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LIN204 Lec 2 Nouns & NPs.pdf

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Safieh Moghaddam

Lec 2: Nouns & NPs July-08-13 7:00 PM Lec 2 Nou... Parts of Speech - Parts of Speech = words in English belong to various categories: ○ Nouns ○ Verbs ○ Prepositions ○ Adjectives ○ Adverbs - Different categories have different properties which affect how they can be used What are nouns? - Traditional grammar often describe nouns as "people, places and things" - We identify nouns based onform (noun inflection -s plural or possessive formfunction (subjects, objects, indirect objects ..etc) - However, a number of nouns do not fit this criteria, since they do not refer to persons, places or objects ○ e.g. sight, comfort, debt, erosion, conversion, height, presence etc - Linguistics use syntactic (structure) and morphological (word-shape) tests to identify nouns ○ SYNTAX : nouns can be the heads of NPs:  [a small cat]NP: [the cover of the book]NP ○ MORPHOLOGY : nouns prototypically inflect for NUMBER and possessive (=GENITIVE) case - Only nouns take possessives What are Noun Phrases? - Noun Phrases (NPs) prototypically contain a noun and its dependents (modifiers) ○ [the (determiner) oranges[from Morocco]pp - Example: [The book on the table]NP - "the head"/core of NP = "the book", whatever comes before the head = determiner (the) - "the" = shows specificity ; determiners don’t modify they identify nouns - Only adjectives modify (describes) the noun - Determiners 1) articles -> the (specific, definite article), a/an (indefinite article; general) ○ e.g. These children(np) are annoying. (these = specific tell you its closer) - NPs are capable of acting as subjects & objects ○ e.g. A doctor arrive SUBJECT  She phone a doctor OBJECT Betty is a doctor PREDICATIVE COMPLIMENT Categories of Nouns - The category of nouns include: ○ Common nouns: (usually objects or intangible things)  Book, dog, tree, absence, height, fear, erosion, ...etc ○ Proper nouns: (people or places)  Canada, Toronto, Mozart, Fred, Betty, January ..etc ○ Concrete nouns (things you can experience with your 5 senses - you can touch, feel, see, experience) ○ Abstract nouns (can not be touched, or seen)  Some abstract nouns can pluralize, show possession  e,g, four new ideas, honesty's rewards ○ Animate vs inanimate Nouns: Human vs Nonhuman Nouns  English does not reflect animacy (human vs alive or not alive) ○ Count vs Mass (non-count) nouns  Using indefinite article (a/an) = countable □ e.g. a book, an umbrella □ *a rice Lectures Page 1 □ *a rice □ *a sugar □ *a water  Using -s (make plural) = countable □ e.g. oranges, presidents □ *butters □ *sugars  Can't stand alone = countable □ e.g. *book is good - need a determiner (comes before a noun to identify a noun) □ But non-count nouns CAN stand alone  e.g. Rice is good for you  Many = count nouns □ Many restaurants  Much = non count nouns □ Much rice Number - English number ○ SINGULAR vs PLURAL - Some languages (e.g. Inuktitut, Khoekhoe) have 3-war contrast ○ SINGULAR vs DUAL (=2) vs PLURAL - Some languages have no singular / plural split for most nouns ○ e.g. Japanese - Even fewer languages have a 4-way number split ○ SING vs DUAL vs TRIAL (=3) vs PLURAL ○ SING vs DUAL vs PAUCAL (=few) vs PLURAL Countability - English (along w/ many other languages) also make distinction beCOUNT nouns and NON-COUNT nouns ○ COUNT nouns can occur w cardinal numerals (one, two, three..etc) ○ NON-COUNT can not  e.g. *two rice(s) ….should be: two grains of rice  *two water(s)… should be two drops of water  *two furniture(s) …. Should be two pieces of furniture Tests for countability - Use cardinal numerals to test for countability ○ One plate - - two plates - - three plates ○ *one equipment - - *two equipment ….. (wrong) - We can also tell if a noun is count / non-count based on which determiners it combines with Count/Non-Count Polysemy - Many nouns have both count and non-count counterparts with different meanings/ uses ○ NON COUNT: (water = puddle, drop, lake…) ○ COUNT: ( aater = serving / bottle…) - Many distinguissubstance vs an individuserving of substance ○ I don’t like beer. (NON COUNT) ○ She offered me a beer (COUNT) - prescriptively it is not grammatical because beer is uncountable, but it is descriptively grammatical Lectures Page 2 ○ grammatical Base-Plurals and Plural-only nouns - Most nouns have both singular and plural forms (both plain and genitive) - Some only have single form ○ e.g. sheep - single/ plural ○ Cattle - plural only - Nouns whose basic form (= base) can be used in either the singular or plural are called base-plurals ○ e.g. Sheep, cod, barracks - Some nouns can only have plural interpretations ○ E.g. cattle, clothes, glasses - They are called PLURAL-ONLY Nouns Types of Plural-Only Nouns - Bipartite(containing 2 parts) ○ Briefs, jeans, pyjamas, shorts, forceps, clippers, scissors, pliers, tweezers, binoculars, glasses, goggles, spectacles - Plurals denote aggregates of entities ○ Arms (= weaponry), clothes, contents, goods, groceries, leftovers, munitions, remains, valuables.. - Various others ○ Preceedings, savings, proceeds, regards, credentials, customs (eg. At a border crossing) minutes (ie,g of a meeting), troops - Uninflected (= without prefixes/ affxplural-only nouns: ○ Cattle, livestock, police, poultry, vermin, folk, people, glasses, team,… ○ Note:  These nouns are plural since they trigger plural agreement □ e.g. The police are/ *is coming. Singular nouns ending in -s - NOT every noun ending in -s = plural - There
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