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Adjectives as Notional Part

Categories: Linguistics

Adjectives are the third major class of words in English, after nouns and verbs, that’s why I think that this part of speech is merited detailed consideration. Thus the purpose of my coursework is to examine the adjectives as the notional part of speech. An adjective is a word which expresses the attributes of substances (good, young, easy, soft, loud, hard, wooden, and flaxen). As a class of lexical words adjectives are identified by their ability to fill the position between noun-determiner and noun and the position after a copula-verb and a qualifier.

It means that each adjective used in the text presupposes relation to some noun the property of whose referent it denotes, such as its material, colour, dimensions, position, state, and other characteristics both permanent and temporary. It follows from this that, unlike nouns, adjectives do not possess a full nominative value. Indeed, words like long, hospitable, fragrant cannot effect any self-dependent nominations; as units of informative sequences they exist only in collocations showing what is long, who is hospitable, what is fragrant.

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The semantically bound character of the adjective is emphasised in English by the use of the prop-substitute one in the absence of the notional head-noun of the phrase. E. g. : I don’t want a yellow balloon, let me have the green one over there. On the other hand, if the adjective is placed in a nominatively self-dependent position, this leads to its substantivisation. E. g. : Outside it was a beautiful day, and the sun tinged the snow with red.

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Cf. : The sun tinged the snow with the red colour.

Morphological properties

As is well known, it has neither number, nor case, nor gender distinctions. Some adjectives have, however, degrees of comparison, which make part of the morphological system of a language. Thus, the English adjective differs materially not only from such highly inflected languages as Russian, Latin, and German, where the adjectives have a rather complicated system of forms, but even from Modern French, which has preserved number and gender distinctions to the present day. English adjectives have three morphological forms: base (or simple), derivative and compound.

Base adjectives

Base adjectives exhibit the following formal qualities: they may take inflections -er and -est or have some morphophonemic changes in cases of the suppletion, such as, for instance, in good —better —the best; bad — worse — the worst. Base adjectives are also distinguished formally by the fact that they serve as stems from which nouns and adverbs are formed by the derivational suffixes -ness and -ly. Base adjectives are mostly of one syllable, and none have more than two syllables except a few that begin with a derivational prefix un-or in-, e. g. : uncommon, inhuman, etc.

They have no derivational suffixes and usually form their comparative and superlative degrees by means of the inflectional suffixes -er and -est. Quite a number of based adjectives form verbs by adding the derivational suffix -en, the prefix en- or both: blacken, brighten, cheapen, sweeten, widen, enrich, enlarge, embitter, enlighten, enliven, etc.

Derived adjectives

Derived adjectives are formed by the addition of derivational suffixes to free or bound stems. They usually form analytical comparatives and superlatives by means of the qualifiers more and most.

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Adjectives as Notional Part. (2018, Nov 11). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/adjectives-as-notional-part-essay

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