Means of form-building. Synthetic and analytical forms.

Form-building morpheme is always a member of opposition [s (pl) – 0 (sg)]. The definition of morpheme is hard to produce. Bloomfield: defined morpheme as a minimum miningful unit. But this definition is defective as ir doesn’t specify the kind of meaning we are discussing. Greasen: morpheme is a minimal unit in the plain of expression which relates to some unit in the plain of content. But morphemes in Eng are mostly lexical. In moderm grammar the following definition has become popular:

A form-building morpheme is an element of the word which signals the presence of grammatical meaning attached to the word by the presence of this morpheme. The morpheme has a relational grammatical meaning. Form-building morpheme is always a member of opposition [s (pl) – 0 (sg)]. A morpheme has an exponent of a grammatical category.

A word form may be equivalent to a word (see, saw) or it may take up more than a word (has been doing). A word form is an isolated unit of grammar, since it carries some grammar information. The lexical meaning becomes irrelevant when we want to define its status.

!!! в аналитических формах и вспомогательные и главные части имеют грамматическое значение.

I. Suffixation.

The number of inflectional suffixes in modern English is very small. They are as follows:

1)-s (s/z/iz) – 1. plural forms of countable nouns – boys. 2.the genitive case in animate nouns – girl’s. 3.the absolute form of possessive pronouns – ours, hers. 4.the 3d person Sg Pr tense the Ind Mood – says

2)-ed(t/d/ed) – 1.the past indefiniteof the regular verbs in the Ind Mood – cried. 2.Past Participle of regular verbs

3)-ing - 1.continuous aspect 2.gerund

4)-er , - est - the comparative and the superlative degrees of adjectives and adverbs.

5)-en-1.plural form: ox-oxen. 2.Past Participle of irregular verbs - taken

6)-ren - child – children

7)-ne - absolute form of the pronoun my – mine

8)-m - the objective case of personal pronouns he and they – him and them

Suffixes 1-5 - are productive ( frequently used). The rest – non-productive (confined to 1 or 2 Ws). Inflectional suffixes in modern E are characterized:

1) The number of form-building suffixes in Eng is small, but the frequency of the use is high.

2) Their application is broad.

3) There are characterrised by homonymy.

4) Many Eng word forms are characterized by the absence of inflectional suffixes. However this fact is considered significant by many grammarians. There is a special term – zero-morph. Barkhudarov analysed the use of suffixes when he built up the Pl f and he compared the presence of the suffix to the absence of the suffix in the Sg f. In the Sg f there is no special suffix, but the Mg of oneness is nevertheless expressed in the W. Thus he calls the meaningful absence of the M – a zero morpheme. There’s an opposite opinion as well. Many modern grammarians consider the absence of morphemes a universal phenomenon in modern E that’s why it isn’t necessary to single out a special zero morpheme.

II.Morpho-phonetic (other scientists– morphophonemic) alteration - a foot – feet; take – took.

It is a meaningful change of vowels or consonants within a morpheme. This alteration takes place within the root of a W. This means is non-productive. It’s called so because it’s used to express a certain gr-l Mg of a W.

III.Suppletion. It’s the extreme case of morpho-phonemic alteration. It completely changes the phonetic form of the root. Non-productive and is limited to a few words: to be – was; to go – went; good – better; bad – worse; I – me; we – us; she - her.

Synthetic forms(affixation, suppletion, morphophonetic alteration).

Analytical forms.

Principles of classification of words into parts of speech. Functional and notional parts of speech. The problems of parts of speech (interjection, statives, pronouns)

Parts of speech are lexical-grammatical word classes characterized by a general abstract grammatical meaning expressed in certain grammatical markers. It means that within certain classes of words certain grammatical features are common to all words of the class.

■ Functionally all parts of speech fall into two large groups: notional words and functional (form) words.

1. Notional.There are 6 notional parts of speech, 4 are the main ones: noun, verb, adjective, adverb.

They cover 93% of the English lexicon. They fill all the main positions in the sentence. These words are very often called autonomous, autosemantic, content words - means they possess an independent notional meaning. Plus usually grammarians refer pronouns and numerals to notional ps of sp.

Notional words are characterized by a clear-cut lexical meaning plus they also have a distinct gr meaning. They can perform various syntactic functions.

2.Functional.Other parts of sp serve as connectors between the main ones. They are often called syn-semantic, syntagmatic words. These dependent words are prepositions and conjunctions. Prepositions act within one clause, conjunctions may connect words, clauses, separate sentences.

So function words express relations but they never denote objects and notions. However, the relations they denote are not purely formal, because each preposition and conjunction has a definite lexical meaning.

- Their use is sometimes obligatory: depend on.

- They are never used alone in the sentence (without notional words). Sentences containing only notional words are possible: Mary came home late last night.

- The number of FWs is limited (150). They occur quite frequently.

٧The interjectionclearly falls out of the system. Semantically they express emotions, the attitude of the speaker to the special situation. They are unpredictable and difficult to define. Functionally it's difficult to distinguish them from Ws and WCs.

Interjections are imitation of sounds, of nature, reflections of surprise, indignation. Sometimes

interjections draw from notional words: well, my.

The number of these elements is limited. Grammarians suggest terming them as emotional

elements, discourse particles, without specifying which part of speech they belong to.

٧ In general now there is a tendency to enlarge the traditional number of parts of speech by including some new items, for example: Words of the category of state:alive, ajar, asleep. These words are similar to adjectives which can express states and function as predicatives. Grammarians say that this is a subclass of adjectives limited to the predicative function.

٧Pronouns- are they a different part of speech?

NO: - Sweet, Sherba

classical school

but - Jesperson: can't be applied to all WCs

YES: Are they notional of functional?

Notional: classical school, functional: present day.Barhudarov: structural Ws.

Principles of classification.The modern classification is traced back to ancient Greece.

Though criticized, it's natural and easy to remember. Principles:

1.Semantic. Has been criticized a lot. Jesperson: Traditional grammar says that by means of the verb something is said about sth/sb. But! "You 're a scoundret" - it's the words scoundrel that says sth about sb. Using this principle we should treat this word as a verb!

Nouns denote things, objects.

Verbs - action, state

Adjectives- qualities, properties

But! Words as 'action', 'flight' denote actions. Whiteness denotes quality.

So this principle alone is not reliable.

2. Formal approach.The form of a word. In this case the noun should be defined as a word which has a plural -s or in the possessive case 's. But then the invariable parts of sp should be classed together in a strange group: must, for, sheep.

      One of the famous classifications was worked out within this approach (H. Sweet). He was the 1st grammarian who represented the facts of English beyond the framework of Latin grammar.

1) Declinable:

- noun-words: infinitives& gerunds, noun numerals, nouns proper, noun pronouns adjective-words: adjectives proper, adjective pronouns, adjective numerals, participles

- verbs: verbs proper, verbals.

2) Indeclinable: adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections.

The principles of Sweet's classification are not unified. This happened because Sweet worked under the strong influence of the rules of classical grammar. He starts from form, taking into consideration the ability of words to have inflexions. That's the origin of his division, but it's easy to notice that adverbs and numerals are indeclinable and pronouns have few formal exponents. So Sweet declares his own basic principle.

٧ Russian Soviet Linguistic School.Originally the classification developed by this school aimed at describing the Russian language. But it turned out that the principles of this classification appeared universal - can be applied to all European languages.

1.Semantic. The general meaning of a part of speech doesn't coincide with individual lexical and grammatical meanings of words which belong to it but the general meaning is closely connected with these meanings.

The general meaning of a part of speech is called lexical-grammatical.

# The general meaning of a noun is that of substantivity. Verbs denote actions or states and taken together denote processes.

2. Morphologicala)Morphological categories. Each part of speech possesses some morphological categories which are not to be found in any other part of speech.

#   Nouns have number and case. Verb is characterized by several grammatical categories. This principle can be applied to the parts of speech which have certain grammatical categories and which have special form-building means of expressing such categories.

b) Word-building affixes. Certain word-building affixes are typical of this or that part of speech only. # Nouns: -dom-, -ness, -ion.

But! Only few English words contain derivational affixes which help to list them as this or that aprt of speech. Most word-building affixes in modern English are ambiguous. They can be found in several parts of speech at a time. # ly -friendly - adj, daily - noun, kindly - adverb, etc


a) We are to consider the syntactic role of a word in a sentence. Different functions of a sentence are typical of different parts of speech.

b) The combinability of words. # Nouns can combine with articles, prepositions, adjectives.

4. Functional A part of speech is described as a lexical-grammatical field which has a core and a periphery.


4. Princpls of the part of speech classsification. Notional & funct-l Ws. proN, interject, statives.

POS – lexico-grammatical word classes which are characterized by a general abstract lexical meaning as well as general abstract grammatical meaning expressed by certain grammatical markers. Within one and the same class there are certain grammatical features common to all the words of this class. POS present a mixed lex-l & Gr-l phenomena (words of one part of speech have the same grammatical features).

Principles of classification are very unspecified.

Different amounts of words represent this or that part of speech. The greatest amount – nouns and verbs – because in speech they become the subject and predicate, and the structure of a sentence represents the peculiarity of human thinking.

The noun is subjected to inflections (изменение формы слова; окончание, флексия).

The verb is subjected to conjugation (спряжение).

In the sentence they seem to be opposed. The subject represents the known information; the verb introduses new information.

Functionally, all parts of speech fall onto two groups:

Notional (6) and Structural (Functional).

Notional parts of speech: 4 main:

Noun, verb, adj, adv – 93 % of the Eng vocabulary.

They possess an independentvnotional meaning of their own.

+numarals, pronouns.

Structural (Functional) parts of speech:

Connections between the main ones. Syntagmatic. They don’t have their own sense. They perform the function of linkage.

Prepositions (act within one clause), conjunctions (unite words, clauses, separate sentences).

Express relations but never denote objects or notions.

Dividing parts of speech into notional and functional, we can say that notional words are characterized by distinct, clear cut lexical meaning. They can perform different syntactic functions in sentences. Functional words have a less distinct lexical meaning, they don’t perform any syntactic functions.They only help express relations. Their use is someties obligatory. Functional words are not used in sentences independently. The number of functional words in sentences is highly limited (150).

The ninths part of speech is injection. The injection falls out of the system of parts of speech. It represents a peculiar phenomenon because:

1) injections express emotions

2) the form of injections is unpredictable

3) some of injections are similar to word combinations (My God!)

4) phonetically, they are sounds of surprise etc. Some of them are pause-fillers

5) many injections draw from notional words which usually accuire a different meaning in the emotive function (“well” – used to be a n adv.; “my” – a pronoun).

6) some injections are absolutely indistinct.

There are some debatable questions:

1) words of category of state (awake, ajar)

Semantically they express state, but some grammatitians argue that they should be grouped separately. Adj-s always express state.

2) some grammatitians suggest that we should treat modal words as a separate part of speech (certainly, possibly). In fact, they appear to be functionally and structurally close to adverbs; though they have certain peculiar positional characteristis.

3) particles (only, merely).

By nature, they seem to be modifiers. If we analize their use in actual speech, we will see that they are a subclass of limiting adv-s.

4) articles (см. про существительные)

Princilpes of classification of words into parts of speech remain unspecified. Many grammatitians try to present the system of parts of speech in which they tried not to imitate the Greek classification. These attempts were productive with languages which were different from Greek. These attempts can be distributed among known approaches of language description.

I. Semantic approach

The noun denotes objects. The verb denotes actions. It is not satisfactory. Jespreson: traditional grammar says that by means of the verb some thing is said about sth or sb but :(“You are a scounderl”) – it is the noun “scoundrel” that says sth about sb. →”scounderl” – verb. The noun denotes object.

Functional criterion.

Some grammatitians believe that the only criterion is functional. So words can only be devided into parts of speech depending on their ability to take inflections. →

Noun – the word that takes the plural inflection “-s”, the inflaction “’s” in the genitive case. Among words we will have to classify different invariable parts of speech (than, for, etc).

One classification was worked out within this approach.

H.Sweet worked out a classification in which he tried to stick to the form of words. Besides, he tried to break from the traditions of classical grammar. He claimed that he represented the facts the way they really existed. Declinable and indeclinable words.

Declinable words: (склоняемые)

1) nouns → n-pronouns, n-numerals, infinitives; gerunds, noun proper.

2) adjectives → adj-proper, adj-pronouns, adj-numerals; participles

3) verbs → finite forms; verbals.

Indeclinable words(несклоняемые)

Adv., prepositions, conjunctions, interjections.

The principles were inconsistent. He started from form (the ability of a word to take inflection). But adj and numerals are indeclinable. Pronouns have few formal exponents. So he violates his basic principles here. He made an attempt to show the double nature of verbals. By him, verbals get into different groups depending on their syntactic features. With numerals and pronouns, he also considered their positions in word-combinations. So words get into different morphological clases depending on their combinability. His classification presents a mixture of formal and meaningful features.

It is hardly possible to creat an idea of an independent word classification

II. Form, meaning, function

This idea found its way into grammar through a famous Danish grammatitian Otto Jespreson. It is necessary to study the morphological characteristics of words as well as their syntactic position (abilities). He produced the third rank theory. It was based on mutual relations of words in sentences. When he illustrated his theory, he used the following patterns: 

1) an extremely hot weather

2) a furiously barking dog

Describing relations between the words that:

“weather”, “dog” – should be called primary word

“hot”, ”barking” – secondary word

“extremely”, “furiously” – tertiary word.

He considered the morphological features of Eng words under the general title of syntax. But this theory was new at that time, and it was widely employed by the scholars of his school. This theory doesn’t cover the relations of all the main word classes. This theory left out the most important part of speech – the verb. His idea that words should be used in sentences was so popular, that some grammatitians tried to work out a p.of sp. classification based on syntactic criterion onlyrepresentatives of American school of describing linguists (Charles Freeze).

To classify words it is not enough to rely on the description of elements in the sintagmatic chain. Meaning is to be taken into consideration. But his understanding of meaning is not traditional.

Structural meaning

~The man gave the boy the money.

It conveys the following information: who preformed a certain action. How many men were involved in the action. The time of the action. See whether the situation is presented as a fact or as sth desirable. Sth state, required, desired. All this information (mostly grammatical) doesn’t coincide with the lexical information; it makes the structural meaning of the sentence.

He states that no sentence can be acceptable if it lacks either structural or lexical meaning. Then he claims that grammar is a system of devices that signals structural meanings. Formal devices – that can be given to different word-groups. His starting point is purely formal. He aims at analyzing formal exponent of grammar. He takes into account ordering of elements in syntagmatic chains. He declared that a part of speech is a functional pattern. To illustrate the patterns he introduced the minimal free utterance test frames.

a) the concert was good (always)

b) the clerk remembered the tax (suddenly)

c) the team went there.

Each word within the frames represents a particular slot (выемка, щель). All words that could fill the same slot as with no change of structural slot as with no change of structural meaning – class I words. In frames b) and c)

Class I words are identified by means of substitution. “Clerk” – names of presons. He also introduced a so-called adjective frame for the plural form of the noun.

~The concerts were good.

The idea of substantivation was further applied to the other word in the frames and thus he signaled out class II words (remembered).

Went + class III words – there

Good + class IV words – always.

He never provided any differences. He simply enumerated words belonging to this and that class. He never included other words in his frames. Instead of describing these words, he introduced the term “function words”, and grouped them into 15 groups, and ascribed the leters to them.

Group A (= marker of class I words) included determiners which can have the position of the definite article in frame a) (no, both, few, John’s, most, one). Viewed traditionally, determiners are represented by pronouns, adj, numerals, nouns in the possessive case.

Group B (= markers of class II words) is formed by the substitutes in the adjusted frame. ~The concert may be good. (must, should, come, got).

Group C (not)

Group D comprises words we can use instead of “very”.

~The concert was very good.

His grouping of functional words appeared as a result of using the semantic principle. Freeze claims that functional words must be learnt separately as peculiar signs that signal particular structure means. Among finctional words there are modal verbs, auxiliary words, modal verbs – are treated as separate words viewed apart from class words. He also grouped modal verbs and auxiliary verbs in groups. If it is so, we cannot divide verb forms into synthetic, analytical. Synthetic and analytical forms show different grammatical categiries (tense – synthetic; aspect - analytical).

Freeze’s classification is inconsistent. It is claimed to be fomal but in many cases he relies on meaning. His classification is based on 2 principles:

1) He analyses functioning of words of the 4 major classes. He studies their meaning including them into functional words.

2) His classification never explains the grammatical difference between classes of forms, functional groups, notional goups.

The grammatical school of Russian Soviet linguists has made a serious input in the problem of p.of sp. classification. All the known principles have been taken into consideration, and put in a reliable system. To divide words into p-s of sp., 3 ideas are to be applied to a word:

1) semantically, lexico-grammatical meaning of a word is to be considered.

Taking into accout that the lexico-grammatical meanings are different but are closely connected. Thus words known as nouns show signs of substantivity. Verbs denote actions and state which are different aspects of the process.

2) The morphological principle is described as the aspect of the formal view of grammatical phemonena. It has 2 sub-principles:

a) describing a word, we are to consider its morphological categories. Each p.of sp. possesses certain morphological categories which are not found in other sp. This principle is applied to words that have certain form-building means to signal the presence of categories (changeable words).

b) word-building affixes. There are affixes typical of this or that p.of sp.

Of the 2 sub-principles, the first is more important because most word-building affixes are ambiguous (двусмысленный). (friendly, homely, kindly, safely, possibly, merely)

3) Syntactic principle.

a) we rely on the syntactic role of a word in a sentence

b) we consider the syntactic description of words in phrases, sentences.


Semantic principle: each class (the N, V, Adj) has a unified abstr m-ng): N denote substances, V – process, act; Adv – properties of act; Adj – prop-s of substances, qualities.

Though POS posess Gr m-ng and material shape in language they form an independent system and may contact in speech. Many parts of speech have their own special sets of morphological categories and form-building morphemes that signal those categories (grammatical paradigme).


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