1 General characteristics and classification

2 Grammatical categories 3 Combinability and functions in the sentence

CRITERIA for the devision of words into parts of speech:




(form) derivational features a set of gram. categories


function in the sentence (function) combinability

Semantic features (meaning)

The noun is main nominative part of speech expressing


by which we mean names of lifeless things (tree, window), - living beings (woman, bird), places (city, London, Belarus), materials (gold, oil), - processes and states (life, growth, sleep, consciousness), - abstract notions (socialism, joy, evil, happiness) - qualities (kindness, courage).

Formal criterion:

derivational features

• Typical stem-building morphemes: •

Dent -ist , teach er , friend ship , develop ment , lion ess , secur ity , ag ism , address ee



Simple derivative composite compound

Formal criterion:

a set of grammmatical categories

• • Number (friend-friends, tooth – teeth, ox-oxen) Case (child – children’s, the USA – theUSA’s, friends – friends’) • Gender (widow – widower, lion – lioness, he-cat – she-cat) • Article determination (a book – the book – books, weather – the weather, a deer – the deer - deer)

Combinability depends on the lexical grammatical meaning Nouns are associated with qualities (


), their number and order (


), their actions ( verbs ), relations (



Nouns have left-hand connections with articles (a day ), some pronouns (my friend ), most adjectives (good relations ), numerals (two visitors ). With prepositions nouns have both

left-hand and right hand connections

( to Moscow, a friend of mine)

The problem of the N+N construction • A. I. Smirnitsky and O. S. Akhmanova regard these units

as a kind of unstable compounds easily developing

into word-combinations. The first components, they say, are not nouns since: - they are not used in the plural (cf. a rose garden and a

garden of roses).

The first components are noun-stems convertible into adjectives (adjectivization) - Nouns are used as attributes only in the possessive case or with a preposition.

Functions in the sentence

• • The most characteristic substantive functions of the noun are

the subject and the object

in the sentence, Other syntactic functions, i.e. attributive e.g.

adverbial e.g. predicative e.g.

are not immediately characteristic of its substantive quality.


• From the grammatical point of view countables and uncountables (with regard to the category of number) • Countable nouns can agree with the verb in the singular and in the plural; they can take the indefinite article, they are used with the indefinite pronouns many or (a) few: declinables and indeclinables (with regard to the category of case) Declinables take the form of the ????

Semantic classification

• • • • •

proper – common (week – Sunday)


abstract – concrete – collective (meaning – table – family) , countable – uncountable (days – fruit) , animate – inanimate (dog – sofa) , personal - non-personal (The Smiths – a human)


The category of number

1 it is accepted by all the scholars 2 It is expressed by the opposition of the plural form to the singular form of the noun: king – kings + singular only (singularia tantum) – plural only (pluralia tantum): snow, joy -police, trousers.

• • •

The category of case

In English the only morphologically marked case admitted by many linguists is the Possessive case : dolphin – dolphin's; Dickens’ Common and Genitive. The Common case has no inflection and its meaning is very general. The “of + noun” phrase is used with nouns denoting inanimate objects (a boy’s leg - the leg of the table).

The discussion of the case problem is still an open question

The main theories:

1) The limited case theory 2) The positional case theory 3) The prepositional case theory 4) There is NO CASE in English Other approaches: - Apostrophe is a punctuation mark - ‘S + N is an analytical form of the noun

The category of gender

• •

Gender does not find any morphological expression in English!!!

The distinction of




be understood from and


can - the lexical meaning (a man- a woman), -

the use of personal pronouns he, she, it which replace the noun

- the use of derivational suffixes (a waiter-waitress), - compounding (a she-crab soup), (a man-servant).

The category of article determination

The problem of English articles is a long debated question.

The most disputable aspects are the following: - the status of the article as a language unit; - the number of articles - categorical and pragmatic functions of the articles.

• What language level does the article belong to? The article is a WORD • The article is A WORD-MORPHEME “A stone ” is a phrase (a word-combination) “A stone” is an analytical “A” is a determiner/article (a form of the word “storm”; functional part of speech) the paradigm of the word “stone” consists of 4 words, they are ?????

(write the paradigm)


1) The position of the article can be occupied by other words: demonstrative and possessive pronouns, numerals, nouns in the possessive case etc. Words which have distribution similar to the article are called determiners. 2) The role of a determiner is to specify the range of reference to the noun by making it definite or indefinite. 3) The article plays an important role in structuring information. It is one of the means of distinguishing between facts already known – the theme, and new information – the rheme.

The definite article is the marker of the theme and the indefinite article is the marker of the rheme.

1) 2) 3) The Russian word “pyk” means the plural of the word “pyka” in the genetive case. Similarly, the form “children” means the plural, common case, indefinite.

There are no syntactic relations between, for ex. “a” and “person” in “a person” Continue the list, SEE THE CRITERIA for the definition of a word morpheme

How many articles are there in English?

• Two - Definite article - Indefinite article Three ( a, the and a Zero-article ) - Definite article - indefinite article - Zero-article, (often treated as the “omission of the article” or the absence of the article. “The absence of the article is a special kind of article, which is termed “zero article”.