Words for the lecture: A referent, nominative, derivative, casual, intermediary, crucial, sheer, to discriminate, by convention, relevant, gender, numeral, masculine, feminine, neuter, pronominal, to precede, singularia tantum, pluraria tantum, lexicalization, possessive case, common case, genitive case, an apostrophy, apostrophized, declensional forms, organic possession, an agent, a collocation, explicit, assessment, to modify, genitive of possessor, genitire of agent, genitive of destination, genitive of adverbial, genitive of quantity.
1. General characteristics.
2. The category of number.
3. The category of case.
4. The problem of gender.
5. The category of determination.
1. General characteristicsThe noun is the central lexical unit of language. It is the main nominative unit of speech. As any other part of speech, the noun can be characterized by three criteria: semantic (the meaning), morphological (the form and grammatical categories) and syntactical (functions, distribution).
Semanticfeatures of the noun. The noun possesses the grammaticalmeaning of thingness, substantiality. According to different principles of classification, nouns fall into several subclasses: According to the type of nomination they may be proper and common;According to the form of existence they may be animate and inanimate. Animate nouns in their turn fall intohumanandnon-human.According to their quantitative structure nouns can be countable and uncountable.
This set of subclasses cannot be put together into one table because of the
different principles of classification.
Morphologicalfeatures of the noun. In accordance with the morphologicalstructure of the stems all nouns can be classified into: simple, derived (stem + affix, affix + stem - thingness); compound (stem+ stem - armchair ) and composite (the Hague). The noun has morphological categories of number and case.
Syntacticfeatures of the noun. The noun can be used in the sentence in allsyntactic functions but predicate. Speaking about noun combinability, we can say
that it can go into right-hand and left-hand connections with practically all parts of speech. That is why practically all parts of speech but the verb can act as noun determiners. However, the most common noun determiners are considered to be articles, pronouns, numerals, adjectives and nouns themselves in the common and genitive case.
2. The category of numberThe grammatical category of number is the linguistic representation of the objective category of quantity. The number category is realized through the opposition of two form-classes: the plural form :: the singular form.
There are different approaches to defining the category of number. Thus, some scholars believe that the category of number in English is restricted in its realization because of the dependent implicit grammatical meaning of countableness/uncountableness. The category of number is realized only within subclass of countable nouns, i.e. nouns having numeric (discrete) structure. Uncountable nouns have no category of number, for they have quantitative (indiscrete) structure. Two classes of uncountables can be distinguished: singularia tantum (only singular) and pluralia tantum (only plural).
The grammatical meaning of number may not coincide with the notional quantity: the noun in the singular does not necessarily denote one object while the plural form may be used to denote one object consisting of several parts. The singular form may denote: oneness (individual separate object - a cat); generalization (the meaning of the whole class - The cat is a domestic animal); indiscreteness (uncountableness - money, milk). The plural form may denote: the existence of several objects (cats); b) the inner discreteness (внутрішня розчленованість, pluralia tantum, jeans).
To sum it up, all nouns may be subdivided into three groups:
1. The nouns in which the opposition of explicit discreteness/indiscreteness is expressed: cat::cats;
2. The nouns in which this opposition is not expressed explicitly but is revealed by syntactical and lexical correlation in the context. There are two groups here:
Singularia tantum. It covers different groups of nouns: proper names, abstract nouns, material nouns, collective nouns; Pluralia tantum. It covers the names of objects consisting of several parts (jeans), names of sciences (mathematics), names of diseases, games, etc.
3. The nouns with homogenous number forms. The number opposition here is not expressed formally but is revealed only lexically and syntactically in the context: e.g. Look! A sheep is eating grass. Look! The sheep are eating grass.
Lecture 1 | Activity 5 The English Lexicon | Activity 7 English Extends Across the World | Basic part | The Classification of Words in Post-Structural Traditional Grammar | A general outline of the adjective | The Adverb | The Verb. The Categories of Person, Number, Tense, Aspect and Temporal Correlation | Functional classification | The Particle |