Linguistics 110 Linguistic Analysis: Sentences & Dialects
Lecture Number Two
Lexical & Syntactic Categories

  1. Lexical Categories and Subcategories

    1. Nouns
      1. Number
        1. Singular: truck
        2. Plural: trucks
        3. Dual: Yupik: tafsi 'belt' tafsi-k '2 belts' tafsi-t '3+ belts'
        4. Collectives: the parliament are convening
        5. Mass nouns (singularis tantum) : contemplation, work, air
        6. Pluralis tantum: pliers, pants, oats
      2. Gender (Natural)
        1. Feminine: die Frau 'woman', die Mutti 'mom', die Schwester 'sister' (Russian: sestra 'sister', mat' 'mother')
        2. Masculine: der Mann 'husband', der Vater 'father', der Bruder 'brother' (Russian otec 'father', brat 'brother')
      3. Noun Class (Grammatical Gender)
        1. IE: Mas, Fem, Neu Classes; but there can be more than one grammatical "class" for each natural gender.

          German Russian
          der Tisch stol 'table'
          die Stra╬e ulica 'street'
          das Auto 'car' koleso 'wheel'

        2. Swahili: Classes 1-8

    2. Verbs
      1. Transitivity
        1. a. transitive I eat grits.
        2. b. intransitive I eat.
        3. c. ditransitive They elected him president.
      2. Verb Class (usually phonologically identified, e.g. Russian)
        1. 1st Conjugation verbs end on a consonant or back vowel): stan- 'stand; get', plyv- 'swim', del-aj- 'do', vernu- 'return'
        2. 2nd Conjugation verbs end on front vowel or /a/ preceded by a husher: nos-i- 'carry', smotr-e- 'look', stuc-a- 'knock'

    3. Adjectives
      1. Qualitative Adjectives:
        1. predicate & attribute positions:
          an awesome dude,
          the dude is awesome
        2. adverbialize: he spoke warmly of you
        3. nominalize: warmth
        4. accept intensification: She is very cool!
      2. Relational Adjectives:
        attributive position only: budgetary, dental, rural
      3. 'Defective Adjectives':
        predicate position only : afraid, adrift, indoors, upstairs

  2. Morphological (Inflectional) Categories

    1. Determiners: the, a; this, that; some, many, which

    2. Auxiliaries
      1. Tense: Distant Past, Past, Present, Future, Distant Future
      2. Mood: Indicative, Subjunctive, Imperative
      3. Voice: Active, Passive
      4. Modality: Potentiality (can), Obligation (must), Dubitative (should)

    3. Delimiters (Degree words): very, almost, now, soon, right, even, also

    4. Conjunctions

  3. Conclusion

    These are the fundamental grammatical categories found in the languages of the world. While not all of them are found in all languages, apparently a possible human language may only select from among these categories. There are about 25 categories, each of which are said to have a variety of "functions" (e.g., verb tense has the function of person). These combine in various ways, unique to each language. It seems reasonable to conclude then that these categories comprise the categories of Universal Grammar, and the categories of syntactical analysis are based on these categories and functions.

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