Part of speech in modern English


The words of language are divided into grammatically relevant sets or classes. The traditional grammatical classes or words are called “parts of speech”.

Words on the upper level of classification are divided into notional and functional.

To the notional parts of speech of the English language belong the noun, the adjective, the numeral, the pronoun, the verb, the adverb.

The features of the noun are the following: 1) the categorial meaning of substance (“thingness”); 2) the changeable forms of number and case; the specific suffixal forms of derivation (prefixes in English do not discriminate parts of speech as such); 3)the substantive functions in the sentence (subject, object, substantival predicative); prepositional connections; modification by an adjective.

The features of the adjective: 1) the categorial meaning of property (qualitative and relative); 2) the forms of the de-

of comparison (for qualitative adjectives); the specific lorms of derivation; 3) adjectival functions in the “Sentence (attribute to a noun, adjectival predicative).

The features of the numeral: 1) the categorial meaning of ‘number (cardinal and ordinal); 2) the narrow set of simple numerals; the specific forms of composition for compound numerals; the specific suffixal forms of derivation for ordinal numerals; 3) the functions of numerical aitributeand numerical substantive.

The features of the pronoun: I) the categorial meaning of indication (deixis); 2) the narrow sets of various status with the corresponding formal properties of categorial changeability and word-building; 3) the substantival and adjectival functions for different sets.

The features of the verb: 1) the categorial meaning of process (presented in the two upper series of forms, respectively, as finite process and non-finite process); 2) the forms of the verbal categories of person, number, tense, aspect, voice, mood; the opposition of the finite and non-finite forms; 3) the function of the finite predicate for the finite verb; fhe mixed verbal – other than verbal functions for the non-(inite verb.

The


features of the adverb: 1) the categorial meaning of the secondary property, i.e. the property of process or another property; 2) the forms of the degrees of comparison for qualitative adverbs; the specific suffixal forms of derivation; 3) the functions of various adverbial modifiers.

To the basic functional series of words in English belong the article, the preposition, the conjunction, the particle, the modal word, the interjection.

The article expresses the specific limitation of the substantive functions.

The preposition expresses the dependencies and interdependences of substantive referents.

The conjunction expresses connections of phenomena.

The particle unites the functional words of specifying and limiting meaning. To this series, alongside of other specifying words, should be referred verbal postpositions as functional modifiers of verbs, etc.

The modal word, occupying in the sentence a more pronounced or less pronounced detached position, expresses the attitude of the speaker to the reflected situation and its parts. Here belong the functional words of probability (probably, perhaps, etc.), of qualitative evaluation (fortunately, unfortunately, luckily, etc.), and also of affirmation and negation.

The interjection, occupying a detached position in the sentence, is a signal of emotions.

Nouns are subcategorized into proper and common, animate and inanimate, countable and uncountable, concrete and abstract, etc. Cf.:

Mary, Robinson, London, the Mississippi, Lake Erie – girl, person, city, river, lake;

man, scholar, leopard, butterfly – earth, field, rose, machine;

coin/coins, floor/floors, kind/kinds – news, growth, water, furniture;

stone, grain, mist, leaf – honesty, love, slavery, darkness.

Verbs are subcategorized into fully predicative and partially predicative, transitive and intransitive, actional and statal, factive and evaluative, etc. Cf.:

walk, sail, prepare, shine, blow – can, may, shall, be, become;

take, put, speak, listen, see, give – live, float, stay, ache, ripen, rain;

write, play, strike, boil, receive, ride -exist, sleep, rest, thrive, revel, suffer;

roll, tire, begin, ensnare, build, tremble – consider, approve, mind, desire, hate, incline.

Adjectives are subcategorized into qualitative and relative, of constant feature and temporary feature (the latter are referred to as “statives” and identified by some scholars as a separate part of speech under the heading of “category of state”), factive and evaluative, etc. Cf.:

long, red, lovely, noble, comfortable – wooden, rural, daily, subterranean, orthographical;

healthy, sickly, joyful, grievous, wry, blazing – well, ill, glad, sorry, awry, ablaze;

tall, heavy, smooth, mental, native – kind, brave, wonderful, wise, stupid.

The adverb, the numeral, the pronoun are also subject to the corresponding subcategorizations.



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