English verbs - categories and subcategorization

Topics: Verb, Subject, Syntax Pages: 4 (2245 words) Published: November 18, 2014

CREDIT ESSAY (2): Categories and Verbs

In every language, words can be divided into several groups with its own labels. These labels are generally called parts of speech or word categories. Words in each category share a number of properties according to various criteria. These criteria include semantic (or notional), morphological, syntactic and phonetic ones. Providing relevant examples demonstrating similarities or distinctions, I will discuss the belonging (or not belonging) of examples in (1) to the same word category.

(0)(a)man (Noun) - he (Pronoun)....... as in (0a)
(b)oneA (Pronoun) - oneB (Pronoun)....... as in (0b)

(0)(a)The man/he arrived late.
(b)At least oneA man took the red oneB.

At first I will focus on comparison of the words in (1a). The words are in general considered to be Noun (man) and Pronoun (he). These two categories share some properties. Regarding syntactic criteria, both categories generally function as heads of Noun Phrases which can stand as Subject. The example is shown in (2a). Furthermore, both pronouns and nouns can stand as Object or Complement of the clause, as can be seen in the examples in (3), with another example of Subject function. Nevertheless, the distinctions here are in semantics, morphology and syntax, too.

(3)(a) The man/ The dog/ The woman is beautiful.He/ It/ She is beautiful.
(b) I saw the man/ the dog/ the woman.I saw him/ it/ her.
(c) It was the man/ the dog/ the woman.It was he/ it/ she.

Concerning semantics, Noun refers to a certain entity which identifies itself; on the other hand Pronoun refers to an entity already mentioned in the context, i. e. they are referential. For example he refers man already mentioned in the discourse or text. Regarding morphology, the main distinctions lie in cases and plural forms. Noun has 2 cases: common case (forming subjects and...

Bibliography: Huddleston, Rodney D. and Geoffrey K. Pullum. A Student’s Introduction to English Grammar.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Quirk, Randolph, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, and Jan Svartvik. A Comprehensive
Grammar of the English Language. Longman, London and New York, 1985.
Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2003.
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