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Parts of speech

2. Parts of speech


Part of speech is a systemic (taxonomiv lexico-grammatical class of words characterized by the categorial meaning (a more generalized lexical meaning ) typical of all the words of a given class, some specific word building and grammatical suffixes and prefixes and selective combinability with other parts of speech and some specific functioning in the sentence.

The categorial meaning is a more generalized lexical meaning typical of a given class.

 The attitude of different linguists with regard to parts of speeoh and the principles for their classification varies a great deal

I. The only criterion of their classification should be the morphological form of words.

Sweet (the author of the first scientific grammar of English) divided the parts of speeoh into 2 main groups:

1. declinables (noun, adjective, verb);

2. indeclinables (adverb, preposition, conjunotion, interjection)

One and the same part of speech belongs to different classes (acquittals - to declinables, milk - to indecllnables.etc) II. The classification is based upon the syntactical function­ing, of the words (Sweet):

Noun-words include nouns, noun-pronouns, noun-numerals, in­finitive, gerund;

Adjective-words: adjectives, adjective-pronouns, adjective-numerals, participles;

Verb-words: finite forms of the verb, verbals. Infinitive and gerund belong both to noun-words and to verb-words.

Adverbs are parts of the sentence and they are united with con­junctions, prepositions and interjections (but they are not parts of the sentence) into one group.

III. The classification is based on relations among words. Jespersen put forward the theory of three ranks;    a furiously barking dog;

"dog" - a primary, head word; "barking" - a secondary word, im­mediately determining the primary "furiously" - a tertiary word, dependent on the secondary.

But this classification is based on the relations among words in units larger than a word, i.e. in a phrase (phrase is a syntactic unit)

IV. The system of classes is based on the position of words in the sentence (Ch.Pries "The Structure of English"):

There were 4 olasses and 15 groups in his system. Different words belonging to different lexico-grammatioal classes may be used in one and the same position in the sentence. One and the same word may be in different classes and in different groups.

V. The classification is based on form and word order (G.Gleason)

1. With form markers (nouns, adjectives, verba, adverbs);

2. Without them.

According to this theory "beautiful" belongs to the seoond olaas aa it has no inflexions   -er, est, and "easy" - to the first class (easier, easiest). Thus, one and the same part of speech may belong to different lexico-grammatical classes. Sledd draw much attention to word building suffixes as markers of parts of speech and the heterogeneity of features of some members in the lexico-grammatical class.

All attempts of establishing the classification based on one principle ended in failure.

VI. The classification based on lexical meaning, morphologi­cal form and syntactic function (L.Scerba).

The semantic criterion: the generalized meaning of the words belonging to a given part of speech, i.e. the oategorial meaning of the part of speech.

The formal criterion: the speoific inflexional and derivati­onal features of the words belonging to a given part of speeoh.

The functional criterion:   the syntactic role of words in the sentenoe typical of a given part of speech.

Parts of speeoh may be divided into notional (fully lexical, self-dependent funotions in the sentence): Noun, Adjective, Hu­meral, Pronoun, Verb, Adverb;  and functional (incomplete nomi­native meaning, non-self-dependent funotions in the sentence)i Article, Preposition, Conjunction, Particle, Modal Word, Inter­jection.

Why is it so difficult to classlfy parts of speech? Part of speeoh has some typical characteristics - the highly or­ganised nucleus, but there may be some peripheral features diffe­rent from the typical ones. Leningrad puts forward the theory of grammatical field (1974). Every part of speeoh has the nucleus and the periphery.

and the theory of lexloo-grammatioal field - by the Soviet grammarians The boundaries between different parts of speech are not clear out

notional   -   I have a ticket to the theatre.

auxiliary -   I have quitted my studies. The most typical features of the part of speeoh are introduced by the categorial meaning, form, function, oomblnability with other parts of speech.

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