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The characteristics of the grammatical meaning in comparison with


In grammar we are concerned with grammatical or structural meaning of morphemes. We don't study here the meanings of root morphemes because they are lexical. The grammatical meaning shows that the word belongs to a certain part of speech. It distinguishes one part of speech from another. The grammatical meaning is always combined with the lexical meaning.

Inflection morphemes have no lexical meaning or function. It is not the slightest difference in the lexical meaning of such words. But some time the inflection morpheme can acquire a lexical meaning (# color цветЦ colors флаг).

There is in modern English a boundary line between inflection and derivation (словообразование). # Inflection Цing


There is some confusion in the use of the term "suffix", "inflection" and "ending". According to the first point of view taken in wide sense an inflection is a special kind of suffix. It falls under general definition of a suffix. According to another view taken in a narrow sense inflection is not a special kind of suffix but it morpheme of a different kind having no lexical meaning of its own.

We'll adhere to the latter point.

The term inflection or ending can be applied to any morpheme serving to derive a form of the word and having no lexical meaning and serving to derive the

Types of word-form derivation

They fall under two main headings.

1. Limited to changes in the body of the word without using auxiliary words (synthetic types)

2. The use of auxiliary words (analytical types)

But there are some special cases of different forms of a word being derived from altogether different steps.

Synthetic types

The number of morphemes used to deriving word-forms is very small.

1. The ending "-s" or "-es" is used to form the plural form of almost all English nouns. But we have besides the ending "-en" and "-ren" which are used for the same purpose. The ending "-s" with three variants of pronunciation to form the genitive case of nouns.

2. For adjectives there are the endings "-er" or "-est" to form the degrees of comparison.

3. For verbs the number of morphemes used to derive their forms is greater. There is an ending "-s" or "-es" to form the third person singular present indicative. The ending "-d" or "-ed" for the past tense of certain verbs. The ending "-ed" for past participle (PII). The ending "-n" or "-en" for the second participle for certain verbs. The ending "-ing" for the first participle of some verbs or the gerund.

The total number of morphemes which are used to derive forms of words is 12. This is much less than the number found in synthetical languages. All English inflectional morphemes are monosemantic.

Sound alternations

By sound alternation (vowel change) is meant the way of expressing grammatical categories which consists in changing a sound inside the root.

This method appears in modern English in nouns, in verbs. The importance of this method has been much reduced.

Analytical types

They consist in using a word devoid of any lexical meaning of its own to express some grammatical categories of another word. Such verbs as "have", "do", "be" have no lexical meaning of their own. The lexical meaning of the whole formation consists in the verbal form following.

"Will" and "shall" have no lexical meaning as well. They serve to form the future tense of other verbs. They are called as auxiliary verbs and they constitute as special features of the analytical structure of modern English.

The existence of such forms as adjectives and adverbs as analytical forms is not universally recognized. These formations are considered to be analytical forms of degrees of comparison. And such words as "more", "most" should be numbered among the analytical means of morphology.

Suppletive formations

Beside the analytical and synthectical forms of building word-forms there is a special way of building some forms. It is found in very limited number of cases. By suppletive is meant building a form of a word from an altogether different stems.

The morphological system of modern English has very few suppletive formations and it concerns very few widely used words among nouns, adjectives, pronouns and verbs.

The system of parts of speech

General survey

The problem of part of speech causes great controversies in general linguistic and in analysis of separate languages. The parts of speech as well as corresponding terms in other languages are not the universal one and it is meant by part of speech type of a word difference from other types in some grammatical point or points.

The principle is based are three in number:

1. meaning

2. form

3. function

1 - By meaning we don't mean the individual meaning of the separate word, we mean the meaning common to all the words of the given class and constituting its essence.

2 - By form we mean morphological characteristic of a type of word.

3 Ц By function we mean the structural properties (synthectical properties) of a type of word. They may be divided into 2 groups:

1. The method of combining with other words

1.1 Has to deal with phrases

2 Has to deal with sentence structure

The noun

Date: 2015-02-16; view: 651

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