Noun: Category of case in modern English grammars →  March 30, 2012

In Modern English the problem of case is reduced to the dispute whether the case category exists as such. Open to thought and questioning, this prob­lem has always been much debated. The solution of the problem depends mainly on grammarians’ interpretation of the term “case”. As we will see below, some scholars consider it to […]

Noun: Category of case in modern English grammars – Part 2 →  March 30, 2012

Noun: Category of case in modern English grammars – Part 1 We have considered the three theories which, if at basically different angles, proceed from the assumption that the English noun docs distinguish the grammatical case in its functional structure. However, another view of the problem of the English noun cases has been put forward […]

Noun: Number – Part 2 →  March 29, 2012

Noun: Number – Part 1 The two subclasses of uncountable nouns are usually referred to, re­spectively, as singularia tantum (only singular) and pluralia tantum (only plural). The singularia tantum subclass may also be referred to as the “absolute” singular, and is different from “common” singular of the countable nouns in that the absolute singular excludes […]

Noun: Number →  March 29, 2012

The category of number in English, like in most other languages, is expressed by the opposition of the plural form of the noun to the singular form. The singular form coincides with the basic form of a noun, whereas the plural form is expressed by means of the formant -s (-es) in writing. Pro­nunciation of […]

Noun: Case in traditional grammar →  March 29, 2012

Case in traditional grammar The western tradition of describing case systems can be traced back to the Greeks. Ancient Greek, like the other “older” Indo-European languages, was a fusional inflecting language in which case marking could not be sepa­rated from number marking, where there was also some fusion of the stem and inflection, and where […]

Noun: Gender →  March 7, 2012

In a language, the category of gender must be strictly oppositional. In other words, it should consist of at least two members of the opposition. The classical gender opposition contains three members: masculine gender, feminine gender and neuter (the third is missing in some languages, as it is the case in Italian). The opposition also […]

Noun: Grammatical categories →  March 7, 2012

The history of English provides an example of nounal categories with­ering away. In Old English there were four cases (nominative, accusative, genitive and dative) plus a vestigial instrumental. The cases in Old English were only weakly differentiated, with more differentiation in the demonstra­tive pronoun than in the noun. The Old English case paradigms were strik­ingly […]

Subcategorization of nouns: formal classification →  March 6, 2012

There may also be a subcategorization of common nouns that uses the grammatical category of number as a criterion. This subcategorization is also called a formal subcategorization. This approach divides common nouns into count nouns (or countables) and mass nouns (or uncountables). This differentiation is intrinsically oriented to extralingual reality as countables, as a rule, […]

Subcategorization of nouns: semantic classification →  March 6, 2012

Almost any part of speech may undergo further differentiation into sub­groups. One of the traditional categorizations of the noun consists of the two large classes – proper nouns and common nouns. It should be noted that proper nouns have been usually overlooked by linguists, since their lexical meaning is difficult to investigate. Both philosophers and […]

Noun: Morphemic structure →  March 6, 2012

English nouns may be mono- as well as polysyllabic. The number of monosyllabic nouns in which the root, the stem and the word proper over­lap, is quite considerable. Nevertheless, noun-forming derivational means are rather numerous. Grammatically, it is important, since suffixes, besides their semantic function, also serve as part-of-speech indicators. The suffixational structure is found […]