Adjective Classes: A Cross-Linguistic Typology - download pdf or read online

By R. M. W. Dixon, Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald

ISBN-10: 0199203466

ISBN-13: 9780199203468

The stories during this quantity recommend that each language has an adjective classification, yet those fluctuate in personality and in measurement. In its grammatical houses, an adjective classification may perhaps beas just like nouns, or to verbs, or to either, or to neither.ze. while in a few languages the adjective type is huge and will be freely extra to, in others it really is small and closed. with only a dozen or so contributors. The booklet will curiosity students and complicated scholars of language typology and of the syntax and semantics of adjectives.

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But in a few languages this can be a rather subtle matter. A noun always has primary function as head of an NP that can be a core argument (in A, O, S, CS, or CC function) in a clause. In some languages a noun may also function as head of a phrase that functions as predicate in an intransitive clause. A verb always has primary function as head of a predicate; in some languages it may also fill a core argument slot. There are languages in which both of these extensions apply. MARKER 'the large one is a man In (5) we find the usual correspondence between word class and functional slot, with the noun 'man being head of the NP in S function and the verb 'be large' being head of the intransitive predicate.

In Edo, for example, both adjectives and verbs may occur in comparative constructions (Omoruyi 1986). However, in some languages only adjectives can be compared, and this furnishes a criterion for distinguishing between adjective and verb classes; such a property applies to Toba-Batak (Nababan 1981: 71-2), Korean, North-East Ambae, Qiang, and Lao (Chapters 9,11,13, and 14 below). In Semelai (Chapter 12), only the sub-class of DIMENSION adjectives have a morphological comparative (other forms enter into a periphrastic comparative construction, borrowed from Malay).

On the basis of the European languages they knew, it became the accepted doctrine among linguists that adjectives are a class with similar morphology to nouns, differing from nouns in terms of gender possibilities. Indeed, it appears that Jespersen (1924: 72) considered this to be the only criterion. Since Finnish has no genders, he inferred that in this language adjectives could not be distinguished from nouns. There are, in fact, a fair number of other relevant criteria in Finnish—only nouns (not adjectives) take possessive suffixes, and only adjectives (not nouns) take comparative and superlative suffixes.

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Adjective Classes: A Cross-Linguistic Typology by R. M. W. Dixon, Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald

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