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,
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,
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
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
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.
classification based on lexical meaning, morphological form and syntactic
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.
speeoh may be divided into notional (fully lexical, self-dependent funotions in the sentence): Noun,
Adjective, Humeral, Pronoun, Verb, Adverb;
(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
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.