World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Part of speech

Article Id: WHEBN0000045059
Reproduction Date:

Title: Part of speech  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Multiword expression, Numeral (linguistics), Rwanda-Rundi, Verb, Noun
Collection: Grammar, Parts of Speech
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Part of speech

In grammar, a part of speech (also a word class, a lexical class, or a lexical category) is a linguistic category of words (or more precisely lexical items), which is generally defined by the syntactic or morphological behaviour of the lexical item in question. Common linguistic categories include noun and verb, among others. There are open word classes, which constantly acquire new members, and closed word classes, which acquire new members infrequently, if at all.

Almost all languages have the lexical categories noun and verb, but beyond these there are significant variations in different languages.[1] For example, Japanese has as many as three classes of adjectives where English has one; Chinese, Korean and Japanese have nominal classifiers whereas European languages do not; many languages do not have a distinction between adjectives and adverbs, adjectives and verbs (see stative verbs) or adjectives and nouns, etc. This variation in the number of categories and their identifying properties entails that analysis be done for each individual language. Nevertheless the labels for each category are assigned on the basis of universal criteria.[1]

Contents

  • English 1
  • Functional classification 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

English

A diagram of English categories in accordance with modern linguistic studies

English words have been traditionally classified into eight lexical categories, or parts of speech (and are still done so in most dictionaries):

Noun
any abstract or concrete entity; a person (police officer, Michael), place (coastline, London), thing (necktie, television), idea (happiness), or quality (bravery)
Pronoun
any substitute for a noun or noun phrase (them)
Adjective
any qualifier of a noun or pronoun (big)
Verb
any action (walk), occurrence (happen), or state of being (be)
Adverb
any qualifier of an adjective, verb, clause, sentence, or other adverb (very)
Preposition
any establisher of relation and syntactic context (in)
Conjunction
any syntactic connector (and)
Interjection
any emotional greeting (or "exclamation") (ow)

Linguists recognize that the above list of eight word classes is drastically simplified and artificial.[2] For example, "adverb" is to some extent a catch-all class that includes words with many different functions. Some have even argued that the most basic of category distinctions, that of nouns and verbs, is unfounded,[3] or not applicable to certain languages.[4][5] Although these eight are the traditional eight English parts of speech, modern linguists have been able to classify English words into even more specific categories and subcategories based on function.

The four main parts of speech in English, namely nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, are labelled "form classes" as well. This is because prototypical members of each class share the ability to change their form by accepting derivational or inflectional morphemes. The term "form" is used because it refers literally to the similarities in shape of the word in its pronunciation and spelling for each part of speech.[6]

Neither written nor spoken English generally marks words as belonging to one part of speech or another, as they tend to be understood in the context of the sentence. Words like neigh, break, outlaw, laser, microwave, and telephone might all be either verb forms or nouns. Although -ly is a frequent adverb marker, not all adverbs end in -ly (-wise is another common adverb marker) and not all words ending in -ly are adverbs. For instance, tomorrow, fast, very can all be adverbs, while early, friendly, ugly are all adjectives (though early can also function as an adverb). Verbs can also be used as adjectives (e.g. "The astonished child watched the spectacle unfold" instead of the verb usage "The unfolding spectacle astonished the child"). In such cases, the verb is in its participle form.

In certain circumstances, even words with primarily grammatical functions can be used as verbs or nouns, as in, "We must look to the hows and not just the whys."

Functional classification

The study of linguistics has expanded the understanding of lexical categories in various languages and allowed for better classifying words by function. Common lexical categories in English by function may include:

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Kroeger, Paul (2005). Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 35.  
  2. ^ Zwicky, Arnold (30 March 2006). """What part of speech is "the.  
  3. ^ Hopper, P; Thompson, S (1985). "The Iconicity of the Universal Categories 'Noun' and 'Verbs'". In John Haiman. Typological Studies in Language: Iconicity and Syntax 6. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 151–183. 
  4. ^ Launey, Michel (1994). Une grammaire omniprédicative: essai sur la morphosyntaxe du nahuatl classique. Paris: CNRS Editions. 
  5. ^ Broschart, Jürgen (1997). "Why Tongan does it differently: Categorial Distinctions in a Language without Nouns and Verbs". Linguistic Typology 1 (2): 123–165.  
  6. ^ Klammer, Thomas; Schulz, Muriel R.; Della Volpe, Angela (2009). Analyzing English Grammar (6th ed.). Longman. 

External links

  • The parts of speech
  • Parts of Speech Activities at Quia
  • Guide to Grammar and Writing
  • PartofSpeech.org
  • English Grammar Blog
  • . Amsterdam: Pergamon, 16538-16545.International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral SciencesMartin Haspelmath. 2001. "Word Classes and Parts of Speech." In: Baltes, Paul B. & Smelser, Neil J. (eds.) (PDF)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.