Lecture 4 Noun and Noun Phrase Teaching Contents • 4.1 Classification of nouns and function of noun phrases • 4.2 Number forms of nouns • 4.3 Partitives 4.1 Classification of nouns and function of noun phrases • 1) Classification of nouns • a) Simple, compound and derivative nouns: by word• • • formation b) Common and proper nouns: by lexical meaning C) Countable noun and uncountable noun This classification is based on the grammatical features of nouns instead of whether they are countable. Regarding grammatical features, uncountable nouns cannot have numeral before them (*two information), have no plural forms (*informations) and cannot be modified by “how many” but by “how much” • 2) Functions of noun phrases • Nouns can function as all the elements in a sentence except the predicative verb. • e.g. They elected him chairman of the board. • He returned last night. • A photo is taken each time this button is pushed • The general pattern of noun phrase is (determiner)+(premodifier)+noun+(postmodifier) The premodifier of noun phrase can be noun as well as adj. or participle. e.g. a table leg, water supply, the life sciences When noun is used as premodifier, it can be either singular, plural, or both. (1) Singular noun as premodifier e.g. table legs = legs of a table / tables a shoe store = a store that sells shoes a car race = a race between cars a kitchen sink = a sink in a kitchen When the plural noun in the postmidifier is changed into premodifier, it usually becomes singular. e.g. a cloth for dishes = a dish cloth decay of teeth = tooth decay a station for buses = a bus station a pocket for trousers = a trouser pocket a tray for ashes = an ash tray (2)Singular or plural noun as premodifier a.There is ambiguity here. foreign language(s) department= department of foreign languages • (foreign language department = department of a foreign language) soft drinks manufacturer = manufacturer that produces several kinds of soft drink soft drink manufacturer = manufacturer that produces one kind of soft drink b. different meanings e.g. an art degree = a degree in fine art an Arts degree = a degree in the humanities (3) Only plural noun as premodifier e.g. a customs officer, a goods train, clothes hanger, sales technique, contents bill, savings bank • It is more popular to use plural nouns as premodifiers in British English than in American English. Now it tends to increase. • (4) When the head of the noun phrase is collective noun or name of an organization, the plural noun as the premodifier can have two forms, but the same meaning. e.g. Scientists(’) Institute for Public Information But the singular noun is seldom used. e.g. Yibin Teachers/ Teachers’/ *Teacher’s College 4.2 Number forms of nouns • Number is a grammatical distinction which determines whether a noun or determiner is singular or plural. • 1) Regular and irregular plural • The regular is formed by adding –s or –es to the base, while the irregular is formed by changing the internal vowel or by changing the ending of the noun. • Irregular plurals also include some words of foreign origin, borrowed from Greek, Latin or French. Their plural forms are known as “foreign plurals”, e.g. basis—bases, criterion— criteria. • Some borrowed words have two plural forms: a foreign plural and an English one. • e.g. medium—media – mediums • For some, their singular and plural number share the same form, • A) animal names a) Singular form and regular plural coexist: Antelope, elk, fish, flounder, herring, reindeer, shrimp, woodcock （羚羊，麋，鱼，比目鱼，鲱鱼，驯鹿，虾，丘 鹬（别名山鹬） e.g. He caught several fish/three little fishes. They went catching shrimp/shrimps. I shot two elk/elks. b) Singular form is usually used: bison, grouse, quail, salmon, swine （野牛 , 松鸡，鹌鹑，鲑（大麻哈鱼），猪） e.g. The farmer raises many quail/quails and chickens. c) Singular form is always used: cod, deer, mackerel, trout, sheep.（鳕，鹿，鲐鱼， 真鳟）e.g. This is a deer. Those are deer. • B). Nationality nouns Some words ending in sound /z/ or /s/ use singular form: Chinese, Japanese, Lebanese, Portuguese, Sinhalese, Vietnamese, Swiss e.g. I am a Chinese. There are four Chinese in the training class. C) Quantitative nouns (hundred/thousand/million/billion) a) Cardinal numeral + hundred/thousand/million/billion +n. e.g. two hundred / *two hundred of years ago That’s going to take hundreds of/*hundreds years. • Cardinal numeral + million + n. • Cardinal numeral + millions of + n. e.g. three millions of dollars three million dollars When the noun is omitted, if it is not monetary unit, the singular form is more often used than the plural form; if it is, the regular plural form is used. e.g. The population rose to four million / millions. The firm had to pay three millions. b) several/many/a few + singular / plural (of)+ n. e.g. He has played the part several hundred times / several hundreds of times. some + regular plural + n. e.g. He has played the piano some hundreds of times / many, many times. (some hundred times = about a hundred times) c) dozen, score e.g. She bought three score (of) eggs. I have been there dozens of times. He has already asked me several dozens of/ many scores of times. • 2) Number forms of the collective, material, abstract and proper nouns • a) Number forms of the collective noun • Some are countable, while some are not. Countable nouns behave like individual nouns. An uncountable one has no plural form; if we want to count the number, we will use a kind of individual noun related semantically to the collective, e.g. poetry—poem. • Some collective nouns can be used in either singular or plural sense. The following verb is determined by the singular or plural sense. • b) Number forms of the material noun • Generally they are [U] and have no plural form. However, some items can be used either uncountably or countably. • Some material nouns can take plural endings to convey the large quantity or scope , e.g. sand/sands, snow/snows • Sometimes material nouns are [C] to express “one type of” or “various types of” this material. e.g. I n Britain tea is usually drunk with sugar in it. I’d like to have a famous tea. • We hardly bought wine at lunch time. • We like wines and liquors. • Some material nouns become [C] to express “packet of ”, “cups of”. e.g. How many beers were you wanting? How many tins of beer were you wanting? • When referring to the material itself, they are [U]; otherwise, they are [C], e.g. stone, rubber • c) Number forms of the abstract noun • Mostly they are [U] and cannot take such determiners as a/one or plural forms. A few are [C], e.g. victory—victories. • • Some are not [C], although they have plural endings, e.g. *several difficulties. • The addition of a plural ending to some can change the meaning of the base, e.g. experience—experiences. • Some can only use singular form with “a”, some only plural form, some both. e.g. He has a dislike/dread/hatred/horror/love of cats. • He had a good knowledge of mathematics. • Give my best regards to your parents. • He refused with much regret / many regrets. • I have a suspicion / suspicions that he’s right. • Some abstract nouns can have indefinite article to express “a type of” or “an example of”. a) Some can have an indefinite article only if modifier exists. e.g. They are doing *a business / a brisk business. I attach an exaggerated importance/importance to regular exercise. b) If modifier is implied, “a/an” can appear. e.g. She has had an education (= a good education). c) Some can have “a/an” regardless of modifier. e.g. A knowledge/ A good knowledge of English is essential. • d) Number forms of the proper noun • They have no plural forms, except for such proper name as the United States, the Philippines, the Netherlands. When one takes a plural ending, it takes on some characteristics of a common noun, e.g. the Browns 4.3 Partitives • They are also called unit nouns and used to denote a • • • • • part of a whole or the quantity of an undifferentiated mass. 1) general partitives: piece, bit, item, article 2) partitives related to the shape of things: cake, bar, drop, ear, flight, grain, head, loaf, lump 3) partitives related to volume: bottle, bowl, pail, bucket, handful, spoonful. 4) partitives related to the state of action: a fit of anger/coughing/laughter/fever 5) partitives denoting pairs, groups, flocks: pair, herd, litter, swarm, bench, troupe, shoal.