Home Random Page



Paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations in grammar. The notions of a syntagm and a paradigm. Types of syntagms in English.


Lingual units stand to one another in two fundamental types of relations: syntagmatic and paradigmatic. Syntagmatic relations are intermediate linear relations between units in a segmental sequence(string).
e.g. The spaceship was launched without the help of a booster rocket.
in this sentence syntagmatically connected are the words and word-groups “the spaceship”, “was launched”, “the spaceship was launched”, “was launched without the help”, “the helf of a rocket”, “a booster rocket”. Morphemes within the words are also connected syntagmatically. Space-ship, launch-ed, boost-er. Phonemes are connected syntagmatically within the morphemes and words, as well as at various junctive points. The combination of two words or word-groups one of which is modified by the other forms a unit which is referres to as a syntactic “syntagma”. There are four main types of notional syntagmas: predicative(the combination of a subject and a predicative), objective (verb+object), attributive (noun+attributive), adverbial(modified notional word, such as verb, adjective or adverb+adverbial modifier). Since syntagmatic relations are actually observed in utterances, they are described by the latin formula “in praesentia”(in the presence).

The other type of relations, opposed to syntagmatic and called “paradigmatic”, are such as exist between elements of the system outside the strings where they co-occur. Paradigmatic relations coexist with syntagmatic relations in such a way that some sort of syntagmatic connection is necessary for the realization of any paradigmatic series.


A paradigm is a set of associated signifiers or signifieds which are all members of some defining category, but in which each is significantly different.

A syntagm is an orderly combination of interacting signifiers which forms a meaningful whole within a text - sometimes, following Saussure, called a 'chain'. Such combinations are made within a framework of syntactic rules and conventions (both explicit and inexplicit). in a broad sense, any sequence of linguistic elements linked by the relationship of dependent member to governing member. This is F. de Saussure’s concept of syntagm.
Pr. Blokh distinguishes 4 types of phrases or syntagms:

1. predicative syntagm (s+p)

2. object syntagm (P+O)

3. Attributive syntagm (Adj+n)

4. Adverbial syntagm (P+D)


6. Modern English nouns. General characteristics (word-building elements, classification into common and proper nouns, countable and uncountable nouns, animate and inanimate nouns, abstract, material and collective nouns, singularia and pluralia tantum nouns. Examples of transposition of nouns. “Cannon ball problem”.


The noun as a part of speech has the categorial meaning of “substance” or “thingness”, it follows from this that the noun is the main nominative part of speech, effecting nomination of the fullest value within the framework of the notional division of the lexicon.


Nouns can be classified according to the criteria of form and meaning.

1. Simple(house, drive)

2. Derived(misconduct, inexperience)

3. compound(blackboard, snowball)

4. composite (brother-in-low, merry-go-round, stick-in-the-mind)


As the part of speech, the noun is also characterized by a set of formal features determining its specific status in the lexical paradigm of nomination. It has its word building distinctions, including typical suffixes, compound stem models, conversion patterns. It discriminates the grammatical categories of gender, number, case, article determination.

The cited formal features taken together are relevant for the division of nouns into several subclasses, which are identified by means of explicit classificational criteria. The most general and rigorously delimited subclasses of nouns are grouped into four oppositional pairs.

The first nounal subclass opposition differentiates proper and common nouns. The foundation of this division is “type of nomination”. With regard to proper nouns we can say the sign and the designated objects form an indivisible unity. (Moscow. Olga, The Baikal). Proper nouns serve not only to name but to identify.

Common nouns are different from proper nouns in the matter of their semantic structure. Proper nouns do not have a developed semantic structure unlike common class nouns.

The second subclass opposition differentiates animate and inanimate nouns on the basis of “form of existence”. The third subclass opposition differentiates human and non-human nouns on the basis of “personal quality”. The fourth subclass opposition differentiates countable and uncountable nouns on the basis of “quantitative structure”

singularia and pluralia tantum are the subclasses of uncountable nouns. Singularia tantum or absolute singular excludes the use of the modifying numeral one, as well as the indefinite article.
Pluralia tantum or absolute plural, as different from the common plural, cannot directly combine with numerals, and only occasionally it does combine with discrete quantifiers(many, few etc).

Examples of transposotion:

Prepositional combinability with another noun, a verb, an adj or an adverb. e.g. an entrance to the house

The casal (possessive) combinability - prepositional combinability of a noun with another noun. e.g. the speech of the president
Unlike in many other languages, nouns in English can form contact strings word sequences in which one noun in the common case refers as an attribute to the following noun.

e.g. court regulations, address book, air conditioner, assembly line, burglar alarm. Credit card etc.

The problem (a cannon ball problem) is whether these contact strings should be analized as word groups (phrases) or composite words (nouns). In fact, these structure resemble both and in many cases the two words in them grow into one.

e.g. headquarters, fireplace, armchair.



Date: 2015-12-24; view: 8761

<== previous page | next page ==>
Steps to overcome the challenges | The categories of gender and number.
doclecture.net - lectures - 2014-2023 year. Copyright infringement or personal data (0.007 sec.)