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Adjective, Детальна інформація

Тема: Adjective
Тип документу: Реферат
Предмет: Іншомовні роботи
Автор: Олексій
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The household was nil astir.——The household was all excited — It was strange to see (the household active at this hour of the day.— It was strange to see the household active at this hour of the day.

Third, analysing the functions of the stative corresponding to its combinability patterns, we see that essentially they do not differ from the functions of the common adjective. Namely, the two basic functions of the stative are the predicative and the attribute. The similarity of functions leads to the possibility of the use of a stative and a common adjective in a homogeneous group. E.g.: Launches and barges moored to the dock were ablaze and loud with wild sound.

True, the predominant function of the stative, as different from the common adjective, is that of the predicative. But then, the important structural and functional peculiarities of statives uniting them in a distinctly separate set of lexemes cannot be disputed. What is disputed is the status of this set in relation to the notional parts of speech, not its existence or identification as such.

Fourth, from our point of view, it would not be quite consistent with the actual lingual data to place the stative strictly out of the category of comparison. As we have shown above, the category of comparison is connected with the functional division of adjectives into evaluative and specificative, Like common adjectives, statives are subject to this flexible division, and so in principle they are included into the expression of the quantitative estimation of the corresponding properties conveyed by them. True, statives do not take the synthetical forms of the degrees of comparison, but they are capable of expressing comparison analytically, in cases where it is to be expressed.

Cf.: Of us all, Jack was the one most aware of the delicate situation in which we found ourselves. I saw that the adjusting lever stood far more askew than was allowed by the directions.

Fifth, quantitative considerations, though being a subsidiary factor of reasoning, tend to support the conjoint part-of-speech interpretation of statives and common adjectives. Indeed, the total number of statives does not exceed several dozen (a couple of dozen basic, "stable" units and, probably, thrice as many "unstable" words of the nature of coinages for the nonce). This number is negligible in comparison with the number of words of the otherwise identified notional parts of speech, each of them counting thousands of units. Why, then, an honour of the part-of-speech status to be granted to a small group of words not differing in their fundamental lexico- grammatical features from one of the established large word-classes?

As for the set-forming prefix a-, it hardly deserves a serious consideration as a formal basis of the part-of-speech identification of statives simply because formal features cannot be taken in isolation from functional features. Moreover, as is known, there are words of property not distinguished by this prefix, which display essential functional characteristics inherent in the stative set. In particular, here belong such adjectives as ill, well, glad, sorry, worth (while), subject (to), due

(to), underway, and some others. On the other hand, among the basic statives we find such as can hardly be analysed into a genuine combination of the type "prefix + root", because their morphemic parts have become fused into one indivisible unit in the course of language history, e.g. aware, afraid, aloof.

Thus, the undertaken semantic and functional analysis shows that statives, though forming a unified set of words, do not constitute a separate lexemic class existing in language on exactly the same footing as the noun, the verb, the adjective, the adverb; rather it should be looked upon as a subclass within the general class of adjectives. It is essentially an adjectival subclass, because, due to their peculiar features, statives are not directly opposed to the notional parts of speech taken together, but are quite particularly opposed to the rest of adjectives. It means that the general subcategorization of the class of adjectives should be effected on the two levels: on the upper level the class will be divided into the subclass of stative adjectives and common adjectives; on the lower level the common adjectives fall into qualitative and relative, which division has been discussed in the foregoing paragraph.

As we see, our final conclusion about the lexico-grammatical nature of statives appears to have returned them into the lexemic domain in which they were placed by traditional grammar and from which they were alienated in the course of subsequent linguistic investigations. A question then arises, whether these investigations, as well as the discussions accompanying them, have served any rational purpose at all.

The answer to this question, though, can only be given in the energetic affirmative. Indeed, all the detailed studies of statives undertaken by quite a few scholars, all the discussions concerning their systemic location and other related matters have produced very useful results, both theoretical and practical.

The traditional view of the stative was not supported by any special analysis, it was formed on the grounds of mere surface analogies and outer correlations. The later study of statives resulted in the exposition of their inner properties, in the discovery of their historical productivity as a subclass, in their systemic description on the lines of competent inter-class and inter-level comparisons. And it is due to the undertaken investigations (which certainly will be continued) that we are now in a position, though having rejected the fundamental separation of the stative from the adjective, to name the subclass of statives as one of the peculiar, idiomatic lexemic features of Modern English.

As is widely known, adjectives display the ability to be easily substantivized by conversion, i.e. by zero-derivation. Among the noun- converted adjectives we find both old units, well-established in the system of lexicon, and also new ones, whose adjectival etymology conveys to the lexeme the vivid colouring of a new coinage.

For instance, the words a relative or a white or a dear bear an unquestionable mark of established tradition, while such a noun as a sensitive used in the following sentence features a distinct flavour of purposeful conversion: He was a regional man, a man who wrote about sensitives who live away from the places where things happen.

Compare this with the noun a high in the following example: The weather report promises a new high in heat and humidity.

From the purely categorial point of view, however, there is no difference between the adjectives cited in the examples and the ones given in the foregoing enumeration, since both groups equally express constitutive categories of the noun, i.e. the number, the case, the gender, the article determination, and they likewise equally perform normal nounal functions.

On the other hand, among the substantivized adjectives there is a set characterized by hybrid lexico-grammatical features, as in the following examples:

The new bill concerning the wage-freeze introduced by the Labour Government cannot satisfy either the poor, or the rich (Radio Broadcast). A monster.

The word conveyed the ultimate in infamy and debasement inconceivable to one not native to the times (J. Vance). The train, indulging all his

English nostalgia for the plushy and the genteel, seemed to him a deceit

(M. Bradbury).

The mixed categorial nature of the exemplified words is evident from their incomplete presentation of the part-of speech characteristics of either nouns or adjectives. Like nouns, the words are used in the article form; like nouns, they express the category of number (in a relational way); but their article and number forms are rigid, being no subject to the regular structural change inherent in the normal expression of these categories. Moreover, being categorially unchangeable, the words convey the mixed adjectival-nounal semantics of property.

The adjectival-nounal words in question are very specific. They are distinguished by a high productivity and, like statives, are idiomatically characteristic of Modern English.

On the analogy of verbids these words might be called "adjectivids", since they are rather nounal forms of adjectives than nouns as such.

The adjectivids fall into two main grammatical subgroups, namely, the subgroup pluralia tantum {the English, the rich, the unemployed, the uninitiated, etc.), and the subgroup singularia tantum (the invisible, the abstract, the tangible, etc.). Semantically, the words of the first subgroup express sets of people (personal multitudes), while the words of the second group express abstract ideas of various types and connotations.

The category of adjectival comparison expresses the quantitative characteristic of the quality of a nounal referent, i.e. it gives a relative evaluation of the quantity of a quality. The purely relative nature of the categorial semantics of comparison is reflected in its name.

The category is constituted by the opposition of the three forms known under the heading of degrees of comparison: the basic form (positive degree), having no features of corn" parison; the comparative degree form, having the feature of restricted .superiority (which limits the comparison to two elements only); the superlative degree form, having the feature of unrestricted superiority.

It should be noted that the meaning of unrestricted superiority is in- built in the superlative degree as such, though in practice this form is used in collocations imposing certain restrictions on the effected comparison; thus, the form in question may be used to signify restricted superiority, namely, in cases where a limited number of referents are compared. Cf.: Johnny was the strongest boy in the company.

As is evident from the example, superiority restriction is shown here not by the native meaning of the superlative, but by the particular contextual construction of comparison where the physical strength of one boy is estimated in relation to that of his companions.

Some linguists approach the number of the degrees of comparison as problematic on the grounds that the basic form of the adjective does not express any comparison by itself and therefore should be excluded from the category. This exclusion would reduce the category to two members only, i.e. the comparative and superlative degrees.

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