The categories of gender and number.
The category of gender is expressed by the obligatory correlation of nouns with the personal pronouns of the third person. These serve as specific gender classifiers of nouns, being potentially reflected on each entry of the noun in speech.
The category of gender is strictly oppositional. It's formed by 2 oppositions related to each other on a hierarchical basis. One opposition functions in the whole set of nouns, dividing them into person(human) nouns and non-person(non-human) nouns. The other opposition functions in the subset of person nouns only, dividing them into masculine nouns and feminine nouns. As a result of the double oppositional correlation, a specific system of three genders arises, which is is somewhat misleadingly represented by the traditional terminology: the neuter (i.e. non-person) gender, the masculine (i.e. masculine person) gender, the feminine (i.e. feminine person) gender.
A great many person nouns in English are capable of expressing both feminine and masculine person genders by way of the pronominal correlation in questions. These are referred to as nouns of the "common gender". (E.g. person, parent, friend, doctor etc.)
+PERSON NOUNS -NON-PERSON NOUNS
+FEMININE NOUNS -MASCULINE NOUNS
The category of number is expressed by the opposition of the plural form of the noun to the singular form of the noun. Productive formal mark of a strong member of this binary opposition, i.e. plural is the suffix-e(s). (E.g. dog-dogs).
The other non-productive ways of expressing the number opposition are vowel interchange (man-men, tooth-teeth), the archaic suffix -e(n) (on-oxen, child-children), the correlation of individual singular and plural suffixes in a limited number of borrowed words. (formula - formulae, phenomenon-phenomena etc.)
Sg Pl Sg tantum nouns Pl tantum nouns
Silence, pride, stuff goods, talks, terms
1) a/the 1)-||-
2)p(sg) 2) p(pl)
3)some,little,much 3)some, many ,a lot of
In English there is a class of collective nouns which never used in the plural. E.g. public, aristocracy, press.
Other collective nouns can be used both in the S and in the P. e.g. team, gang, enemy, company
Date: 2015-12-24; view: 1241