elena Kubryakova. She suggested considering parts of speech as discourse-cognitive classes of words rather than lexico-grammatical ones. The cognitive approach presupposes that a […]

Morphological classifications in Soviet and post-Soviet linguistics →  March 2, 2012

As we have seen, all the attempts to work out a vocabulary classification based on one criterion only have failed. The main principles of ancient as well as modern wordstock classifica­tions were explicitly formulated by Russian academician Lev Shcherba. These are 1) semantic criterion; 2) morphological criterion, and 3) syntactic criterion. As it has been […]

Morphological theory in the 20th-century Western linguistics →  March 2, 2012

The traditional approach to wordstock classification is in great length criticized in modern British and American linguistic studies. As some scholars state, “the definitions in traditional grammars vary between authors, but they share a vagueness and inconsistency of approach. As David Crys­tal points out, the general intent behind the traditional definitions is clear enough; but […]

Morphological theory in the 20th-century Western linguistics – Part 2 →  March 2, 2012

Morphological theory in the 20th-century Western linguistics – Part 1 Whereas the first four parts of speech possess three distinctive features, the fifth group is formed only on the ground of morphological indeclinability of these words. The linguist claims that traditional division of “particles” exaggerates their difference and diminishes their obvious similarity. For ex­ample, in […]

Morphological theory in the 20th-century Western linguistics – Part 3 →  March 2, 2012

Morphological theory in the 20th-century Western linguistics – Part 1 Morphological theory in the 20th-century Western linguistics – Part 2 Another structuralist, Henry Gleason, criticizes school definitions of parts of speech, grounded on the semantic criterion. However, in doing so, he does not notice that the criticized classification is implicitly based not so much on […]

Morphological classifications from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the 20th century →  March 2, 2012

During the Middle Ages scholastic philosophers working on linguistic topics (known as “speculative” grammarians or the Modistae) took over Priscianic categories which they assumed to be valid for all languages al­though, in accordance with their ideals of science as a search for universal causes, they devoted a great deal of attention to the logical motivation […]

Morphological classifications in Ancient Indian and Latin grammars →  March 2, 2012

The first two extant attempts to categorize words were undertaken in two different parts of the world, in Ancient Greece by Plato and in Ancient India by Panini, author of the oldest Sanskrit grammar. In Indian grammatical tradition, the ability to inflect, that is morphological characteristic, was taken as the basic criterion dividing words into […]