PPT 03 - McCorduck

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Determiners
and Adjectivals
Ed McCorduck
English 402--Grammar
SUNY Cortland
http://mccorduck.cortland.edu
slide 2: basic rule for the structure of all NPs
basic structure of all noun phrases (NPs):
Det (ADJpr1)(ADJpr2)…(ADJprn) N (ADJps1)(ADJps2)…(ADJpsn)
Det – determiner
( ) - optional element (not required to be expressed)
ADJpr – prenoun adjectival/modifier
1, 2 … n – from one to an infinite number
N – noun as headword
ADJps – postnoun adjectival/modifier
English 402: Grammar
slide 3: prenominal adjectives
an ADJpr can be
•
•
•
a member of the word class adjective
•
a verb in the –ing form (see the chapter 3 “Form
Classes” lecture)
a member of the word class noun
a verb in the –en form (see the chapter 3 “Form
Classes” lecture)
English 402: Grammar
slide 4: postnominal adjectivals
an ADJps can be
•
a verb in the –en form (see the chapter 3 “Form
Classes” lecture)
•
a verb in the –ing form (see the chapter 3 “Form
Classes” lecture)
•
•
a prepositional phrase (PP)
a relative clause
English 402: Grammar
slide 5: examples of NPs with various Dets and ADJs
exx
NP:
NP:
a
ghost
Det
N
the
friendly ghost
Det
NP:
ADJ
N
ADJ
N
on parade
N
ADJ
each contaminated pizza in the fridge that I ate
Det
NP:
ADJ
our fools
Det
NP:
ADJ
those intrepid lion tamers
Det
NP:
N
this friendly smiling ghost
Det
NP:
ADJ
ADJ
N
ADJ
Osborne’s dim-witted claptrap
Det
ADJ
N
English 402: Grammar
ADJ
slide 6: types of determiners: articles
determiners
•
articles
o
definite article
the
o
indefinite article
a / an
English 402: Grammar
slide 7: articles with first and subsequent mention
General rule: the indefinite article is used for the first
mention of a noun (phrase) and the definite article is
used for all subsequent mentions of it.
exx
I saw a shooting star. The shooting star was bloodred. I took the shooting star as an ill omen.
English 402: Grammar
slide 8: specific and nonspecific reference of articles
Articles can have specific or nonspecific reference.
exx
I saw a shooting star.
indefinite article
specific reference
A shooting star
can portend disaster.
indefinite article
nonspecific (general) reference
English 402: Grammar
slide 9: first and subsquent mention and specific and nonspecific reference
A revolt started in the mailroom. The leaders of the revolt
indefinite article
specific reference
definite article
specific reference
demanded more milk-and-cookie breaks.
A revolt is an act of treason. Those who lead the revolt
indefinite article
nonspecific reference
definite article
nonspecific reference
desire only bloodshed, chaos and strife.
English 402: Grammar
slide 10: the “zero” article
determiners
•
articles
o
zero article (no explicit article used)

with (many) proper names
English 402: Grammar
slide 11: use of the “zero” article with plural count nouns with specific reference

with the first mention of plural countable nouns
(alongside the determiner some only when the
reference is specific)
exx
Lay (some) lilies on my grave.
*Some lilies/Lilies are symbols of resurrection.
English 402: Grammar
slide 12: use of the “zero” article with uncountable nouns

with noncount nouns (alongside the
determiner some only when the reference is
specific)
exx
*Some quicksand/Quicksand kills. For sure, quicksand is one
bad-ass mother.
We ran right into (some) quicksand. The quicksand took most
of our hiking party.
English 402: Grammar
slide 13: types of determiners: possessives
•
possessives
exx
my
your
our
Antonio’s
the undertaker’s
his
her
its
their
English 402: Grammar
slide 14: types of determiners: demonstratives
•
demonstratives
exx
this
these
that
those
English 402: Grammar
slide 15: types of determiners: quantifiers
•
quantifiers
exx
each
many
every
much
all
several
English 402: Grammar
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