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Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Adverbs
Structure Classes: ◦ stable – changes little over time; about 1% of words in English; help put structure of sentences together ◦ Examples– determiners, prepositions, pronouns, qualifiers (degree words), conjunctions, auxiliaries the, of, they, very, and, would Form Classes ◦ Content words in English; most words in the language, carry meaning in sentences ◦ Defined in terms of their Forms ◦ Examples – noun, verb, adjective, adverb committee, to define, yellow, quickly
A phrase is a group of words that functions as a unit in the sentence A noun is a word that may be made plural or possessive (formal definition that focuses on the FORM of the word rather than its meaning) ◦ “road” has a plural form “roads” and may be made possessive as in “the road’s surface” A noun phrase has a noun as its headword ◦ the yellow brick road Some plurals are irregular (men or deer)
A verb is a word that has a third singular present “s” form (in most dialects) and an “ing” form (formal definition rather than one focusing on word meaning) ◦ Every English verb has a regular present participle (“ing” form) This definition treats all verbs alike, whether they express action “to dance” or a state of being “to become” The verb is always the heart of the English sentence: verb form determines sentence structure
Adjectives and Adverbs are words that have comparative and superlative forms ◦ Comparative is “er” or “more” or “less” better or taller or more beautiful or more quickly or less clever ◦ Superlative is “est” or “most” or “least” best or tallest or most beautiful or most quickly or least clever Adjectives fit into the “adjective test frame” The ______________ noun is very ______________ Adverbs are movable. Jane counted quickly / Jane quickly counted
Words that do not belong to a FORM class are structure class words ◦ Prepositions: about, among, over, under, etc ◦ Conjunctions: and, because, neither... nor, etc. ◦ Determiners: the, that, her, some, each, etc. ◦ Qualifiers/Degree: rather, very, etc. ◦ Interrogatives: who, what, how, when, etc. ◦ And others... Structure classes tend to be closed and to change little.
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